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 Gemini, Cinephile, Actressexual. Also loves cats. All material herein is written and copyrighted by him, unless otherwise noted. twitter | facebook | pinterest | tumblr | letterboxd


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Dreamworks Animation Pt 2: The Fall

"I loved this article. It reads like vintage EW, back when they relished the behind-the-scenes stories of Hollywood and the studios." -John T

"Dreamworks should not have oversaturated the animation market. Home is Dreamworks 31st animated film. Do you know what is Walt Disney Animation's 31st film? Aladdin. It took Disney over 5 decades to get there." -Chinoiserie

Part 1 here if you missed it



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The Brotherhood of Evil Magnetos

The single greatest celebrity photo that could ever be taken at Comic Con. We love them both so much, in or out of protective headgear

Sir Ian McKellen & Michael Fassbender at Comic Con


They're also co-starring in a teaser poster together.


Team Experience: (More) Emmy Reactions

Now that we've had a few days to process the Emmy award nominations, do we have any outrage left over?Though we’re a film site, it’s unwise to ignore proclaimed golden age of television we’re living in -- even if the arguments that TV is greater than film is wholly suspect --  especially when so many movie stars keep on crossing over. So we surveyed Team Experience with the following questions:

  • win you're most rooting for?
  • most baffling nomination?
  • most compelling category?
  • better luck next year?
  • which Oscar-winning actress?

Which Oscar Winner Are Your Rooting For For Emmy: Helen, Jane, Jessica, Maggie or Melissa?

Read our collective responses and answer the same questions after the jump. No small screen coverage is complete without your comments, TV being so communal.

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What Did You See: Hauntings, Shootings or Snail-Races?

If people were actually going to see the new Patrick Wilson movie to see Patrick Wilson he'd be a bankable star instantly! But we know they're going to The Conjuring -- just like they went to Insidious -- because the audience for cheaply produced horror flicks is enormous and insatiable.  But at least Our Mr Wilson has found a cash-cow niche since Hollywood proper couldn't figure out what to do with him despite a) talent, b) a stellar singing voice, and c) matinee idol looks.

Patrick Wilson recording reactions to Vera Farmiga's Emmy nomination

02 DESPICABLE ME 2 $25 (cum. $276.1)...about to become the 2nd biggest hit of 2013
03 TURBO $21.5 *NEW* (cum. $31.2)
04 GROWN UPS 2 $10 (cum. $79.5)
05 RED 2 $18.5 *NEW* 

It was a rough weekend for The Lone Ranger (reviewed) which lost a huge swath of screens and fell out of the top ten in only its third weekend. Things weren't much rosier for the crowded field of newbies apart from the documentary Act of Killing which had the best per screen average and excitable reviews and The Conjuring. The latter has already doubled its budget where other newbies like the snail-racing cartoon Turbo and the CGI action comedy RIPD (Ryan Reynolds just can't open movies but Hollywood keeps trying to fix that) with budgets well over $100 million struggle to find an immediate audience. I hope that the disappointing totals for Red 2, which opened weaker than its predecessor though sequels usually build these days, and RIPD which looked like a plagiaristic reboot of Men in Black (at least in trailer form) with aliens swapped out for dead people, give Hollywood cold feet about greenlighting sequels or reboots of EVERYTHING ...but that's hoping for a miracle, I know. 

In limited release The Way Way Back is still building an audience and Fruitvale Station (reviewed) did well in its second weekend passing the million dollar mark. It goes wide next weekend and is surely hoping to win enough box office attention to seal its status as a talking point Oscar contender.

Last Chance! If you can find Frances Ha and The Bling Ring, two of the most unique and discussable 2013 movies, in a theater near you, do it. They'll vanish from theaters any second now and you won't see them on DVD for awhile and good movies are better in theaters anyway!. Only Bling Ring has a date (September 17th) announced.

What did you see this weekend?


Links: Ava, Spidey, Kruger, and The World's Finest

Vulture says goodbye to Ryan Gosling as he begins his break from on-screen acting post Only God Forgives. But it's not over. It's never over.
Laughing Squid awesome movie-themed wedding invitations. Seriously clever! 
In Contention Kris is ecstatic over the news that Man of Steel 2 will include Batman; "The World's Finest" will finally share the screen.
Pajiba on 20 reasons they're sad to be missing Comic-Con 

NPR extremely negative review of a book about Ava Gardner that she didn't want published
Playbill Rose Byrne might play "Grace" in Annie. That's the "We Got Annie!" assistant to Daddy Warbucks played by Ann Reinking in the previous film version
Movie City News 33 Weeks to Oscar - a season without a frontrunner?
Greg in Hollywood thinks this year's Emmy list is the gayest ever -- so many out TV stars these days
New Zealand Herald appreciates Diane Kruger's  terrific recent run of career-elevating parts 
New Zealand Herald -- I'm double-dipping (thx Morgan) since they're into actresses right now -- talks to Nicole Kidman about her recent roles and Grace of Monaco 
i09 has a ton of details from the Marvel Panel at Comic-Con including new Captain America Winter Soldier footage and the Guardians of the Galaxy panel and the Avengers sequel has been titled. It's Avengers: The Age of Ultron.

Peter 'Garfield' Parker 
Huffington Post truly fun interview with Andrew Garfield at Comic-Con who is delightfully candid about his years locked into playing Spidey.

And here he is at Comic-Con delighting the crowd...


Updated Oscar Predix: Saving Blue Jasmine Station

It was time to check back in with our popular charts, clean off the dust and rearrange the furniture. But, that said, the Oscar year has been off to a slow start since the blockbusters have had little in the way of Oscar contending elements (beyond visual effects) and the best films so far have been tiny (Frances Ha, Before Midnight, Mud) and Oscar is a size queen.

Before you say anything, no, I do not think Fruitvale Station will win Best Picture. I've placed it at #1 on the charts this week merely because it's the only film I'm certain will be nominated at this point. When you start getting grabby media headlines like  "Can a movie heal the nation?" people are already making your case for you. And, as rankings go, one should always remember that the charts are about nominations (until the actual nominations take place 178 days from now) rather than wins. I'm not one of those pundits that cares about who will win before we even have a nominee list; the nomination competition is the best part! I'd love to believe that Before Midnight had also already sealed up a nomination but I've never been convinced that AMPAS is really watching that intimate talky ephemeral once-a-decade brilliance. If they were they're crazy for not nominating the second film for Best Picture & Best Actress in 2004 (Million Dollar Baby's got nothing on Before Sunset in either category).

In other chart-shifting I've boosted Saving Mr Banks way way up (I know people were down on the trailer but Oscar predictions are about Academy taste rather than internet taste) and lost a bit of faith in Foxcatcher, though only really because its release plan is either nonexistent or very shy. [more]

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Review: Fruitvale Station

This review was originally posted in my column at Towleroad

Fruitvale Station, the first legit* Oscar Best Picture contender of 2013, hit a few theaters last Friday after months of pre-release buzz.

The buzz was fueled by a double triumph at Sundance this past January where it took home both the Audience Award and the Grand Jury Prize. The feature debut of 27 year-old writer/director Ryan Coogler tells the true story of the death of a 22 year-old African American man named Oscar Grant, who was shot by police on New Year's Day in 2009 at the Fruitvale BART Station in San Francisco. Watching it last Friday it felt like a modest success, a solid specific slice-of-life drama if not a great or ambitious one. But context is a funny thing. The very next day it was feeling much bigger.

Nothing exists in a vacuum and that includes the movies. On Saturday George Zimmerman was found "Not Guilty" in the death of Trayvon Martin, another unarmed black man (this time he was only a teenager), whose life was snuffed out nonsensically. The Weinstein Company who distributed the movie couldn't possibly have had better (or sadder) timing. If Fruitvale Station were a fictional drama, it might have felt unnervingly prescient opening when it did but since it is also based in fact it arrives like a stinging reminder of a shameful national pattern.[more...]

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The Rebellious Evolution of Natalie Wood

It's Natalie Wood Week as we celebrate what would have been her 75th birthday (today!). Here's Abstew from 'The Film's The Thing'...

I love the tag line: "...And they both came from good families!" Oh, no! Where did we go wrong?!?The legend of James Dean looms large over the seminal 1955 teen-angst film, Rebel Without a Cause. With his red windbreaker that would soon become his trademark, furrowed brow and pensive gaze, his hobby of drag racing goons that would dare to call him chicken, and dealing with square parents that just don't understand, Dean cuts an impressive figure. The film is so closely linked to the star's iconic status that you'll forgive me that sometimes I forget the other talented stars that also occupy the film. (But, then again, I'm a huge James Dean fan. I've even been to his hometown of Fairmount, Indiana where there's not one, but three different museums dedicated to him. You can compete in the annual James Dean look-alike competition! It's also where he's buried. You can still go to his family farm and see his tombstone.) But, of the three films that Dean starred in, Rebel is the only one he didn't receive an Oscar nomination for.

The film was, however, nominated for a trio of awards including a Best Supporting Actor nomination for Sal Mineo as his pal, Plato, and a Best Screenplay nomination for the Director, Nicholas Ray. Has any film captured the superb agony of being a teenager so precisely?

I don't know what to do anymore. Except maybe die."

It's final nomination was for Best Supporting Actress, giving Natalie Wood her first bit of Oscar recognition. Hers is not, maybe, the first name that spring to mind when you think of Rebel, but her career owes as much to it as Dean's does...

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