New to Netflix: SOMEWHERE, BAD LIEUTENANT, and CUTIE AND THE BOXER

by     Posted 175 days ago

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The “Netflix Scroll” is an all-too-familiar activity, as the sheer volume of titles available on Netflix Streaming can make it quite overwhelming to settle on what to watch.  Luckily, we’ve go three new titles to highlight that might whittle down your choices a bit in the near future.  Writer/director Sofia Coppola’s 2010 film Somewhere is currently available to stream, as is the 1992 Harvey Keitel crime drama Bad Lieutenant and a current Best Documentary Feature Oscar nominee Cutie and the BoxerSomewhere was a tad underrated when it opened a few years ago following Coppola’s disappointing Lost in Translation follow-up Marie Antoinette, but the pic is a fascinating portrait of Hollywood life as seen through the eyes of a famous actor (Stephen Dorff) and his 11-year-old daughter (Elle Fanning).

Hit the jump to watch a video highlighting all three films, which are currently available to stream on Netflix.

New to Blu-ray: DALLAS BUYERS CLUB, ABOUT TIME, ESCAPE PLAN, and More

by     Posted 196 days ago

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This week’s new Blu-ray releases include a serious Oscar contender, an emotional father-son story, an 80s throwback, and more.  Briefly:

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

by     Posted 215 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.]

Best Documentary Shortlist Announced; Includes THE ACT OF KILLING, STORIES WE TELL, and 20 FEET FROM STARDOM

by     Posted 259 days ago

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The Academy’s rules for Best Documentary are so arbitrary and asinine that I always hold my breath when it comes to their shortlist.  A list of final nominees is frustrating in any category, but it’s infuriating when a good film doesn’t even get a chance to compete.  Thankfully, there are plenty of good choices among this year’s shortlist.  The films eligible for a Best Documentary Oscar nomination include The Act of Killing (I’d be ballistic if this wasn’t in the running; my review), Cutie and the Boxer, God Loves Uganda, Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer, Stories We Tell (my review, although the movie didn’t hold up as well on a repeat viewing), and 20 Feet From Stardom (my review).  If you have HBO GO, you can check out Pussy Riot along with other shortlisted docs The Crash Reel, First Cousin Once Removed, and Life According to Sam.  As far as snubs go, I wish Casting By was in the running, but considering that it directly criticizes the Academy for not having an award for casting directors, I’m not surprised by its exclusion.

Hit the jump for the full shortlist.  Nominations for the 86th Academy Awards will be announced on January 16th.

FRUITVALE Wins 2013 Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award

by     Posted 1 year, 204 days ago

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Ryan Coogler‘s Fruitvale made audiences at this year’s Sundance Film Festival weep with the true story of Oscar Grant, who was murdered by BART Station police in 2009.  At last night’s awards ceremony, Coogler’s debut feature was awarded with both the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award, which made it the first film to win in both categories since 2009′s Precious.  The Weinstein Company picked up the movie for $2 million after a heated bidding war, and I would expect a release sometime later this year.  Click here for my review.

Other winners included This Is Martin Bonner for “Best of NEXT” (voters must have connected with a movie where nothing happens), best screenwriting for Lake Bell for In a World… (click here for my review), and Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley for their tremendous performances in The Spectacular Now.  Hit the jump for the full list of winners.

Sundance 2013: First Images from BLOOD BROTHER, CUTIE AND THE BOXER, DIRTY WARS, and GIDEON’S ARMY

by     Posted 1 year, 262 days ago

The first batch of films that will be playing at the upcoming 2013 Sundance Film Festival were recently announced, and today we’ve got the first images from a few films that will be screening in competition as part of the U.S. Documentary category.  Briefly:

Hit the jump for the images and synopses.  The 2013 Sundance Film Festival runs January 17 – 27.

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