Declassified Documents Reveal Extent of CIA Influence on ZERO DARK THIRTY Script

by     Posted 1 year, 168 days ago

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Despite the lack of awards from the Academy (it only received one for Sound Editing), Zero Dark Thirty will go down as one of the definitive films of the 2010s (and missing out on Best Picture is almost a confirmation of this; see also: The Social Network).  The film’s awards season momentum was slowed by a nonsense controversy over torture (people who didn’t understand movies thought the film was promoting it), and one could think that screenwriter Mark Boal‘s conversations with the CIA may have “softened” the depiction of movie’s harsher scenes.  Recently revealed documents reveal that this is only marginally true.

Hit the jump for details on the CIA’s comments on the script for Zero Dark Thirty, and changes that were made in response to those comments.

ZERO DARK THIRTY Blu-ray Review

by     Posted 1 year, 209 days ago

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The events of September 11, 2001 had a profound effect on the United States of America that forever changed us as a nation.  We live in a post-9/11 world, and it is impossible to go back to “the way things were before.”  Though it’s been a decade since the event, in the scope of things we’re still living in the immediate aftermath of the most devastating domestic terror attack in history.  Filmmaker Kathryn Bigelow has now dealt with these effects in two films, as she previously focused on the events of the Iraq War with her 2008 Best Picture winner The Hurt Locker, and her brilliant 2012 drama Zero Dark Thirty masterfully chronicles the decade-long hunt for the man responsible for the 9/11 attacks: Osama Bin Laden.  The result of the latter is a taut procedural thriller that not only entertains, but also provides a difficult and introspective look at America’s place in the post-9/11 world.  Hit the jump for my review of Zero Dark Thirty on Blu-ray.

New to Blu-ray: THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY, BADLANDS Criterion, ZERO DARK THIRTY, and More

by     Posted 1 year, 217 days ago

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

Hit the jump for details on the extras included on all the aforementioned releases.

Limited Paper: Mondo’s Second-Annual Oscar Night Poster Drop Featured 14 New Posters Including Tyler Stout’s DJANGO UNCHAINED & Durieux’s THE MASTER

by     Posted 1 year, 239 days ago

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Last year, Mondo put together a fun little event for the 2012 Academy Awards:  a few days prior to that Oscar Sunday, Mondo announced that a series of brand-new posters (all of which were based on that year’s Oscar-nominated films) would be dropping throughout the Academy’s broadcast.  Everyone dug the idea, the whole thing went off without a hitch, and—most importantly—waiting on a drop gave all of us something to focus on whenever watching the Oscars became too much to bear.

And so, when the Mondo guys announced they’d be doing it all over again in 2013, we were pumped (as were many of you).  But once that excitement died down, we were left wondering which of 2012’s Oscar-nominated films would get the Mondo treatment…and which of the rumors we’d been hearing would turn out to be true.  Answers to those questions (and many more) await you after the jump, folks.

ARGO Wins Best Picture; LIFE OF PI Wins 4 Oscars Including Best Director

by     Posted 1 year, 240 days ago

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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.

The Road to Oscar: Best Picture

by     Posted 1 year, 241 days ago

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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.

The Road to Oscar: Best Actress

by     Posted 1 year, 243 days ago

Continuing on with our “Road to Oscar” feature, today we’re going to take a look at how the race for Best Actress played out over the past 12 months.  With the 85th Academy Awards taking place this coming Sunday, we figured this week would be a nice opportunity to reflect on how a number of Oscar categories got to where they are today.  Join us after the jump as we break down the race for Best Actress.

ARGO, ZERO DARK THIRTY, SEARCHING FOR SUGAR MAN, BREAKING BAD, LOUIE, and More Win WGA Awards

by     Posted 1 year, 247 days ago

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The Writers Guild of America Awards were held tonight, and Ben Affleck‘s Argo continued its sweep through awards season by netting Best Adapted Screenplay for writer Chris TerrioMark Boal won Best Original Screenplay for the film that will actually continue to resonate for years to come, Zero Dark Thirty.  Meanwhile, Malik Bendejelloul‘s won Best Documentary Screenplay for the wonderful Searching for Sugar Man.  Over on the TV side, Breaking Bad won Best Drama Series, Louie won Best Comedy Series, and Girls won Best New Series.  Hatfields & McCoys and Game Change continued their awards winning streaks by picking up Best Long Form (Original) and Long Form (Adapted), respectively.  Finally, Portlandia beat out some stiff competition (such as The Daily Show and The Colbert Report) to pick up Best Comedy/Variety.

The Academy and Gallery1988 Present Posters by Various Artists for the Best Picture Oscar Nominees

by     Posted 1 year, 256 days ago

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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.

Weekend Box Office: WARM BODIES Wins Super Bowl Frame with $20 Million

by     Posted 1 year, 261 days ago

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It wasn’t even close. Against a handful of holdovers and one weak new release, Summit Entertainment’s Warm Bodies walked off with this year’s Super Bowl box office prize. From 3,009 locations, the zombie comedy earned an estimated $20 million – more than twice the total of the number two title. Bullet to the Head, the frame’s only other wide release, took in just $4.5 million from 2,404 locations for a sixth place finish.

 Title Weekend Total
1.  Warm Bodies $20,025,000 $20
2.  Hansel & Gretel $9,210,000 $34.4
3.  Silver Linings Playbook $8,113,000 $80.3
4.  Mama $6,730,000 $58.2
5.  Zero Dark Thirty $5,300,000 $77.7
6.  Bullet to the Head $4,500,000 $4.5
7.  Parker $3,215,000 $12.4
8.  Django Unchained $3,039,000 $150.9
9.  Lincoln $2,412,000 $170.7
10.  Les Miserables $2,400,000 $141.4

Posters by Jonathan Burton for BAFTA Best Picture Nominees LINCOLN, ARGO, ZERO DARK THIRTY, LIFE OF PI, and LES MISERABLES

by     Posted 1 year, 266 days ago

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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.

Weekend Box Office: MAMA Leads MLK Weekend with $28.1 Million; Rough Start for THE LAST STAND

by     Posted 1 year, 275 days ago

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Here’s something you don’t hear very often: “It was a good week for strong women at the box office.” Up against two new, male-driven action movies, actress Jessica Chastain claimed first and second place with Mama and Zero Dark Thirty. Chastain’s fellow Golden Globe winner, Jennifer Lawrence, took third with Silver Linings Playbook – ahead of Gangster Squad and the big name boys that launched debuts on Friday. Both Broken City (with Mark Wahlberg) and The Last Stand (with Arnold Schwarzenegger) were disappointments – though, fittingly, Arnold’s was on a much more epic scale.

 Title Weekend Total
1.  Mama $28,122,000 $28.1
2.  Zero Dark Thirty $17,600,000 $55.9
3.  Silver Linings Playbook $11,351,000 $55.3
4.  Gangster Squad $9,110,000 $32.2
5.  Broken City $9,000,000 $9
6.  A Haunted House $8,330,000 $29.9
7.  Django Unchained $8,243,000 $138.3
8.  Les Miserables $7,800,000 $130.3
9.  The Hobbit $6,405,000 $287.3
10.  The Last Stand $6,300,000 $6.3

Friday Box Office: MAMA Tops ZERO DARK THIRTY with $10 Million to Start MLK Weekend

by     Posted 1 year, 276 days ago

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Two films starring newly-minted Golden Globe winner Jessica Chastain topped Friday’s box office. Zero Dark Thirty, the film that brought Chastain her Best Actress win on Sunday, was expected to run neck-and-neck with Mama, the new PG-13 horror feature, at this weekend’s box office. Instead, with a better-than expected $10 million estimate from 2,647 locations on Friday, Mama should easily claim the MLK weekend title with over $25 million. Zero Dark Thirty, last weekend’s number one film, will take second with around $15 million through Sunday. Chastain’s one-two sweep upstaged the weekend’s R-rated action debuts: Broken City and The Last Stand. Both underwhelmed – though with its estimate of $3 million from 2,620 locations, Broken City at least made it into Friday’s top five. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s The Last Stand was not so lucky. With just $2 million from 2,913 locations, The Last Stand will finish the weekend near the bottom of the top ten. Finally, Silver Linings Playbook expanded into 2,523 locations on Friday, propelling the R-rated Oscar nominee into the top five on its tenth weekend in theatres. Check back tomorrow for full details.

Title Friday Total
1. Mama $10,000,000 $10
2. Zero Dark Thirty $4,600,000 $42.9
3. Broken City $3,000,000 $3
4. Silver Linings Playbook $2,954,000 $46.9
5. Gangster Squad $2,665,000 $25.7

Jason Clarke Talks ZERO DARK THIRTY, William Monahan’s MOJAVE, Roland Emmerich’s WHITE HOUSE DOWN and More

by     Posted 1 year, 280 days ago

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One of my favorite films of 2012, director Kathryn Bigelow’s drama about the hunt for Osama bin Laden, Zero Dark Thirty, is finally playing in theaters nationwide.  Loaded with amazing performances, an incredible script by Mark Boal (The Hurt Locker), and perfect direction, Zero Dark Thirty  should definitely be seen in a theater, and it’s absolutely worth the price of admission.  In the film, Jessica Chastain plays a CIA operative spearheading the manhunt, and she stars alongside Kyle Chandler, Jason Clarke, Chris Pratt, Mark Strong, Scott Adkins, Joel Edgerton, and James Gandolfini.  For more on the film, read Matt’s review.

During the Los Angeles press day, I got to speak with Clarke. We talked about what the last few years have been like since he’s landed some high profile projects, the way people are responding to the film, his reaction to seeing the film for the first time, deleted scenes, and more.  In addition, we also talked about some of his upcoming projects like Roland Emmerich’s White House Down and William Monahan’s next film, Mojave.  Hit the jump to watch.

2013 Golden Globe Winners Announced; ARGO Takes Best Picture (Drama), Best Director; LES MISERABLES Wins Best Picture (Comedy or Musical)

by     Posted 1 year, 282 days ago

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The 2013 Golden Globes have just wrapped up.  I only watched the last hour of the ceremony because the Globes no longer have their awards season power due to voting schedule changes.  Reading tweets and Facebook posts, it seems like it was a fairly entertaining show (keep an eye out for Jodie Foster‘s acceptance speech for her Lifetime Achievement Award).  As for the winners, they were very “Globes” in that they were more populist choices that are unlikely to have much bearing on the Oscars.  Argo may have had a good night at the Globes by winning Best Picture (Drama) and Best Director, but I still think Lincoln is the picture to beat when it comes to the Academy Awards, especially since Ben Affleck was snubbed for the Best Director Oscar nomination.

Hit the jump for the full list of winners.

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