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Sunday
Feb232014

7 Days Til Oscar. Dallas Buyers Club & AIDS Pictures

Unless I've missed a random nomination somewhere -- and you may correct me gently in the comments if I have --  it occurs to me that Dallas Buyers Club is the seventh non-documentary motion picture with a prominent HIV/AIDS story to receive Oscar nominations. (There have been more films with supporting characters who were living with HIV, but these are the major films that are more focused on it*).

Oscar's history with this feature topic stretches back 23 years through one Best Picture nominee, a pre-McConaughey Best Actor, two foreign films, and 1990's Longtime Companion after the jump

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Feb232014

So long, linkwell, au wiedersehen, adieu

Policy Mic Olivia Wilde humorously condemns Hollywood's sexism with a gender reversal anecdote
Chicago Tribune really strong piece on the camerawork and cutting (or lack of it) in the three films dominating the Oscar race: 12 Years a Slave, Gravity, and American Hustle 
Gawker a sad day for Sound of Music fans. The last remaining member of the original Von Trapp family singers has died.


NY Times great interview with RuPaul on his unlikely career now in its second huge act
Salon looks at Oscar Original Songs that time forgot. But this is really just scratching the surface. There's a couple of them each year!
Backlots a letter about Joan Fontaine from her friend and secretary
In Contention 12 Years a Slave wins 4 prizes and The Butler wins Best Actor at the NAACP Image Awards

Saturday
Feb222014

Yes, No, Maybe So: "What a bunch of A-holes"

Oscar season has crushed my will for timely YNMS entries since everything 2014 is a "No, No, Maybe No" until March 3rd, you know? But let's catch up very briefly so that we don't start at a deficit once the Oscars wraps and a new film year is truly free to begin. After the jump we'll discuss the new trailers and other marketing blitz business regarding Guardians of the Galaxy...

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Feb222014

Best Pictures for Home Viewing

all links in this article go to my favorite post about the movie in question

For those of you who live too far from major markets  to see everything before the Oscars, or who love watching a movie over and over and over again, you won't have to wait too long to fulfill every viewing impulse you have for this year's batch of Oscar nominees. Almost every single Oscar nominee will be on DVD and BluRay by the end of March except of course for the handful that don't have to follow the normal rules of release like foreign film and animation: Omar, Ernest & Celestine, The Wind RisesThe Missing Picture which have just started their theatrical runs or are coming soon. There's no word yet on late arrival The Invisible Woman, nominated for costume design. The only Best Picture that hasn't announced a BluRay release date is Spike Jonze's Her which is slightly surprising since its competitors, which are mostly still going stronger at the box office, have. 

Coming Tuesday!
Best Picture nominees Gravity & Nebraska hit stores the day Oscar voting ends. So they won't be able to tout any of their potential wins on their jackets

Already Available. Will you have seen them all by March 2nd?
Best Picture nominees: Captain Phillips & Dallas Buyer's ClubScreenplay nominees: Blue Jasmine & Before MidnightAnimated Features, Visual Effects and Craft nominees are often available before the other shortlists since they're less reliant on Christmas releases to win gold. So you can already get: The Great Gatsby, All is LostStar Trek Into Darkness,  Iron Man 3, Despicable Me 2, The Lone Ranger, The CroodsPlus: the grim thriller Prisoners, about child abduction nominated for Best Cinematography, and Denmark's Foreign Film nominee The Hunt starring Mads Mikkelsen as a man accused, and thus presumed guilty, of child abuse which is suddenly and uncomfortably extra topical. 

Coming in March

March 4th
Best Picture nominees 12 Years a Slave &  Philomena plus costume & cinematography eye candy kung fu in Wong Kar Wai's The Grandmaster 

March 11th
Two musically-focused nominees: Inside Llewyn Davis, nominated for Sound Mixing, and The Broken Circle Breakdown Belgium's Best Foreign Language Film nominee is a cancer drama but it's also one of the best performance musicals of recent years; moving bluegrass family drama. I don't plan on buying either movie but my god the music. Gimme the soundtracks!

March 18th

Best Picture nominee American Hustle plus two Best Original Song features Mandela and Frozen. I find the Disney behemoth's home video date surprising. It's still in the box office top five. You can make money on home video forever but theatricla revenue comes just once (until the next technological breakthrough for which you can retrofit it and rerelease) so why cut off that money? 

All the Best Pictures will be on blue ray by March 25th (except Her)

March 25th
A cushion-your-ass double feature. Got a free five & half hours? Best Picture The Wolf of Wall Street (180 minutes) and Best Foreign Film The Great Beauty (142 minutes) arrive on the same day. 

April 7th
That's the day you get the three fire breathers: Smaug from The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug and Violet and Barbara Weston (Meryl & Julia) in August: Osage County.

CHECK OUT THE OSCAR CHARTS 
And make sure to vote for your favorite Picture, Actor, Supporting Actor and the like.

Saturday
Feb222014

8 Days Til Oscar. Peter O'Toole, The Actor Who Would Be... Nominated?

Here's new contributor Diana Drumm to talk about a man who will surely win pride of place in Oscar's In Memoriam a week from Sunday.

Crazy eights, ice-skating tricks, the infinity symbol standing upright, 8 is a fun number... unless you’re the late legendary actor Peter O’Toole.  Yes, the man who won the hearts (but not the majority) of Academy voters in his film debut as the titular Lawrence of Arabia, held his own in a televised Shakespeare discussion with Orson Welles, and bounded on and offscreen to various degrees of liquid courage would falter slightly, nay merely pause, at the mention of eight and Oscar in the same sentence. 

Your instructions: Read the following paragraph aloud or in your head with all of the O’Toole-ian gravitas you can muster, in the style of the opening of his “My Life” speech from The Lion in Winter (1968), which garnered him a third nomination for Best Actor...

Click to read more ...

Friday
Feb212014

Obligatory Superhero Update: "Fantastic Four" & "Doctor Strange"

I didn't think I was going to have anything to say about the recently announced Fantastic Four reboot cast that I hadn't already said in previous posts. But then they forced my hand with the Jamie Bell casting. If you don't frequent mainstream click-baiting movie blogs (most of which live for superhero movie news) the news goes like so:

  • Mr Fantastic, Reed Richards (stretchy scientific genius) - Miles Teller
  • Invisible Girl (Mr Fantastic's wife, Sue Storm) - Kate Mara
  • The Human Torch (Sue's brother) - Michael B Jordan
  • The Thing, Ben Grimm (Reed's best friend) - Jamie Bell  

Click to read more ...

Friday
Feb212014

Your Daily Linkage

Huffington Post a live-blogged review of critical punching bag Pompeii
Pajiba on Lupita Nyong'o on Ellen. We already knew Ellen was a perfect talk show host but Lupita is a natural at talk show guesting as well
Gurus of Gold top threes in each category from the Gurus. Looks like I'm way off consensus on Adaped Screenplay and Editing
Slate Turns out "Chivo", cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki, has an instagram feed and Slate is crazy besotted with it
Pop & Hiss P!nk added to performers list at the Oscars. We're guessing aerial acrobatics but they already had those really recently at an Oscars ceremony... like I think just two years ago, right?

NY Times Manohla Dargis delivers an impassioned ode to Jennifer Lawrence's huge career... and thinks she's going to win Sunday night
/Film reports on the Live Read of Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction in LA. Lizzy Caplan did the Uma/Amanda parts and Joseph Gordon-Levitt did Vincent Vega and, yes, they got up and danced
NY Times honestly I take issue with this report that Oscar nominations didn't do much for the box office of the nominees. While I agree that the expanded Best Picture field has seriously diluted the marketing pull of "Best Picture!" a lot of these movies would not have done even half of what they did without Oscar buzz. I'm talking ALL of the non-star driven ones
Culture Monster was 2013 really a great year at the movies or does social media just exaggerate all the love?
Playbill oh dear. Lea Michele hasn't given up on starring on Funny Girl on Broadway just yet. Her #1 accomplice Ryan Murphy aims to help her
Keyframe have you seen the video essays on who deserves the Oscars. I thought Best Actress was fairly interesting 
In Contention talks to the sound team on All is Lost
Awards Daily talks to Steven Price about Gravity

Finally, in case you haven't heard The LEGO Movie will be getting a sequel 1190 days from now on May 26th, 2017. Everything will probably not still be awesome -- I loved the movie but it seems like the perfect one-off rather than anything sustainable --  but franchise culture, Lord Business, and the grosses demand it.