The process of doling out Oscars is a lot more transparent in some than in others. While the core categories like Best Picture, and writing, directing and acting are all the subject of great speculation for months before the nominations are even announced, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is much more open about what specific films are in contention for some technical awards.

For instance, there is the Visual Effects Oscar, for which the Academy today announced that ten films are in the running. They include most of the options one might expect, from Hugo to Mission: Impossible to Rise of the Planet of the Apes. The full list is below. Read More »

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Home theater technology improves at an alarming rate. Televisions gets bigger and brighter, Blu-ray players get faster and more dynamic, speakers get smaller and louder and they all get cheaper and cheaper. The cycle is one of the primary reasons the home theater experience has turned so many people off from the theatrical experience.

Tuesday, home theaters got even better as Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides became the first streaming release to be encoded with a Dolby Digital Plus 7.1 audio track. Right now it’s only available on VUDU, an subscription-based streaming service owned by Wal-Mart, but seeing as this complex audio mix can now be brought into the home instantly, other providers are sure to follow suit. There more after the break. Read More »

2011 Summer Movie Attendance Was the Lowest Since 1997

With Labor Day behind us and school back in session, summer in the US is officially over, at least from a cultural perspective. So it’s time to tally the box-office receipts from what has been the biggest movie season over the past thirty years.

The good news? Revenue is up from last year. The bad news: revenue is up by less than one percent. More troubling: after taking into account that a good portion of the overall revenue came from inflated 3D prices, analysts reveal that attendance was actually down this year. about 543 million tickets were sold this summer, which is the lowest number since 1997′s famous summer of 540 million tickets. (OK, perhaps not so famous.) But wait, there’s more! 2011 is the fourth consecutive year f dwindling summer movie attendance. Read More »

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This week, Dave, Devindra, and Adam discuss the transcendence of Tree of Life, delve into some television season finales, and debate the hypocrisy of the Cannes film festival. Special guest C. Robert Cargill joins us from Ain’t It Cool News.

You can always e-mail us at slashfilmcast(AT)gmail(DOT)com, or call and leave a voicemail at 781-583-1993. Join us for our next live broadcast on Monday, May 30th at Slashfilm’s live page where we’ll be discussing Kung Fu Panda 2.

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Try to recall, if you will, the atmosphere when Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl burst onto the scene in 2003. Films based on Disney land rides weren’t being released in theaters every other week yet, Gore Verbinski’s biggest claim to fame was The Ring, and the world had yet to be introduced to Captain Jack Sparrow, a delightful side-character in the film from the twisted mind of Johnny Depp.

Today the story is a bit different. Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides hits theaters this weekend and it comes after two mind-numbing sequels have driven the series to creative oblivion. This time, Depp’s Jack Sparrow has been thrust into the spotlight as the main character, while Penelope Cruz and Ian McShane also tag along in some kind of quest for the fountain of youth. The film will most likely be a hit financially; audiences will buy tickets in droves whether it’s any good or not. But do you think the new film reinvigorates the franchise? Or does it send it deeper towards Davy Jones’ Locker? Leave your thoughts in the comments below and assume SPOILERS lie after the jump. Read More »

If you take the plunge and watch Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides this weekend, you might leave the theater wondering how the hell that movie was greenlit. Sometimes it all starts with a pitch meeting, and the video below is a recreation of how pitching ideas to Jerry Bruckheimer might really work. It will put Pirates 4 into perspective. Read More »

With all the talk about Fast Five‘s huge opening weekend and Thor‘s big international box office haul, not to mention that film’s impending domestic opening, it’s almost as if the next blockbuster on the summer movies horizon is being overlooked. That film is Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, the Rob Marshall-directed fourth film in the Pirates saga, starring Johnny Depp, Ian McShane, Penelope Cruz and Geoffrey Rush. As the May 20th, 3D release approaches, Disney has begun the full on, cannon’s blazing, Pirates of the Caribbean marketing barrage. Along with all the trailers, commercials, interviews and featurettes, though, Yahoo Movies has an especially cool one minute clip of an action scene from early in the film. Read More »

Walt Disney Pictures has given us an exclusive first look at a new television spot for Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides which will air nationally tonight during the NBA Playoffs. The spot is action packed, filled with fast cuts and features the same loud bassy beat that we now find in most movie marketing in this post-Inception world. Watch it now embedded after the jump.

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