Fox Searchlight Releases SAG Screeners on iTunes

In recent years the Hollywood movie studios have been running scared. Freaked out that movie piracy and online downloads would destroy their business, the studios have reacted in much the same way the music industry did in the early days of Napster. But it looks like the industry might finally be coming around, and learning to embrace the new technologies and digital distribution. In the end I think whenever the consumer wins, the pirates lose. Every year studios distribute awards season screeners to critics and the various industry guilds. I remember when DVDs came into popularity, the studios were afraid to release screeners on the digital disc format as it would give would-be pirates a perfect digital copy of movies still playing in theaters. Of course, they eventually switched from VHS to DVD screeners (and this year even sent out the completed blu-ray release of The Social Network, but only a month before the retail release).

Today it was announced that Fox Filmed Entertainment is making Fox Searchlight screeners available to Screen Actors Guild members through iTunes. This means that 100,000 SAG members will begiven codes to download high defintion digital copies of Danny Boyle’s 127 Hours, Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan and Conviction. The studio is considering expanding the iTunes screener distribution to AMPAS, BAFTA and other organizations. It will be interesting to se if any other studios follow suit, and to see how many years before all the screeners are released as digital downloads.

Chances are you don’t get sent award screeners and this news means nothing to you. I don’t recieve award screeners either, but I thought the switch to digital distribution was an interesting one. You can read the press release after the jump.

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Writers Guild of America Nominations Announced

Along with the Producers Guild and the Screen Actors Guild, the Writers Guild of America is one of the strongest voting bodies in Hollywood. So, when they announce their nominations for the best of the year, it’s usually a pretty good precursor to the Oscars. Check out their 2010 nominees after the jump. Read More »

The Best Reviewed Movies of 2010

As the end of the year nears, Rotten Tomatoes have released the tallies for the best reviewed movies of 2010. I thought we’d compare the list with the other movie review compilation site Metacritic.

Both sites have their advantages. Rotten Tomatoes includes a larger sample of reviews, while Metacritic features a smaller more-selected grouping of film critics. Rotten Tomatoes calculates critic scores using a positive or negative score for each review. One movie could be 100% fresh with all the critics giving the movie a 7/10 grade. Metacritic attempts to gauge the score of each critic’s review (not just a positive or negative, but a number 0 to 100) averaged together, giving you a better indication of what the response is to any given film, and not just a percentage of positive reviews.

For example, How To Train Youyr Dragon is ranked #2 for the year on Rotten Tomatoes with a 98% fresh rating based on 146 reviews. But on Metacritic, Dragon has a 74% average with 33 reviews. Honestly, I like how Metacritic calculates the numbers, but their refusal to incorporate a larger sample of film critics puts them behind Rotten Tomatoes in my mind.

Hit the jump to find out what films ranked in the best reviewed films of the year.
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As the year comes to a close, more Top 10 lists are being published. Last week, British filmmaker Edgar Wright (Scott Pilgrim, Hott Fuzz) filed his annual listing of the top five movies of 2010. Hit the jump to find out what movies made Wright’s list this year.

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The /Filmcast: After Dark is a recording of what happens right after The /Filmcast is over, when the kids have gone to bed and the guys feel free to speak whatever is on their minds. In other words, it’s the leftover and disorganized ramblings, mindfarts, and brain diarrhea from The /Filmcast, all in one convenient audio file. In this episode, David ChenDevindra Hardawar, and Adam Quigley defend their thoughts on 127 Hours, talk about when they’ve had to lie about movies, and explain what Battle Royale has in common with the original Star Wars. Special guest Katey Rich joins us from Cinemablend.

You can always e-mail us at slashfilmcast(AT)gmail(DOT)com, or call and leave a voicemail at 781-583-1993. We’ll be back on Sunday (12/26) at 10 PM EST / 7 PM PST at Slashfilm’s live page to review Black Swan and True Grit.

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68th Annual Golden Globe Awards Nominations

The nominations for the 68th Annual Golden Globe Awards were announced this morning, with announcements by Blair Underwood, Josh Duhamel, and Katie Holmes. The Social Network, The King’s Speech and The Fighter scored a handful of nods each. But where’s True Grit, which came up with nothing? If nothing else, walk away from this nomination list with the knowledge that The Fighter is a far stronger awards contender than anyone credited it with being just a couple weeks ago. The full list is after the break. Read More »

AFI’s Top 10 Movies and TV Shows of 2010

It’s that time of year again, when all of the critics societies and film organizations name their top 10 movies of the year. The American Film Institute have released their lists of the top 10 films and television shows of 2010. As with most of the lists AFI releases, the films are not numbered in any order, but instead just a compilation of “winners.” Hit the jump to find out which movies and television shows were chosen.

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VOTD: ’127 Seconds’

As people continue to pass out in theaters across the country watching the graphic, real life violence in Danny Boyle’s 127 Hours, it’s about time audiences fought back, right? Since the film is so brutal and serious, there’s no better way to do that than to make it a punchline an the comedy troupe Dr. Cool Sex did just that with 127 Seconds. Check out the video after the jump but, from the image above, I think you get the jist. Read More »

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