Monday, February 28, 2011

And Now for the Haters: 2011 Razzie Award "Winners"

According to "The Odds" column at the The, there were 637 voters for this year dis-honors.  The Last Airbender and Sex and the City 2 took the brunt of these voters' ire.  Airbender is problematic, but I like Sex and the City 2:

2011 Razzie Award (not really) Winners:

Worst Picture: "The Last Airbender"

Worst Director: M. Night Shyamalan, "The Last Airbender"

Worst Actor: Ashton Kutcher, "Killers" and "Valentine's Day"

Worst Actress: Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Kristin Davis and Cynthia Nixon, "Sex and the City 2"

Worst Supporting Actor: Jackson Rathbone, "The Last Airbender" and "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse"

Worst Supporting Actress: Jessica Alba, "The Killer Inside Me," "Little Fockers," "Machete" and "Valentine's Day"

Worst Screen Couple of Ensemble: "Sex and the City 2"

Worst Screenplay: M. Night Shyamalan, "The Last Airbender"

Worst Prequel, Remake, Rip-off or Sequel: "Sex and the City 2"

Worst Eye-Gouging Misuse of 3D: "The Last Airbender"

Sunday, February 27, 2011

"The King's Speech" Wins Best Picture Oscar

Best Picture

“The King's Speech” Iain Canning, Emile Sherman and Gareth Unwin, Producers WINNERS

“Black Swan” Mike Medavoy, Brian Oliver and Scott Franklin, Producers

“The Fighter” David Hoberman, Todd Lieberman and Mark Wahlberg, Producers

“Inception” Emma Thomas and Christopher Nolan, Producers

“The Kids Are All Right” Gary Gilbert, Jeffrey Levy-Hinte and Celine Rattray, Producers

“127 Hours” Christian Colson, Danny Boyle and John Smithson, Producers

“The Social Network” Scott Rudin, Dana Brunetti, Michael De Luca and Ceán Chaffin, Producers

“Toy Story 3” Darla K. Anderson, Producer

“True Grit” Scott Rudin, Ethan Coen and Joel Coen, Producers

“Winter's Bone" Anne Rosellini and Alix Madigan-Yorkin, Producers

Colin Firth Wins Best Actor for "The King's Speech"

Actor in a Leading Role

Colin Firth in “The King's Speech” WINNER

Javier Bardem in “Biutiful”

Jeff Bridges in “True Grit”

Jesse Eisenberg in “The Social Network”

James Franco in “127 Hours”

Natalie Portman Wins Best Actress Oscar for "Black Swan"

Actress in a Leading Role

Natalie Portman in “Black Swan” WINNER

Annette Bening in “The Kids Are All Right”

Nicole Kidman in “Rabbit Hole”

Jennifer Lawrence in “Winter's Bone”

Michelle Williams in “Blue Valentine”

Tom Hooper Wins Best Director Oscar for "The King's Speech"


“The King's Speech” Tom Hooper WINNER

“Black Swan” Darren Aronofsky

“The Fighter” David O. Russell

“The King's Speech” Tom Hooper

“True Grit” Joel Coen and Ethan Coen

Randy Newman Wins Best Original Song Oscar for "Toy Story 3"

Music (Original Song)

“We Belong Together” from “Toy Story 3" Music and Lyric by Randy Newman WINNER

“Coming Home” from “Country Strong” Music and Lyric by Tom Douglas, Troy Verges and Hillary Lindsey

“I See the Light” from “Tangled” Music by Alan Menken Lyric by Glenn Slater

“If I Rise” from “127 Hours” Music by A.R. Rahman Lyric by Dido and Rollo Armstrong

"The Social Network" Wins Best Film Editing Oscar

Film Editing

“The Social Network” Angus Wall and Kirk Baxter WINNERS

“Black Swan” Andrew Weisblum

“The Fighter” Pamela Martin

“The King's Speech” Tariq Anwar

“127 Hours” Jon Harris

“The Social Network” Angus Wall and Kirk Baxter

"Inception" Wins Best Visual Effects Oscar

Visual Effects

“Inception” Paul Franklin, Chris Corbould, Andrew Lockley and Peter Bebb WINNERS

“Alice in Wonderland” Ken Ralston, David Schaub, Carey Villegas and Sean Phillips

“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1” Tim Burke, John Richardson, Christian Manz and Nicolas Aithadi

“Hereafter” Michael Owens, Bryan Grill, Stephan Trojansky and Joe Farrell

“Iron Man 2” Janek Sirrs, Ben Snow, Ged Wright and Daniel Sudick

"Inside Job" Wins Best Documentary Feature Oscar

Documentary (Feature)

“Inside Job” Charles Ferguson and Audrey Marrs WINNERS

“Exit through the Gift Shop” Banksy and Jaimie D'Cruz

“Gasland” Josh Fox and Trish Adlesic

“Restrepo” Tim Hetherington and Sebastian Junger

“Waste Land” Lucy Walker and Angus Aynsley

"God of Love" Wins Best Live Action Short Oscar

Short Film (Live Action)

“God of Love” Luke Matheny WINNER

“The Confession” Tanel Toom

“The Crush” Michael Creagh

“Na Wewe” Ivan Goldschmidt

“Wish 143” Ian Barnes and Samantha Waite

"Strangers No More" Wins Best Documentary Short Oscar

Documentary (Short Subject)

“Strangers No More” Karen Goodman and Kirk Simon WINNERS

“Killing in the Name” Jed Rothstein

“Poster Girl” Sara Nesson and Mitchell W. Block

“Sun Come Up” Jennifer Redfearn and Tim Metzger

“The Warriors of Qiugang” Ruby Yang and Thomas Lennon

"Alice in Wonderland" Wins Best Costume Design Oscar

Costume Design

“Alice in Wonderland” Colleen Atwood WINNER

“I Am Love” Antonella Cannarozzi

“The King's Speech” Jenny Beavan

“The Tempest” Sandy Powell

“True Grit” Mary Zophres

Rick Baker and Dave Elsey Win Best Makeup Oscar for "The Wolfman"


“The Wolfman” Rick Baker and Dave Elsey WINNERS

“Barney's Version” Adrien Morot

“The Way Back” Edouard F. Henriques, Gregory Funk and Yolanda Toussieng

"Inception" Wins Best Sound Editing Oscar

Sound Editing

“Inception” Richard King WINNER

“Toy Story 3” Tom Myers and Michael Silvers

“Tron: Legacy” Gwendolyn Yates Whittle and Addison Teague

“True Grit” Skip Lievsay and Craig Berkey

“Unstoppable” Mark P. Stoeckinger

"Inception" Wins Best Sound Mixing Oscar

Sound Mixing

“Inception” Lora Hirschberg, Gary A. Rizzo and Ed Novick WINNERS

“The King's Speech” Paul Hamblin, Martin Jensen and John Midgley

“Salt” Jeffrey J. Haboush, Greg P. Russell, Scott Millan and William Sarokin

“The Social Network” Ren Klyce, David Parker, Michael Semanick and Mark Weingarten

“True Grit” Skip Lievsay, Craig Berkey, Greg Orloff and Peter F. Kurland

Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross Win Best Original Score Oscar for "The Social Network"

Music (Original Score)
“The Social Network” Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross WINNERS

“How to Train Your Dragon” John Powell

“Inception” Hans Zimmer

“The King's Speech” Alexandre Desplat

“127 Hours” A.R. Rahman

Christian Bale Wins Best Supporting Actor Oscar for "The Fighter"

Actor in a Supporting Role

Christian Bale in “The Fighter” WINNER

John Hawkes in “Winter's Bone”

Jeremy Renner in “The Town”

Mark Ruffalo in “The Kids Are All Right”

Geoffrey Rush in “The King's Speech”

"In a Better World" from Denmark Wins Best Foreign Language Film Oscar

Foreign Language Film

“In a Better World” Denmark WINNER

“Biutiful” Mexico

“Dogtooth” Greece

“Incendies” Canada

“Outside the Law (Hors-la-loi)” Algeria

David Seidler Wins Best Original Screenplay Oscar for "The King's Speech"

Writing (Original Screenplay)

“The King's Speech” Screenplay by David Seidler

“Another Year” Written by Mike Leigh

“The Fighter” Screenplay by Scott Silver and Paul Tamasy & Eric Johnson; Story by Keith Dorrington & Paul Tamasy & Eric Johnson

“Inception” Written by Christopher Nolan

“The Kids Are All Right” Written by Lisa Cholodenko & Stuart Blumberg

Aaron Sorkin Wins Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar for "The Social Network"

Writing (Adapted Screenplay)

“The Social Network” Screenplay by Aaron Sorkin WINNER

“127 Hours” Screenplay by Danny Boyle and Simon Beaufoy

“Toy Story 3” Screenplay by Michael Arndt; Story by John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton and Lee Unkrich

“True Grit” Written for the screen by Joel Coen and Ethan Coen

“Winter's Bone” Adapted for the screen by Debra Granik and Anne Rosellini

"Toy Story 3" Wins Best Animated Feature Film Oscar

Animated Feature Film

“Toy Story 3” Lee Unkrich WINNER

“How to Train Your Dragon” Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois

“The Illusionist” Sylvain Chomet

"The Lost Thing" Wins Best Animated Short Film Oscar

Short Film (Animated)

“The Lost Thing” Shaun Tan and Andrew Ruhemann WINNERS

“Day & Night” Teddy Newton

“The Gruffalo” Jakob Schuh and Max Lang

“Let's Pollute” Geefwee Boedoe

“Madagascar, carnet de voyage (Madagascar, a Journey Diary)” Bastien Dubois

Melissa Leo Wins Best Actress in a Supporting Role Oscar for "The Fighter"

Actress in a Supporting Role

Melissa Leo in “The Fighter” WINNER

Amy Adams in “The Fighter”

Helena Bonham Carter in “The King's Speech”

Hailee Steinfeld in “True Grit”

Jacki Weaver in “Animal Kingdom”

"Inception" Wins Best Cinematography Oscar


“Inception” Wally Pfister WINNER

“Black Swan” Matthew Libatique

“The King's Speech” Danny Cohen

“The Social Network” Jeff Cronenweth

“True Grit” Roger Deakins

"Alice in Wonderland" Wins Best Art Direction Oscar

Art Direction

“Alice in Wonderland” WINNERS
Production Design: Robert Stromberg; Set Decoration: Karen O'Hara

“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1”
Production Design: Stuart Craig; Set Decoration: Stephenie McMillan

Production Design: Guy Hendrix Dyas; Set Decoration: Larry Dias and Doug Mowat

“The King's Speech”
Production Design: Eve Stewart; Set Decoration: Judy Farr

“True Grit”
Production Design: Jess Gonchor; Set Decoration: Nancy Haigh

Complete List of Independent Spirit Award Winners; "Black Swan" Soars

The Independent Spirit Awards or Film Independent’s Spirit Awards were founded in 1984 and are awards dedicated to independent filmmakers. Film Independent is the non-profit arts organization that produces the Spirit Awards and also the Los Angeles Film Festival.
The 2011 winners were announced Sat., Feb. 26, 2011.
2011 Film Independent Spirit Award winners:
Best Feature
Black Swan; Producers: Scott Franklin, Mike Medavoy, Arnold W. Messer, Brian Oliver;

Best Director
Darren Aronofsky, Black Swan

Best Screenplay
The Kids Are All Right Writers: Stuart Blumberg & Lisa Cholodenko

Best Female
Natalie Portman, Black Swan

Best Male
James Franco, 127 Hours

Best First Feature
Get Low Director: Aaron Schneider
Producers: David Gundlach, Dean Zanuck

Best First Screenplay
Lena Dunham, Tiny Furniture

John Cassavetes Award (For the best feature made under $500,000)
Writers/Directors: Benny Safdie, Josh Safdie
Daddy Longlegs Producers: Casey Neistat, Tom Scott

Best Supporting Female
Dale Dickey, Winter's Bone

Best Supporting Male
John Hawkes, Winter's Bone

Best Cinematography
Matthew Libatique, Black Swan

Best Foreign Film
The King's Speech Director: Tom Hooper

Best Documentary
Exit Through The Gift Shop, Banksy

Saturday, February 26, 2011

"The Social Network" Wins Cesar Award

First given out in 1975, the César Award is the national film award of France. Some even think of the César Award as the French equivalent of the American Academy Awards. The nominations are selected by the members of the Académie des Arts et Techniques du Cinéma, and the award ceremony is held in Paris each February.  The name of the award comes from the late sculptor César Baldaccini, and the trophies are actual sculptures of the artist.

The 36th Cesar Awards were presented on Friday, February 25, 2011.  Of note to Americans, The Social Network won "Best Foreign Film."

The 36th (2011) César Award winners:

Best Film: "Of Gods and Men" ("Des Hommes Et Des Dieu")

Best Director: Roman Polanski, "The Ghost Writer"

Best Foreign Film: "The Social Network"

Best Actress: Sara Forestier, "Le Nom Des Gens" ("The Names of Love")

Best Actor: Eric Elmosnino, "Gainsbourg"

Best Supporting Actress: Anne Alvaro, "Le Bruit Des Glaçons" ("The Clink of Ice")

Best Supporting Actor: Michael Lonsdale, "Of Gods and Men" ("Des Hommes Et Des Dieux")

Best First Film: "Gainsbourg" ("Vie Héroïque")

Best Original Screenplay: Baya Kasmi, Michel Leclerc, "Le Nom Des Gens"

Best Adapted Screenplay: Robert Harris, Roman Polanski, "The Ghost Writer"

Best Documentary: "Océans"

Best Animated Film: "L’Illusioniste" ("The Illusionist")

Best Short Film: "Logorama"

Best Newcomer (Female): Leïla Bekhti, "Tout Ce Qui Brille"

Best Newcomer (Male): Edgar Ramirez, "Carlos"

Best Original Score: Alexandre Desplat, "The Ghost Writer"

Best Sound: Daniel Sobrino, Jean Goudier, Cyril Holtz, "Gainsbourg"

Best Cinematography: Caroline Champetier, "Of Gods and Men" ("Des Hommes Et Des Dieux")

Best Editing: Hervé de Luz, "The Ghost Writer"

Best Costume Design: Caroline De Vivaise, "La Princesse De Montpensier"

Best Art Direction: Hugues Tissandier, "Les Adventures Extraordinaries D'Adèle Blanc-Sec"

"Night Catches Us" Dominates 2011 Black Reel Awards

The Academy Awards are tomorrow night.  As we get closer, I'm catching up on movie awards from other organizations.  A few weeks ago, the winners of the Black Reel Awards were announced.  Night Catches Us dominated, while Tyler Perry's For Colored Girls only won 3 of the 10 nominations it received.  It is a shame that neither film received a single Oscar nomination.

2011 Black Reel Award winners:

Outstanding Film
Night Catches Us, distributed by Magnolia Pictures

Outstanding Director
Albert Hughes, Allen Hughes-The Book of Eli

Outstanding Actor
Anthony Mackie – Night Catches Us

Outstanding Actress
Kerry Washington – Night Catches Us

Outstanding Supporting Actor
Wesley Snipes – Brooklyn’s Finest

Outstanding Supporting Actress
Phylicia Rashad – For Colored Girls

Outstanding Score
The Roots – Night Catches Us

Outstanding Song
“Shine” by John Legend from Waiting for Superman

Outstanding Ensemble
For Colored Girls, distributed by Lionsgate

Outstanding Breakthrough Performance
Tessa Thompson - For Colored Girls

Outstanding Feature Documentary
Waiting for Superman

Outstanding Independent
Preacher’s Kid, distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures

Outstanding Independent Short
Katrina’s Son - Ya’ke

Outstanding Independent Documentary
For the Best and For the Onion

Outstanding Television Documentary
If God is Willing and Da Creek Don’t Rise

Review: "Sweeney Todd" is Bloody Good" (Happy B'day, Dante Ferretti)

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 21 (of 2008) by Leroy Douresseaux

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007)
Running time: 116 minutes (1 hour, 56 minutes)
MPAA – R for graphic bloody violence
DIRECTOR: Tim Burton
WRITER: John Logan (based on the musical by Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler; originally stage by Harold Prince)
PRODUCERS: Richard D. Zanuck, Walter Parkes, Laurie MacDonald, and John Logan
EDITOR: Chris Lebenzon, A.C.E.
2008 Academy Award winner


Starring: Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Alan Rickman, Timothy Spall, Sacha Baron Cohen, Jamie Campbell Bower, Jayne Wisener, and Edward Sanders

Tim Burton (Beetlejuice, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) brings the music and lyrics of Stephen Sondheim to life in his wonderfully gruesome film, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, based on the Tony Award-winning musical by Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler. Burton keeps most of the songs from the musical and joins his frequent leading man, Johnny Depp, for the sixth time to make fantastically macabre movie magic, one that demands that the audience accept the gory reality of murder if it’s going to be entertained by bloody revenge.

Escaping two decades of false imprisonment in Australia, Benjamin Barker (Johnny Depp) returns to London and vows to kill the evil Judge Turpin (Alan Rickman) and his nefarious henchman, Beadle Bamford (Timothy Spall), who framed him on trumped-up criminal charge in order to steal his wife. However, Barker has learned that his wife, Lucy (Laura Michelle Kelly), poisoned herself, and his now grown daughter, Johanna (Jayne Wisener), is Turpin’s ward.

Adopting the guise of Sweeney Todd, Barker resumes his trade as a barber. He sets up his business in his old Barber Shop above the pie-making premises of Mrs. Nellie Lovett (Helena Bonham Carter), who falls for the mad barber. After killing a rival who threatens to expose Sweeney’s real identity, Todd devises with Mrs. Lovett an inhuman scheme that will both get rid of the body and save Mrs. Lovett’s ailing meat pie business. Todd begins to murder his customers, cutting their throats, and Mrs. Lovett uses their flesh as the filling for her pies.

Meanwhile, Anthony (Jamie Campbell Bower), the young sailor who rescued Sweeney from the sea, has fallen madly in love with Johanna and becomes the target of Turpin’s ire, for Turpin wants to marry his young ward. Mrs. Lovett’s pies soon become the talk of London, and as business booms, she dreams of respectability and a life at the seaside with Sweeney as her husband and her young charge, Toby (Edward Sanders), alongside as her adopted son. Sweeney Todd has only one thing on his mind – cutting Judge Turpin and Beadle Bamford’s throats so severely that their arterial sprays will paint his walls.

While it may be true that Johnny Depp doesn’t have a quality singing voice, he is a great actor, and his frequent collaborator Tim Burton is a great director. In Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, the two of them make a splendid film musical, as good, and in some ways better, than recent screen musicals Chicago, Dreamgirls, and Moulin Rouge.

Depp, all brooding, smoldering, and quite mad, as Sweeney Todd is mesmerizing on screen. His Todd is a rich character capable of so many moods and so very capable of feigning civility and humanity when there is never a moment in this movie when Todd isn’t at heart, a freaking homicidal maniac. It’s no wonder that Depp earned his third Oscar nomination as a lead actor. His colleagues in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences can see how wonderfully fertile this character is, simply because this amazing actor can create a profound character, almost out of thin air.

Burton, often criticized for focusing on whimsical, macabre, and almost pop gothic films instead of “serious” subject matter, seems to distill everything he has done thus far in cinema into this one gruesome, luminous jewel. Burton’s creative and technical collaborators have fashioned some of the most imaginative and decorative costumes and sets. His cinematographers, editors, and lighting crews have made inventive uses of the tools and equipment of their trades and crafts. Burton is not only able to get the best of his technical staff, he is also able to get them to go out of the ordinary when it comes to creating visual splendor. Sweeney Todd is the movie where everything he has done has come together to produce the epitome of his visual style. It’s like an astonishing colorful ode to Italian filmmaker, Mario Bava, an influence on Burton.

That’s not to say that this is the Burton/Depp show alone. Stephen Sondheim’s music is not only divine, but is also excellent at storytelling, character defining, and mood making. Helena Bonham Carter, a thoroughly underrated and underutilized actress, is a surprisingly spry singer with a beautiful voice. She’s a scene stealer here, and one can argue that the film is as much her Mrs. Lovett’s as it is Depp’s murderous Todd. To put it simply, the people who made this movie made a great movie, a deliciously demented great movie.

9 of 10

2008 Academy Awards: 1 winner for “Best Achievement in Art Direction” (Dante Ferretti-art director and Francesca Lo Schiavo-set decorator) and 2 nominations: “Best Actor in a Leading Role” (Johnny Depp) and “Best Achievement in Costume Design” (Colleen Atwood)

2008 BAFTA Awards: 2 nominations: “Best Costume Design” (Colleen Atwood) and “Best Make Up and Hair” (Ivana Primorac)

2008 Golden Globes: 2 wins: “Best Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy” and “Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy” (Johnny Depp); 2 nominations: “Best Director - Motion Picture” (Tim Burton) and “Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy” (Helena Bonham Carter)

Friday, April 25, 2008


Friday, February 25, 2011

75 Episodes of "Hikaru No Go" Anime Available for Download

iTunes, PlayStation® Network, And Amazon Video On Demand Begin Offering Both Hit Adventure Series To Rent Or Own
VIZ Media has announced the availability of hit anime series HIKARU NO GO and MÄR for Download-To-Rent / Download-To-Own (DTR/DTO) from leading online content providers iTunes, PlayStation® Network, and Amazon Video on Demand.

The complete series for HIKARU NO GO (Episodes 1-75) and MÄR (Episodes 1-52) will be presented dubbed and uncut, and will be available immediately from the iTunes Store in the U.S. ( and Canada ( As a special promotion, Episode 1 from each series will be available for FREE download through August 23, 2011!

Amazon Video on Demand and the PlayStation® Network video delivery service, available exclusively for the Sony PSP® (PlayStation®Portable) and PlayStation®3 (PS3™) entertainment systems, will offer Season 1 of HIKARU NO GO and MÄR, beginning with Episodes 1-3. New installments will be released every Monday. Episode 1 from each series will be available for FREE download through March 22, 2011.

All episodes are $0.99 each for Download-To-Rent and $1.99 for Download-To-Own across all platforms.

HIKARU NO GO is a unique story that revolves around the ancient Japanese strategy game of Go, and is based on the manga written by Yumi Hotta and illustrated by Takeshi Obata (also published domestically by VIZ Media). Hikaru Shindo is like any sixth-grader in Japan: a pretty normal kid with a two-tone head of hair and a penchant for antics. His life completely changes when he finds an old bloodstained go board in his grandfather's attic. The ghost of an ancient go master named Fujiwara-no-Sai was trapped in the board and soon becomes a part of Hikaru's consciousness. Together Hikaru and Sai make an unstoppable go-playing team!

MÄR is based on the hit manga series by Nobuyuki Anzai (creator also of FLAME OF RECCA), published in North America by VIZ Media. An ordinary middle-school boy with an overactive imagination, Ginta Toramizu dreams about fairy tales and make-believe lands. One day at school, a gate appears and he enters the World of MÄR, the world of his dreams. Within the World of MÄR exist ÄRM: accessories with unique powers. Soon, Ginta stumbles upon Babbo, an ÄRM that can speak, and learns that he has been summoned to this mythical world to stop the Chess Pieces, a group of rogue soldiers, from destroying the World of MÄR. Now part of Team MÄR, Ginta and Babbo fight in War Games against the Chess Pieces to save the MÄR World. But will Ginta’s mission be compromised by his ally’s secrets?

For more information on the HIKARU NO GO and MÄR anime and manga series, please visit

(Belated) Happy Birthday, Laura

I was so focused on calling you yesterday that I forgot to post this greeting.  Better late than never... I hope.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Oscars, "Black Swan" Buzz Yahoo! Search Engine

83rd Annual Academy Awards Projections from Yahoo!: According to Yahoo! Search, Black Swan Reigns Supreme and the Web is Buzzing About Co-Host Anne Hathaway

--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The 83rd Annual Academy Awards are set to air on Sunday February 27th. As the world prepares for Hollywood’s biggest night, Yahoo! looked at which films and actors are getting the most buzz online.

According to Yahoo! the web is excited about Hollywood’s big show:

Searches for “when are the Oscars” are spiking on Yahoo!

Searches on Yahoo! for “Oscars 2011” are up 1403%

Oscar ballots are spiking on Yahoo! up 38%

Searches for the award show are split between males and females

States searching for “Oscars” the most: California, Illinois, Texas, Washington and New Jersey

Older viewers: those under 24 only make up 16% of searches for “Oscars”

Black Swan Reigns Supreme: According to Yahoo! the top searched nominated films are:

1. Black Swan
2. True Grit
3. 127 hours
4. The Kids Are Alright
5. Inception
6. The Fighter
7. Toy Story 3

According to Yahoo! the top searched nominated actresses are:

1. Natalie Portman
2. Nicole Kidman
3. Jennifer Lawrence
4. Annette Bening

According to Yahoo! the top searched nominated actors are:

1. Javier Bardem
2. James Franco
3. Colin Firth
4. Jeff Bridges

According to Yahoo! the top searched Oscar hosts are:

1. Anne Hathaway
2. Ellen DeGeneres
3. James Franco
4. Alec Baldwin
5. Hugh Jackman
6. Whoopi Goldberg
7. Jon Stewart
8. Chris Rock
9. Steve Martin

Hostess with the Most:
Yahoo! users searched for Oscar co-host Anne Hathaway more than all of the “Best Actress” nominees.

Can’t get enough of the Oscars? Check out Yahoo! Movies’ exclusive coverage complete with predictions, nominees, polls, photos and more:

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Review: "The Social Network" All-American and All-World

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 17 (of 2011) by Leroy Douresseaux

The Social Network (2010)
Running time: 120 minutes (2 hours)
MPAA – PG-13 for sexual content, drug and alcohol use and language
DIRECTOR: David Fincher
WRITERS: Aaron Sorkin (based on the book The Accidental Billionaires by Ben Mezrich)
PRODUCERS: Dana Brunetti, Ceán Chaffin, Michael De Luca, and Scott Rudin
EDITORS: Kirk Baxter and Angus Wall
COMPOSER: Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross


Starring: Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, Armie Hammer, Justin Timberlake, Max Minghella, Rashida Jones, Joseph Mazzello, Brenda Song, Josh Pence, and Rooney Mara

The Social Network is perhaps the most critically acclaimed film of 2010, having won close to 20 best picture honors from critics groups and organizations. Directed by David Fincher and written by Aaron Sorkin, The Social Network is a fictional account and dramatization of the founding of Facebook, the hugely popular social-networking website.

The film begins on a fall night in 2003, when Boston University student, Erica Albright (Rooney Mara), breaks up with Harvard undergrad, Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg). A computer programming genius, Zuckerberg sits down at his computer and lashes out in a flurry of blogging and programming that launches “FaceMash.” Zuckerberg’s new website not only captures the attention of the entire Harvard campus, but also gets the attention of a trio of budding entrepreneurs. That night, in his dorm room after the breakup, leads to what will become “The Facebook” which will eventually become the global social network, Facebook. This revolution in communication, however, brings Zuckerberg both success and a horde of broken friendships, partnerships, and lawsuits.

The Social Network is about several things. It is about Mark Zuckerberg, about the founding of Facebook, about a clash of privileged and ambitious personalities, and about perception and point of view. Most of all, The Social Network seems to be about the beginnings of a map to the future. The triumph of Aaron Sorkin’s screenplay is how he compressed all of this and dramatized in two hours what was probably dull and tedious in real life – including Zuckerberg’s legal wrangling. Sorkin makes nerds come across as sexy masters of the universe. Slimy bastards (like Justin Timberlake’s Sean Parker) seem like rock stars. Parties are shinier, and Harvard’s campus is like a hub, the nexus where all exciting places meet.

And the performances meet and match Sorkin’s exceptional screenplay. Jesse Eisenberg has made a career of playing likeable, amiable dweebs, but as Mark Zuckerberg, he turns that on its head with this outstanding, sublime performance. Eisenberg’s Zuckerberg is like a god, a genius whose indomitable spirit smolders behind a mask of petulance, detachment, and a pout. Zuckerberg should be so Garbo-cool.

I’ve thought for a long time that Justin Timberlake had the dramatic chops to pull off good roles; now, I have proof. Timberlake makes Sean Parker (founder of Napster) cool and attractive, the guy you’d want in your corner, and you’d still forgive his cocaine habit and general sliminess. Andrew Garfield almost steals the film as Eduardo Saverin, a character who is the only adult in the room (which makes him a tragic fall guy). Armie Hammer makes the most of his every moment as the twins, Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss (with actor Josh Pence doing body double duties) by giving each brother a separate, distinct personality.

The one who pulls it all together and makes The Social Network arguable the best film of 2010 is director David Fincher. The phrase, “visionary director,” gets thrown around a lot about talented hack directors (like Zack Snyder), but since Fincher’s mid-90s film, Se7en, it has been obvious that he is a true visionary. Fincher makes The Social Network operate like a suspense thriller; that’s why Sorkin’s tale of conniving nerds is never boring and always gripping. Here, computers, programming codes, and the Internet are like shiny guns, weapons that make these nerds seem like crazy, sexy, cool gangstas.

The Social Network is compelling drama – mesmerizing, hypnotic, and engaging. Everything about it works, and everyone involved should get credit for their great efforts, especially David Fincher.

10 of 10

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Justin Bieber: Never Say Never "Fan Cut" Gets Limited Release


40-Minutes of New Bieber Footage on RealD® and 3D Digital Screens In Theaters Beginning Friday, February 25th

Tickets For The Director’s Fan Cut Go On-Sale Tuesday, February 22nd at 5pm PST

HOLLYWOOD, CA (February 21, 2011) – Paramount’s Insurge Pictures today announced plans to release “JUSTIN BIEBER: NEVER SAY NEVER” DIRECTOR’S FAN CUT for an exclusive one-week run beginning Friday, February 25th in 3D theaters across the U.S. and Canada. In an unprecedented move, Paramount will release a revamped version of the star’s movie three-weekends following its initial release. Tickets for the limited engagement go on-sale Tuesday, February 22nd at 5pm PST/8pm EST.

As he began the editing process several months ago, and upon realizing the significant amount of great footage he had obtained, director Jon M. Chu began to develop with the studio an idea for a second, and more fan centric, edition of the movie. While promoting the film’s initial release, he spent dozens of hours on Twitter and Facebook engaging with fans to learn more about what they were most anxious to see. Some scenes contained in the new cut include: more of Justin’s friends and hometown life, new songs and performances, and special footage shot at fan premiere’s across the country.

“I realized I had an embarrassment of riches when I was I in the cutting room,” said Chu. “This cut allows me to retain some of the best scenes from the original movie, while incorporating previously unseen footage and new material I shot during our extensive promotional tour on behalf of the movie. Justin’s dedication to his fan base is unwavering and I was inspired as a filmmaker to attempt to provide them a unique experience that showed even more of his world.”

“JUSTIN BIEBER: NEVER SAY NEVER,” which opened nationwide on February 11th to critical acclaim, earned $30 million in its initial weekend and earned an A+ Cinemascore from women (an A overall). The new fan cut will have a running time of 115 minutes and will be available in RealD® and digital 3D in theaters across the U.S. and Canada for one-week starting Friday.

“It is a testament to the professionalism and tenacity of Jon and the production team for turning around this new version of “JUSTIN BIEBER: NEVER SAY NEVER” DIRECTOR’S FAN CUT in only a few months, giving fans an even deeper look into Justin’s life,” said Adam Goodman, President Paramount Film Group.

“JUSTIN BIEBER: NEVER SAY NEVER” DIRECTOR’S FAN CUT is the inspiring true story and rare inside look at the rise of Justin from street performer in the small town of Stratford, Ontario to internet phenomenon to global super star culminating with a dream sold out show at the famed Madison Square Garden in 3D. It is directed by Jon M. Chu and produced by Scooter Braun, Justin Bieber, Antonio “L.A.” Reid, Usher Raymond IV, Dan Cutforth and Jane Lipsitz.

For more information go to:

About Paramount Pictures Corporation
Paramount Pictures Corporation (PPC), a global producer and distributor of filmed entertainment, is a unit of Viacom (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B), a leading content company with prominent and respected film, television and digital entertainment brands. The company's labels include Paramount Pictures, Paramount Vantage, Paramount Classics, Insurge Pictures, MTV Films and Nickelodeon Movies. PPC operations also include Paramount Digital Entertainment, Paramount Famous Productions, Paramount Home Entertainment, Paramount Pictures International, Paramount Licensing Inc., Paramount Studio Group and Paramount Television & Digital Distribution.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Kansas City Film Critics Choose "The Social Network" and Christopher Nolan

As we move closer to the Academy Awards (Sun., Feb. 27th), I'm catching up on my critics awards.  Today, it's the Kansas City Film Critics Circle, which announced its movie awards in January.
Founded in 1967, The Kansas City Film Critics Circle (KCFCC) says that it is the "second oldest professional film critics" association in the United States" (behind the New York Film Critics Circle). The organization is composed of media film critics in the Kansas City metropolitan area. The KCFCC’s awards are named for the group’s founder, James Loutzenhiser, who died in November 2001.

2010 Loutzenhiser Awards (Announced January 2, 2011):

Best Film: The Social Network

Robert Altman Award for Best Director: Christopher Nolan - Inception

Best Actress: Natalie Portman - Black Swan

Best Actor: Colin Firth - The King's Speech

Best Supporting Actress: Hailee Steinfeld - True Grit

Best Supporting Actor: Christian Bale - The Fighter

Best Original Screenplay: Christopher Nolan - Inception

Best Adapted Screenplay: Aaron Sorkin - The Social Network

Best Animated Film: Toy Story 3

Best Foreign Language Film: Mother (South Korea)

Best Documentary: Exit Through the Gift Shop

Vince Koehler Award for Best Science Fiction, Fantasy or Horror Film: Inception

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Paramount Pictures Issues Casting Call for "Fun Size"

About once a year, I get an email from Paramount Pictures announcing a casting call for a new movie.  Back in 2009, I got one when Paramount was looking to cast the "Mattie Ross" character in the Coen Bros.' True Grit remake, a role that eventually went to now-Oscar-nominated Hailee Steinfeld.  At the time, the True Grit casting call said that people interested in auditioning for Mattie, "must be able to portray Caucasian."  I still laugh at that line.

Anyway, here is the casting call for the upcoming film, "Fun Size" (Must be able to portay Asiatic - HeeHee):


Seeking to cast the following for leading roles in the new Paramount Feature Film “FUN SIZE”.

No previous acting experience is necessary, but must have great energy and a wonderful sense of humor.

ALBERT: 8 years old, with chubby cheeks. Albert is undeniably a strange but intriguing little boy, combining childlike ways (like love of anything sugar) with unnerving adult habits (he’s unbeatable on the videogame “Aggravated Assault,” precocious, and is unflappable – even ingenious – in a crisis). He does not speak until the end of the movie. (LEAD)

STUART: 16 years old. Born and raised in the United States. Stuart is of Asian, East Indian or Middle Eastern descent. Slight in build, Stuart is a kid who talks twice his size. Obsessed with sci-fi and comic books, he is the co-captain of the debate team with his best friend, Roosevelt. (LEAD)

To audition for a role please visit:

Review: Robert Altman Signs off with Sweet "A Prairie Home Companion" (Happy B'day, Robert Altman)

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 157 (of 2006) by Leroy Douresseaux

A Prairie Home Companion (2006)
Running time: 105 minutes (1 hour, 45 minutes)
MPAA – PG-13 for some risqué humor
DIRECTOR: Robert Altman
WRITERS: Garrison Keillor, from a story by Ken LaZebnik and Garrison Keillor (based upon the radio program “A Prairie Home Companion” created by Garrison Keillor)
PRODUCERS: Robert Altman, Wren Arthur, Joshua Astrachan, Tony Judge, and David Levy
EDITOR: Jacob Craycroft


Starring: Woody Harrelson, Tommy Lee Jones, Garrison Keillor, Kevin Kline, Lindsay Lohan, Virginia Madsen, John C. Reilly, Maya Rudolph, Meryl Streep, Lily Tomlin, Marylouise Burke, L.Q. Jones, Sue Scott, Tim Russell, and Jearlyn Steele.

Director Robert Altman’s new film, A Prairie Home Companion, is a fictionalized version of Garrison Keillor’s long running, public-radio variety show, also titled "A Prairie Home Companion." In this film, A Prairie Home Companion isn’t the fabled national phenomenon that it has been for decades (since its first broadcast on July 6, 1974), but is rather an obscure local program performed at a small local venue, the Fitzgerald Theatre (where the real Prairie Home Companion is performed), and broadcast onto a single Minnesota radio station, WLT. The film opens on what is to be the show’s final performance after the better part of four decades, as the Fitzgerald has been bought by a Texas conglomerate that is going to demolish the theatre to build a parking lot.

There is much backstage drama – the death of a long time Prairie Home performer; a mysterious woman (Virginia Madsen) who seems to bring death with her stalks the halls and stage; and the theatre security, Guy Noir (Kevin Kline), is rather self-absorbed. However, the focus is on the stage and the performers. There is the whimsical, sad sack maestro, GK (Garrison Keillor), who seems to be an undertaker as much as he is the master of ceremonies and host. His stars include the country-singing Johnson sisters, Yolanda (Meryl Streep) and Rhonda (Lily Tomlin), and the cowboy duo, the Old Trailhands, Dusty (Woody Harrelson) and Lefty (John C. Reilly), and more. Still, the Prairie Home performers and crew await the arrival of the Axeman (Tommy Lee Jones), who will signal the end of both the show and the showplace.

Although Altman works from Garrison Keillor’s script and this concept is Keillor’s, Altman makes the film his own by employing the techniques that have made him a filmmaking legend: the improvisational chatter and babble, the characters overlapping dialogue, and the wandering, zooming cameral – sometimes orbital, sometimes a stationary eye, but always capturing the story that Altman is weaving.

The performances, although good, are mostly small, but the actors make the most of their moments. Each character is quirky, and each actor gives that part an idiosyncratic turn that makes this entire film seem special. In fact, the cast is in perfect harmony, and one can watch the actors building up to this synchronization as the characters continually interact with one another. In the end, the make Prairie Home’s final moments as a variety show an example of simple, heartwarming, old-fashioned harmony. Clearly the actors believe in their baggy and shelf-worn characters. It’s a testament to their faith in Altman and perhaps to a lesser extent Keillor’s creation.

Ultimately, A Prairie Home Companion is an unusual film, simple and sometimes profound. It’s a fantasy about a kind of public performance that has nothing to do with big event corporate entertainment or prepackaged amusements put together by media conglomerates, which have all the soul one would expect from plastic. A Prairie Home Companion begs you to watch such stellar talent create an idealized version of something from another time – variety radio programs – and watch them do it with such conviction that you don’t want to leave your strange new friends. You’re worried that someone might hurt them and stop what they do – you care.

7 of 10

Saturday, July 22, 2006


Review: "In the Heat of the Night" Retains its Heat (Happy B'day, Sidney Poitier)

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 142 (of 2004) by Leroy Douresseaux

In the Heat of the Night (1967)
Running time: 109 minutes (1 hour, 49 minutes)
DIRECTOR: Norman Jewison
WRITER: Stirling Silliphant (based on the novel by John Ball)
PRODUCER: Walter Mirisch
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Haskell Wexler (D.o.P.)
EDITOR: Hal Ashby
COMPOSER: Quincy Jones
Academy Award winner


Starring: Sidney Poitier, Rod Steiger, Warren Oates, Lee Grant, William Schallert, Beah Richards, Matt Clark, and Quentin Dean

The winner of five Academy Awards (out of seven nominations) including an Oscar® for “Best Picture” and another for Rod Steiger as “Best Actor,” director Norman Jewison’s film, In the Heat of the Night, remains a potent examination of racism, prejudice, and bigotry nearly four decades after its release. Although Oscar® ignored his performance, Sidney Poitier created one of his signature roles in this film. His Virgil Tibbs is one of the most important and influential Black characters in film history and set a standard for the Black leading man portraying strong, resolute characters.

Virgil Tibbs (Sidney Poitier) is in the small and sleepy town of Sparta, Mississippi waiting at a train station for a connecting train. After getting harassed and detained by Sam Woods (Warren Oates), a racist cop, Tibbs reveals to Sparta Police Chief Bill Gillespie (Rod Steiger) that he is a homicide detective from Philadelphia. Tibbs presence coincides with a grisly murder, and via a set of convenient circumstances, Tibbs stays in town to assist in finding the murderer. During the course of the investigation, Tibbs and Gillespie rub each other the wrong way. Tibbs, however, is determined to solve the case, remaining in the investigation in spite of Gillespie numerous demands that Tibbs leave Sparta, and Gillespie doggedly follows Tibbs every step protecting him from Sparta’s more violent and bigoted citizens determined to kill Tibbs the uppity nigger.

The performances of course are all good, some of them great. Poitier, an actor with a highly mannered style, is perfect in his portrayal of Virgil Tibbs, giving him a proud air necessary for a highly skilled black man who must work with and prove himself to lesser talented white men, who nurse assorted insecurities and skin color hatreds. Poitier’s performance is a delicate high wire act that is occasionally overstated, but is never more so direct and appropriate than when Tibbs returns a slap to the face of a white character. Steiger is also very good. He strains at the seams to unleash the fury in him, kept behind a low key façade, but Stirling Silliphant’s Oscar®-winning script doesn’t give him enough room to really play.

In addition to the film’s social implications, it is flat out a great film. Norman Jewison does a fine job balancing social commentary and displays of ethnic tensions with the necessities of genre conventions, in this case, the characteristics of crime fiction. In the Heat of the Night is also an intriguing mystery story that keeps you guessing to the end right along with Tibbs – whodunit?

9 of 10

1968 Academy Awards: 5 wins: “Best Picture” (Walter Mirisch), “Best Actor in a Leading Role” (Rod Steiger), “Best Film Editing” (Hal Ashby), “Best Sound” (Samuel Goldwyn SSD), “Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium” (Stirling Silliphant ); 2 nominations: “Best Director” (Norman Jewison) and “Best Effects, Sound Effects” (James Richard)

1968 BAFTA Awards: 2 wins: “Best Foreign Actor” (Rod Steiger) and “UN Award” (Norman Jewison); 2 nominations: “Best Film from any Source” (Norman Jewison) and “Best Foreign Actor” (Sidney Poitier)

1968 Golden Globes: 3 wins: “Best Motion Picture – Drama,” “Best Motion Picture Actor – Drama” (Rod Steiger), and “Best Screenplay” (Stirling Silliphant); 4 nominations: “Best Motion Picture Actor – Drama” (Sidney Poitier), “Best Motion Picture Director” (Norman Jewison), “Best Supporting Actress” (Lee Grant), and “Best Supporting Actress” (Quentin Dean)


Saturday, February 19, 2011

"Neuro: Supernatural Detective" Anime Free at VIZ Anime and Hulu

New Series Launches on and Hulu

VIZ Media brings an exciting new animated series to North American audiences with the launch of NEURO: SUPERNATURAL DETECTIVE on Friday, February 18th on (, the company’s own premier website for free anime, as well as the streaming content provider HULU (

The new series (rated ‘M’ for Mature) will debut with the first five subtitled episodes available, with new installments available weekly.

In NEURO: SUPERNATURAL DETECTIVE, Neuro Nogami is a demon that feeds on criminal mysteries and riddles in the human world. In order to protect his identity, he forms a partnership with Yako, an incisive 16-year-old high school girl. This unlikely crime-solving duo devours one mystery after another in search of the ultimate appetizing mystery!

NEURO: SUPERNATURAL DETECTIVE is based on a popular manga (graphic novel) series created by Yosei Matsui that sold over 3 million copies in Japan and is produced by the famed animation studio, MADHOUSE.

For more information on NEURO: SUPERNATURAL DETECTIVE and other animated titles from VIZ Media please visit

Review: Woody Allen's "You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger" is Not an Exciting Encounter

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 16 (of 2011) by Leroy Douresseaux

You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger (2010)
Running time: 98 minutes (1 hour, 38 minutes)
MPAA – R for some language
PRODUCERS: Letty Aronson, Jaume Roures, and Stephen Tenenbaum
EDITOR: Alisa Lepselter


Starring: Antonio Banderas, Josh Brolin, Anthony Hopkins, Gemma Jones, Freida Pinto, Lucy Punch, Naomi Watts, Pauline Collins, Roger Ashton-Griffiths, Ewen Bremner, and Zak Orth (narrator)

You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger is the fourth London-set film from famed director Woody Allen. The film follows a pair of married couples in some state of marital dissolution.

After her husband, Alfie Shepridge (Anthony Hopkins), divorces her, Helena Shepridge (Gemma Jones) consults Cristal (Pauline Collins), a psychic, to learn what fate has in store for her. Alfie, in the midst of an old man’s version of a midlife crisis, is engaged to a prostitute named Charmaine Foxx (Lucy Punch). Helena and Alfie’s daughter, Sally Channing (Naomi Watts), and her husband, Roy Channing (Josh Brolin), are having their own marital problems. Sally is smitten with Greg Clemente (Antonio Banderas), the owner of the art gallery where she works. Roy, a struggling writer, falls in love with Dia (Freida Pinto), a grad student who is already engaged to be married. Meanwhile, Helena waits for the tall, dark stranger Cristal predicted would come into her life.

When one considers the films Woody Allen made in the 1970s, 80s, and even into the 90s, You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger, like most of Allen’s films from the last decade, does not measure up. Parts of this film are dull and uninspired, but some of it is also shocking and sincere in its depiction of how a person’s dissatisfaction with his or her life can manifest itself.

I think credit should go to the cast who seem to not only make the best of this middling material, but in some cases, make it better. Gemma Jones and Anthony Hopkins are the best examples of that in this film. I’m not familiar with Jones, but I am with Hopkins. As much as I always expect him to be good, Hopkins surprises me with his fantastic turn as the vain, confused, and ultimately tragic Alfie. Hopkins brings complexity to a character that needs complexity.

The themes of this film seem to be vanity and discontent, and the characters yearn for material things while ignoring how bankrupt they are spiritually. However, You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger doesn’t seem to yearn for anything, being largely philosophically and spiritually empty. This movie doesn’t even have an ending so much as the story just seems to fade away.

I have to be honest. If anyone else other than Woody Allen pulled what he does with this movie, I would be intolerant. So if you are a fan of Allen or of at least one of the cast members, you may want to meet this movie. Otherwise, you will not want to meet You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger.

5 of 10

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Friday, February 18, 2011

Shane Black to Direct "Iron Man 3"

The website, Total Film, is one of many reporting that Shane Black will direct "Iron Man 3, scheduled for May 2013.  Shane Black, who wrote Lethal Weapon and The Last Boy Scout, also wrote and directed Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, which starred Iron Man himself, Robert Downey, Jr.  Apparently, the third Iron Man film will be a sequel to this spring's Thor and next summer's, "The Avengers." I'll post more information as I find it.

Review: "For Colored Girls" is Sho Enuf Good

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 15 (of 2011) by Leroy Douresseaux

For Colored Girls (2010)
Running time: 134 minutes (2 hours, 14 minutes)
MPAA – R for some disturbing violence including a rape, sexual content and language
DIRECTOR: Tyler Perry
WRITER: Tyler Perry (based upon the play For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf by Ntozake Shange)
PRODUCERS: Roger M. Bobb, Paul Hall, and Tyler Perry
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Alexander Gruszynski
EDITOR: Maysie Hoy


Starring: Kimberly Elise, Janet Jackson, Loretta Devine, Thandie Newton, Anika Noni Rose, Kerry Washington, Tessa Thompson, Phylicia Rashad, Whoopi Goldberg, Macy Gray, Michael Ealy, Omari Hardwick, Richard Lawson, Hill Harper, and Khalil Kain

For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf is a 1975 stage play written by American playwright and poet, Ntozake Shange. It is my understanding that the Obie Award-winning play is a series of 20 poems or poetic monologues that express the struggles and obstacles that African-American women face throughout their lives.

Tyler Perry, the playwright turned prolific film director, adapted Shange’s play into the 2010 film, For Colored Girls. The film explores the lives of nine modern African American women, interconnected by one way or another, and uses poetic vignettes to illuminate their struggles, suffering, and conflicts (abuse, rape, and abortion, among others).

Among the characters is Joanne “Jo” Bradmore (Janet Jackson), a magazine publisher whose husband, Carl Bradmore (Omari Hardwick), is unfaithful. Promiscuous Tangie Adrose (Thandie Newton) and troubled teenager, Nyla (Tessa Thompson), are estranged sisters who find their mother, Alice Adrose (Whoopi Goldberg), to be the thing between them. Crystal Wallace (Kimberly Elise), who works for Jo, fails to see the true danger her abusive boyfriend, war veteran Beau Willie Brown (Michael Ealy), poses to her and her children. Meanwhile, watching everything and hoping to bring everyone together is apartment manager, Gilda (Phylicia Rashad).

I’ve always thought that Tyler Perry is as capable of directing moving film dramas as he is at staging broad comedies, and For Colored Girls affirms that, although 2009’s I Can Do Bad All By Myself already proved Perry could do drama. I’m surprised that this film has gotten such negative reviews, especially because Perry has taken the black social pathologies this story depicts and has transformed them into riveting tales of human pathology with a universal appeal.

Perry’s nuanced staging and graceful directing of the camera transform what could have been downbeat into a mesmerizing panorama of compelling character dramas. Seriously, if For Colored Girls looked exactly the same and a white filmmaker like Stephen Daldry, David Fincher, or Christopher Nolan was credited as the director, film critics would be turning verbal cartwheels to praise this film. Perry’s work here as a director can be described as, at least, occasionally virtuoso, and while his screenwriting here is weaker than his directing, Perry, as both writer and director, has done a superb job turning these poetic vignettes into a powerful film.

Perry gets some fantastic performances from his cast, especially the actresses, who all hit strong emotional notes. I hate to single out any, but if I had to pick favorites, I would go with Kimberly Elise, Thandie Newton, and Phylicia Rashad. Every moment she is onscreen, Elise delivers magic; her every move and glance makes you believe that Crystal Wallace is real. Thandie Newton is effortless in her brilliance (as usual), and Rashad shows colors, shades, and textures in a performance that certainly surprised me. I never knew she was that good.

However, all the women in this film shine, giving stirring performances that help For Colored Girls to ring true. Even if Tyler Perry doesn’t get his due from critics and haters, he has given us our due – a great African-American drama about Black women.

9 of 10

Friday, February 18, 2011


Las Vegas Film Critics Choose "The Social Network"

The Academy Awards is a little under a week and a half away (Sunday, Feb. 27th).  Until then, I'm going to catch this blog up on the critics awards. The Las Vegas Film Critics Society announced their awards, which they call the "Sierras," back in December.

The Las Vegas Film Critics Society is a non-profit organization that describes itself as “progressive” and “dedicated to the advancement and preservation of film.” The LVFCS membership is comprised of “select” print, television and internet film critics in the Las Vegas area. The LVFCS presents its "Sierra" awards each year for the best in film, including The William Holden Lifetime Achievement Award, which is named for the late Academy Award winning actor.

2010 Sierra Award winners:

Best Picture
“Social Network”

Best Actor
James Franco, “127”

Best Actress
Natalie Portman, “Black Swan”

Best Supporting Actor
Christian Bale, “The Fighter”

Best Supporting Actress
Amy Adams, “The Fighter”

Best Director
David Fincher, “Social Network”

Best Screenplay (Original or Adapted)
Aaron Sorkin, “Social Network”

Best Cinematography
Wally Pfister, “Inception”

Best Film Editing
Lee Smith, “Inception”

Best Costume Design
Colleen Atwood, “Alice in Wonderland”

Best Art Direction
“Black Swan”

Best Visual Effects

Best Documentary
“Waiting for Superman”

Best Foreign Film
“Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” (Sweden)

Best Song
“I See the Light” (Theme from Disney’s Tangled)

Best Score
Trent Reznor, “Social Network”

Best Family Film
“Toy Story 3”

Best Animated Film
“Toy Story 3”

Youth in Film
Hailee Steinfeld, “True Grit”

Best DVD (Packaging, Design, and Content)
“Alien Anthology” (Blu-Ray) Fox Home Entertainment

William Holden Lifetime Achievement Award for 2010:
Thelma Schoonmaker

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Review: "Brick" is an Unconventional Conventional Mystery Film (Happy B'day, Joseph Gordon-Levitt)

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 188 (of 2006) by Leroy Douresseaux

Brick (2005)
Running time: 110 minutes (1 hour, 50 minutes)
MPAA – R for violent and drug content
PRODUCERS: Ram Bergman and Mark G. Mathis


Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Nora Zehetner, Lukas Haas, Noah Fleiss, Matt O’Leary, Emilie de Ravin, Noah Segan, Richard Roundtree, Meagan Good, and Brian White

When teenager loner Brendan Fry (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) finds his former girlfriend, Emily Kostich (Emilie de Ravin), dead in a local canal, he’s determined to find the murderer and all those involved. Brendan enlists the aid of a local stoolie, The Brain (Matt O’Leary), who seems to know everyone, their hangouts, and all their business. Through a series of intense encounters with the various cliques at his high school, Brendan finds a drug connection and enters the world of a local drug kingpin, The Pin (Lukas Haas), and his enforcer, Tug (Noah Fleiss). But with Assistant Vice-Principal Trueman (Richard Roundtree) breathing down his neck, will Brendan be ensnared in the very trap he set to catch those responsible for Emily’s death?

A hit at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival, writer/director Rian Johnson’s Brick is an unconventional Film-Noir (or neo noir) set in the halls of a modern day high school situated in a semi-affluent suburbia setting. Johnson mixes the film noir detective with the gangster flick and the undercover sting. It’s a latte of The Maltese Falcon, A Fist Full of Dollars, and your pick of Martin Scorsese crime flicks. Brick is never too smart for its own good, but sometimes Rian’s concoction seems mismatched with his setting. He has all the elements of noir right (even a femme fatale or two), but those elements often ring hollow against the backdrop of a high school.

Still, it’s always good when a filmmaker can make his movie engaging and make you give a damn, and Johnson does. The film starts off very slow, but Brick is hard to ignore. I just couldn’t stop watching, and in Brendan Fry, Rian has the kind of hero the audience will follow… even into danger and other places Brendan just shouldn’t be and just shouldn’t go. Joseph Gordon-Levitt, formerly of the NBC comedy, "3rd Rock from the Sun," plays Fry with chutzpah, nerves of steel, and the wily charm of a rogue twice his age. Rian came up with a good idea for a crime story, but Gordon-Levitt gives the performance that makes it a good movie.

7 of 10

Monday, August 28, 2006


Studio Ghibli's "Nausicaa" and "Earthsea" Anime Due on DVD in March

On March 8th, Studio Ghibli's TALES FROM EARTHSEA (DVD only) and NAUSICAA OF THE VALLEY OF THE WIND (Blu-ray + DVD Combo Pack) will be available to bring home.

Goro Miyazaki's directorial debut, Tales from Earthsea, features exquisite hand-drawn animation and the vocal talents of Timothy Dalton, Willem Dafoe, Cheech Marin, and Mariska Hargitay. Bonus material includes a behind-the-scenes look at the studio and Studio Ghibli Trivia Challenge.

Nausicaa of Valley of the Wind launched the Academy Award-winning career of famed director Hayao Miyazaki! This stunning animated tale features the voices of Uma Thurman, Shia LeBeouf, and Patrick Stewart. Bonus features include a behind-the-scenes look into the recording booth and the birth story of Studio Ghibli.

Nausicca Film Synopsis: For the first time ever, the magic of Blu-ray™ high definition reveals the exquisite details in Hayao Miyazaki’s epic masterpiece, Nausicaä Of The Valley Of The Wind. Experience the film that launched the Academy Award–winning career (2002 for best animated feature, Spirited Away) of one of the most celebrated filmmakers in the history of animation.

After a global war, the seaside kingdom known as the Valley Of The Wind remains one of the last strongholds on Earth untouched by a poisonous jungle and the powerful insects that guard it. Led by the courageous Princess Nausicaä, the people of the Valley engage in an epic struggle to restore the bond between humanity and Earth.

Like Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away and Ponyo, Nausicaä Of The Valley Of The Wind will dazzle your senses with its intricately imagined storytelling and stunning animation.

U.S. Release Date: March 8, 2011
(Direct Prebook January 11, 2011/ Distributor Prebook January 25, 2011)
Rating: US-PG; Canada-PG
Feature Run Time: Approximately 118-minutes
Release Format: Blu-ray Combo Pack (Blu-ray Disc™ + DVD)
Suggested Retail Pricing: 2-Disc Blu-ray Combo Pack (BD+DVD) = $39.99 U.S./$44.99 Canada
Exclusive Blu-ray Bonus World of Ghibli including
Features: Behind the Studio
Enter the Lands
Studio Ghibli Trivia Challenge
Original Japanese storyboards
General Blu-ray & DVD Behind the Microphone
Bonus Features: The Birth Story of Studio Ghibli
Original TV trailers

Talent/Cast: Uma Thurman (Kill Bill: Vol 1, Kill Bill: Vol 2, Pulp Fiction, Gattaca), Shia LeBeouf (Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, Tranformers, Surf’s Up), and Patrick Stewart (Gnomeo & Juliet, Bambi II, Chicken Little)

Director: Hayao Miyazaki (Ponyo, Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke)
Producers: Michio Kondô (Nausiacaä and the Valley of the Wind)
Isao Takahata (Castle in the Sky, Nausiacaä and the Valley of the Wind)
Yasuyoshi Tokuma (Spirited Away, Pulse, Ritual)

Tales from Earthsea:
Film Synopsis: From Disney and Studio Ghibli comes the epic animated adventure Tales From Earthsea, directed by Goro Miyazaki, and featuring the voices of Timothy Dalton, Willem Dafoe, Cheech Marin, and Mariska Hargitay.

Based on the classic “Earthsea” fantasy book series by Ursula Le Guin, Tales from Earthsea is set in a mythical world filled with magic and bewitchment. Journey with Lord Archmage Sparrowhawk, a master wizard, and Arren, a troubled young prince, on a tale of redemption and self-discovery as they search for the force behind a mysterious imbalance in the land of Earthsea; crops are dwindling,dragons have reappeared, and humanity is giving way to chaos.

Featuring a timeless story and magnificent hand-drawn animation, Tales From Earthsea is must-have DVD for every film enthusiast’s collection.

U.S. Release Date: March 8, 2011
(Direct Prebook January 11, 2011/Distributor Prebook January 25, 2011)
Feature Run Time: Approximately 115-minutes
Release Format: DVD
Suggested Retail Pricing: 1-Disc DVD = $29.99 U.S./$35.99 Canada
DVD The World of Ghibli including:
Bonus Features: Behind the Studio
Enter The Lands
Studio Ghibli Trivia Challenge

Talent/Cast: Timothy Dalton (Toy Story 3, The Tourist, The Informant), Willem Dafoe (John Carter of Mars, Fantastic Mr. Fox, Spider Man), Cheech Marin (Cars, Beverly Hills Chihuahua, Spy Kids), and Mariska Hargitay (TV’s Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Law & Order)

Director: Goro Miyazaki (directorial debut)
Producers: Toshio Suzuki (Howl’s Moving Castle, Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke)

"Big Momma's House 2" a Plain House

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 125 (of 2006) by Leroy Douresseaux

Big Momma’s House 2 (2006)
Running time: 99 minutes (1 hour, 39 minutes)
MPAA – PG-13 for some sexual humor and a humorous drug reference
DIRECTOR: John Whitesell
WRITER: Don Rhymer (based upon the characters created by Darryl Quarles)
PRODUCERS: David T. Friendly and Michael Green
EDITOR: Priscilla Nedd-Friendly
Razzie Award nominee


Starring: Martin Lawrence, Nia Long, Emily Procter, Zachary Levi, Mark Moses, Kat Dennings, Chloe Grace Moretz, Marisol Nichols, Jascha Washington, Josh Flitter, and Preston Shores and Trevor Shores

Eddie Murphy began his career as a standup comic and shot to fame as a cast member of NBC’s venerable sketch comedy variety series, “Saturday Night Live,” in the early 1980’s. By 1982, he had a hit movie, and by the late 1984 release of the film, Beverly Hills Cop, he was a certified movie star. Although he hit a dry patch at the turn of the decade in 1990, he redefined himself by appearing in family friendly live action films like The Nutty Professor and Dr. Doolittle franchises (both remakes of older films) and doing voiceover work in hit animated films such as Walt Disney’s Mulan and DreamWorks Animation’s Shrek franchise.

Martin Lawrence also began his career as an edgy “urban contemporary” or black comedian. The late 1980’s and early 1990’s found him in supporting roles and ensemble parts in several films. He had a hit show on the FOX Network, “Martin,” beginning in 1992. At the turn of the century, he had two big hit movies, one of them, 2000’s Big Momma’s House, was a surprise blockbuster hit. Then, the walls came tumbling down with a series of stumbles that began in 2001 with What’s the Worst That Could Happen? and Black Knight and continued with 2003’s National Security, before Bad Boys II righted Lawrence’s ship later that same year.

Martin has also recently remade himself from a formerly edgy comedian to one who now makes family friendly films. The first one, Rebound in 2005, was a misfire, but earlier this year, Martin once again donned the drag getup of an obese black matron in the (relatively speaking) surprise box office hit, Big Momma’s House 2. We find our intrepid hero, Malcolm Turner (Lawrence), married to Sherri (Nia Long), the target of his undercover investigation in the first film. Not only is he a stepfather to Sherri’s son, Trent (Jascha Washington), but he and Nia are expecting a baby in just a few weeks.

Wanting to spend more time with his family and stay out of danger for them, Malcolm took a desk job that sometimes finds him doing PR for the FBI (like dressing in a giant chicken costume and teaching children safety). However, an FBI agent and friend is murdered while investigating Tom Fuller (Mark Moses), a computer programmer who is creating a “worm,” that will allow foreign agents and outside enemies computer access into the most sensitive areas of government security information. Malcolm wants in on the investigation, but his superiors hold him to his request for desk duty.

But the story can’t stop there, especially when opportunity gives Malcolm a way back onto the job. The Fullers need a nanny, and Malcolm retrieves his fat suit, prosthetic face, and granny dresses from the closet. Before long, Hattie Mae Pierce aka “Big Momma” is back on the job and has wiled her way into Tom’s wife, Leah’s (Emily Procter), heart and becomes the Fuller’s nanny. Big Momma immediately starts searching the house for information on Tom’s activities, but before long Big Momma finds herself attached to the three Fuller children: teen goth girl with an attitude, Molly (Kat Dennings); unconfident cheerleader, Carrie (Chloe Grace Moretz), and three-year old Andrew (played by twins Preston and Trevor Shores), who hasn’t yet spoken a word, jumps from heights, and eats Brillo® pads and sand. Now, Malcolm as Big Momma is determined to help the Fuller kids through their difficulties and make their career-oriented parents spend more time with them. But will that comprise Malcolm’ mission and keep him from discovering the whereabouts of the worm Tom is creating and discovering the identity of the enemy agents trying to buy it?

I neither liked nor hated Big Momma’s House 2. It’s occasionally, mildly funny, although the last 20 minutes are actually the first time the film comes out of its stupor for something resembling a rousing ending. The first film really showcased Martin Lawrence’s talent for getting in costumes to create a variety of eccentric and wildly comic characters (of which we saw a lot in his series “Martin”). The sequel comes across as a cheap copy that mostly spins its and Martin’s wheels. The Big Momma act seems tired and desperate, even more so under the weight of the dull comedy written by Don Rhymer, the co-writer of the first film. There are times when Martin actually seems emotionally drained by returning to this role. It’s a look in his eyes.

Big Momma’s House 2 is a domestic comedy set in the home of an upper middle class family. The FBI half of the pic, which stretches the limits of suspension of disbelief and is full of holes, is just filler material for the family-based comedy and for Martin Lawrence’s new act – that of a family friendly black comedian. Big Momma is the beloved black matron teaching the nice white family how to come together and just love one another. Big Momma’s philosophy of “jus’ put it in the Lawd’s hand”-southern black Christianity and homespun wisdom are the essence of the quintessential black matron or mammy – a Hollywood and, let’s face it, American social fantasy.

That said, Lawrence gives Big Momma’s relations with the child characters more traction than this lame film deserves. There are times when she’s helping the family or rescuing one of the members when it looks like at least an ember of the old Big Momma fire is still there. Big Momma’s House 2 is a family flick, in spite of the sexual innuendo and assorted crudeness. So don’t see it expecting the madcap romp we got the first time. See it for what it is – a kids' movie with loads of potty humor.

4 of 10

Tuesday, June 6, 2006

2007 Razzie Awards: 1 nomination: “Worst Prequel or Sequel”


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Everybody Loves Raymond's Brad Garrett Joins Cast of Upcoming David Chase Film


James Gandolfini, Bella Heathcote Christopher McDonald, Molly Price and Lisa Lampanelli Also Attached

HOLLYWOOD, CA – David Chase rounds out the cast for his upcoming film debut for Paramount Pictures. The creator and producer of the multiple Emmy® and Golden Globe®-winning critically acclaimed series The Sopranos, announced today that Everybody Loves Raymond star Brad Garrett will be featured in the director's music-driven story set in 1960's suburbia. James Gandolfini (The Sopranos), Bella Heathcote (Beneath Hill 60, Neighbors), Christopher McDonald (Boardwalk Empire, Harry’s Law), Molly Price (Bionic Woman, Third Watch) and comedian Lisa Lampanelli also join the film, which is set to begin principal photography in New York.

Said Chase, "Brad brings a funny, wry intelligence to his role as a composer / music producer.”

As previously reported, Chase and Gandolfini are re-uniting on this film, after an acclaimed six-year collaboration on The Sopranos. Elaborating on Gandolfini’s role, Chase said, "It is so great to be working with Jim again. He is the perfect actor for this part – a postwar, post-Depression era parent who has given his kid every advantage that he didn't have growing up, but now can’t help feeling jealous of the liberated, more adventurous destiny his son is able to enjoy."

Price will portray the boy’s mother in the movie, with Lampanelli playing his Aunt. Christopher McDonald plays the father of his love interest (Bella Heathcote).

Chase previously announced that actors John Magaro and Will Brill, as well as Jack Huston, who has been recently receiving acclaim for his role as Richard Harrow – the man with the shattered face – on HBO's Golden Globe®-winning Boardwalk Empire, will star in the movie, to be released by Paramount Vantage. Chase, who wrote the original script, will produce alongside Oscar®-winning producer Mark Johnson (Rain Man, The Chronicles of Narnia). Steven Van Zandt is an Executive Producer and will serve as the film’s Music Supervisor.

Brad Garrett is repped by WME Entertainment, Raw Talent Management and Gendler & Kelly, APC. James Gandolfini is repped by CAA and Sanders Armstrong Caserta Management. Bella Heathcote is repped by WME Entertainment and Jackson-Medavoy Entertainment. Christopher McDonald is repped by The Gersh Agency and Brillstein. Molly Price is repped by Gersh. Lisa Lampanelli is repped by CAA and Parallel Entertainment.

About Paramount Pictures Corporation
Paramount Pictures Corporation (PPC), a global producer and distributor of filmed entertainment, is a unit of Viacom (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B), a leading content company with prominent and respected film, television and digital entertainment brands. The company's labels include Paramount Pictures, Paramount Vantage, Paramount Classics, Insurge Pictures, MTV Films and Nickelodeon Movies. PPC operations also include Paramount Digital Entertainment, Paramount Famous Productions, Paramount Home Entertainment, Paramount Pictures International, Paramount Licensing Inc., Paramount Studio Group, and Worldwide Television Distribution.

Original "Big Momma's House" is a Fun House

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 35 (of 2006) by Leroy Douresseaux

Big Momma’s House (2000)
Running time: 98 minutes (1 hour, 38 minutes)
MPAA – PG-13 for crude humor including sexual innuendo, and for language and some violence
DIRECTOR: Raja Gosnell
WRITERS: Darryl Quarles and Don Rhymer; from a story by Darryl Quarles
PRODUCERS: David T. Friendly and Michael Green
EDITORS: Kent Beyda and Bruce Green
Image Awards nominee


Starring: Martin Lawrence, Nia Long, Paul Giamatti, Jascha Washington, Terrence Howard, Anthony Anderson, Ella Mitchell, Cedric the Entertainer, and Tichina Arnold

FBI Agent Malcolm Turner (Martin Lawrence) is a master of disguise, but to catch an escaped convict, he’ll have to pull off his greatest masquerade. Murderer and bank robber Lester Vesco (Terrence Dashon Howard) has escaped from prison. Vesco is looking for his old girlfriend, Sherry Pierce (Nia Long), long suspected by the police to be Vesco’s accomplice because she worked at the bank he robbed, and also suspected of knowing where the money from the robbery, which was never recovered, is. Panicked by news of Lester’s escape, Sherry takes her young son, Trent Pierce (Jascha Washington), and heads to the home of Big Momma, Sherry’s massively fat grandmother, Hattie Mae Pierce (Ella Mitchell), in Cartersville, Georgia.

Malcolm and his partner, John (Paul Giamatti), also head to Georgia and put Big Momma’s house under surveillance in hopes of discovering whereabouts of both Lester Vesco and the Sherry is allegedly hiding the money. When an emergency suddenly calls Big Momma away from her house for a week or so, Malcolm and John are afraid that Sherry will change her plans to stay at Big Momma’s house. Malcolm, using his and John’s fantastic abilities at creating prosthetics and masks, disguises himself as Big Momma. He, however, doesn’t count on falling in love with Sherry while pretending to me Big Momma. Will the romance and the effort it takes to maintain the disguise cause Malcolm to miss the arrival of Vesco and the return of the real Big Momma.

There’s something appealing about a man playing a woman. It’s especially interesting if the man is playing a woman for comedy, but there is something really attention-grabbing when a black man plays a fat black woman, which is what actor/comedian Martin Lawrence does in Big Momma’s House. Just seeing Martin in that get-up as a morbidly obese, black Southern matron elicits raucous laughter, so one sees Big Momma’s House strictly for the comedy. Martin is damn funny in drag, although he can disguise himself quite well to play a variety of comical male roles, as he does here, early in the film playing an older Asian hood.

Big Momma’s House if filled with sidesplitting comedy and a generous helping of belly laughs. The film falls apart when it tries the romantic comedy angle between Malcolm Turner (without his Big Momma getup) and Sherry Pierce; it’s dry and rings hollow. The actual police procedural (or what tries to be) doesn’t amount to much, so Paul Giamatti’s John is wasted. It’s hard to tell if Lawrence and Giamatti have any real screen chemistry, but something’s definitely there when they’re on screen together.

With its generous helping of laugh-out-loud comedy and a generous side of flatulence and juvenile humor for the kids, Big Momma’s House is simply a comedy that works. Add Martin Lawrence’s Big Momma to the list of great comic performances by actors in drag.

6 of 10

2001 Image Awards: 1 nomination: “Outstand Actress in a Motion Picture (Nia Long)

Wednesday, February 15, 2006


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

TRON and TRON: Legacy on DVD and Blu-ray April 5th


Disney's TRON: LEGACY Hits The Grid - Tuesday, April 5th


BURBANK, CA, February 11, 2011 – The Walt Disney Studios is proud to announce the release of its high-tech, action-packed adventure TRON: Legacy, available April 5th on multiple home entertainment platforms, including Blu-ray 3D™, Blu-ray™, DVD, Digital Copy, Movie Download and On-Demand. Also making its long-awaited Blu-ray debut on April 5th is TRON: The Original Classic Special Edition.

Sure to light-up fans this Spring, TRON: Legacy providesconsumers with the ultimate Hi-Def Blu-ray experience with breathtaking 1080p visuals and superior 7.1 surround sounds that bring to life the visually stunning world of TRON. Taking you further behind the grid, are also in-depth bonus features on the making of the film (i.e., creating the futuristic vehicles and world of TRON, storyline mythologies, actors/characters and more) and the all-new Disney Second Screen interactive experience.

Disney Second Screen transforms the movie watching experience by allowing viewers to explore the story behind the film perfectly synched on a second device, like an iPad™ or laptop, without interrupting their enjoyment of the movie. By simply accessing the Disney Second Screen companion application on their Internet-connected device, consumers are able to dive deeper into the film by engaging with elements including 360-degree vehicle turnarounds, interactive progression reels, and more. Disney Second Screen directions and access codes can be found inside the Blu-ray Disc packaging.Audio synching is powered by TVPLUS.

The original motion picture score for TRON: Legacy, released by Walt Disney Records on December 7, 2010, was composed and produced by the iconic and critically acclaimed Grammy® Award–winning French duo Daft Punk. The album peaked at No. 4 on The Billboard 200 and was the highest charting score soundtrack in over a decade. Walt Disney Records will be releasing TRON: Legacy RECONFIGURED, an album featuring 14 remixes of the original motion picture score on April 5th.

Film Synopsis: Experience the original landmark motion picture that inspired a new generation of digital filmmakers and became a favorite of fans and critics across the world. Relive the electrifying thrills of TRON with an all-new, state-of-the-art digital restoration and enhanced high-definition sound.

When a brilliant video game maker named Flynn (Jeff Bridges) hacks the mainframe of his ex-employer, he is beamed inside an astonishing digital world and becomes part of the very game he is designing. Complete with never-before-seen bonus materials, it’s an epic adventure that everyone will enjoy!

U.S. Release Date: April 5, 2011
Release Format: Blu-ray™, DVD, Digital Download & On-Demand
Rating: US-PG
Feature Run Time: Approximately 96-minutes
Talent/Cast: Jeff Bridges (TRON: Legacy, True Grit, The Big Lebowski), Bruce Boxleitner (TRON: Legacy, Transmorphers: Fall of Man), David Warner (Planet of the Apes, Titanic, The Omen), Cindy Morgan (Caddyshack, TV’s “Falcon Crest”)
Director: Steven Lisberger (TRON: Legacy, Hot Pursuit)
Producer: Donald Kushner (TRON: Legacy, Monster)

For more than 85 years, The Walt Disney Studios has been the foundation on which The Walt Disney Company (DIS: NYSE) was built. Today, the Studio brings quality movies, music and stage plays to consumers throughout the world. Feature films are released under four banners: Walt Disney Pictures,which includes Walt Disney Animation Studios and Pixar Animation Studios; Disneynature; Touchstone Pictures; and Marvel. Through the Home Entertainment division, innovative distribution methods provide access to creative content across multiple platforms. Original music and motion-picture soundtracks are produced under Walt Disney Records and Hollywood Records, while Disney Theatrical Group produces and licenses live events, including Broadway theatrical productions, Disney on Ice and Disney LIVE! For more information, visit

Review: 2006 Oscar-Winning Best Picture "Crash" Still Powerful

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 2 (of 2006) by Leroy Douresseaux

Crash (2004/2005)
Running time: 122 minutes (2 hours, 2 minutes)
MPAA – R for language, sexual content, and some violence
DIRECTOR: Paul Haggis
WRITERS: Bobby Moresco and Paul Haggis; from a story by Paul Haggis
PRODUCERS: Cathy Schulman, Don Cheadle, Bob Yari, Mark R. Harris, Robert Moresco, and Paul Haggis
EDITOR: Hughes Winborne
Academy Award winner


Starring: Sandra Bullock, Don Cheadle, Matt Dillon, Jennifer Esposito, William Fichtner, Brendan Fraser, Terrence Howard, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Thandie Newton, Ryan Philippe, Larenz Tate, Michael Peña, Keith David, Loretta Divine, Tony Danza, Nona Gaye, Yomi Perry, Daniel Dae Kim, Bruce Kirby, and Bahar Soomekh

The lives of a diverse cast of characters from various ethnic backgrounds, of different skin colors (also known as “different races”), and including immigrants: a Brentwood housewife (Sandra Bullock) and her District Attorney husband (Brendan Fraser); two police detectives who are also lovers (Don Cheadle and Jennifer Esposito); an African-American television director and his wife (Terrence Howard and Thandie Newton); a Mexican locksmith (Michael Peña); two carjackers (Chris “Ludacris” Bridges and Larenz Tate); a rookie cop and his bigoted partner (Ryan Philippe and Matt Dillon) collide over a period of 36 hours.

Crash is one of the very best films of 2005 and one of the best films about America in ages not just because co-writer/co-producer/director Paul Haggis (he wrote the screenplay for Million Dollar Baby) deftly connects so many Los Angeles-based characters of different “racial” or ethnic backgrounds to a single event with such glowing intensity. It is also great because the film shows the acute problem this country has with such diversity. American’s have created so many stereotypes that they have attached as belonging to particular ethnic, religious, “racial,” and even professional groups. Those stereotypes, in turn, affect how we judge people in those groups, how we interact with others, and what we believe about others. In the end, all that pre-judging and predestination causes us nothing but trouble.

Haggis and his co-writer, Bobby Moresco, give us so many examples of the problems these characters make for themselves because of prejudice and because they make assumptions about people that are often wrong (and sometimes even dangerous), and Haggis and Moresco still manage to make a solid, engaging, and enthralling beginning to end linear (for the most part) narrative. They’ve created so many scenarios, characters, events, actions, and attitudes with which we will personally connect because every American can lay claim to bigotry and prejudice. Crash is as if Haggis and Moresco have turned the American film into a mirror and pointed it at us.

Of the many great scenes, one in particular defines why Crash is such a great American film. A Persian storeowner who is obviously an immigrant goes to a gun store with his daughter to purchase a gun that he really believes he needs to protect himself, his family, and, in particular, his business. The gun storeowner is not patient with a Persian who doesn’t speak English well, and though his daughter tries in vain to mediate the transaction, it goes badly between Persian and the “native” American storeowner – a white guy. The storeowner calls the Persian an Arab (all people from the Middle East are not Arabs), and makes the most ugly, most bigoted remarks about 9/11 connecting all Middle Easterners and/or Arab-types to the terrorist act that I’ve ever heard.

Watch that scene alone, and you’ll understand the power Crash holds in its bosom. If the film has a message, it is that sometimes we should stop and think. Despite differences in what we believe, in skin color, or in customs, we are more alike than we’d like to believe. The static of difference between us can be the thing that stops us from helping or understanding. Allowing the static to remain can lead to tragedy when we crash into each other.

That a message film can come with such powerful ideas and not be preachy, but be such a fine and intensely engaging film is what makes Crash a great one. Add a large cast that gives such potent performances (especially Matt Dillon, who redefines his career with his role as a conflicted, bigoted patrolmen, and Terrence Howard, who adds to his 2005 coming out party with this) and Crash is a must-see movie.

10 of 10

2006 Academy Awards: 3 wins: “Best Motion Picture of the Year” (Paul Haggis and Cathy Schulman), “Best Achievement in Editing” (Hughes Winborne), and “Best Writing, Original Screenplay” (Paul Haggis-screenplay/story and Robert Moresco-screenplay); 3 nominations: “Best Achievement in Directing” (Paul Haggis), and “Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Song” (Kathleen York-music/lyrics and Michael Becker-music for the song "In the Deep"), and “Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role” (Matt Dillon)

2006 BAFTA Awards: 2 wins: “Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role” (Thandie Newton) and “Best Screenplay – Original” (Paul Haggis and Robert Moresco); 7 nominations: “Best Cinematography” (J. Michael Muro), “Best Editing” (Hughes Winborne), “Best Film” (Cathy Schulman, Don Cheadle, and Bob Yari), “Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role” (Don Cheadle), “Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role” (Matt Dillon), “Best Sound” (Richard Van Dyke, Sandy Gendler, Adam Jenkins, and Marc Fishman) and “David Lean Award for Direction”( Paul Haggis)

2006 Golden Globes: 2 nominations: “Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture” (Matt Dillon) and “Best Screenplay - Motion Picture” (Paul Haggis and Robert Moresco)

Wednesday, January 4, 2006