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24 Jan 2012 11:24


Culture: Our four favorite surprises from today’s Oscar nominations

  • one The amazing silent film “The Artist” didn’t top the nomination list — “Hugo” had one more, despite the fact it was shut out of the acting categories.
  • two “The Tree of Life” must’ve confused the Academy: A strange message, “Nominees to be determined,” accompanies its Best Picture nomination.
  • three Maybe not a huge surprise, but Pixar’s “Cars 2” is the first Pixar flick that didn’t get a single nomination for an Oscar. Perhaps it’s because it sucked? Yeah, probably.
  • four And a surprise going the other way: Melissa McCarthy got an acting nomination for “Bridesmaids,” her breakout role. The question is, will she win? source

08 Nov 2011 23:39


Culture: Brett Ratner learns you can’t use gay slur and produce the Oscars

  • one Brett Ratner, director of a number of famous popcorn flicks (the “Rush Hour” series and the just-released “Tower Heist”) was quoted during a post-screening interview as saying “rehearsal is for f%@!.” That is not a good move in the largely-progressive Hollywood, and his tawdry Howard Stern interview not long after didn’t help matters.
  • two Ratner will also produce the Oscars early next year. Actually, scratch that. Ratner’s out after that comment, and his hand-picked host, Eddie Murphy, may or may not stay as a result. “He did the right thing for the academy and for himself,” Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences President Tom Sherak said. source

25 Jan 2011 10:20


Culture: A quick, ten-second overview of this year’s Oscar nominations

  • 12 totally expected nominations for “The King’s Speech”
  • 10 nominations for the Coen Bros’ “True Grit” remake
  • eight nominations (far too few) for “The Social Network”
  • eight nominations (also far too few) for “Inception”
  • surprises Who decided to nominate Javier Bardem for Best Actor for a movie that absolutely nobody saw (“Biutiful”)? How many people even knew what this movie was before this morning? Raise your hand.
  • disses Among others: Mila Kunis in “Black Swan.” Andrew Garfield in “The Social Network.” Ryan Gosling in “Blue Valentine.” No best documentary nod for “Waiting for Superman.” Criminal! source
  • » And the ultimate diss: “Inception” got eight nominations, don’t get us wrong. The movie totally deserved all of them. But the one it was most deserving of which it did not get? Christopher Nolan didn’t get a best director nod for “Inception.” The category was stacked, admittedly, but the Coen Brothers may have been the weak men this year. On a side note, there could be one even bigger diss this year – if “Toy Story 3” doesn’t win an award outside of its animation comfort zone.

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

07 Mar 2010 22:39


Culture: The Oscars return just in time for unlucky Cablevision subscribers

  • 20 minutes into the big show,
    the Oscars popped on source

07 Mar 2010 22:22


Tech: Best part of the Oscars so far: This freaking awesome iPad ad

  • To us, this year’s Oscars seem completely ho-hum. All the obvious winners are winning. All the obvious losers are losing. Hey, wait a second, that’s new! It’s an iPad ad. And it somehow makes the iPad look awesome again! Nice job, Apple!

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)


06 Mar 2010 13:18


Culture: James Cameron’s wife will be wearing an eco-friendly Oscar dress

In case you’re wondering, Suzy Amis Cameron is the one on the left. The one on the right, Jillian Granz, is the college student who designed the “Avatar blue” dress. source

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