Director Ang Lee (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) turned in one of the year’s most stunning visual epics with his adaptation of Life of Pi and was rewarded with an Oscar for his work. Now you can enjoy the beautiful spectacle and powerful message of the story in the comfort of your own home with the movie’s release on Blu-ray. Life of Pi is one of those rare films where the 3D component actually complements the viewing experience in a noticeable way, which is why it’s drawn comparisons to James Cameron’s Avatar. This description works just fine on a superficial level, but Life of Pi has so much more to offer; new discoveries both on screen and embedded within the story make repeat watching a rather rewarding experience. Hit the jump for my review of Life of Pi on Blu-ray.
Here’s a brief look at this week’s new Blu-ray titles:
Hit the jump for extras details on all of the aforementioned releases.
2013’s box office downturn stretched to its sixth frame this weekend, as Warner Brothers’ Jack the Giant Slayer failed to justify its giant pricetag. From 3,525 locations, the fairytale adaptation took in an estimated $28 million – more than its Friday estimate promised, but less than half of what The Lorax delivered at this time last year. The weekend’s other offerings fared little better though, in the case of The Last Exorcism Part II, a small opening was mitigated by an even smaller budget.
|| Jack the Giant Slayer
|| Identity Thief
|| 21 & Over
|| The Last Exorcism Part II
|| Escape from Planet Earth
|| Safe Haven
|| Silver Linings Playbook
|| A Good Day to Die Hard
|| Dark Skies
I just finished live-blogging the Oscars. My brain hurts. It wasn’t a very good show, and it was a ceremony unworthy of all the great films we saw in 2012. Briefly, the prognosticators were correct and Argo took Best Picture. Ang Lee won his third Oscar and his second Best Director Oscar for Life of Pi, a film that also took home awards for Best Cinematography, Best Score, and Best Visual Effects. In the acting categories, Daniel Day-Lewis won Best Actor for Lincoln, Jennifer Lawrence won Best Actress for Silver Linings Playbook, Christoph Waltz won Best Supporting Actor for Django Unchained, and Anne Hathaway won Best Supporting Actress for Les Miserables.
Hit the jump to check out the full list of winners.
Alas, we’ve come to the end. The 85th Academy Awards will take place tomorrow evening, after which the past year of maneuvering, campaigning, and controversy-drumming will be rendered obsolete as we wipe the slate clean and start the next awards season cycle anew. Over the past six days, we’ve been taking a look back at the 2012 awards race in a number of categories, chronicling the ebbs and flows that have led us to today. This past year was one of the more crazy awards seasons in recent memory, but at least it’s been interesting. Today we close out our Road to Oscar feature with the final category, Best Picture. Hit the jump to read on, and click here to read our predictions for tomorrow night’s ceremony.
For proof that 2012 was a nutty year for awards contenders, look no further than the Best Director category. Over the past few days, we’ve been looking back how the ebbs and flows of the past 12 months have shaped the awards race in a number of categories, and one of the most dynamic shifts came with Best Director. After the jump, we run down how the race for Oscar glory progressed over the past few months to give us the five nominees who will be vying for the gold on Oscar Sunday. Hit the jump to read on.
Last night, the Motion Picture Sound Editors handed out their 60th Annual Golden Reel Awards. Life of Pi was able to pick up Sound Editing (Music) and Sound Editing (Dialogue and ADR), but Skyfall stepped in to net Sound Editing (Special Effects and Foley). Les Miserables took an easy win with Sound Editing (Music in a Musical Feature Film), but any of these contenders could emerge victorious on Oscar night. Les Mis has the benefit of changing how singing was recorded during shooting (live instead of playback), Life of Pi is looking like the heavy favorite to take the technical categories, and Skyfall could play the spoiler. Keep in mind that the Best Sound Editing category also has Best Picture-favorite Argo as well as Django Unchained. Like most of the categories at this year’s Oscars, it’s anyone’s game.
Is an Argo Best Picture win now inevitable? The 2013 British Academy of Film and Television Awards (BAFTA Awards) were handed out this evening, and director Ben Affleck’s thriller continued its domination of awards season by landing the Best Film and Best Director prizes. The BAFTAs have always been an important bellwether for predicting Oscar, but they may be even more in tune with the Academy this year as a rule change allowed the entire BAFTA voting body to vote on every award (like the Oscars), instead of writers only voting for screenplay, actors only voting for acting, etc.
Les Miserables won the most BAFTAs of the night, taking home four trophies including Best Supporting Actress for Anne Hathaway (duh) and Best Production Design (over Anna Karenina? Really?). The winners actually lined up pretty closely with my current Oscar predictions, though most were surprised to see David O. Russell take home the Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar over Lincoln and Argo. Jessica Chastain and Jennifer Lawrence were also overtaken in Best Actress by Emmanuel Riva for Amour, who has emerged as a strong possibility in a tough category. Hit the jump for the full list of winners.
All week long, rumors have circulated about a “top-secret” event taking place in Los Angeles next weekend. We mentioned that an announcement was forthcoming back on Monday or Tuesday, and in the time since…well, lemme tell ya: you wouldn’t believe some of the crazy theories and rumors people emailed in to Limited Paper HQ. We heard “it’s a Banksy show”, that “it’s definitely a Hanksy show”, that it was an all-Olly-Moss joint, that an entire crew of artists were involved and that they’d all been forced to sign contracts preventing them from revealing anything about this mystery event prior to the official announcement. Somewhere in the middle of all that, Gallery1988’s Twitter feed promised that whatever was being planned would be a “game-changer”. What’s the truth? Find out after the jump.
Last week, BAFTA premiered special posters for their Best Picture nominees. Today, the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences had followed suit by teaming up with Gallery1988 and various artists to create posters for this year’s Best Picture Oscar nominees. There are some impressive posters, and I’m curious to see if they’re going to go on sale at some point. The Academy’s website lists the dimensions and type of production (screen print), which leads me to believe that these might be available for purchase some day. I’m sure there are plenty of readers who would love to get their hands on Mark Englert‘s print for Django Unchained. [Update: Gallery1988 has tweeted the following: "G1988 x The Academy. Official. 2/14 - 2/17. More soon." so it looks like you should get your wallets ready, and keep an eye on their official website.]
Hit the jump to check out the posters. The Academy Awards will be held on February 24th at 7pm EST on ABC.
As we move closer towards the 85th Annual Academy Awards, a number of other awards ceremonies are taking place to honor the best of moviemaking in 2012. One such ceremony is the 3D Creative Arts Awards which were held Wednesday night, and director Ang Lee’s Life of Pi swept a number of categories including Best Live-Action 3D Feature and 3D Sequence/Moment of the Year for the fish flying over the boat scene. The ambitious adaptation is coming off a strong showing at the Visual Effects Society Awards earlier this week, and looks to be a solid contender at the Oscars in the technical categories.
Elsewhere at the 3D Creative Arts Awards, Brave was named Best Animated 3D feature, The Avengers won Best Use of 2D to 3D Conversion, and Transformers: The Ride won Themed Attraction. Hit the jump for the full list of winners.
Shortly after Ang Lee’s Life of Pi opened, a friend of mine called wanting to talk about the film. After hearing how much he loved the movie, he then revealed something that surprised me: he didn’t know Richard Parker (the name of the tiger) was CG until the ending credits. While I was extremely impressed with the visual effects in Life of Pi, I had no idea people might believe a CG tiger was real, and it’s a testament to how far the industry has come in terms of VFX. It also explains why after talking to Visual Effects Supervisor Bill Westenhofer and Animation Director Erik De Boer on the red carpet at the VES Awards last night, the film went on to win four awards including Outstanding Visual Effects in a Visual Effects-Driven Feature Motion Picture; Outstanding Animated Character in a Live Action Feature Motion Picture; Outstanding FX and Simulation Animation in a Live Action Feature Motion Picture; and Outstanding Compositing in a Feature Motion Picture.
During my interview with Westenhofer and De Boer we talked about the collaboration process with Ang Lee, the one shot in the film that they worked on until the very last second, how people believe the tiger is real, and future projects. Hit the jump to watch and if you missed my interview with Lee at the VES Awards, click here.
If we’re going to look at the Hollywood guilds/societies as a predictor for what will win at the Oscars, then Life of Pi will be the film to beat. Ang Lee‘s drama won four categories at last night’s Visual Effects Society Awards including Outstanding Visual Effects in a Visual Effects-Driven Feature Motion Picture; Outstanding Animated Character in a Live Action Feature Motion Picture; Outstanding FX and Simulation Animation in a Live Action Feature Motion Picture; and Outstanding Compositing in a Feature Motion Picture. Brave also picked up four awards, but that doesn’t seem to be as much of a factor, and the Best Animated Film category is still very much in question with Frankenweenie and Wreck-It Ralph as contenders. As for television, Game of Thrones was the unsurprising winner as the show also netted four awards.
Hit the jump for a full list of winners, and for Steve’s interviews at VES, click on the respective links for Ang Lee and cinematographer Wally Pfister (The Dark Knight Rises).
There was a time when everyone said Life of Pi couldn’t be made. Most said trying to adapt Yann Martel’s novel was a fool’s mission. And back in May, 2010, after almost reaching the starting gate, the adaptation was put on hold when the studio demanded a lower budget. But that didn’t stop director Ang Lee, and after some compromise and with a lot of perseverance, he eventually got the green light and the film has now made over $500 million at the worldwide box office and it’s nominated for 11 Academy Awards. Not bad for an unfilmable movie.
At tonight’s VES Awards I spoke to Lee on the red carpet. We talked about the awards season experience, the reaction of fans around the world, the believability of the computer-generated tiger, Richard Parker, visual art vs. visual effects and how they contribute to a cinematic story, and more. Hit the jump to watch.
Winners of the 66th BAFTA Awards will be announced on February 10th, and artist Jonathan Burton has drawn up posters for the Best Picture nominees Lincoln, Argo, Zero Dark Thirty, Life of Pi, and Les Miserables. These are some nice posters, and I wish the Oscars would do something similar. Speaking of the BAFTAs, I’m curious to see if they follow suit with the PGA Awards and the SAG Awards and give Best Picture to Argo. Adam recently pointed out to me that this year could be like 1995 where Apollo 13 picked up the PGA, SAG, and DGA but lost out on Best Picture to Braveheart. Of course, Apollo 13 had a Best Director nomination, and Argo doesn’t [Correction: Ron Howard was not nominated for Best Director, making the comparisons to Argo even more apt]. Competition-wise, it’s going to be an interesting Academy Awards.
Hit the jump to check out the posters. The 85th Annual Academy Awards will be held on February 24th.