"Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows" Solves Box-Office Problem...Almost 


"Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows" debuted at No. 1 with a $40 million opening, but that was 36 percent off from the 2009 original film which debuted with $62.3 million. The sad part is this, the domestic movie attendance has dipped to its lowest in 16 years that even a sure-fire blockbuster like "Sherlock Holmes" could not avert.

But Warner Bros, the studio behind "Sherlock Holmes," was confident that the film will pick up steam during the Christmas weekend. The first "Sherlock Holmes" opened during the same holiday period. But we could only hope.

I enjoyed this new "Sherlock Holmes," I thought it was funny and smart, and I quite liked it better than the original! ("Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows" movie review)

What I did not like among the new box-office contenders was "Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked," a threequel in search of a plot! The film opened at No. 2 with $23.5 million, a far cry from its blockbuster predecessors.

But bringing the good news to an otherwise dismal weekend was Tom Cruise and Paramount with their fantastic "Mission: Impossible -- Ghost Protocol." Director Brad Bird, stepping out of the animated world (Pixar's "Ratatouille" and "The Incredibles") and into the live-action land, created one of the best "Mission: Impossible" yet! (My interview with Brad Bird for "Mission: Impossible -- Ghost Protocol)

Playing exclusively at IMAX and XD large-format theaters, "Mission: Impossible -- Ghost Protocol" landed at No. 3 with a $13 million opening. The film opens in wide release this coming Wednesday.

Simply put, the new "Mission: Impossible" made very good with their impossible mission -- to make Tom Cruise cool again!

Here's the estimated list of the Top 10 films for the box-office weekend of Dec. 16th:

1. "Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows," $40 million
2. "Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked," $23.5 million
3. "Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol," $13 million
4. "New Year's Eve," $7.4 million
5. "The Sitter," $4.4 million
6. "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 1," $4.3 million
7. "Young Adult," $3.7 million
8. "Hugo," $3.63 million
9. "Arthur Christmas," $3.6 million
10. "The Muppets," $3.5 million

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Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Name "The Descendants" Best Film of 2011 


Alexander Payne's "The Descendants" was the big winner at the Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association's 18th annual critics' poll winning Best Film, Best Actor for George Clooney, Best Supporting Actress for Shailene Woodley, and Best Director and Screenplay.

Michelle Williams also came out on top for Best Actress for her Marilyn Monroe portrayal in "My Week with Marilyn," while Christopher Plummer took home the Best Supporting Actor award for "Beginners."

Here's the complete list of winners (for your guide to Awards Season, click here)

Top 10 Films of the Year:
01.THE DESCENDANTS
02.THE ARTIST
03.EXTREMELY LOUD AND INCREDIBLY CLOSE
04.MIDNIGHT IN PARIS
05.THE TREE OF LIFE
06.HUGO
07.50/50
08.DRIVE
09.SHAME
10.MONEYBALL

Best Actor: George Clooney – THE DESCENDANTS. Runners-up: Jean Dujardin for THE ARTIST (2), Michael Fassbender for SHAME (3), Brad Pitt for MONEYBALL (4) and Michael Shannon for TAKE SHELTER (5).

Best Actress: Michelle Williams – MY WEEK WITH MARILYN. Runners-up:Tilda Swinton for WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN (2), Meryl Streep for THE IRON LADY (3), Charlize Theron for YOUNG ADULT (4) and Kirsten Dunst for MELANCHOLIA (5).

Best Supporting Actor: Christopher Plummer – BEGINNERS. Runners-up: Albert Brooks for DRIVE (2), Max von Sydow for EXTREMELY LOUD AND INCREDIBLY CLOSE (3), Armie Hammer for J. EDGAR (4) and Kenneth Branagh for MY WEEK WITH MARILYN (5).

Best Supporting Actress: Shailene Woodley – THE DESCENDANTS. Runners-up: Berenice Bejo for THE ARTIST (2), Octavia Spencer for THE HELP (3), Melissa McCarthy for BRIDESMAIDS (4) and Carey Mulligan for SHAME (5).

Best Director: Alexander Payne – THE DESCENDANTS. Runners-up: Michel Hazanavicius for THE ARTIST (2), Terrence Malick for THE TREE OF LIFE (3), Martin Scorsese for HUGO (4) and Woody Allen for MIDNIGHT IN PARIS (5).

Best Foreign-Language Film: A SEPARATION Runners-up: THE SKIN I LIVE IN (2), INCENDIES (3), 13 ASSASSINS (4) and a tie between OF GODS AND MEN and CERTIFIED COPY (5).

Best Documentary: CAVE OF FORGOTTEN DREAMS Runners-up: PROJECT NIM (2), THE INTERRUPTERS (3), PAGE ONE: INSIDE THE NEW YORK TIMES (4) and BUCK (5).

Best Animated Film: RANGO Runner-up: THE ADVENTURES OF TINTIN

Best Screenplay: THE DESCENDANTS Runner-up: MIDNIGHT IN PARIS.

Best Cinematography: THE TREE OF LIFE Runner-up: WAR HORSE.

Russell Smith Award: WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN


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"The Tree of Life" Tops Chicago Film Critics Nominations 


The Chicago Film Critics Association has announced their nominations for the 23rd CFCA Awards and Terrence Malick's "The Tree of Life" led the pack with 7 nods including Best Picture, Director, and Supporting Acting notices for Brad Pitt and Jessica Chastain.

"The Tree of Life" will duke out with "The Artist," "The Descendants," "Drive," and "Hugo" for Best Picture. Winners will be announced Dec. 19th.

Here's the full list of nominations (for your complete Awards Season guide, click here)

BEST PICTURE
The Artist
The Descendants
Drive
Hugo
The Tree of Life

BEST DIRECTOR
Michel Hazanavicius – The Artist
Terrence Malick – The Tree of Life
Alexander Payne – The Descendants
Nicolas Winding Refn – Drive
Martin Scorsese – Hugo

BEST ACTOR
George Clooney – The Descendants
Jean Dujardin – The Artist
Michael Fassbender – Shame
Gary Oldman – Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy
Michael Shannon – Take Shelter

BEST ACTRESS
Kirsten Dunst – Melancholia
Elizabeth Olsen – Martha Marcy May Marlene
Anna Paquin – Margaret
Meryl Streep – The Iron Lady
Michelle Williams – My Week With Marilyn

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Albert Brooks – Drive
Nick Nolte – Warrior
Patton Oswalt – Young Adult
Brad Pitt – The Tree of Life
Christopher Plummer – Beginners

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Jessica Chastain – The Tree of Life
Melissa McCarthy – Bridesmaids
Carey Mulligan – Shame
Octavia Spencer – The Help
Shailene Woodley – The Descendants

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
The Artist – Michel Hazanavicius
Martha Marcy May Marlene – Sean Durkin
Midnight In Paris – Woody Allen
A Separation – Asghar Farhadi
The Tree of Life – Terrence Malick

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
The Descendants – Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon & Jim Rash
Drive – Hossein Amini
Hugo – John Logan
Moneyball – Steven Zaillian & Aaron Sorkin
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy – Bridget O’Connor & Peter Straughan

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
The Adventures of Tintin
Arthur Christmas
Puss In Boots
Rango
Winnie the Pooh

BEST DOCUMENTARY
Cave of Forgotten Dreams
The Interrupters
Into the Abyss
Pina
Project Nim
Tabloid

BEST FOREIGN FILM
In a Better World
Incendies
A Separation
The Skin I Live In
Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Drive – Newton Thomas Sigel
Hugo – Robert Richardson
Melancholia – Manuel Alberto Claro
The Tree of Life – Emmanuel Lubezki
War Horse – Janusz Kaminski

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
The Artist – Ludovic Bource
Drive – Cliff Martinez
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
Hanna – The Chemical Brothers
Hugo – Howard Shore

MOST PROMISING PERFORMER
Liana Liberato – Trust
Brit Marling – Another Earth
Hunter McCracken – The Tree of Life
Elizabeth Olsen – Martha Marcy May Marlene
Shailene Woodley – The Descendants

MOST PROMISING FILMMAKER
J.C. Chandor – Margin Call
Simon Curtis – My Week With Marilyn
Drake Doremus – Like Crazy
Sean Durkin – Martha Marcy May Marlene
Tate Taylor – The Help

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Movie Reviews: "Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows" AND "Young Adult" 


Two big films are opening this weekend, we have “Young Adult” starring Charlize Theron and the sequel “Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows.” Which one is my pick of the week? Take a look!



Here's more details on "Young Adult" from Yahoo:

Mavis Gary, a writer of teen literature, returns to her small hometown to relive her glory days and attempt to reclaim her happily married high school sweetheart. When returning home proves more difficult than she thought, Mavis forms an unusual bond with a former classmate who hasn't quite gotten over high school either.

Genres: Comedy

Running Time: 1 hr. 34 min.

Release Date: December 9th, 2011 (limited); December 16th (wide)

MPAA Rating: R for language and some sexual content.

Distributors: Paramount Pictures

U.S. Box Office: $310,263

Cast and Credits

Starring: Charlize Theron, Patton Oswalt, Patrick Wilson, Elizabeth Reaser, Collette Wolfe

Directed by: Jason Reitman

Produced by: Diablo Cody, Mason Novick, Lianne Halfon

And here's "Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows"

There is a new criminal mastermind at large - Professor Moriarty - and not only is he Sherlock Holmes' intellectual equal, but his capacity for evil may actually give him an advantage over the renowned detective.

Cast & Crew

Starring:
Robert Downey Jr. -- Sherlock Holmes
Jude Law -- Dr. John Watson
Noomi Rapace -- Sim
Stephen Fry -- Mycroft Holmes
Jared Harris -- Professor Moriarty
Kelly Reilly -- Mary Morstan
Eddie Marsan -- Inspector Lestrade
Rachel McAdams -- Irene Adler

Directed By: Guy Ritchie

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Gary Oldman to be Honored at the Palm Springs International Film Festival 


Gary Oldman gave a subdued but memorable performance in "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy." He may not have gotten love from the Golden Globe folks nor the Screen Actors Guild, but he's being honored at the upcoming Palm Springs International Film Festival where he is set to receive the International Star Award. The International Star Award recognizes an actor or actress who has achieved both critical and commercial international recognition throughout their body of work. The Awards Gala will be Saturday, January 7 at the Palm Springs Convention Center, yup, my hood!

I will be posting my interview with Oldman for "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy" very soon, hang tight! For now, here's the full press release:

Palm Springs, CA (December 16, 2011) – The 23rd annual Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF) will present Gary Oldman with the International Star Award. The International Star Award recognizes an actor or actress who has achieved both critical and commercial international recognition throughout their body of work. Presented by Cartier, the Awards Gala will be held Saturday, January 7, at the Palm Springs Convention Center. Hosted by Mary Hart, the Awards Gala will also present awards to previously announced honorees George Clooney, Glenn Close, Michel Hazanavicius, Brad Pitt, Octavia Spencer, Michelle Williams, and the film Young Adult. The Festival runs January 5-16.

“Gary Oldman is a performer whose ability to portray the most extreme of characters is a testament to the enormity of his talent,” said Festival Chairman Harold Matzner. “In Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, as the embodiment of John le Carré's classic spymaster George Smiley, he combines cunning, pathos, and cold determination when he is brought out of retirement to ferret out a double agent during the Cold War. To this consummate talent who consistently challenges audiences to anticipate the unexpected when he performs, the Palm Springs International Film Festival is honored to present the 2012 International Star Award to Gary Oldman.”

Oldman is currently starring in Focus Features’ Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, directed by Tomas Alfredson and based on the novel by John le Carré. The film also stars Kathy Burke, Benedict Cumberbatch, David Dencik, Colin Firth, Stephen Graham, Tom Hardy, Ciarán Hinds, John Hurt, Toby Jones, Svetlana Khodchenkova, Simon McBurney, and Mark Strong. Oldman was recently cited as Best Actor of the Year by the San Francisco Film Critics Circle, which also named the script by Bridget O’Connor & Peter Straughan the Best Adapted Screenplay of the Year. The movie also recently won the British Independent Film Award for Best Technical Achievement.

Over the past 18 years, Gary Oldman has appeared in 11 movies that have opened in the #1 position at the box office. As part of the two most successful franchises in movie history, the U.K. native has appeared in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2; and in Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, and The Dark Knight Rises (opening in 2012). His other features include Sid and Nancy, Prick Up Your Ears, Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead, State of Grace, JFK, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Romeo is Bleeding, True Romance, Immortal Beloved, The Professional (a.k.a. Leon), The Fifth Element, Air Force One, Murder in the First, Jesus, The Contender, Hannibal, The Book of Eli, and the upcoming The Wettest County. He wrote and directed the film Nil by Mouth, which earned him a BAFTA Award for Best Original Screenplay.

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