Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Paul Walker to Narrate IMAX 3D Documentary, "Air Racers 3D"

Paul Walker to Narrate New IMAX 3D Theatre Film "Air Racers 3D" Slated For Release in April 2012

Latest 3D Entertainment Distribution title is first IMAX theatre film to explore the Reno National Championship Air Races

LOS ANGELES, PARIS and LONDON /PRNewswire/ -- 3D Entertainment Distribution announced that actor Paul Walker (The Fast and the Furious franchise, Takers) will narrate Air Racers 3D, the first-ever IMAX 3D theatre film devoted to the fastest race in the world: the legendary Reno National Championship Air Races. With stunning aerial photography filmed entirely in 3D and unprecedented access granted to the course, Air Racers 3D takes audiences into Nevada's Valley of Speed to experience the intensity and high-speed thrills of a sports event like no other combined with spectacular air show entertainment.

"We are truly honored and delighted to have Paul Walker lend his storytelling talents to this action-packed 3D film, which will hit IMAX theatres in the US beginning this April," said Francois Mantello, Chairman and CEO of 3D Entertainment Distribution. "His passion for racing and high-adrenaline sports makes him a perfect fit for this celebration of aviation."

"I have always been fascinated by the sheer power, precision and skills of these tremendously talented pilots who race just 50 feet off the ground at twice the speed of a Nascar race," said Paul Walker. "I was further drawn to the film by its unique historical view of this legendary sport and for the educational insight into the science of flying that it provides."

"We are delighted to have Paul Walker be such an integral part of this film," said Air Racers 3D co-directors Christian Fry and Jean-Jacques Mantello. "His ability to connect with moviegoers of all ages, and teenagers in particular, as well as his genuine love of motor sports unquestionably enhances this ultimate air show experience."

Having captured the attention of audiences and industry executives alike with his undeniable on-screen presence in a string of supporting roles, Paul Walker's breakout role was as undercover cop Brian O'Conner in the 2001 hit film The Fast and The Furious. Since then, he has managed a balance of box-office films and dramatic roles to cement his leap to leading man status. Walker has demonstrated his on-screen versatility by transforming into a soldier under the direction of Clint Eastwood, an Arctic research scientist in a Disney family adventure, and a New Jersey mobster in a gritty independent feature. Walker, who also made a return in the fifth installment of The Fast and The Furious franchise, recently starred in and executive produced Vehicle 19, an indie thriller set for release in 2012.

From the pits to the roaring sky, Air Racers 3D explores the highly competitive world of air racing through the eyes of rookie pilot Steve Hinton as he attempts to fly his P-51 Mustang fighter plane to victory in the most highly-anticipated and unpredictable race class. Audiences will discover today's elite pilots in their World War II-era aircraft as they fight for position, wingtip to wingtip, and skim 50 feet (15 m) above the ground around an oval course at 500 mph (805 km/h). The film also features rare archival footage and performances by many of the world's top aerobatic pilots, including the Royal Canadian Air Forces Snowbirds.

Produced by 3D Entertainment USA and Pretend Entertainment in association with Stereoscope, Air Racers 3D is directed by Christian Fry and Jean-Jacques Mantello (Sharks 3D, Ocean Wonderland 3D and Dolphins and Whales 3D) and features a screenplay by Christian Fry and Rick Dowlearn. The musical score is by Christophe Jacquelin. The film is produced by Christian Fry and Raul Leckie, and executive produced by Francois Mantello, John Constantine and Jeffery Pierce. Two years in active production, principal 3D photography for the film took place during the 2009 and 2010 Reno National Championship Air Races and was completed in June 2011.

Visit the official film website at http://www.airracers-thefilm.com/

Follow all the latest news on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/AirRacers


About 3D Entertainment Distribution
Founded in 2001, 3D Entertainment Distribution is the marketing and theatrical sales arm of 3D Entertainment Films and 3D Entertainment USA. Affiliates of 3D Entertainment Films Holdings, the companies are focused on the production, postproduction, sales and theatrical distribution of innovative 3D films for IMAX theatres and Digital 3D cinemas worldwide. The cornerstone of the Company's film catalogue is a unique underwater film trilogy presented by Jean-Michel Cousteau that has grossed over USD 84 million at the box office. In 2010, the company successfully launched its first acquisition, the USD 13 million-grossing Sea Rex 3D: Journey to a Prehistoric World which was named the Best Earth Sciences Program at the 2011 Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival. The Company's current line-up of 3D films includes Kenya 3D: Animal Kingdom (February 2013), Patagonia 3D: Into the Wild and Time: The 4th Dimension, starring Christopher Lloyd and Deep Roy. The Company maintains offices in London (UK), Los Angeles (California) and Paris (France). For more information, please visit http://www.3defilms.com/

Cirque Du Soleil 3D Film Opens December 21 2012

Paramont Pictures sent out the following information about release date changes and one name change yesterday (Feb. 28th):

CIRQUE DU SOLEIL: WORLDS AWAY in 3D will open on Friday, December 21, 2012.

FUN SIZE will open on Friday, October 26, 2012.

MY MOTHER’S CURSE is now titled THE GUILT TRIP. The release date remains Friday, November 2, 2012.

Warner Bros. Eyes Tite Kubo's "Bleach" As Live-Action Film

VIZ PRODUCTIONS & WARNER BROTHERS TO DEVELOP BLEACH LIVE ACTION MOVIE AFTER BANNER YEAR

VIZ Media’s Mega-Hit Franchise Continues To Expand Across All Entertainment Channels, Win In Ratings, And Top Best Seller Lists

VIZ Media, the largest distributor and licensor of anime and manga in the North America, announced today that Warner Bros. Pictures has acquired the live-action feature film rights to the hit manga and anime property BLEACH. The announcement comes after another successful year for BLEACH in print, digital publishing, cable television, streaming video, consumer products and video-on-demand.

“BLEACH has built a huge international following in its manga and anime formats, and we’re excited that Warner Bros. shares our belief that BLEACH can also become a fantastic live-action film,” said Jason Hoffs of VIZ Productions, VIZ Media’s Hollywood-based production company. “BLEACH is an exciting opportunity to mix Japanese and Hollywood storytelling to create something new for the big screen, and we’re thrilled for the opportunity to further expose its unique characters and story to film audiences everywhere.”

Peter Segal (GET SMART, THE LONGEST YARD) of Callahan Filmworks is producing with an eye toward directing. The film’s creative team also includes screenwriter Dan Mazeau, who recently penned Warner Bros.’ upcoming sequel to CLASH OF THE TITANS. Callahan Filmworks partner Michael Ewing and Masi Oka (best known for his roles on NBC’s HEROES and CBS’s HAWAII FIVE-0) will produce. From VIZ Productions, Hoffs will serve as Producer, and Branon Coluccio will be Executive Producer. Screenplay development will commence in 2012.

The popular BLEACH animated and manga series, created by Tite Kubo, follows the adventures of Ichigo, a teenager with the ability to see ghosts. When his family is attacked by a Hollow — a malevolent lost soul – Ichigo encounters Rukia, a Soul Reaper tasked to hunting Hollows, and inadvertently absorbs her powers. Now, Ichigo must dedicate his life to protecting the innocent and helping tortured souls find peace.

BLEACH is a tremendously successful multimedia property around the world. The manga has been licensed to more than a dozen countries and has over 75 million copies in print in Japan alone. In North America, the manga (rated ‘T’ for Teens) has consistently appeared on the New York Times Best Seller list for Manga and the Neilsen BookScan Top 50 Graphic Novels list, selling more than 2.1 million copies across 36 volumes.

The BLEACH manga is also available digitally through VIZManga.com and for download through the VIZ Manga App for iPad®, iPhone® and iPod® touch, where it has proven to be a top-seller. The series was recently sped up to bring North American readers up-to-date with the latest story arc in Japan, culminating in it being featured in WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP ALPHA, the groundbreaking digital manga magazine that VIZ Media just launched at the end of January 2012.

The BLEACH animated series (rated TV-14) has topped the ratings on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim, sold over 1.8 million DVDs and consistently ranked among Hulu’s most watched shows, This success has further spawned an array of related video games (over 820,000 sold), apparel, action figures, trading cards and other merchandise.

For more information on BLEACH and to view free streaming episodes, please visit Bleach.viz.com.

For more information on BLEACH digital manga, please visit VIZManga.com/bleach.

For more information on WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP ALPHA, please visit SJAlpha.com.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

"Good Deeds" is Good Indeed

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 16 (of 2012) by Leroy Douresseaux


Good Deeds (2012)
Running time: 111 minutes (1 hour, 51 minutes)
MPAA - PG-13 for sexual content, language, some violence and thematic material
WRITER/DIRECTOR: Tyler Perry
PRODUCERS: Ozzie Areu, Paul Hall, and Tyler Perry
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Alexander Gruszynski
EDITOR: Maysie Hoy
COMPOSER: Aaron Zigman

ROMANCE/DRAMA

Starring: Tyler Perry, Thandie Newton, Gabrielle Union, Eddie Cibrian, Brian White, Jordenn Thompson, Phylicia Rashad, Beverly Johnson, Rebecca Romijn, and Jamie Kennedy, Andrew Masset, and Victoria Loving

Good Deeds is a 2012 romantic drama from writer/director Tyler Perry. Although Perry is also the film’s lead actor, this isn’t a “Tyler Perry film,” as far as what we generally expect of a Perry film – broad comedies often featuring the character, Mabel “Madea” Simmons, who does not appear in this movie. Good Deeds is about a businessman who leaves his comfort zone to help a struggling single mother.

Wesley Deeds (Tyler Perry) is a San Francisco-based businessman who is CEO of Deeds Corporation, the software company his late father started. He is engaged to marry Natalie (Gabrielle Union), a beautiful young woman who works in real estate, but his mind is always on work. With the assistance of John, (Eddie Cibrian), a company executive, Wesley is currently trying to buy a rival company, but Wesley’s resentful younger brother, Walter Deeds (Brian White), may be trying to sabotage the company. Their mother, Wilimena (Phylicia Rashad), is totally plugged into planning the wedding. Wesley Deeds does what he is supposed to and expected to do.

However, Wesley is jolted out of his scripted life when he meets Lindsey Wakefield (Thandie Newton), a single mother who is a janitor in Wesley’s office building. Lindsey speaks her mind and is fiercely independent, but when she and her daughter, Ariel (Jordenn Thompson), are left homeless, she needs help. A chance encounter brings together two people who are in a really bad place in their lives.

If Wesley Deeds can be said to leave his comfort zone in this story, then, it can be said that Tyler Perry, for the most part, leaves his comfort zone to create Good Deeds. This is an uplifting movie that emphasizes living the life one wants to live (or trying to) by relying on one’s self. In this movie, Perry pushes believing in yourself as a vehicle of change rather than a belief in faith and God as the path to change. Good Deeds is by no means anti-religion, but this is the most secular film Perry has done to date. The religious themes and testifying that are so evident in his broad comedies are absent in this romance and drama.

I was also surprised by how well written the screenplay is, considering (once again) that Perry has left his broad comedy comfort zone. Good Deeds does sometimes come across as an African-American soap opera (especially the elevator scene late in the film). However, this is also a character drama that puts a laser focus on Wesley Deeds and Lindsey Wakefield. Perry really delves into these characters and pulls out their insides so that the audience can see what makes them tick. Perry shows the audience the inner conflicts and struggles as much as he depicts Wesley and Lindsey’s exterior drama.

I think that Thandie Newton is, as usual, very good. She can do trials and tribulations as well as any African-American actress, and better than most. Perry, on the other hand, is mostly hit or miss as Wesley. There are moments in which he just does not seem convincing as an upper class Black man from an old money African-American family with an Ivy League pedigree.

Another of the film’s faults is that it largely ignores some of the other characters that have potential: Walter and Wilimena Deeds and Natalie, in particular. Perry created three good characters in them, but gave them small spaces to shine except in moments that seem like little more than stereotypical melodrama. Young Jordenn Thompson as Lindsey’s daughter, Ariel, also steals a few scenes.

Still, Good Deeds is really about Wesley and Lindsey, and to that end, the film is a pleasant drama that has a few riveting moments. These moments can jerk some tears from the audience, and that’s surprising to me. I didn’t expect even that much from Good Deeds.

6 of 10
B

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Happy Birthday, Tracy

I won't go there on the age thing, but I hope you have a great birthday and many, many more.

Monday, February 27, 2012

2012 Academy Award Winners - Complete List

The Academy Award is an award bestowed by the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS). The award recognizes the excellence of professionals in the film industry, including directors, actors, and writers. Winners and honorees receive the Oscar statuette, which is officially named the Academy Award of Merit and is one of nine types of Academy Awards.

The first Academy Awards ceremony was held on May 16, 1929, at the Hotel Roosevelt in Hollywood to honor outstanding film achievements of the 1927/1928 film season. The 84th Academy Awards, which honored films in 2011, was held at the Hollywood & Highland Center Theatre on Sunday, February 26, 2012 and broadcast live on ABC.

The Artist was the big winner at the 84th Academy Awards, winning 5 including the best picture, director, and actor awards. Hugo, which had the most nominations at 11, won 5, all in the “technical categories.”

Meryl Streep won the best actress Oscar, which I wanted Viola Davis to win. Woody Allen won his third Oscar for screenwriting (his fourth overall) with his win for Midnight in Paris. The state of Louisiana was represented in victory when William Joyce and Brandon Oldenburg of the Louisiana-based Moonbot Studios won the best animated short film Oscar.

84th Academy Award winners:

Best Motion Picture of the Year
The Artist: Thomas Langmann

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role
Jean Dujardin for The Artist

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role
Meryl Streep for The Iron Lady

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role
Christopher Plummer for Beginners

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role
Octavia Spencer for The Help

Best Achievement in Directing
Michel Hazanavicius for The Artist

Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen
Midnight in Paris: Woody Allen

Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published
The Descendants: Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon, Jim Rash

Best Animated Feature Film of the Year
Rango: Gore Verbinski

Best Foreign Language Film of the Year
A Separation: Asghar Farhadi (Iran)

Best Achievement in Cinematography
Hugo: Robert Richardson

Best Achievement in Editing
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo: Angus Wall, Kirk Baxter

Best Achievement in Art Direction
Hugo: Dante Ferretti, Francesca Lo Schiavo

Best Achievement in Costume Design
The Artist: Mark Bridges

Best Achievement in Makeup
The Iron Lady: Mark Coulier, J. Roy Helland

Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score
The Artist: Ludovic Bource

Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Song
The Muppets: Bret McKenzie ("Man or Muppet")

Best Achievement in Sound Mixing
Hugo: Tom Fleischman, John Midgley

Best Achievement in Sound Editing
Hugo: Philip Stockton, Eugene Gearty

Best Achievement in Visual Effects
Hugo: Robert Legato, Joss Williams, Ben Grossmann, Alex Henning

Best Documentary, Features
Undefeated: Daniel Lindsay, T.J. Martin, Rich Middlemas

Best Documentary, Short Subjects
Saving Face: Daniel Junge, Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy

Best Short Film, Animated
The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore: William Joyce, Brandon Oldenburg

Best Short Film, Live Action
The Shore: Terry George, Oorlagh George

Sunday, February 26, 2012

"The Artist" Wins Best Picture Oscar

Best Motion Picture of the Year

WINNER - The Artist: Thomas Langmann

Nominees:
The Descendants: Jim Burke, Alexander Payne, Jim Taylor
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close: Scott Rudin
The Help: Brunson Green, Chris Columbus, Michael Barnathan
Hugo: Graham King, Martin Scorsese
Midnight in Paris: Letty Aronson, Stephen Tenenbaum
Moneyball: Michael De Luca, Rachael Horovitz, Brad Pitt
The Tree of Life: Sarah Green, Dede Gardner, Grant Hill, and William Pohlad
War Horse: Steven Spielberg, Kathleen Kennedy

Meryl Streep Wins Best Actress Oscar for "The Iron Lady"

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role

WINNER - Meryl Streep for The Iron Lady

Nominees:
Glenn Close for Albert Nobbs
Viola Davis for The Help
Rooney Mara for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Michelle Williams for My Week with Marilyn

Jean Dujardin Wins Best Actor Oscar for "The Artist'

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role

WINNER - Jean Dujardin for The Artist

Nominees:
Demián Bichir for A Better Life
George Clooney for The Descendants
Gary Oldman for Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Brad Pitt for Moneyball

Michel Hazanavicius Wins Best Director Oscar for "The Artist"

Best Achievement in Directing

WINNER - Michel Hazanavicius for The Artist

Nominees:
Woody Allen for Midnight in Paris
Terrence Malick for The Tree of Life
Alexander Payne for The Descendants
Martin Scorsese for Hugo

"The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore" Wins Best Animated Short Oscar

Best Short Film, Animated

WINNER - The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore: William Joyce, Brandon Oldenburg

Nominees:
Dimanche: Patrick Doyon
La Luna: Enrico Casarosa
A Morning Stroll: Grant Orchard, Sue Goffe
Wild Life: Amanda Forbis, Wendy Tilby

"Saving Face" Wins Best Documentary Short Oscar

Best Documentary, Short Subjects

WINNER - Saving Face: Daniel Junge, Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy

Nominees:
The Barber of Birmingham: Foot Soldier of the Civil Rights Movement (2011): Robin Fryday, Gail Dolgin
God Is the Bigger Elvis: Rebecca Cammisa, Julie Anderson
Incident in New Baghdad: James Spione
The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom: Lucy Walker, Kira Carstensen

"The Shore" Wins Best Short Film Oscar

Best Short Film, Live Action

WINNER - The Shore: Terry George, Oorlagh George

Nominees:
Pentecost: Peter McDonald
Raju: Max Zähle, Stefan Gieren
Time Freak: Andrew Bowler, Gigi Causey
Tuba Atlantic: Hallvar Witzø

Woody Allen Wins Best Original Screenplay Oscar for "Midnight in Paris"

Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen

WINNER - Midnight in Paris: Woody Allen

Nominees:
The Artist: Michel Hazanavicius
Bridesmaids: Kristen Wiig, Annie Mumolo
Margin Call: J.C. Chandor
A Separation: Asghar Farhadi

"The Descendants" Wins Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar

Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published

WINNER - The Descendants: Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon, Jim Rash

Nominees:
Hugo: John Logan
The Ides of March: George Clooney, Grant Heslov, Beau Willimon
Moneyball: Steven Zaillian, Aaron Sorkin, Stan Chervin
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy: Bridget O'Connor, Peter Straughan

"Man or Muppet" Wins Best Original Song Oscar

Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Song

WINNER - The Muppets: Bret McKenzie ("Man or Muppet")

Nominee:
Rio: Sergio Mendes, Carlinhos Brown, Siedah Garrett ("Real in Rio")

"The Artist" Wins Best Original Score Oscar

Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score

WINNER - The Artist: Ludovic Bource

Nominees:
The Adventures of Tintin: John Williams
Hugo: Howard Shore
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy: Alberto Iglesias
War Horse: John Williams

Christopher Plummer Wins Best Supporting Actor Oscar

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role

WINNER - Christopher Plummer for Beginners

Nominees:
Kenneth Branagh for My Week with Marilyn
Jonah Hill for Moneyball
Nick Nolte for Warrior
Max von Sydow for Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

"Hugo" Wins Best Visual Effects Oscar

Best Achievement in Visual Effects

WINNER - Hugo: Robert Legato, Joss Williams, Ben Grossmann, Alex Henning

Nominees:

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2: Tim Burke, David Vickery, Greg Butler, John Richardson
Real Steel: Erik Nash, John Rosengrant, Danny Gordon Taylor, Swen Gillberg
Rise of the Planet of the Apes: Joe Letteri, Dan Lemmon, R. Christopher White, Daniel Barrett
Transformers: Dark of the Moon: Scott Farrar, Scott Benza, Matthew E. Butler, John Frazie

"Rango" Wins Best Animated Feature Oscar

Best Animated Feature Film of the Year

WINNER - Rango: Gore Verbinski

Nominees:
A Cat in Paris: Alain Gagnol, Jean-Loup Felicioli
Chico & Rita: Fernando Trueba, Javier Mariscal
Kung Fu Panda 2: Jennifer Yuh
Puss in Boots: Chris Miller

"Undefeated" Wins Best Documentary Oscar

Best Documentary, Features

WINNER - Undefeated: Daniel Lindsay, T.J. Martin, Rich Middlemas

Nominees:
Hell and Back Again: Danfung Dennis, Mike Lerner
If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front: Marshall Curry, Sam Cullman
Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory: Joe Berlinger, Bruce Sinofsky
Pina: Wim Wenders, Gian-Piero Ringel

"Hugo" Wins Best Sound Mixing Oscar

Best Achievement in Sound Mixing

WINNER - Hugo: Tom Fleischman, John Midgley

Nominees:
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo: David Parker, Michael Semanick, Ren Klyce, Bo Persson
Moneyball: Deb Adair, Ron Bochar, David Giammarco, Ed Novick
Transformers: Dark of the Moon: Greg P. Russell, Gary Summers, Jeffrey J. Haboush, Peter J. Devlin
War Horse: Gary Rydstrom, Andy Nelson, Tom Johnson, Stuart Wilson

"Hugo" Wins Best Sound Editing Oscar

Best Achievement in Sound Editing

WINNER - Hugo: Philip Stockton, Eugene Gearty

Nominees:
Drive: Lon Bender, Victor Ray Ennis
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo: Ren Klyce
Transformers: Dark of the Moon: Ethan Van der Ryn, Erik Aadahl
War Horse: Richard Hymns, Gary Rydstrom

"The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" Wins Best Editing Oscar

Best Achievement in Editing

WINNER - The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo: Angus Wall, Kirk Baxter

Nominees:
The Artist: Anne-Sophie Bion, Michel Hazanavicius
The Descendants: Kevin Tent
Hugo: Thelma Schoonmaker
Moneyball: Christopher Tellefsen

Octavia Spencer Wins Best Supporting Actress Oscar

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role

WINNER - Octavia Spencer for The Help

Nominees:
Bérénice Bejo for The Artist
Jessica Chastain for The Help
Melissa McCarthy for Bridesmaids
Janet McTeer for Albert Nobbs

"A Separation" Wins Best Foreign Film Oscar

Best Foreign Language Film of the Year

WINNER - A Separation: Asghar Farhadi (Iran)

Nominees:
Bullhead: Michael R. Roskam (Belgium)
Footnote: Joseph Cedar (Israel)
In Darkness: Agnieszka Holland (Poland)
Monsieur Lazhar: Philippe Falardeau (Canada)

"The Iron Lady" Wins Best Makeup Oscar

Best Achievement in Makeup

WINNER - The Iron Lady: Mark Coulier, J. Roy Helland

Nominees:
Albert Nobbs: Martial Corneville, Lynn Johnson, Matthew W. Mungle
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2: Nick Dudman, Amanda Knight, Lisa Tomblin

"The Artist" Wins Best Costume Design Oscar

Best Achievement in Costume Design

WINNER - The Artist: Mark Bridges

Nominees:
Anonymous: Lisy Christl
Hugo: Sandy Powell
Jane Eyre: Michael O'Connor
W.E.: Arianne Phillips

"Hugo" Wins Best Art Direction Oscar

Best Achievement in Art Direction

WINNER - Hugo: Dante Ferretti, Francesca Lo Schiavo

Nominees:
The Artist: Laurence Bennett, Robert Gould
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2: Stuart Craig, Stephenie McMillan
Midnight in Paris: Anne Seibel, Hélène Dubreuil
War Horse: Rick Carter, Lee Sandales

"Hugo" Wins Best Cinematography Oscar

Best Achievement in Cinematography

WINNER - Hugo: Robert Richardson

Nominees:
The Artist: Guillaume Schiffman
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo: Jeff Cronenweth
The Tree of Life: Emmanuel Lubezki
War Horse: Janusz Kaminski

"The Artist" Wins Best Film at 2012 Independent Spirit Awards

The Film Independent Spirit Awards is an annual celebration honoring artist-driven films made with an economy of means by filmmakers who embody independence and originality. The Spirit Awards recognizes the achievements of American independent filmmakers and promotes the finest independent films of the year to a wider audience. This is the 27th year of the Film Independent Spirit Awards.

The 27th Film Independent Spirit Awards were given out in a televised ceremony on Saturday, February 25, 2012The Artist won the best picture and best director awards and now seems like a runaway train on the way to tonight's 84th Academy Awards.

2012 FILM INDEPENDENT SPIRIT AWARD WINNERS:

BEST FEATURE (Award given to the Producer, Executive Producers are not listed)
The Artist - Producer: Thomas Langmann

BEST DIRECTOR
Michel Hazanavicius for The Artist

BEST SCREENPLAY
Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon, Jim Rash for The Descendants

BEST FIRST FEATURE (Award given to the director and producer)
Margin Call
Director: J.C. Chandor
Producers: Robert Ogden Barnum, Michael Benaroya, Neal Dodson, Joe Jenckes, Corey Moosa, Zachary Quinto

BEST FIRST SCREENPLAY
Will Reiser for 50/50

JOHN CASSAVETES AWARD - Given to the best feature made for under $500,000. Award given to the writer, director, and producer. Executive Producers are not listed
PariahWriter/Director: Dee Rees
Producer: Nekisa Cooper

BEST FEMALE LEAD
Michelle Williams for My Week with Marilyn

BEST MALE LEAD
Jean Dujardin for The Artist

BEST SUPPORTING FEMALE
Shailene Woodley for The Descendants

BEST SUPPORTING MALE
Christopher Plummer for Beginners

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Guillaume Schiffman for The Artist

BEST DOCUMENTARY (Award given to the director and producer)
The Interrupters
Director/Producer: Steve James
Producer: Alex Kotlowitz

BEST INTERNATIONAL FILM (Award given to the director)
A Separation (Iran)
Director: Asghar Farhadi

ROBERT ALTMAN AWARD
(Given to one film’s director, casting director, and its ensemble cast)
Margin Call
Director: J.C. Chandor
Casting Director: Tiffany Little Canfield, Bernard Telsey
Ensemble Cast: Penn Badgley, Simon Baker, Paul Bettany, Jeremy Irons, Mary McDonnell, Demi Moore, Zachary Quinto, Kevin Spacey, Stanley Tucci

FILMMAKER GRANT NOMINEES:

PIAGET PRODUCERS AWARD – The 15th annual Piaget Producers Award honors emerging producers who, despite highly limited resources demonstrate the creativity, tenacity, and vision required to produce quality, independent films. The award includes a $25,000 unrestricted grant funded by Piaget.
WINNER: Sophia Lin for Take Shelter

SOMEONE TO WATCH AWARD – The 18th annual Someone to Watch Award recognizes a talented filmmaker of singular vision who has not yet received appropriate recognition. The award includes a $25,000 unrestricted grant.
WINNER: Mark Jackson for Without

TRUER THAN FICTION AWARD – The 17th annual Truer Than Fiction Award is presented to an emerging director of non-fiction features who has not yet received significant recognition. The award includes a $25,000 unrestricted grant.
WINNER: Heather Courtney for Where Soldiers Come From

Jameson FIND Your Audience Award:
Alysa Nahmias and Benjamin Murray

http://www.spiritawards.com/

2012 Cesar Awards Name "The Artist" Best Film

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 (Oscars). 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 37th Cesar Awards were presented on Friday, February 24, 2012.  The French film, The Artist, which is poised to win big at the 84th Academy Awards tonight, won 6 of the 10 categories in which it was nominated, including "Best Film."  Also of note, Roman Polanski shares a screenwriting award.

The 37th César Award winners:

FILM
"The Artist," Michel Hazanavicius

DIRECTOR
Michel Hazanavicius, "The Artist"

ACTOR
Omar Sy, "Intouchables"

ACTRESS
Berenice Bejo, "The Artist"

SUPPORTING ACTOR
Michel Blanc, "The Minister"

SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Carmen Maura, "Service Entrance"

NEWCOMER, ACTOR
Gregory Gadebois, "Angele et Tony"

NEWCOMER, ACTRESS
Naidra Ayadi, "Poliss"
Clotilde Hesme, "Angele et Tony"

FIRST FILM
Sylvain Estibal, "When Pigs Have Wings"

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Pierre Schoeller, "The Minister"

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Yasmina Reza, Roman Polanski, "Carnage"

FOREIGN FILM
"A Separation," Asghar Farhadi

CINEMATOGRAPHY
Guillaume Schiffman, "The Artist"

ANIMATED FILM
"The Rabbi's Cat," Joann Sfar, Antoine Delesvaux

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
"Tous au Larzac," Christian Rouaud

MUSIC
Ludovic Bource, "The Artist"

BEST SOUND
Olivier Hespel, Julie Brenta and Jean-Pierre Laforce, “The Minister” (L'Exercice de l'État)

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN
Laurence Bennett, “The Artist”

BEST COSTUME DESIGN
Anaïs Romand, “House of Tolerance” (L'Apollonide: Souvenirs de la maison close)

BEST SHORT FILM
L'Accordeur

BEST EDITING
Laure Gardette and Yann Dedet, “Poliss”

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Characters Save Creaky "Barbershop"

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 14 (of 2004) by Leroy Douresseaux


Barbershop (2002)
Running time: 102 minutes (1 hour, 42 minutes)
MPAA – PG-13 for language, sexual content and brief drug references
DIRECTOR: Tim Story
WRITERS: Mark Brown, Don D. Scott, and Marshall Todd, from a story by Mark Brown
PRODUCERS: Mark Brown, Robert Teitel, and George Tillman Jr.
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Tom Priestley (D.o.P.)
EDITOR: John Carter
COMPOSER: Terence Blanchard

COMEDY/DRAMA

Starring: Ice Cube, Anthony Anderson, Cedric the Entertainer, Sean Patrick Thomas, Eve, Troy Garity, Michael Ealy, Leonard Earl Howze, Lahmard Tate, Jazsmin Lewis, Tom Wright, Jason Winston, DeRay Davis, and Keith David

Barbershop, a recent co-production by Ice Cube’s film production company Cube Vision and State Street Pictures, is another in a recent spurt of so-called urban audience movies, i.e. movies for black people. However, the light-on-plot film was a huge hit that drew in a broad cross section of viewers, so even white folks can be entertained by film’s with little or no story as long as the characters are funny and engaging, as they definitely are in Barbershop.

Calvin Palmer (Ice Cube) is a barber like his father and grandfather before him, but Calvin has bigger dreams. He inherited his late father’s shop, but Calvin has also saddled himself with debt from a number of failed business ventures. Looking for cash to help him with his latest start up, he sells his barbershop to a loan shark, Lester Wallace (the wonderful, but seldom seen Keith David). After he takes that big step, he comes to regret his decision when he realizes that Wallace is going to turn the shop into a ho house. That really hurts because his father’s business always meant a lot to the local community.

I can forgive the weakness of the film’s plots (and subplots) because it is rich in funny and endearing characters. To be of quality, a film doesn’t have to have great characters, a great setting, and a great story; the finest and most artful films do. A good film can be strong and entertaining with just one of those elements. Barbershop holds our attention because the characters are so damned funny. The acting isn’t always tight, but the cast really gets into their characters and give a good show. In an odd way you can forgive Barbershop a lot of faults because you know that you’re always going to get another hilarious scene with these great characters.

Out of all the actors, Anthony Anderson captured my attention just as he has in Romeo Must Die, Big Momma’s House, and Life among others. He’s funny, hilarious in fact, in the tradition of portly funny men. Ice Cube is nowhere near being a good actor, but he has an excellent sense in choosing film projects that will appeal to a broad audience, whether it’s popular trash like Anaconda, a sleeper hit like Friday, or a daring filmmaking choice like Three Kings. He’s a movie star.

Barbershop is a good comedy with many funny characters. It’s warm and homespun like Soul Food, with a good down home message about family and having sense of community, at its heart. Besides who could miss a film when Cedric the Entertainer is really on his game as a funny man and an actor, especially since you get to hear him say “F*ck Jesse Jackson.”

5 of 10
B-

NOTES:
2003 Black Reel Awards: 6 nominations: “Best Film” (Robert Teitel, George Tillman Jr.), “Best Film Soundtrack, “Theatrical - Best Actor” (Ice Cube), “Theatrical - Best Director” (Tim Story), “Theatrical - Best Screenplay-Original or Adapted” (Mark Brown and Don D. Scott), “Theatrical - Best Supporting Actor” (Cedric the Entertainer)

2003 Image Awards: 5 nominations: “Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture” (Ice Cube), “Outstanding Motion Picture,” “Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture” (Anthony Anderson), “Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture” (Cedric the Entertainer), and “Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture” (Eve)

"Barbershop 2: Back in Business" is a Better Business

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 15 (of 2004) by Leroy Douresseaux


Barbershop 2: Back in Business (2004)
Running time: 106 minutes (1 hour, 46 minutes)
MPAA – PG-13 for language, sexual material and brief drug references
DIRECTOR: Kevin Rodney Sullivan
WRITER: Don D. Scott (based upon characters created by Mark Brown)
PRODUCERS: Robert Teitel and George Tillman Jr.
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Tom Priestley (D.o.P)
EDITORS: Patrick Flannery and Paul Seydor
COMPOSER: Richard Gibbs

COMEDY with elements of drama

Starring: Ice Cube, Cedric the Entertainer, Sean Patrick Thomas, Eve, Troy Garity, Michael Ealy, Leonard Earl Howze, Queen Latifah, Harry Lennix, Robert Wisdom, Jazsmin Lewis, Kenan Thompson, Javon Jackson, DeRay Davis, Tom Wright, and Garcelle Beauvais-Nilon

Barbershop 2: Back in Business is a hilarious character based comedy that easily surpasses its admittedly funny 2002 predecessor, Barbershop. Like the first one, Barbershop 2 relies on funny characters to carry the movie and a homey setting in Chicago’s Southside to establish the atmosphere.

Shop owner Calvin Palmer (Ice Cube) has settled into being a small business owner, and his shop is thriving. The barbers who rent from Calvin are gregarious people who are fun to be around, so many locals gravitate to Calvin’s shop for a haircut, bawdy jokes, and the generally funny atmosphere.

As in the first film, Calvin is still struggling to save his shop – this time from greedy urban developers who want to buy him and his neighbors out. They want to replace “mom & pop” business with name brand chains – including a rival barbershop called Nappy Cutz. If that wasn’t enough, some of his employees/renters are starting to get on each other’s nerves, so can Calvin save his shop and neighborhood, while dealing with complex and messy interpersonal relationships? However he chooses to deal with problems will certainly involve laugher.

Anyone who liked Barbershop should like the sequel, and I can imagine many people who didn’t like the first will enjoy Barbershop 2, since it is almost twice as funny as the original. Barbershop 2’s script simply has more zest, and the comedy flows naturally. The first time around the laughs became old shtick, and the movie lost steam. The story and plot here is relatively light, and the little guy business versus the corporate devils is a familiar tale. However, the execution of the plot and routines of the characters have a better rhythm and the timing’s impeccable. Every thing seems to happen just when the films needs a boost or needs to move onto the next joke or funny scene. As far as character pieces go, Barbershop is a work of art.

In the end, the filmmakers wrap up Back in Business with a bit too much ease. Even this lightweight story ended up having the potential to say a lot about tradition and community over greed and progress, but maybe they believed that dealing with such weighty subject matters would turn a character comedy into ensemble drama. And we did come for the laughs. What Barbershop 2 misses in dealing with real world issues, it more than makes up for in being a good time, feel good comedy that just may keep audiences laughing for years.

Oh. Barbershop 2 isn’t a BLACK movie. It’s a funny, broad comedy featuring a primarily African-American cast, but it’s laughs and lightweight pass at values should appeal to peoples.

8 of 10
A

NOTES:
2005 Black Reel Awards: 4 nominations: “Best Actor, Musical or Comedy” (Ice Cube), “Best Film, Musical or Comedy” (Robert Teitel and George Tillman Jr.), “Best Screenplay, Original or Adapted” (Don Scott), and “Best Supporting Actor” (Cedric the Entertainer)

Friday, February 24, 2012

Madonna's "W.E." Among Costume Designers Guild Award Winners

The Costume Designers Guild is an international group that represents motion picture, television, and commercial costume designers, assistant costume designers and costume illustrators. The Costume Designers Guild Awards began in 1999 to annually honor costume designers in Motion Pictures, Television, and Commercials.

The winners were for the 14th Annual Costume Designers Guild Awards were announced at an awards gala Tuesday, February 21, 2012.

NOMINEES and WINNERS OF THE 14TH ANNUAL COSTUME DESIGNERS GUILD AWARDS:

Excellence in Contemporary Film:
WINNER * "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" – Trish Summerville

"Bridesmaids" – Leesa Evans and Christine Wada
"The Descendants" – Wendy Chuck
"Drive" – Erin Benach
"Melancholia" – Manon Rasmussen

Excellence in Period Film:
WINNER * "W.E." – Arianne Phillips

"The Artist" – Mark Bridges
"Jane Eyre " – Michael O'Connor
"The Help" – Sharen Davis
"Hugo" – Sandy Powell

Excellence in Fantasy Film:
WINNER * "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Pt. 2" – Jany Temime

"Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" – Penny Rose
"Red Riding Hood" – Cindy Evans
"Thor" – Alexandra Byrne
"X-Men: First Class" – Sammy Sheldon

Outstanding Made for Television Movie or Miniseries:
WINNER * "Downton Abbey" – Susannah Buxton

"The Kennedys" – Christopher Hargadon
"Mildred Pierce" – Ann Roth

Outstanding Contemporary Television Series:
WINNER * "Glee" – Lou Eyrich and Jennifer Eve

"Modern Family" – Alix Friedberg
"Revenge" – Jill Ohanneson
"Saturday Night Live" – Tom Broecker and Eric Justian
"Sons of Anarchy" – Kelli Jones

Outstanding Period/Fantasy Television Series:
WINNER * "Boardwalk Empire" – John A. Dunn and Lisa Padovani

"The Borgias" – Gabriella Pescucci
"Game of Thrones" – Michele Clapton
"Once Upon Time" – Eduardo Castro
"Pan Am (Series)" – Ane Crabtree

Excellence in Commercial Costume Design:
WINNER * Swiffer: "Country Dirt Cowgirl" – Roseanne Fiedler

Carl's Jr.: "Miss Turkey" – Francine Lecoultre
Dos Equis: "The Most Interesting Man in the World" – Julie Vogel

Happy Birthday, Laura

This day almost got by me (Thanks, Microsoft Works calendar).  I wish you a Happy Birthday and many, many more.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

"Contagion" Uncomfortably Real

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 15 (of 2012) by Leroy Douresseaux


Contagion (2011)
Running time: 106 minutes (1 hour, 46 minutes)
MPAA – PG-13 for disturbing content and some language
CINEMATOGRAPHER/DIRECTOR: Steven Soderbergh
WRITER: Scott Z. Burns
PRODUCERS: Gregory Jacobs, Michael Shamberg, and Stacey Sher
EDITOR: Stephen Mirrione
COMPOSER: Cliff Martinez

DRAMA/THRILLER

Starring: Laurence Fishburne, Marion Cotillard, Matt Damon, Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kate Winslet, Bryan Cranston, Jennifer Ehle, Sanaa Lathan, Elliot Gould, Chin Han, John Hawkes, Anna Jacoby-Heron, and Enrico Colantoni

Contagion is a 2011 film from director Steven Soderbergh. Essentially an ensemble drama and thriller, Contagion documents the spread of a virus that turns into a global pandemic, causing worldwide social chaos. Meanwhile, government officials try to contain it and medical officials try to identify the virus in order to create a vaccine for it. Contagion is a smart, scary disaster movie that will simultaneously give you the creeps while making you wonder if you are prepared for a pandemic.

The film begins by focusing on Beth Emhoff (Gwyneth Paltrow), a businesswoman in Hong Kong. Unbeknownst to her, Beth returns to the United States bringing with her a pestilence that will leave half her immediate family dead. From there, the story focuses on countless players dealing with the aftermath of the virus that is eventually named, MEV-1. Beth’s husband, Mitch Emhoff (Matt Damon), balances his need to protect his daughter, Jory (Anna Jacoby-Heron), who is frustrated with the quarantine, with her need to be a teenager. Alan Krumwiede (Jude Law), an Internet blogger who is obsessed with conspiracy theories, schemes to make money off the chaos created by the spread of the virus.

At the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, Dr. Ellis Cheever (Laurence Fishburne) leads a team trying to identify the virus, contain it, and create a vaccine for it. A World Health Organization (WHO) epidemiologist, Dr. Leonora Orantes (Marion Cotillard), travels to Hong Kong to trace the origin of the virus. CDC scientist, Dr. Ally Hextall (Jennifer Ehle), feels the pressure to find a cure, so she makes a decision that is either selfish or selfless. Meanwhile, fear and mass hysteria spread faster than the contagion.

Contagion has no single protagonist and no outright human antagonist. However, because it is an ensemble drama, Contagion can explore multiple themes, such as mass panic, loss of social order, the limitations of government during a disaster, cronyism, and greed, etc., from the view point of multiple characters.

Director Steven Soderbergh has this film jumping from one character and plot to the next. Because the characters are so well-defined and the plots so riveting, he always leaves the viewer wanting more, which can directly engage the viewer with the story, almost as if it were a real event. Contagion’s ultra-realism makes the movie feel more human and less post-human like so many modern, computer effects enhanced film thrillers. Of course, Soderbergh has an excellent multi-layered script by Scott Z. Burns from which to work. This reach and scope of this screenplay practically demands that Burns or someone else turn it into a novel.

Contagion is by no means perfect. It burns so hot, which is why it is so intense as a thriller, but Soderbergh needed to dial that back a few notches in certain parts of the story. Sometimes, the film is too aloof when it needs to stop and focus longer on certain characters in certain scenes.

7 of 10
A-

NOTES:
2012 Black Reel Awards: 1 nomination: “Outstanding Supporting Actor” (Laurence Fishburne)

2012 Image Awards: 1 nomination: “Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture” (Laurence Fishburne)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

"Full Frontal" a Frontal Assault on Hollywood Sameness

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 134 (of 2003) by Leroy Douresseaux


Full Frontal (2002)
Running time: 101 minutes (1 hour, 41 minutes)
MPAA – R for language and some sexual content
DIRECTOR: Steven Soderbergh
WRITER: Coleman Hough
PRODUCERS: Gregory Jacobs and Scott Kramer
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Peter Andrews (Steven Soderbergh)
EDITOR: Sarah Flack
COMPOSER: Jacques Davidovici

COMEDY/DRAMA/ROMANCE

Starring: Julia Roberts, Blair Underwood, David Duchovny, Nicky Katt, Catherine Keener, David Hyde Pierce, Tracey Vilar, Mary McCormack, Jeff Garlin, Erika Alexander, Enrico Colantoni with Terrence Stamp, David Fincher, and Brad Pitt

Steven Soderbergh laid down the law to his large cast of stars for his low budget ($2 million) film, Full Frontal, denying them the amenities that movie stars have come to expect on the sets of films in which they appear (star). Apparently, he really wanted the focus to be on actually making a film and less on the celebrity politics of Hollywood filmmaking. Full Frontal is one of those “meta” films like Spike Jonze’s two films, Being John Malkovich and Adaptation, in which there is a film within a film within a film, a story within a story, and a play within a play. All the elements: filmmakers, actors, characters, settings, story and script blend together to create some kind of hyper fictional/documentary movie hybrid.

Full Frontal follows a day in the life of a group of men and women in Hollywood as they approach an evening birthday party for their friend Gus/Bill (David Duchovny). If you’re wondering why Duchovny’s character has two names it’s because this is a movie within a movie, and some of the film’s characters have dual identities: one is a “real person” and the other is a fictional character. If this is confusing, it is because Full Frontal can be very hard to follow, unlike the aforementioned Spike Jonze films which were both written by Charlie Kaufman and which were both very easy to follow.

Julia Roberts and Blair Underwood (an under appreciated and underutilized actor likely because he is Africa-American) play dual parts and it’s a doozy to separate the lives of four characters that are so alike both professionally and personally. The script by Coleman Hough has that thing we all look for in a story that’s supposed to engage us – pathos. It is a fine dramatic presentation of several slices of several lives ably put to words, and Soderbergh expertly captures the sometimes-farcical nature of life and the sometimes quiet, sometimes manic nature of the beast that is romance.

Full Frontal is a movie within a movie and a film about filmmaking for people who really like movies. Yes, it’s sometimes confusing and following it is occasionally arduous, but numerous excellent performances, sharp film editing, and some neat star cameos make it worth the effort. Steven Soderbergh is a gifted, imaginative and inventive director who really loves to play around with the process of making movies, so anything he makes is not just interesting; it’s damn interesting. Plus, Full Frontal is such an absolute pleasure to watch, even if it bends the mind one too many times.

8 of 10
A

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

"The Descendants" Wins USC Libraries Scripter Award

The Descendants Ascend with Scripter Win

Authors and screenwriters of the family drama take the 2012 USC Libraries Scripter Award

LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Author Kaui Hart Hemmings and screenwriters Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon, and Jim Rash won the 24th-annual USC Libraries Scripter Award for their creative contributions to The Descendants. Selection committee co-chair Naomi Foner announced the winners at the black-tie ceremony on Saturday, Feb. 18.

“This is such a wonderful honor and to be part of something that celebrates and puts books on a pedestal and none of this would have been possible without Kaui’s wonderful book,” said Rash. “It was such a wonderful journey for us to fall in love with the book and have the opportunity to turn it into the film.”

Hemmings noted that the collaboration has been a positive experience for her.

“An adaptation can sometimes bring so many more readers that I never would have had and to have those readers say that they love both the book and the film and that they work so well together is such a blessing,” she said.

Payne—who was unable to attend—has been a Scripter finalist twice before for his work on the adaptations About Schmidt and Sideways. Payne also directed The Descendants. Faxon acknowledged Payne’s critical decision-making skills in his acceptance speech.

“I am thankful to Alexander Payne for directing such a beautiful film and I think he was right in the end—it was a good call casting George Clooney and not me,” Faxon joked. “That ended up being a benefit.”

The Descendants’ Scripter win adds to its many accolades. The film has been named the American Film Institute’s Movie of the Year and the best film of the year by the Los Angeles, Dallas, Florida, Kansas City, and Southeastern film critics associations, among others. It was named the best drama of the year at the Golden Globes and is nominated for five Academy Awards, including Best Adapted Screenplay.

The Scripter gala, presented by the Friends of the USC Libraries, honors each year’s best cinematic adaptation of the written word. Scripter is the only award of its kind that honors screenwriters as well as the author of the work upon which the adaptation is based.

With filmmaker and USC alumnus Taylor Hackford (‘67, International Relations) and Academy Award-winning actress Helen Mirren serving as honorary dinner chairs, USC Libraries Dean Catherine Quinlan welcomed the attendees to USC’s historic Edward L. Doheny Memorial Library.

“The authors and screenwriters of these books, plays, stories, and screenplays embody the stellar, transformative accomplishments our libraries inspire and make possible.” Quinlan added that by supporting the libraries, all who attended were “supporting the academic and artistic excellence of the entire university.”

The other finalists for the 2012 Scripter Award, in alphabetical order by film title, were: screenwriter Christopher Hampton for A Dangerous Method, adapted from the nonfiction book A Most Dangerous Method: The Story of Jung, Freud, and Sabina Spielrein by John Kerr and the 2002 stage play The Talking Cure by Hampton; screenwriter Moira Buffini for Jane Eyre, adapted from the 1847 book by Charlotte Brontë; screenwriters Steven Zaillian, Aaron Sorkin, and Stan Chervin for Moneyball, based on Michael Lewis’ book, Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game; and screenwriters Bridget O’Connor and Peter Straughan and author John le Carré for the thriller Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy.

Co-chaired by Golden Globe-winning screenwriter Naomi Foner and USC screenwriting professor and vice president of the Writers Guild of America, West, Howard Rodman, the Scripter selection committee chose The Descendants as the year’s best adaptation from a field of 109 eligible films.

The 32-member selection committee included film critics Kenneth Turan and Leonard Maltin; Fox Filmed Entertainment co-chairman and chief executive officer Tom Rothman; screenwriters Eric Roth, Geoffrey Fletcher, and Gale Anne Hurd; author Michael Chabon; and USC deans Catherine Quinlan, Elizabeth M. Daley and Madeline Puzo.

Academy Award-winning screenwriter Paul Haggis accepted the 5th-annual USC Libraries Scripter Literary Achievement Award. Haggis’ credits include the screenplays for films such as Crash, Million Dollar Baby, and the two James Bond films starring Daniel Craig, Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace.

During his acceptance speech, Haggis spoke about the influence his parents had on his writing career.

“They encouraged me from a young age largely because they saw I wasn’t good at much else,” Haggis joked. “You have to be a little emotionally unstable to be in this kind of profession—it’s a ridiculous profession, writing.”

“I’m very proud to be here with my daughters tonight—all three of whom grew up to choose ridiculous and difficult careers, in writing, in art, and in music,” Haggis explained. “I’m trying to learn the lesson my parents taught me—to encourage your children to be ridiculous to take on ridiculous challenges, choose ridiculous careers. Only by doing that do they really have a chance to be great.”

Haggis—along with author F. X. Toole—also captured a USC Libraries Scripter Award for Million Dollar Baby in 2005.

This year’s in-kind sponsors included Esquire Bar & Lounge (Pasadena, Calif.); the Wine of the Month Club; John and Dana Agamalian and Blue Ice Vodka; Barry Eggleston II of the Exotic Car Collection by Enterprise; Final Draft Inc., Movie Magic: Screenwriter; Paperblanks; and thinkThin.

For more details on Scripter—including additional images from the ceremony—visit http://scripter.usc.edu/.

"Pride" is Also About Determination

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 115 (of 2007) by Leroy Douresseaux


Pride (2007)
Running time: 109 minutes (1 hour, 49 minutes)
MPAA – PG-13 for thematic material, language including some racial epithets, and violence
DIRECTOR: Sunu Gonera
WRITERS: Kevin Michael Smith & Michael Gozzard, J. Mills Goodloe, and Norman Vance, Jr.
PRODUCERS: Brett Forbes, Patrick Rizzotti, Michael Ohoven, Adam Rosenfelt, and Paul Hall
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Matthew F. Leonetti
EDITOR: Billy Fox, A.C.E.

DRAMA/HISTORICAL

Starring: Terrence Howard, Bernie Mac, Kimberly Elise, Tom Arnold, Brandon Fobbs, Alphonso McAuley, Regine Nehy, Nate Parker, Kevin Phillips, Scott Reeves, Evan Ross, and Gary Sturgis

Pride is a 2007 biopic and drama starring Terrence Howard and Bernie Mac. The film is loosely based upon the true story of Philadelphia swim coach, James “Jim” Ellis, who, in 1971, formed the first swim team made of African-American swimmers.

In 1973, Jim Ellis (Terrence Howard), a college educated African-American, arrives in Philadelphia looking for work. He lands a job with the Philadelphia Department of Recreation to begin closing the Marcus Foster Recreational Center. Instead, he refurbishes the rundown center’s abandoned swimming pool, and then, shocks this local inner city community by forming a swim team. With the help of the center’s janitor, Elston (Bernie Mac), Ellis forms Philadelphia’s first black swim team. He recruits from a group of young men who hang around the center, and eventually adds one female swimmer.

They struggle to be a winning swim team, but soon, Team PDR (Philadelphia Department of Recreation) is earning respect and also the ire of an all-white team, the Barracudas, the swim team of the affluent Main Line Academy. Team PDR heads for their biggest competitive test at the Eastern Regional Swimming Final, but a dark incident from Coach Ellis’ past might sink their dreams.

Pride might come across as an amalgamation of many different Hollywood sports movies, especially those based on true stories or real life events. Out of its clichés, however, comes a truly inspirational film that is both an uplifting and moving story about a teacher who encourages his pupils to be not just proud, but also determined and resolute in pursuing their goals.

The film isn’t marked by any great performances, but both Terrence Howard and Bernie Mac give high-quality turns as the fatherly and stern, but loving African-American role models. Howard as Ellis seems strangely serene, but he cleverly hides Ellis’ passion and firebrand spirit until the moments that it is most needed. Mac’s performance exposes Elston as a terse, but gentlemanly father figure who simply wants more for the young people of his community. In a time when so many are cynical without really knowing why they should be, a film like Pride will seem like a stereotype. Taken in context, however, Pride is a winning film about a man who taught marginalized children to be proud.

7 of 10
B+

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

NOTES:
2008 Image Awards: 2 nominations: “Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture” (Terrence Howard) and “Outstanding Directing in a Motion Picture (Theatrical or Television)” (Sunu Gonera)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Cinema Audio Society Honors "Hugo"

Founded in 1964, the Cinema Audio Society is a philanthropic, non-profit organization formed for the purpose of sharing information with Sound Professionals in the Motion Picture and Television Industry. Cinema Audio Society Awards or The C.A.S. Awards is an annual awards ceremony honoring “Outstanding Achievement in Sound Mixing” and began doing so 1994.

The Cinema Audio Society Awards for “Outstanding Achievement in Sound Mixing” for 2011 nominees and winners (in bold):

MOTION PICTURES:

WINNER:
Hugo
Production Mixer: John Midgley
Re-recording Mixer: Tom Fleischman, CAS
Scoring Mixer: Simon Rhodes

Hanna
Production Mixer: Roland Winke
Re-recording Mixers: Christopher Scarabosio, Craig Berkey, CAS
Scoring Mixer: Andrew Dudman

Moneyball
Production Mixer: Ed Novick
Re-recording Mixers: Deb Adair, CAS, Ron Bochar, CAS, David Giammarco
Scoring Mixer: Brad Haehnel

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
Production Mixer: Lee Orloff, CAS
Re-recording Mixers: Paul Massey, CAS, Christopher Boyes
Scoring Mixer: Alan Meyerson

Super 8
Production Mixer: Mark Ulano, CAS
Re-recording Mixers: Tom Johnson, Andy Nelson, Anna Behlmer
Scoring Mixer: Dan Wallin

TELEVISION MOVIES AND MINI-SERIES:

WINNER:
Too Big to Fail
Production Mixer: James J. Sabat, CAS
Re-recording Mixers: Chris Jenkins ,Bob Beemer, CAS
Scoring Mixer: Chris Fogel

Cinema Verite
Production Mixer: Petur Hliddal
Re-recording Mixers: Lora Hirschberg, Scott Lewis, Douglas Murray
Scoring Mixer: Greg Townley

Innocent
Production Mixer: Shane Connelly
Re-recording Mixers: Mark Hensley, Tamara Johnson, CAS
Scoring Mixer: Tom Brissette

The Kennedys: Hour 7
Production Mixer: Henry Embry, CAS
Re-recording Mixer: Frank Morrone, CAS, Stephen Traub
Scoring Mixer: Larold Rebhun

Mildred Pierce : Part 5
Production Mixer: Drew Kunin
Re-recording Mixer: Leslie Shatz
Scoring Mixer: Todd Whitelock

TELEVISION SERIES:


WINNER
Boardwalk Empire – To The Lost
Production Mixer: Franklin D. Stettner, CAS
Re-recording Mixers: Tom Fleischman, CAS

Breaking Bad – Face Off
Production Mixer: Darryl L. Frank, CAS
Re-recording Mixers: Jeffrey Perkins, Eric Justen

Dexter – Just Let Go
Production Mixer: Greg Agalsoff
Re-recording Mixers: Pete Elia, CAS, Kevin Roache, CAS

Game of Thrones – Baelor
Production Mixer: Ronan Hill
Re-recording Mixer: Mark Taylor

The Walking Dead - What Lies Ahead
Production Mixer: Bartek Swiatek, CAS
Re-recording Mixers: Gary D. Rogers, CAS, Daniel J. Hiland, CAS

TELEVISION – NON-FICTION, Variety or Music – Series or Specials:


WINNER
Deadliest Catch: New Blood
Re-recording Mixer: Bob Bronow, CAS

American Experience – Triangle Fire
Production Mixer: G. John Garrett, CAS
Production Mixer: Rick Angelella
Production Mixer: Everett Wong
Re-recording Mixer: Coll Anderson

Bobby Fischer Against the World
Production Sound: Mark Maloof
Re-recording Mixer: Bill Marino

Great Performances At The Met: Nixon in China
Re-recording Mixer: Ken Hahn, CAS
Music Mixer: Jay David Saks

Lady Gaga Presents the Monster Ball Tour: At Madison Square Garden
Production Mixer: John Harris
Re-recording Mixer: Brian Riordan, CAS

The Cinema Audio Society Technical Awards for 2011 nominees and winners (in bold):

PRODUCTION
WINNER Zaxcom Nomad Production Sound System
Calrec Apollo Broadcast Mixing Console (software release 1.6 and later)
Movie Slate Sound Dept. Plugin by Pureblend Software
Remote Audio Meon LiFe
Yamaha 01V96i Digital Mixer

POST PRODUCTION:
WINNER Avid Pro Tools 10
Avid Eucon Protocol Version 2.6.2
Dolby Media Meter 2
Izotope Ozone 5 Advanced
Meyer Sound Acheron Designer Screen Channel Loudspeaker

http://www.cinemaaudiosociety.org/

Cheesy "Shark Night" Actually Has Some Bite

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 14 (of 2012) by Leroy Douresseaux


Shark Night 3D (2011)
Running time: 91 minutes (1 hour, 31 minutes)
MPAA – PG-13 for violence and terror, disturbing images, sexual references, partial nudity, language and thematic material
DIRECTOR: David R. Ellis
WRITERS: Will Hayes and Jesse Studenberg
PRODUCERS: Chris Briggs, Mike Fleiss, and Lynette Howell
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Gary Capo
EDITOR: Dennis Virkler
COMPOSER: Graeme Revell

HORROR

Starring: Sara Paxton, Dustin Milligan, Chris Carmack, Katharine McPhee, Joel David Moore, Donal Logue, Joshua Leonard, Sinqua Walls, Alyssa Diaz, and Chris Zylka

Set in Louisiana, Shark Night 3D is a 2011 3D horror movie directed by David R. Ellis, who directed two films in the Final Destination series. I did not see Shark Night in 3D; although I wanted to, it did not play in a theatre near me. After having seen it, I must admit that I am glad that I did not pay the inflated price for a 3D movie ticket to see it in a theatre.

The film introduces us to seven Tulane University undergraduates: Sara Palski (Sara Paxton), Nick LaDuca (Dustin Milligan), Beth (Katharine McPhee), Blake Hammond (Chris Zylka), Gordon (Joel David Moore), Malik (Sinqua Walls) and his girlfriend, Maya (Alyssa Diaz). They are going to spend the weekend at an island beach house on a private lake near Lake Pontchartrain. Their weekend of debauchery turns sour when one of them loses an arm in a waterskiing accident. When they discover that the accident is really a shark attack, their weekend becomes a hellish nightmare.

If nothing else, director David R. Ellis is a master of gruesome and bloody flesh-ripping death. Final Destination 2 and The Final Destination, Ellis’ two Final Destination films, are the most fun and most ghastly inventive of the lot. Shark Night 3D is similar in style and tone to both of these films, but the story isn’t well-developed nor the script well-written, even for something that is just a youth-oriented horror movie.

Ellis and his cast make this work to the degree that it is merely dumb fun. The young actors in Shark Night turn on the passion and dramatic theatrics, and they give it their all. Watching them, you might even get the idea that some of them are fighting for a part in a “Shakespeare in the park” production. This is not Jaws or even Deep Blue Sea, but it’s thrilling and enjoyable.

Plus, at the end of the credits, we are treated to an excellent and amusing rap music video featuring these young actors, and they are surprisingly good at rapping. Shark Night 3D doesn’t stop trying to entertain.

5 of 10
C+

Friday, February 10, 2012

Monday, February 20, 2012

"Midnight in Paris," "The Descendants" Win 2012 Writers Guild Awards

The Writers Guild of America, West (WGAW) and the Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE) announced the winners of the 2012 Writers Guild Awards for outstanding achievement in writing for screen, television, radio, news, promotional, videogame, and new media writing at simultaneous ceremonies at Hollywood Palladium in Los Angeles and the B.B. King Blues Club in New York City.

There are several categories, but I’m listing only the film and television categories. Go here for a complete list of winners.

2012 Writers Guild Awards Winners Announced:

SCREEN WINNERS

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Midnight in Paris, Written by Woody Allen; Sony Pictures Classics

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
The Descendants, Screenplay by Alexander Payne and Nat Faxon & Jim Rash; Based on the novel by Kaui Hart Hemmings; Fox Searchlight

DOCUMENTARY SCREENPLAY
Better This World, Written by Katie Galloway & Kelly Duane de la Vega; Loteria Films

TELEVISION WINNERS

DRAMA SERIES
Breaking Bad, Written by Sam Catlin, Vince Gilligan, Peter Gould, Gennifer Hutchison, George Mastras, Thomas Schnauz, Moira Walley-Beckett; AMC

COMEDY SERIES
Modern Family, Written by Cindy Chupack, Paul Corrigan, Abraham Higginbotham, Ben Karlin, Elaine Ko, Carol Leifer, Steven Levitan, Christopher Lloyd, Dan O’Shannon, Jeffrey Richman, Brad Walsh, Ilana Wernick, Bill Wrubel, Danny Zuker; ABC

NEW SERIES
Homeland, Written by Henry Bromell, Alexander Cary, Alex Gansa, Howard Gordon, Chip Johannessen, Gideon Raff, Meredith Stiehm; Showtime

EPISODIC DRAMA *TIE*
1. “Box Cutter” (Breaking Bad), Written by Vince Gilligan; AMC
2. “The Good Soldier” (Homeland), Written by Henry Bromell; Showtime

EPISODIC COMEDY
“Caught in the Act” (Modern Family), Written by Steven Levitan & Jeffrey Richman; ABC

LONG FORM – ORIGINAL
Cinema Verite, Written by David Seltzer; HBO

LONG FORM – ADAPTED
Too Big to Fail, Written by Peter Gould, Based on the book written by Andrew Ross Sorkin; HBO

ANIMATION
“Homer the Father” (The Simpsons), Written by Joel H. Cohen; Fox

COMEDY / VARIETY – (INCLUDING TALK) SERIES
The Colbert Report, Writers: Michael Brumm, Stephen Colbert, Rich Dahm, Paul Dinello, Eric Drysdale, Rob Dubbin, Glenn Eichler, Dan Guterman, Peter Gwinn, Jay Katsir, Barry Julien, Frank Lesser, Opus Moreschi, Tom Purcell, Meredith Scardino, Scott Sherman, Max Werner; Comedy Central

COMEDY / VARIETY – MUSIC, AWARDS, TRIBUTES – SPECIALS
After the Academy Awards, Head Writers: Gary Greenberg, Molly McNearney; Writers: Tony Barbieri, Jonathan Bines, John N. Huss, Sal Iacono, Eric Immerman, Jimmy Kimmel, Jonathan Kimmel, Jacob Lentz, Danny Ricker, Richard G. Rosner; ABC

DAYTIME DRAMA
General Hospital, Written by Meg Bennett, Nathan Fissell, David Goldschmid, Robert Guza, Jr., Karen Harris, Elizabeth Korte, Mary Sue Price, Michele Val Jean, Susan Wald, Tracey Thomson; ABC

CHILDREN'S EPISODIC & SPECIALS
“Hero of the Shadows” (Supah Ninjas), Written by Leo Chu, Eric S. Garcia; Nickelodeon

DOCUMENTARY — CURRENT EVENTS
“Top Secret America” (Frontline), Written by Michael Kirk, Mike Wiser; PBS

DOCUMENTARY — OTHER THAN CURRENT EVENTS
“Wiki Secrets” (Frontline), Written by Marcela Gaviria & Martin Smith; PBS

NEWS — REGULARLY SCHEDULED, BULLETIN OR BREAKING REPORT
“Educating Sergeant Pantzke” (Frontline), Written by John Maggio, Martin Smith; PBS

NEWS — ANALYSIS, FEATURE, OR COMMENTARY
“Doctor Hot Spot” (Frontline), Written by Thomas Jennings; PBS

Happy B'day: Sidney Poitier: Sneakers

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 113 (of 2005) by Leroy Douresseaux


Sneakers (1992)
Running time: 125 minutes (2 hours, 5 minutes)
MPAA – PG-13
DIRECTOR: Phil Alden Robinson
WRITERS: Phil Alden Robinson and Lawrence Lasker and Walter E. Parkes
PRODUCERS: Lawrence Lasker and Walter E. Parkes
CINEMATOGRAPHER: John Lindley
EDITOR: Tom Rolf, A.C.E.

CRIME/COMEDY/THRILLER with elements of action and drama

Starring: Robert Redford, Dan Aykroyd, Ben Kingsley, Mary McDonnell, River Phoenix, Sidney Poitier, David Strathairn, Timothy Busfield, Eddie Jones, Donal Logue, and James Earl Jones

Computer expert Martin Bishop (Robert Redford) heads a team of renegade hackers: a former CIA employee, Donald Crease (Sidney Poitier); a gadgets wizard who goes by the name "Mother" (Dan Aykroyd); a young genius named Carl Arbegast (River Phoenix); and a blind soundman, Erwin Emory, who goes by the name “Whistler” (David Strathairn); they are “sneakers,” routinely hired to test security systems for places that don’t need to get broken into or hacked into, such as a bank. Bishop’s past comes back to haunt him when two men claiming to represent the NSA (National Security Agency) blackmail him into helping them retrieve a “black box.” Along with his former girlfriend, Liz (Mary McDonnell), Bishop’s team steals the box and discovers that it may be able to break into any computer system in the world. Now, Bishop and his team are caught between dangerous factions who would kill for the box, so they must embark on their most dangerous assignment to date.

A combination caper film, mystery, espionage thriller and comedy, Sneakers featured an all-star cast when it debuted in late summer of 1992. The blend of star names (Robert Redford and Dan Aykroyd), legendary film figures (Redford again and Sidney Poitier), acclaimed character actors (Mary McDonnell and David Strathairn), and a young gun (the late River Phoenix) gave something for everyone in the audience. The subject matter may have been a bit over the head of much of the audience at the time. The home computer had not yet come into widespread use, and hackers remained a fringe news item, as most people yet did not realize the growing part computers were playing in their lives, so they didn’t understand the dangers of hackers who could break the encryption codes of security networks. Also, Sneakers is an action-thriller with no hyper-kinetic action scenes, but the film was a hit. It’s an espionage and (ostensible) spy thriller without that razor’s edge of tension a film such as Patriot Games gives the audience.

For me, Sneakers remains a personal favorite. It’s a brilliant (seriously) caper film that uncannily has the perfect mixture of comedy, action, and suspense with all the ingredients measured correctly to a fraction. No one actor really shines; in fact, Redford’s Bishop is an odd action lead, but somehow this works. Chemistry exists here, although it seems that the cast and characters occasionally rub each other the wrong way.

Something else about the film that always stands out for me is James Horner’s score, with Branford Marsalis on alto saxophone (I think). Horner’s sweet compositions with Marsalis delectable sax playing are perfect for comic caper flick. This was another feather in the hat for a unique and highly imaginative film composer who always seemed to create film music that perfectly captured a movie’s tone. A little more than six years later, Horner would finally win two long-deserved Oscars for writing a theme song and scoring Titanic.

Sneakers is a nice look back at what was then new technologies, and it boggles the mind how that new tech inspired three men to make such a film as this. While Sneakers is more an exercise in the caper/heist genre than it is a treatise on the consequences of certain people having unlimited access to private information and the ability to manipulate that info, Sneakers remains a pleasant little treat for those who want something different in their high tech thrillers.

7 of 10
B+

Happy B'day, Robert Altman: Gosford Park

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 12 (of 2002) by Leroy Douresseaux


Gosford Park (2001)
Running time: 137 minutes (2 hours, 17 minutes)
MPAA – R for some language and brief sexuality
DIRECTOR: Robert Altman
WRITER: Julian Fellowes (from an idea by Robert Altman and Bob Balaban)
PRODUCERS: Robert Altman, Bob Balaban, and David Levy
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Andrew Dunn (D.o.P.)
EDITOR: Tim Squyres
COMPOSER: Patrick Doyle
Academy Award winner

DRAMA/MYSTERY

Starring: Maggie Smith, Michael Gambon, Kristin Scott Thomas, Camilla Rutherford, Charles Dance, Geraldine Somerville, Tom Hollander, Natasha Wightman, Jeremy Northam, Bob Balaban, James Wilby, Ryan Phillippe, Stephen Fry, Ron Webster, Clive Owen, Helen Mirren, Eileen Atkins, Emily Watson, Alan Bates, Derek Jacobi, Richard E. Grant, and Sophie Thompson

Sir William McCordle (Michael Gambon, The Insider) and Lady Sylvia McCordle (Kristin Scott Thomas) invite many family and friends to their old style, English country estate for a weekend shooting party. Sir William has been the financial benefactor for many of his guests, some needing him more than others and him rejecting the needs of some. When Sir William is discovered dead in his study, everyone: family, guests, and their servants are suspects.

Directed by Robert Altman (The Player, Short Cuts, Nashville), Gosford Park is written in the fashion of an Agatha Christie whodunit, her brand of mystery story that was sometimes set in an old country manor. Altman, a master of the ensemble cast, uses this large cast of British thespians with the flair of a wizard and the skill of great director. Altman creates a pace for Gosford Park that is as still and as measured as a Merchant Ivory production, but underneath the stiff veneer is a film that is as sharp and as full of wit as the best comedies. Every time that Altman seems to start to slip in his craft, he unleashes something that is so rare in films this day: a movie in which the story, setting, and cast are so well played that the audience is knocked off its collective feet. With each marvelous comeback, we believe in him even more. Gosford Park has the kind of execution that brought us to our feet in The Player.

The script by actor Julian Fellowes from an idea by Altman and cast member Bob Balaban is, too say the least, excellent. To use such a large cast in which each and every actors plays what amounts to a major part in the film, even on small screen time, is rarely seen, and is usually reserved for the stage. To write a script that does this in a movie that is barely over two hours long is to understand quality over quantity. There are no big named stars here waiting to chew up scenery and to have their Oscar soliloquies. Fellowes creates a story that has the density and plot lines of a novel, but the brevity of a short story. He does not waste words and scenes, and Altman ably directs the script with the same efficiency. Fellowes wry take on class and social status is uncanny; he sums up British society in the time it would take most writers to begin their introduction to the topic.

Gosford Park is a movie of good performances. Maggie Smith as Constance, Countess of Trentham and Helen Mirren as the housekeeper, Mrs. Wilson earned well-deserved Oscar nominations. Ms. Smith sets the stage and creates the atmosphere for this drama, comedy, and mystery. She embodies British reserve, attitude, and wit, but it is in those moments when she surprises with some unexpected line or sudden glance that she really defines the chameleonic nature of this film. Ms. Mirren well represents the hurt, the lies, and the secrets of Gosford Park; she is want and fulfillment so held in check that when it burst forth, someone must die.

Ryan Phillippe, Stephen Fry, Clive Owen, Ron Webster, Emily Watson, Kelly Macdonald, and Alan Bates among others of this fine cast all do wonderful work. It boggles the mind what these actors do with a great script and one of the great directors.

Gosford Park has as its foundation a well know genre, and it does not refute the trappings of this genre. While a mystery novel must play to its conventions, Gosford Park allows the human dramas to tell the story. Each character’s story and motivation underlies the story, and every character has at least one moment in the spotlight. As motives come forth, the film casts off its whodunit costume and becomes a real drama and witty satire on class. Like life, it is a comedy and mystery, and, like life, the story and its characters remains intriguing even as it ends.

It’s one of those special films that waits for a viewer hungry for some meat to go with the sugary plate most films offer as their sole course.

9 of 10
A+

NOTES:
2002 Academy Awards: 1 win: “Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen” (Julian Fellowes); 6 nominations: “Best Picture” (Robert Altman, Bob Balaban, and David Levy), “Best Director” (Robert Altman), “Best Actress in a Supporting Role” (Helen Mirren), “Best Actress in a Supporting Role” (Maggie Smith), “Best Art Direction-Set Decoration” (Stephen Altman-art director and Anna Pinnock-set decorator), and “Best Costume Design” (Jenny Beavan)

2002 BAFTA Awards: 2 wins: “Alexander Korda Award for Best British Film” (Robert Altman, Bob Balaban, and David Levy) and “Best Costume Design” (Jenny Beavan); 7 nominations: “Best Make Up/Hair” (Sallie Jaye and Jan Archibald), “Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role” (Helen Mirren), “Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role” (Maggie Smith), “Best Production Design” (Stephen Altman), “Best Screenplay – Original” (Julian Fellowes), “Carl Foreman Award for the Most Promising Newcomer” (Julian Fellowes-writer), and “David Lean Award for Direction” (Robert Altman)

2002 Golden Globes: 1 win: “Best Director - Motion Picture” (Robert Altman); 4 nominations: “Best Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical,” “Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture” (Helen Mirren), “Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture” (Maggie Smith), and “Best Screenplay - Motion Picture” (Julian Fellowes)

Sunday, February 19, 2012

"The Help" Wins Big at 43rd NAACP Image Awards

The NAACP Image Award an award bestowed by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). The award honors outstanding achievements by people of color in film, television, music, and literature. The awards are voted on by members of the NAACP.

The 43rd NAACP Image Awards winners were announced in a ceremony, February 17, 2012 and broadcast live on NBC.  I was caught up in two basketball games broadcast on ESPN Friday night, so I had to get help from the Associated Press via the Miami Herald to get this information to you, dear readers.

2012 NAACP Image Awards winners - Motion Pictures:

Motion Picture: "The Help"

Motion Picture directing: Salim Akil, "Jumping the Broom"

Motion picture writing: Ann Peacock, "The First Grader" (National Geographic Entertainment)

Actor in a motion picture: Laz Alonso, "Jumping the Broom"

Actress in a motion picture: Viola Davis, "The Help"

Supporting actor in a motion picture: Mike Epps, "Jumping the Broom"

Supporting actress in a motion picture: Octavia Spencer, "The Help"

Independent motion picture: "Pariah" (Focus Features)

Foreign motion picture: "In the Land of Blood and Honey" (FilmDistrict)

Documentary, theatrical or television: "Sing Your Song" (HBO Documentary Films)

The 43rd NAACP Image Awards Winners: Television Categories

The 2012 NAACP Image Awards winners:

Television:

Comedy series: "Tyler Perry's House of Payne"

Actor in a comedy series: Malcolm-Jamal Warner, "Reed Between the Lines"

Actress in a comedy series: Tracee Ellis Ross, "Reed Between the Lines"

Supporting actor in a comedy series: Nick Cannon, "Up All Night"

Supporting actress in a comedy series: Keshia Knight Pulliam, "Tyler Perry's House of Payne"

Drama series: "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit"

Actor in a drama series: LL Cool J, "NCIS: Los Angeles"

Actress in a drama series: Regina King, "SouthLAnd"

Supporting actor in a drama series: James Pickens, Jr., "Grey's Anatomy"

Supporting actress in a drama series: Archie Panjabi, "The Good Wife"

TV movie, mini-series or dramatic special: "Thurgood"

Actor in a TV movie, mini-series or dramatic special: Laurence Fishburne, "Thurgood"

Actress in a TV movie, mini-series or dramatic special: Taraji P. Henson, "Taken From Me: The Tiffany Rubin Story"

Actor in a daytime drama series: Emerson Brooks, "All My Children"

Actress in a daytime drama series: Tatyana Ali, "The Young and the Restless"

News/information, series or special: "Unsung"

Talk series: "Oprah's Lifeclass"

Reality series: "Dancing With the Stars"

Variety series or special: "Oprah Presents: Master Class"

Children's program: "I Can Be President: A Kid's-Eye View"

Performance in a children's program, series or special: Keke Palmer, "True Jackson, VP"

Writing:
Comedy series: Salim Akil, Mara Brock Akil, "The Game"
Dramatic series: Lolis Eric Elie, "Treme"

Directing:
Comedy series: Leonard R. Garner, Jr., "Rules of Engagement"
Dramatic series: Ernest Dickerson, "Treme"

43rd NAACP Image Awards Winners - Music Categories

The 43rd NAACP Image Awards winners:

Recording:

New artist: Diggy Simmons (Atlantic Records)

Male artist: Cee Lo Green (Elektra Records)

Female artist: Jill Scott (Warner Bros. Records)

Duo, group or collaboration: Mary J. Blige feat. Drake (Geffen)

Jazz album: George Benson, "Guitar Man" (Concord Jazz)

Gospel album, traditional or contemporary: Kirk Franklin, "Hello Fear" (Verity Gospel Music Group)

World music album: Sounds of Blackness, "Sounds of Blackness" (Malaco Music Group)

Music video: Jennifer Hudson, "Where You At" (Arista Records)

Song: Kirk Franklin, "I Smile" (Verity Gospel Music Group)

Album: Jennifer Hudson, "I Remember Me" (Arista Records)

Lucky Fans Can Be at the World Premiere of "Titanic 3D"


Fans of Titanic are invited to win a trip to the Worldwide Premiere In London!

The search for the biggest TITANIC fan has launched! Fans of TITANIC can enter for a chance to win a once-in-a-lifetime trip to the World Premiere in London on March 27th. TITANIC returns to theaters on April 4 in 2D, Real D 3D and IMAX 3D.

The Titanic prize package includes:
· Two tickets to the World Premiere in London on March 27
· Roundtrip coach airfare from the U.S. or Canada for two
· Three nights hotel stay
· Passes to a “hop-on-hop-off” city tour for two
· Round-trip transfers to/from hotel while in London

To Enter:
· Visit the Titanic Facebook page at http://www.Facebook.com/TitanicMovie to get to the Biggest Fan Contest tab.
· Click “Enter”
· Select a photo to submit either from your Facebook albums or from your desktop.
· Fill out a short form with your contact information as well as a few words about the first time you saw Titanic.

· No Purchase Necessary. Enter by 3/13/12. Open to US and Canadian (excluding Quebec) residents, age 13 and older. See Official Rules for details/restrictions.”

James Cameron, who also directed the breakthrough 3D epic AVATAR, will bring TITANIC to life as audiences have never seen it before, digitally re-mastered and harnessing the innovative technology of StereoD. The re-release of TITANIC also coincides with the 100th anniversary of the Titanic setting sail on April 10, 1912. Written, directed and produced by James Cameron, TITANIC is the second highest grossing movie of all time. It is one of only three films to have received a record 11 Academy Awards® including Best Picture and Best Director; and launched the careers of stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet.

Called “A spectacular demonstration of what modern technology can contribute to dramatic storytelling” by Variety upon it’s release in 1997, the long in the works 3D conversion was overseen Cameron and his Lightstorm producing partner Jon Landau who produced the hit movie.

TITANIC returns to theaters for a limited engagement beginning April 4th in 2D, Real D 3D and IMAX 3D.

Learn more about TITANIC in 3D at http://www.titanicmovie.com/


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. Paramount controls a collection of some of the most powerful brands in filmed entertainment, including Paramount Pictures, Paramount Animation, Paramount Vantage, Paramount Classics, Insurge Pictures, MTV Films, and Nickelodeon Movies. PPC operations also include Paramount Famous Productions, Paramount Home Media Distribution, Paramount Pictures International, Paramount Licensing Inc., and Paramount Studio Group.

About Twentieth Century Fox
One of the world’s largest producers and distributors of motion pictures, Fox Filmed Entertainment produces, acquires and distributes motion pictures throughout the world. These motion pictures are produced or acquired by the following units of FFE: Twentieth Century Fox, Fox 2000 Pictures, Fox Searchlight Pictures, Twentieth Century Fox Animation and Fox International Productions.

About Lightstorm Entertainment
Lightstorm Entertainment is a film production company founded by Academy Award winning filmmakers James Cameron and film producer Jon Landau. The company has produced blockbuster hits including “Terminator 2: Judgment Day,” “True Lies,” as well the Academy Award® winning “Titanic” and most recently “Avatar,” which stands at the biggest grossing movie of all time.