GRAVITY Blu-ray Review

by     Posted 41 days ago

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Gravity just won seven Oscars, including two for editor/director Alfonso Cuarón, and was a blockbuster at the box office, grossing over $270 Million domestic and over $700 million worldwide.  It was a theatrical experience, meant to be seen in 3D on Imax in a Dolby Atmos theater.  Which means it’s exactly the sort of film that might not be as much fun to watch at home.  So how does it fare on the small screen? Sandra Bullock and George Clooney star in the film, and my review of the 2D version of Gravity on Blu-ray follows after the jump. 

Watch the 2-Minute Opening Shot from Alfonso Cuarón’s NBC Series BELIEVE

by     Posted 48 days ago

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Filmmaker Alfonso Cuarón just won the Oscar for Best Director, but you don’t have to wait long to see the talented director’s next project.  In the midst of the very lengthy post-production process on Gravity, Cuarón made his first foray into television by writing and directing the pilot for NBC’s new drama series Believe.  The network has now released the first two minutes of the show online ahead of its Monday premiere, and it’s fittingly one of the director’s signature long, unbroken shots.  The story centers on a wrongfully-imprisoned death row inmate who is broken out of jail in order to protect a young girl with powerful abilities.  Cuarón also serves as an executive producer on the show alongside J.J. Abrams, and this is definitely a promising opening for the show.

Hit the jump to watch the first two minutes of the series.  The show stars Johnny SequoyahDelroy Lindo, and Kyle MacLachlanBelieve premieres on NBC Monday, March 10th at 10pm ET.

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

by     Posted 53 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 55 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.

12 YEARS A SLAVE Named Best Film at BAFTA Awards; GRAVITY Wins Best Director and Best British Film

by     Posted 67 days ago

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The British Academy of Film and Television Arts handed out its awards this evening, and while the BAFTAs have increasingly become a solid bellwether of how the Oscars will vote, tonight’s tallies do little to settle the virtual tie between Gravity and 12 Years a SlaveGravity won the most awards of the night with six, including Best Director for Alfonso Cuaron and Best British Film, but 12 Years a Slave took the top honors as Best Film as well as Best Actor for Chiwetel EjioforAmerican Hustle also had a fairly strong showing with three awards, including Best Supporting Actress for Jennifer Lawrence over 12 Years a Slave’s Lupita Nyong’Oone of this year’s toughest categories.

Hit the jump to check out the full list of winners, and to catch up on our awards coverage be sure to take a look at our running Oscar Beat column.

Oscar Beat: Breaking Down This Year’s Toughest Races

by     Posted 68 days ago

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The Academy Awards ceremony is now only a few weeks away, and though it’s been a month since the nominations were announced, there are still a number of races that are shaping up to be very, very close.  It’s been clear since the fall festival circuit that this was going to be a tough year, but it really is shaping up to be one of the most competitive Best Picture races in history.  Moreover, there’s been plenty of nastiness behind-the-scenes from those trying to slow down the momentum of one film or another: Gravity is inaccurate!” “The Wolf of Wall Street” condones despicable behavior! “12 Years a Slave” is too hard to watch!

We’ve seen frontrunners rise and fall over the past few months in a number of categories, and with the official ceremony within arms reach, now seems like a good time to take a look at the toughest races.  There’s plenty of competition to thumb through, so hit the jump to check out this latest installment of Oscar Beat.

Alfonso Cuaron Talks Alternate Ending to GRAVITY, Scientific Criticisms, CHILDREN OF MEN, Long Takes, Comparing HER to ANNIE HALL, and More

by     Posted 69 days ago

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With Gravity set to hit 3D Blu-ray, Blu-ray, and DVD on February 25th, and the film standing as the slight frontrunner to win Best Picture, director Alfonso Cuaron took to Reddit to do an AMA.  He answered plenty of questions, but my favorite one was when he was asked if there was an ending to Gravity where Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock) dies.  Cuaron responded, “We had an alternative ending in which after landing on Earth, Ryan will get back on her feet and as she’s walking away Matt Kovalski falls from the sky and crashes her to death. And then cut to black. Create scroll in silence.” That would be the funniest ending in cinema history. If I had seen that, I would have been struggling to breathe from laughing so hard. I’m now a little disappointed that’s not the actual ending.

Hit the jump for what Cuaron had to say about scientific criticisms directed toward Gravity, long takes, his comparison of Her to Annie Hall, long takes, Children of Men, and much more.

Alfonso Cuaron Wins DGA Award for GRAVITY; Vince Gilligan and Steven Soderbergh Take TV Prizes

by     Posted 88 days ago

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The 2014 Directors Guild Awards were handed out earlier this evening, and Alfonso Cuaron took the top prize for Gravity, launching him (and the film) into frontrunner status heading into the Oscars.  The DGA winner is a very solid predictor of the eventual Oscar winner for the Best Director category, as the two have only failed to match up seven times in the past 65 years.  Moreover, the DGA winner’s film has won the Best Picture Oscar on all but 13 occasions.  We’ve known it’s going to be a very tight race since the PGA split its top award between Gravity and 12 Years a Slave, but this DGA win for Gravity puts it ever so slightly ahead.

Elsewhere at the DGA Awards, Steven Soderbergh took home the Miniseries/TV Movie prize for Behind the Candelabra and Vince Gilligan won TV Drama for the series finale of Breaking Bad, beating out the likes of David Fincher and Bryan Cranston.  Hit the jump to read the full list of winners.

12 YEARS A SLAVE Takes Home Best Picture at Critics Choice Awards; GRAVITY, AMERICAN HUSTLE, and LONE SURIVOR Win Genre Awards

by     Posted 98 days ago

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The Critics’ Choice Movie Awards were announced tonight, and 12 Years a Slave took home Best Picture.  The Critics’ Choice Awards have lined up with the Oscars in six of the last seven Best Pictures, but it’s worth noting that the Broadcast Film Critics Association spread the wealth around with genre awards to the other Oscar favorites, Gravity (Best Sci-Fi/Horror Movie) and American Hustle (Best Comedy).  Lone Survivor only managed two Oscar nominations for the sound categories, but found some love here as the Best Action Movie.

Hit the jump for the full list of winners, including ten different acting awards.

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

by     Posted 98 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 100 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.

GRAVITY Returns to Theaters This Weekend

by     Posted 101 days ago

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After winning a Golden Globe for Best Director, Alfonso Cuarón’s Gravity will be returning to theaters this weekend.  In case you missed the buzz-worthy sci-fi thriller, you’ll now be able to experience it on the big screen.  It’s no coincidence that the 86th Annual Academy Awards’ nominations list will be unveiled this Thursday either.  As Adam has expressed in his Oscar Beat column, Gravity, its director, and star Sandra Bullock will likely be up for some major awards.  So whether you missed it the first time, you’re curious about all this awards talk, or you just want to see it in the theater again, this weekend’s your big chance!

Hit the jump for Gravity’s trailer, synopsis and poster.

Directors Guild Nominations Include Alfonso Cuaron, Martin Scorsese, Steve McQueen, Paul Greengrass, and David O. Russell

by     Posted 107 days ago

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The Directors Guild of America has unveiled its list of 2014 nominees, and it’s stacked with heavy hitters.  The nominees for the 2014 DGA Award are Alfonso Cuaron for Gravity, Paul Greengrass for Captain Phillips, Steve McQueen for 12 Years a Slave, David O. Russell for American Hustle, and Martin Scorsese for The Wolf of Wall Street.  This is pretty much what we expected, with Spike Jonze (Her) and Alexander Payne (Nebraska) acting as alternates, but we now have a complete shutout from the four major guilds (DGA, PGA, SAG, and WGA) for Joel and Ethan Coen’s Inside Llewyn Davis.

The DGA nominations don’t typically match up 5-for-5 with the Oscar Best Director nominations, as there’s normally one slot that is switched up when the Oscar nods come around.  Except for last year, when they went 2-for-5 and presumed frontrunners Kathryn Bigelow and Ben Affleck failed to land Oscar nods after nabbing DGA nominations.  To read my full analysis of the nominations, click here.  The 2014 DGA Awards will be held January 25th.

How Did They Do That? Burning Questions Answered in New Behind-the-Scenes GRAVITY Featurette

by     Posted 122 days ago

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With Gravity, director Alfonso Cuaron brought mystique back to the movies.  The film is almost like a magic trick in that much of what happens onscreen seems physically impossible, and after I saw the film for the first time I remarked that I couldn’t wait to own the Blu-ray so I could pore over hours and hours of behind-the-scenes extras that reveal  how Cuaron pulled this off.  In the spirit of Oscar season, Warner Bros. has now released a new featurette that finally offers a behind-the-scenes look at how the film’s effects were created by Cuaron and cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki.  It’s a fascinating if brief look behind-the-scenes, and I hope there’s plenty more where this comes from on the eventual Blu-ray release.

The film is a major Oscar contender in a number of categories, but this featurette focuses mainly on the jaw-dropping visual effects and Lubzeki’s gorgeous cinematography as well as the metaphorical intentions of Cuaron and Jonas Cuaron‘s screenplay.  Hit the jump to watch the featurette.

12 YEARS A SLAVE and AMERICAN HUSTLE Lead Critics Choice Award Nominations

by     Posted 129 days ago

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The Broadcast Film Critics Association has unveiled its list of nominees for the upcoming Critics’ Choice Movie Awards, and 12 Years a Slave and American Hustle lead the pack with 13 nominations each—though three of Hustle’s nominations come from “Comedy” categories.  The BFCA added some genre categories last year for Action, Sci-Fi/Horror, and Comedy, so the list of nominations is a bit more diverse than those we’ve seen previously.  That being said, Brie Larson made the overall Best Actress cut for her excellent turn in Short Term 12, and it’s nice to finally see The World’s End and star Simon Pegg getting some attention (nicer still that BFCA recognizes actual comedies in the Best Comedy category, unlike the Golden Globes).  Other notable additions include Scarlett Johansson nabbing a Best Supporting Actress nod for her voice-only role in Her and Christian Bale landing a Best Actor nomination for the aforementioned American Hustle.

Hit the jump to check out the full list of nominations and to find out how closely the Critics’ Choice Awards correlate with Oscar.  The 19th annual Critics’ Choice Movie Awards will be held on January 16, 2014.

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