AMERICAN HUSTLE Blu-ray Review

by     Posted 240 days ago

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It may speak to the year or the film itself, but David O. Russell’s American Hustle exploded on the scene, arriving to quickly become an Oscar front runner, and netting ten nominations in the process (while also grossing nearly $150 Million at the box office).  But by the time of the awards ceremony, Hustle went home empty handed, even though stars Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence we all nominated.  The film turned out to be all sizzle and no steak.  Which is actually the story of the movie as two hustlers are put on the spot by the FBI to help catch bigger swindlers.

Hit the jump for my American Hustle Blu-ray review.

New to Blu-ray: FROZEN, AMERICAN HUSTLE, SAVING MR. BANKS, and More

by     Posted 251 days ago

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This week’s new Blu-ray releases include an animated Disney box office juggernaut, a major Oscar contender that was shut out at the recent Academy Awards ceremony, the behind-the-scenes story of Mary Poppins, a criminally underseen film about Allen Ginsberg, and more.  Briefly:

Watch: Jeremy Renner Lashes Out in Deleted Scene from AMERICAN HUSTLE

by     Posted 262 days ago

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Though American Hustle failed to land a single win out of its 10 nominations at the Oscars last weekend, the film remains a hit with audiences with a worldwide box office total of $248.2 million.  Director David O. Russell’s latest feature hits Blu-ray and DVD in a couple of weeks, and in anticipation of the home video release a deleted scene from the pic has been released online.  It’s no secret that Russell has a very particular way of working that involves plenty of improvisation and the creation of new scenes on the fly, and that energy is prevalent in this deleted scenes which finds the core characters played by Jeremy Renner, Bradley Cooper, Amy Adams, and Christian Bale giving a tour of New Jersey to “the Sheikh”, played by Michael Peña.  All does not go as planned, resulting in Renner’s character losing his cool in front of some New Jersey residents.

Hit the jump to watch the new deleted scene.  It’s unclear exactly how many deleted scenes will be included on the Blu-ray/DVD, but there’s likely plenty of footage that didn’t make the finished film.  American Hustle will be released on Blu-ray and DVD on March 18th.  Click here to pre-order.

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

by     Posted 269 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 270 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.

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

by     Posted 281 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 282 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.

Best Picture Nominee Posters Recreated in LEGO Form

by     Posted 284 days ago

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The LEGO Movie was massive hit with both audiences and critics when it opened last weekend, and deservingly so given that the film is an absolute joy to take in.  I’ll be shocked if it doesn’t make the Best Animated Feature shortlist for next year’s Oscars, but before we start talking about the 2015 ceremony, we’ve got this year’s Academy Awards to take care of.  In a bit of zeitgeist synergy, the posters for all nine of this year’s Best Picture nominees have been recreated in LEGO form, making for a pretty amusing series of one-sheets.  It’s shaping up to be one of the closest Best Picture races in years, with Gravity and 12 Years a Slave in a virtual tie for first and American Hustle playing the very possible spoiler.  We’ve still got a few weeks to go before the awards season comes to a close, but for now take some delight in seeing LEGO-fied versions of the nominees, complete with American Hustle’s plunging necklines.

Hit the jump to take a look at some of the posters.  The 2014 Oscars will be hosted by Ellen Degeneres on Sunday, March 2nd.

David O. Russell Reflects on His Career and Talks the Importance of I HEART HUCKABEES, the Awards Process, NAILED, Delving into TV, and More at SBIFF

by     Posted 294 days ago

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David O. Russell is a filmmaker on fire, telling compelling stories about fascinating characters that are completely flawed and human.  With his last three films – The Fighter, Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle – receiving 25 Oscar nominations between them, and his actors giving star-making performances in their roles, it’s no surprise that he was recognized as the Outstanding Director of the Year at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF).  Collider was there to cover and attend the event, and we’ve compiled the highlights of what he had to say, both on the press line and during the Q&A.

While there, writer/director David O. Russell talked about what this ride has been like for him, when and how he started making films, how he learned the craft of filmmaking, the affect Sundance had on him, how starting out with short films led to him making his first feature Spanking the Monkey, weaving spiritual insight with comedy, writing such strong female characters, why I Heart Huckabees was a transition film for him, why Nailed never got released, adding a sense of enchantment and romance to the stories he’s telling now, how blessed he feels to work with Jennifer Lawrence, what change means to him, and what’s drawn him to the longer storytelling format of television (he’s currently developing a 13-episode series for ABC).  Check out the in-depth interview after the jump. 

AMERICAN HUSTLE Wins SAG Best Ensemble Award; Matthew McConaughey, Lupita Nyong’O, and Jared Leto Take Home Trophies

by     Posted 310 days ago

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The Screen Actors Guild Awards took place earlier this evening, and the performance-centric American Hustle won the big Best Ensemble prize.  That wasn’t a huge shock given the amount of talent on display in David O. Russell’s film and the fact that Hustle landed an Oscar nomination in every single acting category.  Elsewhere at the SAGs, Matthew McConaughey continues to look more and more like an Oscar winner with another Best Actor trophy, 12 Years a Slave breakout Lupita Nyong’O won Best Supporting Actress, and Cate Blanchett and Jared Leto won their umpteenth Best Actress and Best Supporting Actor awards, respectively.  On the TV side of things, Breaking Bad won Best Dramatic Ensemble and Modern Family won Best Comedic Ensemble.

Hit the jump for the full list of winners, and take note in your respective Oscar pools.

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

by     Posted 312 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 312 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 314 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.

Golden Globes 2014 Winners Announced; 12 YEARS A SLAVE and AMERICAN HUSTLE Win Best Motion Pictures

by     Posted 316 days ago

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Earlier tonight, the winners of the 71st Annual Golden Globes were announced at a ceremony where no one prepared an acceptance speech and television nominees were seated really, really far away from the stage.  It was a fun, lightweight affair, which is appropriate for the Golden Globes, and to the surprise of no one, hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler were amazing.  12 Years a Slave and American Hustle took home best motion pictures, Drama and Comedy/Musical, respectively.  On the TV side, Breaking Bad was awarded Best Drama Series, Brooklyn Nine-Nine won Best Comedy, and Behind the Candelabra took home Best Mini-Series or TV movie.

Hit the jump for the full list of winners.

David O. Russell Talks AMERICAN HUSTLE, His Style of Directing, How His First Cut Was 3 Hours, Deleted Scenes, Future Projects, and More

by     Posted 317 days ago

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Now playing in theaters is director David O. Russell’s comedic drama American Hustle.  The story is based on the Abscam sting operation that uncovered widespread political corruption in the late 1970s, and Russell’s fantastic ensemble cast is led by Christian BaleAmy AdamsBradley CooperJennifer Lawrence, and Jeremy Renner. The film is definitely an awards contender, landing a Best Picture award from the New York Critics Circle and many nominations from a number of other groups, including the Golden Globes and the Screen Actors Guild.  For more on the film, here’s all our previous coverage.

At the New York City press junket I landed an exclusive video interview with David O. Russell. He talked about his style of directing and how it’s changed over the years, how his assembly cut was over three hours, deleted scenes, what will be on the Blu-ray, future projects, and more.  Hit the jump to watch.

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