Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Box Office Predix: Dec. 1 - 3

1. Happy Feet - $19m / $123m / $175m
2. The Nativity Story - $18m / $18m / $80m
3. Casino Royale - $17m / $118m / $155m
4. Deja Vu - $10.5m / $43.5m / $65m
5. Deck the Halls - $6.5m / $25m / $42m
6. Turistas - $6m / $6m / $14m
7. Santa Clause 3 - $5.5m / $74m / $90m
8. Borat - $5m / $116.5m / $127m
9. Stranger Than Fiction - $3m / $36.5m / $44m
10. Flushed Away - $3m / $61m / $68m
11. Van Wilder 2 - $2.5m / $2.5m / $6m

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

First Nominees of the Season: Independent Spirit Award Nominations!

Best Feature:
American Gun
The Dead Girl
Half Nelson
Little Miss Sunshine
Pan's Labyrinth

Best First Feature:
Day Night Day Night
Man Push Cart
The Motel
Sweet Land
Wristcutters: A Love Story

Best Director:
Robert Altman - A Prairie Home Companion
Jonathan Dayton & Valeria Faris - Little Miss Sunshine
Ryan Fleck - Half Nelson
Karen Moncrieff - The Dead Girl
Steven Soderbergh - Bubble

John Cassavetes Award:
Four Eyed Monsters
Old Joy
Twelve and Holding

Best Screenplay:
Friends With Money
The Illusionist
The Painted Veil
Sorry, Haters
Thank You For Smoking

Best First Screenplay:
Conversations With Other Women
A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints
Half Nelson
Little Miss Sunshine
Wristcutters: A Love Story

Best Female Lead:
Shareeka Epps - Half Nelson
Catherine O'Hara - For Your Consideration
Elizabeth Reaser - Sweet Land
Michelle Williams - Land of Plenty
Robin Wright Penn - Sorry, Haters

Best Male Lead:
Aaron Eckhart - Thank You For Smoking
Ryan Gosling - Half Nelson
Edward Norton - The Painted Veil
Ahman Razvi - Man Push Cart
Forest Whitaker - American Gun

Best Supporting Female:
Melonie Diaz - A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints
Marcia Gay Harden - American Gun
Mary Beth Hurt - The Dead Girl
Frances McDormand - Friends With Money
Amber Tamblyn - Stephanie Daley

Best Supporting Male:
Alan Arkin - Little Miss Sunshine
Raymond J. Barry - Steel City
Daniel Craig - Infamous
Paul Dano - Little Miss Sunshine
Channing Tatum - A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints

Best Cinematography:
Brothers of the Head
Four Eyed Monsters
Man Push Cart
Pan's Labyrinth
Wild Tigers I Have Known

Best Documentary:
A Lion in the House
My Country, My Country
The Road to Guantanamo
The Trials of Darryl Hunt
You're Gonna Miss Me

Best Foreign Film:
12:08 East of Bucharest
The Blossoming of Maximo Oliveros
Chronicles of an Escape
Days of Glory
The Lives of Others

Channing Tatum - award nominee!

Snub of the morning: No Maggie Gyllenhaal for Sherrybaby

Thursday, November 23, 2006

November Oscar Predix!

Best Picture:
The Departed - Dreamgirls - Little Miss Sunshine - The Painted Veil - The Queen

Best Director:
Robert Altman - A Prairie Home Companion
Bill Condon - Dreamgirls
Stephen Frears - The Queen
Paul Greengrass - United 93
Martin Scorsese - The Departed

Best Actor:
Leonardo Dicaprio - The Departed
Ryan Gosling - Half Nelson
Peter O'Toole - Venus
Will Smith - The Pursuit of Happyness
Forest Whitaker - The Last King of Scotland

Best Actress:
Penelope Cruz - Volver
Judi Dench - Notes on a Scandal
Helen Mirren - The Queen
Meryl Streep - The Devil Wears Prada
Naomi Watts - The Painted Veil

Best Supporting Actor:
Alan Arkin - Little Miss Sunshine
Matt Damon - The Departed
Eddie Murphy - Dreamgirls
Jack Nicholson - The Departed
Michael Sheen - The Queen

Best Supporting Actress:
Cate Blanchett - Notes on a Scandal
Abigail Breslin - Little Miss Sunshine
Jennifer Hudson - Dreamgirls
Carmen Maura - Volver
Catherine O'Hara - For Your Consideration

Best Original Screenplay:
Breaking and Entering
Little Miss Sunshine
The Queen

Best Adapted Screenplay:
Children of Men
The Departed
Notes on a Scandal
The Painted Veil

Art Direction:
Children of Men - Dreamgirls - Flags of Our Fathers - The Good German - Marie Antoinette

Costume Design:
Dreamgirls - The Good German - Marie Antoinette - Miss Potter - The Painted Veil

Children of Men - The Departed - Dreamgirls - The Good German - The Painted Veil

Children of Men - The Departed - Dreamgirls - The Queen - United 93

Apocalypto - Pirates of the Caribbean 2

Original Song:
Bobby - Dreamgirls - An Inconvenient Truth - Happy Feet - Shut Up and Sing

The Good German - Miss Potter - Notes on a Scandal - The Queen - The Painted Veil

Casino Royale - The Departed - Dreamgirls - Pirates of the Caribbean 2 - Superman Returns

Sound Editing:
Cars - Happy Feet - Pirates of the Caribbean 2

Visual Effects:
Night at the Museum - Pirates of the Caribbean 2 - Superman Returns

Animated Feature:
Cars - Flushed Away - Happy Feet - Monster House - Over the Hedge

Deliver Us From Evil - An Inconvenient Truth - Jesus Camp - Shut Up and Sing - The War Tapes

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Box Office Predix: Nov. 24 - 26

1. Happy Feet - $30m / $90m / $150m
2. Casino Royale - $25m / $88m / $138m
3. Deva Ju - $22m / $31m / $72m
4. Deck the Halls - $16m / $23m / $64m
5. Borat - $8m / $107m / $124m
6. Bobby - $7.5m / $9.5m / $26m
7. Santa Clause 3 - $7m / $62.5m / $80m
8. Flushed Away - $6m / $57m / $69m
9. The Fountain - $5.5m / $8m / $17m
10. Stranger Than Fiction - $5m / $31m / $40m
11. Tenacious D - $5m / $8.5m / $17m
12. The Queen - $2m / $20.5m / $50m
13. For Your Consideration - $2m / $2.5m / $10m

Goodbye, Robert Altman.

If you're a movie lover, this is probably the worst news in a very long time.

I'm happy they rewarded him the honorary Oscar early this year. I'm happy A Praire Home Companion was an acclaimed minihit. And I think he'd be happy that it was his last film when you consider who is in it and, of course, what the film is about.

3 Women is one of my favorite films. It was sort a 70's version of Lynch's recent Mulholland Drive, a film about our dreams and the power they have over us. Robert was one of the few filmmakers who could fully utilize the one of a kind talent that was Shelley Duvall. And only a few days after this year's Oscars did I see Nashville for the first time. Robert Altman was a once in a lifetime filmmaker, a man who took big ensemble casts and had them come in and out of a film as the camera just roamed and explored. He threw plot out the window, and focused on the people. His most famous trademark was probably the overlapping dialogue. You know, the way real people talk. He also happened to be a diehard liberal. When you look over his long list of films and all of the people in Hollywood he's worked with, well, any of us would be lucky to ever get 1% of that.

Now, back to A Prairie Home Companion. I was going to write a post a month or so back debating the ending of the film. The film's scene - before the musical finish - will now be bittersweet. Unfortunately, it seems Virginia Madsen's Angel of Death, Azfadel, wasn't coming for whom we think. But the message of the film is ultimately this: forget death, and remember what we did in life.

Thanks, Bob, for the memories. You will be missed.


LOS ANGELES (AP) - Robert Altman, the caustic and irreverent satirist behind "M-A-S-H,""Nashville" and "The Player" who made a career out of bucking Hollywood management and story conventions, died at a Los Angeles Hospital, his Sandcastle 5 Productions Company said Tuesday. He was 81.

The director died Monday night, Joshua Astrachan, a producer at Altman's Sandcastle 5 Productions in New York City, told The Associated Press.

The cause of death wasn't disclosed. A news release was expected later in the day, Astrachan said.

A five-time Academy Award nominee for best director, most recently for 2001's "Gosford Park," he finally won a lifetime achievement Oscar in 2006.

(AP) Director Robert Altman poses Oct. 3, 2006, in Beverly Hills, Calif. Altman, the caustic and...
Full Image

"No other filmmaker has gotten a better shake than I have," Altman said while accepting the award. "I'm very fortunate in my career. I've never had to direct a film I didn't choose or develop. My love for filmmaking has given me an entree to the world and to the human condition."

Altman had one of the most distinctive styles among modern filmmakers. He often employed huge ensemble casts, encouraged improvisation and overlapping dialogue and filmed scenes in long tracking shots that would flit from character to character.

Perpetually in and out of favor with audiences and critics, Altman worked ceaselessly since his anti-war black comedy "M-A-S-H" established his reputation in 1970, but he would go for years at a time directing obscure movies before roaring back with a hit.

After a string of commercial duds including "The Gingerbread Man" in 1998, "Cookie's Fortune" in 1999 and "Dr. T & the Women" in 2000, Altman took his all-American cynicism to Britain for 2001's "Gosford Park."

A combination murder-mystery and class-war satire set among snobbish socialites and their servants on an English estate in the 1930s, "Gosford Park" was Altman's biggest box-office success since "M-A-S-H."

Besides best-director, "Gosford Park" earned six other Oscar nominations, including best picture and best supporting actress for both Helen Mirren and Maggie Smith. It won the original-screenplay Oscar, and Altman took the best-director prize at the Golden Globes for "Gosford Park."

Altman's other best-director Oscar nominations came for "M-A-S-H," the country-music saga "Nashville" from 1975, the movie-business satire "The Player" from 1992 and the ensemble character study "Short Cuts" from 1993. He also earned a best-picture nomination as producer of "Nashville."

No director ever got more best-director nominations without winning a regular Oscar, though four other men - Alfred Hitchcock, Martin Scorsese, Clarence Brown and King Vidor - tied with Altman at five.

In May, Altman brought out "A Prairie Home Companion," with Garrison Keillor starring as the announcer of a folksy musical show - with the same name as Keillor's own long-running show - about to be shut down by new owners. Among those in the cast were Meryl Streep, Lily Tomlin, Kevin Kline, Woody Harrelson and Tommy Lee Jones.

"This film is about death," Altman said at a May 3 news conference in St. Paul, Minn., also attended by Keillor and many of the movie's stars.

He often took on Hollywood genres with a revisionist's eye, de-romanticizing the Western hero in 1971's "McCabe and Mrs. Miller" and 1976's "Buffalo Bill and the Indians, or Sitting Bull's History Lesson," the film-noir gumshoe in 1973's "The Long Goodbye" and outlaw gangsters in "Thieves Like Us."

"M-A-S-H" was Altman's first big success after years of directing television, commercials, industrial films and generally unremarkable feature films. The film starring Donald Sutherland and Elliott Gould was set during the Korean War but was Altman's thinly veiled attack on U.S. involvement in Vietnam.

"That was my intention entirely. If you look at that film, there's no mention of what war it is," Altman said in an Associated Press interview in 2001, adding that the studio made him put a disclaimer at the beginning to identify the setting as Korea.

"Our mandate was bad taste. If anybody had a joke in the worst taste, it had a better chance of getting into the film, because nothing was in worse taste than that war itself," Altman said.

The film spawned the long-running TV sitcom starring Alan Alda, a show Altman would refer to with distaste as "that series." Unlike the social message of the film, the series was prompted by greed, Altman said.

"They made millions and millions of dollars by bringing an Asian war into Americans' homes every Sunday night," Altman said in 2001. "I thought that was the worst taste."

Altman never minced words about reproaching Hollywood. After the Sept. 11 attacks, he said Hollywood served as a source of inspiration for the terrorists by making violent action movies that amounted to training films for such attacks.

"Nobody would have thought to commit an atrocity like that unless they'd seen it in a movie," Altman said.

Altman was written off repeatedly by the Hollywood establishment, and his reputation for arrogance and hard drinking - a habit he eventually gave up - hindered his efforts to raise money for his idiosyncratic films.

While critical of studio executives, Altman held actors in the highest esteem. He joked that on "Gosford Park," he was there mainly to turn the lights on and off for the performers.

The respect was mutual. Top-name actors would clamor for even bit parts in his films. Altman generally worked on shoestring budgets, yet he continually landed marquee performers who signed on for a fraction of their normal salaries.

After the mid-1970s, the quality of Altman's films became increasingly erratic. His 1980 musical "Popeye," with Robin Williams, was trashed by critics, and Altman took some time off from film.

He directed the Broadway production of "Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean," following it with a movie adaptation in 1982. Altman went back and forth from TV to theatrical films over the next decade, but even when his films earned critical praise, such as 1990's "Vincent & Theo," they remained largely unseen.

"The Player" and "Short Cuts" re-established Altman's reputation and commercial viability. But other 1990s films - including his fashion-industry farce "Ready to Wear" and "Kansas City," his reverie on the 1930s jazz and gangster scene of his hometown - fell flat.

Born Feb. 20, 1925, Altman hung out in his teen years at the jazz clubs of Kansas City, Mo., where his father was an insurance salesman.

Altman was a bomber pilot in World War II and studied engineering at the University of Missouri in Columbia before taking a job making industrial films in Kansas City. He moved into feature films with "The Delinquents" in 1957, then worked largely in television through the mid 1960s, directing episodes of such series as "Bonanza" and "Alfred Hitchcock Presents."

Altman and his wife, Kathryn, had two sons, Robert and Matthew, and he had a daughter, Christine, and two other sons, Michael and Stephen, from two previous marriages.

When he received his honorary Oscar in 2006, Altman revealed he had a heart transplant a decade earlier.

"I didn't make a big secret out of it, but I thought nobody would hire me again," he said after the ceremony. "You know, there's such a stigma about heart transplants, and there's a lot of us out there."

IMDB Filmography

"The death of an old man is not a sad thing." - A Prairie Home Companion

Thursday, November 16, 2006

"Descent" director Neil Marshall's next film will be.....

DOOMSDAY! I'm hyped!

From Zap2it:

Rhona Mitra is set to topline "Doomsday," Neil Marshall's follow-up to the critically admired gore-fest "The Descent."

Marshall's new film, which will begin production in early 2007, will come from Rogue Pictures, the genre arm of Focus.

"Doomsday" focuses on the aftermath of a lethal virus that kills hundreds of thousands and leads to a major national containment, the construction of a literal wall. Well, 30 years later, the virus returns. Stupid virus. It's up to a group of specialists, including Mitra's Eden Sinclair to do something or other.

"Neil's intense filmmaking style will keep audiences on the edge of their seats throughout 'Doomsday,'" promise Rogue Co-Presidents Andrew Karpen and Andrew Rona. "Rhona is a stunning actress, and we're currently lining up a strong cast for the other lead roles."

Mitra is best known for her regular TV roles, which have included stints on "The Practice," "Boston Legal" and "Nip/Tuck." Her big credits include "The Life of David Gale" and the upcoming "Shooter" and "The Number 23."

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Box Office Predix: Bond & The Penguins

1. Casino Royale - $44m / $44m / $155m
2. Happy Feet - $36m / $36m / $170m
3. Borat - $16.5m / $93.5m / $130m
4. Santa Clause 3 - $10m / $54m / $82m
5. Flushed Away - $9m / $51.5m / $74m
6. Stranger Than Fiction - $8m / $24.5m / $44m
7. Let's Go To Prison - $4m / $4m / $10m
8. Babel - $3.5m / $13m / $30m
9. Saw 3 - $3.5m / $75.5m / $83m
10. The Departed - $3m / $114m / $140m

he's thinking of judi dench when he does is she

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Box Office Predix: Nov. 10 - 12

1. Borat - $23m / $62m / $120m
2. Stranger Than Fiction - $16m / $16m / $55m
3. Flushed Away - $14m / $36m / $72m
4. Santa Clause 3 - $13.5m / $37m / $80m
5. A Good Year - $9m / $9m / $27m
6. Saw 3 - $7m / $70.5m $85m
7. The Return - $6.5m / $6.5m / $15m
8. Babel - $6.5m / $8.5m / $34m
9. The Departed - $5.5m / $110m / $145m
10. The Prestige - $5m / $46m / $58m
11. Harsh Times - $3.5m / $3.5m / $8.5m
12. The Queen - $3m / $14m / $50m


Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Box Office Predix: Nov. 3 - 5

1. The Santa Clause 3 - $22m / $22m / $85m
2. Happy Feet - $18m / $18m / $70m
3. Saw 3 - $14m / $59m / $82m
4. Borat - $10m / $10m / $50m
5. The Departed - $7m / $101m / $140m
6. The Prestige - $6m / $37m / $52m
7. Flags of Our Fathers - $4m / $26m / $38m
8. Open Season - $3m / $81m / $87m
9. Man of the Year - $2.5m / $32.5m / $38m
10. Flicka - $2.5m / $17.5m / $23m