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

by     Posted 1 year, 294 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.

TED Blu-ray Review

by     Posted 1 year, 295 days ago

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Someone needs to explain Seth MacFarlane to me, because whatever he’s got, I’m not buying it. (I say this out of the gate because I know he has legions of fans, who may now disregard this review as they will.) Every now and then, I heed the “comic genius” labels and tune in to Family Guy or American Dad. Every time, I come away disappointed. MacFarlane carries the air of a bullied child who decides it’s his turn, looking for easy targets and claiming the “outrageous” label to disguise plain, old-fashioned cruelty. In our post-truth pop culture stew, anything that garners attention is acceptable. The release of Ted on Blu-ray can’t even justify that. Hit the jump for the full review.

2012 Box Office in Review: A Look Back at the Highest Grossing Films of the Year and More

by     Posted 1 year, 303 days ago

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It’s January 1, 2013, which means that 2012 is now officially in the rear-view mirror.  Quality-wise, it was a stellar year in film, and with over a month to go before the Oscars there’s still an exciting air of unpredictability surrounding the awards contenders.  2012 wasn’t so shabby box office-wise either, and we thought today would be a nice time to take a look back at the year’s highest grossing films, lowest grossing films, and everything in between.  This year saw a few comedy surprises, the highest grossing Steven Spielberg drama in a long time, a couple of superhero megahits, and the glorious disaster that was Oogieloves.  Hit the jump to take a look at 2012’s Box Office in Review.

Top 10 Movie Posters of 2012 Including THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE, THE DARK KNIGHT RISES, DJANGO UNCHAINED and ZERO DARK THIRTY

by     Posted 1 year, 304 days ago

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While I stuck to my genre-loving guns in my Top 10 Films of 2012 and Top 10 Trailers of 2012, I’m happy to branch out a bit more with respect to the year’s ten best movie posters.  Here’s where I get pretentious.  Posters have the difficult task of attracting attention, holding it long enough to convey a message and getting that message across without the use of sound or motion (normally).  I prefer posters that are minimalist in nature and leave you with an iconic image that you’ll forever associate with the film.  Bonus points are given to those posters that offer layered meanings tied into the movie in question and which inspire curiosity in the picture.  What follows are the year’s ten best posters from a mix of big budget and lesser known movies.  Hit the jump to check them out.

YouTube’s Top 10 Trailers of 2012 Include CALL OF DUTY: BLACK OPS II, THE DARK KNIGHT RISES, SKYFALL and More

by     Posted 1 year, 315 days ago

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As we wind down to the final days of the year, the internet is flooded with countless “Top 10” lists consisting of pretty much everything that ever existed in the past 12 months.  YouTube is getting in on the fun, but their list is unique in that it’s a Top 10 list compiled using statistics instead of subjective opinion.  The site has unveiled the “Top Trailers on YouTube for 2012,” which they compiled based on view count, view rate (how much of a given trailer people chose to watch), and organic views.

The resulting list may surprise you, as a whopping four spots belong to the video game Call of Duty: Black Ops II alone.  There’s also one television show and five films that rank among 2012’s highest grossing films, though a major 2012 release is notably absent.  Hit the jump to take a look at the Top 10 Trailers on YouTube for the year.

Mark Wahlberg Talks BROKEN CITY, TED 2, PAIN & GAIN, TRANSFORMERS 4 and The New England Patriots

by     Posted 1 year, 316 days ago

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Opening January 18 is director Allen Hughes’ (The Book of Eli) political thriller Broken City.  The film stars Mark Wahlberg as a private detective who is hired to identify the lover of a powerful politician’s wife (Catherine Zeta-Jones).  Russell Crowe plays the morally ambiguous politician.  The film also stars Jeffrey Wright.  For more on the film, here’s the first clip and the brand new trailer.

Over the weekend I sat down with Wahlberg for a fun interview.  We talked about how he got involved in Broken City, putting together the great cast, the way he produces, and upcoming projects like Pain & Gain, Ted 2, and Transformers 4.  However, while it was great to talk about his film projects, the best part was hearing him talk about the New England Patriots and getting to attend the game last week with his son.  While I thought about editing out his comments on the Patriots after the disappointing loss last night, I thought some of you might like to see it.  Hit the jump to watch.

Mark Wahlberg Talks TED 2, TRANSFORMERS 4, and PAIN AND GAIN; Says TF Starts Shooting in May Followed By TED Sequel

by     Posted 1 year, 320 days ago

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Mark Wahlberg is quite a busy guy, and his schedule doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon.  The actor hit the comedy jackpot this summer in Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane’s feature directorial debut Ted, which already has a sequel in the works, and he’s also poised to delve into franchise fare as the lead in Michael Bay’s upcoming Transformers 4.  Steve recently got to interview Wahlberg in anticipation of the upcoming political thriller Broken City, and the actor gave updates on Transformers 4 and a sequel to Ted, and talked briefly about Bay’s small-scale black comedy Pain and Gain.  Hit the jump to see what he had to say.

New to Blu-ray: THE BOURNE LEGACY, DICK TRACY, HEAVYWEIGHTS, TED, and More

by     Posted 1 year, 323 days ago

This week on Blu-ray Bourne comes home, a Judd Apatow-produced 90s favorite gets an update, and Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane’s big-screen debut hits home video.  Briefly:

Hit the jump for all the details.

Why the Future of Mainstream Cinema Depends on You Seeing CLOUD ATLAS This Weekend

by     Posted 2 years, 6 days ago

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Cloud Atlas is one of my favorite films this year, but I’m not ready to declare the best film I’ve seen this year.  Even though 2012 isn’t over, there have been other films that I enjoyed more and worked slightly better for me.  But Cloud Atlas is definitely the most important film I’ve seen this year in terms of what it represents from an industry perspective.  It is an independent film with a major budget.   The film had the technical resources to meet its grand ambition.  The Wachowski Siblings and Tom Tykwer have been able to successfully craft their vision and do so outside the Hollywood system, which is good because Hollywood never would have made a movie Cloud Atlas.  And if Cloud Atlas tanks, they never will.

You have the power to change that.

Universal Pictures to Push “Franchises and Animation” with Sequels to FAST AND THE FURIOUS, BOURNE and TED, While Aiming for Two Animated Films a Year

by     Posted 2 years, 47 days ago

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It looks like Universal Pictures is planning to firm up its film slate by focusing on franchises and animation over the next few years.  One of the most successful franchises to date started with The Fast and the Furious, which continues to hold strong (Fast Six is due May 24th, 2013).  Universal also plans on going ahead with sequels to this summer’s The Bourne Legacy, which starred Jeremy Renner and Rachel Weisz, as well as a follow-up to Seth MacFarlane’s Ted, with Mark Wahlberg and Mila Kunis. They’re also getting ambitious on the animated front by expecting to crank out two films a year, versus their current rate of two every three years.  Hit the jump for more.

Weekend Box Office – THE DARK KNIGHT RISES Makes It Three in a Row; TOTAL RECALL Can’t Compete

by     Posted 2 years, 86 days ago

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Going into this weekend, there were some people who believed Sony’s remake of Total Recall would give The Dark Knight Rises a run for its money. Those people were wrong. With an estimate of $36.4 million, TDKR claimed its third straight weekend at number one while Total Recall barely topped the debut of the Arnold Schwarzenegger original… back in 1990.

Title Weekend Total
1. The Dark Knight Rises $36,440,000 $354.6
2. Total Recall $26,000,000 $26
3. Diary of a Wimpy Kid 3 $14,700,000 $14.7
4. Ice Age 4 $8,400,000 $131.8
5. The Watch $6,350,000 $21.3
6. Ted $5,479,000 $203.4
7. Step Up Revolution $5,300,000 $21.3
8. The Amazing Spider-Man $4,300,000 $250.6
9. Brave $2,890,000 $233.3
10. Magic Mike $1,390,000 $110.8

Weekend Box Office – Easy Win for THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN with $65 Million

by     Posted 2 years, 114 days ago

For the past six days, Sony’s The Amazing Spider-Man has held the top spot at the daily box office. It should surprise no one, therefore, that the reboot easily netted the weekend prize as well; earning an estimated $65 million from 4,318 locations. That gives the film a new domestic total of $140 million, a number that’s higher than early projections but lower than past entries in the Spider-Man series. Worldwide, the film has now earned a reported $341 million, which is not too bad for reboot…

Title Weekend Total
1 The Amazing Spider-Man $65,000,000 $140
2 Ted $32,590,000 $120.2
3 Brave $20,160,000 $174.5
4 Savages $16,162,000 $16.1
5 Magic Mike $15,610,000 $72.7
6 Madea’s Witness Protection $10,200,000 $45.8
7 Madagascar 3 $7,700,000 $196
8 Katy Perry: Part Of Me $7,150,000 $10.2
9 Moonrise Kingdom $4,641,000 $26.9
10 To Rome With Love $3,502,000 $5.2

Weekend Box Office – TED Takes R-Rated Comedy Title with $54.1 Million; MAGIC MIKE Second with $39.1 Million

by     Posted 2 years, 121 days ago

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The theory that audiences would wait for the tentpole movies of July before opening their wallets went down in flames this weekend as two all-original movies (R-rated ones at that) delivered stellar openings. Ted and Magic Mike bested Brave by taking first and second place: nearly doubling their pre-weekend projections and giving box office watchers a lot more to consider than the imminent arrival of The Amazing Spider-Man.

Title Weekend Total
1 Ted $54,100,000 $54.1
2 Magic Mike $39,155,000 $39.1
3 Brave $34,000,000 $131.6
4 Madea’s Witness Protection $26,350,000 $26.3
5 Madagascar 3 $11,815,000 $180
6 A Lincoln: Vampire Hunter $6,000,000 $29
7 Prometheus $4,925,000 $118.2
8 Moonrise Kingdom $4,872,000 $18.4
9 Snow White & the Huntsman $4,405,000 $145.6
10 People Like Us $4,300,000 $4.3

Friday Box Office – R-Rated Surprise as TED and MAGIC MIKE Smash Expectations

by     Posted 2 years, 122 days ago

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So, it appears the answer to the question “did I underestimate the blockbuster potential of Ted” is a giant “Oh Hell Yes.”  From its first day in 3,239 locations the R-rated comedy from first-time film director Seth MacFarlane (the Family Guy guy) made an estimated $20.2 million. And this from a movie that was projected to earn only $25 million for its first weekend! With Friday’s huge win, Ted is now poised to take in double that by Sunday – a figure that would top The Hangover as the all-time highest debut from an R-rated (non-sequel) comedy. But Friday’s surprises were not limited to talking teddy bears. Magic Mike, the R-rated male-stripper movie starring Channing Tatum, was also a giant over-performer with an estimated $19.4 million from 2,930 venues. Again, that is just under what Magic Mike was projected to earn in its first three days. Meanwhile, Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Witness Protection, in 2,161 locations, also had a bigger-than-expected first Friday, taking in an estimated $10.25 million for what should prove a $27 million opening weekend. In fact, of yesterday’s four major new releases, only the Disney-distributed People Like Us played as expected – opening outside the top five with a modest $1.4 million.  We’ll have full details and analysis of this weekend’s box office tomorrow.

Title Friday Total
1 Ted $20,200,000 $20.2
2 Magic Mike $19,400,000 $19.4
3 Brave $10,320,000 $107.9
4 Madea’s Witness Protection $10,250,000 $10.25
5 Madagascar 3 $3,575,000 $171.7

TED Review

by     Posted 2 years, 124 days ago

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Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane has found great success in making adorable things like babies and dogs act like adults who crack offensive jokes.  MacFarlane sticks to his character formula in his directorial feature, Ted, but moves away from his tangential “This is ___ than the time ___” approach of his successful TV series.  Ted is better for the change as the story provides some nice (albeit plain) warmth to a barrage of delightfully juvenile humor.  MacFarlane’s sharp writing and direction, paired with a good comic turn from Mark Wahlberg, help make the film bigger than its simple premise of a talking, foul-mouthed teddy bear.

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