September 12, 2008

'Dark Knight' Rerelease Could Result in Box Office and Oscar Gold

With the Dark Knight, you can envision the Joker shooting golden statuettes from the depths of his sunken eyeballs directly at Batman's heart. And now, Warner Bros. will take its box office money maker straight to the Academy Awards Bank & Trust. Or more specifically, generate even more Batman fever, turning already stricken movie goers into Oscar induced zombies. What?

Let me explain: The Dark Knight will be re-released in January 2009. Which happens to be prime voting season for Academy Award voters, who will be feeling sentimental because January also happens to be a year to the month of the untimely demise of Heath Ledger, who happens to deliver a performance as the Joker, unmatched by any previous actor fulfilling the same role. If Warner Bros. is right (and they are), the buzz of Oscar season, combined with typically slow ticket sales in January may insure an unmatched box office and a posthumous Academy Award for Ledger.

"To date, Dark Knight has rung up about $512 million domestically and $440 million internationally," reports the Hollywood Reporter. This leaves the Dark Knight second only to the once unsinkable box office record of Titanic ($600.8 mil. domestic/$1.24 bil. international). While the Hollywood Reporter appears skeptical that the Dark Knight can surpass Titanic in worldwide ticket sales, I believe the re release will make for one close race. James Cameron better not hold his breath.

Dark Knight plan re release [The Hollywood Reporter]

July 17, 2008

Vote for Your Favorite Emmy Nominated Commercial

Take a moment to watch these Emmy nominated commercials and tell me which is your favorite! If it were up to me, it would be any Geico commercial, unfortunately no nomination this time around.

Delivery - Travelers • •
MJZ, Production Company
Fallon, Ad Agency

Brother Of The Bride - Hallmark • •
PYTKA, Production Company
Leo Burnett, Ad Agency

Carrier Pigeons - FedEx • •
MJZ, Production Company
BBDO New York, Ad Agency

It’s Mine - Coca Cola • •
MJZ, Production Company
Wieden + Kennedy, Ad Agency

Swear Jar - Bud Light • •
Hungry Man, Production Company
DDB Chicago, Ad Agency

July 14, 2008

Oscar Potential No Joke For Ledger's Work

Recognition by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences once you're dead is a rare occurrence. Ever since critics have gotten a glimpse of Heath Ledger's work as the Joker in The Dark Knight, the latest re imagining of the Batman saga, Oscar buzz has been in the air.

The last Oscar given posthumously was awarded to Peter Finch for his 1976 performance in Network. Finch also received an Academy Award nomination for one of the first films with a unabashedly gay theme, Sunday Bloody Sunday in 1971. The similarities between Finch and Ledger stop there.

One of the first critic's to champion the Heath Ledger Oscar cause was Rolling Stone magazine critic Peter Travers. As reported by US Magazine, Travers writes, "I can only speak superlatives of Ledger, who is mad-crazy-blazing-brilliant as the Joker."

I have to admit, I'm not a fan of the superhero genre of action film. And while I love to watch Jack Nicholson in most things, I had little interest in seeing him smeared with clown makeup playing opposite Batman.

As the trailers have graced my television, I have to admit I'm intrigued with this new caricature of the Joker. While I doubt I'll be racing out to the midnight screening on July 19, I plan on catching Ledger's eerily memorable performance. In time for the 81st Academy Awards!

April 25, 2008

Winehouse Arrested Following Novello Nom

When we last left Amy Winehouse, she was crawling under fences and being shot across the universe to appear via satellite at the 2008 Grammy Awards. Despite her struggles with addiction and her drug-induced performance at the MTV Europe Music Awards, Winehouse has shown moments of clarity as a songwriter. She'll be a triple threat at the 53rd Ivor Novello Awards with Love is a Losing Game, You Know I'm No Good and Rehab.

This years' Novello Awards nominations are not the first for Winehouse, as she has won twice before; in 2004 and 2007 Best Contemporary Song category for Stronger Than Me and Rehab respectively. Her success in the awards show arena, while bolstering her songwriting credibility, has done little to boost confidence in Winehouse's public persona and ability to kick her drug habit (not to mention incarcerated husband escape plan hatching)....

This just in....Pink is the New Blog is reporting (that People is reporting) that Amy Winehouse was arrested today. Weeeee! This is better than the rumored James Bond/Winehouse connection.

Amy Winehouse Up for Three Novello Awards [Telegraph]
Amy Winehouse Nominated for Three Ivor Novello Awards [Times Online]

Cricket Family Should Be Parent's Choice

As a parent and literacy advocate, it's nice to see the Cricket Family of Magazines earn an incredible thirteen 2008 Parent's Choice Awards this year. No matter your child's age, you can rest assured that Cricket has the magazine that is specifically tailored to their age group and taste. Jason Patenaude, President of Cricket expresses these sentiments, "The scope of the awards also prove that Cricket magazines offer children more choices as they grow from toddler to young adults."

Not all children grow to become avid readers; finding material that will keep them reading and immersed in language throughout their childhood can often be a struggle for parents. If your child isn't necessarily interested in sitting down with a full-length book, a magazine might be the answer.

Along with Spider and Cricket, other 2008 Parent's Choice Gold Award winners include: Chirp published by Bayard Canada, National Geographic Little Kids published by National Geographic Society, Zoobooks published by Wildlife Education, Ltd., Ranger Rick published by the National Wildlife Federation, New Moon: The Magazine for Girls and Their Dreams published by New Moon Girl Media, Kiki published by B-books, Ltd., and Imagine published by John Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth.

Cricket Family of Magazines Wins Prestigious Parents' Choice Awards [PR Web]

April 24, 2008

Christmas Giveth, BAFTA Taketh Away

The 2008 BAFTA Games Awards have been cancelled and this time, the writer's strike is not to blame. In fact, if you're looking for someone to blame -- and you always are -- blame Christmas.

Yes, my news saavy following, there was no writer's strike in the U.K., but there was and is Christmas. That blessed holiday of giving is now in the spirit of taking away, and it seems video gaming elves are too busy coding for the masses than for an awards nomination.

Susan Arendt with the Wired Blog Network clarifies, "Rather than wind up with a group of nominees that didn't truly represent the year's best in gaming, BAFTA decided the wise choice would be to simply cancel this year's awards, and try to schedule the 2009 awards at a more developer-friendly time of year."

If you're a gamer and find yourself at a loss as to what to do with the 2008 holiday season, now that the BAFTA Games Awards have been postponed, you might find yourself donating to charity. Put the give back in Christmas.

BAFTA Cancels 2008 Videogame Awards [Wired Blog Network]

March 01, 2008

'Once' Duo Make the Most of Oscar Performance

Poor TV viewership (a measily 32 mil. pair of eyes) has permeated the headlines following the Feb. 24 telecast of the 80th Academy Awards, but apparently someone was watching as Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova performed the melodic "Falling Slowly" from the indie film Once.

Music publisher, Warner/Chappell Music (part of Warner Music Group Corp.), has scooped up the duo's catalog of work, including Hansard's songwriting efforts with the Frames, and music recorded for the pairs debut album, "The Swell Season"; the deal also includes all future recordings.

Tickets for The Swell Season: Glen Hansard & Marketa Irglova, from the film Once at the Orpheum Theatre in Minneapolis, Minnesota and The Chicago Theatre in Chicago, Illinois go on sale today.

Warner label signs 'Once' duo [Variety]

February 24, 2008

'Juno' Wins Best Picture at Spirit Awards

There once was a quirky little film, swaddled in orange stripes, that put an unexpected spin on teenage pregnancy. Somewhere in there, Juno had a message, but thanks to its screenwriter, Diablo Cody, the viewer felt neither tired by rhetoric nor battered about the head.

At the Independent Spirit Awards last night, Juno was a triple threat, earning top honors in the Best Picture category, recognition for Ellen Page as Best Female Lead and deserved Best First Screenplay win.

In addition to its critical acclaim, and despite a modest budget ($7 mil.), Juno has delivered at the box-office, bringing in over $160 mil. in ticket sales world-wide. The last time an indie film performed this well was back in 2002 when My Big Fat Greek Wedding generated $241.1 mil. in sales.

As much as I love the film, and admire Cody for doing what few novice writers are able these days (let alone female screenwriters), I'm not sure Juno will fair as well at the Academy Awards tonight. I do hope that hamburger phone makes an appearance, or maybe even announces an award or two.

'Juno' Scores at Spirit Awards [The Envelope]

February 19, 2008

What Could Be Better Than an Oscar Widget?

I've noticed quite a bit of recent traffic on a previous post on Academy Award trivia, so in light of new widget-ry technology, I've added this post for all to enjoy. Now slide your gaze to the right a smidge and vote for the most likely Best Picture winner.

February 13, 2008

The Oscars Valentine Gift to the Masses

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' hearts are filled with love on this, the eve of Valentine's Day. Academy president, Sid Ganis issued this statement today via press release and announced a press conference scheduled for tomorrow that will reveal "many, many details" about the Oscar telecast.

"I am relieved that the men and women of the entertainment industry are going back to work and I am ecstatic that the 80th Academy Awards presentation can now proceed full steam ahead with talented writers working on the show, a fantastic array of presenters and performers and, most importantly, the ability for all of our honored nominees to attend without hesitation or discomfort."

Despite the news that the Oscars will go on, the New York Post reports, Vanity Fair and their big smashing party has been cancelled. This announcement was made prior to the end of the writer's strike, and it's doubtful they can turn that hulking ship around. It is thee party of the night. The injustice is almost more then I can bear. Or is it bare? Let's hope this is clarified for me during the press conference tomorrow morning at Academy headquarters.

For all you future Oscar winners; the Governor's Ball Party is still on. Defamer tackled Wolfgang Puck's menu with more wit then I could muster at this late juncture. Now that the writer's are back on, my formerly hysterical and carefully plotted blog will have all new episodes posts within eight to ten weeks.

Awww.... I kid, I kid.

Screw You, 'Vanity Fair' Party: The Oscars Governor's Ball is On and More Delicious Than Ever [Defamer]

January 24, 2008

World Stupidity at a Glance

I've been monitoring the status of the 5th Annual World Stupidity Awards closely, but apparently not close enough, as they've up and redone their website and made their nominations and awarded the winners. Right under our imbecilic noses.

Awards shows were well represented in several categories, with the surprise inverted-reality-TV-suplex-slam administered by Danny Bonaduce on Jonny Fairplay taking Dumbest Moment of the Year. Britney Spears rightfully reigned supreme in the Stupidity Award for Making a Stupid Situation Stupider for her performance (or lack thereof) at the MTV Music Video Awards.

Miss South Carolina, who's response to a question about the inability of Americans to located the United States on a world map, earned her the crown of Stupidest Statement of the Year and settled the beauty over brains pageant debate once and for all. Let's hope the same 20% of Americans have more success finding YouTube and the video of Miss Lauren Caitlin Upton, as I'm not about to relive this nightmare.

And finally, the Television Industry in its entirety was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award for Stupidity. Now that's a whole lotta stupid.

Just one minor complaint, the name of the game at the Stupidity Awards, is stupidity on a global scale. However, the U.S. dominated every category. We took home every top prize and I'm. Not. Bragging. World Stupidity Awards my ass. Call a spade, a spade you morons. Or maybe we're just that good.

5th Annual World Stupidity Awards [press release]

January 21, 2008

Today the Razzies, Tomorrow the Oscars

First comes the Razzies then comes the Oscars, then comes Eddie and Lindsey in a baby carriage. Suckin' their thumb.......sing along on your own time.

If you're Eddie Murphy, ya have to take the bad with the good. Oscar nom one year, Norbit the next. Oh so far to fall. If you're Lindsey Lohan, you were barely able to get one foot out of the gutter and up on the curb before ya slip on the slimy shit of your own making back to your rightful place. Harsh, I know, but I've gotten myself off on a tangent.

Officially known as the Golden Rasberry Awards, the Razzies have faithfully heralded the short-comings of Hollywood's elite. Previous winners include, Ben Affleck, Jack Nicholson, Christopher Walken and aptly named Halle Berry.

Murphy is nominated multiple times for each of his equally horrendous roles in Norbit. Founder of the Razzies, John Wilson, told CNN, "We decided that each of his characters were so offensive that he deserved individual nominations."

Sharon Stone is in direct competition with Lohan in the worst actress category for her role in worst film contender Basic Instinct 2. This is not the first time Stone has been nominated, winning two Razzies in 1994 for The Specialist and Intersection. Wilson gave FoxNews this yummy morsel, "She's what we call a Razzie repeat offender. Perhaps even a recidivist." If you don't recall either of these two flicks, count your lucky stars.

By the way, Rachel McAdams was the real break-out star of Mean Girls.

January 19, 2008

Atonement Leads the Baftas With 14 Nominations

With a nomination in nearly every category in which it is eligible, Atonement is the front-runner at the British Academy Awards this year. Both Keira Knightley and James McAvoy were recognized in the Leading Actor and Actress category, and director Joe Wright is also nominated.

As reported by The Herald, Keira Knightley expressed her delight by saying, "The Golden Globe was extraordinary, but to be recognised at home is really special, I'm thrilled." Also sharing the nomination spotlight is Christopher Hampton, who adapted Ian McEwan's novel with storytelling precision.

In 2002, BAFTA moved is announcements and ceremony from April or May to fall just before the Oscars, in order to benefit from awards show fever in the U.S. People Magazine makes mention of this clandestined turn of events and how the schedule change could position the Orange British Academy Film Awards to be one of the only awards shows with celebrities present.

WGA Awards a Bust in LA, Mini-Me in NYC

Even the Writers Guild of America plan a dumbed-down version of their annual awards presentation on February 9, as a result of the writers strike, according to a press release. The WGA Awards recognize writing in television, film, radio and video games. Only this years' nominees and their guests will be permitted to attend the ceremony and like the Golden Globes, there will be no red carpet.

WGA East president, Michael Winship hinted at the real reason behind shrinking the event to a mere reception when he stated, "It is very, very cold in New York City this time of year. Very cold."

Okay fine, he didn't say that. Winship did say, "We have chosen to honor the nominees and recipients of our awards in the context of our ongoing strike against the studios and networks. This will be a simple event that will rally us together as a union." The WGA West out of Los Angeles has decided to forgo an award ceremony altogether.

A few notables from the list of WGA Awards nominees include:

Knocked Up by Judd Apatow in the Best Original Screenplay category. While Knocked Up has received only a smattering of awards recognition (not unusual for a comedy), it has not been selected in any screenplay category thus far. Ryan Seacrest was given a Teen Choice Award for his portrayal of a Hissy Fit. Not sure if this is really a stretch for Seacrest, but who am I to judge?

For someone who has been nominated for and won a whole slew of awards, it's nice to see Sean Penn nominated for Into the Wild in the Best Adapted Screenplay category. Penn's ability to wrap his mind around a character as an actor is well-suited for this film with such focused intensity on the main character, Chris McCandless' perspective. You can read an insightful interview from the December 2007 issue of Written By, trade magazine for members of the WGA West.

Mad Men (AMC) has been enjoying lots of buzz this awards season and deservedly so. This smart, cocksure and deliberate circa 1960s Dramatic Television Series and New Series nominee is almost solely dependent on its writing. Now, this is not meant to diminish the talents of the actors (mesmerizing performances, but very subtle!) or the hazy cinematography that has the audience hanging back as if a fly on the wall or shot tight up enhancing the tension naturally. Writing credits go to a parade of names, but the one that stands out is Matthew Weiner who competes with himself in the same category for The Sopranos. Indeed! While the first season has ended, you can catch the replay beginning Monday, January 21.

The entire list of WGA Awards nominees can be found here.

January 14, 2008

The Golden Globes: Brilliant but Cancelled...

...not brilliant despite being cancelled, as we had to endure a Solid Gold set and commentary by Billy Bush (cuz to thee prez) and Nancy O'Dell. Honestly, I watched for approximately three minutes and pulled a writers strike of my own. I love the Golden Globes, but could not bear to see them go down this way. I hate to say it, and I never thought I'd bear witness in my lifetime, but the Golden Globes have "jumped the shark." And although, as I've said, I did not bare witness (and actually went to bed with a giant Golden Globe sized headache), I've read that some of the other networks announced all the winners as NBC slogged on through to the bitter end. Ha!
For those of you who did not watch (everyone) here's the run down:
Best Motion Picture - Drama

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama
Julie Christie - Away From Her
Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama
Daniel Day Lewis - There Will Be Blood

Best Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy
Marion Cotillard - La Vie En Rose

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy
Johnny Depp - Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture
Cate Blanchett - I'm Not There

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture
Javier Bardem - No Country For Old Men

Best Animated Feature Film

Best Foreign Language Film
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

Best Director - Motion Picture
Julian Schnabel - The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
Best Screenplay - Motion Picture
No Country For Old Men - Ethan and Joel Coen
Best Original Score - Motion Picture
Atonement - composed by Dario Marianelli

Best Original Song - Motion Picture
"Guaranteed" - Into the Wild (music & lyrics by Eddie Vedder)

Best Television Series - Drama
Mad Men

Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series - Drama
Glenn Close - Damages
Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series - Drama
Jon Hamm - Mad Men
Best Television Series - Musical or Comedy
Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series - Musical or Comedy
Tina Fey - 30 Rock
Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series - Musical or Comedy
David Duchovny - Californication

To view the rest of the list and the competition visit the Hollywood Foreign Press Association website.