WGA Rewards ‘Her’ and ‘Captain Phillips’

captain-phillips01

By this point in the awards race, it’s usually pretty clear who the frontrunners are. Most of the guilds have already thrown their support behind a few favorite films, which typically then go on to fare well at the Academy Awards. Nevertheless, there were a couple of mild surprises when the WGA announced its 2014 Writers Guild Award winners this weekend.

In the original screenplay category, Spike Jonze beat out the likes of David O. Russell and Woody Allen to pick up a prize for Her. That bodes well for Jonze on Oscar night, as the list of Oscar nominees perfectly matched the list of WGA nominees this year. A more unexpected result is Billy Ray‘s adapted screenplay win for Captain Phillips, but that doesn’t really make him the Oscar favorite. He didn’t have to compete against 12 Years a Slave or Philomena, both of which were deemed ineligible for the WGAs. Hit the jump to see who else won in the film and TV categories.

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Alfonso Cuaron shooting Children of Men

The Directors Guild of America handed out its awards tonight for directorial achievement in 2013. Alfonso Cuarón took the top prize, Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film, for his work on Gravity. That all but locks him in as the Best Director Oscar winner. Steven Soderbergh won as best director of a TV movie or mini-series for Behind the Candelabra, and Vince Gilligan won the award for direction in a dramatic series for the Breaking Bad episode ‘Felina,’ beating out fellow Breaking Bad nominee Bryan Cranston, and also David Fincher, who was nominated for the pilot of House of Cards.

Read the full list of winners below. Read More »

12 Years a Slave

American Hustle took home the big prize at the SAG Awards on Saturday night, but as it turned out, its moment in the sun was fleeting. 12 Years a Slave and Gravity regained their awards season momentum at the Producers Guild of America Awards on Sunday night, as both won the top trophy in a tie — the first ever in PGA history.

The results are a blow to American Hustle‘s Oscar odds, since the PGA Awards are a fairly reliable predictor of the Best Picture trophy. Of the past 24 Darryl F. Zanuck Award winners, 17 have gone on to win Best Picture. The last time the two awards didn’t match up was 2006, when the PGA chose Little Miss Sunshine over The Departed.

Elsewhere, Frozen and We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks won prizes for best animated picture and best documentary, respectively, while Behind the Candelabra and Breaking Bad continued to steamroll the competition in the long-form TV and TV drama categories. Hit the jump for the full list of results.

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Breaking Bad Season 5 - Jesse and Walter

Briefly: Call it a sick case of life imitating art, but ABC News is reporting methamphetamine tinted the color blue has begun circulating in the Four Corners section of New Mexico. Blue meth, of course, was the signature drug created by Walter White in Breaking Bad. On the fictional show, the blue color was a signifier of the pure quality of White’s product, and distinguished his work as unique. The real-world blue meth, however, is just dyed blue and is reportedly making people sick. Well, “sick” on top of what meth does to a person. [ABC News via Nerdcore]

Jonathan Banks as Mike Ehrmentraut in Breaking Bad

We know Saul Goodman (Bob Odenkirk) will be back for Better Call Saul, obviously. And potential appearances by Walt (Bryan Cranston) and Jesse (Aaron Paul) have been teased as well. But one guy series co-creator Vince Gilligan really seems to have his heart on bringing back is Mike Ehrmentraut, the no-nonsense fixer/enforcer/hitman played by Jonathan Banks.

That is, if Gilligan can get him. As he points out, most of the Breaking Bad actors have moved on to other things. And that’s not even getting into the other, non-casting challenges presented by the show. Hit the jump to see what Gilligan had to say about Banks, Better Call Saul‘s fractured timeline, and his big regret about Breaking Bad.

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Man of Steel

What a year 2013 has been for movie news. Fox, DC, and Marvel all dropped huge announcements about their respective comic book franchises, Lucasfilm passed the Star Wars mantle to J.J. Abrams, and Jurassic Park 4 finally picked up steam after years of false starts — all as the YA adaptations, Biblical epics, and live-action fairy tales continued to pile up.

But if you’re curious about the biggest things to come out of 2013, our list of the 15 most popular posts ought to help. As it happens, they also shed some light on you, our readers. Click the jump to see what the top posts of the year were, and what they may or may not tell us about all of you.

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12 Years a Slave (header size)

Ah, December: The month when all the awards buzz that’s been circulating throughout the year starts to solidify into actual nominations. 12 Years a Slave has been considered a strong favorite to win the season since moment it premiered at Telluride, and this morning the Screen Actors Guild threw their support of the slavery drama by nominating four times over.

August: Osage County, Lee Daniels’ The Butler, and Dallas Buyers Club made strong showings as well, with three nominations each. On the TV side, Breaking Bad proved itself the show to beat, with three. Hit the jump to read all the names.

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Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, and Vince Gilligan on the Breaking Bad set

Sure Breaking Bad had amazing writing, acting, directing, editing, music and everything else. But know what it was really missing? Hollywood visual effects. Animator Edmond Hawkins had the hilarious idea for a web series called Fixing Breaking Bad which takes iconic Breaking Bad scenes, and “fixes” them with visual effects of all shapes and sizes. Check out a few below. Read More »

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