The 2015 Oscar Nominations (Or The Year I Fall Out Of Love With The Oscars)

Posted by Matthew on January 15, 2015
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Oscars

This morning the nominations for the 87th Annual Academy Awards wre announced and boy howdy were they ever bull-fucking-shit. You can take to my twitter stream to see some of my immediate reactions but basically the nominations don’t make a lot of sense to me.

Selma, a movie that is critically acclaimed and features an amazing performance by David Oyelowo and fantastic direction by director Ava DuVernay was nominated for best picture and best song, but literally nothing else.

The Lego Movie was left out of the best Animated Feature race, but Big Hero 6 made it in.

The Academy can nominate as many as ten films for best picture but nly nominated 8. They included The Imitation Game, and The Theory of Everything, (which are both fine, but not great) but left out Gone Girl, Nightcrawler, The Lego Movie, and tons of others.

Tilda Swinton, who had three amazing performances this year, didn’t get nominated. Bradley Cooper is nominated for the third year in a row despite being in a film that as far as I can tell is a bore. Someone must really like him.

All 20 acting nominees are white. 7 of the 8 best picture nominees are about white male heroes. That’s bad even by the standards of the old mens “we hate change” club that is the Academy.

I could go on but I won’t. I will say that there are some good things happening. JK Simmons is nominated! Wes Anderson has his first ever Best Director nod! I’ve always liked the oscars and I’ve enjoyed live blogging the ceremony the last few years but this years nominees are all… “safe”. Which is a real shame. This might be the year I finally fall out of love with the Oscars.

Hit the jump to see the full list but despair as the good is far outweighed by the bad.

Continue reading…

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New Avengers: Age Of Ultron Trailer – “I’m Gonna Tear You Apart”

Posted by Simon on January 13, 2015
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And that seems to be the theme of the second Avengers movie – self-destruction of the team from within. Here’s the second full trailer!

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Activision Uses Captain America To Sell Call Of Duty To The Chinese

Posted by Simon on January 12, 2015
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Call Of Duty Online is a free-to-play China-exclusive version of the mega franchise trailored specifically for its first (official) foray into their new, recently legalised, videogame market. Here’s the trailer – see if you can spot anyone familiar:

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72nd Golden Globes: I Can & I Did. A Celebration of Diversity.

Posted by Katherine on January 11, 2015
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2105_1208_GG_2015_AlternateImage_ACThe Golden Globes are my favourite award show.  The combination of humour and sincerity that can only be achieved when A-List celebrities, precious auteurs and television “we’re just happy to be here” actors are shoved sardine-like into a hotel ballroom and given as much booze as they can (or can’t) handle.  An extra hat-tip this year to the Beverly Hilton who forgot to turn on the AC making melting orange spray tan the look of the evening.

This year, however, wasn’t quite the shitshow that the Globes can sometimes be.  Amy Poehler & Tina Fey did a solid ten and then, as happens every year, twitter questioned where they went for the next 2 hours.  The audience seemed to laugh hardest at how they introduced Amal Clooney to America:

“Amal is a human rights lawyer who worked on the Enron case, was an advisor to Kofi Annan regarding Syria and was selected for a three person U.N. commission investigating rules of war violations in the Gaza Strip. So tonight her husband is getting a lifetime achievement award.”

Quickly followed by massive gasps at their series of Bill Cosby rape jokes & pill/pudding pop impressions.  Fun fact re: Amal, she actually sewed her own gloves the morning of the Awards.  And when Ryan Seacrest interviewed the couple on the red carpet she pointed out the “Je Suis Charlie” button on her bag “in solidarity with the people of France”.

It wouldn’t be the last time the recent Charlie Hebdo tragedy was mentioned.  In fact the Hollywood Foreign Press Association President talked about how important free speech is whether it be North Korea or Paris to a standing ovation.  Helen Mirren, nominated for her role as a French chef in the 100 Foot Journey, wore a fountain pen pinned to her lapel.

The evening overall seemed to be sending a message of diversity.  Breakout star Gina Rodriguez won Best Actress in a TV Musical or Comedy for her leading role on Jane the Virgin, a show which fluidly slips between Spanish & English.  In her acceptance speech she said how she was grateful to represent “a culture that wants to see themselves as heroes”. (The title for this piece “I Can & I Did” came from how she paid tribute to her father.)  Maggie Gyllenhaal won Best Actress in a Miniseries for the Honourable Woman, a show in which she played an arms dealer trying to reconcile things between Israel & Palestine, and gave quite the feminist speech.

The Amazon show Transparent won for Best TV Series, and the star Jeffrey Tambor won for Best Actor in a TV Musical or Comedy.  A show about a Transgender person aired on a non-cable service won twice.  And everyone cheered.  The movie Pride was nominated (and I suspect, introduced for the first time to North American audiences) about UK gay activists who raised money to help during the Miners’ Strike.  Matt Bomer got to thank his husband after winning best Supporting Actor in a Made for TV Film (the Normal Heart), which was about the AIDS epidemic.

Common & John Legend won for Best Original Song ‘Glory’ from the film about Martin Luther King Jr. and the Civil Rights movement, Selma.  Downton Abbey star Joanne Froggatt won a best Supporting Actress award for her work during a storyline about rape.  Eddie Redmayne won best Actor in a Motion Picture Drama about the life of Stephen Hawking (the Theory of Everything) and becoming paralyzed from ALS.  Julianne Moore won Best Actress (Still Alice), beating all the younger nominees, in a role about a women with early onset Alzheimer’s.  And Richard Linklater won Best Director for Boyhood (which also won Best Picture) for filming an indie movie over 12 years.

The message from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association this year was clear: Be different. Be brave. Be you.

 

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The Year in Books: Crime, Time Travel & Whatever The Southern Reach Trilogy Was About

Posted by Katherine on December 31, 2014
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Trying to wrap up “the year in books” is an almost impossible task.  Sure, new books come out every week, but let’s be honest unless you’re someone who works in publishing and/or gets advance copies you are probably unlikely to be read up on all the books that come out in a particular year.  Reading takes time, and readers aren’t confined to a schedule.  A great book can be read the day it comes out or decades later.  So the prospect of wrapping up any particular year is a bit dodgy.  The best I can do is tell you how my year in books went. Continue reading…

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The Passing of Beloved Gilmore Girls Actor Edward Herrmann

Posted by Katherine on December 31, 2014
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gilmore-girls-emily-richard-kelly-bishop-edward-herrmann-dvdbash02For auld lang syne, my dear, for auld lang syne, We’ll take a cup of kindness yet, for auld lang syne.

2014 brought about the passing of many of our most beloved stars.  Sadly today was no exception.  Edward Herrmann, 71, died this morning in hospital.  He had been in the ICU fighting brain cancer the past 3 and a half weeks.  His illness seems to have been a shock to his co-stars in the Gilmore Girls family.  Kelly Bishop was contacted by TVLine and said of her former television spouse “I think everyone who knew or worked with Ed found him to be absolutely delightful… Everything looks a little dim, as if the lights went down.” Continue reading…

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Matt’s 2014: The Best Dozen

Posted by Matthew on December 31, 2014
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Best of 2014

Best of lists are hard. Choosing the films I liked best isn’t hard, but keeping it to a reasonable number and ranking them is. One thing that’s not so much hard as it is annoying: coming up with something to say other than “I loved this and you should watch it”.

I saw a lot of films this year but there are plenty I missed. I didn’t see Birman, Whiplash, or Mommy, all of which are on many other best of lists for the year (and in the case of Whiplash I can guess it would have made mine) but I also did see Boyhood, Gone Girl, 22 Jump Street, and a host of others that didn’t make my list.

All in all I saw over 75 of the movies released in 2014. Not a huge percentage when you think about it but certainly more than the average person.

So with all that in mind here are my favourite dozen movies from 2014.

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Simon’s 2014: A Lego Surprise And Nintendo Fights Back

Posted by Simon on December 31, 2014
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AF2AF

2014! I had another baby and as such my Best Of The Year list is maybe not as exhaustive as Matt’s, but I could tell you anything you need to know about Go, Diego, Go!. And how 3am feels.

Here’s my best movies and games of the year.

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Podcast Episode: 2014 In Review

Posted by Matthew on December 31, 2014
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Awesome Friday

It’s been a long six months but we’re back with our 2014 in review! Join us for an hour and twenty minutes as we talk about the things we loved and things that disappointed us and everything in between in the year 2014.

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Awesome: ‘Gone Girl’ Effects Reel

Posted by Matthew on December 31, 2014
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Gone Girl

Yesterday I posted an effects reel from Captain America: The Winter Soldier which highlighted, for me anyway, just how much of that movie wasn’t real. Not that it was a surprise or anything though, that movie features flying aircraft carriers. Here’s another effects reel that highlights just how many effects can be going on in shots where there don’t appear to be any at all which is far more impressive if you ask me.

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Awesome: Captain America: The Winter Soldier Effects Reel

Posted by Matthew on December 30, 2014
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Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Here’s an awesome effects rebel for Captain America: The Winter Soldier which will have the dual effect of making you realize how much CGI was in the film and also making you realize how much CGI was in the film. It’s a double edged sword.

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Awesome: The Curious Copyright Case of ‘It’s A Wonderful Life’

Posted by Matthew on December 24, 2014
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It's A Wonderful Life

FilmmakerIQ has put together a great 20 minute video on the history of the weird copyright case behind the holiday classic It’s A Wonderful Life. Get a history of the films production and the way that copyright in film works.

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Good News: ‘The Interview’ Is Being Released!

Posted by Matthew on December 23, 2014
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The Interview

Sony is releasing The Interview to any theatre willing to show it, which means that any independent chain that wants to can show it. Apparently there are currently over 300 screens booked for Christmas Day in the US, including every location of Alamo Drafthouse (the chain I want most to come to Canada).

I haven’t heard of any locations in Canada as yet, but start asking your local indie theatre now!

The films stars on Twitter:

(source: Variety)

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‘Kill Me Three Times’ Trailer: Simon Pegg Is A Killer

Posted by Matthew on December 23, 2014
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Simon Pegg / Kill Me Three Times

Simon Pegg as an assassin who find out he’s not the only one trying to kill his target. Eeeenteresting. Let’s watch!

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Star Trek 3 Will Be Directed By Justin Lin

Posted by Matthew on December 22, 2014
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Justin Lin

A while back Roberto Orci was removed from the directors chair of Star Trek 3. This is a good thing. He’s not a great writer (or even a good one) but he keeps getting jobs with popular franchises and as a result keeps getting hired. Star Trek 3 would have been his directorial début as well and while I’m sure he had a vision? At the end of the day you don’t just hand the reins to a franchise like Star Trek to a first timer.

So he was removed and today it was announced that Justin Lin, he of the Fast and Furious Franchise, has been hired to replace him. I’m going to tentatively say this is a good move. Lin is a good director of action and of large ensembles. His films are fun and engaging and heartfelt. I don’t know that he’s a perfect fit but I think he’s a better fit that Orci. I just hope that they get back to exploring the galaxy as well as our own morality rather than the “holy shit look at that explosion!” style we’ve gotten lately.

(source: Deadline)

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