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Entries in Oscars (11)

Monday
Feb202012

Who chooses Academy Award winners? Old white men

One of the main reasons that the Academy Awards are so prestigious is because they are voted on by members of the filmmaking community itself, but who are they? This question is especially pertinant in a year where some of the films and performances that weren’t nominated are as interesting as those that were. To help explore this question, the LA Times spoke with more than 5,100, or 89 percent, of the voting members to uncover some of the demographics of the voting members in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

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Thursday
Feb162012

Movie remakes: Which movies deserve a do-over?

I’ve had a lot of different opinions concerning remakes recently. Everywhere I look, another one seems to pop up, from the lackluster Straw Dogs to the hilariously thrilling Fright Night. I tend to see two different reactions to remakes. If you’ve seen the original film, whether you loved it or hated it, you’re wary of another attempt at it again. Either it’ll be just as bad as the original or a botched blasphemy. If you haven’t seen the original, then you stand a chance of finding more enthusiasm.

There have been plenty of great remakes among the disappointments as well. Compared to it’s loud and campy predecessors, The Dark Knight series has been welcome with it’s dark and gritty take on the infamous Batman origins.

The Oscars aren’t exempt from remakes either. As USA Today points out, most of the nominations films are adaptations of books, and the Guardian thinks the adaptations will be favored to sweep most of the awards. Since I double-time as a bookseller, I can vouch that a lot of people come through wanting to read the books before seeing the movies. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is a good example. The Artist is one of the only original films up for many awards, and I think it stands to win.

So while we’re talking about the idea that not all remakes are bad, I asked some of the writers here at Cinema Soldier what they’d like to see adapted to the big screen from another medium, or some movies that they would love to see get another chance (or a third). Below are our picks for the movies most deserving of remakes. 

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Tuesday
Jan242012

84th annual Academy Award nominees list: Hugo and The Artist lead a field of predictable candidates

Earlier today, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences released the nominations for the 84th annual Academy Awards, which will air about a month from now, on Feb. 26 (on a Sunday at 7pm EST). While I tend to get excited about the Oscars every year, this year is especially fascinating because there just weren’t any huge standout films. There were many good films, but few that blew me away. Looking at the list of nominated films, it looks like nostalgia for the golden age of movies has gotten the best of Academy members, as I noted earlier on Digital Trends. The two most nominated films of the year were Hugo and The Artist, both of which harken back, in different ways, to the earliest days of cinema. 

I’m not quite ready to make my picks for the big show, but I’ve broken out and listed all of the nominees in every category below, splitting them the awards into four categories: the big awards, acting, technical, and everything else. In the next couple weeks, we’ll make our predictions on who will take home the prize in each category. But first, I have to find a way to go see The Artist and Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close. Interestingly, some very good movies are not on the list. Young Adult, Pariah, Like Crazy, Shame, and We Need to Talk About Kevin are four exceptionally good films with truly amazing performances by Charlize Theron, Adepero Oduye, Anton Yelchin, Michael Fassbender, and Tilda Swinton. Are they too dark for the Oscars? Perhaps they missed the cutoff date? It looks like the Harry Potter series won’t be getting a Return of the King sweeping victory either. The Oscars are as political as ever. I was a bit disappointed that Neither Drive nor The Ides of March got much (if any) love from the Academy. Both were critically acclaimed and fascinating films starring Ryan Gosling. 

But, without further delay, here are the actual nominees for the 2012 Oscars. 

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Tuesday
Jul122011

James Franco on the Oscars: "There were a lot of cooks who shouldn't have been cooking"

Anybody who saw the Oscars this year could tell something just wasn't right. From the very beginning of the show, co-hosts Anne Hathaway and James Franco were awkward and their lines were, frankly, pretty horrible. Many have blamed Franco for the debacle, saying that he looked stoned and acted too low key throughout the many sketches and gags. In the latest issue of Playboy magazine, Franco speaks up, explaining some of the backstage turmoil that led to the rather awkward Oscars telecast this year. 

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Thursday
Aug262010

The Oscars may move to Monday, an even worse night than Sunday

If you thought trying to stay up until past midnight and have an Oscar party on a Sunday night was difficult, try a Monday. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences is mulling over a change to the ceremony that would move it from Sunday night to Monday night. This is in addition to the possible rescheduling from March to January. Luckily, this change won't happen until 2013. 

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Monday
Jul192010

Inception extracts an impressive $61.7 million over the weekend (box office)

For a while, I thought I might be dreaming, but Inception is officially a hit. Audiences around the country have recognized a great film for its merits, not its brand. The Christopher Nolan epic brought in $61.7 million from around 3,792 theaters, topping even the best estimates of $60 million. It's the best opening ever for star Leonardo DiCaprio, and probably most everyone else in the film, and also the 2nd best opening for a science fiction film that isn't a sequel. Avatar is first.

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Monday
Mar082010

Check it out: Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin parody PARANORMAL ACTIVITY during the Oscars

As usual, the Oscars dragged on until midnight last night, ending long after most Americans hit the sack. Why don't they air these on Saturday? In any case, co-hosts Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin did a great job hosting the event with a couple great skits including this one about Paranormal Activity, a dual Snuggie, and their opening monologue, which I've included below (as a bonus!).

Monday
Mar082010

82nd annual Oscars: complete list of winners and how my picks stacked up

The director of Point Break finally got her big break tonight. Kathryn Bigelow's The Hurt Locker won six awards including Director, Original Screenplay, Sound Editing/Mixing, and Best Picture. I couldn't be happier. On top of that, Jeff Bridges, Pixar, and Sandra Bullock all got some overdue appreciation for all the great films they've made throughout the years. Thanks to hosts Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin, they were remarkably watchable as well. 

Earlier today I posted my 2010 Oscar predictions. Below, I have every category listed, followed by my pick and then the actual winner. To avoid confusion, I colored the winners blue. How festive. At the end of the article, I will tabulate the numbers and see how my picks faired against the competition. 

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Saturday
Mar062010

My 2010 Oscar picks (just in time)!

It's Oscar predicting time again. I am very fortunate to have seen all ten films nominated for Best Picture this year, and most other films that aren't in a short and/or foreign language category. I have to say, it's an odd year, but most of these films are quite deserving, except for The Blind Side. How the hell did that get in there? My favorite film of the year, 500 Days of Summer, got snubbed, but I don't control the universe so I can't complain.

So here's how this is going to work. I'm going to pick my favorites for each category. If I feel the need to spout off about a category, I will. These are my picks for what films/actors should win. These aren't necessarily what films/actors I think will win. The Oscars air tonight at 9 p.m. Okay, here we go.

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Saturday
Mar062010

Movies and Melodies #1 - 2010 Best Score nominees

I'm trying something new. This is the first edition of a new podcast I'm debuting here on Cinema Soldier. It'll air every weekend on TalkLansing.net and MIentertainment.biz--two new internet radio stations in my area (Michigan, US). I produce several shows, write, and run their websites. Click play to listen, or download the MP3 at the bottom of this post. Let me know what you think! Feedback is appreciated.

 

Movies and Melodies is a weekly show celebrating beautiful and cinematic music on and off the screen. In my first show, I play some of my favorite tracks from all five of this year's Best Original Film Score nominees: Sherlock Holmes, Avatar, Fantastic Mr. Fox, The Hurt Locker, and Up. If you like anything you hear, there are links below to purchase or preview all of the music in the show.

Click here to follow this show's podcast feed. It will be on iTunes soon. Please shoot me an email if you have a directory where I can't be found.

Movies and Melodies #1 - Nominees for Best Score