My Complete, Fearless 2010 Oscar Predictions! From Best Short Film to Best Picture,Who Will Win at the 82nd Annual Academy Awards? 


It’s shaping up to be a battle between “The Hurt Locker” and “Avatar” at the 82nd Annual Academy Awards! Both films lead the pack with 9 nominations each including Best Picture, but only one will remain victorious.

From Best Short Film to Best Actor, here are my complete, humble but truly fearless Oscar predictions.

BEST PICTURE

* “Avatar” James Cameron and Jon Landau, Producers
* “The Blind Side” Nominees to be determined
* “District 9” Peter Jackson and Carolynne Cunningham, Producers
* “An Education” Finola Dwyer and Amanda Posey, Producers
* “The Hurt Locker” Nominees to be determined
* “Inglourious Basterds” Lawrence Bender, Producer
* “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire” Lee Daniels, Sarah Siegel-Magness and Gary Magness, Producers
* “A Serious Man” Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, Producers
* “Up” Jonas Rivera, Producer
* “Up in the Air” Daniel Dubiecki, Ivan Reitman and Jason Reitman, Producers

AND THE OSCAR WILL GO TO:

“The Hurt Locker”
– The thrilling Iraq War drama from director Kathryn Bigelow not only topped all the major guild awards including the Directors Guild, but it was also voted the Best Film at the 2010 British Academy Awards (BAFTA).

Oscar frontrunner “Avatar” will win all the technical awards including best visual effects, best sound editing, and best sound mixing.

BEST DIRECTOR

* “Avatar” James Cameron
* “The Hurt Locker” Kathryn Bigelow
* “Inglourious Basterds” Quentin Tarantino
* “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire” Lee Daniels
* “Up in the Air” Jason Reitman

AND THE OSCAR WILL GO TO:

Kathryn Bigelow
for “The Hurt Locker” – Bigelow created one of the most thought-provoking films of 2009 with a very weighty Iraq War subject. After Lina Wertmuller in 1975’s “Seven Beauties,” Jane Campion in 1993’s “The Piano,” and Sofia Coppola in 2003’s “Lost in Translation,” Bigelow is only the fourth woman director to ever be nominated. And guess what? She will make history as the first ever woman director to win the award!

BEST ACTOR

* Jeff Bridges in “Crazy Heart”

* George Clooney in “Up in the Air”
* Colin Firth in “A Single Man”
* Morgan Freeman in “Invictus”
* Jeremy Renner in “The Hurt Locker”

AND THE OSCAR WILL GO TO:

Jeff Bridges
will nab the award for his Oscar-ready performance as a down-and-out country singer in “Crazy Heart.” My heart belongs to Clooney, but it’s Bridges’ time and the actor already won the Screen Actors Guild award. Plus, the Academy loves hard drinking country singer performances. Case in point is Robert Duvall’s 1984 Best Actor win for “Tender Mercies” where he played, you guessed it, a hard drinking country singer.

BEST ACTRESS

* Sandra Bullock in “The Blind Side”

* Helen Mirren in “The Last Station”
* Carey Mulligan in “An Education”
* Gabourey Sidibe in “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire”
* Meryl Streep in “Julie & Julia”

AND THE OSCAR WILL GO TO:

Sandra Bullock
will win for her do-gooder performance in “The Blind Side.” I’m not joining the Sandra Bullock for Oscar bandwagon but the actress already won support from her peers with a Screen Actors Guild award for Best Actress.

With “The Blind Side” and “The Proposal,” 2009 was Bullock’s year, and her possible Oscar win signifies that the actress is being honored for her body of work, “All About Steve” notwithstanding.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

* Matt Damon in “Invictus”
* Woody Harrelson in “The Messenger”
* Christopher Plummer in “The Last Station”
* Stanley Tucci in “The Lovely Bones”
* Christoph Waltz in “Inglourious Basterds”

AND THE OSCAR WILL GO TO:

Christoph Waltz
– He simply gave the year’s most memorable performance as the ruthless Col. Hans Landa in “Inglourious Basterds.” Waltz has also been winning kudos from all the award-giving bodies including the Screen Actors Guild.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

* Penélope Cruz in “Nine”
* Vera Farmiga in “Up in the Air”
* Maggie Gyllenhaal in “Crazy Heart”
* Anna Kendrick in “Up in the Air”
* Mo’Nique in “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire”

AND THE OSCAR WILL GO TO:

Mo’Nique
for her unforgettable role as an abusive mother in “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire.” Like Waltz, Mo’Nique has been winning all the acting awards including one from the Screen Actors Guild.

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

* “District 9” Written by Neill Blomkamp and Terri Tatchell
* “An Education” Screenplay by Nick Hornby
* “In the Loop” Screenplay by Jesse Armstrong, Simon Blackwell, Armando Iannucci, Tony Roche
* “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire” Screenplay by Geoffrey Fletcher
* “Up in the Air” Screenplay by Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner

AND THE OSCAR WILL GO TO:

“Up in the Air”
– Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner already won this category at the Writers Guild Award and that’s a great sign! Plus, the script is so well-written that we connected with Clooney’s character as the man who couldn’t connect.

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

* “The Hurt Locker” Written by Mark Boal

* “Inglourious Basterds” Written by Quentin Tarantino
* “The Messenger” Written by Alessandro Camon & Oren Moverman
* “A Serious Man” Written by Joel Coen & Ethan Coen
* “Up” Screenplay by Bob Peterson, Pete Docter, Story by Pete Docter, Bob Peterson, Tom McCarthy

AND THE OSCAR WILL GO TO:

“The Hurt Locker”
– Scriptwriter Mark Boal wrote from experience as he was a freelance writer who was embedded with a bomb squad. With “Avatar’s” script not even considered good enough for a nomination, this category belongs to Boal’s “The Hurt Locker.” And like “Up in the Air,” Boal already won the Writers Guild Award.

BEST ANIMATED FILM

* “Coraline” Henry Selick
* “Fantastic Mr. Fox” Wes Anderson
* “The Princess and the Frog” John Musker and Ron Clements
* “The Secret of Kells” Tomm Moore
* “Up” Pete Docter

AND THE OSCAR WILL GO TO:

“Up”
– The Academy loves Pixar, you love Pixar, and I love Pixar! Besides, of all the films nominated, “Up” is the only one that truly made me cry, twice!

BEST ART DIRECTION

* “Avatar”
Art Direction: Rick Carter and Robert Stromberg; Set Decoration: Kim Sinclair
* “The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus” Art Direction: Dave Warren and Anastasia Masaro; Set Decoration: Caroline Smith
* “Nine” Art Direction: John Myhre; Set Decoration: Gordon Sim
* “Sherlock Holmes” Art Direction: Sarah Greenwood; Set Decoration: Katie Spencer
* “The Young Victoria” Art Direction: Patrice Vermette; Set Decoration: Maggie Gray

AND THE OSCAR WILL GO TO:

“Avatar”
hands down! It’s the most beautiful film of 2009!

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

* “Avatar” Mauro Fiore

* “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” Bruno Delbonnel
* “The Hurt Locker” Barry Ackroyd
* “Inglourious Basterds” Robert Richardson
* “The White Ribbon” Christian Berger

AND THE OSCAR WILL GO TO:

This is a tough one. “The White Ribbon” beat “Avatar” and “The Hurt Locker” in the American Society of Cinematographers Awards. But the Academy has to honor “Avatar” somehow, so I think it will win this category. Plus, like what I said earlier, it’s simply the most beautiful film of 2009, even though it’s mostly made using computer-generated images.

BEST COSTUME DESIGN

* “Bright Star” Janet Patterson
* “Coco before Chanel” Catherine Leterrier
* “The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus” Monique Prudhomme
* “Nine” Colleen Atwood
* “The Young Victoria” Sandy Powell

AND THE OSCAR WILL GO TO:

“The Young Victoria”
– Oh those period costumes! The ornate outfits that Emily Blunt wore in the film beats the raggedy but original costumes in “Bright Star.”

BEST DOCUMENTARY

* “Burma VJ” Anders Østergaard and Lise Lense-Møller
* “The Cove” Nominees to be determined
* “Food, Inc.” Robert Kenner and Elise Pearlstein
* “The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers” Judith Ehrlich and Rick Goldsmith
* “Which Way Home” Rebecca Cammisa

AND THE OSCAR WILL GO TO:

“The Cove”
– it’s a tense-filled documentary about the shameless, unnecessary killings of dolphins in a little cove in Japan. While I love “Food, Inc.” as well, “The Cove” will stay with you for years to come.

BEST DOCUMENTARY (SHORT SUBJECT)

* “China’s Unnatural Disaster: The Tears of Sichuan Province” Jon Alpert and Matthew O’Neill
* “The Last Campaign of Governor Booth Gardner” Daniel Junge and Henry Ansbacher
* “The Last Truck: Closing of a GM Plant” Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert
* “Music by Prudence” Roger Ross Williams and Elinor Burkett
* “Rabbit à la Berlin” Bartek Konopka and Anna Wydra

AND THE OSCAR WILL GO TO:

“The Last Truck: Closing of a GM Plant”
– I’m so glad to have caught this film on HBO. It’s timely, it’s emotional, it’s riveting, the kind of recipe that makes Academy voters cry and vote!

BEST FILM EDITING

* “Avatar” Stephen Rivkin, John Refoua and James Cameron
* “District 9” Julian Clarke
* “The Hurt Locker” Bob Murawski and Chris Innis
* “Inglourious Basterds” Sally Menke
* “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire” Joe Klotz

AND THE OSCAR WILL GO TO:

Once again, “The Hurt Locker” was chosen by the American Cinema Editors for their ACE Eddie Awards. But then, “Avatar” has a bigger chance in the Academy, because, like I’ve said, they must honor “Avatar” somehow. But I’ll side with the ACE folks here and choose “The Hurt Locker” as the winner! Those tense-filled scenes were mostly done in the editing room.

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

* “Ajami” Israel
* “El Secreto de Sus Ojos” Argentina
* “The Milk of Sorrow” Peru
* “Un Prophète” France
* “The White Ribbon” Germany

AND THE OSCAR WILL GO TO:

“Un Prophète”
– Of all the films nominated in this category, the French “Un Prophete” is the best movie of the bunch!

BEST MAKEUP

* “Il Divo” Aldo Signoretti and Vittorio Sodano
* “Star Trek” Barney Burman, Mindy Hall and Joel Harlow
* “The Young Victoria” Jon Henry Gordon and Jenny Shircore

AND THE OSCAR WILL GO TO:

“Star Trek”
– Are we even going to argue about this?

BEST MUSIC (ORIGINAL SCORE)

* “Avatar” James Horner
* “Fantastic Mr. Fox” Alexandre Desplat
* “The Hurt Locker” Marco Beltrami and Buck Sanders
* “Sherlock Holmes” Hans Zimmer
* “Up” Michael Giacchino

AND THE OSCAR WILL GO TO:
“Up”
– The music montage early in the film is one of the most profound, touching scenes I saw last year. Yes, I cried!

BEST MUSIC (ORIGINAL SONG)

* “Almost There” from “The Princess and the Frog” Music and Lyric by Randy Newman
* “Down in New Orleans” from “The Princess and the Frog” Music and Lyric by Randy Newman
* “Loin de Paname” from “Paris 36” Music by Reinhardt Wagner Lyric by Frank Thomas
* “Take It All” from “Nine” Music and Lyric by Maury Yeston
* “The Weary Kind (Theme from Crazy Heart)” from “Crazy Heart” Music and Lyric by Ryan Bingham and T Bone Burnett

AND THE OSCAR WILL GO TO:

“The Weary Kind (Theme from Crazy Heart)”
– this song captures Bridges’ character in the film, and so it goes, Ryan Bingham and T Bone Burnett will take home the Oscar!

BEST SHORT FILM (ANIMATED)

* “French Roast” Fabrice O. Joubert
* “Granny O’Grimm’s Sleeping Beauty” Nicky Phelan and Darragh O’Connell
* “The Lady and the Reaper (La Dama y la Muerte)” Javier Recio Gracia
* “Logorama” Nicolas Schmerkin
* “A Matter of Loaf and Death” Nick Park

AND THE OSCAR WILL GO TO:

“A Matter of Loaf and Death”
– Working for Nick Park – the Academy loves him, he already collected three Oscars for his “Wallace & Gromit” films. Working Against Nick Park – he already collected three Oscars! The Academy may say it’s an embarrassment of riches! So, look for “Logorama,” a brilliant f-you to corporate America for an upset.

BEST SHORT FILM (LIVE ACTION)

* “The Door” Juanita Wilson and James Flynn
* “Instead of Abracadabra” Patrik Eklund and Mathias Fjellström
* “Kavi” Gregg Helvey
* “Miracle Fish” Luke Doolan and Drew Bailey
* “The New Tenants” Joachim Back and Tivi Magnusson

AND THE OSCAR WILL GO TO:

“Kavi”
– this touching slave trade film set in India has remnants of “Slumdog Millionaire.” And you know, that little movie stole Academy voters’ hearts last year. So this film will win, even though I enjoyed the quirkiness of “Abracadabra,” the suspense of “Miracle Fish,” the isolation of “The Door,” and the banter bent of “The New Tenants.” I just love short film, period.

BEST SOUND EDITING

* “Avatar”
Christopher Boyes and Gwendolyn Yates Whittle
* “The Hurt Locker” Paul N.J. Ottosson
* “Inglourious Basterds” Wylie Stateman
* “Star Trek” Mark Stoeckinger and Alan Rankin
* “Up” Michael Silvers and Tom Myers

AND THE OSCAR WILL GO TO:

“Avatar”
– Motion Pictures Sound Editors honored Cameron’s masterpiece already at the Golden Reel Awards, BUT, and here’s a big but, “The Hurt Locker” was also honored by the Cinema Audio Society. See? They’re all torn as well, so when everything else fails, especially in the technical department, look for “Avatar” to take home the gold!

BEST SOUND MIXING

* “Avatar” Christopher Boyes, Gary Summers, Andy Nelson and Tony Johnson

* “The Hurt Locker” Paul N.J. Ottosson and Ray Beckett
* “Inglourious Basterds” Michael Minkler, Tony Lamberti and Mark Ulano
* “Star Trek” Anna Behlmer, Andy Nelson and Peter J. Devlin
* “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” Greg P. Russell, Gary Summers and Geoffrey Patterson

AND THE OSCAR WILL GO TO:

“Avatar”
– it’s usually a pair, whichever film wins Best Sound Editing usually wins Sound Mixing. And “Avatar” sounds gorgeous, doesn’t it?

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS

* “Avatar”
Joe Letteri, Stephen Rosenbaum, Richard Baneham and Andrew R. Jones
* “District 9” Dan Kaufman, Peter Muyzers, Robert Habros and Matt Aitken
* “Star Trek” Roger Guyett, Russell Earl, Paul Kavanagh and Burt Dalton

AND THE OSCAR WILL GO TO:

“Avatar” – definitely! The film will be remembered for years to come as the movie that changed special effects forever!



Come back here to join my live, minute-by-minute Oscar blog on Sunday, March 7 starting at 4:30pm Pacific. Grab your drinks and finger foods, we'll blog the Oscars until we're all drunk :happy

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Watch My "Alice in Wonderland" Movie Review! 


Tim Burton's "Alice in Wonderland" is set to dominate the box-office this Oscar weekend! If you want to read my full review of the film, click here, or, you can watch my review of "Alice in Wonderland" below. Have fun!



Here's more info on "Alice in Wonderland" from Yahoo Movies:

19-year-old Alice returns to the whimsical world she first encountered as a young girl, reuniting with her childhood friends: the White Rabbit, Tweedledee and Tweedledum, the Dormouse, the Caterpillar, the Cheshire Cat, and of course, the Mad Hatter. Alice embarks on a fantastical journey to find her true destiny and end the Red Queen's reign of terror.

Genres: Science Fiction/Fantasy and Adaptation
Running Time: 1 hr. 49 min.
Release Date: March 5th, 2010 (wide)
MPAA Rating: PG for fantasy action/violence involving scary images and situations, and for a smoking caterpillar.
Distributors: Walt Disney Pictures, Walt Disney Studios Distribution

Cast and Credits
Starring: Mia Wasikowska, Matt Lucas, Johnny Depp, Michael Sheen, Christopher Lee
Directed by: Tim Burton
Produced by: Joe Roth, Richard D. Zanuck, Jennifer Todd

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As if Seven, yes Seven "Police Academy" Movies are Not Enough, Get Ready for a Reboot! 


New Line Cinema wants to make a new "Police Academy" movie! Like other franchises ran to the ground because of multiple sequels, the solution to reinvigorate a tired property is to make a reboot aka remake the darn thing!

The Hollywood Reporter is saying that original producer Paul Maslansky is back for the new iteration, which has no writer or director attached.

The first film released in 1984 starred Steve Guttenberg as Mahoney, a repeat offender who becomes the group's leader when he enters the academy. We also met other characters such as Moses Hightower (Bubba Smith), Tackleberry (David Graf), Hooks (Marion Ramsey), and my favorite, Larvell Jones (Michael Winslow), the sound effects, beat boxing dude.

Other notables: Bobcat Goldthwait joined for the second film released in 1985, and both hot blondes, Kim Cattrall and Sharon Stone, were recruited as romantic leads. The last "Police Academy" film was released in 1994 called "Mission to Moscow."

Maslansky told THR that:

"It's going to be very worthwhile to the people who remember it and to those who saw it on TV...It's going to be a new class. We hope to discover new talent and season it with great comedians. It'll be anything but another movie with a numeral next to it. And we'll most probably retain the wonderful musical theme."

Hey, if it worked for "Star Trek" it certainly will work for "Police Academy" too, right? For now, let's relive 1984 with this original trailer of "Police Academy!"



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Get Buried in "Pet Sematary" Again!  


Are you ready to revisit "Pet Sematary?" Paramount thinks you are! The studio has hired "1408" writer, Matthew Greenberg, to pen the script for "Pet Sematary" -- both written by Stephen King.

Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Steven Schneider are producing.

Did you know that at one point, the esteemed George Clooney was attached with this remake? I didn't know it either, until The Hollywood Reporter revealed that intriguing factoid!

I remember liking the 1989 movie adapted by King himself that starred Dale Midkiff, Denise Crosby, and Fred Gwynne. But I think I enjoyed the original movie because of the creepy zombie baby holding a super-sharp letter opener!

The original told the tale of a city family that moves to the country life in Maine, only to find out that they're living near a pet cemetery that miraculously brought back their dead cat to life! So when their baby is killed in a car crash, the father takes the boy's body to the cemetery, and you know what happened next.

Well, this is kinda, sorta intriguing. I enjoyed "1408" but largely because of John Cusack. So hopefully, Greenberg will do justice with adapting King's work because it all begins with a good script!

For now, take a look at the original trailer for "Pet Sematary."



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Two Dueling "Excalibur" Movies in the Works, One from Guy Ritchie 


Back in August of last year, we reported that director Bryan Singer has left the planned remake of John Boorman's 1981 film, "Excalibur." The helmer is instead focusing on "X-Men: First Class" and a big-screen version of "Battlestar Galactica." Singer is also working on prepping his "Jack and the Beanstalk" movie called "Jack the Giant Killer."

While the "Excalibur" remake is not dead yet, Warner Bros., the studio attached to the Boorman remake, is putting a competing production of "Excalibur" into development. According to our friends at Pajiba.com, this one's not a remake but a big-screen adaptation of Warren Ellis' "Excalibur" treatment.

And guess who's angling to direct? No other than Guy Ritchie, Madonna's ex and the guy who gave us the recent "Sherlock Holmes" flick also from WB not to mention "Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels" and "Snatch."

So what's the big difference between the two "Excalibur" films you ask? After all, it's still going to be about a magical sword and an enchanted wizard giving his blessing to the Chosen One, King Arthur, right?

Pajiba clarified that:

While Singer’s version is closer to a remake of the Boorman film, Ritchie’s possible take is more in the tone of Star Wars, and, as Ellis noted last year, his version “differs from the prior 751 King Arthur movies in many ways, but perhaps most obviously in that it is very specifically about the gathering of the Knights.”


Star Wars? Really? So there will be lots of knights forming solidarity against the evil empire! So Obi Wan will be Merlin, Han Solo will be Arthur, Princess Leia will be Guinevere, and Luke Skywalker will be Lancelot. But since this is a medieval tale, I don't think we'll see robots in the vein of R2D2 and C3PO :happy

To read more on this dueling "Excalibur" films, click here.

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