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Revisionist Oscar: 1996, Part 2

You can read more about this project in the article at this link. Below is our second poll, covering Best Director. As a refresher, here is where we obtain the titles/performances will be included in the polls that will be conducted:
Four-Source Categories:

  • The actual Oscar nominees in the selected category.
  • The Top Ten eligible films at the U.S. box office.
  • The ten highest-rated eligible films according to Rotten Tomatoes
  • The precursor nominees and winners in the selected category.

Best Director

We're using Survey Monkey for these polls. You get to rank all of the appropriate titles/performances how you see fit, but preferably in order of preference.

Revisionist Oscar: 1996, Part 2 Poll

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Film Preview: The Equalizer (2014)

Poster


Poster #1

Additional posters can be found below.

Trailer Link

Release Date:

September 26, 2014

Synopsis:

From IMDb: "A former black ops commando who faked his death for a quiet life in Boston comes out of his retirement to rescue a young girl and finds himself face to face with Russian gangsters."

Poster: C+ / D / C / D+ / D

Review: I don't quite understand why there are so many designs. Some are foreign, but the only two that are passable are the first, which features some reminiscent imagery and the third, which tries for something visually arresting. The others are simplistic, banal and forgettable.

Trailer: B

Review: Advertising for a film like this is tough and pushing its comparison to many other recent vigilante films will certainly help it attract an audience. Much of this is superficial and lacks a clear intensity of excitement, but it could be decent.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Revisions:

(July 27, 2014) Original

Additional Posters





Poster #2Poster #3Poster #4

Poster #5
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5 Favorites #192: 5 Favorite Character Actresses, Part IV

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 move on forward to look at our favorite character actresses of the 1990's, 2000's and 2010's.

What are your 5 Favorite character actresses of the 1990's, 2000's and 2010's?

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Eye on Warner Archive: Jul. 22, 2014

Here are some highlights of the recent releases to the Warner Archive Collection. DVD's and Blu-rays are manufactured on demand. They also have a streaming service. Before you visit Warner Archive to check out their selection, check out the selections below an a few of my thoughts.

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The DVD Report #371

WitnessfortheProsectionAgatha Christie’s international stage success, Witness for the Prosecution is expanded and improved upon by Billy Wilder in his 1957 adaptation of Christie’s deliciously twisty murder mystery.

As explained to Volker Schlondorff by Wilder in an excellent 1982 interview that is included as extra on Kino Lorber’s magnificent new Blu-ray upgrade of the classic film, it was Marlene Dietrich who brought the project to the famed director. The legendary actress had been asked to do the film for United Artists, but would only agree to do it if her A Foreign Affair director came on board. Not content to be just a director for hire, Wilder and his writing partner, Harry Kurnitz, (Shadow of the Thin Man), added a part for co-star Charles Laughton’s wife, Elsa Lanchester, as well as a great deal of comedy not in the original play. It was Wilder who gave Laughton’s barrister his heart attack; the cigars hidden in his cane and the brandy hidden in his thermos for nurse Lanchester to find, which add even more twists to Christie’s brilliant ending.

Wilder and Kurnitz also wrote a flashback scene for Dietrich and top-billed Tyrone Power that showcased Dietrich’s famous legs, or at least one of them. The film was the last completed film for Power who died on the set of 1958’s Solomon and Sheba. It was also the last film for character actress Una O’Connor, the only player to repeat her Broadway role as the murdered woman’s housekeeper. The film reunites her with both Laughton and Lanchester. She was the twittering and hysterical Minnie to Lanchester’s The Bride of Frankenstein and Laughton’s shuffling maid in The Barretts of Wimpole Street and his foolish mother in This Land Is Mine.

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This Day in Oscar History: July 29 (2014)

Here's what happened today in Oscar History.

Born


Died

Released


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Poll: Now That You’ve Seen “Lucy”

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Polls

Now That You've Seen Lucy...?

<a href="http://www.sodahead.com/entertainment/cinema-sight-asks-now-that-youve-seen-lucy-which-scarlett-johansson-performance-is-best/question-4428677/" onclick="javascript:_gaq.push(['_trackEvent','outbound-article','http://www.sodahead.com']);" title="Cinema Sight Asks: Now that you've seen "Lucy," which Scarlett Johansson performance is best?">Cinema Sight Asks: Now that you've seen "Lucy," which Scarlett Johansson performance is best?</a>
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Film Preview: Penguins of Madagascar (2014)

Poster


Trailer Link

Release Date:

November 26, 2014

Synopsis:

From IMDb: "In the Penguins of Madagascar, audiences will discover the secrets of the most entertainingly mysterious birds in the global espionage game. Skipper, Kowalski, Rico and Private now must join forces with the chic spy organization, the North Wind, led by Agent Classified (we could tell you his name, but then... you know) to stop the cunning villain Dr. Octavius Brine from taking over the world."

Poster: B-

Review: I'm sure there's a subversive meaning to this poster, but it's not something that's leaping out at me at present. The black-and-white stripes complement our penguin protagonists, but there isn't much else there.

Trailer: B+

Review: Who needs a plot when you have humor. While the Ice Age films kept using the same lame prehistoric rodent to sell their films, a rodent that wasn't that interesting in the grand scheme of things, the Madagscar films had help from some genuinely appealing critters. Now they have their own movie and as long as it's fun like this trailer, it should be a success.

Oscar Prospects:

It could be a contender for a Best Animated Feature nomination, but it won't win.

Revisions:

(July 27, 2014) Original

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Oscar Preview: Weekend of Jul. 25-28, 2014

We had three films release this past weekend with the potential for Oscar nominations.

Hercules

Back in the 1990's, many of us lamented that the Best Visual Effects category at the Oscars was too narrow, allowing in only 3 nominees at maximum, leaving off countless deserving choices. As visual effects have become an ever-present part of cinema, the bounty of films that could contend continues to grow, even if they aren't all deserving of recognition. Thankfully, the Academy increased the threshold to 5 in 2010, a decade too late.

Regardless, now we have a situation where there are so many films that could be nominated that five just doesn't seem enough, yet assuredly many good films will be left off. Hercules could be one of the movies to replace them. The type of effects on display are showy enough that they could be nominated, with such a heap of better reviewed films in contention, I just don't imagine Herc will be making it all the way through. It will also struggle in the two other categories it could be a contender in: Sound Mixing and Sound Editing.

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The Morning After: Jul. 28, 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:

Lucy


Luc Besson has been chasing the specter of his acclaimed feature The Professional for two decades now. Each time, he attempts something either entirely different or entirely similar to his past work and seldom has it been that comparable.

Lucy is another misfire in his career, an admittedly interesting, but deeply flawed exploration of a long-disproved belief that human beings only use 10% of their brain's capacity. Besson's theories struggle to find credence, bringing in noted nature documentary narrator Morgan Freeman to try and infuse the project with gravitas. His entire presentation to a room of colleagues regarding the potential for human capacity if they were to move beyond 10% is laughable.

Scarlet Johansson, who plays the eponymous figure, gets a chance to show her acting chops early in the film, but by the time she begins to absorb the drugs that are granting her access to more of her brain's power, the less approachable and likable she becomes. You care whether she survives or not, but you already know she will, as a downer ending wouldn't fit well within the framework Besson establishes early on. He flirts with her potential death early on, but eventually discards the notion as the film progresses.

A premise built on fallacies does not make an effective film, no matter how tense or exciting you try to make the action in the rest of the feature. There are some neat effects, but they are weighted down by a preposterous plot that strains the appellation "science fiction" so many have attributed to it.

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Review: How to Train Your Dragon 2 (2014)

How to Train Your Dragon 2

Rating

Director
Dean DeBlois
Screenplay
Dean DeBlois (book series by Cressida Cowell)
Length
102 min.
Starring
Jay Baruchel, Cate Blanchett, Gerard Butler, Craig Ferguson, America Ferrera, Jonah Hill, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, T.J. Miller, Kristen Wiig, Djimon Hounsou, Kit Harington
MPAA Rating
PG for adventure action and some mild rude humor
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Review: Edge of Tomorrow (2014)

Edge of Tomorrow

Rating

Director
Doug Liman
Screenplay
Christopher McQuarrie, Jez Butterworth, John-Henry Butterworth
Length
113 min.
Starring
Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt, Brendan Gleeson, Bill Paxton, Jonas Armstrong, Tony Way, Kick Gurry, Franz Drameh, Dragomir Mrsic, Charlotte Riley, Masayoshi Haneda, Terence Maynard, Noah Taylor, Lara Pulver
MPAA Rating
PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi action and violence, language and brief suggestive material
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This Day in Oscar History: July 28 (2014)

Here's what happened today in Oscar History.

Born

Died

Released


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Poll: What Are You Most Anticipating? (Aug. 2014, Limited)

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Polls

What Are You Most Anticipating? (Aug. 2014, Limited)

<a href="http://www.sodahead.com/entertainment/cinema-sight-asks-which-august-2014-limited-release-film-are-you-most-anticipating/question-4426325/" onclick="javascript:_gaq.push(['_trackEvent','outbound-article','http://www.sodahead.com']);" title="Cinema Sight Asks: Which August 2014 limited release film are you most anticipating?">Cinema Sight Asks: Which August 2014 limited release film are you most anticipating?</a>
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The Inbox (Jul. 19-25, 2014)

Every week, I get several press releases, screening invitations and other notifications from a handful of studio contacts. While I won't be sharing any information regarding my screening invites, some of the press releases might be of interest to my readers, so I thought I'd start sharing them in toto with all of you. These could include new image galleries for various films or important updates to upcoming releases from various smaller studios and art house production companies.

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