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09 Nov 2011 14:44


Culture: Eddie Murphy drops out of Oscars show over Ratner exit

  • I appreciate how Eddie feels about losing his creative partner, Brett Ratner, and we all wish him well.
  • Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences head Tom Sherak • Giving a cordial farewell to Eddie Murphy, who was slated to host the Academy Awards this coming year but decided to drop out following the dismissal of the show’s producer (and Murphy’s friend and collaborator), Brett Ratner. Ratner was removed from his producer role after he used an anti-gay epithet, and subsequently gabbed about his sex life on Howard Stern’s radio show (in other words, he appeared on Howard Stern’s radio show). What the departure of Murphy and Ratner ultimately means is unclear, as no new host or producer has been announced or proposed yet. source

08 Mar 2010 10:33


Culture: Last night’s Oscars, in a few short words: Completely expected

  • six Oscars for “The Hurt Locker,” including Best Picture and Best Director
  • zero non-technical awards for megahit competitor “Avatar” (it won three)
  • zero surprises – pretty much all the pre-ceremony favorites won source

06 Mar 2010 16:44


Music: Saturday Mixtape: The best “Best Song” Oscar nominees of all time

  • We aren’t experts of Oscar music outside of the rock era, but we have a few ideas as to what makes a good movie song – surprise, heft, and beauty. Unfortunately, most of those songs didn’t get nominated until the ’90s, which means that we’re in a golden era for Oscar-nominated music. Many of the best Oscar songs don’t win, but it’s an honor just to be nominated, really. Here are five we recommend:

  • 1. Paul McCartney’s post-Beatles career has been a mixed bag, but at least two absolutely killer tunes came out of it – “Band on the Run” and “Live and Let Die ,” a 1973 nominee which nailed the Bondness of Bond but didn’t lose the Wingness of Wings. The kitchen-sink feel of the song actually suits it pretty well.
  • 2. Bruce Springsteen did a pretty great job of washing away the cheesiness of the awful synth-heavy pop tunes (and showtunes) that got nominated for Oscars in the 80s, winning for “Streets of Philadelphia,” a song with genuine weight and grit that opened the door for creatively-risky songs. Seriously, the Academy has never nominated a punk song, ever. If Bruce didn’t win in 1993, Three 6 Mafia wouldn’t have won in 2005. You can quote us on that.
  • 3. “That Thing You Do,” as written by Adam Schlesinger, who later became famous with Fountains of Wayne, may have been the Academy’s biggest lark in 1996. Without the song (which was, and still is, an amazing pop gem), the movie would’ve completely sucked. For that reason alone, it’s understandable but a shame it lost – it literally was the best part of a decent movie, the rare song that holds up on its own but makes its source material that much better.
  • 4. Elliott Smith’s “Miss Misery” was a mixed blessing for the indie-rock icon, as it offered him tremendous success due to the “Good Will Hunting” tune’s nomination in 1997 (which he used to full advantage on “XO” and “Figure 8“), but ultimately put him in a position where drugs were in a prominent place in his life. At the time, though, it was a truly daring choice for the Academy, one that hasn’t been reflected since.
  • 5. As a story angle, The Swell Season’s “Falling Slowly” had a little of everything – real-life romance, song-making-the-movie strength, and ceremony drama, when Markéta Irglová, one half of the “Once” duo (The other half being The Frames‘ Glen Hansard), was famously snubbed out of her 2007 acceptance speech, only to be allowed back on-stage to give one. That’s something that NEVER happens.

Other nominees: “Theme From Shaft” by Isaac Hayes, “The Rainbow Connection” by Kermit the Frog (seriously), “Against All Odds (Take a Look At Me Now)” by Phil Collins, “Take My Breath Away” by Berlin, “Under the Sea” from “The Little Mermaid” (also seriously)

02 Feb 2010 09:40


Culture: The Oscar nominations: A bigger field leads to bigger surprises

  • nine number of nominations for “Avatar,” the James Cameron megahit that’s already in record territory
  • nine number of nominations for “The Hurt Locker,” the war film directed by his ex-wife, Kathryn Bigelow

Other major nominees

  • eight nominations for Quentin Tarantino’s Nazi-killin’ “Inglorious Basterds”
  • six nominations for “Up In The Air,” the George Clooney airline flick
  • six nominations for “Precious,” including one for the usually-funny Mo’Nique

Best Picture changes

  • This year is a weird year for the Best Picture nominees. Rather than the usual five nominations, the Academy has switched to ten, widening the field to the point that the types of movies that never get nominated somehow did this time around, including:
  • pixar “Up” got a nomination, finally validating the consistent levels of commendation the 3D animators get.
  • sci-fi “District 9” got four nominations, including one for Best Picture – not bad for a director’s first movie.
  • popular “The Blind Side,” which had garnered praise for Sandra Bullock’s performance, got one too. Wow. Surprising.

Who got burned this time?

  • » The well-reviewed Jeff Bridges/Maggie Gyllenhaal flick “Crazy Heart” got nominations for the stars (and for best song – we called it!), but not for Best Picture.
  • » Tom Ford’s “A Single Man” got just one nomination (for Colin Firth’s performance), despite the crazy level of arthouse hype it got. The Coen Brothers’ “A Serious Man,” however, did get a Best Picture nomination, which (despite their recent Best Picture win) is somewhat surprising.
  • » “The Lovely Bones” scored just one acting nomination – that’s to be expected, as it wasn’t a critical hit – but it didn’t get anything for its fairly solid visual effects, which really sold the film. Peter Jackson did produce “District 9,” however. source

03 Nov 2009 19:42


Culture: In case you’re wondering, the Oscars have had multiple hosts before

  • 1986 the last time the Oscars rocked three hosts source

03 Nov 2009 19:35


Culture: TWO Oscar hosts? Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin share the stage

  • the newb Alec Baldwin hasn’t hosted the Oscars before, but he’s hosted Saturday Night Live 14 times, which is about as good as hosting an Oscar ceremony. Beyond his lengthy film career, he’s probably best known for “30 Rock” and letting his less-famous brothers crash next year’s Oscars.
  • the vet Steve Martin has already hosted the Oscars twice, in 2001 and 2003. The jack of all trades (he has an Emmy, two Grammys and a doctorate) has successful writing, music (he’s an awesome banjo player), acting and comedy careers under his belt. Plus, he can juggle. Can you, jerk? source

27 Jan 2009 14:22



  • It was a very necessary part of our friendship but I think we both concluded that that wasn’t what we really wanted to do. So we’re not together now. We’re just really good friends.
  • Glen Hansard • Lead singer of The Frames, who recently broke up with his on-screen/off-screen musical partner in the Oscar-winning 2007 movie “Once,” Marketa Irglova. That, my friends, is the biggest news story of the year. But wasn’t it a really great ride while it lasted? • source

25 Jan 2009 22:36


Culture: Big boosts for top Oscar contenders at the box office

  • 80% increase in Slumdog Millionaire’s box office this weekend. It’s currently the No. 5 movie, and has grossed $55.9 million since it opened
  • 380% increase in Frost/Nixon’s box office this weekend. It was one of five other movies to get a post-Oscar-nomination boost this weekend source

22 Jan 2009 09:01


Culture: Other top Oscar nod-getters: “Slumdog,” “Dark Knight,” “Milk”

  • 10 Oscar nominations for Slumdog Millionaire, the previous frontrunner (well, before today)
  • 8 each for both The Dark Knight and Milk – both kinda obvious pieces of Oscar bait source