Movie Reviews: “Labor Day” and “That Awkward Moment” 


Two big movies this weekend, we have “Labor Day” for drama lovers and “That Awkward Moment” for comedy fans. In “Labor Day,” Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin star in the film adaptation of Joyce Maynard’s novel. Writer-director Jason Reitman follows “Young Adult” with a movie that is like a mom and pop version of an S & M flick.

In “That Awkward Moment,” Zac Efron, Miles Teller, and Michael B. Jordan star as bros who vow to be single forever and only date women casually. So, how is the quality of the film? Hint: this is from Tom Gormican, one of the producers of the much-hated “Movie 43.”

Take a look at my reviews of “Labor Day” and “That Awkward Moment.”



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Lana Del Rey Adds Haunting Mystery to "Maleficent!" 


Walt Disney Pictures has recruited Lana Del Rey for the new trailer to the upcoming "Maleficent" and I say, great call! (see the latest teaser/trailer for "Maleficent" trailer)

At first I was like, was that Angelina Jolie singing? And then voila, like a velvety smoky ray of light, I detected the magical, soothing, mysterious voice of Del Rey!

And let me tell 'ya, I can't wait to see this movie! We broke the news of Jolie's participation, oh, back in 2009, when a super-Disney insider revealed to me the plans! Click here to see the original story.

And now, it's almost here! Del Rey's take on the "Sleeping Beauty" classic "Once Upon a Dream" is just, well, haunting, and pure magic!

I can't wait to see the Robert Stromberg-directed movie when it hits theaters on May 30th!

Here's the rest of the cast, and watch the teaser/trailer below:

Elle Fanning as Princess Aurora / Briar Rose, the Sleeping Beauty
Vivienne Jolie-Pitt and Eleanor Worthington Cox as Young Princess Aurora
Sharlto Copley as King Stefan
Toby Regbo and Michael Higgins as Young Stefan
Brenton Thwaites as Prince Phillip
Juno Temple as Thistlewit
Sam Riley as Diaval
Miranda Richardson as Queen Ulla
Imelda Staunton as Knotgrass
Lesley Manville as Flittle
Kenneth Cranham as King Henry
Angus Wright as King Henry's Aide
Peter Capaldi as King Kinloch



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Welcome Nicolas Cage Back Into Your Life 


We love Nicolas Cage very much! And we even love him even though he's been making run-of-the-mill movies geared towards paying his mortgage. But then, recently, the Oscar winner has been foregoing crappy flicks in favor of good stories like the recent "Frozen Ground" with Vanessa Hudgens and John Cusack. And then, at last year's Toronto International Film Festival and Venice Film Festival, the actor regaled us with his upcoming movie called "Joe." It's an adaptation of a 1991 Larry Brown novel and directed by David Gordon Green ("Pineapple Express," "George Washington," "All the Real Girls," "Snow Angels").

And you know what? "Joe" is being praised because of Cage's acting, something that the actor hasn't heard of in a while!

Roadside Attractions will release the movie this year, but here's the European trailer of "Joe."



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A Big Congrats to Directors Guild Winner -- Alfonso Cuaron! 


Woot woot! My pick to win Best Director at the Oscars took home the Feature Film trophy at the recently concluded Directors Guild of America awards. And it's truly deserving! Cuaron defied gravity, yes pun intended, to create "Gravity," a movie grounded in sci-fi realism that many directors before him (including James Cameron) were saying that it would be hard to do. But Cuaron did it, and did it extremely well! So hats off to "Gravity" and Cuaron's direction!

Here's the complete list of winners of the DGA awards and right after the jump, check out my interview with Cuaron for "Gravity" that we conducted back in October. Oh, and take a look at my interview with the lovely Sandra Bullock as well.

Feature Film:

WINNER: Alfonso Cuaron ("Gravity")

Paul Greengrass ("Captain Phillips")
Steve McQueen ("12 Years a Slave")
David O. Russell ("American Hustle")
Martin Scorsese ("The Wolf of Wall Street")

Documentary Feature:

Zachary Heinzerling ("Cutie and the Boxer")
WINNER: Jehane Noujaim ("The Square")
Joshua Oppenheimer ("The Act of Killing")
Sarah Polley ("Stories We Tell")
Lucy Walker ("The Crash Reel")

Comedy Series:

Mark Cendrowski, "The Big Bang Theory" (for the episode "The Hofstadter Insufficiency")
Bryan Cranston, "Modern Family" (for the episode "The Old Man & the Tree)
Gail Mancuso, "Modern Family" (for the episode "My Hero")
WINNER: Beth McCarthy-Miller, "30 Rock" (for the episode "Hogcock/Last Lunch")
Anthony Rich, "The Big Bang Theory" (for the episode "The Love Spell Potential")

Reality Programs:

Matthew Bartley, "The Biggest Loser"
WINNER: Neil P. DeGroot, "72 Hours"
Paul Starkman, "Top Chef"
J. Rupert Thompson, "The Hero"
Bertram van Munster, "The Amazing Race"

Variety/Talk/News/Sports -- Specials:

Louis C.K., "Louis C.K.: Oh My God"
Joel Gallen, "2013 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony"
Louis J. Horvitz, "The 55th Annual Grammy Awards"
Don Mischer, "The 85th Annual Academy Awards"
WINNER: Glenn Weiss, "The 67th Annual Tony Awards"

Children's Programs:

Stephen Herek, "Jinxed"
Jeffrey Hornaday, "Teen Beach Movie"
Jonathan Judge, "Swindle"
WINNER: Amy Schatz, "An Apology to Elephants"
Adam Weissman, "A.N.T. Farm"

Variety/Talk/News/Sports:

Dave Diomedi, "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon"
Andy Fisher, "Jimmy Kimmel Live"
Jim Hoskinson, "The Colbert Report"
WINNER: Don Roy King, "SNL"
Chuck O'Neil, "The Daily Show"

Movie for TV and Miniseries:

Stephen Frears, "Muhammad Ali's Greatest Fight"
David Mamet, "Phil Spector"
Beth McCarthy-Miller & Rob Ashford ("The Sound of Music Live!")
Nelson McCormick, "Killing Kennedy"
WINNER: Steven Soderbergh, "Behind the Candelabra"

Dramatic Series:

Bryan Cranston, "Breaking Bad" (for the episode "Blood Money")
David Fincher, "House of Cards" (for the episode "Chapter 1")
WINNER: Vince Gilligan, "Breaking Bad" (for the episode "Felina")
Lesli Linka Glatter, "Homeland" (for the episode "The Star")
David Nutter, "Game of Thrones" (for the episode "The Rain of Castamere")

Commercials:

Fredrik Bond, "Voyage" for Heineken and "From the Future" for Johnny Walker
John X. Carey, "Real Beauty Sketches" for Dove
WINNER: Martin de Thurah, "The Man Who Couldn't Slow Down" for Hennessy and "Human Race" for Acura
Matthijs van Heijningen, "Perfect Day" for Playstation and "48" for Verizon"
Noam Murro, "Basketball" for Guinness and "Kids" for DIRECTV and "Mask" for VW

Franklin J Schaffner Achievement Award: Vincent DeDario (presented by Keith Jackson)

Robert B. Aldrich Award for Service: Steven Soderbergh

Frank Capra Achievement Award: Lee Blaine

Diversity Award: Shonda Rhimes & Betsy Beers





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Your Complete 2014 Oscar Predictions! Who Will Win, Should Win in All Categories? 


The Oscar nominations for the 86th Academy Awards have been announced but who will win and who should win? In a banner year for great movies, 2013 gave us thought-provoking and entertaining experience at the cinema. On Oscar night, Steve McQueen’s “12 Years a Slave” will take home the top prize but Alfonso Cuaron’s “Gravity” will win all the technical awards including Best Director. Quite fitting since one provoked (“12 Years”) and the other entertained (“Gravity”).

And for those who know me, the Academy Awards is my Super Bowl! I’m a nerd when it comes to the Oscars! So I tried to predict the winners to help you in your Oscar pool.



And here's my complete and utterly fearless 2014 Oscar predictions:

Actor in a Leading Role
Christian Bale in “American Hustle”
Bruce Dern in “Nebraska”
Leonardo DiCaprio in “The Wolf of Wall Street”
Chiwetel Ejiofor in “12 Years a Slave”
Matthew McConaughey in “Dallas Buyers Club”

WILL WIN: Matthew McConaughey
SHOULD WIN: Matthew McConaughey

Actor in a Supporting Role

Barkhad Abdi in “Captain Phillips”
Bradley Cooper in “American Hustle”
Michael Fassbender in “12 Years a Slave”
Jonah Hill in “The Wolf of Wall Street”
Jared Leto in “Dallas Buyers Club”

WILL WIN: Jared Leto
SHOULD WIN: Jared Leto

Actress in a Leading Role

Amy Adams in “American Hustle”
Cate Blanchett in “Blue Jasmine”
Sandra Bullock in “Gravity”
Judi Dench in “Philomena”
Meryl Streep in “August: Osage County”

WILL WIN: Cate Blanchett
SHOULD WIN: Sandra Bullock

But I’ll be happy either way!

Actress in a Supporting Role

Sally Hawkins in “Blue Jasmine”
Jennifer Lawrence in “American Hustle”
Lupita Nyong’o in “12 Years a Slave”
Julia Roberts in “August: Osage County”
June Squibb in “Nebraska”

WILL WIN: Lupita Nyong’O
SHOULD WIN: Lupita Nyong’O

Animated Feature Film

“The Croods” Chris Sanders, Kirk DeMicco and Kristine Belson
“Despicable Me 2” Chris Renaud, Pierre Coffin and Chris Meledandri
“Ernest & Celestine” Benjamin Renner and Didier Brunner
“Frozen” Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee and Peter Del Vecho
“The Wind Rises” Hayao Miyazaki and Toshio Suzuki

WILL WIN: “Frozen”
SHOULD WIN: “Frozen”

Cinematography

“The Grandmaster” Philippe Le Sourd
“Gravity” Emmanuel Lubezki
“Inside Llewyn Davis” Bruno Delbonnel
“Nebraska” Phedon Papamichael
“Prisoners” Roger A. Deakins

WILL WIN: “Gravity”
SHOULD WIN: “Gravity”
Simply the most beautiful movie of 2013

Costume Design

“American Hustle” Michael Wilkinson
“The Grandmaster” William Chang Suk Ping
“The Great Gatsby” Catherine Martin
“The Invisible Woman” Michael O’Connor
“12 Years a Slave” Patricia Norris

WILL WIN: “The Great Gatsby”
SHOULD WIN: “The Great Gatsby”

Directing

“American Hustle” David O. Russell
“Gravity” Alfonso Cuarón
“Nebraska” Alexander Payne
“12 Years a Slave” Steve McQueen
“The Wolf of Wall Street” Martin Scorsese

WILL WIN: “Gravity” Alfonso Cuaron
SHOULD WIN: “Gravity” Alfonso Cuaron

Documentary Feature

“The Act of Killing”Joshua Oppenheimer and Signe Byrge Sørensen
“Cutie and the Boxer” Zachary Heinzerling and Lydia Dean Pilcher
“Dirty Wars” Richard Rowley and Jeremy Scahill
“The Square” Jehane Noujaim and Karim Amer
“20 Feet from Stardom” Nominees to be determined

WILL WIN: “The Act of Killing”
SHOULD WIN: “20 Feet from Stardom”

I love Oppenheimer’s “The Act of Killing” and with its cinema background (the Indonesian death squad leaders reenact their killings as interpreted by their favorite movies), it may work with the Academy. But I also love “20 Feet from Stardom” which has been creating Oscar buzz since last summer.

Documentary Short Subject

“CaveDigger” Jeffrey Karoff
“Facing Fear” Jason Cohen
“Karama Has No Walls” Sara Ishaq
“The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life” Malcolm Clarke and Nicholas Reed
“Prison Terminal: The Last Days of Private Jack Hall” Edgar Barens

WILL WIN: “The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life” Malcolm Clarke and Nicholas Reed
SHOULD WIN: “The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life” Malcolm Clarke and Nicholas Reed

One of the most inspiring and uplifting films from Academy-Award winning filmmaker Malcolm Clarke who won the same category in 1988 for “You Don’t Have to Die.” A great sign!

Film Editing

“American Hustle” Jay Cassidy, Crispin Struthers and Alan Baumgarten
“Captain Phillips” Christopher Rouse
“Dallas Buyers Club” John Mac McMurphy and Martin Pensa
“Gravity” Alfonso Cuarón and Mark Sanger
“12 Years a Slave” Joe Walker

WILL WIN: “Gravity”:
SHOULD WIN: “Gravity”

Foreign Language Film

“The Broken Circle Breakdown” Belgium
“The Great Beauty” Italy
“The Hunt” Denmark
“The Missing Picture” Cambodia
“Omar” Palestine

WILL WIN: “The Great Beauty”
SHOULD WIN: “The Broken Circle Breakdown”
Italy’s “The Great Beauty” already won Europe’s Oscars (European Film Awards) and deservingly so, but my heart belongs to Belgium’s “The Broken Circle Breakdown.”

Makeup and Hairstyling

“Dallas Buyers Club” Adruitha Lee and Robin Mathews
“Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa” Stephen Prouty
“The Lone Ranger” Joel Harlow and Gloria Pasqua-Casny

WILL WIN: “Dallas Buyers Club”
SHOULD WIN: “Dallas Buyers Club”

The Academy will not give this award to “Jackass!” Or will they?

Music (Original Score)

“The Book Thief” John Williams
“Gravity” Steven Price
“Her” William Butler and Owen Pallett
“Philomena” Alexandre Desplat
“Saving Mr. Banks” Thomas Newman

WILL WIN: “Gravity”
SHOULD WIN: “Gravity”

Music (Original Song)

“Alone Yet Not Alone” from “Alone Yet Not Alone”
Music by Bruce Broughton; Lyric by Dennis Spiegel
“Happy” from “Despicable Me 2”
Music and Lyric by Pharrell Williams
“Let It Go” from “Frozen”
Music and Lyric by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez
“The Moon Song” from “Her”
Music by Karen O; Lyric by Karen O and Spike Jonze
“Ordinary Love” from “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom”
Music by Paul Hewson, Dave Evans, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen; Lyric by Paul Hewson

WILL WIN: “Let It Go” – are you still singing the “Frozen” song? Yeah? Well there you go!
SHOULD WIN: “Please Mr. Kennedy,” oh wait, it was not nominated (darn you Academy!), so my heart now belongs to “Let It Go.”

Best Picture

“American Hustle” Charles Roven, Richard Suckle, Megan Ellison and Jonathan Gordon, Producers
“Captain Phillips” Scott Rudin, Dana Brunetti and Michael De Luca, Producers
“Dallas Buyers Club” Robbie Brenner and Rachel Winter, Producers
“Gravity” Alfonso Cuarón and David Heyman, Producers
“Her” Megan Ellison, Spike Jonze and Vincent Landay, Producers
“Nebraska” Albert Berger and Ron Yerxa, Producers
“Philomena” Gabrielle Tana, Steve Coogan and Tracey Seaward, Producers
“12 Years a Slave” Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Steve McQueen and Anthony Katagas, Producers
“The Wolf of Wall Street” Nominees to be determined

WILL WIN: “12 Years a Slave”
SHOULD WIN: “Gravity”

Production Design

“American Hustle” Production Design: Judy Becker; Set Decoration: Heather Loeffler
“Gravity” Production Design: Andy Nicholson; Set Decoration: Rosie Goodwin and Joanne Woollard
“The Great Gatsby” Production Design: Catherine Martin; Set Decoration: Beverley Dunn
“Her” Production Design: K.K. Barrett; Set Decoration: Gene Serdena
“12 Years a Slave” Production Design: Adam Stockhausen; Set Decoration: Alice Baker

WILL WIN: “The Great Gatsby”
SHOULD WIN: “The Great Gatsby”

Short Film (Animated)

“Feral” Daniel Sousa and Dan Golden
“Get a Horse!” Lauren MacMullan and Dorothy McKim
“Mr. Hublot” Laurent Witz and Alexandre Espigares
“Possessions” Shuhei Morita
“Room on the Broom” Max Lang and Jan Lachauer

WILL WIN: “Get a Horse”
SHOULD WIN: “Get a Horse”

Short Film (Live Action)

“Aquel No Era Yo (That Wasn’t Me)” Esteban Crespo
“Avant Que De Tout Perdre (Just before Losing Everything)” Xavier Legrand and Alexandre Gavras
“Helium” Anders Walter and Kim Magnusson
“Pitääkö Mun Kaikki Hoitaa? (Do I Have to Take Care of Everything?)” Selma Vilhunen and Kirsikka Saari
“The Voorman Problem” Mark Gill and Baldwin Li

WILL WIN: “The Voorman Problem”
SHOULD WIN: “The Voorman Problem”

Sound Editing

“All Is Lost” Steve Boeddeker and Richard Hymns
“Captain Phillips” Oliver Tarney
“Gravity” Glenn Freemantle
“The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” Brent Burge
“Lone Survivor” Wylie Stateman

WILL WIN: “Gravity”
SHOULD WIN: “Gravity”

Sound Mixing

“Captain Phillips” Chris Burdon, Mark Taylor, Mike Prestwood Smith and Chris Munro
“Gravity” Skip Lievsay, Niv Adiri, Christopher Benstead and Chris Munro
“The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” Christopher Boyes, Michael Hedges, Michael Semanick and Tony Johnson
“Inside Llewyn Davis” Skip Lievsay, Greg Orloff and Peter F. Kurland
“Lone Survivor” Andy Koyama, Beau Borders and David Brownlow

WILL WIN: “Gravity”
SHOULD WIN: “Gravity”

Visual Effects

“Gravity” Tim Webber, Chris Lawrence, Dave Shirk and Neil Corbould
“The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” Joe Letteri, Eric Saindon, David Clayton and Eric Reynolds
“Iron Man 3” Christopher Townsend, Guy Williams, Erik Nash and Dan Sudick
“The Lone Ranger” Tim Alexander, Gary Brozenich, Edson Williams and John Frazier
“Star Trek Into Darkness” Roger Guyett, Patrick Tubach, Ben Grossmann and Burt Dalton

WILL WIN: “Gravity”
SHOULD WIN: “Gravity”

Writing (Adapted Screenplay)

“Before Midnight” Written by Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke
“Captain Phillips” Screenplay by Billy Ray
“Philomena” Screenplay by Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope
“12 Years a Slave” Screenplay by John Ridley
“The Wolf of Wall Street” Screenplay by Terence Winter

WILL WIN: “12 Years a Slave”
SHOULD WIN: “Before Midnight” – Because I love the trilogy!

Writing (Original Screenplay)

“American Hustle” Written by Eric Warren Singer and David O. Russell
“Blue Jasmine” Written by Woody Allen
“Dallas Buyers Club” Written by Craig Borten & Melisa Wallack
“Her” Written by Spike Jonze
“Nebraska” Written by Bob Nelson

WILL WIN: “American Hustle”
SHOULD WIN: “Her” – Because the Academy largely ignored Spike Jonze’s masterpiece!


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