Ghosts of Oscars Past: How Do the Last 10 Best Picture Winners Hold Up?

by     Posted 250 days ago

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We’re in the thick of awards season now, when the top contenders in each race are vying for frontrunner status as we move closer to the Oscar nominations announcement.  However, while everyone is focused on the race at hand, we thought we’d take a look at the last decade of Best Picture winners to see if they’ve stood the test of time.  Is the “best” film of 2005 still considered one of the best films of the past ten years?  Hit the jump as we take a trip down memory lane for this special edition of Oscar Beat, Ghosts of Oscars Past.

Weekend Box Office: ZERO DARK THIRTY Leads with $24 Million; A HAUNTED HOUSE Edges Out GANGSTER SQUAD for Second Place

by     Posted 1 year, 231 days ago

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In its first weekend in wide release, Zero Dark Thirty easily captured first place with an estimated $24 million from 2,937 locations. With months of press coverage, great reviews and a Best Picture nomination behind it, it’s perhaps unsurprising that the CIA thriller won the frame. A bit more surprising is the position claimed by A Haunted House. The low-budget genre spoof overcame the higher-profile (and higher-budgeted) Gangster Squad for second place at this weekend’s box office.

Title Weekend Total
1. Zero Dark Thirty $24,000,000 $29.4
2. A Haunted House $18,817,000 $18.8
3. Gangster Squad $16,710,000 $16.7
4. Django Unchained $11,065,000 $125.3
5. Les Miserables $10,127,000 $119.2
6. The Hobbit $9,080,000 $278.8
7. Lincoln $6,314,000 $152.5
8. Parental Guidance $6,100,000 $60.6
9. Texas Chainsaw 3D $5,150,000 $30.7
10. Silver Linings Playbook $5,000,000 $41.3

Columbia Pictures Lands Domestic Rights to Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal’s KILL BIN LADEN; Films This Summer for Late 2012 Release

by     Posted 3 years, 100 days ago

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Columbia Pictures has acquired domestic rights to Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal’s (The Hurt Locker) next movie, which has the working title Kill Bin Laden.  The press release says, “the film focuses on the black ops mission to capture or kill Osama bin Laden, which culminated in his death earlier this month during a high-stakes raid on his compound in Pakistan. Bigelow and Boal have been developing the project since 2008 and plan to incorporate recent events into the film.”

We knew the project was moving forward because Joel Edgerton was recently cast as one of the special operatives.  However, the press release says they’re going to start filming this summer and it’ll be released in late 2012.  As one of the many who thought The Hurt Locker was a brilliant movie that not enough people got to see, I’m happy that Bigelow and Boal’s next release will be everywhere.  Hit the jump for the full press release which has some quotes.

Guy Pearce Exclusive Interview; Talks THE KING’S SPEECH, Luc Besson’s LOCKOUT, DON’T BE AFRAID OF THE DARK, More

by     Posted 3 years, 203 days ago

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I’m a huge fan of Guy Pearce.  If you’ve seen his work in such films as Memento, L.A. Confidential, The Hurt Locker, Animal Kingdom, The Proposition, and The King’s Speech (he play’s Colin Firth’s brother), I’m sure most of you agree that he’s a hell of an actor.

Anyway, I recently talked with him on the phone and we discussed how he got involved in The King’s Speech, what’s the last few years been like for him, and he talked about a few of his upcoming projects like Luc Besson’s sci-fi action-adventure Lockout (Besson produced it) and Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark – which was produced by Guillermo del Toro.  Hit the jump to either read or listen to the interview:

Is Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal’s Next Flick about the Hunt Osama Bin Laden? [UPDATE: No.]

by     Posted 3 years, 231 days ago

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Last month, we reported that The Hurt Locker director Kathryn Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal were planning to direct an indie feature before going to work on Triple Frontier.  At the time, I speculated that it could an adaptation of David David Rohde’s series of articles for The New York Times, Held by the Taliban.  Variety reported that the story would “concern black ops.”  Now Variety is reporting that “the plot concerns the hunt for Osama Bin Laden.”  IM Global has secured the worldwide rights to the untitled featured.

So it’s looking like Bigelow will head back to the Middle East for her highly-anticipated follow-up to The Hurt Locker.  With filming on Triple Frontier already scheduled for the fall, I wouldn’t be surprised if work on this untitled indie feature starts no later than spring. [Update: Variety has updated their story and we have now been informed that the story has nothing to do with Osama Bin Laden.]

James Cameron Thinks THE HURT LOCKER “Would Have Been Better in 3D”

by     Posted 4 years, 18 days ago

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If there’s one thing people love, it’s getting career advice from their ex-spouse. James Cameron is an intelligent person so, naturally, he understands this lesser known fact of life. As such, in a print interview with EW, the highest-grossing filmmaker of all-time has a few words of wisdom for his ex-wife/Oscar winning director Kathryn Bigelow.

“I think [The Hurt Locker] would have been better in 3D. Absolutely. It wouldn’t have been hugely better in 3D, but I’m talking a future where you don’t have to put ‘in 3D’ on the movie poster anymore, the same way you don’t put ‘in color’ on posters anymore.”

I’m sure Ms. Bigelow appreciates the sentiment. For more from the interview, hit the jump.

Aziz Ansari and Justin Bieber Watch THE HURT LOCKER in 4D with Jeremy Renner in Promo for MTV MOVIE AWARDS

by     Posted 4 years, 97 days ago

Most movie fans think the MTV Movie Awards are a joke. And they’re right. It’s usually nothing more than a legion of fanboys (and more recently girls) voting over and over for their really crappy favorite movie in every category and totally ignoring event’s potential. That sucks because, really, the potential is there. A Best Fight Award? The Biggest Badass Star Award? These are way cooler categories than Best Short Film Documentary.

Even though The Twilight Saga: New Moon has a lot of nomination, 2010 certainly promised to be different, thanks in large part to the host. Aziz Ansari (Funny People, Parks & Recreations) will be taking the reigns this year and his promos combine two of the things that make the MTV Movie Awards fun: great movie references and popular celebrities that have nothing to do with them.  Case in point: the latest promo featuring Aziz and his best friend Justin Bieber watching The Hurt Locker in 4D.  It’s so advanced, it’s like Jeremy Renner is in the room chastising you.

Hit the jump for this video and other promos for the show which have featured Sarah Silverman, Zac Efron and others. The MTV Movie Awards air Sunday, June 6th.

Kathryn Bigelow Plans to Direct TRIPLE FRONTIER Next Year; Sean Penn, Denzel Washington, and Javier Bardem to Star?

by     Posted 4 years, 152 days ago

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Oscar-winning director Kathryn Bigelow intends to shoot the drug trafficking action-drame Triple Frontier next year and possibly with an all-star cast.  Argentinian newspaper La Nación [via The Playlist] reports that Sean Penn, Javier Bardem and Denzel Washington are being rumored for roles in the film, but Playlist points out that this may be because of an NY Times piece where screenwriter Mark Boal said he met with the actors about possible future collaborations. It’s possible it’s for Frontier but, the film is still in a very early stage of production.

As we previously reported, the film centers on a border zone of South America known as “la triple frontera“, and is a haven for drug cartels.  Oh, and crime bonus: there’s a strong Middle Eastern community who have long been linked to Islamic extremists and their money laundering activities.  Rumored to be shot in the same style as The Hurt Locker, it looks like Bigelow and Boal may have the material to out-do their Oscar-winning film.

Matt’s Picks for the 82nd Annual Academy Awards

by     Posted 4 years, 179 days ago

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Sunday, March 7th will be the 82nd Academy Awards and it promises to be a fairly unspectacular one as far as horse-races go.  Three of the four acting categories are locked, the fourth is almost locked, and the only real competition is in the David vs. Goliath story of Kathryn Bigelow’s war action/drama The Hurt Locker vs. the spectacle of James Cameron’s Avatar.  Thankfully, that’s your Best Picture race and that’s where you’ll find the drama (not in the lame pre-constructed narrative that Bigelow and Cameron were briefly married over twenty years ago).

Hit the jump to check out my predictions and preferences for the winners in the categories of “Best Picture”, “Best Director”, “Best Actor”, “Best Actress”, “Best Supporting Actor”, and “Best Supporting Actress”.  I’ve also included a cheat-sheet at the end for all the other categories so if you don’t know who to put on your Oscar ballot at your party, put down my predictions and you’ll improve your odds.

THE HURT LOCKER Wins 6 BAFTA Awards Including Best Picture

by     Posted 4 years, 192 days ago

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The British Academy of Film and Television Arts added momentum to The Hurt Locker awards train tonight as they award the film Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Editing, and Best Sound.  Hurt Locker‘s awards in the technical categories are particularly interesting because perhaps Academy-thinking that usually awards those categories to the big blockbuster movies, i.e. Avatar.  But perhaps BAFTA and Oscar voters on the same wavelength and despite the massive box office of Cameron’s tech demo, the Academy could recognize the impressive editing, sound, and achievement in other technical categories (although Avatar won the BAFTA for best visual effects and it’s a lock to win the Oscar in that category as well).

Other nice victories included Colin Firth for Best Actor (A Serious Man), Carey Mulligan for Best Actress (An Education), and my personal favorite: Outstanding British Debut to Duncan Jones for Moon.  He gave a very sweet acceptance speech and I’ve included video of it after the jump along with the full list of winners.

2010 WGA Winners: THE HURT LOCKER and UP IN THE AIR Take Home the Big Prizes

by     Posted 4 years, 192 days ago

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At last night’s Writers Guild Awards, Jason Reitman (Up in the Air) and Mark Boal (The Hurt Locker) landed the top awards for Adapted Screenplay and Original Screenplay.  Generally, the winners of the  Writers Guild Awards go on to win Oscars, so I hope they’ve both prepared another speech.

Other winners last night were The Cove for Documentary Screenplay, Mad Men for drama series, 30 Rock for comedy series, Modern Family for new series, and Saturday Night Live and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart tied for comedy/variety series.

Hit the jump for the full list of winners:

HBO Adds Another Star To Its Roster As Kathryn Bigelow Signs On To Direct the Pilot For THE MIRACULOUS YEAR

by     Posted 4 years, 199 days ago

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Since the dawn of the new year, it’s been hard to keep up with all the film talent HBO was luring to the channel for various projects.  Michael Mann is directing a pilot for Luck from Deadwood creator David Milch.  Charlize Theron and David Fincher are teaming for the serial killer series Mind HunterRussell Crowe and Maria Bello are set to star in Emergency Sex from Slumdog Millionaire scripter Simon Beaufoy.  Zooey Deschanel will headline a series adaptation of I’m With the Band: Confessions of a Groupie.  And most recently HBO acquired the Todd Haynes miniseries adaptation of Mildred Pierce with none other than Kate Winslet attached to star.  Plus miniseries The Pacific, which counts Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks among its producers, will begin a ten-week run on March 14th and the Martin Scorsese-directed pilot for Boardwalk Empire starring Steve Buscemi is set to air later in the year.

But they’re not done just yet.  The Hollywood Reporter announced that recent Oscar-nominee (and soon-to-be Oscar-winner) Kathryn Bigelow will direct the pilot for The Miraculous Year from a screenplay by John Logan.  Details after the break.

See Kathyrn Bigelow hunt Bill Paxton in a James Cameron Music Video – Yes, Really

by     Posted 4 years, 208 days ago

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Much has been made about the upcoming Oscars battle between exes Kathyrn Bigelow and James Cameron – with their movies, The Hurt Locker and Avatar, respectively, tied with a leading nine nominations each – but as you’ll see from this crazy music video, they often had a lot of fun when they were still on speaking terms.

The clip is for the song “Reach” by an ’80s new wave band called Martini Ranch, which just happened to feature actor Bill Paxton (which was all news to me until just now), and the video was directed by Cameron himself. As you’ll see on the jump, it’s the definition of ’80s excess, and will have you yearning for the days when music videos at their best were elevated to mini-movies. In something that looks like a surreal mashup of Bigelow’s Near Dark (still her best movie in my book) and Deadwood, Paxton stars as a bank robber on the run in the Wild West, and Near Dark stars Adrian Pasdar and Lance Henriksen make appearances, as does Judge Reinhold. Best of all, however, is that Bigelow herself leads an all-female posse of bounty hunters on his trail, and to be as piggish as possible, just looks sensationally hot doing it.

To tell you any more would just spoil the fun, so hit the jump for the video.

Series Premiere of RUNNING DIALOGUE, a Podcast Featuring Matt, Russ Fischer of /Film, and Curt Holman of Creative Loafing [Atlanta]

by     Posted 4 years, 211 days ago

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You may have heard about this big “podcasting” craze and I wanted a piece of the action.  I love to hear myself talk and can only conclude that others would as well so I, along with Russ Fischer of /Film.com and Curt Holman of Creative Loafing [Atlanta], have put together Running Dialogue, a podcast of us talking about movies for 45 minutes.  Specifically, with this inaugural podcast we’ve turned our attention to today’s Oscar nominations, talking about the David vs. Goliath match up of The Hurt Locker vs. Avatar, the benefits of the expanded Best Picture category, snubs and pleasant surprises, and wrapping up with a recommendation of an older film.

Just a few notes before you listen:  First, I did not know what the word “nonplussed” meant.  I know now that it means “perplexed; bewildered.”  Second, it clearly shows I am the youngest guy in the room when it came to my recommendation.  Please do not write me off and trust that I’m going to be increasing my viewing of older films and obscure films in preparation for our next podcast in two weeks.

Click here to give Running Dialogue a listen and please sound off in the comments section about what you liked, didn’t like, and any other thoughts you may have.

2010 Oscar Nominations Announced; AVATAR and THE HURT LOCKER Lead with 9 Noms Each

by     Posted 4 years, 211 days ago

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Despite opening up the Best Picture race from five nominations to ten, this morning’s announcement of the 2010 Oscar nominations hardly had any surprises.  When the biggest shocker comes from the widely-unseen The Secret of Kells being nominated for Best Animated Feature, then the prediction system worked as it should.  That’s not to say that there’s nothing to be happy or disappointed about.  It’s just that with no surprises, that happiness or disappointment has probably been felt well in advance.  Personally, I’m jazzed that District 9 picked up a Best Picture nomination and I’m really bummed that Peter Capaldi wasn’t nominated for Best Supporting Actor for In the Loop.

But the race between Avatar and The Hurt Locker remains close.  Each film picked up nine nominations and so there’s no clear favorite to win the award.  Right now, Hurt Locker would seem to have a slight edge with its victories from both the Producers Guild and the Directors Guild.  But Avatar‘s box office numbers contribute to its status as does the mainstream acclaim for the film.

Hit the jump to check out the full list of nominees.  The winners will be announced at the 82nd Academy Awards on Sunday, March 7th at 8pm EST on ABC.

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