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Of all the US film critic organizations, the National Society of Film Critics is the one that is most likely to break from the pack when it comes time to hand out year-end awards. While the group gave out last year’s Best Picture nod to Waltz With Bashir, this year the collective was a bit more in line with other groups. After voting this weekend, Best Picture went to The Hurt Locker, and the film took several other major awards from the group as well.

That makes The Hurt Locker the first film since 1997′s LA Confidential to win Best Picture from the three major us critic circles. (The NYFCC and LAFCA being the other two.) Don’t assume that means that future DVD editions of the film might bear a large ‘Best Picture Oscar Winner!’ stamp, however. Read More »

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[Editor's Note: We have published reviews of Avatar by David ChenBrendon Connelly, and Russ Fischer. Here is a different take on the film from Hunter Stephenson.]

No man is an island, so James Cameron humbly ventured off several years into the future to create one for his own damn self called Pandora. And now he’s inviting the unwashed masses to explore it for a small fee, with permission to return, preferably in the company of an unsuspecting elder skin, if one so chooses. In my mind, the phrase “movie gods” as it applies to mainstream blockbusters had nearly become obsolete. Agree? The exciting, previously unimaginable computer generated wow-factor that Cameron and Steven Spielberg defined with Terminator 2 and Jurassic Park was followed by challengers to the SFX throne that, even at their best, never quite felt as revolutionary and transportive.

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Here’s the biggest vote yet for The Hurt Locker as a serious Best Picture contender, and Kathryn Bigelow as a must to be nominated for Best Director. The New York Film Critics Circle awards, one of the most prestigious set of awards each year and the critic organization with the most pull, have just been announced. The film and director top the list. (And let me clarify: the film and Bigelow are eminently deserving of Oscars regardless, but this puts real momentum behind them.)

The Golden Globes nominations will be announced tomorrow morning, and those always get a lot of press, but this is an interesting set of choices that should change some of the Oscar odds. Read More »

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Today, three critic associations announced their picks for best cinematic achievements of the year. The Hurt Locker, one of 2009′s most highly-praised films almost from the moment the calendar turned, swept awards from the Boston Society of Film Critics, and had quite a good show from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association. And while The Hurt Locker director Kathryn Bigelow took Best Director from the New York Film Critics Online, the association’s best picture award went to James Cameron‘s Avatar. That’s the first big award for Cameron’s film, and as the positive reviews continue to roll in it likely won’t be the last. Read More »

AFI’s Top 10 Movies and TV Series of 2009

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The American Film Institute have announced the official selections for the 2009 AFI Awards, nominations which include the “10 Most Outstanding Motion Pictures and TV Programs of the Year”. You can find out the top tv in both tv and movies after the jump, included in the official press release.

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The first big bash of the awards season took place last night as the 19th Annual Gotham Independent Film Awards gave out top honors to The Hurt Locker, Food Inc. and Big Fan director Robert Siegel. Best Feature went to The Hurt Locker (Kathryn Bigelow, director; Kathryn Bigelow, Mark Boal, Nicolas Chartier, Greg Shapiro, producers) which also won Best Ensemble Performance. Best Documentary deservedly went to Food, Inc. (Robert Kenner, director; Robert Kenner, Elise Pearlstein, producers) and the Breakthrough Director award went to Siegel.

After the break, nominations for the Independent Spirit Awards and the animation-oriented Annies. Read More »

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District 9 PosterIn this week’s /Filmcast, Dave Chen, Devindra Hardawar and Adam Quigley get flummoxed by Bryan Singer’s decision to reboot Battlestar Galactica, discuss some recent Avatar news, assess the greatness of Ponyo, and try to make sense of some fascinating Superman IP law. Special guest Kyle Newman, the director of Fanboys and the upcoming Emo Boy, joins us for this episode. Also, a surprise visitor drops by to tell us her thoughts on District 9.

You can always e-mail us at slashfilmcast(AT)gmail(DOT)com, or call and leave a voicemail at 781-583-1993. Join us next Monday at 9 PM EST / 6 PM PST at Slashfilm’s live page as we review Inglourious Basterds.

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Watch the First Eight Minutes of The Hurt Locker

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Editor’s Note: This video was quickly pulled offline after we posted it on Monday. Summit Entertainment now informs us that the video is back online, officially, on Hulu. So if you missed it on Monday, check out the first 8 minutes of The Hurt Locker embedded after the jump.

The first eight minutes of Kathryn Bigelow‘s amazing war film The Hurt Locker are available to watch online, and while the ideal way to see this opening sequence is obviously attached to the full feature, there may be no better way to demonstrate just how taut and involving this movie really is. Watch the sequence after the jump. Read More »

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