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My 2017 Oscar Picks

Ladies and gentlemen, the post you’ve all been waiting for. My picks to win the 89th Academy Awards. This year’s nominees gives us hope that the Academy has at least made some effort to look across the wonderful diversity that makes up the filmmaking community. The Academy released a list of 683 new members last year, […]

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My Annual Oscar Picks – 2014

It’s that time again. The Academy hands out their picks for best of every category. They can select 10 films for best picture, but apparently could find only nine worthy of the crown. The pictures span history, deep drama, AIDS, hijacking, swindle and a celestial exploration of the human spirit, untethered in space. Observations. Although […]

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The Wolf of Wall Street – Film Review

Once again we find Martin Scorsese taking serious inspiration from his lifelong muse, New York. So much has happened in this Metropolis and continues to happen, and the material just never seems to run out. He returns to the underworld but not gangsters. This time he delves beneath the underworld; Wall Street. Mean Streets, Wall Street, […]

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Zero Dark Thirty – Film Review

2012 will be remembered as the year the movies took back their time slot. The year the industry remembered they have a super power; making big, ambitious, thought-provoking pictures and damn the running time or who might be protesting. Six major feature films released in the fall/winter season topped the two hour twenty minute mark. […]

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Les Miserables Close-up

Les Misérables has been told countless times since Victor Hugo gave us his enormous novel. I uncovered over 50 small and large screen versions with only modest effort. Even Orson Welles tackled it on radio in 1937. Les Misérables is probably best known in contemporary times as a musical that began onstage in Paris in 1978. […]

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My Oscar Picks for 2011

This Sunday, February 27, 2011 will be the 83rd annual Oscar awards presentation. An art form with a storied past, and I believe a bright future. Although India churns out many more pictures than the U.S. each year, the art of the film and the studio are uniquely American. I’m still getting used to having […]

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True Grit – Film Review

The Coens open True Grit at night with a slow zoom in on a slain man lying just off a softly lit porch, being blanketed by snowfall. The voice-over is Mattie Ross, speaking to the audience from nearly three decades in the future. She describes how her father was shot by Tom Chaney and fled […]

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Movie Studios Try to Reinvent Themselves in 3D

U.S. film studios enjoyed a lock on the moving picture experience for many years before television invited itself to the party. Movie moguls were afraid that television was replicating the movie house experience so they completely changed the format from a standard 4:3 aspect ratio screen to a much wider screen. This helped them differentiate […]

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Settling the Screen Actors Guild Dispute: A Proposal

The Screen Actor’s Guild is on the verge a strike, much like the writers last year. At issue is the amount of compensation actors receive from digital/internet medium revenues collected by the studios. Standard contracts were written before the internet was a mass medium and the actors want the terms adjusted. They feel the studios […]

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Paul Newman – Icon of the Screen is Dead at 83

My earliest memory of Paul Newman was in 1967 when my family was on our annual summer vacation at my Uncle’s lake house in Michigan. It was a small city that had only one movie theater. They were screening Cool Hand Luke that July, and I remember it well, “What we have here is a […]

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Under the Same Moon – Film Review

Patricia Riggen’s Under the Same Moon is a sweet and surprisingly powerful film that disguises a complex study of Mexican immigration within a simple story of a mother’s love for her son. Rosario (Kate Del Castillo) is a young mother without a husband. She crossed the boarder four years earlier and lives in Los Angeles […]

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Academy Splits Oscar into 13 Pieces

Photo Credit: The New York Times The 80th annual Academy Awards ceremony aired last night, hosted for the second time by Jon Stewart. It was more informal and well down on the energy scale than in years past. Mr. Stewart did a great job at bringing his signature lines and delivery to the telecast, while […]

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My Oscar Picks on My 50th Post

This my 50th post! I started this blog last October as an experiment in social computing. Since I work in the Internet space, I thought it would be good research as we look at launching community for our brand. I’m really into it now. It’s very early Sunday morning February 24th, 2008, and the Academy […]

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Michael Clayton – Film Review

What struck me most about Michael Clayton is how all the players on this project came together as an ensemble, and took this film to a much higher level than might otherwise have been achieved. This is an extreme example of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts. When you look at […]

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Oscars Go Bleak – Love It

The best picture category nominations are as follows. No Country for Old Men, There Will Be Blood (eight each). Michael Clayton, Atonement (each with seven), and Juno (four). This list of serious and dark films is a reflection of what we have been living this past year. With the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan droning […]

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Directors Settle on New Media, Sets Script for Writers

I’m a little nervous. The Writers Guild of America has been on strike for over two months. If it goes much longer the studios will be shooting their version of Fear Factor for the big screen, and I won’t get my fall film fix. By the way, Television has become even more of a wasteland […]

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Hollywood Movies Rest In Peace, Long Live Film

Theatrical box office ticket sales for 2007 were slightly up (4%) over the previous year, but attendance was not. Hollywood is still addicted to the franchise sequel formula, which gets riskier with each year and will eventually wear thin. The box office winner was Spider-Man 3, followed by Shrek the Third, both of which produced […]

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