Mariah Carey, Jeff Bridges, Jason Reitman, Jeremy Renner, T Bone Burnett to Receive Awards at 21st Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival 

Wow, the list of well-deserved artists receiving awards at the 21st Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival just gets longer and longer! The Awards Gala will kick off the 2010 awards season on Tuesday, January 5th at the Palm Springs Convention Center.

I’m so excited! This is a fantastic film festival in my neighborhood! For more info on the Palm Springs International Film Festival, visit their official site right here.

First stop, we have Mariah Carey receiving the Breakthrough Performance Award for her performance in Lionsgate’s “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire.” I agree! Her performance in that film is great. And I know she thinks she looks like a “monster” in the film sans make up, but honestly? I think she looks a lot better without make up!

Then we have the great Jeff Bridges. He’s set to receive the Desert Palm Achievement Award. Festival chairman Harold Matzner said, “Jeff Bridges’ career is the very embodiment of the Desert Palm Achievement Award, which was created to acknowledge acting excellence, and years of consistent and memorable work. This year, in his remarkable performance in Crazy Heart, he once again shows us why he is considered one of America’s greatest actors.”

I could not agree more!

Past honorees of the Desert Palm Achievement Award include Daniel
Day-Lewis, Sean Penn, Jake Gyllenhaal, Liam Neeson, Nicolas Cage, John Travolta and James Stewart.

Third, we have, writer-director Jason Reitman who’s receiving the Director of the Year Award for “Up in the Air.” Truly well deserved!

Check out my fun one-on-one interview with Reitman for "Up in the Air" right here where he commented about the Festival and how good it was to him when he was just a struggling filmmaker.

Fourth is Jeremy Renner set to receive the Breakthrough Performance Award for “The Hurt Locker,” one of my favorite films of the year, and one of my favorite performances of 2009!

Last, we have T Bone Burnett receiving the Frederick Loewe Award for Film Composing for “Crazy Heart.” Great choice!

Congratulations everyone!

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Get Ready for a Bigger "Twilight!" "Eclipse" Gets Imax Release! 

A bigger Jacob, a bigger Edward!

Imax and Summit Entertainment announced that the third installment of the "Twilight" series, "Eclipse," will be shown in giant Imax theaters when it opens nationwide June 30.

"The Twilight Saga: Eclipse" will be digitally remastered to work with Imax technology. It's the first Summit film to be released in Imax theaters.

What are the other Imax releases next year? Variety shared with us:

Imax releases for next year include Warner Bros.' "Alice in Wonderland" (March 5); two titles from DreamWorks Animation/Paramount, "How to Train Your Dragon" (March 26) and "Shrek Forever After" (May 21); as well as Warners' Christopher Nolan-directed "Inception" (July 16).

The third "Twilight" is being directed by David Slade, the guy who gave us "30 Days of Night."

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Kristin Chenoweth to Host 15th Annual Critics' Choice Movie Awards! 

The Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA) has announced that Emmy and Tony Award winning actress Kristin Chenoweth will be hosting the 15th Annual Critics' Choice Movie Awards gala on Friday, January 15, 2010 at the Hollywood Palladium.

I'm a proud voting member of the BFCA and I honestly believe that the Critics' Choice is a much, much better barometer of the Oscars than the Golden Globes.

Chenoweth became popular for her star-making turn as Glinda in "Wicked" and her show-stealing, Tony Award winning performance in "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown."

Recently, Chenoweth received the 2009 Emmy Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for her memorable performance in the ABC series "Pushing Daisies."

The 15th Annual Critics' Choice Movie Awards gala will air live for the third straight year on VH1 on Friday, January 15, 2010 at 9:00 PM*.

The awards are bestowed annually by the BFCA to honor the finest in cinematic achievement. Since its inception in 1995, the Critics' Choice Movie Awards has been a star-studded bellwether event of the awards season.

Nominations for the 15th Annual Critics' Choice Movie Awards will be announced on Monday, December 14, 2009.

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"The Lovely Bones" Movie Review -- How Close Is It to the Powerful Novel? 

Death and the afterlife are explored in the new film “The Lovely Bones.” Based on the powerful Alice Sebold novel of the same name, the film tells the story of Susie Salmon (Saoirse Ronan), a 14-year old girl who is raped and murdered by her neighbor, and must protect her family from the afterlife.

Susie finds herself in the ‘in-between,’ a Heaven-like place where she observes her family as they grieve for her. She also watches her killer, George Harvey (the magnificent Stanley Tucci), as he prepares to murder again. Read More...

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"Up in the Air" Movie Review -- Definitely One of the Best Films of 2009 

I’m still flying high from watching “Up in the Air.” It’s an emotionally satisfying film that will lift you up amidst dramatic turbulence. “Up in the Air” is definitely one of the best films of 2009.

Director Jason Reitman has a knack for making anti-heroes the center of his films. There’s the tobacco lobbyist character in “Thank You for Smoking,” and a pregnant teenager in the Oscar-winning “Juno.” Now, meet Ryan Bingham (George Clooney) in “Up in the Air,” a corporate downsizer who fires people for a living. Read More...

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