"Last Airbender," "Narnia," "Inception" Among Visual Effects Oscar Semifinalists 


The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences has announced that 15 films have been selected as semifinalists for Achievement in Visual Effects category for the 83rd Academy Awards. And they are (in alphabetical order):

* "Alice in Wonderland"
* "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader"
* "Clash of the Titans"
* "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1"
* "Hereafter"
* "Inception"
* "Iron Man 2"
* "The Last Airbender"
* "Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief"
* "Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time"
* "Scott Pilgrim vs the World"
* "Shutter Island"
* "The Sorcerer’s Apprentice"
* "Tron: Legacy"
* "Unstoppable"

The Academy's Visual Effects Branch Executive Committee will narrow the list to seven in early January. Then on Thursday, January 20, members will vote to nominated five films for final Oscar consideration.

Full nominations for the 83rd Oscars will be announced on Tuesday, January 25, 2011, and the awards will be presented on Sunday, February 27, 2011.

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From 76 to 10 -- Live Action Oscar Short Films Shortlist 


The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences has announced the 10 live action short films that will advance to the voting process. 76 films qualified for this category.

And the 10 films to advance to the next round are (in alphabetical order):

* "Ana’s Playground," Eric D. Howell, director (StoryForge, LLC)
* "The Confession," Tanel Toom, director (National Film and Television School)
* "The Crush," Michael Creagh, director (Purdy Pictures)
* "God of Love," Luke Matheny, director (Luke Matheny)
* "Na Wewe," Ivan Goldschmidt, director-producer (CUT!)
* "Seeds of the Fall," Patrik Eklund, director, and Mathias Fjellstrom, producer (Direktorn & Fabrikorn)
* "Shoe," Nick Kelly, director, and Seamus Byrne, producer (Zanita Films)
* "The Six Dollar Fifty Man," Mark Albiston and Louis Sutherland, directors (Sticky Pictures Ltd.)
* "Sma Barn, Stora Ord (Little Children, Big Words)," Lisa James Larsson, director and Andreas Emanuelsson, producer (Bob Film Sweden AB)
* "Wish 143," Ian Barnes, director, and Samantha Waite, producer (Swing and Shift Films/Union Pictures)

Short Films and Feature Animation Branch members will now select three to five nominees from the list.

The 83rd Academy Awards nominations will be announced on Tuesday, January 25, 2011 at 5:30 a.m. The Oscars will be presented on Sunday, February 27, 2011.

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Watch My Movie Review of "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader" 


Click here for my fun interview with Georgie Henley (Lucy) and Will Poulter (Eustace)

Here's more info on "Narnia" from Yahoo:

Edmund and Lucy Pevensie, along with their cousin Eustace, are swallowed into a painting and transported back to Narnia and the magnificent ship The Dawn Treader. They join King Caspian and a warrior mouse named Reepicheep for a mission which holds the fate of Narnia itself. The courageous voyagers overcome their own greatest temptations, as they travel to mysterious islands; have fateful confrontations with magical creatures and sinister enemies; and reunite with their friend and protector, the "Great Lion" Aslan.

Also Known As: The Chronicles of Narnia 3
The Chronicles of Narnia III
Production Status: In Production/Awaiting Release
Genres: Action/Adventure, Science Fiction/Fantasy, Adaptation and Sequel
Running Time: 1 hr. 52 min.
Release Date: December 10, 2010 (wide)
MPAA Rating: PG for some frightening images and sequences of fantasy action.
Distributors: Fox Walden
Production Co.: Gran Via Productions, Walden Media
Studios: Fox 2000
Filming Locations: Rosarito, Mexico

Actors

Ben Barnes Caspian
Skandar Keynes Edmund Pevensie
Georgie Henley Lucy Pevensie
Will Poulter Eustace Scrubb
Laura Brent Liliandil
Gary Sweet Lord Drinian
Arthur Angel Rhince
Tilda Swinton The White Witch
Simon Pegg Voice of Reepicheep
William Moseley Peter Pevensie
Anna Popplewell Susan Pevensie

Directors Michael Apted Director

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David O. Russell to Receive Director of the Year Award at Palm Springs International Film Festival 


The 22nd annual Palm Springs International Film Festival is recognizing the fantastic talent of David O. Russell whose current film, "The Fighter," is fast getting Oscar momentum. Featuring one of the best ensemble dramas this year, Christian Bale may win Best Supporting Actor Oscar and Melissa Leo for Best Supporting Actress. Amy Adams and Mark Wahlberg did amazing jobs as well.

Russell will receive the Director of the Year Award at the Palm Springs Film Fest Awards Gala on Saturday, January 8 to kick off the 2011 awards season.

Other Palm Springs honorees are Javier Bardem, Robert Duvall, Colin Firth, Jennifer Lawrence, Carey Mulligan and Natalie Portman. The Festival runs January 6-17.

Palm Springs is my hood, so I can't wait to see these fantastic and talented folks! Here's the rest of the press release:

“From his very first movie to the present, the talent and style of director David O. Russell has garnered both audience and critical acclaim,” said Palm Springs International Film Festival chairman Harold Matzner. “In his latest effort, The Fighter, he works again with actor Mark Wahlberg who portrays a man refusing to take no for an answer when it comes to pursuing his dreams. The result is an excellent film. Through directorial technique, use of technology, complex and engaging storytelling, the films of David O. Russell are guaranteed to be riveting and innovative. The Palm Springs International Film Festival is proud to present him with the 2011 Director of the Year Award.”

Past Director of the Year honorees include Alexander Payne, Jason Reitman, Alejandro González Iñárritu, Anthony Minghella, Sean Penn and Ang Lee.

David O. Russell directs The Fighter, inspired by the true story of unlikely boxing champ, “Irish” Micky Ward (Mark Wahlberg), and his half-brother, Dicky Eklund (Christian Bale), who decided that, no matter the odds against them and no matter their differences, they weren’t going to give up on their shared dreams without a fight. The film from Paramount Pictures also stars Amy Adams and Melissa Leo.

Russell earned critical acclaim early in his career when he wrote and directed his first feature film, Spanking the Monkey. This film premiered at the 1994 Sundance Film Festival, where it won the Sundance Audience Award. It also was named Best First Feature and Best First Screenplay at the Independent Spirit Awards that year. His second film was the acclaimed comedy Flirting With Disaster, which appeared on many top ten lists for 1996.

Three Kings, starring George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg and Ice Cube, was released in 1999 and garnered ample critical praise. Russell earned a nomination from the WGA for Best Screenplay, and the film appeared in over 100 critics’ top ten lists. Boston Film Critics Society named it the Film of the Year and selected Russell as the Best Director of the Year. Russell continued his relationship with Mark Wahlberg when he proceeded to make I Heart Huckabees in 2004.


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The New Alien Prequel is Going to be Called... 


"Paradise"

But don't let that wink-wink, nudge-nudge title fool you. As we found out, this Ridley Scott production has a lot of interesting intricacies. Thanks to our friends at Vulture, we can share them with you!

*** Fox and Scott are aiming for a March production start
*** "Paradise" reboots the original -- a group of space travelers being picked off one by one by a monstrous alien creature
*** Besides Noomi Rapace ("The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" movies) as Elizabeth Shaw, there are many other characters as well, such as:
*** David -- an earlier version of the Bishop 341-B character that Lance Henricksen played in "Aliens"
*** Vickers -- a forty-something tough cookie that Scott wants to give to Michelle Yeoh

This is interesting and all, but I will miss Sigourney Weaver's Ripley :sad

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