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2012 Oscar Watch: The 84th Academy Awards Nominations

In: Donovan, Movies

The granddaddy of all awards shows announced their nominations early this Tuesday morning. Every year, despite the countless Oscar precursor awards leading up to the big event trying to predict the Academy’s nominations, come announcement day, there are still a few surprises. This year was no different. There were definitely a few head-scratchers, snubs and WTF nods.

Leading the pack with 11 nominations was Martin Scorsese’s “Hugo“. Followed closely behind with 10 nods was the black and white silent film, “The Artist“. Both those films scored Best Picture and Best Director nominations as part of their haul. Obviously, I’m not going to comment on every single category, but just some of the key races. Here goes nothing.

The Surprises

A few years ago, the Academy expanded the Best Picture field to 10 nominations. For this year’s ceremonies, they amended the rule stating a maximum of 10 films could be nominated but didn’t have to meet the maximum. That’s exactly what the Academy did right off the bat. Only nine films were singled out, including *gasp* “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close” *gasp*. The film which briefly shows Tom Hanks and Sandra Bullock managed to score a nod despite a late entry and middling reviews. Color me shocked.

As mentioned earlier, Oscar precursor awards often times get the nominations bang on. The Directors Guild of America (DGAs) has the best track record among any of them. This year, however, they only got four of the five correct. David Fincher of “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo” surprised everyone with his DGA nod, but couldn’t pull off a double Houdini. In his place this time was Terrence Malick whom some felt was snubbed at the DGAs for his brilliant work in “The Tree of Life”. Congrats to Malick.

The acting categories also provided a few surprises. Typically the SAGs do the best job of correctly predicting them. While they got a perfect score in the Best Supporting Actress field, in the other fields they were off by one. Gary Oldman “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” replaced Leonardo DiCaprio in the Best Actor race, while Rooney Mara “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” and Max von Sydow “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close” bumped out Armie Hammer and Tilda Swinton respectively in their categories. Again, another nod for “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close”. What is up with all the love?

check out all the nominees and SNUBS after the jump

In the last four years, the Producers Guild Awards and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences have agreed on the best picture winner. Last night, the little black and white, French silent film that could – The Artist took home the top honor of the night, the Darryl F. Zanuck Award for Outstanding Producer of Theatrical Motion Pictures. If you remember, this film also took home the Golden Globe for best motion picture earlier this month.

Producer Thomas Langmann, the son of acclaimed French actor, writer and director Claude Barri, accepted the award for the film which was directed by Michel Hazanavicius. During his acceptance speech, Thomas said, “when Michel and I dreamed of making ‘The Artist,’ we dreamed of writing a love letter to American cinema,” Langmann said. “We just didn’t know that we would get a taste of the American dream.” This award definitely makes them the front runner for the Oscar nominations which are set to take place this coming Tuesday morning (January 24).

Since making its debut at the Cannes Film Festival last year, the film has generated an enormous amount of buzz including that of it’s two star actors Jean Dujardin and Berenice Bejo. The story follows the fates of silent film star George Valentin (Dujardin) and plucky song-and-dance gal Peppy Miller (Bejo) at the dawn of the talkies. The film is a true tribute to the age of old Hollywood and the films of that time and generation. The Artist wasn’t the only winner of the night. See who else took home awards at last night’s ceremony below.

Check out the Producers Guild Awards’ winner circle after the jump.

On March 2, a film called Project X is hitting theatres and it looks epic. A new trailer for the film has just been released and in the trailer are some quotes from viewers that got to see a preview of the film a few months ago. The film was described as, “The best party movie ever,” “Funny as hell,” “Like Superbad on crack,” “A parent’s worst nightmare,” and finally, “An epic, dirty, hilarious movie. I wish I was there.”

You might think that these quotes are a bit of an exaggeration, but judging from the trailer, I don’t think they are. The film comes from the director of Old School and The Hangover and follows three high school seniors as they throw a birthday party to make a name for themselves. As the night progresses, things spiral out of control as word of the party spreads – the most out of control party I’ve ever seen.

The film stars Thomas Mann, Oliver Cooper and Jonathan Daniel Brown and comes out on March 2. Check out the trailer below!

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Underworld Comes Out On Top At The Box Office

In: Movies, Patrick

To my surprise, Underworld: Awakening has taken the top spot at the box office this weekend, with an estimated total of $25.4 million. The 3D film, starring Kate Beckinsale hasn’t received the best reviews, with one reviewer saying “Put a stake in it already”. This is the fourth film in the series, but who knows if it will be the last.

Also opening this weekend and falling in second place was Red Tails, starring Cuba Gooding Jr. The film, inspired by true events, tells the story of a crew of African American pilots in the Tuskegee training program (having faced segregation while kept mostly on the ground during World War II) that are called into duty under the guidance of Col. A.J. Bullard. The inspiring story brought in $19.1 million this weekend.

I am surprised that Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close only brought in $11.2 since it’s opening, and Haywire only did $9 million. Extremely Loud tells a story about 9/11 (with Sandra Bullock and Tom Hanks), so you might think that many would want to see it, but I suppose it can sometimes be a sensitive topic. Haywire, on the other hand, just looks amazing in terms of a fierce chick kicking some serious butt (and lots of hot eye candy in the film). Check out where these films placed below, as well as what other movies made the top 10 at the box office this weekend.

Check out the top 10 after the jump…

The trailer for a film called ‘Jeff Who Lives At Home‘ has just been released, starring some big names. The film premiered at the Toronto Film Festival, but will hit mainstream theatres later this spring. It looks really good and the cast is amazing.

Here’s the premise from his film: Dispatched from his basement room on an errand for his mother (Susan Surandon), 30-year-old slacker Jeff (Jason Segal) might discover his destiny (finally) when he spends the day with his brother (Ed Helms) as he tracks his possibly adulterous wife (Judy Greer). The brothers reluctantly try to help each other out and find their way, while their mother tries to find her own.

The storyline follows an “everything happens for a reason” motto and it looks like something everyone will be able to relate to in one way or another. The film hits theatres on March 16. Check out the trailer below!

Watch the trailer after the jump…

Hitting theatres later this year is a crazy intense thriller called ‘Brake,’ starring Stephen Dorff and Chyler Leigh and JR Bourne. The premise of the action/thriller is that a Secret Service Agent (Dorff) is held captive in the trunk of a car and endures high-speed mental and physical torture as terrorists attempt to extract needed information for their sinister plot. It looks so good.

Given the intensity of the film and the fact that he’s trapped in a car bomb with the clock ticking, I immediately had flashbacks of one of my favorite television shows no longer on the air, 24. In this case, Stephen Dorff plays the lead, as opposed to Kiefer Sutherland, and he’s forced to make some very difficult decisions for the safety of the country.

The film hits theatres on March 23, 2012. Check out the trailer below!

Watch the trailer after the jump…

If you don’t remember Haley Joel Osment, he was that kid who saw dead people in “The Sixth Sense“. After “paying it forward” and starring as a robot in “A.I. Artificial Intelligence“, Osment has relatively kept a low profile and been out of the spotlight for the most part. While not as buff as another former child star (Jonathan Lipnicki) who recently resurfaced, Haley Joel is all grown up and apparently gay. Well, at least for a new movie role he is.

The 23-year-old actor returns to the big screen playing Chip Hardy in the new independent movie “Sassy Pants“. Hardy is the emo boyfriend of Diedrich Bader’s (The Drew Carey Show) character. “Sassy Pants” is a coming-of-age comedy that follows Bethany Pruitt as she struggles to break free from her smothering mom without any help from her deadbeat gay dad to realize her dream of attending fashion school. Ashley Rickards of “Awkward” fame takes on the title role while “Breaking Bad’s” Anna Gunn plays her mother.

The film looks cute enough, but feels like a mashup of similarly-themed movies like this. Think “Welcome To The Dollhouse”, “Juno”, “Adventureland” and countless others. That said, I still want to check it out based solely on my curiosity to see Haley Joel Osment play a ditzy boy toy. At first glance he’s virtually unrecognizable seeing that he has piercings, buffer bod, hairier chest and sporting an awful Kate Gosselin-type hairstyle. The horror. Check out the trailer and pictures of Haley Joel from the movie below.

see Haley all grown up and “gay” after the jump

Who didn’t love the ‘Rugrats‘ cartoon? With Tommy, Chuckie, and Phil & Lil always trying to avoid the manipulation of Tommy’s bratty cousin, Angelica Pickles. I’ll admit I was borderline past the age “watching cartoons” when still watching this show (which aired from 1991-2004). It was so good!

These days, it seems like so many of the shows we loved as kids are getting turned into live action films. So many of the Disney movies, ‘Carmen Sandiego‘, ‘The Chipmunks‘, and soon to be live action film, ‘Captain Planet‘. “Go planet!” Would it be a surprise if the same thing happened with ‘Rugrats‘?

In this Funny or Die video, a faux movie trailer for the live-action version of Rugrats promises to be “the most amazing (and disturbing) movie of 2012!” The video stars Alia Shawkat, Mae Whitman, Sarah Ramos, and the handsome Michael Angarano.

Watch the trailer after the jump…

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