Will Smith Talks about Passing on DJANGO UNCHAINED; Felt Django Wasn’t the Lead Role

by     Posted 1 year, 30 days ago

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Will Smith was Quentin Tarantino‘s first choice to play Django in Django Unchained.  It was a great opportunity for the actor to finally take a chance in his safe career, but he decided to pass on the role.  In November, Tarantino said that while he met with Smith, “It just wasn’t 100 percent right, and we didn’t have time to try to make it that way.”  Smith is slightly notorious for coming in and rewriting scripts, but no one gets to rewrite Tarantino.

Smith has now commented on his side of the story, and why he chose to pass on the Oscar-winning picture.  Hit the jump for more.

ARGO Wins Best Picture; LIFE OF PI Wins 4 Oscars Including Best Director

by     Posted 1 year, 59 days ago

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I just finished live-blogging the Oscars.  My brain hurts.  It wasn’t a very good show, and it was a ceremony unworthy of all the great films we saw in 2012.  Briefly, the prognosticators were correct and Argo took Best Picture.  Ang Lee won his third Oscar and his second Best Director Oscar for Life of Pi, a film that also took home awards for Best Cinematography, Best Score, and Best Visual Effects.  In the acting categories, Daniel Day-Lewis won Best Actor for Lincoln, Jennifer Lawrence won Best Actress for Silver Linings Playbook, Christoph Waltz won Best Supporting Actor for Django Unchained, and Anne Hathaway won Best Supporting Actress for Les Miserables.

Hit the jump to check out the full list of winners.

Watch SNL’s Quentin Tarantino Parody DJESUS UNCROSSED Starring Christoph Waltz

by     Posted 1 year, 66 days ago

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Quentin Tarantino has teased a third film to complete his Rewritten History trilogy, following up on Inglourious Basterds and Django Unchained. Last night, Saturday Night Live made a strong pitch for what that film could be with the parody Djesus Uncrossed.  On the third day after his crucificxion, Jesus returns to life, rolls away the stone in front of the tomb, and sets out on a vendetta against the Romans who crucified him.  Or “Row-Maans,” as St. Peter (Taran Killam impersonating Brad Pitt) calls them when he leads the apostles to join in the fight.

It works in large part because I could see Tarantino making a revenge-based version of the Christ story that would be just slightly less wacky.  The production designer gets in a lot of nice stylistic touches in, too, including more blood and gore than I was expecting for a broadcast comedy, even after midnight.  Check it out after the jump.

ARGO Wins Best Film and Best Director at BAFTAs; SKYFALL Wins Best British Film

by     Posted 1 year, 73 days ago

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Is an Argo Best Picture win now inevitable?  The 2013 British Academy of Film and Television Awards (BAFTA Awards) were handed out this evening, and director Ben Affleck’s thriller continued its domination of awards season by landing the Best Film and Best Director prizes.  The BAFTAs have always been an important bellwether for predicting Oscar, but they may be even more in tune with the Academy this year as a rule change allowed the entire BAFTA voting body to vote on every award (like the Oscars), instead of writers only voting for screenplay, actors only voting for acting, etc.

Les Miserables won the most BAFTAs of the night, taking home four trophies including Best Supporting Actress for Anne Hathaway (duh) and Best Production Design (over Anna Karenina? Really?).  The winners actually lined up pretty closely with my current Oscar predictions, though most were surprised to see David O. Russell take home the Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar over Lincoln and ArgoJessica Chastain and Jennifer Lawrence were also overtaken in Best Actress by Emmanuel Riva for Amour, who has emerged as a strong possibility in a tough category.  Hit the jump for the full list of winners.

Quentin Tarantino Teases Third Film in “Rewritten History” Trilogy

by     Posted 1 year, 73 days ago

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With 2012’s Django Unchained, writer/director Quentin Tarantino once again focused on an important period of time in history as told through his one-of-a-kind lens.  Though we don’t yet know what subject the filmmaker will be tackling for his next project, it appears that he’s interested in once again going back in time to complete his unofficial “rewritten history” trilogy that began with Inglourious Basterds and continued with the swell Unchained.  Hit the jump to see what Tarantino had to say about the prospect of another period film by way of QT.

2013 Golden Globe Winners Announced; ARGO Takes Best Picture (Drama), Best Director; LES MISERABLES Wins Best Picture (Comedy or Musical)

by     Posted 1 year, 101 days ago

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The 2013 Golden Globes have just wrapped up.  I only watched the last hour of the ceremony because the Globes no longer have their awards season power due to voting schedule changes.  Reading tweets and Facebook posts, it seems like it was a fairly entertaining show (keep an eye out for Jodie Foster‘s acceptance speech for her Lifetime Achievement Award).  As for the winners, they were very “Globes” in that they were more populist choices that are unlikely to have much bearing on the Oscars.  Argo may have had a good night at the Globes by winning Best Picture (Drama) and Best Director, but I still think Lincoln is the picture to beat when it comes to the Academy Awards, especially since Ben Affleck was snubbed for the Best Director Oscar nomination.

Hit the jump for the full list of winners.

Critics Choice Awards: ARGO Wins Best Picture, Ben Affleck Is Best Director; SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK Picks Up Four

by     Posted 1 year, 104 days ago

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The Broadcast Film Critics Association announced the winners of the 18th annual Critics’ Choice Movie Awards tonight.  While Ben Affleck was noted as the lesser of the Best Director snubs when Oscar nominations were announced this morning, the BFCA named Affleck Best Director and his Argo Best Picture.  They feature genre awards—action, comedy, and sci-fi/horror all have their own Best Picture category—so there’s a bit of an “everybody gets a trophy” philosophy.  But that allowed Jennifer Lawrence to pick up two trophies: Best Actress in an Action Movie (The Hunger Games) and Best Actress in a Comedy (Silver Linings Playbook).  Silver Linings Playbook earned four total; the Best Comedy winner brought Lawrence’s co-star Bradley Cooper Best Actor in a Comedy and the rest of the cast Best Acting Ensemble.

The four primary acting awards went to major Oscar contenders Daniel Day-Lewis, Jessica Chastain, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Anne Hathaway.  But the BFCA also found room for Collider favorites Skyfall, Looper, and Cloud Atlas.  See the full list after the break.

2013 Oscar Nominations Announced; LINCOLN Leads with 12 Nominations, Kathryn Bigelow and Ben Affleck Snubbed for Best Director

by     Posted 1 year, 104 days ago

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The nominations for the 85th Academy Awards have been announced, and it’s quite a whirlwind of nominees.  As expected, Lincoln landed the most nominations with 12, followed with Ang Lee’s Life of Pi which nabbed 11.  The big story here, though, is the Best Director category.  Shockingly, only two (two!) of the DGA nominees for Best Director made the Oscar cut: Ang Lee and Steven Spielberg.  The rest of the category was filled out by Benh Zeitlin for Beasts of the Southern WildDavid O. Russell for Silver Linings Playbook, and Michael Haneke for Amour.  It was almost guaranteed that Ben Affleck and Kathryn Bigelow would be landing nominations for Argo and Zero Dark Thirtyrespectively, but shockingly neither made the cut.  Apparently those films just directed themselves.  Based off today’s nominations, it now looks like it’s (surprisingly) down to Lincoln vs. Silver Linings Playbook for the big win.

Hit the jump to check out the list of nominees, and click here to check them against my predictions (somehow I predicted the Best Picture and Supporting Actor categories perfectly).  The 85th Academy Awards will take place on February 24th.

Adam Predicts the 2013 Oscar Nominees

by     Posted 1 year, 105 days ago

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At last, Oscar is upon us.  Back in November I shared a look at the early awards season race by way of our 2013 Oscar Preview articles, and now nearly two months later there’s still quite a bit up in the air.  This truly is one of the more exciting awards races in recent years, as 2012 is so stacked with quality that there are a surprising number of uncertainties this close to the Academy Awards ceremony.  Nevertheless, I am once again foolishly going to attempt to predict how the Oscar nominations will shake out when they’re announced tomorrow morning, January 10th.  Hit the jump to check out my predictions.

Watch Almost Every Pop Culture Reference in Director Quentin Tarantino’s Movies in Under Six Minutes

by     Posted 1 year, 112 days ago

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Fans of Quentin Tarantino’s films know that the iconic director has a habit of working pop culture references to movies, comics, music and celebrities into each of his pictures.  Now, a compilation of those references has been put together for you to enjoy.  In under six minutes, you can watch a chronological recap of almost every meta-mention from such films as Inglourious Basterds, Death Proof, Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction and even Tarantino’s short sequence he directed for Four Rooms.  However, it’s missing out on Django Unchained (currently-in-theaters) as well as Tarantino’s uncredited written dialogue in Crimson Tide, as The Playlist points out.  Still, it’s a nice walk down memory lane for long-time Tarantino fans.  Hit the jump to check out the video.

Listen to Quentin Tarantino’s Soundtrack Commentary for DJANGO UNCHAINED

by     Posted 1 year, 113 days ago

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Writer/director Quentin Tarantino’s Western Django Unchained finally hit theaters last week, and thankfully the film is really damn good.  The pic struck a chord with critics and audiences alike, as it even edged out Les Miserables to take the number two spot at the box office last weekend just behind The Hobbit.  Both Dave and I included Django on our Top 10 lists this year, and one of my favorite aspects of the pic was the soundtrack.  Tarantino is known for assembling diverse and sometimes-anachronistic soundtracks to accompany his films, but Django Unchained just might be my favorite collection of songs he’s put together thus far.

The full soundtrack is now available online with a track-by-track commentary from Tarantino himself.  The director always considers crafting his soundtracks an important part of his process, and it’s a joy to hear him talk about the different choices on this commentary.  Hit the jump to check it out, and click here to listen to Frank Ocean’s original song that was scrapped from the soundtrack.

DJANGO UNCHAINED Featurette Shows Cast and Crew Commenting on Leonardo DiCaprio’s Villainous Performance as Slave Owner Calvin Candie

by     Posted 1 year, 116 days ago

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While Jamie Foxx plays the title character in Django Unchained, Leonardo DiCaprio steals the show as the villainous plantation runner and slave owner, Calvin Candie.  This new featurette shows director Quentin Tarantino and cast members Foxx, Kerry Washington and Samuel L. Jackson commenting on the amazing performance by DiCaprio.  It interesting to see how the veteran actor approached the difficult subject matter and to hear the actors talk about his transformation.  The featurette also highlights some footage from the movie, so if you haven’t seen Django Unchained yet, this may have a few spoilers for you.  Otherwise, hit the jump to watch the video.

Quentin Tarantino Reveals Details on Potential New Film KILLER CROW

by     Posted 1 year, 117 days ago

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If you’re a fan of director Quentin Tarantino’s revisionist history films Inglourious Basterds and Django Unchained, you’ll be happy to hear there might be a third film in the series on the horizon. Tentatively titled Killer Crow, the film was inspired by the creative process of making Inglourious Basterds and would take place in a similar timeline: in 1944 after the Invasion of Normandy. It would center on a group of black soldiers who go AWOL. Though it’s only about half-written, Tarantino seems to have a pretty good foundation already. Hit the jump to see what he had to say.

Listen to Scrapped DJANGO UNCHAINED Track, “Wiseman” by Frank Ocean

by     Posted 1 year, 118 days ago

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The soundtrack for Django Unchained is one of my favorite of the year, and I highly recommend picking it up.  There’s a great blend of hip-hop, blues, and Spaghetti western-tunes.  One track that didn’t make the final was Frank Ocean‘s “Wiseman”.  Director Quentin Tarantino told Pitchfork [via THR], “I could have thrown it in quickly just to have it, but that’s not why he wrote it and not his intention. So I didn’t want to cheapen his effort. But, the song is fantastic, and when Frank decides to unleash it on the public, they’ll realize it then.”

Ocean has decided to unleash it on the public, and you can click here to listen to it.  The R&B artist noted on his Tumblr, “django was ill without it.”

DJANGO UNCHAINED Review

by     Posted 1 year, 120 days ago

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When people speak of America’s great history, there should be an asterisk involved.  This is a great country with a rich history, but it’s a history that also involves genocide of Native Americans and the enslavement of Africans.  But we considered it civilized, and no country wants to recognize its barbaric behavior (even Barbarians probably thought they weren’t so bad).  In the classic western, we see American West mythologized with heroes and villains.  In the spaghetti western, we see how a foreign country (Italy) reexamined the values of our westerns.  In his new film, Django Unchained, writer-director Quentin Tarantino takes the western to the American South of 1858, and reconsiders the civility of our “great history.”  At turns painfully hilarious and explosively violent, Django Unchained doesn’t have the narrative tightness of Tarantino’s previous features, but it retains all of the thoughtfulness and style the filmmaker has become known for.

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