Here's "The Dark Knight Rises" Trailer We've All Been Waiting For! 
I love "The Dark Knight" series and I have much respect for Christopher Nolan as a storyteller, so I'm looking forward to seeing the third and final chapter. This trailer was attached to the large format theaters (not IMAX) screenings of "Mission: Impossible -- Ghost Protocol" and now, without further adieu, behold the new trailer for "The Dark Knight Rises." One minor wish, can we have more Catwoman in the next incarnations of the trailer...please?

Here's more on "The Dark Knight Rises" from Yahoo:

As Batman deals with his new status as a wanted vigilante, he must also contend with two new enemies, Bane and Catwoman.

Genres: Adaptation, Action/Adventure, Crime/Gangster and Sequel
Release Date: July 20th, 2012 (wide)
Distributors: Warner Bros. Pictures Distribution

Cast and Credits
Starring: Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Morgan Freeman, Anne Hathaway
Directed by: Christopher Nolan
Produced by: Christopher Nolan, Emma Thomas, Charles Roven

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39 Original Songs Fight for Oscar Glory! Is Your Favorite on the List? 

The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences has announced the thirty-nine songs eligible for nominations in the Original Song category.

How do the songs qualify? In order to be eligible, "a song must consist of words and music, both of which are original and written specifically for the film. A clearly audible, intelligible, substantive rendition of both lyric and melody must be used in the body of the film or as the first music cue in the end credits." Hence, we hear most of the original songs during the first part of the closing credits.

So here's what's coming up next: On Thursday, January 5, the voting members of the Music Branch will see clips featuring each song, in random order. Right after the screenings, members will vote using a point system of voting. The average score is 8.25 and if there's no song that achieved that score, then there will be no nominees in the category. A maximum of two songs may be nominated from one movie.

We'll find out which of the songs below will be the final nominees when the nominations are announced live on Tuesday, January 24 at 5:30 a.m. PT.

And of course, the Oscars will be on Sunday, February 26.

The thirty-nine original songs vying for the Oscars are (in alphabetical order):

"The World I Knew" from "African Cats"
"Lay Your Head Down" from "Albert Nobbs"
"Star Spangled Man" from "Captain America: The First Avenger"
"Collision of Worlds" from "Cars 2"
"Dakkanaga Dugu Dugu" from "DAM999"
"DAM999 Theme Song" from "DAM999"
"Mujhe Chod Ke" from "DAM999"
"Rainbird" from "Dirty Girl"
"Keep On Walking" from "The First Grader"
"Where the River Goes" from "Footloose"
"Hello Hello" from "Gnomeo & Juliet"
"Love Builds a Garden" from "Gnomeo & Juliet"
"Bridge of Light" from "Happy Feet Two"
"The Mighty Sven" from "Happy Feet Two"
"Never Be Daunted" from "happythankyoumoreplease"
"Hell and Back" from "Hell and Back Again"
"The Living Proof" from "The Help"
"Coeur Volant" from "Hugo"
"It's How We Play" from "I Don't Know How She Does It"
"When the Heart Dies" from "In the Land of Blood and Honey"
"Ja Nao Estar" from "José and Pilar"
"The Keeper" from "Machine Gun Preacher"
"Life's a Happy Song" from "The Muppets"
"Man or Muppet" from "The Muppets"
"Pictures in My Head" from "The Muppets"
"Summer Song" from "The Music Never Stopped"
"Imaginary Friends" from "Olive"
"Sparkling Day" from "One Day"
"Taking You with Me" from "Our Idiot Brother"
"The Greatest Song I Ever Heard" from "POM Wonderful Presents The Greatest Movie Ever Sold"
"Hot Wings" from "Rio"
"Let Me Take You to Rio" from "Rio"
"Real in Rio" from "Rio"
"Shelter" from "Take Shelter"
"Gathering Stories" from "We Bought a Zoo"
"Pop" from "White Irish Drinkers"
"Think You Can Wait" from "Win Win"
"The Backson Song" from "Winnie the Pooh"
"So Long" from "Winnie the Pooh"

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Chicago Film Critics Climb "The Tree of Life!" Check Out Complete List of Winners!  

Terrence Malick's "The Tree of Life" topped the nominations of the Chicago Film Critics Association's awards so it's just fitting that the movie led the winners, receiving 4 awards including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Supporting Actress for Jessica Chastain, and Best Cinematography for Emmanuel Lubezki's work.

The Best Actor trophy went to Michael Shannon for "Take Shelter," while Michelle Williams received the Best Actress award for "My Week with Marilyn."

Here's the complete list of nominees and highlighted winners (If you're interested to see the winners/nominations from other award-giving bodies, visit our Awards Avenue coverage right here):

The Artist
The Descendants
The Tree of Life

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

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

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

Albert Brooks – Drive

Nick Nolte – Warrior
Patton Oswalt – Young Adult
Brad Pitt – The Tree of Life
Christopher Plummer – Beginners

Jessica Chastain – The Tree of Life

Melissa McCarthy – Bridesmaids
Carey Mulligan – Shame
Octavia Spencer – The Help
Shailene Woodley – The Descendants

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

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

The Adventures of Tintin
Arthur Christmas
Puss In Boots
Winnie the Pooh

Cave of Forgotten Dreams
The Interrupters
Into the Abyss
Project Nim

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

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

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

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

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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"Drive," "The Descendants" Lead Satellite Awards Winners 

The International Press Academy has announced the winners of the 16th Annual Satellite Awards and Alexander Payne's "The Descendants" and Nicolas Winding Refn's "Drive" triumphed!

"Drive" took home the most wins, four total, including Ryan Gosling for Best Actor, Albert Brooks for Best Supporting Actor, Nicholas Winding Refn for Best Director, and the film also won Best Editing.

But "The Descendants" received the big honor of the night, the Best Picture award, and the film also won Best Adapted Screenplay.

It's interesting that the IPA honored Gosling for Best Actor and Viola Davis for Best Actress -- both are not considered Oscar frontrunners, but gave the performances of their lives nonetheless.

The 16th Annual Satellite Awards™ were held Sunday, Dec. 18, 2011, in the Rodeo Ballroom of The Beverly Hills Hotel, Beverly Hills, Calif.

Here's the complete list of nominees and highlighted winners (If you're interested to see the winners/nominations from other award-giving bodies, visit our Awards Avenue coverage right here):

Best Picture:
The Artist
The Descendants
The Help
Midnight in Paris
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy
War Horse

Best Actor:
George Clooney, The Descendants
Leonardo diCaprio, J. Edgar
Michael Fassbender, Shame
Brendan Gleeson, The Guard
Ryan Gosling, Drive
Tom Hardy, Warrior
Woody Harrelson, Rampart
Gary Oldman, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy
Brad Pitt, Moneyball
Michael Shannon, Take Shelter

Best Actress:
Olivia Colman, Tyrannosaur
Glenn Close, Albert Nobbs
Viola Davis, The Help
Vera Farmiga, Higher Ground
Elizabeth Olsen, Martha Marcy May Marlene
Meryl Streep, The Iron Lady
Charlize Theron, Young Adult
Emily Watson, Oranges and Sunshine
Michelle Williams, My Week With Marilyn
Michelle Yeoh, The Lady

Best Supporting Actor:
Kenneth Branagh, My Week With Marilyn
Albert Brooks, Drive
Colin Farrell, Horrible Bosses
Jonah Hill, Moneyball
Viggo Mortensen, A Dangerous Method
Nick Nolte, Warrior
Christopher Plummer, Beginners
Andy Serkis, Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Christoph Waltz, Carnage
Hugo Weaving, Oranges and Sunshine

Best Supporting Actress:
Jessica Chastain, The Tree of Life

Elle Fanning, Super 8
Lisa Feret, Mozart's Sister
Judy Greer, The Descendants
Rachel McAdams, Midnight in Paris
Janet McTeer, Albert Nobbs
Carey Mulligan, Shame
Vanessa Redgrave, Coriolanus
Octavia Spencer, The Help
Kate Winslet, Carnage

Best Director:
Tomas Alfredson, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy
Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris
Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist
John Michael McDonagh, The Guard
Steve McQueen, Shame
Alexander Payne, The Descendants
Nicolas Winding Refn, Drive
Martin Scorsese, Hugo
Steven Spielberg, War Horse
Tate Taylor, The Help

Best Foreign Film:
The Kid With The Bike
Las Acadias
Le Havre
Miss Bala
Mozart's Sister
Mysteries of Lisbon
A Separation
13 Assassins
The Turin Horse

Best Animated or Mixed Media Film:
The Adventures of Tintin
Kung Fu Panda 2
The Muppets
Puss In Boots

Best Documentary:
American: The Bill Hicks Story
Cave of Forgotten Dreams
The Interrupters
My Perestroika
One Lucky Elephant
Project Nim
Under FIre: Journalists in Combat

Best Original Screenplay:
Paddy Considine, Tyrannosaur
Rene Feret, Mozart's Sister
Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist
Terrence Malick, The Tree of Life
John Michael McDonagh, The Guard
Steve McQueen & Abi Morgan, Shame

Best Adapted Screenplay:
Steven Moffat and Joe Cornish & Edgar Wright, The Adventures of Tintin
Glenn Close and John Banville, Albert Nobbs
Alexander Payne and Nat Faxon & Jim Rash, The Descendants
Tate Taylor, The Help
Steve Zaillian and Aaron Sorkin, Moneyball
Lee Hall and Richard Curtis, War Horse

Best Original Score:
Soul Surfer

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2
Super 8
Water For Elephants
War Horse

Best Original Song:
"Bridge of Light" (Happy Feet 2)
"Gathering Stories" (We Bought a Zoo)
"Hello Hello" (Gnomeo and Juliet)
"Lay Your Head Down" (Albert Nobbs)
"Life is a Happy Song" (The Muppets)
"Man or Muppet" (The Muppets)

Best Cinematography:
War Horse
The Tree of Life
The Artist

Best Visual Effects:
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2
Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Super 8
Transformers: Dark of the Moon
War Horse

Best Film Editing:
The Guard

War Horse
The Descendants

Best Sound:

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2
Super 8
The Tree of Life
Transformers: Dark of the Moon
War Horse

Best Art Direction:
The Artist
Mysteries of Lisbon
Water For Elephants

Best Costume Design:
Mysteries of Lisbon
The Artist
Jane Eyre
Water For Elephants

Mary Pickford Award
For Outstanding Artistic Contribution To The Entertainment Industry
Mitzi Gaynor

Nikola Tesla Award
In Recognition Of Visionary Achievement In Filmmaking Technology
Douglas Trumbull

Auteur Award
Peter Bogdanovich

Humanitarian Award
Tim Hetherington (1970-2011)

Best Ensemble, Motion Picture
The Help Dreamworks/Touchstone

Best First Feature
Paddy Considine, Tyrannosaur Strand Releasing

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"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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