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House of Cards – the Power of One

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(minor spoilers) Away from the light and into the darkness the cutthroat tragedy of House of Cards unfolds. Not since The Twilight Zone have the sinister regions of the human psyche been so caustically exposed as they are in the labyrinths of D.C. leadership infested with sly powerbrokers and slimy ...

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Cloud Atlas: Appetite of the Soul

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“The urge to transcend self-conscious selfhood is, as I have said, a principal appetite of the soul.” ― Aldous Huxley, The Doors of Perception Back in 1999, when I first started Oscarwatch, my daughter was one year old. I had a part time job writing film reviews for a small ...

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Life of Pi: Into the Mystic

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“Whoever undertakes to set himself up as a judge of Truth and Knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of the gods.” – Albert Einstein The glorious, profound absurdity of it all parades before our eyes in spectacular 3-D in Ang Lee’s adaptation of Life of Pi. Based on the Man ...

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Oscarwatch: 15 of 2012’s Rising Stars

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Each year, a handful of new faces, and occasionally old ones, revel in the celebratory season known as the Oscar race.  It’s either a celebration or a nightmare, depending on how badly you want it.  Many are unprepared to do what it takes — to Marion Cotillard and Jeff Bridges ...

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Trades break Prometheus embargo

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Embargo blown. Nothing new. Variety and THR typically play with a disregard for rules that comes from decades of cavalier entitlement. I always feel like an enabler when posting things that “leak” but I think we know by now nothing much happens in Hollywood by accident. Todd McCarthy of The ...

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War Horse reviews

Solid reviews for War Horse are being rounded up on Metacritic.  Highlights from  few of the best. EW’s Lisa Schwarzbaum: Spielberg, attuned to the power of that equine eloquence, gives Joey and his human costars exactly what they need to run free. This is a beautifully built, classically framed movie, ...

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War Horse – So Perfect, So Flawed

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It began the year being perceived as the film that would take down Oscar, along the lines of Saving Private Ryan – an unflinching look at WWII.  Probably it was never going to be Schindler’s List, an unflinching look at the Holocaust.  Or maybe along the lines of ET, a ...

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Roger Ebert’s 4-Star review of Shame

A movie as bold as Shame is bound to be polarizing. Helping to offset some of the critics who are turned off for one reason or another, Shame earned 3 scores of 100 early on, Nov 8th (from Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, and Salon). Last night Roger Ebert added a ...

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More raves sweep ashore for The Descendants

(new TV spot in advance of tomorrow’s premiere in NY and LA) Already standing in strong position with the critics, The Descendants stock rises with raves today from A.O. Scott, Glenn Kenny, Betsy Sharkey and the rare 4-star review from Peter Travers. [Travers’ review now UPDATED with expanded excerpt] The ...

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More raves sweep ashore for The Descendants

(new TV spot in advance of tomorrow’s premiere in NY and LA) Already standing in strong position with the critics, The Descendants stock rises with raves today from A.O. Scott, Glenn Kenny, Betsy Sharkey and the rare 4-star review from Peter Travers. [Travers’ review now UPDATED with expanded excerpt] The ...

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Variety: Tintin is "Lavish." THR: "Visually Splendid."

The trades rave The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn. Variety: …Clearly rejuvenated by his collaboration with producer Peter Jackson, and blessed with a smart script and the best craftsmanship money can buy, Spielberg has fashioned a whiz-bang thrill ride that’s largely faithful to the wholesome spirit of ...

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Empire says Tintin is "gorgeous and faithfully whimsical"

Empire’s 4-star review raves “Spielberg has brought a boy’s heart, an artist’s guile, and a movie-lover’s wit” to Tintin: From the Nouvelle Vague flourish of the opening credits, featuring Tintin in silhouette dashing past giant typewriters and former foes, recalling the Saul Bass-themed curtain raiser of Catch Me If You ...

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Ides of March gets boost from Entertainment Weekly

Entertainment Weekly’s Owen Gleiberman says The Ides of March is George Clooney’s best film yet as director: Actors who become directors tend to focus on performance at the expense of everything else. Clooney certainly brings out the best in his actors, but his driving trait as a filmmaker is that ...

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