THAT MOMENT Provides a Snapshot of the Film Industry in 1999

by     Posted 15 days ago

paul-thomas-anderson-magnolia-documentary

Last night I opened up an article I had earmarked earlier in the day and watched That Moment, the amazingly candid and engaging 72 minute documentary included on the 2000 DVD release of writer/director Paul Thomas Anderson‘s 1999 epic Magnolia.  And I was hit with a wave of nostalgia unlike anything I had felt in quite some time.  It might be odd that I would find the fanfare that greeted the 25th anniversary of 1989′s Batman to be little more than noise, only to be almost overcome by a 14 year old DVD supplement. But that’s what happened.

Of course, it probably helps that I watched this doc obsessively upon its release.  I was just starting to fall in love not only with film, but with the process of making it, and I must have sat down to watch this thing at least 20 times within my first year of owning the DVD.  The nostalgia didn’t come as a fondess for that time in my life though. It came in the form of a bittersweet remembrance of how things used to be in Hollywood not all that long ago.  Or, perhaps, as someone who didn’t even live in California at the time, a remembrance of the way I imagined things to beHead below for more.

HER Blu-ray Review

by     Posted 42 days ago

her-blu-ray-review-joaquin-phoenix

Prior to the release of Spike Jonze’s love story Her last year, the film was essentially the butt of a joke.  A guy falls in love with his phone?  Ridiculous.  How would that even work?  Well the key, apparently, is Spike Jonze.  The filmmaker turned a very simple and potentially laughable premise into one of the most engaging, affecting, and emotional love stories in recent memory.  Her isn’t just about how a guy falls in love with his phone, it’s about how we, humanity, love one another in the modern age.  It’s one of the things that makes us uniquely human, and Jonze explores issues relating to relationships—both romantic and platonic—against a gorgeous and fascinating sci-fi backdrop to phenomenal results, anchored by an incredible, delicate lead performance from Joaquin Phoenix.  Read my full Her Blu-ray review after the jump.

New to Blu-ray: HER, ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK, FAST & FURIOUS 6-Movie Collection, and More

by     Posted 73 days ago

her-blu-ray-orange-is-the-new-black-blu-ray

This week’s new Blu-ray releases include one of the best films of 2013, quite possibly the most popular new TV series of last year, a pair of films that failed to catch on at the box office earlier this year, and a box set of an ongoing feature film franchise.

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

by     Posted 147 days ago

oscars-gravity-12-years-a-slave

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.

Oscar Beat: Breaking Down This Year’s Toughest Races

by     Posted 160 days ago

oscars-mcconaughey-ejiofor-lawrence-nyongo-slice

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 161 days ago

alfonso-cuaron-slice

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.

Best Picture Nominee Posters Recreated in LEGO Form

by     Posted 162 days ago

best-picture-lego-posters-slice

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.

Awards Roundup: HER and CAPTAIN PHILLIPS Take WGA Awards, GRAVITY Wins Cinematography Honors, and FROZEN Lands Annie Trophy

by     Posted 173 days ago

her-gravity-frozen

A trio of award organizations handed out prizes last night: the Writers Guild of America, the American Society of Cinematographers, and the International Animated Film Association’s Annie Awards.  In a bit of an upset at the WGA Awards, Spike Jones took home Best Original Screenplay for Her over American Hustle, and Billy Ray nabbed Best Adapted Screenplay honors for Captain Philips over The Wolf of Wall Street and Before Midnight.  It should be noted, though, that due to eligibility rules, Adapted Screenplay Oscar nominee 12 Years a Slave was ineligible for the WGA trophy.

Hit the jump for more, including the full list of winners from the organizations and some Oscar analysis from yours truly.

Watch: Jonah Hill Stars in SNL’s HER Parody ME; Plus Leonardo DiCaprio Recreates Classic TITANIC Scene in Monologue

by     Posted 180 days ago

jonah-hill-her-parody-me

Jonah Hill hosted last night’s installment of Saturday Night Live, and the episode put a couple of funny spins on popular films.  The highlight was probably the Her parody Me, in which Hill (complete with mustache and high-waist pants) assumed Joaquin Phoenix’s role from the Best Picture-nominated Spike Jonze film.  In this parody, Hill plays a guy so anti-social that his Operating System voice is himself, hence the title.  It’s a sharp pre-recorded segment and it features a fantastic cameo from a familiar face towards the end.  Additionally, Hill was joined onstage by his The Wolf of Wall Street co-star Leonardo DiCaprio during his monologue, and the two wonderfully recreated a rather iconic scene from Titanic.

Hit the jump to watch both videos.

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

collider-top-5-slice

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.

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

by     Posted 190 days ago

12-years-a-slave-slice

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.

Trailer for HER: LOVE IN THE MODERN AGE, a Lance Bangs Documentary about Spike Jonze’s Oscar-Nominated Film

by     Posted 190 days ago

her-joaquin-phoenix-slice

This morning’s announcement of the 86th Annual Academy Awards nominations included the sorta surprise nods for Spike Jonze’s Her.  Starring Joaquin Phoenix and the voice of Scarlett Johansson, Her is now up for Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay, Best Production Design, Best Original Score and Best Original Song.  If you haven’t checked out the film in the theaters yet, you should definitely do so, as we talked about on a recent podcast.  Now, a new documentary about the film from director Lance Bangs (The Work of Director Spike Jonze) has released a trailer.  Titled Her: Love in the Modern Age, it features reflections and reactions to the film from some of today’s cultural icons.

Hit the jump to watch the trailer.

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

by     Posted 190 days ago

2014-oscars-slice

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

2014-oscars-slice

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.

THE COLLISION: Episode 73 – HER

by     Posted 193 days ago

collision-podcast-slice

This week on The Collision, we talk about Spike Jonze‘s wonderful new film, Her.  We discuss the movie’s virtues, why its one-line description may be too much of a hurdle for some people, and then we move to a larger discussion about how communications technology has changed personal relationships and individual behavior in the Internet age.  We’re looking at you, Internet trolls.

Click here to listen to the new episode of The Collision, click here for the previous episode (“Looking Ahead at 2014″), 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, @AdamChitwood, and @DrClawMD (Dave Trumbore).

Click Here