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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 | instagram | letterboxd | deviantart 


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Entries in Hunger Games (53)


MTV Movie Awards: Katniss vs. ...uh...Solomon Northup?

The MTV Movie Award Nominations arrive hot on the heels of the Oscar ceremony. This awards show happens on April 13th. MTV, even moreso than the Globes is all about nominating big stars they think we'll give them ratings even if they stick out like sore thumbs in their category. That's why I have to admit shock that 12 Years a Slave shows up repeatedly in their nominations.

I thought it far too sober, artistic, and adult for the awards show that kept holding the Twilight franchise up as some kind of pinnacle of filmmaking. It's hard to consider them being nominated for the same prize, much less existing in the same universe. Gravity, which weirdly isn't up for "Movie of the Year" would have been a far more MTV like choice. Honestly I can't figure it. 

In some way this is a bit more like the MTV Movie Awards of yore which would give prizes to Wes Anderson before he even had a fanbase to speak of. But maybe it's all merely a happy accident that two of the most Oscar nominated movies of the year (American Hustle, Wolf of Wall Street) are also "fun" and so MTV responds in kind. 


• “12 Years a Slave” (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
• “American Hustle” (Columbia Pictures)
• “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” (Warner Bros. Pictures)
• “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” (Lionsgate)
• “The Wolf of Wall Street” (Paramount Pictures)

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"Nominations for Everyone!" - Saturn Awards

I maintain that a lot of "special interest" awards bodies would instantly be more respectable if they'd limit their number of nominations in a category. The Saturn Awards, who've been handing out prizes for sci-fi/fantasy/horror films for 40 years now, are one such group. When you narrow your field of eligibility -- as all special interest awards bodies must to still fit within their special interest boundaries -- why then should your nominee list be larger than the standard model (that'd be Oscar. pay attention). Despite what seems like a neverending barrage of pictures released that are catering to the comic-con community, there are actually less movies like that than those that are eligible for other prizes which only have "release date" as criteria. And yet the Saturn Awards feel the need to have six-seven nominees in all the acting categories and multiple Best Picture awards. If you combine all of their Best Film categories, they have 34 Best Picture nominees! though Gravity and The Hobbit: The Smaugening are the nomination leaders.

It must be so insulting for any picture that was not nominated... though I can't think of any that weren't offhand. Hundreds of nominations with brief grumpy commentary are after the jump. 

Best Comic-to-Film Motion Picture:
“Iron Man 3″
“Man of Steel”
“Thor: The Dark World”
“The Wolverine”

The only snubbee I can think of here is Blue is the Warmest Color but those lesbians have no superpowers beyond very limber bodies and the ability to eat huge amounts of food without gaining a pound. 

30 more Best Picture nods after the jump...

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Costume Designers Guild Hustling for 'Gatsby', '12 Years a Slave', 'Her'

Glenn here to share the Costume Designers Guild nominations that were just announced this morning (what? you think they pay attention to whether other award organisations are announcing the same day?) I think it's safe to say that the costume category is The Film Experience collective's favourite category outside of the actressing ones, and this year's category looks like it will be a fight to the death between the spectacle of The Great Gatsby, the refined flare of American Hustle, and the authenticity of 12 Years a Slave. All three showed up in today's guild nomination - the first "below the line" guild citations of the season - alongside titles like Blue Jasmine, Her and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.

Excellence in Period Film

  • 12 Years a Slave, Patricia Norris
  • American Hustle, Michael Wilkinson
  • Dallas Buyers Club, Kurt & Bart
  • The Great Gatsby, Catherine Martin
  • Saving Mr. Banks, Daniel Orlandi

The aforementioned three plus Saving Mr. Banks were obvious selections (and Nathaniel was already predicting them for Oscar), but the low-key '80s Texas ranch duds and Rayon's striking color-blocked ensembles of Dallas Buyers Club feel like a surprise. Or, they would if Jean-Marc Vallee's film hadn't been charging through the precursors already, I guess. Sad to see the fleetingly eclectic and generation-spanning work of Ruth E. Carter in Lee Daniels' The Butler miss out. Whither Oprah's crocheted disco suit. Likewise the sumptuous work of William Chang on The Grandmaster, the divinely textured albeit little seen fashions of Ralph Fiennes' The Invisible Woman, and (despite my loathing of the film) Julian Day's less-jokey '70s Rush attire including Chris Hemsworth's procession of fabulous, retro tees that I wish I owned and open-necked button-ups I wish I had the body to pull off.

Contemporary, fantasy, TV and Sandy Powell after the jump.

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Burning Questions: Katniss in Context

The Year in Review continues with Michael Cusumano on Jennifer Lawrence's box office coronation, a more impressive achievement than you think.

At the sound of the closing bell, Iron Man 3 clings to the title of top grossing domestic release of 2013, but Tony Stark should savor the honor while it lasts. He is all but certain to relinquish the crown to Katniss Everdeen in the early weeks of 2014.

If one wants proof that this is all but a done deal, one need only compare the grosses of the first Hunger Games to its sequel. According to Box Office Mojo, Catching Fire’s 398 million is 24 million ahead of its predecessor at the same point in its release (41 days). Since the first Hunger Games’ final gross of 408 million is nearly tied with Iron Man 3’s 409 million, unless the grosses of Catching Fire unexpectedly crater it’s a safe bet that when we close the book on the 2013 the second entry in the Hunger Games series will hold true to its protagonist and emerge from the arena the final victor.

That a film with a strong, capable female protagonist as its sole lead is the year’s number one film is reason to cheer. That I was unable to recall the last film to duplicate this feat emphasizes the rarity of the achievement. It made me curious:

When was the last time a film led solely by a female character topped the domestic box office in its year? [The answer is after the jump]

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Year in Review: Box Office Bonanzas

Cue: confetti, trumpets, fainting women, ornery cinephiles, and orgasmic actressexuals™. This is Part One of Millions! Hundred$ of Million$

We'll start with the commerce and work our way to the art. So herewith the tops in various money categories for your mental ledgers.

Top Per-Screen Arthouse Opening
BLUE JASMINE $102,011 (6 Theaters)
Runner Up: INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS $101,353 (4 Theaters)
* Disclaimer both AMERICAN HUSTLE & FROZEN beat these numbers but those were fake-outs clearly on their way to wide mainstream moviehouses, rather than intended as platform specialty films.

Woody Allen's 'Streetcar meets Madoff Scandal' hit started even stronger than his biggest modern hit Midnight in Paris. It didn't end up making as much but then Blue Jasmine was a fair bit more depressing and riches to less riches is elemental to its DNA. Meanwhile the Coen Bros, like Woody Allen but with more regular crossover potential, can always bank on a hardcore fanbase to sell out those initial shows.

Katniss, McConaughey & McCarthy, Iron Men and Naked French Lesbians after the jump

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Oscar Rejects and Finalists: Makeup and Hairstyling

Though it's perhaps unfair to possible future Oscar nominees who are (tentatively) celebrating, the finalist lists that are announced in the categories that have "bake-offs" have an unfortunate side effect: the story by necessity becomes about who didn't make it; "finalist" status is not, we must remember, an Oscar nomination and might not turn into one but rejection is hard fact. The Oscar's makeup branch, though fond of showy prosthetics like old age makeup or fantastical creatures has never nominated a zombie movie and also isn't crazy about horror (despite horror employing so many makeup artists) so I knew the chances weren't great for World War Z or Warm Bodies or Evil Dead or any other genre films though I am a little surprised that Oz: The Great and Powerful was already culled. Yes, Mila Kunis's Wicked Witch looked dumb but this branch's history doesn't always give one confidence that they'll choose well.

Surprising Rejections and Unexpected Embraces after the jump...

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Podcast: Philomena Catching Fire

This week NickNathaniel, Katey, and Joe discuss the blockbuster Philomena and that little arthouse indie The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. Spoilers you might want to avoid for Philomena are here (32:00-32:20 / 35:00-35:30).

Some questions that need your answers in the comments:  Is Jennifer Lawrence better as Katniss than in her Oscar roles? Would The Hunger Games be better as a TV series? What is going on in the Hemsworth family gene pool? Is Philomena at 98 minutes too padded or too short or, paradoxically, both? And how many nominations can it hope for having conquered the auntie demographic?

You can listen here or download the conversation on iTunes

Philomena: Catching Fire