FROZEN Songwriter Robert Lopez Becomes Youngest Person to EGOT

by     Posted 144 days ago

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Last night, Robert Lopez took home an Academy Award for co-writing “Let It Go” from Frozen, and became the youngest person to “EGOT”, i.e. win an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony Award.  Lopez previously won the Grammys and Tonys for The Book of Mormon, and received Daytime Emmy Awards for music direction and composition for the kids TV series The Wonder Pets.

Per Variety, other “EGOT” members include Whoopi Goldberg, Audrey Hepburn, Mel Brooks, Mike Nichols, and Scott Rudin.  So if you need a bit a trivia about last night’s ceremony, you can point at Lopez’ win.

12 YEARS A SLAVE Wins Best Picture; GRAVITY Wins Seven Oscars Including Best Director

by     Posted 145 days ago

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For the first time in at least six year, we have a Best Picture winner that will stand the test of time.  Cynics thought the Academy’s highest honor would go to American Hustle, the numbers were pointing slightly towards Gravity, but the Oscar ultimately went to 12 Years a Slave, the definitive major motion picture about slavery.  The ceremony itself was an absolute chore, but it was wonderful to see Steve McQueen’s harrowing drama pick up the win at the end.  Additionally, Gravity–another great movie–received plenty of love by earning seven Oscars including Alfonso Cuaron for Best Director.  Among the acting categories, there were no surprises: Matthew McConaughey for Best Actor, Cate Blanchett for Best Actress, Jared Leto for Best Supporting Actor, and Lupita Nyong’o for Best Supporting Actress.  It was not a shocking night, and the biggest “upset” was Mr. Hublot beating out Get a Horse! for Best Animated Short Film.  Personally, I’m pretty satisfied with this year’s winners, especially since Spike Jonze took home Best Original Screenplay for Her.

Hit the jump to check out the full list of this year’s Oscar winners, and click here for my live-blog.

Adam Predicts the Oscars Part 3: Best Picture, Director, Actor, Actress, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress, and More

by     Posted 147 days ago

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After running down predictions for the Oscars in a number of categories over the past two days, we’ve now come to the big ones.  As I’ve said many times before over the course of this awards season, this is quite possibly the closest Best Picture race in history; a coin flip would not be unwarranted.  And while some of the acting categories are pretty sewn up, Supporting Actress remains a bit tricky and there’s some intense competition in the race for Best Original Screenplay.  I’ve had a lot of fun covering this year’s awards race over the last five months with Oscar Beat and I look forward to doing it all over again this fall, but for now here’s the culmination of this season’s coverage.

After the jump you’ll find my predictions for the final categories ahead of this weekend’s Academy Awards ceremony as well as my full predictions list for the ceremony, and if you missed Part 1 or Part 2 be sure to check them out.  The 86th Academy Awards will air on Sunday, March 2nd on ABC, during which time our own Matt Goldberg will be live-blogging the ceremony right here on Collider.

Adam Predicts the Oscars Part 2: Best Cinematography, Costume Design, Production Design, Makeup, and Short Categories

by     Posted 148 days ago

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Continuing on with predictions for this Sunday’s Oscar ceremony, today we take a look at the rest of the technical categories and the shorts—aka where Oscar ballots are made or lost.  I surmised that Gravity would clean up in most of yesterday’s categories, but the love will have to be spread around when it comes to Costume Design, Makeup & Hairstyling, and possibly Production Design.  After the jump, I run through these categories as well as the contenders for Best Animated Short, Live-Action Short, and Documentary Short in Part 2 of my Oscar predictions.

Adam Predicts the Oscars Part 1: Best Score, Original Song, Editing, Visual Effects, Animated Film, Foreign Language Film, and More

by     Posted 149 days ago

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And so we’re here at last, just days to go before the 86th Academy Awards, and it’s time to submit official predictions.  After months of covering this year’s Oscar race in Collider’s awards column Oscar Beat, I feel like I have a pretty solid hold on how some of the categories will play out, while others remain incredibly tough races that are proving rather difficult to predict with any degree of certainty.  Nevertheless, my official predictions for Sunday’s ceremony will be split into three separate articles, providing ample room to discuss the reasoning behind each pick as well as providing a possible upset candidate, my personal choice, and who should have landed a nomination but didn’t.

Our coverage begins today with some of the technical categories as well as the awards for Best Animated Feature, Best Documentary Feature, and Best Foreign Language Film.  Hit the jump to take a look, and come back tomorrow for the second installment.  The Oscars will air on Sunday, March 2nd on ABC.

Full List of Oscar Presenters Announced; Includes Daniel Day-Lewis, Brad Pitt, Jennifer Lawrence, Anna Kendrick, and Michael B. Jordan

by     Posted 151 days ago

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After a slow roll-out of announcements that began a few weeks ago, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has unveiled the full list of presenters for the upcoming 86th Academy Awards ceremony.  As expected, there are plenty of previous winners poised to make appearances, including all four of last year’s acting winners (Daniel Day-Lewis, Jennifer Lawrence, Christoph Waltz, and Anne Hathaway), as well as some members of “young Hollywood” to appeal to the younger viewers (Anna Kendrick, Michael B. Jordan, Emma Watson, Zac Efron, Channing Tatum).  On the “legends” side of things, we can also look forward to seeing presentations from Sidney Poitier and Bill Murray.

Hit the jump to take a look at the full list of presenters, and if you missed our latest Oscar-themed episode of our podcast The Collision, click here.  The Oscars will air on ABC this Sunday, March 2nd.

THE COLLISION: Episode 78 – The 86th Academy Awards

by     Posted 152 days ago

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This week on The Collision, we look back at the road to the 86th Academy Awards, the films that dropped off, the films that surged, and the films that persevered.  We then go through all 24 categories giving our predictions on who will win and who we think deserves to win.  If you need help on your Oscar ballot, it’s better to listen to Adam than me.

Click here to listen to the new episode of The Collision, click here for the previous episode (“RoboCop“), click here to add the podcast to your RSS, and click here to find us on iTunes. To keep up to date with The Collision, you can follow us on Twitter at @MattGoldberg and @AdamChitwood.

Oscar Nominees 2014 – Best Documentary Short Subject Films Review

by     Posted 157 days ago

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Short film documentaries require a depth we usually don’t require of other non-fiction short films.  When we see an episode of Dateline or an hour-long feature on CNN, there’s room for commercial breaks, and the subject is usually something exploitative or juicy to get the viewer to keep watching (“Who killed this family member?” “What’s endangering your children now?”) At their best, a good documentary short subject has not only a compelling narrative, but also something to challenge the viewer.  Otherwise, it’s just trivia or a homily.

This year’s selection of Oscar-nominated documentary short subjects has both. One has remarkable footage that couldn’t be obtained any other way and another has obvious life lessons that don’t need teaching.  One short examines a unique form of art and another examines why hate crimes are bad.  This batch of short documentaries shows us the format at its best and its worst.

Oscar Nominees 2014 – Best Live Action Short Films Review

by     Posted 159 days ago

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In some ways, short films are more admirable than longer ones.  They have to deliver just as satisfying of a punch in half the time.  Brevity is their strong suit and they’re appreciable when we’re reminded of features that run on far too long.  However, their short runtime can also make the story seem trite and unimportant.

This year’s batch of Oscar-nominated live-action shorts, sadly, were mostly on the latter side as the filmmakers struggled to find depth, took shortcuts, or, in the case of one short, demanded far more space than the confines of the format would allow.  However, there was a diamond in the rough, and it was a reminder of how live action shorts can adeptly hit the mark.

Oscar Nominees 2014 – Best Animated Short Films Review

by     Posted 161 days ago

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Every year, the hardest categories to predict in the Oscar race are the shorts.  They’re difficult to track down, and they don’t have much buzz.  I’ll leave it to the prognosticators to figure out which one will win; I’m curious about their quality.  For those who don’t know, there are three categories for shorts: Best Animated Short, Best Live Action Short, and Best Documentary Short.

I have reviewed the shorts in all three categories, and will begin with the animated ones.  Animation is always the best of the three because it has a freedom and vivacity we don’t see in mainstream animated fare, which usually has to appeal directly to families. While there was no absolutely outstanding animated short like Paperman or The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore this year, the animated short nominees had a fair balance of family-friendly films and offbeat titles.  Hit the jump for my review of all five nominees.

Academy Exercises Common Sense; Idina Menzel to Perform “Let It Go” at the Oscars

by     Posted 164 days ago

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The Oscars are all about pageantry, but oddly they don’t feature musical performances of the Best Original Song nominees every year.  Part of that is for a show that’s always worried about running long on time, but perhaps it’s better to cut one of the 18 self-congratulatory tributes rather than the live performances.  Thankfully, the Academy will be embracing their Best Song category this year.  Pharrell Williams was already announced to perform “Happy” from Despicable Me 2, and now the show will also feature Idina Menzel performing one of the biggest hits of the year, “Let It Go” from Frozen.  Since Williams was already tapped to perform, it’s not surprising that the Oscars would also go after a singer for another nominated song, and it’s certainly not surprising for “Let It Go”, which is the clear frontrunner in the category.  It also helps that the album is the longest-running #1 soundtrack since 2003, and Disney has held sing-along screenings.

In case you need to hear the amazing song again, hit the jump to watch the scene from Frozen.  The 86th Academy Awards will be held on Sunday, March 2nd.

TOP 5: 2014 Oscar Nods, ANT-MAN and DOCTOR STRANGE, JACK RYAN, DOOMED! THE UNTOLD STORY OF ROGER CORMAN’S “THE FANTASTIC FOUR”, Sundance 2014

by     Posted 188 days ago

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Every so often a film comes along that plays pitch perfect to your sensibilities and hits you with such pinpoint accuracy that it reaffirms your love of the medium. That’s what Spike Jonze‘s Her did for me last weekend. It’s the type of movie I wish I had the talent to make and, at the same time, one that I’m thankful anyone had the talent and passion to make. It’s a film that says so much about our desire to connect, to love and to feel loved, that evaluating it piece by piece (acting, editing, sound, cinematography, mise-en-scène, etc.) almost cheapens its value as a whole. Above all, though, it refuses to be just one thing and therein lies its greatest achievement. It’s comedy soaked in melancholy, drama with hints of playfulness, quirk wrapped in genuine romance, and heartbreaking sincerity set within the most plastic of relationships. Her is an instant classic.

In case my subtlety has left you uncertain about my feelings on Her, feel free to e-mail me at colliderjason@gmail.com and I’ll try to be more on the nose about how damn great it is. In the meantime, this week’s Top 5 features the newly announced 2014 Oscar nominations, Marvel casting news/rumors regarding Ant-Man and Doctor Strange, Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit interviews with Chris Pine and more, the trailer for the seemingly interesting doc DOOMED! The Untold Story of Roger Corman’s “The Fantastic Four”, and all of our Sundance 2014 coverage to date. Click on to find a brief recap and link to each of the above.

2014 Oscar Nominations Announced; AMERICAN HUSTLE and GRAVITY Lead with 10 Nominations Each [Updated with Commentary]

by     Posted 190 days ago

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The nominations for the 86th Academy Awards have been announced. American Hustle and Gravity lead with 10 nominations each, while 12 Years a Slave isn’t too far behind with 9 nominations.  Looking over my predictions, there weren’t actually too many surprises this morning–at least no genuine “snubs” on the scale of Ben Affleck and Kathryn Bigelow last year.  Leonardo DiCaprio and Christian Bale made the Best Actor cut over Robert Redford and Tom HanksHer, Dallas Buyers Club, and Philomena all got Best Picture nominations over Saving Mr. Banks, and Sally Hawkins landed a Best Supporting Actress nomination for her work in Blue Jasmine, seemingly taking Oprah Winfrey‘s spot from Lee Daniels’ The Butler.  Also, the Academy apparently did not take a liking to Saving Mr. Banks, as the film missed out on a Best Picture nomination and a Best Actress nomination for Emma Thompson.

Hit the jump to take a look at the full nominations list.  The 86th Oscars will be broadcast March 2nd on ABC. [Update: I've added my commentary on some of the categories after the jump.]

Adam Predicts the 2014 Oscar Nominees

by     Posted 192 days ago

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Well, folks, the time has finally come.  I’ve been covering this year’s awards season since last fall when we launched our awards column Oscar Beat, and after running through the ups and downs of the season thus far, it’s now time to predict which films, performances, screenplays, and other cinematic achievements from 2013 the Academy will choose to single out.  I feel very confident about some of my choices while others feel like more of a crapshoot.  One thing’s for sure: this has been quite an interesting season thus far, and there’s still no consensus with regards to some of the big winners.

Hit the jump as I take a stab at predicting the 2014 Oscar nominees.  The nominations will be announced at 5:30am PST on January 16th.

TOP 5: JACK RYAN: SHADOW RECRUIT Set Visit, Marvel One-Shot ALL HAIL THE KING, MUPPETS MOST WANTED Set Visit, BATMAN VS. SUPERMAN, Oscar Beat

by     Posted 195 days ago

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Available via Netflix Watch Instantly as of late December, last weekend I finally got the chance to check out writer/director Joe Swanberg‘s romantic comedy Drinking Buddies. I should disclaim that it’s near impossible for me to be objective when talking about Swanberg given that he’s a fellow Southern Illinois University alum and few things make me prouder than a Saluki film student enjoying success in the industry. That out of the way, I enjoyed the heck out of Drinking Buddies. Much has been made of the film’s stellar cast and I won’t try and dispute those claims at all. As someone who has never watched a minute of Fox’s New Girl, I loved Jake Johnson‘s turn in the pic and I bought he and Olivia Wilde‘s romantic chemistry hook, line, and sinker. As for Anna Kendrick and Ron Livingston? Lets just say that I love each of them in almost everything and this is no exception. All in all, Buddies is a funny, sweet, realistic teetering on the verge of understated look at the universal concept of being just friends.

Instant stream recommendations aside, this week’s Top 5 includes our Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit set visit coverage, the first look at the Marvel One-Shot All Hail the King starring Ben Kingsley, a set visit recap for Muppets Most Wanted, some villain rumors surrounding Batman vs. Superman, and Adam’s latest installment of Oscar Beat that breaks down the guild nods and what they could mean for Oscar season. Like you might expect, a brief recap and link to each of the above can be found after the jump.

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