"Avatar," "The Hurt Locker" Lead Oscar Nominations! See Full List of Nominees! 


As expected, the Oscar nominations were virtually surprise-free as they were announced this morning by Academy President Tom Sherak and Oscar-nominated actress Anne Hathaway. If you count "The Blind Side's" nomination for Best Picture as a surprise, that's the most gripping moment during the announcement (you could hear the audience clap with excitement when the film was announced).

But I'm more ecstatic with the inclusion of "District 9" for Best Picture, and sadden with the snub of "(500) Days of Summer."

"Avatar" and "The Hurt Locker" led the pack with 9 nominations each. James Cameron's sci-fi flick scored noms including Best Picture, Director, Art Direction, Cinematography, Film Editing, Music (Original Score), Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, and Visual Effects. Although the biggest blockbuster in the world failed to get a Best Original Screenplay nomination.

"The Hurt Locker," Kathryn Bigelow's masterpiece (and my pick to win the top awards) scored nominations for Best Picture and Director, Best Actor for Jeremy Renner, Cinematography, Film Editing, Music (Original Score), Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, and Best Original Screenplay.

"Inglourious Basterds" followed with 8 nominations including Best Picture and Direction for Quentin Tarantino, Best Supporting Actor for Christoph Waltz, Cinematography, Film Editing, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, and Best Original Screenplay.

"Up in the Air" and "Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire” tied with 6 nominations each, and "District 9" scored 4! I'm so happy for Neill Blomkamp and company.

Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin will team up as co-hosts of the 82nd Annual Academy Awards. The Oscar telecast will take place Sunday, March 7 at 5 p.m. PT/8 p.m. ET.

Nominees for the 82nd Academy Awards:

Actor in a Leading Role


* 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”

Actor in a Supporting Role

* 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”

Actress in a Leading Role

* 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”

Actress in a Supporting Role

* 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”

Animated Feature 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

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

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

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

Directing

* “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

Documentary (Feature)


* “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

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

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

Foreign Language Film

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Writing (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

Writing (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

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"Transformers 2," "Land of the Lost" Top Razzie Nominations -- Worst Films of the Year! See Complete List 


Forget about the Oscars for now, let's talk about the Razzies. One day before the prestigious Academy Awards nominations, the Golden Raspberry Awards noms have been announced and it ain't good for both "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" and "Land of the Lost." Both movies earned 7 nominations each.

"Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" received nominations for worst film, worst director for Michael Bay, worst screen couple (expanded to include both Shai LeBouf and Megan Fox or LeBouf and any Transformer), worst supporting actress, worst screenplay and worst remake/rip-off.

"Land of the Lost" also received seven nominations for Will Farrell as worst actor and worst screen couple, worst picture, director for Brad Silberling, remake/rip-off, screenplay and supporting actor for Jorma Taccone as Cha-Ka.

The Razzies also gave love to the worst of the decade which included Razzie-baits such as "Battlefield Earth" (2001), Tom Green's "Freddy Got Fingered" (2001), "Gigli" (2003), Lindsay Lohan's "I Know Who Killed Me" (2007) and the Guy Ritchie film starring his then-wife Madonna "Swept Away" (2002).

Winners will be announced in the same tradition the nominations were given -- the night before the Oscars, March 6.

And the Razzie nominees are:

WORST PICTURE
"All About Steve" (20th Century-Fox)
"G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra"(Paramount / Hasbro)
"Land of the Lost" (Universal)
"Old Dogs" (Disney)
"Transformers: Revenge of The Fallen" (Dreamworks/Paramount)

WORST ACTOR
All three Jonas brothers - "Jonas Brothers: The 3-D Concert Experience"
Will Ferrell - "Land of The Lost"
Steve Martin - "Pink Panther 2"
Eddie Murphy - "Imagine That"
John Travolta - "Old Dogs"

WORST ACTRESS
Beyonce - "Obsessed"
Sandra Bullock - "All About Steve"
Mylie Cyrus - "Hannah Montana: The Movie"
Megan Fox - "Jennifer's Body" and "Transformers: Revenge of The Fallen "
Sarah Jessica Parker - "Did You Hear About The Morgans?"

WORST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Billy Ray Cyrus - "Hannah Montana: The Movie"
Hugh Hefner (as Himself) - "Miss March"
Robert Pattinson - "Twilight Saga: New Moon"
Jorma Taccone (as Cha-Ka) - "Land of The Lost"
Marlon Wayans - "G.I. Joe"

WORST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Candice Bergen - "Bride Wars"
Ali Larter - "Obsessed"
Sienna Miller - "G.I. Joe"
Kelly Preston - "Old Dogs"
Julie White (as Mom) - "Transformers: Revenge of The Fallen"

WORST REMAKE, RIP-OFF OR SEQUEL
"G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra"
"Land of the Lost"
"Pink Panther 2"
"Transformers: Revenge of The Fallen"
"Twilight Saga: New Moon"

WORST SCREEN COUPLE
Any two (or more) Jonas brothers - "The Jonas Brothers 3-D Concert Experience"
Sandra Bullock & Bradley Cooper - "All About Steve"
Will Ferrell & any co-star, creature or "comic riff" - "Land of The Lost"
Shia LaBeouf & Either Megan Fox or any Transformer - "Transformers: Revenge of The Fallen"
Kristen Stewart & either Robert Pattinson or Taylor Whatz-His-Fang - "Twilight Saga: New Moon"

WORST DIRECTOR
Michael Bay - "Transformers: Revenge of The Fallen"
Walt Becker - "Old Dogs"
Brad Silberling - "Land of the Lost"
Stephen Sommers - "G.I. Joe"
Phil Traill - "All About Steve"

WORST SCREENPLAY
"All About Steve" - Screenplay by Kim Barker
"G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra" - Screenplay by Stuart Beattie and David Elliot & Paul Lovett; based on Hasbro's "G.I. Joe"® Characters.
"Land of the Lost" - Written by Chris Henchy & Dennis McNicholas; based on Sid & Marty Krofft's TV series
"Transformers: Revenge of The Fallen" - Written by Ehren Kruger & Roberto Orci & Alex Kurtzman; based on Hasbro's Transformers Action Figures
"Twilight Saga: New Moon" - Screenplay by Melissa Rosenberg; based on the Novel by Stephenie Meyer

WORST PICTURE OF THE DECADE
"Battlefield Earth" (2000) - Nominated for 10 Razzies / "winner" of 8 (including worst drama of our first 25 years)
"Freddy Got Fingered" (2001) - Nominated for 9 Razzies / "winner" of 5
"Gigli" (2003) - Nominated for 10 Razzies / "winner" of 7 (including worst comedy of our first 25 years)
"I Know Who Killed Me" (2007) - Nominated for 9 Razzies / "winner" of 8
"Swept Away" (2002) - Nominated for 9 Razzies / "winner" of 5

WORST ACTOR OF THE DECADE
Ben Affleck - Nominated for 9 "achievements," "winner" of 2 Razzies for "Daredevil," "Gigli," "Jersey Girl," "Paycheck," "Pearl Harbor," "Surviving Christmas"
Eddie Murphy - Nominated For 12 "achievements," "winner" of 3 Razzies for "Adventures of Pluto Nash," "I Spy," "Imagine That," "Meet Dave," "Norbit," "Showtime"
Mike Myers - Nominated For 4 "achievements," "winner" of 2 Razzies for "Cat In The Hat," "The Love Guru"
Rob Schneider - Nominated For 6 "achievements," "winner" of 1 Razzie for "The Animal," "Benchwarmers, "Deuce Bigalo:" "European Gigolo," "Grandma's Boy, "The Hot Chick," "I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry," "Little Man," "Little Nicky"
John Travolta - Nominated For 6 "achievements," "winner" of 3 Razzies "Battlefield Earth, "Domestic Disturbance," "Lucky Numbers," "Old Dogs," "Swordfish"

WORST ACTRESS OF THE DECADE

Mariah Carey - The single biggest individual vote getter of the decade: 70+% of all votes for worst actress of 2001 for "Glitter"
Paris Hilton - Nominated For 5 "achievements," "winner" of 4 Razzies for "The Hottie & The Nottie," "House of Whacks," "Repo: The Genetic Opera"
Lindsay Lohan - Nominated For 5 "achievements," "winner" of 3 Razzies for "Herbie: Fully Loaded," "I Know Who Killed Me," "Just My Luck"
Jennifer Lopez - Nominated For 9 "achievements," "winner" of 2 Razzies for "Angel Eyes," "Enough," "Gigli," "Jersey Girl," "Maid In Manhattan," "Monster-In-Law," "The Wedding Planner"
Madonna - Nominated For 6 "achievements,""winner" of 4 Razzies for "Die Another Day," "The Next Best Thing," "Swept Away"

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Zac Efron Is On "Fire" As A Secret Agent for Next Film 


Universal Pictures has bought the rights to the graphic novel "Fire" by Brian Michael Bendis with Zac Efron attached to star. The actor will also be the executive producer of the film alongside his manager, Jason Barrett.

Bendis will be adapting his own creation.

The Hollywood Reporter tells us that the project is "written and drawn by Bendis before he went on to become one of Marvel Comics’ top writers, the story centers on a college student who is inducted into a special CIA project that tests whether training ordinary citizens to be agents can be successful."

More power to Efron! He's one of the few Hollywood actors I've met who's very real!

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"Avatar" Tops Box Office in its Seventh Straight Weekend! 


"Avatar" has beaten "Titanic" as the world's No. 1 film, and it's about to sink the romantic disaster flick right here in the U.S.

James Cameron's sci-fi extravaganza has earned $30 million over the weekend, reaching a domestic total of $594.5 million, only about $6 million behind Cameron's own "Titanic." The Leonardo DiCaprio-Kate Winslet weepie made $600.8 million in 1998.

Worldwide, "Avatar" has made $2.039 billion, beating "Titanic's" record of $1.8 billion.

Meanwhile, Mel Gibson's big screen comeback, "Edge of Darkness" debuted with a less-than-stellar $17.1 million for Warner Bros. The revenge thriller's box-office performance is still a solid opening for WB as it debuted on the No. 2 spot.

At No. 3 is Touchstone Pictures' "When in Rome" starring Kristen Bell and Josh Duhamel. The magical romantic comedy took in $12.1 million.

Here's the Top 10 Box Office films for the weekend of Jan. 29th:

1. "Avatar," $30 million.

2. "Edge of Darkness," $17.1 million.

3. "When in Rome," $12.1 million.


4. "The Tooth Fairy," $10 million.

5. "The Book of Eli," $8.8 million.


6. "Legion," $6.8 million.

7. "The Lovely Bones," $4.7 million.

8. "Sherlock Holmes," $4.5 million.

9. "Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel," $4 million.

10. "It's Complicated," $3.7 million.


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I Was Pleasantly Surprised By "Valentine's Day!" The Film Actually Made Me Feel Good! 


Truth be told, I was not looking forward to seeing "Valentine's Day." I'm not a big romantic-comedy fan, nor do I like big, ensemble cast in films -- I've always thought they're just merely gimmicks.

Well, gimmick or not, I fell in love with the cast of "Valentine's Day." Some actors were stronger than others, of course, but everyone pulled their weight.

Sure, director Garry Marshall has made soft and fluffy films like "Beaches," "Pretty Woman, both "Princess Diaries" movies, but at least he knows how to balance the romantic with the comedy.

I suspect moviegoers will enjoy "Valentine's Day." There are some predictable subplots (but nowadays, predictability and romantic comedy pretty much go hand-in-hand) and don't expect too much character development (it's hard to develop a character when you have 20 other characters to nurture).

But I guarantee you -- "Valentine's Day" will make you feel good!

Told in one day, Valentine's day of course, and set in Los Angeles, "Valentine's Day" follows the lives of various characters as they fall in and out of love.

Here's a rundown of the characters:

ASHTON KUTCHER -- His character, Reed Bennett, is central to the story. He owns a flower shop and cafe called Siena Bouquet -- and in this day of love, everything happens inside his flower shop. He just proposed to his girlfriend played by...

JESSICA ALBA -- A workaholic who genuinely loves Reed but must learn how to balance love and career.

Reed has two friends, one is played by...

GEORGE LOPEZ as Alphonso. He works for Reed, but he's like Yoda to Reed's Luke Skywalker. He tries to lead Reed to the right path of love...

Reed's other confidante is played by...

JENNIFER GARNER as Julia Fitzpatrick -- a 5th grade teacher who thinks she has found true love with Dr. Harrison Copeland played by...

PATRICK DEMPSEY -- who must leave Julia during Valentine's day for an important heart surgery in San Francisco...

Meanwhile...Julia's student, Edison, played by...

BRYCE ROBINSON -- has a secret crush and is on a mission to deliver flowers to her before the day is over. Edison lives with his grandma and grandpa played by....

SHIRLEY MACLAINE -- her character's named is Estelle, and is celebrating 50 years of marital bliss with Edgar, played by...

HECTOR ELIZONDO -- Both Estelle and Edgar will be confronted by a nagging question -- how much do you trust the one you love?

Estelle and Edgar hire a babysitter to take care of Edison, and she's played by...

EMMA ROBERTS -- All she wants to do is to lose her virginity together with her boyfriend, Alex (Carter Jenkins), in this special day of love.

They are both friends with Felicia, played by...

TAYLOR SWIFT -- a teenager in love with Tyler Harrinton, played by...

TAYLOR LAUTNER -- the high school jock. Their love is being documented for a TV report by...

JAMIE FOXX -- his character's name is Kelvin Moore, a wannabe sports anchor for local TV station KVLA who's been assigned to cover Valentine's day in Los Angeles by his producer played by KATHY BATES.

But what Kelvin really wants to cover is the career of Sean Jackson played by...

ERIC DANE -- a star professional quarterback who, at 35, may have been past his prime. His agent is played by...

QUEEN LATIFAH -- a strong-willed woman who will bulldoze anyone for the sake of his client. Helping her is Sean's publicist played by...

JESSIC BIEL - she's been left by a possible publicity nightmare after Sean reveals that...

Okay, I won't divulge that...

Meanwhile, working for the agency with Queen Latifah is....

TOPHER GRACE -- a Midwest boy who dreams of working in Hollywood and is dating Liz played by...

ANNE HATHAWAY -- the agency's receptionist and she's also a phone-sex operator.

Holding the pieces together are two characters that are flying back to Los Angeles. We have...

JULIA ROBERTS as U.S. Army Captain Kate Hazeltine who's on a very brief short leave for an important rendezvous. She's been traveling for 14 hours, and her seatmate is Holden, played by...

BRADLEY COOPER who provides a shoulder for Kate to sleep on.

Whew, did you get all that? It may sound complicated but it's really not. The pacing by Marshall is so light and airy that you will have no problem following each character.

My favorite of them all is the tandem of Maclaine and Elizondo. Their narrative arc even brought a tear to my eye.

And for those wondering if Taylor Swift can act -- don't worry, the pop princess has comedic flair and shows great timing!

I also like Julia Roberts' character -- her mission back home is as honorable as her mission overseas.

So yes, "Valentine's Day" is light and fluffy, but the air is right and the film will make you seek out Cupid's arrow just to experience the perilous pitfalls and the addictive pinnacles of love.

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