31st Annual Young Artist Awards Nominations 

The nominees of the 31st Annual Young Artist Awards have been announced. "Hotel for Dogs," "Twilight Saga: New Moon," and "My Sister's Keeper" are among the nominees.

The Young Artist Awards benefits the Young Artist Foundation -- a non-profit organization which awards scholarships to financially and/or physically challenged young people seeking a future in the entertainment industry.

Winners will be announced at a gala be held on Sunday, April 11, 2010 at the Beverly Garland, Studio City, California.

Nominees of the 31st Annual Young Artist Awards (feature film categories):


Leading Young Actor

Jake T. Austin “Hotel For Dogs”
Jimmy Bennett “Alabama Moon”
Max Records “Where The Wild Things Are”
Taylor Lautner “Twilight Saga - New Moon”
Devon Bostick “Adoration”


Leading Young Actress

Emma Roberts “Hotel For Dogs”
Abigail Breslin “My Sister's Keeper”
Jolie Vanier “Shorts”
Yara Shahidi “Imagine That”
Saoirse Ronan “The Lovely Bones”


Supporting Young Actor

Brennan Bailey “My Sister's Keeper”
Alex Ferris “The Time Traveler's Wife”
Brandon Soo Hoo “G.I Joe”
William Cuddy “Amelia”
Chandler Canterbury “Knowing”
Jake Cherry “Night at the Museum 2”
Jae Head “The Blind Side”
Ty Wood “The Haunting in Connecticut”
Chase Ellison “Fireflies in the Garden”
Jason Spevack “Sunshine Cleaning”


Supporting Young Actress

Sofia Vassilieva “My Sister's Keeper”
Chloe Moretz “(500) Days of Summer”
Evana Lynch “Harry Potter & the Half Blood Prince”
Jessica Carlson “Vampire's Assistant”
Raini Rodriguez “Paul Blart - Mall Cop”
Kiernan Shipka “Carriers”


Young Ensemble Cast

“Shorts” - Warner Brothers
Jimmy Bennett, Jake Short, Devon Gearhart, Leo Howard, Jolie Vanier, Trevor Gagnon

“Aliens in the Attic” - 20th Century Fox
Megan Parker, Henri Young, Regan Young, Austin Robert Butler, Carter Jenkins


Leading Young Performers

Denis Sukhomlinov (Russia) “Shenok” (Puppy)
Nick Romeo Reimann (Germany) “Die Vorstadtkrokodile” (Suburban Crocodiles)
Tom Russell (Australia) “Last Ride”
Fouad Habash & Ibrahim Frege (Israel) “Ajami”
Leonard Proxauf & Leonie Benesch (Germany) “Das weiße Band” (The White Ribbon)

To see the complete list of nominees including TV, DVD, and live theater, click here.

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You've Read It, Now Watch My Movie Review of "Shutter Island" 

Here's more info on "Shutter Island" from Yahoo (for my written review of the movie, click here):

Two U.S. marshals, Teddy Daniels and Chuck Aule, are summoned to a remote and barren island off the coast of Massachusetts to investigate the mysterious disappearance of a murderess from the island's fortress-like hospital for the criminally insane.

Genres: Action/Adventure, Thriller and Adaptation

Running Time: 2 hrs. 18 min.

Release Date: February 19th, 2010 (wide)

MPAA Rating: R for disturbing violent content, language and some nudity.

Distributors: Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures Releasing International (SPRI)

Cast and Credits

Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Ruffalo, Ben Kingsley, Michelle Williams, Max von Sydow

Directed by: Martin Scorsese

Produced by: Dennis Lehane, Laeta Kalogridis, Louis Phillips (II)

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"Shutter Island" Secrets! See Films Scorsese Showed to Inspire Cast and Crew 

Being a true film buff himself, Martin Scorsese inspired cast and crew with a series of nighttime screenings of films that called forth the themes and styles used in "Shutter Island."

Some of the films are classics, some are obscure, but they're definitely worth a look to see what movies inspired the greatest living American director while making "Shutter Island" starring Leonardo DiCaprio.

Here's the list of films according to the movie's production notes:

OTTO PREMINGER'S "LAURA" -- How love can be the most dangerous thing to ever happened to a woman.

JACQUES TOURNEUR'S "OUT OF THE PAST" -- the film's tagline says "A MAN - Trying to run away from his past... A WOMAN - Trying to escape her future!"

EDWARD DMYTRYK'S "CROSSFIRE" -- "Shutter Island's" paranoia theme involving DiCaprio's wartime hero mirrors this film's sentiments.

NICHOLAS RAY'S "ON DANGEROUS GROUND" -- this is a police drama about a cop sent to investigate the murder of a young girl.

KARL MALDEN'S "TIME LIMIT" -- Malden's intense directorial debut about a military investigation

ORSON WELLES' "THE TRIAL" -- Based on Franz Kafka's novel, "The Trial" or "Le procès" is a surreal film about a man being detained for an unknown crime.


Scorsese is also a horror buff, and he showed the following influential scary films for inspiration:

ROBERT WISE'S "THE HAUNTING" -- proving the existence of ghosts can be a very tricky experience

JACK CLAYTON'S "THE INNOCENTS" -- Deborah Kerr plays a governess who believes that the house and grounds are haunted!

Scorsese also showed many horror films from producer Val Lewton including:


And perhaps, the most telling film that Scorsese showed to his cast and crew was FREDERICK WISEMAN'S "TITICUT FOLLIES," a controversial documentary that was banned in 1967. The film explores the treatment of inmates at a hospital for the criminally insane called Titicut Follies which is very similar to "Shutter Island's" Ashecliffe Hospital. This documentary showed the cast and crew the deplorable conditions suffered by asylum patients in the '50s and '60s.

This list of films shows that even when Scorsese goes "Hollywood" with a typical psychological thriller, the maestro still hearkens back to the good old days of Tinseltown.

That's why his films, even with a pedantic theme like "Shutter Island," still work! Now, run to your nearest video store or put these movies in your Netflix queue.

Check out my written review of "Shutter Island" right here.

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Own This 1966 Dodge Coronet From Best Picture Oscar Nominee "A Serious Man!" It's For a Good Cause! 

Starting Monday, February 22, film fans and car aficionados will have the chance to own a unique piece of movie memorabilia from one of the Best Picture Oscar nominees, the Coen brothers' "A Serious Man."

Variety -- The Children's Charity of Southern California will begin hosting the online auction of the 1966 Dodge Coronet used in the film. "A Serious Man" is nominated for two Academy Awards including Best Picture and Original Screenplay by Joel & Ethan Coen.

The auction will be live on Monday at www.eBay.com/varietyskids and end Thursday, March 4, 2010 – right before the Oscars. Proceeds from the auction will go to help inspire hope, enrich lives and build a better future for the children in need in Southern California.

The auction will give collectors the chance to bid on the vintage vehicle seen on-screen as the car owned and driven by lead character Larry Gopnik (Michael Stuhlbarg) in "A Serious Man."

Again, staring Monday, Feb. 22, log on to www.eBay.com/varietyskids to start bidding!

Take a look at this on-set video with the 1966 Dodge Coronet in action during one of the scenes for "A Serious Man."

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Smells Like Kurt Cobain Film Moving Forward 

Oren Moverman, the director who gave us the brilliant "The Messenger," is in serious negotiations to rework the screenplay and to direct Universal's still untitled Kurt Cobain biopic.

This project has been languishing for years (Check out our past Kurt Cobain stories right here), but now, it's getting a major boost with Moverman's involvment.

The Hollywood Reporter is saying that:

Material on the life, music and 1994 suicide of the Nirvana singer-songwriter will come at least partially from Charles R. Cross’ 2001 biography, “Heavier Than Heaven: A Biography of Kurt Cobain.” Universal originally purchased the life rights of both Cobain and his widow, Courtney Love, who had already optioned the film rights to the Cross book.

Yay! Now, who should play Cobain and Love? At one point, James McAvoy was rumored to star as the tragic singer, and Love wanted Scarlett Johansson to play her.

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