2016 Best Picture Nominees

This weekend brings Hollywood’s biggest night of self-congratulations and pats on the back with the 88th Academy Awards. The ceremony will air Sunday night, bringing in a who’s who of the biggest names working in film (though some may not be there). There will be far more losers than winners, but as everyone says, it’s an honor just to be nominated.

Of course, this year, the nominees may feel a little awkward when you consider the uproar that followed the announcement of this year’s nominations, again ignoring plenty of work from actors, actresses, directors, etc. of color. And now the 2016 Best Picture Nominees Honest Trailer pokes fun at the movies that made the cut this year, and they pile on the lack of diversity, as well as briefly mocking each of the films vying for the big prize. Read More »

every VFX oscar winner

Like all art, film changes with the times and it is the duty of every serious connoisseur to track these changes, to absorb them. And while the year in which a film was made can be given away by everything from actor to film stock to cultural references, visual effects remain the fastest way to establish when a film was produced. Matte paintings and rear projection have given way to green screens and handmade creatures have given way to motion capture, but visual effects have been an effective tool (and occasionally a crutch) since the birth of cinema.

A new supercut has put together clips from every film to win the Academy Award for Best Visual Effects and it’s a very fun watch, encapsulating nearly a century of Hollywood filmmaking and craft into less than ten minutes. Watch closely and can you can see the moments when pop culture shifts forever.

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Steven Spielberg Discusses Oscars

This year’s Academy Awards nominations ignited a bit of a firestorm. All 20 acting nominees are white, which is odd considering the amount of powerful performances that were overlooked. A major criticism comes from the fact that most of the voters at the Oscars are older white males. To the Academy’s credit, they’re working on the problem, which director Steven Spielberg has weighed in on.

Below Spielberg discusses the Oscars and more.

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Oscars logo

The response to this year’s all-white Oscar nominations was loud and angry and it didn’t die down quickly. Soon, Honorary Oscar recipient Spike Lee was boycotting the ceremony. Will Smith also announced that he would not be attending while current nominee Mark Ruffalo made his displeasure known. Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences president Cheryl Boone Isaacs issued a statement about the situation (which was dubbed #OscarsSoWhite online) and movie fans and industry insiders alike wondered if anything would actually change.

And now they have. In a new letter sent to Academy members, new policy has been implemented that will change the makeup of the Oscar voting body, with a goal of doubling “diverse” members by 2020. You can read the new Oscar rules below.

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will smith oscars boycott

If you read about movies on the internet, you’re surely familiar with the recent controversy surrounding this year’s Academy Awards nominations. But here’s the short version: for the second year in a row, every single acting nominee and four of the five directing nominees were white. This lack of representation, a symptom of an industry that is still dominated by white men, was the finally straw for many actors, filmmakers, writers, and movie fans. With the #OscarsSoWhite hashtag as their rallying cry, this group of concerned citizens set out to raise awareness and question why the biggest awards show on the planet was snubbing people of color.

And now, two new major names have joined the cause. Will Smith says he’ll be skipping the ceremony altogether and Mark Ruffalo, who is nominated for Best Supporting Actor for his work in Spotlight, may follow suit.

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son of saul trailer

There’s a strong chance you’ve heard about László Nemes‘ directorial debut, Son of Saul. This harrowing drama is the current frontrunner for Best Foreign Language Film at this year’s Academy Awards. It took home the foreign film award at the Golden Globes last week. It even made my personal top 10 of 2015, which is surely the greatest honor of them all.

While you have heard about it, chances are strong that you haven’t had a chance to actually see Son of Saul. It’s not like brutal Hungarian Holocaust dramas are a common sight at your local multiplex. However, a new trailer for this incredible film has arrived, which should serve as a reminder to check out this movie as soon as you have a chance (and on the big screen, if you can make that happen).

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oscars race controversy

The 2016 Academy Awards nominations instantly left a sour taste in the mouth. Although many great movies and talented artists received Oscar nods this year, there was one snub that was quickly recognized: anyone who wasn’t white. For the second year in a row, all 20 acting nominees were white and only one of the directing nominations went to a person of color. The firestorm that followed, organized under the #OscarsSoWhite hashtag, led to passionate responses from casual movie fans and film industry veterans alike. Everyone had an opinion on this matter and rightfully so – this isn’t just an Oscar problem, but a Hollywood problem.

And now, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences president Cheryl Boone Isaacs has issued an official statement on the matter.

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Spike Lee Oscars boycott

Out of all the films and artists that were snubbed for Academy Awards nominations last week, one area of oversight stood out for being particularly egregious: the lack of nods for people of color. Of all the major nominees, only one person, The Revenant director Alejandro González Iñárritu, was not white. And for the second year in a row, the 20 acting nominees didn’t include a single person of color.

Naturally, the internet got outraged and rightfully so – it’s not like this year was lacking in tremendous work from performers of all ethnic backgrounds. The #OscarsSoWhite hashtag became a thing again and think pieces from both sides of this controversy began to spring up across the internet. And now, prepare for things to get even more heated: director Spike Lee, who was just awarded an honorary Oscar in November, is boycotting this year’s ceremony.

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Tyler Perry Baxter Stockman in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows

Tyler Perry was on a panel for the Television Critics Association promoting the upcoming live broadcast of The Passion on Fox. After the panel he stayed to speak with reporters more and we asked about his role in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows. He is playing Baxter Stockman but said he would not transform into a fly via visual effects, as the comic book character is portrayed.

“Actually just a crazy wig and glasses so that’s pretty exciting,” Perry said. “That was super fun and the movie is super fun.”

After the jump, Perry explains why he signed on for TMNT and weighs in on the Oscars’ lack of diversity.  Read More »

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Mad Max Fury Road - Coma the Doof Warrior

This morning brought the always debatable Academy Award nominations for the year in film that was 2015. We’ve already run through the disappointing side of this year’s selections by pointing out those who were snubbed, but now we’d like to look on the lighter side and point out some of the surprises, especially Mad Max: Fury Road finding glory with no fewer than 10 nominations. So let’s check out the 2016 Oscars surprises after the jump! Read More »