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academy awards

oscars2013

Today in Hollywood, it was Christmas morning. Well, if there was a day where your parents gave you a list of all the possible presents you might receive on Christmas morning, it would be more like that, but since the metaphor is getting labored let’s focus on one word: Oscars. The nominations for the 88th Academy Awards were announced this morning with all the usual revelry and anticipation followed by hand-wringing over snubs and lack of diversity represented. But for better or worse, revealed below, are the cold hard facts and the contestants for this year’s Oscars. (more…)

Mad-Max-Fury-Road-Title-Card

For that last 70 plus years, the National Board of Review has compiled an annual list of the best movies from each year. While the NBR’s list is not affiliated with the Academy Awards, the lists are often very similar. In fact, only twice over the last 15 years has the NBR’s Best Film of the Year not been nominated for the same Oscar. While the two are separate, the National Board of Review’s list is a good indication of how the Academy will vote for their awards in January. This year’s National Board list included a few surprises, and it declared Mad Max: Fury Road as the best film of 2015. (more…)

Make-Up Master Rick Baker Announces Retirement

rick_baker

If you’ve liked awerewolf or ape creature at the movies any time in the last three decades than chances are it was a creation of Rick Baker, a master make-up artist whose skill and accomplishments may only be matched by his contemporary, the late Stan Winston. Baker’s achievements cover huge blockbusters and small horror films, complicated make-up appliances for alien creatures and the subtle art of making an actor seem decades older than they actually are. The impact of this man’s career and work can’t possibly be understated, which is why we sadly confirm the news that Baker is retiring from the business at the age of 64. Sadder still, lack of work seems to be a bigger rationale for his decision to step aside as opposed to his age. (more…)

viola_davis

Consider this a non-surprising development, because the news has been more or less assumed a slam dunk for months now. However, because of the old adage that to assume makes an “ass” out of “u” and “me,” we’ve patiently waited for confirmation from someone in an official capacity, and with shooting expected to underway on Suicide Squad in the next couple of months, we need to know now: Who is “The Wall?” You can’t have the Suicide Squad without the terse and commanding Amanda Waller conducting things, and through all the news and speculation about the film version of the super-villain team, only one name has been floated really, and now, according to Viola Davis, the role is hers. (more…)

Legendary Actor Peter O’Toole Dies at 81

POt

Hollywood legend Peter O’Toole (1932-2013) passed away yesterday in a London hospital after an extended illness at the age of 81. While cinephiles knew him best for David Lean‘s masterpiece Lawrence of Arabia, nerddom remembers him for his performance in 1984’s cheesy, yet beloved Supergirl as Zaltar–the drunken artist who nearly single-handedly destroys Supergirl’s floating domed city.  (more…)

2013-oscar-nominations

2012 was a sizeable year for movies adapted from fantasy works. Among them were some smash-hit blockbusters such as The Dark knight Rises, The Avengers, and The Hobbit. Unfortunately, the only nerd-related movie that received an Oscar nod was The Avengers, for it’s visual effects. We were also excited that Seth MacFarlene was hosting.

At first, I was worried that Seth’s humor was going to get watered-down by the network, but I was soon relieved when he came out strong with a few quick burns. Seth wasted no time throwing funny jabs at the celebrities who were both in attendance and not, getting in playful but sometimes sharp swings at Tommy Lee Jones, Ben Afflack, Daniel Day Lewis, Chris Brown, Jodie Foster and Mel Gibson.

Seth was not shy in poking at The Academy for not nominating Ben Affleck for best Director for Argo, even though the film had been nominated for Best Film. “The film is so top secret that the film’s director is unknown to the Academy,” MacFarlane said to a lot of applause. “They know they screwed up.”

I do think that Seth fares better on shows like The Comedy Central Roasts. He’s the kind of host that needs to get off his wisecracks, burns and satire, and we all know how sensitive actors can be, especially at awards ceremonies where they expected to be praised for their work, non-stop. Some of his material would have gotten better reactions with an easier-going audience.

Save for a few obligatory lulls and must-have segments, the three-and-a-half-hour show moved along fairly swiftly. With Seth hosting, we got a bit of a “roast-of” video about the whole thing. We saw plenty of serious and dramatic moments, but he was able to add right amount of humor to even-out the mood.

Here are a few of my highlights, followed by the complete list of winners:

  • William Shatner had a Captain Kirk moment getting a respectably funny sketch with Seth. Captain Kirk showed Seth a tweets from the future, saying that Seth was the worst Oscars host, ever. Bill Shatner, Seth McFarlane, the gay men’s chorus of LA and a musical number about boobs… yeah, it was pretty epic.

  • The visual effects award was presented fifth. The Avengers lost to Life Of Pi. Although, Ang Lee (Director, Life Of Pi) and crew did a hell of a job with the special effects in their movie, it was still disappointing to see The Avengers, the only Nerd movie of the year to get an Oscar nod, lose out.

  • There were some necessary segments, such as the 50th anniversary James Bond video tribute, presented by Halle Berry. Her rejected Bond villain inspired dress got more of the spotlight. Oh, and speaking of Bond, Shirley Bassey got wheeled out of her retirement home to sing a weird and uncomfortable rendition of “Gold Finger”. I felt compelled to masturbate, it was so awkward.

  • I was back laughing again during John Travolta’s cringe-worthy pronunciation of “Les Miserables,” which was akin to watching a stereotypical french mime dancing around with white gloves on.

  • The show carried on with a decent amount of humor, some good memorial moments and Anne Hathaway’s dress looking like an apron. An apron with nipples.

  • Good Lord, what’s happened to Rene Zellweger? She’s gone conclave. Her face is on the inside of her skull.

  • Wolverine came out and disappointed me with a lame song-and-dance, with Hugh Jackman doing a Les Miserables. Once you play Wolverine, you should be legally bound to play him in every movie and role that you’re star in for the rest of your career.

  • Mark Wahlberg and Ted come out and Ted let a couple of edgy lines go, adding to the “roast” feel that Seth was injecting into the show. By the way, Walhberg needs to lay of the HGH. Dude looked liked he was gonna explode in his suit. I assume Michael Bay planned to detonate him in the parking lot, but it would have cost $400 million dollars. *special thanks to Matthew Jackson for that joke.

  • Charlize Theron and Dustin Hoffman were an awkwardly-paired couple due to the height difference between the two of them. I was waiting for Dustin to turn around too fast and walk right into Theron’s cleavage.

  • Kristen Stewart still looks like she’s a vampire. A sleepless vampire. On meth. Seriously, did that girl get hit by a bus or something. She looked awful.

  • It was fun seeing Adele Adkins & Paul Epworth win Original Song for Skyfall. Who at NerdBastards doesn’t love a good Bond song?

  • There was really only one malfunction moment of the night, when Jennifer Lawrence fell up the stairs, going to collect her trophy for Best Actress. I thought that she had won for Best Stunt-woman, but quickly recovered, and was helped to the stage by Hugh Jackmam, who I think in retrospect, was just praying on a woman on all fours.

  • Daniel Day Lewis became the first actor in history to win three Actor In A Leading Role awards, with his win for Best Actor In A Lead Role, for Lincoln

  • It was a nice surprise to see Tarantino pickup his second Oscar for Best Original Screen Play for his western slave revenge flick Django Unchained. He won his first for Pulp Fiction way back in 1994. That was back before he was compelled to visually insert his foot fetish in his films.

  • Ben Affleck accepted the honor of Best Film, for Argo, and gave a very gratitude-filled rapid-fire (seriously, I think he downed 80 pixie sticks while Jack Nicholson announced the nominees) of thank-you’s to other people involved in the making of the movie.

    All in all, it was a night of sexist jokes, boring acceptance speeches, and music that lacked attention.

    Anyway, here’s the full list of winners:

    BEST PICTURE

    • Beasts of the Southern Wild
    • Silver Linings Playbook
    • Zero Dark Thirty
    • Lincoln
    • Les Misérables
    • Life of Pi
    • Amour
    • Django Unchained
    • Argo

    BEST DIRECTOR

    • David O. Russell, Silver Linings Playbook
    • Ang Lee, Life of Pi
    • Steven Spielberg, Lincoln
    • Michael Haneke, Amour
    • Benh Zeitlin, Beasts of the Southern Wild

    BEST ACTRESS

    • Naomi Watts, The Impossible
    • Jessica Chastain, Zero Dark Thirty
    • Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook
    • Emmanuelle Riva, Amour
    • Quvenzhané Wallis, Beasts of the Southern Wild

    BEST ACTOR

    • Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln
    • Denzel Washington, Flight
    • Hugh Jackman, Les Misérables
    • Bradley Cooper, Silver Linings Playbook
    • Joaquin Phoenix, The Master

    BEST ANIMATED FEATURE

    • Frankenweenie
    • Pirates: Band of Misfits
    • Wreck-It-Ralph
    • Paranorman
    • Brave

    BEST FOREIGN FILM

    • Amour (Austria)
    • No (Chile)
    • War Witch (Canada)
    • A Royal Affair (Denmark)
    • Kon Tiki (Norway)

    BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

    • Sally Field, Lincoln
    • Anne Hathaway, Les Misérables
    • Jacki Weaver, Silver Linings Playbook
    • Helen Hunt, The Sessions
    • Amy Adams, The Master

    BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

    • Christoph Waltz, Django Unchained
    • Phillip Seymour Hoffman, The Master
    • Robert de Niro, Silver Linings Playbook
    • Alan Arkin, Argo
    • Tommy Lee Jones, Lincoln

    BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

    • Argo, written by Chris Terrio
    • Beasts of the Southern Wild, screenplay by Lucy Alibar & Benh Zeitlin
    • Life of Pi, written by David Magee
    • Lincoln, written by Tony Kushner
    • Silver Linings Playbook, written by David O. Russell

    BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

    • Amour, written by Michael Haneke
    • Django Unchained, written by Quentin Tarantino
    • Flight, written by John Gatins
    • Moonrise Kingdom, written by Wes Anderson & Roman Coppola
    • Zero Dark Thirty, written by Mark Boal

    BEST ORIGINAL SONG

    • “Before My Time,” Chasing Ice
    • “Pi’s Lullaby,” Life of Pi
    • “Suddenly,” Les Misérables
    • “Everybody Needs a Best Friend,” Ted
    • “Skyfall,” Skyfall

    BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

    • Seamus McGarvey, Anna Karenina
    • Robert Richardson, Django Unchained
    • Claudio Miranda, Life of Pi
    • Janusz Kaminski, Lincoln
    • Roger Deakins, Skyfall

    BEST COSTUME DESIGN

    • Jacqueline Durran, Anna Karenina
    • Paco Delgado, Les Misérables
    • Joanna Johnston, Lincoln
    • Eiko Ishioka, Mirror Mirror
    • Colleen Atwood, Snow White and the Huntsman

    BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

    • 5 Broken Cameras
    • The Gatekeepers
    • How to Survive a Plague
    • The Invisible War
    • Searching for Sugar Man

    BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT

    • Inocente, Sean Fine and Andrea Nix Fine
    • Kings Point, Sari Gilman and Jedd Wider
    • Mondays at Racine, Cynthia Wade and Robin Honan
    • Open Heart, Kief Davidson and Cori Shepherd Stern
    • Redemption, Jon Alpert and Matthew O’Neill

    BEST FILM EDITING

    • William Goldenberg, Argo
    • Tim Squyres, Life of Pi
    • Michael Kahn, Lincoln
    • Jay Cassidy and Crispin Struthers, Silver Linings Playbook
    • Dylan Tichenor and William Goldenberg, Zero Dark Thirty

    BEST ORIGINAL SCORE

    • Dario Marianelli, Anna Karenina
    • Alexandre Desplat, Argo
    • Mychael Danna, Life of Pi
    • John Williams, Lincoln
    • Thomas Newman, Skyfall

    BEST MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING

    • Howard Berger, Peter Montagna and Martin Samuel, Hitchcock
    • Peter Swords King, Rick Findlater and Tami Lane, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
    • Lisa Westcott and Julie Dartnell, Les Misérables

    BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN

    • Anna Karenina, Sarah Greenwood (Production Design) nad Katie Spencer (Set Decoration)
    • The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Dan Hennah (Production Design) and Ra Vincent and Simon Bright (Set Decoration)
    • Les Misérables, Eve Stewart (Production Design); Anna Lynch-Robinson (Set Decoration)
    • Life of Pi, David Gropman (Production Design); Anna Pinnock (Set Decoration)
    • Lincoln, Rick Carter (Production Design); Jim Erickson (Set Decoration)

    BEST ANIMATED SHORT FILM

    • Adam and Dog, Minkyu Lee
    • Fresh Guacamole, PES
    • Head over Heels, Timothy Reckart and Fodhla Cronin O’Reilly
    • Maggie Simpson in “The Longest Daycare”, David Silverman
    • Paperman, John Kahrs

    BEST LIVE-ACTION SHORT FILM

    • Asad, Bryan Buckley and Mino Jarjoura
    • Buzkashi Boys, Sam French and Ariel Nasr
    • Curfew, Shawn Christensen
    • Death of a Shadow (Dood van een Schaduw), Tom Van Avermaet and Ellen De Waele
    • Henry, Yan England

    BEST SOUND EDITING
    The two bolded titles aren’t a mistake — this was called as a tie, with Oscars going to both films. That was weird. The sixth tie in Oscar history.

    • Argo, Erik Aadahl and Ethan Van der Ryn
    • Django Unchained, Wylie Stateman
    • Life of Pi, Eugene Gearty and Philip Stockton
    • Skyfall, Per Hallberg and Karen Baker Landers
    • Zero Dark Thirty, Paul N.J. Ottosson

    BEST SOUND MIXING

    • Argo, John Reitz, Gregg Rudloff and Jose Antonio Garcia
    • Les Misérables, Andy Nelson, Mark Paterson and Simon Hayes
    • Life of Pi, Ron Bartlett, D.M. Hemphill and Drew Kunin
    • Lincoln, Andy Nelson, Gary Rydstrom and Ronald Judkins
    • Skyfall, Scott Millan, Greg P. Russell and Stuart Wilson

    BEST VISUAL EFFECTS

    • The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Joe Letteri, Eric Saindon, David Clayton and R. Christopher White
    • Life of Pi, Bill Westenhofer, Guillaume Rocheron, Erik-Jan De Boer and Donald R. Elliott
    • Marvel’s The Avengers, Janek Sirrs, Jeff White, Guy Williams and Dan Sudick
    • Prometheus, Richard Stammers, Trevor Wood, Charley Henley and Martin Hill
    • Snow White and the Huntsman, Cedric Nicolas-Troyan, Philip Brennan, Neil Corbould and Michael Dawson

Avengers Assemble to Present at the Oscars

Avengers

The Avengers may have been the biggest movie of 2012 at the box office, but when it came to Oscar love it got a total of one nomination for Best Visual Effects. Now giving The Avengers recognition in this category is a bit like saying apple pie is the best tasting apple-flavored dessert, but for a consolation prize, the Oscars are giving what fans really want: a reunion of the Avengers themselves.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced this morning that several, though sadly not all, of the main Avengers cast will take part in an awards presentation at this year’s Academy Awards ceremony on February 24. Sadly, it seems as though Black Widow and Thor – or at least their portrayers Scarlett Johansson and Chris Hemsworth – are unavailable, but this is honestly the closest thing we’ll get to a sequel till 2015.

The Avengers men. In formal wear. Handing out awards. To other people. I can picture it now.

Here’s the press release from the AMPAS:

BEVERLY HILLS, CA – “Marvel’s The Avengers” cast mates Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Samuel L. Jackson, Jeremy Renner and Mark Ruffalo will present together on the Oscar stage, show producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron announced today.

“We are happy to re-unite the ‘Avengers’ cast to present on our show,” said Craig Zadan and Neil Meron. “Audiences who enjoyed the year’s biggest box office hit will be excited to see these terrific actors back together again.”

Downey has twice been nominated for an Oscar, for his leading role in “Chaplin” (1992) and for his supporting role in “Tropic Thunder” (2008).

Evans, who will be making his first Oscar show appearance, will be seen in the upcoming “The Iceman.”

Jackson was nominated in 1994 for his supporting role in “Pulp Fiction.” He can also be seen in this year’s Best Picture nominee “Django Unchained.”

Renner was nominated for his leading role in 2009 Best Picture winner “The Hurt Locker” and for his supporting role in “The Town” (2010). Renner had roles in this year’s “The Bourne Legacy” and “Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol” (2011).

Ruffalo received his first nomination for his supporting role in 2010 Best Picture nominee “The Kids Are All Right.”

Oscars® for outstanding film achievements of 2012 will be presented on Oscar Sunday, February 24, at the Dolby Theatre™ at Hollywood & Highland Center®, and will be hosted by Seth MacFarlane live on the ABC Television Network. The Oscar presentation also will be televised live in more than 225 countries worldwide.

Source: Coming Soon

The year of 2012 is drawing to a close and, barring the timely arrival of the end of days, the Academy Awards are just around the corner.  As part of getting into the award spirit, The Hollywood Reporter conducts interviews with some of the most talked about names for the season.  In one particular roundtable interview, they sit down and talk with directing greats such as Ben Affleck, Tom Hooper, Ang Lee, David O. Russell, Gus Van Sant and Quentin Tarantino.

Check out the video below to see a few of the best in the business chat about the way they see movies and their jobs as directors.  It’s quite enlightening if you happen to have an interest in what goes on behind the camera.

 

Thanks to THR for going through the trouble.

The end of the year and the beginning of the next heralds the coming of more than just a change in date.  It is that time of the year when studios start to hype their big-money movies to become Academy Award nominees.  Warner Brothers has plenty to bring to the table this year and one property in particular looks to be getting a major push – The Dark Knight Rises.

Usually, comic book flicks (and action flicks in general) only have technical awards to look forward to.  The Dark Knight Rises is likely to be a major contender when it comes to things like cinematography, art direction, costume design and the like.  But Warner Bros. wants more!  So they’re pushing the bloody hell out of this thing in pretty much any category they can justify.

Check after the jump for the full and rather massive list of the categories they hope to be included in:

(more…)