80th Academy Awards Rehearsals Monday

Though the official member rolls of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences are a closely guarded secret, the LA Times supposedly identified 5,100 of the 5,765 voters and they’ve compiled some facts and figures that pretty much fall in line with what most people already believed: A majority of voters are rich, white, (read…)

Note: Any important spoilers regarding the films in question have been clearly marked so read in confidence whether you’ve seen all three movies or not. A number of documentary-styled films have hit theaters in 2010 that stirred up controversy and forced us to question where fact ends, where fiction begins and what in the end (read…)

Steven Zeitchik digs into the numbers behind the opening weekend box office of HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON and comes up with some mighty silly conclusions!

Avatar will be sequelized. I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised.

AO Scott illuminates UP IN THE AIR with a nice compare/contrast to JERRY MAGUIRE

I’m too lazy to look back past 2004, but since then there have been two  best picture Oscar nominees that didn’t receive either a DGA or PGA nomination. The first was Letters From Iwo Jima which you may remember was a somewhat unexpected last-minute awards derby entry. The other was last year’s Atonement, a British production and (read…)

The state of independent cinema has been on the minds and lips of everyone who follows the business of making movies this year. The cry of “independent cinema is dead” has superseded the one of a year or two back that went “box office is down, the movie business is doomed.” Next year it will (read…)

Bruce Lee and Chuck Norris in Return of the Dragon (aka Way of the Dragon) With an eye toward the action scenes in The Dark Knight, Dennis Lim offered up an interesting video slideshow in Slate yesterday illustrating the evolution of fight scenes through the ages. See Gregory Peck and Charlton Heston fighting old school (read…)

Though I never lived through them, I think I miss the studio days when the buzz around a movie or a celebrity’s image was carefully controlled. At the very least, I’d like to go back to a time before the Internet when behind-the-camera movie gossip wasn’t dressed up as breaking news. These days, director’s tirades (read…)

D’oh! Anne Thompson does a spoiler-free, 10-point post mortem in this morning’s Variety on why Speed Racer was D.O.A. in theaters, pinching off a dismal $42.2 million at the domestic box office to date and another $36 million overseas. As unabashed fans of the film, this is a sensitive subject around the LiC head office – (read…)

The LA Times has another piece about the crowded movie marketplace this morning, this one from the angle of movie executives battling over the summer calendar. Before David Poland comes along and dismisses it as a non-story or something he’s been saying himself for years (or pick your dismissal), I thought I’d take a look (read…)

Yeah, I know “box office” is a dirty word around here, but just because it’s an over-emphasized subject doesn’t mean it isn’t occasionally important. In this case, while we’re all sitting here chatting so enjoyably, Sex and the City is raking in some serious coin at the cinemas. Most estimates had Indiana Jones and the (read…)

“There’s more writing about movies these days than ever before. In print and online, it’s never been worse-especially on the Internet where film buffs emulating the Vachel Lindsay-Manny Farber tradition are no longer isolated nerds but an opinionated throng, united in their sarcasm and intense pretense at intellectualizing what is basically a hobby.” So begins (read…)

  Digital Cinema Initiatives is a consortium formed in 2002 by Disney, Fox, Paramount, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Universal and Warner Bros. Studios to establish technical standards to help smooth and encourage the transition from film to digital projection. Studios like digital projection because the ability to stream copies of their films through the airwaves to (read…)

  That’s too bad because, according to a boring business report in Variety, it cost $49.2 million on average for one of the studios’ specialty divisions to crank out a movie in 2007. That’s a 60% increase over 2006. Meanwhile, marketing jumped 44% to $25.7 million. The article doesn’t say what the average studio picture (read…)

Now playing in a living room near you  The death of theatrically distributed films has been rumored for ages; probably since the rise of television. Maybe longer. TV hasn’t killed it. Sticky floors, bad projection, uncomfortable seats and noisy audiences haven’t killed it; VHS and DVD haven’t killed it. The latest threat to your local movie (read…)

The time for hype is over. The time for The Muriels is now. One new award will be announced every day beginning today and continuing through February 29th. First up is the 50th Anniversary Best Film Award given to the voters’ choice for the best film of 1957.  My pick: Federico Fellini’s Nights of Cabiria. The Winner: (read…)

Ellen Page in Juno From time to time I like to take a look at what other people are saying about a movie I’ve reviewed, especially when my opinion doesn’t seem to match up with the majority. This week I think it’s about time I owned up to my minority stand by examining the Juno (read…)

Note: This post assumes you have seen No Country for Old Men and it contains significant spoilers. It’s bad enough you’re missing one of the best movies of the year, don’t compound the tragic error of your ways by ruining it before you see it.   When my mom died in 1994, I think the person it (read…)

I don’t like to talk about box office totals much because they’re a meaningless measure of a film’s quality. On the other hand, in context they’re a good indicator of the public’s acceptance of this or that movie and when a movie I love tanks, I want to know why. According to Box Office Mojo, (read…)

I thought it would be fun to take a look at some of my recent reviews and to compare them to paid critics who disagree with me. I was wrong. It’s kind of humiliating really, but I’ve done it, so here it is. Anyway, it’s much better than Search Engine Term of the Week. I (read…)

The Enigmatic Ben Wade Last month I spoke of grand plans for doing follow-up reviews of certain movies so that my initial reactions could go up faster. I still really like that idea, but it turns out that once I spill my guts, I’m usually eager to move on to the next movie. It’s harder (read…)

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