Watch: Superman Makes a Cameo in “Alternate Take” from GRAVITY

by     Posted 16 days ago

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We’re a day late on April Fool’s jokes, and while the holiday has become a major annoyance to almost everyone, there are those rare bits that just might make it all worth it.  Such is the case with a video featuring an “alternate take” from a scene in Alfonso Cuaron’s Oscar-winning Gravity, which finds Superman making a cameo appearance.  I was fully prepared to roll my eyes at yet another “funny” video before pressing play, but this one is extremely well done.  I’ll say no more for fear of ruining the gag, but it’s definitely worth a look.

GRAVITY Blu-ray Review

by     Posted 35 days ago

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Gravity just won seven Oscars, including two for editor/director Alfonso Cuarón, and was a blockbuster at the box office, grossing over $270 Million domestic and over $700 million worldwide.  It was a theatrical experience, meant to be seen in 3D on Imax in a Dolby Atmos theater.  Which means it’s exactly the sort of film that might not be as much fun to watch at home.  So how does it fare on the small screen? Sandra Bullock and George Clooney star in the film, and my review of the 2D version of Gravity on Blu-ray follows after the jump. 

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

by     Posted 92 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 92 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 94 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.

GRAVITY Returns to Theaters This Weekend

by     Posted 95 days ago

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After winning a Golden Globe for Best Director, Alfonso Cuarón’s Gravity will be returning to theaters this weekend.  In case you missed the buzz-worthy sci-fi thriller, you’ll now be able to experience it on the big screen.  It’s no coincidence that the 86th Annual Academy Awards’ nominations list will be unveiled this Thursday either.  As Adam has expressed in his Oscar Beat column, Gravity, its director, and star Sandra Bullock will likely be up for some major awards.  So whether you missed it the first time, you’re curious about all this awards talk, or you just want to see it in the theater again, this weekend’s your big chance!

Hit the jump for Gravity’s trailer, synopsis and poster.

How Did They Do That? Burning Questions Answered in New Behind-the-Scenes GRAVITY Featurette

by     Posted 116 days ago

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With Gravity, director Alfonso Cuaron brought mystique back to the movies.  The film is almost like a magic trick in that much of what happens onscreen seems physically impossible, and after I saw the film for the first time I remarked that I couldn’t wait to own the Blu-ray so I could pore over hours and hours of behind-the-scenes extras that reveal  how Cuaron pulled this off.  In the spirit of Oscar season, Warner Bros. has now released a new featurette that finally offers a behind-the-scenes look at how the film’s effects were created by Cuaron and cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki.  It’s a fascinating if brief look behind-the-scenes, and I hope there’s plenty more where this comes from on the eventual Blu-ray release.

The film is a major Oscar contender in a number of categories, but this featurette focuses mainly on the jaw-dropping visual effects and Lubzeki’s gorgeous cinematography as well as the metaphorical intentions of Cuaron and Jonas Cuaron‘s screenplay.  Hit the jump to watch the featurette.

12 YEARS A SLAVE and AMERICAN HUSTLE Lead Critics Choice Award Nominations

by     Posted 123 days ago

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The Broadcast Film Critics Association has unveiled its list of nominees for the upcoming Critics’ Choice Movie Awards, and 12 Years a Slave and American Hustle lead the pack with 13 nominations each—though three of Hustle’s nominations come from “Comedy” categories.  The BFCA added some genre categories last year for Action, Sci-Fi/Horror, and Comedy, so the list of nominations is a bit more diverse than those we’ve seen previously.  That being said, Brie Larson made the overall Best Actress cut for her excellent turn in Short Term 12, and it’s nice to finally see The World’s End and star Simon Pegg getting some attention (nicer still that BFCA recognizes actual comedies in the Best Comedy category, unlike the Golden Globes).  Other notable additions include Scarlett Johansson nabbing a Best Supporting Actress nod for her voice-only role in Her and Christian Bale landing a Best Actor nomination for the aforementioned American Hustle.

Hit the jump to check out the full list of nominations and to find out how closely the Critics’ Choice Awards correlate with Oscar.  The 19th annual Critics’ Choice Movie Awards will be held on January 16, 2014.

Sandra Bullock in Early Talks to Star in OUR BRAND IS CRISIS; George Clooney to Produce

by     Posted 128 days ago

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A Gravity reunion of sorts is in the works.  The Wrap reports that Sandra Bullock is in early talks to star in the political comedy Our Brand Is Crisis, which is being produced by George Clooney and Grant Heslov for Warner Bros.  Based on the 2005 documentary of the same name from Rachel Boynton, the film revolves around the use of American political campaign strategies in Bolivia to help elect Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada as president.  Clooney and Heslov have been developing the film for quite a while now, but Heslov tells The Wrap that he feels the time has come for Our Brand Is Crisis to move forward.  At this time, Clooney only intends to produce the film and has no plans to direct.

A deal is not yet in place for Bullock to star, and the actress is mulling over a couple of projects for her next film.  One such project is the Screen Gems caper The Perfect Heist which follows a female thief who, when her male accomplices are arrested, recruits their wives and girlfriends to save them.  Watch the trailer for the Our Brand Is Crisis documentary after the jump.

Oscar Beat: The Best Actress Race – Can Anyone Beat Blanchett?

by     Posted 146 days ago

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In Collider’s ongoing awards feature Oscar Beat, we recently took a look at the state of the Best Actor Oscar race, which is looking to be one of the most competitive in recent memory.  Likewise, this year’s Best Actress race is chock-full of fantastic performances and serious contenders, but we’ve had a frontrunner for the category since July and Cate Blanchett’s name remains atop the pile as we head into the thick of the race.  Will Blanchett remain the favorite over the next three months or is there another contender more worthy of the trophy?  Can any of the brilliant performances from this year’s smaller indies crack the top five?  Read on after the jump as we examine the current state of the Best Actress category.

Weekend Box Office: GRAVITY Hits New October Opening Record with $55.5 Million

by     Posted 194 days ago

gravity-george-clooney-sliceSci-fi has been redeemed this morning. In a year that produced genre disappointments like After Earth and Oblivion, original sci-fi has its first unqualified hit of 2013 with Gravity. The thriller soared to $55.5 million on its first weekend, or about $15 million more than even its most optimistic boosters put the film one week ago. More importantly, Gravity set a new record for October by topping Paranormal Activity 3’s $52.5 million debut.

 Title Weekend Total
1.  Gravity $55,550,000 $55.5
2.  Cloudy with a Chance 2 $21,500,000 $61.5
3.  Runner Runner $7,600,000 $7.6
4.  Prisoners $5,700,000 $47.8
5.  Rush $4,408,000 $18
6.  Don Jon $4,160,000 $16
7.  Baggage Claim $4,125,000 $15.1
8.  Insidious Chapter 2 $3,876,000 $74.7
9.  Pulling Strings $2,500,000 $2.5
10.  Enough Said $2,150,000 $5.13

TOP 5: GRAVITY, THOR: THE DARK WORLD Set Visit, THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG Trailer, BREAKING BAD, JACK RYAN: SHADOW RECRUIT Trailer

by     Posted 195 days ago

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As someone who has never considered 3D films to be more than a gimmick, here is something I never thought I would write: Alfonso Cuarón‘s Gravity in IMAX 3D is a stunning achievement that is not to be missed. You’ve probably read this advice over and over already, but seriously, do whatever you can to watch the film in this format. I honestly can’t imagine seeing it any other way and, while I understand not everyone has access to an IMAX theater, I have to believe that any other presentation type will do the pic a disservice. It’s the most awe-inspiring, immersive moviegoing experience I’ve ever had; the type of thing I’ll tell my kids about one day. I can heap praise its way all day, but speaking as concisely as possible, Gravity is science-fiction perfection.

Any guesses what our lead topic is this week? This installment of Top 5 features even more Gravity love, a recap of Steve’s Thor: The Dark World set visit coverage, a new trailer for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, more science fact-checking of Breaking Bad as well as a breakdown of our favorite series moments, and the first trailer for Chris Pine‘s Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit. As protocol states, a brief recap and link to each of the above is waiting after the jump.

Friday Box Office: GRAVITY Launches with Big $17.5 Million; RUNNER RUNNER Off To a Slow Start

by     Posted 195 days ago

gravity-sandra-bullock-sliceAfter what has proved a disappointing year for the sci-fi genre, Gravity is on pace for a surprisingly robust debut. The Warner Bros. thriller earned an estimated $17.5 million from 3,575 locations on Friday (including $1.4 million from Thursday late-night screenings) and is now targeting a three-day total of $48 million or higher. Initial projections for director Alfonso Cuaron’s feature were closer to $35 million, but with stellar reviews (98% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes) and a heavy presence in 3D and IMAX venues, it’s easy to see why the film’s prospects improved so dramatically. At this point, both George Clooney and Sandra Bullock are looking at new career-high openings with Gravity, and the film itself is poised to become one of October’s highest debuts of all-time.

The weekend forecast was not so sanguine for Runner Runner.  Fox’s R-rated thriller earned an estimated $2.75 million from 3,026 locations on Friday and is expected to fall short of $8 million this weekend.  We’ll have complete details and the top ten tomorrow.

 Title Friday Total
1.  Gravity $17,525,000 $17.5
2.  Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 $4,700,000 $43.7
3.  Runner Runner $2,750,000 $2.7
4.  Prisoners $1,730,000 $43.9
5.  Rush $1,400,000 $15.1

GRAVITY Review

by     Posted 197 days ago

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[This is a re-post of my review from the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival.  Gravity opens tomorrow.]

In the universe, we are so infinitesimal, and that realization is so scary and so beautiful. We’re on this little ball of dirt and water, and we live rich, complex lives, as the vastness of cold, dark space surrounds us. Our problems on Earth feel so insurmountable, and yet they’re nothing compared to the void above. We look up at the sky, and feel wonder, fear, freedom, and despair. With his space-set dramatic thriller Gravity, writer-director Alfonso Cuarón has conjured these emotions in one of the most immersive films I’ve ever seen. Through Cuarón’s movie, we see not only the fearsomeness of space and the awe of our planet, but all of the dazzling effects, breathtaking action, and electric thrills are in service to a sad, moving tale of being trapped by hopelessness and fighting to endure.

Sandra Bullock and Alfonso Cuarón Talk GRAVITY, Conveying the Physics of Space, Training for the Film, Seeing It for the First Time and DVD Extras

by     Posted 200 days ago

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Gravity is a truly remarkable and awe-inspiring film-going experience, unlike any other.  The heart-pounding, edge-of-your-seat thriller pulls you into the infinite realm of deep space, as you follow Dr. Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock), a brilliant medical engineer on her first shuttle mission with veteran astronaut Matt Kowalski (George Clooney).  When a seemingly routine mission turns into an unimaginable disaster, the survivors find themselves spiraling into the terrifying blackness.

During a press conference at the film’s press day, writer/director Alfonso Cuarón talked about conveying the physics of space properly, how talking to NASA astronauts informed what he wanted to accomplish with the film, working with his son Jonas on the script, why they chose to tell the story with such an economical narrative, and the decision not to show anyone back on earth, while actress Sandra Bullock talked about what attracted her to this role, retraining her body for the film, her reaction to seeing the finished product for the first time, what this experience taught her about herself, and the companion piece that will be included on the DVD.  Check out what they had to say after the jump. 

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