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Poll: What Are You Watching? (Apr. 18-20, 2014)

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What Are You Watching? (Apr. 18-20, 2014)

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Film Preview: Blended (2014)

Poster

Additional posters can be found below.

Trailer Link

Release Date:

May 23, 2014

Synopsis:

From IMDb: "After a bad blind date, a man and woman find themselves stuck together at a resort for families, where their attraction grows as their respective kids benefit from the burgeoning relationship."

Poster: D / C (2)

Review: It's obvious the intent of this poster, but it's so garish, large and unappealing. Visually it's a dud. The second two designs are a bit more rewarding, but the tepid photoshop work on the blended images isn't very good, making them feel incredibly fake.

Trailer: C+ / B-

Review: It's amazing what difference a re-cut can make. For those of you playing at home, an film editor's job is to make a good film. A trailer editor's job is to make a mediocre film look palatable or a good film look great. Here, you have to examples of trailers cut from the same film. The first one is choppy, generic and not particularly funny. The second one is moves along at a nice clip, has some more interesting humor and overall makes the film look better.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Revisions:

(April 13, 2014) Original

Additional Posters

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Game: 2014 Spring Season Box Office Week 16

For a full list of rules, click here: 2013 Oscar Season Box Office Predictions Game Rules.

Submit Your Predictions for This Week

  1. Top Ten Films at the U.S. Box Office of the week in order from most money to least.
  2. Individual monetary predictions for each film.
  3. Final box office tally for all new wide releases.
  4. # of Weeks each new wide release will spend at #1.
  5. # of Weeks each new wide release will spend in the top 10.

This Week's New Wide Releases

Bears (1,600 screens)
A Haunted House 2 (2,400 screens)
Heaven Is for Real (2,300 screens)
Transcendence (3,400 screens)

Box Office Prediction Increments

  1. $50 million or higher - $5 million increments
  2. $25 million to $49 million - $1 million increments
  3. $5 million to $24.5 million - $500,000 increments
  4. $4.9 million or lower - $100,000 increments

Last Week's Results

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Looking at the Weekend: Apr. 18-20, 2014

Bears is the only wide release that I can't see taking the top spot this weekend. It's also possible that Rio 2 could spend a second week at the #1 with one of these following in second place.

Individual Commentaries

Wesley Lovell: With reticence, I choose the Johnny Depp sci-fi feature Transcendence. The Bears documentary could be cute, bug negligible and, among the films we're not covering, I'd be most interested in Tasting Menu.
Peter J. Patrick: A little bit of this, a little bit of that this week.
Tripp Burton: Nothing this weekend is really my cup of tea, but fans of these genres look to have some interesting fare to check out.

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2014 Summer Season Preview: Introduction

The biggest box office bonanaza is on its way, but as last winter proved, the Summer isn't the be-all-end-all anymore. Yet, with a slate like this, it's undoubtedly going to be a big year. I'm just trying to think ahead as to what films will be the utter duds of the season.

To introduce you to the upcoming films, there will be two preview articles every month and this introduction every four months. The Season Preview article will focus on one of three seasons Spring Season (January through April), Tentpole Season (May through August) and Oscar Season (September through December). In these introductory articles, I will give you the current release schedule for the specified season, which may change as the release dates get closer.

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This Day in Oscar History: April 16 (2014)

Here's what happened today in Oscar History.

Born


Died

Released


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Film Preview: Begin Again (2014)

Poster


Trailer Link

Release Date:

July 4, 2014

Synopsis:

From IMDb: "A dejected music business executive forms a bond with a young singer-songwriter new to Manhattan."

Poster: C

Review: Why do posters always need to look like a high school boy with a crush on a pretty girl needs to make it look like they've been out on a date together and photoshopped the two of them together. This is what that might look like.

Trailer: B-

Review: I like Mark Ruffalo a lot. Any movie he's in as my interest even if the trailer doesn't make the film look like it's going to be very good. Ruffalo and Keira Knightly both have talent, though they may not have much chemistry. This trailer is filled with some cheesy moments, which doesn't improve its potential.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Revisions:

(April 13, 2014) Original

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5 Favorites #177: 5 Favorite Leading Men, Part I

Every week, we'll pose a new "five favorites" question. You just list your five favorites that fit in that category (preferably in preference order) and you're welcome to discuss and debate the selections and see just how much you do or do not have in common with others. If you want to take a look back at our past articles to comment or enjoy, here is a post set aside to track all of our articles (updated infrequently).

We continue our series of leading men and women with the first of our men, covering the 1920's, 1930' and 1940's. We'll alternate until we get to the modern era.

What are your 5 Favorite leading men of the 1920's, 1930's and 1940's?

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The DVD Report #356

AugustOsageCountyOne of last year’s most eagerly anticipated films, John Wells’ film of Tracy Letts’ Pulitzer Prize winning August: Osage County met with mixed reviews at last September’s Toronto Film Festival from which it never really recovered. Part of the problem was the film’s marketing as a dark comedy which it is not.

The film is a heavily corrosive drama about the disintegration of a family. What humor there is in it is of a gallows nature as played up in the film’s trailer and Oscar clips. Although it mines the same territory as Eugene O’Neill’s Long Day’s Journey Into Night and Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? , the film doesn’t quite reach the same dramatic heights.

Meryl Streep pulls out all the stops as the matriarch from Hell with fellow Oscar nominee Julia Roberts nearly matching her as her eldest daughter, leaving the remainder of the large cast little to do, despite which several of them have a moment or two in which they shine. Margo Martindale as Streep’s sister and Chris Cooper as her fed up husband both have a strong late scene as do Juliette Lewis and Julianne Nicholson as Streep’s other daughters. Ewan McGrgor as Robets’ husband; Abigail Breslin as their daughter; Dermot Mulroney as Lewis’ latest squeeze and Benedict Cumberbatch as Martindale’s timid son have less to do and Sam Shepard as Streep’s alcoholic husband is killed off too early in the proceedings to have much impact. Misty Upham has a nice bit as Streep’s caretaker.

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This Day in Oscar History: April 15 (2014)

Here's what happened today in Oscar History.

Born

Died

Ceremonies


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Poll: Now That You’ve Seen “Rio 2″

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Now That You've Seen Rio 2...?

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Film Preview: The Other Woman (2014)

Poster

Additional posters can be found below.

Trailer Link

Release Date:

April 25, 2014

Synopsis:

From IMDb: "After discovering her boyfriend is married, Carly soon meets the wife he's been cheating on. And when yet another affair is discovered, all three women team up to plot mutual revenge on the three-timing SOB."

Poster: C- / C / D+

Review: Generic and cheesy. That's the easiest way to describe all three of the posters for this film. The first is the one everyone's going to see leading up to the film's release. No one will care much. The second was the teaser that at least tried something new even if it was featured on a non-descript white background. The third design replaces a good deal of the content on the page with emojis hoping to appeal to very young audiences. It's not going to work.

Trailer: B+

Review: A poster can't always sell a film, but a good trailer will. I'll admit that most of what happens in the trailer is entirely predictable. There are dozens of films about women exacting revenge against the men who spurned them. Yet, Cameron Diaz and Leslie Mann make this one look particularly funny.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Revisions:

(April 13, 2014) Original

Additional Posters

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The Morning After: Apr. 14, 2014

Welcome to The Morning After, where I share with you what movies I've seen over the past week. Below, you will find short reviews of those movies along with a star rating. Full length reviews may come at a later date.

So, here is what I watched this past week:

The Mirror Has Two Faces


Looking back at 1996, I can see why many people ignored The Mirror Has Two Faces. This is an unconventional romantic comedy that toyed with conventional archetypes and forged a different path through the overused cliches and tropes famous in the genre. Director Barbara Streisand's third stint behind the camera doesn't idly mimic the traditions of the medium, she does so with purpose and finesse. It's surprising the film was as maligned as it was considering it's a lot better than what's been produced in recent years.

Streisand plays a frumpy philosophy teacher who wants more out of life, but cannot seem to find it. An opportunity to live a romance-less relationship with a idealist mathetmatics teacher (Jeff Bridges) gives her an opportunity to coax the beast out of its shell. Yet, as his unflinching adherence to his belief structure, one which he thinks will ideally lead to the perfect marriage, cripples their relationship while he haplessly misses all the clues that suggest perhaps he is falling in love and that his relationship with Streisand's Rose could be more than he expected.

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Oscar Preview: Weekend of Apr. 11-13, 2014

We had one film release this past weekend with the potential for Oscar nominations.

Rio 2

When the original film was released 3 years ago, we believed it had a long shot nomination at Best Animated Feature, but on Oscar nomination morning, it came away with one Oscar nomination and it wasn't where we expected it.

Brazilian music legend Sergio Mendes contributed a single song to the Rio soundtrack and for that, he was awarded with an Oscar nomination for "Real in Rio." That year was an odd one with only two nominees in the category, a first in Oscar history. The other song, "Man or Muppet," was a de facto winner and Rio didn't have a chance.

Now that we've returned to the Amazon rainforest, we have to consider two categories in lieu of the normal one. While Best Animated Feature is likely out of the question considering the reputation Blue Sky has with the Oscars, the chance of a Best Original Song nomination must be considered. Mendes isn't around this time, yet Tony winners Rita Moreno and Kristin Chenoweth have a couple of songs each and Oscar nominees Siedah Garrett and Carlinhos Brown, who co-wrote the Oscar nominated song with Mendes, are also involved in some of the songs, so it's possible. However, lightning may not be able to strike twice for a film that was evenly disliked by critics.

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Review: Divergent (2014)

Divergent

Rating

Director
Neil Burger
Screenplay
Evan Daugherty, Vanessa Taylor (Novel: Veronica Roth)
Length
139 min.
Starring
Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Ashley Judd, Jai Courtney, Ray Stevenson, Zoe Kravitz, Miles Teller, Tony Goldwyn, Ansel Elgort, Maggie Q, Mekhi Phifer, Kate Winslet, Ben Lloyd-Hughes, Amy Newbold, Ben Lamb
MPAA Rating
PG-13 for intense violence and action, thematic elements and some sensuality
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