ARGO, ZERO DARK THIRTY, SEARCHING FOR SUGAR MAN, BREAKING BAD, LOUIE, and More Win WGA Awards

by     Posted 1 year, 162 days ago

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The Writers Guild of America Awards were held tonight, and Ben Affleck‘s Argo continued its sweep through awards season by netting Best Adapted Screenplay for writer Chris TerrioMark Boal won Best Original Screenplay for the film that will actually continue to resonate for years to come, Zero Dark Thirty.  Meanwhile, Malik Bendejelloul‘s won Best Documentary Screenplay for the wonderful Searching for Sugar Man.  Over on the TV side, Breaking Bad won Best Drama Series, Louie won Best Comedy Series, and Girls won Best New Series.  Hatfields & McCoys and Game Change continued their awards winning streaks by picking up Best Long Form (Original) and Long Form (Adapted), respectively.  Finally, Portlandia beat out some stiff competition (such as The Daily Show and The Colbert Report) to pick up Best Comedy/Variety.

Ben Affleck Wins Directors Guild Award for ARGO; Rian Johnson and Lena Dunham Win TV Awards for BREAKING BAD and GIRLS

by     Posted 1 year, 176 days ago

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The freight train that is Argo kept on trucking last night.  Though the film’s Best Picture Oscar chances were all but dashed when Ben Affleck was snubbed for Best Director (it’s incredibly rare for a movie to win Best Picture without a Best Director nomination), the film picked up the top awards at two major guilds—the Screen Actors Guild and the Producers Guild.  Now two becomes three, as the Directors Guild Awards were held last night and Argo pulled off the hat trick by landing Affleck the Best Director DGA trophy.

There is one major precedent that everyone keeps pointing towards with regards to Argo: 1995’s Apollo 13.  That film won the PGA, DGA, and SAG awards, only to find Ron Howard left out of the Best Director Oscar nominations and it ultimately lost Best Picture to Braveheart.  Is Argo in the same boat as Apollo 13 or can it pull off the win?  Furthermore, who wins Best Director at the Oscars?  Hit the jump for more, along with the full list of DGA winners that includes Looper’s Rian Johnson for his work on Breaking Bad and GirlsLena Dunham.

SAG Winners Announced; ARGO Takes Best Motion Picture Ensemble; DOWNTON ABBEY Wins Best Drama Series Ensemble

by     Posted 1 year, 183 days ago

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The Oscars picture is starting to emerge.  Last night, Argo won the Producers Guild Award for Best Picture, and tonight Ben Affleck‘s drama has won the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture.  With tonight’s win, Argo is slowly moving towards being the first film since Driving Miss Daisy to win Best Picture at the Oscars even though the director didn’t pick up a nomination.  Like Driving Miss Daisy, Argo will have managed the incredible task of directing itself.  The night’s other film actor winners included Daniel Day-Lewis, Jennifer Lawrence, Tommy Lee Jones, and Anne Hathaway.  It will be interesting to see how these will match up with the Oscar winners.  Over on the TV side, Downton Abbey broke Homeland‘s awards-streak by picking up Best Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series.

Hit the jump for the full list of winners.

ARGO Wins 2013 Producers Guild Award for Best Picture; HOMELAND Wins Best Drama Series

by     Posted 1 year, 183 days ago

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We’re nearly a month away from the 85th Academy Awards, and Oscar prognosticators now turn their attention to the various guild awards ceremonies that will be taking place over the next couple of weeks.  The guilds are a major bellwether for Oscar since the crossover between guild voters and Oscar voters is significant, and the Producers Guild Awards were handed out last night, making this already wide open race even more interesting.  Argo won the top prize at the ceremony, positioning the film as a serious Best Picture contender despite Ben Affleck’s lack of a Best Director nomination.  Hit the jump for the full list of winners and what this means for Argo’s Oscar chances.

GAME CHANGE Blu-ray Review

by     Posted 1 year, 196 days ago

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I should probably admit my political bias up front: I enthusiastically voted for Barack Obama back in ‘08. That said, I’m not ashamed to confess I was equally riveted that same year by Republican candidate John McCain’s competing campaign, particularly any and all parts having to do with his running mate, Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin. Like most college-educated individuals – hell, any-educated individuals – I couldn’t take my confused eyes or bleeding ears off this bizarrely overconfident and suspiciously under-qualified woman who might end up our next president, should her white-haired running mate get elected and, well, croak. Matt Damon famously compared the whole scenario to “a really bad Disney movie.” To me, it was a potential horror flick. Thankfully, Obama won the election and, four years later, HBO Films has turned the near debacle into a thrilling political drama, which you can now see “from your house” on Blu-ray and DVD.  My review after the jump the Game Change Blu-ray after the jump.

2013 Golden Globe Winners Announced; ARGO Takes Best Picture (Drama), Best Director; LES MISERABLES Wins Best Picture (Comedy or Musical)

by     Posted 1 year, 197 days ago

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The 2013 Golden Globes have just wrapped up.  I only watched the last hour of the ceremony because the Globes no longer have their awards season power due to voting schedule changes.  Reading tweets and Facebook posts, it seems like it was a fairly entertaining show (keep an eye out for Jodie Foster‘s acceptance speech for her Lifetime Achievement Award).  As for the winners, they were very “Globes” in that they were more populist choices that are unlikely to have much bearing on the Oscars.  Argo may have had a good night at the Globes by winning Best Picture (Drama) and Best Director, but I still think Lincoln is the picture to beat when it comes to the Academy Awards, especially since Ben Affleck was snubbed for the Best Director Oscar nomination.

Hit the jump for the full list of winners.

New to Blu-ray: FRANKENWEENIE, DREDD 3D, ARCHER Season 3, COMPLIANCE, HIT & RUN, and More

by     Posted 1 year, 202 days ago

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The holidays are over, but there are plenty of new films hitting Blu-ray soon that would make perfect use of those gift cards you’ve been piling up.  Here’s a brief look at this week’s new Blu-ray releases:

Hit the jump for more details on the aforementioned releases.

HBO Adapting GAME CHANGE Sequel DOUBLE DOWN; Will Follow 2012 Presidential Election

by     Posted 1 year, 229 days ago

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HBO is developing Double Down, which, sadly, is not about KFC’s chicken-bacon-chicken sandwich.  According to THR, Double Down is based on an upcoming book by Game Change authors Mark Halperin and John Heilemann, and the story focuses on the 2012 presidential election.  If HBO can get director Jay Roach and screenwriter Danny Strong to return, they would have an Election Trilogy of sorts if you counted HBO’s 2008 movie Recount.

However, Double Down doesn’t seem like it would be as dramatic as Game Change since it lacks the colorful figure of Sarah Palin.  If anything, the 2012 election was fairly boring, as evidenced by pundits trying to stress how close the race was when really Obama always had the lead and never gave it up.  Yes, you could look at the closeness of the popular vote, but we don’t elect our leaders based on the popular vote, so that’s irrelevant.  I don’t know what Halperin and Heilemann hope to reveal with Double Down, but right now it looks pretty thin.

AFI Announces Top 10 in Film and TV for 2012 Including THE DARK KNIGHT RISES, DJANGO UNCHAINED, and MOONRISE KINGDOM

by     Posted 1 year, 230 days ago

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The American Film Institute has announced its annual Top 10 lists.  In the film category, this awards season’s usual suspects popped up as Zero Dark Thirty, Lincoln, Argo, Les Miserables and Silver Linings Playbook made the cut alongside Django Unchained and Moonrise Kingdom.  AFI is notable for also including a few popular titles on their lists (last year Bridesmaids and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo landed in the Top 10), and this year is no exception as fan-favorite The Dark Knight Rises nabbed a spot.  Notably absent, though, is Paul Thomas Anderson’s polarizing drama The Master.

On the TV side of things, Emmy-winner Homeland made the cut as well as Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, Louie, The Walking Dead, and FX’s American Horror Story.  AMC’s Mad Men landed on the list for a fifth time, making it the most recognized AFI Awards TV honoree in history.  Hit the jump to check out the full Top 10’s for both TV and Film.

HOMELAND and MODERN FAMILY Clean Up at Primetime Emmy Awards; MAD MEN Shut Out

by     Posted 1 year, 307 days ago

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The 2012 Primetime Emmy Awards were given out last night, and longtime favorite Mad Men had a pretty rough evening.  Matthew Weiner’s AMC drama was shut out in every category in which it was nominated (Christina Hendricks was robbed), denying the series a record-breaking fifth consecutive Best Drama Series Emmy in favor of Showtime’s excellent freshman series Homeland.  The cable thriller nearly swept the drama series category, even landing Damian Lewis a surprising Best Actor win over perennial favorite Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad) and Mad Men’s way overdue Jon Hamm.  It’s hard to complain, though, as Homeland had a positively stellar first season and star Claire Danes gave a powerhouse performance as a psychologically plagued CIA analyst, for which she was awarded Best Actress.

On the comedy side of things the awards were a tad more predictable, with ABC’s Modern Family pulling off another sweep in the genre. Julia Louis-Dreyfus took home the Best Actress award for her hilarious work on Veep, and Jon Cryer inexplicably won Best Actor in a Comedy for his role in Two and a Half Men despite that show not being funny.  Hit the jump to read the full list of winners.

2012 TCA Award Nominations – BREAKING BAD, GAME OF THRONES, HOMELAND, MAD MEN, and DOWNTON ABBEY Vie for Program of the Year

by     Posted 2 years, 52 days ago

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Yesterday we brought you the Critics’ Choice Award nominees.  Tonight belongs to the Television Critics Association.  Homeland tops the list with 4 nominations.  While it got the extra boost over established veterans in the Outstanding New Program category, the taut thriller earned its spots in Best Drama and Program of the Year as well as the nod to Claire Danes for her stellar performance.  The critics understandably still love Breaking Bad and Bryan Cranston, Mad Men and Jon Hamm, Louie and Louis C.K., Game of Thrones and Peter Dinklage, Parks and Recreation and Amy Poehler.  Creator/star Lena Dunham is the freshest face in the bunch, representing in both Individual Achievement in Comedy and Outstanding New Program with Girls.  But as always, there are a few head-scratchers.  Jessica Lange for American Horror Story is a legacy vote, and while her scenery-chewing was very entertaining—for Individual Achievement in Drama?  No.  And Smash somehow sneaked into Outstanding New Program rather than, say, Veep or Awake.

Still, the TCA always gets more right than they do wrong, especially with their neat Heritage Award.  (This year’s eclectic contenders are Cheers, Lost, Saturday Night Live, Star Trek, and Twin Peaks.)  Read the full list after the jump.

Screenwriter Danny Strong Talks HBO’s GAME CHANGE, Adapting Dan Brown’s THE LOST SYMBOL, and Lee Daniels’ THE BUTLER

by     Posted 2 years, 144 days ago

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HBO Films’ Game Change (premiering on March 10th) follows John McCain’s (Ed Harris) 2008 presidential campaign, from his selection of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin (Julianne Moore) as his vice presidential running mate to their ultimate defeat in the general election. Told through the eyes of McCain strategist Steve Schmidt (Woody Harrelson), the man who championed Palin for the ticket, the film revisits a defining moment in U.S. politics. It pulls back the curtain to show the intense human drama, and the strength of the performances, especially from Harris, Moore and Harrelson, create a riveting story that you just can’t stop watching, even though you know the final outcome. Directed by Jay Roach, the film also stars Ron Livingston, Peter MacNicol, Sarah Paulson, Jamey Sheridan and Bruce Altman.

During this recent exclusive phone interview with Collider, writer/co-executive producer Danny Strong talked about why he enjoys collaborating with Jay Roach (with whom he also did Recount with), why the Sarah Palin story is so intriguing and unique, the different types of research that he did in writing the film, his first reaction to seeing both Julianne Moore and Ed Harris in character, and Steve Schmidt’s reaction to the final film. He also talked about the appeal of taking on screenwriter duties for The Lost Symbol, the next Robert Langdon story from author Dan Brown, that it looks like his script for The Butler (with Lee Daniels directing) will go into production in the next three of four months, and how he’s looking forward to making his directorial debut. Check out what he had to say after the jump:

Full Trailer for HBO’s GAME CHANGE

by     Posted 2 years, 179 days ago

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The first full trailer for HBO’s Game Change has gone online. Directed by Jay Roach (Recount), the film follows the behind-the-scenes turmoil of the 2008 John McCain Presidential campaign. While we’ve previously seen tiny bits of Julianne Moore’s performance as Sarah Palin, this full trailer puts her front and center with stunning results. Moore has gone above and beyond here to embody the former Vice Presidential candidate, and nails all the nuances of Palin’s character. Roach and screenwriter Danny Strong previously teamed up for the stellar Recount, and it looks as though they’ve expertly executed yet another real-life political drama. While some of Palin’s behavior in the trailer might come across as staged, the film is based on John Heilemann and Mark Halperin’s book of the same name which was the culmination of their unrivaled access to both Presidential campaigns.

Hit the jump to check out the trailer. The film also stars Ed Harris, Woody Harrelson, Ron Livingston, Sarah Paulson, Peter MacNicol, Justin Gaston, Larry Sullivan, Jamey Sheridan, and Melissa Farman. Game Change premieres on HBO March 10th.

No Fooling, Winter Is Coming Back: GAME OF THRONES Returns April 1st; Other HBO Premieres Announced

by     Posted 2 years, 197 days ago

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We knew Game of Thrones would return for its second season in April 2012, but we didn’t know when.  There were 30 possible options!  Now HBO has revealed the April wait will be non-existent (unless you’re counting the hours).  Game of Thrones returns April 1st.  The new season will be 10 episodes long.

HBO also announced other premiers for its fall line-up.  The Lena Dunham comedy Girls arrives on April 15th, Veep, starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus, premieres on April 22nd.  As for HBO movies, Jay Roach‘s political drama Game Change debuts on March 10th.  The two hour film centers on John McCain‘s 2008 presidential campaign and stars Ed Harris as McCain and Julianne Moore as Sarah Palin.  And while all of this sounds well and good, it’s all about getting back to Westeros.  If you haven’t seen the teaser trailer for season two of Game of Thrones (or you just want to watch it again), hit the jump.

Teaser Trailer for GAME CHANGE Starring Ed Harris as John McCain and Julianne Moore as Sarah Palin

by     Posted 2 years, 220 days ago

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HBO has released their first teaser trailer for Game Change, a telepic about John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign.  It is a well-structured 52 seconds.  First, Ed Harris looks just like McCain when you stick a hairpiece on him.  A speech by Woody Harrelson (playing McCain’s advisor Steve Schmidt) builds nicely to the big reveal of Julianne Moore as Sarah Palin.  Plenty have tried on a Palin impression in the last couple years.  Is it any surprise that Moore’s, in just one sentence, sounds good enough to sustain a feature-length character arc?

Ron Livingston, Sarah Paulson, Peter MacNicol, Justin Gaston, Larry Sullivan, Jamey Sheridan, and Melissa Farman also star.  Game Change was directed by Jay Roach and written by Danny Strong, who previously collaborated on the HBO movie Recount, which centered on the 2000 election.  Game Change will premiere in March 2012.  Watch the trailer after the break.

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