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

by     Posted 338 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.]

THE LONE RANGER Blu-ray Review

by     Posted 339 days ago

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The abject failure of The Lone Ranger produced its share of schadenfreude, particularly among people weary of star Johnny Depp and the kind of summer movie hubris that the western reboot seemed to embody in every frame. It was too bloated, too unwieldy, too full of itself and its own overblown event status to merit forgiveness. Audiences stayed away in droves, and not without good reason. There’s a lot here that just doesn’t work. And yet in a season dominated by grim, downbeat, unyieldingly bleak blockbusters, it brought an undeniable sense of fun that most critics completely overlooked. I’m not prepared to go all Tarantino on it, but I will say it shows signs of life that definitely merit a second look. Hit the jump for my full review of The Lone Ranger on Blu-ray.

2014 Razzie Nominations Include THE LONE RANGER, AFTER EARTH, GROWN UPS 2 and MOVIE 43

by     Posted 339 days ago

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The 2014 Razzie nominations list has been announced and it features all the usual suspects.  The Adam Sandler and Co. sequel, Grown Ups 2, leads the list with eight nominations, making every category except the one for Worst Actress.  That particular category features the list’s only (relative) surprises with nominations for both Naomi Watts (Diana and Movie 43, and Halle Berry for The Call and Movie 43.  Big-budget disappointments The Lone Ranger and After Earth each have multiple nominations, along with the expected fare of Tyler Perry movies and spoof comedies.  Hit the jump to view the full list and find out who takes home the awards on Saturday, March 1st. 

New to Blu-ray: ELYSIUM, PRISONERS, THE LONE RANGER, and More

by     Posted 1 year, 3 days ago

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

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

by     Posted 1 year, 15 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. 

TOP 5: CAPTAIN PHILLIPS, THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY, Lost Episodes of DOCTOR WHO, AMERICAN HUSTLE, Tarantino’s Top 10 Films of 2013 So Far

by     Posted 1 year, 69 days ago

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Having missed it during its highly successful theatrical run, I made an early trip to the video store (remember those?) this past Tuesday to pick up The Purge on Blu-ray. Like many, I was intrigued by the premise of a dystopian future America in which an annual night of crime-free killing known as “The Purge” is the key to the new U.S. of A.’s unprecedented prosperity. For an elevator pitch, my last sentence is intriguing stuff that leaves you wanting to know more about the world created by writer/director James DeMonaco. Unfortunately, I found the stellar logline to be the best thing going for The Purge as a majority of the film’s execution felt flat. I cared little to nothing about the Sandin family, was taken out of the movie during long stretches of characters searching aimlessly around the house with a flashlight, and felt the pic exchanged discernible commentary on societal violence for an all-out bloodbath that was not as much scary as it was a welcomed break from said extensive flashlight searching. Final verdict? Watch The Purge for the interesting premise, but don’t expect much in the way of scares or social commentary.

All new to home video discussion aside, this week’s Top 5 is filled to the brim with Captain Phillips interviews with Tom Hanks and more, a new trailer for Ben Stiller‘s The Secret Life of Walter Mitty including Matt and Steve’s impressions of the film, 106 lost episodes of Doctor Who potentially popping up in Ethiopia, a new trailer for David O. Russell‘s American Hustle, and Quentin Tarantino‘s top 10 films of 2013 to date. As you may be expecting, a brief recap and link to each of the above awaits after the jump.

Quentin Tarantino Elaborates on His Criticism of THE LONE RANGER; Comments on Ben Affleck as Batman

by     Posted 1 year, 71 days ago

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There’s no telling when we’ll see the next film from Quentin Tarantino, but the filmmaker has become quite chatty as of late with regards to what 2013 had to offer by way of new films and comic book movie news.  Last week, Tarantino revealed a list of his top 10 films of 2013 so far, and the compilation was unsurprisingly a grab bag of everything from indies to blockbusters; in addition to pics like Gravity and Frances Ha, the filmmaker included This Is the End and The Lone Ranger.  Many were a tad disappointed that Tarantino didn’t elaborate on any of his choices, but now the director has decided to comment on his list, specifically focusing on his criticisms of The Lone Ranger.  While he was at it, he also chimed in on the casting of Ben Affleck as Batman.  Hit the jump to read on.

Quentin Tarantino’s Top 10 Films of 2013 So Far Includes GRAVITY, THIS IS THE END, and THE LONE RANGER

by     Posted 1 year, 76 days ago

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Quentin Tarantino loves, loves, loves movies.  The filmmaker has made this abundantly clear not only through the various and obscure influences gleaned in his own films but also in his many lengthy discussions on any number of topics relating to film.  Tarantino makes a point to go to the movies as often as possible, and recently he has taken to publicly publishing a list of his Top 10 movies from each year.  He took 2012 off since he was understandably busy working on Django Unchained, but his 2011 and 2010 lists were gleefully varied, with movies like Midnight in Paris and The Social Network ranking right up there with The Three Musketeers and Jackass 3D.

It appears that Tarantino plans on publishing another full Top 10 list later this year, but he’s gotten a jump on things and released a list of his 10 favorite films of 2013 thus far.  As expected, there are more than a couple of surprising choices.  Hit the jump to take a look.

Disney and Jerry Bruckheimer Will Not Renew First-Look Deal

by     Posted 1 year, 91 days ago

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Producer Jerry Bruckheimer and Disney will go their separate ways when their contract ends in 2014.  Bruckheimer tells THR that “It’s time for us to tackle all kinds of movies, not just Disney movies,” which is an odd statement from someone who is currently working on Beverly Hills Cop 4 and Bad Boys 3.  If Bruckheimer has a deep desire to make movies that don’t fall into a blockbuster mold, we haven’t heard about it.  Bruckheimer will remain on board to produce Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean and National Treasure franchises, and says he wanted to continue his relationship with Disney on other movies, but “he’s confident he will get a deal,” at another studio.

Hit the jump for more including how The Lone Ranger factored into the decision.

Box Office: 2013′s Record Breaking Summer

by     Posted 1 year, 109 days ago

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Labor Day brings an official end to Hollywood’s busiest season which means it’s time to parse the numbers. If you’ve been following the box office for the past few months it won’t surprise you to learn that 2013 was the most profitable summer of all time with over $4.6 billion in domestic earnings. That’s a jump of almost 8% from last summer: a figure that is especially impressive when you recall that the 2013 lagged 14% behind 2012 in yearly earnings before the season started.

As expected, summer’s giant blockbusters closed that gap, but Tony Stark didn’t do it alone. Hit the jump for a breakdown of summer’s most notable box office moments.

THE COLLISION: Episode 52 – Westerns and THE LONE RANGER

by     Posted 1 year, 166 days ago

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This week on The Collision, we take advantage of the rare opportunity to talk about westerns.  We discuss why westerns are so rare, extoll the virtues of the genre, criticize Hollywood for forcing the genre into a blockbuster mold, the possibility of a resurgence for the genre, and how that resurgence might come about.  We also trash The Lone Ranger (there are minor spoilers).  As always, we finish up with our recommendations.

Click here to listen to the new episode of The Collision, click here for the previous episode (“The Heat and Women in Cinema”), 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). Hit the jump to check out the trailers for this week’s recommendations.

Weekend Box Office: DESPICABLE ME 2 Leads July Fourth Frame; THE LONE RANGER Misfires

by     Posted 1 year, 166 days ago

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With both May and June setting new monthly records in 2013, July got off to a great start thanks to Despicable Me 2. The animated sequel earned an estimated $82.5 million from 3,957 locations this weekend – making it one of the highest Independence Day debuts of all time. The holiday was not as kind to The Lone Ranger. The Disney feature earned an estimated $29.4 million from 3,904 venues this weekend and just $48.9 million since opening on Wednesday – a disappointing number from any angle.

 Title Weekend Total
1.  Despicable Me 2 $82,500,000 $142.1
2.  The Lone Ranger $29,430,000 $48.9
3.  The Heat $25,000,000 $86.3
4.  Monsters University $19,590,000 $216.1
5.  World War Z $18,200,000 $158.7
6.  White House Down $13,500,000 $50.4
7.  Man of Steel $11,415,000 $271.2
8.  Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain $10,100,000 $17.4
9.  This Is The End $5,800,000 $85.5
10.  Now You See Me $2,770,000 $110.4

TOP 5: THE LONE RANGER, 15 Movies You May Have Missed in 2013 So Far, Christian Bale Not Involved with JUSTICE LEAGUE, THE WAY, WAY BACK, Our Most Anticipated Movies: July to September

by     Posted 1 year, 167 days ago

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With a production budget in the neighborhood of $150 million and a worldwide pull of just under $50 million entering its second weekend, it’s probably fair to say that White House Down will ultimately be seen by the powers that be as a bust. Blame its proximity to the similarly themed Olympus Has Fallen (which, on the whole, received similar critical reaction but comparatively more box office success) if you will, but having watched and enjoyed the heck out of the film last night I believe at least some of the blame lies at the feet of Sony’s marketing. Whereas Fallen was packaged, and ultimately delivered, as a dead serious action/thriller, I don’t think White House Down marketing did enough to prep its potential audience members for the over-the-top, often times ridiculous, self-aware genre piece they would encounter. The best examples I can give to support this theory are the multiple scenes that left me laughing out loud while the majority of my fellow moviegoers sat quietly, unsure whether the movie was actually asking them to laugh with it or was just that silly and contrived. It’s possible that I’m going Roland Emmerich and co. too much credit, but I went with the former every single time and ended up having a great time with the film as a result.

All White House drama aside, this week’s Top 5 includes a slew of interviews from The Lone Ranger with Johnny Depp and more, a list of 15 movies from the first half of 2013 that you may have missed but definitely deserve a look, Christian Bale insisting that he is not involved with the Justice League movie in any way, The Way, Way Back interviews with Steve Carell and more, and a look at our most anticipated movies from July to September.

Gore Verbinski Talks THE LONE RANGER, What He Collects, Deleted Scenes, Filming On-Location, and More

by     Posted 1 year, 167 days ago

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With director Gore Verbinski’s The Lone Ranger opening this week, Disney held a big press junket Santa Fe, New Mexico.  While I’ve done a lot of interviews, it was incredibly cool to talk to the cast and filmmakers with the beautiful New Mexico desert behind us.  If you’ve missed the trailers, the story focuses on John Reid (Armie Hammer) surviving an attack, being saved by Native American warrior Tonto (Johnny Depp), and the two teaming up to fight injustice.  As you can see in this featurette, the production went to enormous lengths to film the majority of The Lone Ranger practically, and they shot at some amazing locations all around the country.  The film also stars Tom Wilkinson, Ruth Wilson, William Fichtner, Barry Pepper, James Badge Dale, and Helena Bonham Carter.

During my interview with Verbinski, he talked about a particular scene he was nervous to shoot, filming on location, deleted scenes, telling the film from Tonto’s perspective, what he likes to collect, and a lot more.  Hit the jump to watch.

James Badge Dale Talks THE LONE RANGER, the Experience of Making a Western, His Relationship with His Horse, Cowboy Boot Camp, and More

by     Posted 1 year, 169 days ago

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From Academy Award-winning director Gore Verbinski and producer Jerry Bruckheimer, The Lone Ranger is an action-adventure that tells the origin tale of the famed masked hero, John Reid (Armie Hammer), and how he became a legend of justice, with a little help from Native American warrior Tonto (Johnny Depp).  The movie also stars Tom Wilkinson, William Fichtner, Barry Pepper, James Badge Dale, Ruth Wilson and Helena Bonham Carter.

During this recent exclusive interview with Collider, the undeniably charming James Badge Dale (who plays the Lone Ranger’s older brother, Texas Ranger Dan Reid) talked about how cool it is to be in three of the biggest blockbusters of the summer (Iron Man 3, World War Z and The Lone Ranger), how The Lone Ranger was the most physically demanding, finding a treehouse out in Canyon de Chelly where he could grab a nap between takes, the process of finding the perfect cowboy hat for his character, working with a horse that was scared of gunfire, and the experience of cowboy boot camp.  Check out what he had to say after the jump, and be aware that there are some spoilers.

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