WAR HORSE Blu-ray Review

by     Posted 2 years, 201 days ago

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Steven Spielberg had two movies come out within days of each other at the end of 2011, and it’s weird how neither got the attention they deserved. War Horse was the best picture-nominated of the two, but the film made less than $80 Million at the box office. It deserved better, and now the film is on Blu-ray to be discovered. Jeremy Irvine stars alongside a horse in an episodic film about how his equine pal Joey goes through World War I. Our review of War Horse on Blu-ray follows after the jump.

2012 Oscar Nominations Announced; HUGO and THE ARTIST Lead the Pack

by     Posted 2 years, 273 days ago

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The nominations for the 84th Annual Academy Awards have finally been unveiled. Many of the categories have fallen in line just as most have predicted (I fared alright with my predictions, but not great), with Hugo scoring 11 nods, followed closely by The Artist with 10. The biggest surprises are War Horse and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close getting in for Best Picture, the exclusion of The Adventures of Tintin from Best Animated Feature, and The Tree of Life nabbing Best Picture and Best Director nods (hooray!). On the snub side of things, despite landing the most precursor critics awards of any other actor in the race thus far, Albert Brooks was denied a Best Supporting Actor nod for his stellar work in Drive (boo). Additionally, Tilda Swinton was overlooked for giving the best performance of the year in We Need to Talk About Kevin, and AMPAS has no love for Michael Fassbender‘s haunting work in Shame.

There’s still plenty to be happy about, as Gary Oldman has his first ever Oscar Nomination (yes, that’s right) and Melissa McCarthy is a Best Supporting Actress nominee. Hit the jump to check out the full list of nominees. The 84th Academy Awards will be presented by Billy Crystal on February 26th.

HUGO, DRAGON TATTOO, and THE ARTIST Among ACE Nominees for Excellence in Editing

by     Posted 2 years, 281 days ago

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The American Cinema Editors have announced their list of nominees for the 62nd Annual Eddie Awards. Before you brush editing off as an insignificant category, take note that no film has won the Best Picture Oscar without at least a Best Editing Eddie nomination in 20 years. Martin Scorsese’s longtime collaborator Thelma Schoonmaker was nominated for her work on Hugo, as were last year’s Oscar winners Angus Wall and Kirk Baxter for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Other films singled out include The Artist, The Descendants, Midnight in Paris, Moneyball, and Young Adult.

On the television side of things, Breaking Bad, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Friday Night Lights, and Game of Thrones all landed nods. Hit the jump to see the full list of nominees. ACE’s 62nd awards ceremony, hosted by Patton Oswalt, will be held February 18th.

THE ARTIST Wins Top Prize at Critics Choice Awards; George Clooney Named Best Actor

by     Posted 2 years, 285 days ago

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With each passing awards ceremony, it’s looking more and more likely that we’re in for a fairly boring/predictable Oscars this year. The Artist continues to dominate the precursor ceremonies as it took home the Best Picture and Best Director prize at the Critics Choice Awards. On the acting side of things, George Clooney was named Best Actor for his work in The Descendants, and Viola Davis won Best Actress for The Help. The Artist is our clear frontrunner headed towards Oscar night, and I don’t really think anything else will be able to take it down. I can’t really complain about any of the acting wins, though for what it’s worth I think Brad Pitt gave the best performance of the year in Moneyball.

Elsewhere, Drive won Best Action Movie (though it’s really a drama) Bridesmaids won Best Comedy, and Rango was named Best Animated Feature. Hit the jump to see the full list of winners.

Friday Box Office – THE DEVIL INSIDE Is the First Hit of 2012 with $16.9 Million Opening Day

by     Posted 2 years, 290 days ago

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The Devil Inside is a critical punching bag, but Paramount knew what they were doing with the marketing with this cheap $1 million acquisition.  The horror movie grossed $16.9 million opening day on its way to a potential $30 million weekend.  The Devil Inside has already become infamous for a terrible ending, so it’s unlikely this will hold up over the coming weeks, but a great start might be enough for the low-budget effort.  The top 5 is rounded out by the big holiday movies, with Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol and Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows leading the charge.  The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo continues to find an audience three weeks into its run—it may yet hit the $100 million mark.  War Horse came in at #5 while passing $50 million.

Title Friday Total
1 The Devil Inside $16,850,000 $16.9
2 Mission: Impossible 4 $6,213,000 $155.9
3 Sherlock Holmes 2 $4,285,000 $147.6
4 The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo $3,500,000 $69.0
5 War Horse $2,606,000 $50.8
5,565,000

TOP 5: GHOST RIDER SPIRIT OF VENGEANCE Set Visit, Benedict Cumberbatch Talks STAR TREK 2, Mondo’s Justin Ishmael, BRIDESMAIDS Sequel, WAR HORSE

by     Posted 2 years, 290 days ago

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With awards-season upon us, I’ve been doing my best to catch up with any potential contenders that I may have missed up to this point. Without a doubt, the standout of late has been writer/director Tate Taylor‘s The Help. I had heard from several friends that the pic was solid but nothing special. After finally getting a chance to sit down with it myself, I have to say that I disagree. I think it’s better than that. Not only is it filled with great performances, but it also finds a way to be more than a story of how a caring white person can help those otherwise hopeless black people. If only 2009′s The Blind Side could go back in time and take note.

But enough of my own cinematic experiences, in this week’s “Top 5″ you’ll find a recap of our visit to the Romanian set of Ghost Rider Spirit of Vengeance, Benedict Cumberbatch talking about his villainous role in J.J. AbramsStar Trek sequel, our interview with Mondo creative director Justin Ishmael, the possibility of a Bridesmaids world without Kristen Wiig, and video interviews with War Horse‘s Jeremy Irvine, Emily Watson, Tom Hiddleston and more. Hit the jump for a brief recap and link to each.

2012 Producers Guild Awards Nominations for Film and Television Announced; Nominees include THE ARTIST and GAME OF THRONES

by     Posted 2 years, 294 days ago

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The Producers Guild of America has announced the nominees for their 2012 awards.  The PGA chose ten nominees this year for Best picture, but the Oscars will choose between five and ten.  The PGA nominees include the usual suspects (The Artist, The Descendants, Hugo) as wellas movies that have stagnated in the awards race or never really got it into (Moneyball, The Help, The Ides of March).  If you want to get a good prediction for the Best Picture Oscar, the PGAs can be a good barometer.  Follow the PGA choice to the Director’s Guild of America choice to Best Director and finally to Best Picture.

Among the TV nominees were 30 Rock, Modern Family, Game of Thrones, and Mad Men.  I’m going to be generous and assume Breaking Bad was ruled ineligible and that’s why it wasn’t nominated.  Hit the jump for the full list of nominees.

Jeremy Irvine and Emily Watson WAR HORSE Interview

by     Posted 2 years, 297 days ago

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Now playing in theaters is director Steven Spielberg‘s fantastic new movie, War Horse.  Based on the Award winning play (which is based on Michael Morpurgo’s book) and set during World War I, War Horse tells the story of “the remarkable friendship between a horse named Joey and a young man called Albert (Jeremy Irvine), who tames and trains him.”  And don’t just take my word for it, early screenings have been very positive and the drama is heading into Oscar season with very positive buzz, especially after the National Board of review named War Horse one of the best 10 films of the year.  The film also stars Emily Watson, David Thewlis, Peter Mullan, Niels Arestrup, Tom Hiddleston, Benedict Cumberbatch, Patrick Kennedy, and Toby Kebbell.  You can watch the trailer here and here’s seven clips.

To help promote the film, DreamWorks recently held a press junket in New York City and I was able to talk with Irvine and Watson on camera.  While I only had a few minutes, they each talked about how they got cast in War Horse, what it like to work for Spielberg, deleted scenes, and a lot more.  Check out what they had to say after the jump.

Friday Box Office – MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – GHOST PROTOCOL Stays Ahead of Holiday Competition

by     Posted 2 years, 297 days ago

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With three days before Hollywood’s jam-packed holiday season comes to a close, and with no major new studio releases, last week’s holdovers got a chance to stretch their legs on Friday.  After dominating the charts since it went wide ten days ago, Paramount’s Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol was yesterday’s winner with an estimated $10.7 million. This season’s all-purpose hit passed the $100 million mark on Thursday and is projected to take in another $35 million by the end of the four-day weekend.  Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows also hit $100 million (on Wednesday). Although the WB sequel was pushed into third by Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked on Wednesday and Thursday, Sherlock 2 should finish the holiday frame back in second place with $30 million to Alvin 3’s $25. As expected, each of the top five films saw a significant spike in earnings over last Friday; with the most impressive gain made by Fox’s We Bought a Zoo which rose 40% above its December 23rd debut.  Just missing the top five, War Horse lost some momentum after its strong showing on Christmas Day.  The Disney/Dreamworks pic is projected to post $18 million through Monday – just ahead of director Steven Spielberg’s second holiday release: The Adventures of Tintin.  Check back for details and analysis.

Title Friday Total
1 Mission: Impossible 4 $10,700,000 $113.5
2 Sherlock Holmes 2 $7,650,000 $117.6
3 Alvin and the Chipmunks 3 $7,125,000 $83.4
4 The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo $5,350,000 $46.1
5 We Bought a Zoo $4,900,000 $33.3

 

Tom Hiddleston, Patrick Kennedy and Toby Kebbell WAR HORSE Interview

by     Posted 2 years, 302 days ago

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Now playing in theaters is director Steven Spielberg‘s fantastic new movie, War Horse.  Based on the Award winning play (which is based on Michael Morpurgo’s book) and set during World War I, War Horse tells the story of “the remarkable friendship between a horse named Joey and a young man called Albert (Jeremy Irvine), who tames and trains him.”  And don’t just take my word for it, early screenings have been very positive and the drama is heading into Oscar season with very positive buzz, especially after the National Board of review named War Horse one of the best 10 films of the year.  The film also stars Emily Watson, David Thewlis, Peter Mullan, Niels Arestrup, Tom Hiddleston, Benedict Cumberbatch, Patrick Kennedy, and Toby Kebbell.  You can watch the trailer here and here’s seven clips.

To help promote the film, DreamWorks recently held a press junket in New York City and I was able to talk with Hiddleston, Kennedy and Kebbell on camera.  While I only had a few minutes, they each talked about how they got cast in War Horse and told some great stories.  And, of course, I asked them about their favorite karaoke songs.  One of them even sang for a few seconds.  Check out what they had to say after the jump.

Holiday Box Office – MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – GHOST PROTOCOL Leads; WAR HORSE Opens Stronger Than Expected

by     Posted 2 years, 302 days ago

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Because of the unique release pattern of this year’s holiday offerings, we are posting the weekend box office numbers one day later than usual.  Yesterday’s estimates for the three-day period did not include War Horse, which needed only one day in theatres to earn almost as much as We Bought a Zoo did in three.  Please note that the chart below includes separate estimates for Friday-Monday that are NOT in the same order.  I just couldn’t come up with a better way to present what has turned out to be a very confusing Christmas at the box office.

Title Weekend 4-Day Total
1 Mission: Impossible 4 $26,535,000 $46.2 $78.6
2 Sherlock Holmes 2 $17,800,000 $31.8 $90.6
3 Alvin and the Chipmunks 3 $13,325,000 $20 $56.9
4 The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo $13,000,000 $19.4 $27.7
5 Adventures of Tintin $9,125,000 $16.1 $24.1
6 We Bought a Zoo $7,800,000 $15.6 $
7 War Horse $7,500,000 $15 $15
8 New Year’s Eve $3,005,000 $5 $34.2
9 Arthur Christmas $2,600,000 $2.7 $44.1
10 The Darkest Hour $2,500,000 $5.5 $5.5

WAR HORSE Review

by     Posted 2 years, 304 days ago

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“A Boy and His Pet” stories can be immensely charming.  Pets are sweet and they look up to the boy (or girl, but usually it’s a boy in these stories) and the boy loves his faithful friend.  The genre started out as a “A Boy and His Dog”, but has expanded to “A Boy and His Robot” (The Iron Giant) and “A Boy and His Dragon” (How to Train Your Dragon).  Steven Spielberg‘s War Horse pulls it back to terrestrial creatures and starts out trying to tell the story of a boy and his horse.  But then the movie changes gears, separates the two and rather than show the struggle of both to get back to the other, the story uses the horse to try and tell a series of vignettes about life during World War I.  However, those vignettes lose their honesty when Spielberg refuses to show the devastating horror of war.

Producer Kathleen Kennedy Talks WAR HORSE, JURASSIC PARK 4, the TINTIN Sequel, LINCOLN, ROBOPOCALYPSE, and a Lot More

by     Posted 2 years, 304 days ago

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Opening on Christmas Day is director Steven Spielberg‘s fantastic new movie, War Horse.  Based on the Award winning play (which is based on Michael Morpurgo’s book) and set during World War I, War Horse tells the story of “the remarkable friendship between a horse named Joey and a young man called Albert (Jeremy Irvine), who tames and trains him.”  And don’t just take my word for it, early screenings have been very positive and the drama is heading into Oscar season with very positive buzz, especially after the National Board of review named War Horse one of the best 10 films of the year.  The film also stars Emily Watson, David Thewlis, Peter Mullan, Niels Arestrup, Tom Hiddleston, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Toby Kebbell.  You can watch the trailer here and here’s seven clips.

To help promote the film, DreamWorks recently held a press junket in New York City and I was able to land an exclusive interview with producer Kathleen Kennedy.  As the longtime producing partner of Spielberg (she produced A.I., Munich, E.T., and Jurassic Park just to name a few), she talked about the way they make movies, how they pick projects, who gets to see the movies first, and the making of War Horse.  In addition, Kennedy gave me updates on Jurassic Park 4, a 3D re-release of the original Jurassic Park, the status of the Tintin sequel, Lincoln, Robopocalypse, and a lot more.  Hit the jump to watch.

97 Original Scores Up for Oscar; DRIVE and ATTACK THE BLOCK Ruled Ineligible

by     Posted 2 years, 305 days ago

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As the 84th Academy Awards move closer, we’re starting to get a better sense of how things will pan out. We recently shared the 39 songs that will contend for the Best Original Song category, and now the Academy has announced the 97 original scores eligible for the Best Original Score award. AMPAS is notoriously picky when it comes to eligibility in this category, and as we feared the scores for both Drive and Attack the Block have been deemed ineligible. Also disappointing is the ineligibility of Alexandre Desplat’s mesmerizing score for The Tree of Life.

While it’s upsetting to see some of the year’s best work side-lined, there’s plenty to be happy about. I was a huge fan of Howard Shore’s work in Hugo and Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross’s score for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, as well as The Chemical Brothers’ brilliant work in the criminally underseen Hanna. Hit the jump for the full list, as well as who I think will make the cut.

Cinematographer Janusz Kaminski Talks WAR HORSE, Film vs. Digital, Harmony Korine’s SPRING BREAKERS, and More

by     Posted 2 years, 306 days ago

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If you’re a film nerd, you immediately recognize the name Janusz Kaminski. That’s because as the director of photography on The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, War of the Worlds, Jerry Maguire, Saving Private Ryan, Munich, Schindler’s List, Catch Me If You Can, and so many other great movies, Kaminski has clearly demonstrated that he’s one of the best cinematographers in the world. So when I was offered the chance to interview him at the New York City press junket for director Steven Spielberg‘s fantastic new movie, War Horse, I jumped at the chance.

During the interview he talked about how he picks his projects, if the location where a movie is being made influences him, his thoughts on film vs. digital, the difficulty of setting up a scene when a horse is a major character, and I tried to get him to talk about Lincoln.  However, while he wouldn’t say much on Lincoln, he did say his next project will be Harmony Korine‘s Spring Breakers.  Hit the jump to watch.

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