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

by     Posted 216 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.]

Two New VFX Featurettes for STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS Courtesy of ILM

by     Posted 225 days ago

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ILM has released two new VFX featurettes for Star Trek Into Darkness, which is on the short list for a Visual Effects Oscar.  The first one is more of a montage of VFX shots that takes viewers behind the scenes of the opening action sequence that takes place on the vibrantly colored planet that just so happens to house an active volcano, a breakdown of the Enterprise’s hangar, and a wormhole space chase.  The second video takes a more in-depth look into the action sequence on the red planet, so keep an eye out for future featurettes that further explore the movie’s most intense scenes.  Hit the jump to watch.

114 Scores Eligible for Oscar Consideration Including Hans Zimmer’s MAN OF STEEL, John Williams’ THE BOOK THIEF, and Steven Price’s GRAVITY

by     Posted 251 days ago

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The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has unveiled the list of 114 original scores that are eligible for the Best Original Score Oscar.  Though John Williams has worked almost exclusively with Steven Spielberg for the past few years, he’s eligible this year for scoring director Brian Percival’s Holocaust film The Book Thief.  Prolific composer Hans Zimmer has three scores in the running with Rush, Man of Steel, and 12 Years a Slave, and other notable scores include Steven Price’s excellent Gravity, David Wingo’s work on Mud, Ramin Djawadi’s rocking Pacific Rim score, Michael Giacchino’s Star Trek Into Darkness, and the collaboration between Arcade Fire’s William Butler and musician Owen Pallett on Her.  Frustratingly, though, Steven Price’s The World’s End score appears to have been deemed ineligible, presumably due to the abundance of pre-existing tracks.

Hit the jump to see the full list of eligible scores and for my thoughts on the early Oscar favorites.  The 86th Academy Award nominations will be announced January 16th.

Oscar Visual Effects Short List Includes PACIFIC RIM, OBLIVION, THE HOBBIT, and GRAVITY; MAN OF STEEL Fails to Make the Cut

by     Posted 258 days ago

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The Motion Picture Academy of Arts & Sciences has announced its short list for the films that will vie for the Best Visual Effects Oscar.  A total of 10 films will compete in a vfx “bakeoff” in January, where select scenes from each movie are shown to the voting members.  Among the short listed titles are Pacific Rim, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Iron Man 3, World War Z, The Lone Ranger, Star Trek Into Darkness, and of course Gravity.  Curiously, Warner Bros.’ Man of Steel failed to make the cut, as did Ender’s Game and The Wolverine.  Though critics were mixed on Man of Steel and Ender’s Game, both films showcased some seriously excellent visual effects—especially Ender’s Game—so it’s surprising to see them left off this Oscar short list.

Hit the jump to check out the full list of films that made the cut, and sound off in the comments with which one you think featured the best visual effects of the year. The 86th Academy Awards will be held on March 1st, 2014. 

Benedict Cumberbatch Defends Khan Reveal in STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS; Says It Was Thrilling for Audiences

by     Posted 260 days ago

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Yesterday, we reported that J.J. Abrams regretted putting so much emphasis on the Khan reveal in Star Trek Into Darkness and should have been upfront with the character in the first place.  He then put the blame on Paramount for pushing the Khan mystery because the studio didn’t want to alienate audiences who weren’t Trek fans.  In a recent interview, Benedict Cumberbatch said he believed the reveal worked, or at least it did when he saw it with an audience.  “That worked to an extent,” said Cumberbatch, adding, “for those people [who didn't know], it was a good thing.”  He has a point.  Sometimes we—both Internet bloggers and commenters—forget about the Internet bubble and that not everyone is clinging to every piece of news about an upcoming movie.  I still have a myriad of problems with the film, but I applaud Cumberbatch for continuing to support the decision.

Hit the jump to watch the video of Cumberbatch’s full response.  He’ll next be heard as the dragon Smaug in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, which opens on December 13th.

J.J. Abrams Says He Regrets Hiding the STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS Khan Reveal; Talks Joe Cornish Directing TREK 3

by     Posted 261 days ago

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While this year’s sequel Star Trek Into Darkness was a sizable commercial success and garnered mostly positive reviews from critics, many longtime Trek fans weren’t so keen on director J.J. Abrams’ follow-up.  One of the key criticisms launched at Into Darkness was its heavy riffing on previous Trek film Wrath of Khan, specifically Abrams and Co.’s coyness about the true identity of Benedict Cumberbatch’s villainous character.  The team wanted to keep the film’s Big Bad a surprise until opening weekend, and they went to great lengths to conceal the fact that Cumberbatch was indeed playing Khan.

Abrams is currently knee-deep in pre-production on Star Wars: Episode VII, but he recently spoke frankly about Star Trek Into Darkness, admitting that they probably should’ve been honest with fans by confirming that Khan was in the film.  Moreover, he addressed the possibility of Joe Cornish taking the helm of Star Trek 3.  Hit the jump to read on.

STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS Blu-ray Review

by     Posted 312 days ago

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When Star Trek Into Darkness came out it got a 87% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and was generally well received on the road to making over two hundred million dollars domestically, and nearly half a billion worldwide.  At a recent Star Trek convention, it was ranked the worst Trek movie, which means some fans think it’s worse than Star Trek: Nemesis or Star Trek V: The Final Frontier.  Now that it’s on home video, perhaps there’s a more rational approach to the film, which stars Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Simon Pegg and Benedict Cumberbatch.  My review of Star Trek Into Darkness follows after the jump.

J.J. Abrams Says the STAR TREK Video Game “Arguably Hurt” STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS

by     Posted 341 days ago

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Despite raking in a worldwide gross of $465 million and nabbing an 87% on Rotten Tomatoes, Star Trek Into Darkness has been facing some considerably loud negativity over the past few months.  Of course it doesn’t help when one of the writer/producers lambasts fans with a “fuck you” or when Paramount botches the Blu-ray release by spreading the special features out over various separate “exclusive” retail versions, but now director J.J. Abrams has spoken up about a different aspect of the film’s release that he felt personally affronted by: the loosely-related video game Star Trek.  Hit the jump for his surprising comments on why the game “hurt” Into Darkness.

J.J. Abrams and Simon Pegg Talk STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS on Blu-ray and Behind-the-Scenes Footage, Plus STAR TREK 3 and Its New Director

by     Posted 343 days ago

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Only at a party to celebrate the release of the Star Trek Into Darkness Blu-ray/DVD could you find yourself standing at the California Science Center beneath the wings of the awe-inspiring Space Shuttle Endeavour, as an obvious reminder of the human race’s enduring fascination with space and its exploration.  Along with being invited to attend the glamorous shindig, Collider was also given a spot on the white carpet to do interviews and get updates on where things stand with the Star Trek franchise.

Before heading into the party, J.J. Abrams (who will still be a producer on the third film, even though he’ll be too busy to direct with his attention focused on Star Wars: Episode VII) talked about why he enjoys including extensive behind-the-scenes footage on home entertainment releases, the daunting task of putting your own stamp on a much-loved franchise, how important it is for him to stay involved creatively (he’s already giving input as screenwriters Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci break the story), and how the next director needs to be someone who’s going to bring their own sensibility and not just do what they think he would want.  Actor Simon Pegg (“Scotty”) talked about how strange it will be not to have J.J. Abrams directing the next film, that he thinks a new director can only be good for the story, as long as it’s the right person, and how he’d love to see Scotty more involved in the action.  Check out what they had to say after the jump.

New to Blu-ray: STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS, HOMELAND Season 2, FRIDAY THE 13TH The Complete Collection, and More

by     Posted 344 days ago

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Here’s a brief look at this week’s new Blu-ray releases:

Paramount Re-Releases STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS and WORLD WAR Z Double Feature for Labor Day

by     Posted 358 days ago

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Missed Star Trek Into Darkness and/or World War Z earlier this year?  Don’t have any plans for the Labor Day holiday?  Then you’re in luck because Paramount is re-releasing both films as a double-feature for one week only!  Starting Friday, August 30th and running until Thursday, September 5th, you can relive two of the summer’s biggest action films in the same night.  While they won’t be playing in the IMAX format, you can catch both films in either 2D or RealD 3D.  Hit the jump for all the details.

Bill Hader on Doing a Voice for STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS, Voicing a Few Roles for PIXAR, SNL, SOUTH PARK, Future Projects, and More at D23

by     Posted 1 year, 11 days ago

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Did you know Bill Hader did a voice in J.J. AbramsStar Trek Into Darkness?  And did you know he recorded it just a short time before the film was released?  While I’d heard about it through a friend of mine, I’d never heard the real story from Hader himself.  So when I got to speak to him backstage at D23 earlier today, I made sure to ask him about it.  In addition, he talked about how taking a personal tour of Pixar led to him landing roles in some of their upcoming films, the upcoming season of South Park, SNL, plus future film projects, and more.  Hit the jump to watch.

Weekend Box Office: THE PURGE Takes First with $36.4 Million; THE INTERNSHIP Opens in Fourth

by     Posted 1 year, 72 days ago

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Between the record-breaking grosses of May and next week’s Man of Steel launch, this was supposed to be a quiet weekend at the box office. Universal’s The Purge had other plans. The low-budget horror film took first place and more than doubled its pre-release projections with an estimated $36.4 million from 2,536 locations. The box office bonanza did not extend to The Internship, however. The comedy opened in fourth with an estimated $18.1 million – half of what The Purge realized in 800 fewer theatres.

 Title Weekend Total
1.  The Purge $36,400,000 $36.4
2.  Fast & Furious 6 $19,800,000 $202.9
3.  Now You See Me $19,500,000 $61.3
4.  The Internship $18,100,000 $18.1
5.  Epic $12,100,000 $84.1
6.  Star Trek Into Darkness $11,700,000 $200.1
7.  After Earth $11,200,000 $46.5
8.  The Hangover III $7,380,000 $102.3
9.  Iron Man 3 $5,787,000 $394.3
10.  The Great Gatsby $4,230,000 $136.1

Weekend Box Office: FAST & FURIOUS 6 Leads Biggest Memorial Day Box Office of All Time

by     Posted 1 year, 86 days ago

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So far, 2013 has been a little light on winning weekends – even the phenomenal success of Iron Man 3 represented a decline from 2012 when The Avengers reigned. But the ridiculous bounty of big-time releases this holiday weekend has delivered a win over last year’s frame and set a new record for the biggest Memorial Day box office of all time.

 Title Weekend Total
1.  Fast & Furious 6 $98,528,000 $98.5
2.  The Hangover III $42,400,000 $54.2
3.  Star Trek Into Darkness $38,000,000 $146.8
4.  Epic $34,200,000 $34.2
5.  Iron Man 3 $19,424,000 $367.5
6.  The Great Gatsby 3D $13,705,000 $114.4
7.  Mud $1,980,000 $14.5
8.  42 $1,245,000 $91
9.  The Croods $1,215,000 $179.2
10.  Oblivion $815,000 $87.2

Chris Pine Talks STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS, the Nature of the Villain, The Future of the Franchise, and More

by     Posted 1 year, 89 days ago

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With Star Trek Into Darkness now playing around the world, our partners at Omelete recently sat down with Chris Pine.  During the interview, he talked about his favorite thing about the franchise and what it means to him, where he thinks Star Trek should go next, the challenges of shooting the sequel, the friendship between Kirk and Spock relative to the relationships with his fellow actors, and a lot more.  Hit the jump to watch.

Star Trek Into Darkness  also stars Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Karl Urban, Simon Pegg, Anton Yelchin, John Cho, Bruce Greenwood, Peter Weller, and Alice Eve.  The film is now playing in IMAX 3D and in 2D and 3D.

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