Maybe it’s just because I got a cat this year — the first living, breathing creature I’ve owned since I failed to keep a hamster alive circa 1995 — but I couldn’t help noticing that the films of 2011 featured some damn great animals. Some were the stars of their films, like Rango (Johnny Depp) in Rango, while others played second fiddle to less interesting, or at least less adorable, human stars, like Rosie (Tai) in Water for Elephants, but all deserve special mention in my book.

And yeah, okay, the fact that they also serve as a convenient excuse to post cute animal photos during a slow news week happens to a nice little bonus as well. Read on after the jump.

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This week, Dave Chen, Devindra, and Adam discuss The Dark Knight Rises prologue, praise the rarely seen Enlightened, and reflect on shows that have come back from the dead, creatively. Special guest Tasha Robinson from AV Club joins us for this episode.

You can always e-mail us at slashfilmcast(AT)gmail(DOT)com, or call and leave a voicemail at 781-583-1993. Live broadcasts will resume in 2012.

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Roger Ebert’s Top 20 Movies of 2011


With just days to go until the end of 2011 (Where did the year go???), legendary film critic Roger Ebert has announced his top 20 movies of the year. Just as you’d expect from Ebert, his list runs the gamut from mainstream blockbusters to more obscure foreign or arthouse projects — with enough in the latter category to offer up some useful suggestions for your Netflix queue. Read his list after the jump.

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Yup, that’s Michael Giacchino striking the goofy pose in the header image, but don’t let the silliness fool you — he’s one of the hottest film and TV composers working today, and one of the main reasons you should be excited about the rest of this post. After the jump:

  • Listen to ten minutes of Michael Giacchino’s score for John Carter
  • Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained could be getting an unusual take on Frank Sinatra’s “My Way”
  • Wes Anderson reunites with Fantastic Mr. Fox composer Alexandre Desplat for Moonrise Kingdom
  • The Artist ponders a concert tour with live orchestra

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69th Annual Golden Globes Award Nominations

Gerard Butler, Woody Harrelson, Rashida Jones, and Sofia Vergara got up extra early this morning to announce the nominations for the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s 69th Golden Globes Awards, which will be televised on January 15, 2012.

Returning host Ricky Gervais (called a “naughty, naughty schoolboy” this morning by Aida Takla-O’ Reilly, the president of the HFPA) will likely be the main attraction of that broadcast, but the Globes do get attention for the awards doled out each year, if only for the way that the organization targets films with big stars to show up at the ceremony. How else to explain multiple nominations for Madonna‘s W.E.? Sure, her Best Song nomination could have gone to a tune from The Muppets, but why would the HFPA want anyone from that film at the ceremony?

The Artist, Midnight in Paris and The Help are the big nominees. Check out the full list below. Read More »

Many film goers are going to be forced to tackle their cinema phobias this award season as Michel Hazanavicius’ The Artist is beginning to pick up steam. The black and white, silent film about a silent movie star (Jean Dujardin) whose livelihood is threatened by an up and coming sound star (Bérénice Bejo) is absolutely glorious and not only are critics eating it up, awards are beginning to shower in. That means the average movie goer, who would rarely pay to see a black and white or silent movie, will probably have to bite the bullet just to see something different and wonderful.

The Weinstein Company has released an awesome behind the scenes video about The Artist which gets into a bit of the history, a bit of the preparation and shows scenes from the movie in color, which is oddly exciting. Check it out below. Read More »

Every year at award season, The Hollywood Reporter somehow organizes the schedules of basically every single actor, actress and director of the year’s best films to sit down and discuss them. This, in itself, is pretty spectacular. What’s even better is they release the videos of the full conversations so we can watch. For the 2011 Director’s Roundtable, they’ve brought together The Descendants‘ Alexander Payne, Beginners‘ Mike Mills, Shame‘s Steve McQueen, Young Adult‘s Jason Reitman, Moneyball‘s Bennett Miller and The Artist‘s Michel Hazanavicius to discuss their own, and each other’s, movies, all of which have a good shot at multiple award nominations. Check out the video after the jump. Read More »

The Oscars for movies made for under $20 million, the Independent Spirit Awards, announced their 2012 nominees Tuesday morning. Leading the pack with the most nominations were Jeff Nichols’ Michael Shannon-centric Take Shelter and Michel Hazanavicius’ black and white silent film The Artist. Those two will compete for the big award, Best Feature Film, with 50/50, The Descendants, Drive and Beginners. Read the rest of the nominees after the jump. Read More »

During my first day at the Telluride Film Festival, I had the opportunity to screen Alexander Payne‘s The Descendants and the much talked about Cannes sensation The Artist, a black and white silent film set in the silent-era Hollywood. Both of the films will be vying for awards come Oscar season, and you can get the scoop right here. Also after the jump is a couple of ramblings and musings on how Telluride has changed in the information age and rise of social media, along with some of the photos I’ve taken during my first day in this small mountain town.

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The Telluride Film Festival, a presentation of the National Film Preserve which takes place beginning tomorrow, Friday Sept 2 and runs through Monday Sept 5, is an unusual beast as far as film festivals go. The core film lineup is not announced until the day before the festival begins, so attendees have to commit to the fest without knowing any of the movies that will definitely play.

Now the first list of films is out, and it has some expected inclusions such as David Cronenberg‘s A Dangerous Method (trailer) and the Cannes fave The Artist (trailer). In addition there are some good surprises, such as Steve McQueen and Michael Fassbender‘s reunion, Shame (pics), and the Dardenne BrothersThe Kid With a Bike.

More films will be announced at the last minute over the next couple days. One addition, for example, according to Kris Tapley, is Butter. Peter is arriving in Telluride later today so he’ll have coverage of the festival during the holiday weekend. Check out the announced lineup below. Read More »