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Visual Effects Oscar Semi-Finals 

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INTERVIEWS

Maria Schrader (Stefan Zweig...)
Boo Junfeng (The Apprentice
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Entries in Original Song (123)

Wednesday
Jul132016

Two Questions Inspired By Ghostbusters

I'm off to a Ghostbusters (2016) screening and these questions and a desire to hear your answers suddenly struck me:

1. Which male heavy movie would you most love to see rethunk with a female heavy cast?

2. If you had a vote for Best Original Song in 1984 which of the hit single nominees would you have gone for? (They were all huge hits)

"Against All Odds" (Against All Odds)
"Footloose" (Footloose)
"Ghostbusters" (Ghostbusters)
"I Just Called To Say I Love You" (The Woman in Red)
"Let's Hear It For the Boy" (Footloose)

...or would you have chucked out the nominees altogether to have "I Can Dream About You" (Streets of Fire) "The Heat is On" (Beverly Hills Cop) "Love Came For Me" (Splash), "Together Again" (The Muppets Take Manhattan), "Almost Paradise" (Footloose), "The Never Ending Story" (The Never Ending Story), "Together in Electric Dreams" (Electric Dreams), or maybe five songs from Purple Rain (even though it won an Oscar for Song Score - more Oscars for Prince!!!

Wednesday
Jul132016

Yes, No, Maybe So: La La Land

During the Oscar campaign for Whiplash (2014) I was able to meet its breakthrough writer/director Damien Chazelle a few times and he even dropped hints to me about his plans for La La Land. I couldn't believe my ears that we would get a real musical from him. Given that both of his first two films centered around musicians, it shouldn't have been such a surprise. 

Here we are nearly two years later with the first teaser trailer and what sounds like a surefire Best Original Song nominee in "City of Stars" (now available to download) have emerged and we're already yes yes gimme.

The film's synopsis (which we hope is just an excuse to hang swoony scenes and musical numbers on) goes like so:

Jazz musican Sebastian and his girlfriend, aspiring actress Mia, struggle to cope with the pressures of trying to make it big in Hollywood. 

Let's talk about the teaser after the jump, breaking it down with our Yes No Maybe So system.

Click to read more ...

Friday
Jun172016

The Linkening

But can she actually act? Golden Globe or not, American Horror Story: Hotel was not much to go on in that regard...The Ringer the No Strings Attached vs Friends With Benefits war of 2011 revisited
THR We'll believe any new version of A Star is Born when we see it because someone is always trying to remake it. The latest proposal is Bradley Cooper & Lady Gaga (with Cooper debuting as a director)
Deadline Captain America: Civil War is first title of the year to hit $400 million domestic. It just happened.
Playbill Phillipa Soo, currently starring in Hamilton, will play Amelie in the Broadway musical version of the Oscar nominated french film next year
The Guardian celebrates Patrick Wilson (The Conjuring 2) with five memorable moments 
Tracking Board Vera Farmiga's next co-star gig is with Liam Neeson in The Commuter as a mysterious woman who propositions him.
/Film Hollywood is so desperate for franchises they're even going to try The Saint again. Remember that Val Kilmer movie from the 90s? No? Don't tell Hollywood 

It's a Wrap
Coming Soon Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 has wrapped - expect it to thoroughly demolish the box office next May.
Viola Davis Fences is also a wrap. Looks like it'll be ready for Oscar after all. Viola tweeted a cute pic from the set

Oscar Hopeful?
/Film The Story of Your Life, the Amy Adams Denis Villenueve sci-fi drama on our Oscar charts has a new super generic title The Arrival. (sigh) It arrives on November 11th
Coming Soon welp, it looks like Judi Dench still wants that Best Leading Actress Oscar. She's playing Queen Victoria for a second time (after her nomination without a win for  Her Majesty Mrs Brown) in a forthcoming Stephen Frears film called Victoria and Abdul. Abdul (a young clerk from India) has not yet been cast though if we know Hollywood they won't even bother looking beyond Dev Patel. But it'd be cool to see someone else get a shot at leading a film.

...and it turns out Hozier wrote an original song for The Legend of Tarzan. Here's the video which just came out

Monday
Jun132016

Disney's Moana Arrives

Manuel here. During last night’s joyous Tony Awards, many of us got the first look at a Disney film that is sure to crash what’s looking like an already crowded Best Animated Feature race. Between Kung Fu Panda 3, Zootopia, Finding Dory, and the upcoming Sausage Party, Trolls and The Secret Life of Pets, there’ll be no shortage of films to round out a competitive category. And that’s even before we begin taking seriously the foreign productions which often leapfrog over the American CGI spectacles to worthwhile nominations (fingers crossed for Kubo and the Two Strings and The Red Turtle). Enter Moana:

As is become custom with female-driven Disney properties, the marketing team at the Mouse House is looking to play another bait and switch—remember how all those early Frozen teasers looked like Ice Age ripoffs by focusing on playful scenes of what we all assumed would be that annoying snow man? or those Tangled ones which put Flynn Ryder at the center of the action, barely making mention of the film's fairy tale leanings? This first teaser is all about Maui (voiced by Dwayne Johnson) while giving us very little sense of what the first ever Polynesian Disney princess story will be about.

We’ll wait for a full on Yes No Maybe So when the full trailer drops, but in the meantime, enjoy the teaser where you can see that Ron Clements and John Musker (they of Aladdin and The Little Mermaid fame) have stayed true to the Disney formula and given Moana a delightfully adorable pet.

Immediately, I'm already won over by the beautiful use of color—those sky blues and ocean hues look sumptuous to say the least. Also, I can't be the only one having Hercules flashbacks with that tattoo intro bit but anything that reminds me of those hilarious muses is fine by me.

But perhaps I'm burying the lede here: Moana may be the film that gets Lin-Manuel Miranda his EGOT. After winning two (more) Tonys last night for Hamilton, having won Grammys for both his Broadway shows, and an Emmy for the "Bigger!" Tonys opening number a few years back, Miranda may nab his first Oscar nomination (even a win?) for the music he's written for this Disney flick. It'd be a heck of a way to cap off a great year for the ever entertaining Broadway superstar and perhaps a way to further welcome him to Hollywood ahead of his next big film project, a little movie called Mary Poppins Returns.

Thursday
May192016

Who or what is the MVP of "Sing Street"?

Sing Street, the latest film from our most musician obsessed auteur John Carney, has been expanding with more theaters each week at a fairly strong clip. Six weeks in, there's no expansion (a very crowded weekend) but its fanbase keeps growing exponentially as more people "discover" it. Like Carney's previous music-based indies, the Oscar winning, transcendently low-fi Once and the more mainstream but surprisingly rewatchable Begin Again, whatever you might want to say about Sing Street an adjective that could safely and accurately describe all three films is "endearing"...

Click to read more ...