I Won Second Place for Best Film Critic of the Year From the Los Angeles Press Club, But Wait, There's Drama, Controversy! 


Self-congratulatory warning -- I just heard that the Los Angeles Press Club bestowed yours truly the second place for Best Film Critic for their National Entertainment Journalism Awards.

I was nominated in two categories -- Best Feature (I didn't win, darn it :happy) and Best Film Critic. Last year, I was honorable mention, and cliche aside, I'm just honored to be nominated, are you kidding me? Being in the throes of the Los Angeles Press Club is honor enough!

To see the full list of winners, click here.

So, since I wasn't able to make it to the ceremony last Thursday, March 26th, I was frantically perusing the internet to see who won. And I came across this harsh critique of the LA Press Club from Brian Lowry at Variety. He said these are "Five Reasons to Ignore the L.A. Press Club Awards." He's not mean to me, but good Lord:

Here are the Los Angeles Press Club nominees for "CRITIC, TELEVISION," in its second annual National Entertainment Journalism Awards, with comment:

* Shawn Edwards and Russ Simmons, Fox4 News, Kansas City (the winner)

Rightfully notorious as a "quote whore," Edwards earned the following compilation from Variety editor Tim Gray in his 2007 wrap-up of embarrassing quote ads:
"No Reservations" -- "The most delightful movie of the year!" (July 22)
"Resident Evil: Extinction" -- "The most exciting movie of the year!" (Sept. 28)
"Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium" -- "The most magical movie of the year!" (Nov. 11)
"I Am Legend" -- "The best movie of the year!" (Dec. 15)

* Nancy Jay, AAFES-EXTV
I'm not sure what any of those letters mean.

* Manny the Movie Guy, KMIR6/NBC
This might sound like nitpicking, but shouldn't you have to provide a real last name to be nominated for a journalism award?


* Sandie Newton. CBS11/TXA21, Texas
Never heard of her.

* George Pennacchio, KABC-TV
Him I have heard of, but A) he's not a critic and doesn't do reviews, and B) gushes so much over celebrities that there's a constant fear he's going to spontaneously combust on them.

The same five folks, by the way, account for six of the eight nominees in the television "FEATURES" and "NEWS STORY" categories, which suggests either a dearth of submissions or that the ballots were tabulated in Florida and Ohio.

The press club's March 26 event will honor Wall Street Journal film critic Joe Morgenstern, who is certainly more than deserving of the accolades (and already owns a Pulitzer Prize). Still, with newspapers and broadcasters ailing financially, maybe it's time to spare journos from hitting up their bosses (or worse, digging into their own pockets) for the submission fees on these manufactured prize hunts -- or at least declare a moratorium.

In fact, I think that's "the best idea of the year!" (March 18)

Then, Chris Woodyard, President of the L.A. Press Club fought back by saying:

FIVE REASONS TO PRAISE THE L.A. PRESS CLUB'S NAT'L ENTERTAINMENT JOURNALISM AWARDS


1. The club is proud of the NEJ awards finalists and everyone who entered in a difficult year. Quality journalism still matters.
2. The competition brought in 30% more entries this year than last year when it debuted.
3. The finalists were chosen by some top-notch judges, including Brian's managing editor.
4. Defying an era of group-think, the entries came from entertainment coverage veterans as well as cub reporters, smaller markets as well as NY and LA.
5. It gives us, the working press, a chance to honor the winners and toast Wall Street Journal/KCRW critic Joe Morgenstern at 7 p.m. next Thursday, 3/26, at the Steve Allen Theater, 4773 Hollywood Blvd. Everyone is invited and the parking is free.
--Chris Woodyard, President, Los Angeles Press Club

So there you have it. I'm staying out of this drama! I'm just happy as a clam that I placed 2nd. Next year? The World! :happy

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Kids Have Spoken! Their Favorite Movie is... 


As if it's a big surprise, "High School Musical 3: Senior Year" won big at Saturday's 22nd Annual Kids' Choice Awards! But it's not all fun and slime at the awards night:

Leonardo DiCaprio accepted the first-ever Big Green Help Award for his extensive environmental efforts. Dedicated environmentalist Cameron Diaz, last year's recipient of The Wannabe Award, a former Kids' Choice Awards host (2004) and Burp Award winner (2001), presented him the award. In accepting, DiCaprio exclaimed, "We need all of you, the next generation, to be aware. You're the future".


Aw....Here's the list of the winners in the movies category, for a complete list of winners, click here.

MOVIES:

Favorite Movie
High School Musical 3: Senior Year

Favorite Animated Movie
Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa

Favorite Movie Actress
Vanessa Hudgens (High School Musical 3: Senior Year)

Favorite Movie Actor
Will Smith (Hancock)

Favorite Voice from an Animated Movie
Jack Black (Kung Fu Panda)

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"Monsters vs. Aliens" Invades Box-Office, Crushes Competition! 


The first Hollywood feature film of 2009 that I truly admire became the first Hollywood flick to have the best opening of the year, selling $58.2 million in ticket sales! "Monsters vs. Aliens" beat fellow new arrivals at the box-office "The Haunting in Connecticut" and "12 Rounds."

(Watch my review here, and see how you can win fun plush toys from "Monsters vs. Aliens" and so much more right here)

Opening in second-place is the so-so ghost story (we've all seen this before folks) "The Haunting in Connecticut" with $23 million in ticket sales. Not bad for a film with a rehashed plot. And actually, the US box office was up by as much as 40% because of "Monsters" and "Haunting" so way to go!

Meanwhile, John Cena's "12 Rounds" didn't do as well (by the way, this film wasn't shown to critics -- you know what that means, the studio's ashame of it!). The action thriller only managed to muscle $5.1 million in ticket sales from 2,331 theaters! Yikes! The film, financed by the World Wresting Entertainment, opened at No. 7.

Previous weekend's No. 1 film, "Knowing," fell to No. 3 with $14.7 million. But the Nicolas Cage film raised its 10-day total to $46.2 million.

Here's the Top 10 Box-Office list for weekend of March 27th:

1 Monsters vs. Aliens $58,200,000
2 The Haunting in Connecticut $23,010,000
3 Knowing $14,705,000
4 I Love You, Man $12,600,000
5 Duplicity $7,556,470
6 Race To Witch Mountain $5,637,000
7 12 Rounds $5,300,000
8 Watchmen $2,755,000
9 Taken $2,700,000
10 Last House On The Left, The $2,611,160

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See Trailer for Upcoming Ang Lee Film "Taking Woodstock" Starring Emile Hirsch 


I worship at the altar of Ang Lee! A director who has proved he can direct any genre, whether it's a period piece ("Sense and Sensibility"), martial arts ("Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon"), comic book adaptation ("Hulk"), and drama ("Brokeback Mountain").

The Academy award winning director is set to return to the big screen with "Taking Woodstock" in August 14. It's a dramedy about a young man who accidentally sets Woodstock in motion.

Demetri Martin, who stars in the film, debuted the trailer in his Comedy Central show, "Important Things with Demetri Martin."

Based on the book by Elliot tiber, Martin co-stars with Emile Hirsch, Liev Screiber, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, and Paul Dano.

And the trailer makes me want to watch the movie now! I can't wait! Hippies, Ang Lee, and a Great Cast!



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Remember "Cassandra Crossing?" There's an Upcoming Film with Similar Plot from Director Tony Scott 


The last time we saw a Tony Scott movie was back in 2006 for "Deja Vu." So it's a welcome treat to see a new film from the director even though the plot is very similar to "The Cassandra Crossing."

Scott's thriller will be called "Unstoppable" and it's about an unmanned runaway train carrying toxic chemicals. Very similar to "The Cassandra Crossing" where passengers of a European train have been exposed to a deadly disease.

I loved that movie as a child. I guess I was happy with all these disaster flicks :happy

Just to travel back in time, take a look at the trailer for "The Cassandra Crossing."



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