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June 2009

Kathryn Bigelow Triumphs with Hurt Locker

Kathryn Bigelow Triumphs with Hurt Locker

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Clocking in with a 91% Metacritic rating, with a film that will surely become one of the best of the year, it is time to start taking Ms. Bigelow, and her moody, brilliant war film, seriously. We were already taking it seriously last year when it was pulled from the roster. Many films wouldn’t be able to withstand that bump in its release date; this one does. It might just…

Turan, Dargis on Public Enemies

Turan, Dargis on Public Enemies

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The LA Times’ last man standing, Kenneth Turan gives major props to Michael Mann’s Public Enemies, but particularly in the way it looks: Simultaneously an art film and a crime film, Mann’s latest work (he shares screenplay credit with Ronan Bennett and Ann Biderman) may not give you a ton to hang on to emotionally, but the beauty and skill of the filmmaking keep you tightly in its grasp. Manohla…

Stephanie Zacharek says Public Enemies is swell

Stephanie Zacharek says Public Enemies is swell

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Some chippies are a pushover for any hard-boiled hood. But this swanky dame from Salon is on the square: The glamour quotient in “Public Enemies” is high, and in a landscape of contemporary movies in which “sophistication” is seemingly a dirty word, it’s a relief to see actors in period dress rather than outlandish Willy Wonka get-ups and superhero costumes. Even the movie’s violence has a grown-up gloss: Mann doesn’t…

The Informant! trailer

The Informant! trailer

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Nothing embeddable yet, but you can click on over to Apple trailers for a look at The Informant trailer, and here in HD. (Since when did they add the exclamation point to the title!? I’m twice as excited now!!) [UPDATE: Thanks to Alex Billington at First Showing for loaning us a portable version of the trailer.]

Top 10 Best Picture Hopefuls

Top 10 Best Picture Hopefuls

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Using your “no way!” reactions to eliminate movies that stand little chance of a Best Picture nomination, I cut about 1/3 of the titles from the long list posted yesterday. There are still plenty of snowballs struggling to survive in Hell left on the poll, but it’s not the pollsters job to narrow down the choices too much. The rest of the Least Likely to Succeed will be determined when…

In the Club, 134 Invited to Join Academy

In the Club, 134 Invited to Join Academy

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Of course the actors are on top, but there are members invited from other branches, who “who have distinguished themselves by their contributions to theatrical motion pictures. Those who accept the invitation will be the only additions in 2009 to the Academy‚Äôs roster of voting members.” The 2009 invitees are: Actors Casey Affleck Emily Blunt Michael Cera Viola Davis James Franco Brendan Gleeson Anne Hathaway Taraji P. Henson Emile Hirsch…

Contender Tracker  – Oscars 2009

Contender Tracker – Oscars 2009

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There aren’t many films that would be considered Oscar-worthy for the 82nd Academy Awards that have already been screened and/or reviewed this year, even with the ten slots opened up. There are many movies that feel Oscar-bound even though they haven’t opened and haven’t been reviewed by major critics.¬† I’m going to add the two actresses who came out of Sundance, Carey Mulligan from An Education and Mo’Nique from Precious….

Ebert’s Public Enemies review

Ebert’s Public Enemies review

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John Dillinger and Johnny Depp Roger Ebert gives Public Enemies 3.5 stars, though it reads like a 4-star review right up to very last paragraph. This is very disciplined film. You might not think it was possible to make a film about the most famous outlaw of the 1930s without clich√©s and “star chemistry” and a film class screenplay structure, but Mann does it. He is particular about the way…

The September Issue

The September Issue

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Thanks to Yvette for finding this trailer for The September Issue, a documentary look at Prada-wearing Vogue editor, Anna Wintour.

Oscar’s Ten Best Picture Nominees Has Many Naysayers

Oscar’s Ten Best Picture Nominees Has Many Naysayers

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It is still surprising to me that so many see the ten best picture nominees change as a negative. In any given year, there are at least twenty “best pictures.” Ten of them is better than five. Five never does justice to a year and, in fact, rewards the best campaigns and the “Oscar” movies, now becoming more and more marginalized and obscure. The only way I see the change…