Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Check out the brand new Awards Circuit!

That's right, the relaunch of The Awards Circuit is finally here! We'd all like to thank each and every one of our readers for your patience and loyalty during this transition. There are still a few rough edges that will be sorted out through the rest of the week. Until then, enjoy our new home!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Oh no, where did The Awards Circuit go?!

No worries, folks. We're planning a big surprise for you all heading into the new awards season, but it'll require the site itself to be down for at least 48 hours. Until then, enjoy this classic Oscar parody video after the cut!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Will the Weinsteins still push Madonna's W.E. for Oscar consideration after it bombed in Venice?

Deadline has the news:

The signs are always the same when any studio knows it has a bomb. Executives won’t commit any opinion to email. Instead, phone calls from them pledging to “explain everything” are promised but never come. The suits deny up and down any truth to the inevitable leaks about a troubled shoot or creative friction or bad buzz. But when the studio is financially on-the-fence The Weinstein Co, and the film is Madonna’s first feature-length directorial effort W.E. about Walllis Simpson, and its debut is at the unforgiving Venice Film festival which has panned far bigger and more influential big names in filmdom, then not even the PR maestro Harvey Weinstein can downplay crushingly lousy reaction and reviews.

Fact is that the international press and its U.S. counterparts are having a field day killing Madonna’s movie in what can only be seen as the latest “Death In Venice”. Or maybe the more accurate way of saying this is “Death By Venice”. The Times of London claimed madonna had made an inadvertent comedy “screamingly, inadverdently funny in parts [that] had ‘em rolling in the aisles at Venice” The Guardian review was truly vicious under the headline, “Madonna’s jaw-dropping take on the story of Wallis Simpson is a primped and simpering folly, preening and fatally mishandled”. Only the Daily Mail gave it a thumbs-up. But my guess that probably has more to do with that newspaper’s long and troubled history with Madonna who in 2009 won a multimillion dollar lawsuit again the Daily Mail and whose legal reps have been threatening the paper repeatedly of more to come because of its nearly always negative coverage of her.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

The 38th Annual Telluride Film Festival announces its lineup...

...and you can read all about it in this press release:

Telluride, CO (September 1, 2011) – Telluride Film Festival (September 2-5, 2011), presented by the National Film Preserve, announces its program for the 38th Telluride Film Festival. Featuring diverse programming from around the globe, TFF once again sets the stage for some of the year’s most highly anticipated films.

TFF opens its 38th year with over twenty-five new feature films plus special artist tributes, Guest Director programs selected by Caetano Veloso, Backlot programs, classics and restorations, shorts, student films, seminars and conversations, each introduced or proceeded with a Q&A by its filmmaker, actors, writer or producer. Telluride Film Festival opens Friday, September 2 and runs through Labor Day, Monday, September 5.

The slate is after the cut...

Margaret gets a Poster and a Trailer!

Hit the jump for the Trailer...

Did Paul Thomas Anderson already finish shooting The Master?

According to Damon Wise from Empire Online, yes:

Want to see Kevin Smith's Red State early? Now's your chance!

Indeed, the controversial filmmaker is bringing his latest work to the On Demand spectrum for a limited run following its Oscar qualifying run recently in L.A., all in advance of its slightly more standard theatrical debut and DVD/Blu-Ray release in October. It's no secret that I'm a huge fan of this movie, and it's not everyday that you can essentially watch a film before it hits theaters. Check it out and join in on the conversation about one of my very favorite pieces of cinema in 2011!

-Thoughts on the film if/when you see it?

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Christian Bale could be back in the Oscar race again this year?

Maybe so, according to The Film Stage:

After a few rumored titles, we can now officially call it Heroes of Nanking, as Hero and House of Flying Daggers director Yimou Zhang has made “the most expensive movie ever made in China” with this epic. The drama, costing $94 million, stars Christian Bale as an American priest named John who takes refuge in a church with 13 prostitutes and a group of innocent schoolgirls during the fighting between Chinese and Japanese troops in 1937.
Variety now reports when we can expect the film in theaters here stateside, after it bows on December 16th in China. Zhang tells us that he will “make a decision at the Toronto Film Festival about the North American distribution,” after studios have already drummed up interest, including Universal and Fox. The director hopes it will see a Christmas release here in the US, which would make it eligible for awards consideration.

The very first word on The Ides of March has begun trickling in today....

...and the general (if limited) consensus is rather positive, though neither are raves. The Playlist and Guy Lodge have been the first on the scene with their takes. You can find the former here and the latter here, though it might also be wise to wait until a few more people have seen it. That shouldn't be long, considering the festival season is officially underway, but do what you think is best.


A Dangerous Method gets a new Trailer!

-Joey's Two Cents: I'm still not sold, but it does look interesting...thoughts?

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Joey's DVD Picks of the week (8/30/2011)

This week there's a somewhat decent variety on DVD, though after the high level of last week's releases, this seems rather average by comparison (more in terms of quality than quantity). I can't say that I'm crazy about anything that's new this week, though I won't deny the quality of the top pick. There's also a few that I haven't seen, so that also keeps me from being too excited about the selections. That being said, my PICK OF THE WEEK is definitely highly regarded and worthy of the top spot. It's also this week's resident Academy Award winner, as well as perhaps the first foreign language film to ever get this honor from me (though don't get excited, it's more due to circumstance than anything else). It's:

In a Better World

Last year's winner of the Best Foreign Language Feature Oscar, it's Susanne Bier's latest drama and it hits almost all of the right notes. For me, it's a little too melodramatic, but it's definitely an affecting work, with a moving story that does more right than it does wrong. I probably don't like it as much as most do, but it's easily the best of the week in terms of DVD releases. As it stands, it's worth checking out, especially if you like to have seen all of the Oscar winners in a given year. For those not with that particular predilection, it's still worth your time and money, though perhaps not quite as strongly so...

-The other recommendation worthy flicks this week include the acting showcase/suspense film Wrecked (Adrien Brody does fine work), the 80's coming of age drama Skateland, and the health documentary Forks Over Knives. None of these 3 are amazing, but each are just good enough to be worth giving a look to, in my humble opinion at least.

-The rest of the releases include the harmless but bland Disney flick Prom, the religious sports drama The 5th Quarter (which I haven't seen), as well as Tyler Perry's Madea's Big Happy Family (which I managed to miss as well). I have no interest in either of the ones I didn't see, but the other one is nothing special and probably not worth your time, outside of an opportunity to see an underrated actor in Nicholas Braun.

-My Vintage pick, in honor of this week's release of Apollo 18, is another found footage fright flick. It's The Blair Witch Project, and despite the mocking it gets these days, it still remains a deeply unsettling film for me. I really do find it one of the scarier movies ever made. It's well worth revisiting this week, at least in my eyes.

-What will you be watching on DVD this week?

The Ides of March gets a new Poster!

It's not nearly as good as the first one that debuted, but I still like it...thoughts?

Is it really such a good thing that the Telluride Film Festival keeps its lineup a secret?

The Hollywood Reporter says yes:

The guessing game is on as to what will be shown during the 38th edition of the Telluride Film Festival, the only major such event in the world that doesn't announce its lineup ahead of time. Such is the confidence in the Labor Day Weekend event that Tom Luddy — now in league with Gary Meyer after years of running the Show with Bill Pence — has built up over the years that audiences trust him implicitly to deliver a program that is more than worth the effort to get to the remote Colorado mountain town to spend three-and-a-half days in the dark when it's usually so gorgeous outside.

Virtually from the beginning, Telluride has performed an exquisite balancing act: Between old and new, foreign and American, the esoteric and the accessible, the expected and the unknown. As at a great restaurant, it's best to just place yourself in the chef's hands and sample what's served up. Some dishes are better than others, of course, but you can rarely say something was bad or a waste of time. Because of its limited duration, Telluride can afford to be picky and discriminating, which only works to the benefit of the viewer.
Because of its maverick, rarified status, Telluride never felt much need to publicize itself. It's never courted press, although a few journalists go every year, and it doesn't crow about world premieres, even though it's had some big ones. However, mostly due to changes in the culture and release schedules, it’s served as a perceived lucky charm for some major films and has, through little will of its own, become the much-sough-after first domestic stop for specialized films with Oscar dreams.

One of the first instances of Telluride playing a crucial role in the Oscar race came way back in 1992, when an completely unheralded British film called The Crying Game played there and in Venice over the same weekend. It has since been documented that Miramax had no clue what to do with this tricky sexual and political thriller until the enormous reaction at Telluride suggested that it held potential gold — monetary and honorary — in its hands.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Behold the US Trailer for The Skin I Live In!

Take a gander:
-Joey's Two Cents: It looks pretty weird, but I'm definitely interested in it...thoughts?

Box Office Actuals (8/26/11 - 8/28/11): "Help" holds on through a Hurricane...

Information obtained via Box Office Mojo, The Numbers, Deadline, and other sources:

I will opt for a more softer tone than others who have glibly wrote about how this past weekend was the "Worst Box Office Weekend Of 2011" and irresponsibly reported that the industry is in a tailspin. Hurricane Irene, which swept up and through the East Coast, caused more than 40 fatalities across 10 states and left millions of people without power. Half of our Awards Circuit team were potentially in harm's way and thankfully, all of them came through the situation unscathed. Hurricane Irene did impact things significantly it appears overall, but if everyone is being honest, the selections for the final week of the summer box office were not projected to be strong performers and seldom, if ever, are. Attention has shifted to the fall - home to the prestige Oscar pictures - and the studios treated the past weekend's new arrivals as largely afterthoughts.


Topping the survey for a second straight weekend is the resilient "Help", which looks to perhaps have enough in its tank for a possible third consecutive weekend stay at the top of the heap. Dipping a mere 27 percent in its third weekend, "The Help" rolled along to a 19-day total of $96.8 million. Each weekend, Buena Vista has been adding more theaters and increasing the film's reach and "The Help" continues to deliver the highest per screen averages of any wide release. Curiously, the film has never played on 3,000 or more screens, almost a must for a film with this kind of appeal and success.

With the long-simmering thriller "The Debt" arriving in theaters nearly 9 months after it was originally set to be released, and the found-footage mockumentary "Apollo 18" and gauche "Shark Night 3D" arriving to deafening silence, "The Help" could make it a rare trifecta at the top. "Apollo 18" and "Shark Night 3D" are not being screened for critics, telling you likely everything you could ever want to know about their prospects this weekend.

Paul Rudd plays an "Idiot", Zoe Saldana opens her first film on her name alone, and one documentary continues to race circles around its competition. More analysis, The Weekend Breakdown, and The Top 40 Most Attended all after the cut!