Gotham loves ‘Hurt Locker’

IFP just finished handing out the Gotham Independent Film Awards with Kathryn Bigelow’s The Hurt Locker taking two prizes including Best Feature and Best Ensemble Performance. It wasn’t the best nominee (that honor belongs to A Serious Man), but it’s a fine film and I’m sure this is just the first of many honors it’s (read…)

Awards group you don’t know anything about likes ‘Nine’

Yesterday’s announcement of the nominees for The International Press Academy’s 14th Annual Satellite Awards tells us little more than the fact that the parade of critical and organizational awards is about to kick into high gear. Last year’s Best Picture winner was Slumdog Millionaire which of course went on to win the Oscar. This year’s (read…)

Watercooler: Fox still rules, but Precious draws the fools. Meanwhile, Sandra Bullock blind sided me.

This week’s Watercooler revisits the wonderful FANTASTIC MR. FOX, laments that people keep lining up for PRECIOUS in droves and is shocked to find that THE BLIND SIDE is a crowd pleaser worthy of the name.

Review: Precious (2009) ** 1/2

If you like overwrought, heavy handed underdog stories, this is the movie for you. If you prefer grace, subtlety and depth, look elsewhere.

Review: The Road (2009) ****

John Hillcoat’s adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s THE ROAD is bleak and despairing, but manages to offer a ray of hope without pulling any punches.

More respectful murmurs about ‘Invictus’

I suppose there’s something to be said for taking a strong story and simply staying out of its way. This sounds like what Clint Eastwood has done with Invictus. As reviews continue to trickle in, it all sounds pretty unremarkable, but I’m forced to admit that all those who had it pegged for a best (read…)

First word on ‘Invictus’ – Drama or piece of furniture?

David Ansen’s review is respectful but far from a rave. Is this really a unanimous pick to get an Oscar nomination?

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

Thanksgiving Forecast: Two turkeys and a Fantastic Fox

This week’s best bets: FANTASTIC MR. FOX goes wide, THE ROAD opens limited and RED CLIFF hits LA

Trailer #2: Youth in Revolt

Trailer Park | MySpace Video Youth in Revolt continues to amuse me. Though it is widely rumored that my sense of humor has been broken in some way (see reviews of The Hangover and Land of the Lost if you don’t believe me), I hope Revolt delivers. The release date has changed a couple of (read…)

The Lovely Bones: Final poster and early reviews

A new poster plus a couple of not-so-hot reviews of Peter Jackson’s adaptation of Alice Sebold’s THE LOVELY BONES.

Three of Nine

I was pretty harsh about  the first new Nine poster to be unveiled yesterday. Luckily this was quickly followed by three more, one of which (the first above) is pretty great. The other two are better. Click either one to visit larger versions at their original homes: Yahoo, MSN and In Contention.

Trailer: Noah Baumbach’s ‘Greenberg’

Apple has the trailer for Greenberg, the latest from Noah Baumbach (The Squid and the Whale, Margot at the Wedding). Ben Stiller plays a man approaching middle age who is in between jobs and has no clear idea of what he wants to do next. Greta Gerwig, Rhys Ifans, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Chris Messina (read…)

Poster: Nine

The new poster for Rob Marshall’s NINE does absolutely nothing to make me want to see the movie. Why aren’t the stars even listed?

Watercooler: The Not That Bad Lieutenant

While the rest of the world lined up for New Moon (to the tune of $140 million in the US and $118 million worldwide), I headed over to the historic Chinese Theater in Hollywood to watch Nicolas Cage chew the scenery in Werner Herzog’s The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans. It was a (read…)

Oscar strips down to his animated shorts

The short-listed animated short Oscar candidates.

IFC/Netflix: Wonder twin powers…ACTIVATE

IFC Entertainment and online rental service Netflix announced a partnership yesterday to offer 53 IFC titles for streaming online.  This is good news and bad news. The good news is it that it makes some of IFC’s great titles easier for people to see. Older stuff like John Sayles’ The Brother From Another Planet and (read…)

Trailer #2: Brothers

The second trailer for Brothers, Jim Sheridan’s remake of Susanne Bier’s Brødre, is a modest improvement over the first, but it still kind of looks like unbearable melodrama. Natalie Portman plays a woman who believes her husband was killed in war. She takes up with brother-in-law Jake Gyllenhaal only to find out her husband Tobey (read…)

Trailer: Police, Adjective

Apple has the trailer for Romanian director Corneliu Poromboiu’s drly comic and thoughtful Police, Adjective, a film that explores the grey area between what is right and what is law. Dragos Bucur plays a conscientious young policeman being pressured by his superiors to arrest a teenaged hash smoker when he’s convinced the arrest won’t lead (read…)

Clip: Tony Leung in ‘Red Cliff’

Please enjoy a few minutes of Tony Leung kicking ass in John Woo’s supremely entertaining historical action epic RED CLIFF

Weekend Forecast: Out of the wide release loop

I have to concede I’m just not the target audience for any of the wide releases this weekend. Nevertheless, I can’t wait to see Werner Herzog’s batshit crazy looking Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans opening in New York and LA. Also, if you live in Los Angeles, Hal Holbrook, Dixie Carter, Carrie Preston (read…)

Documentary Oscar short list

For better or for worse, here are the 15 documentaries that will vie for the Oscar next March. I haven’t seen all of them, but I can tell you No Impact Man should’ve been included in favor of one of them. Here’s a hint: it rhymes with The Shmove. I’m not terribly shocked to see (read…)

Review: Red Cliff (2009) ****

A 4-star review of John Woo’s historical action epic RED CLIFF starring the great Tony Leung and Takeshi Kaneshiro.

Newmarket is not ‘Agora’-phobic

I have to admit my interest (such as it was) in Alejandro Amenabar’s Agora starring Rachel Weisz cooled somewhat  as the luke warm reviews started to waft in at Cannes, but I was a little surprised it took so long to pick up a US distributor. Now it has one. Perhaps encouraged by the box (read…)

Too little, too late: Bacall, Willis and Corman finally get Oscars

You could be forgiven for not realizing the Oscars embarrassed themselves two times in a single weekend. First of all they called attention to the fact that Gordon Willis and Lauren Bacall don’t have Oscars. Though he’s a cinema giant, it’s fair to say Roger Corman hasn’t exactly trafficked in Oscar type material so we’ll (read…)

Trailer: Crazy Heart

Apple has the trailer for Oscar Flavor of the Minute Crazy Heart starring Jeff Bridges as a down-on-his-luck country musician. Basically Fox Searchlight looked out over the wreckage of Amelia and realized they didn’t have a Slumdog or a Wrestler or a Juno or a Little Miss Sunshine or an Oscar pot to piss in (read…)

Trailer: Nine – Cinema Italiano

Kate Hudson sings Cinema Italiano in a new trailer for Rob Marshall’s NINE

Edward Woodward, Actor: 1930 – 2009

I never watched TV’s The Equalizer for which Edward Woodward was probably best known in this country among my generation and younger, but LiC marks his passing by remembering Breaker Morant and the original (non comedy) version of The Wicker Man. Mr. Woodward died Monday at the age of 79. May he rest in peace.

Trailer: Leaves of Grass

Trailer for Tim Blake Nelson’s LEAVES OF GRASS starring Edward Norton, Susan Sarandon, Melanie Lynskey, Keri Russell and Richard Dreyfuss

Watercooler: Apocalypse, ZzzzZZzzz

Everyone who told me not to see 2012 was right. It wasn’t as bad as Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, but there are better ways I could’ve spent 2 hours and 40 minutes of my Friday night – trimming my nose hair for example. All of the best bits were in the trailers and none (read…)

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