Thursday, September 30, 2010

Screen Greats that will Never Fade.

In successive days this week, movie fans lost two icons of American cinema.

Yesterday, at his Las Vegas home, at the age of 85, Tony Curtis died of cardiac arrest. The death was reported by Curtis' daughter Jamie Lee Curtis.

Tony Curtis, who was born in The Bronx borough of New York City, arrived in Hollywood at the age of 23, to begin a career that would span more than 60 years. Mr. Curtis' work includes classics made with Hollywood's biggest stars and directors. Favorites at Moviedozer include 1953's Houdini, with ex-wife Janet Leigh, and 1964's Sex and the Single Girl with recurring co-star Natalie Wood.


Other unforgettable movie performances include The Sweet Smell of Success (with Kirk Douglas, '57), Spartacus (also with Douglas, '60), The Great Impostor ('61), Goodbye Charlie ('64), The Great Race (with Jack Lemmon and Natalie Wood, '65) and The Boston Strangler ('68). Perhaps one of Curtis' most fondly remembered roles is his portrayal of Joe/Josephine opposite Jack Lemmon and Marilyn Monroe in the Billy Wilder 1959 classic comedy, Some Like It Hot.

Curtis also made a memorable mark in television, co starring with Roger Moore in the 1971-'72 series The Persuaders and, between 1978-'81, as casino owner Philip Roth, in 26 episodes opposite Robert Ulrich in Vega$. Mr. Curtis even had some fun lampooning his own celebrity by providing the voice for his animated likeness in The Return of Stony Curtis, a 1965 episode of The Flintstones.


On Tuesday, Hollywood also lost one of its most formidable directors in Arthur Penn.

In addition to one of our favorites, 1985's Target, which starred Gene Hackman and a young Matt Dillon, Penn was the guiding force behind movies like 1962's The Miracle Worker with Anne Bancroft and Patty Duke, and 1970's Little Big Man with Dustin Hoffman.

Penn's standout achievement for most, is the incredible and ground breaking visual style of the hard hitting masterpiece, 1967's Bonnie and Clyde (Warren Beatty, Faye Dunaway, Gene Hackman, Estelle Parsons & Michael J. Pollard).

To the families, friends and fans of both of these extraordinary artists, we offer our most profound sympathies and share in the celebration of their brilliant careers.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Stallone takes one for the team in The Expendables

Sylvester Stallone's new action movie, The Expendables, hits theaters today and audiences are about to be convinced that even at 63, the guy still knows how to take a beating. No, not the kind he took for making Stop, Or My Mom Will Shoot, we're talking a serious thrown-across-the-set ass kicking. They're also going to have to admit he looks like he can still give one as well.
The fans of star driven action movies will also be hoping for another kind of beating this weekend, beating up the box-office competition.

It won't be hard for Stallone and his assembled cohorts to kick Julia Roberts' tush in her new movie adaptation of Eat, Pray, Love. It may be slightly more challenging to rough up Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg in last week's number one The Other Guys. But the film were hoping gets taken to the ground and trampled is Scott Pilgrim vs. The World.

Pilgrim is led by actor/professional wimp Michael Cera and is poised to attract a swarm of Comic Con geeks (the geekiest ones that cheer for those pimply high school angst comic books that dwell on fantasies of the nerd triumphing over cool kids and jocks while winning the girl through cleverness and math skills), who usually come out in opening weekend droves when it's one of their own on the front lines. If Stallone and crew don't come home on Monday having beaten and bloodied Scott Pilgrim, action fans and Spike TV junkies should go hang their heads in shame.

For The Expendables, we're still trying to decide which must have been tougher, doing your own fight scenes at 63 (and ripping and breaking some important body parts in the process), or assembling a cast that includes Jason Statham, Jet Li, Bruce Willis, Dolph Lundgren, Mickey Rourke, Terry Crews, Randy Couture, Eric Roberts, "Stone Cold" Steve Austin (who opens the can of Stallone whoop-ass in the clip below) and, wait for it... the Governor of California. Body slams can be brutal but star egos? There's clearly some serious respect being paid to the guy we'd credit for fathering the genre of modern day, character driven action movies.

What may prove toughest and most important for Stallone's action swan song is coming in with a first place box-office tally by Sunday night. We find ourselves enthusiastically rooting for Stallone. After all, who knows more about triumphing against the odds than the guy who penned Rocky? (You can almost hear the theme music playing in the background.)

We'll get you ready for the weekend with a clip shot on set the day that may have ended Stallone's action hero movie career (at least as far as doing his own stunts). Here's to guy who's never walked away from the fight that is making Hollywood movies. We're glad he decided to take one more for the team.


Monday, August 9, 2010

Patricia Neal 1926-2010

The second film listed on her online resumé came in 1949. It was The Fountain Head and it left an impression on me that would convince me to tackle reading the Ayn Rand novel and to years later add the download of the film to my permanent collection.
I would discover her again in a film that became one of my first science-fiction favorites, 1951's The Day The Earth Stood Still. When I first spotted a brash, young Andy Griffith in the riveting role of "Lonesome" Rhodes in A Face in the Crowd (1959), she was there as Marcia Jeffries, illuminating every thing in Griffith's character by countering it with her expression, her delivery, and with both vulnerability and determined resolve, in her eyes.

She was there again in movies like Hud, opposite Paul Newman, Blake Edwards' Breakfast at Tiffany's, and as part of the exceptional cast of In Harm's Way. She is a classic. A grand lady of the screen. She will always be one of my favorites and it is very sad to say goodbye.

To her family, her friends and her fans, we at Moviedozer.com join in offering our prayers and our thanks to Patricia Neal for introducing us to her particular brand of movie magic. She is a presence in movies that helped to define the medium, and one of the first actors to help me understand the extraordinary potential movies have for unforgettable storytelling.

Friday, August 6, 2010

It's a three pick weekend!

Moviedozer's August List of the movies we'd most like to see went up earlier this week and of our 6 picks, 3 will open today.
If you're heading out to the movies and you're not playing catch up with showings of Inception or Salt or that "schmucks at dinner" thing, we think one of these three will make parting with ten bucks fairly painless. And none of them require 3D glasses.

In no particular order we'll be going out to see...

The Other Guys - The big release this weekend torques up the usual Will Ferrell comic staples with what looks to be another very funny turn by Mark Wahlberg. Along with Wahlberg, Samuel L. Jackson and Dwayne Johnson are along for the ride and as a bonus, Michael Keaton (who killed as a Ken doll in Toy Story 3) gets to add his trademark comic timing to the mix.

Middle Men - Luke Wilson, Gabriel Macht, Giovanni Ribisi and James Caan in the true story comedy of the ordinary guys who figured out that the internet was the perfect place to sell porn. God bless America. (Middle Men will be opening in just a few hundred theaters this weekend and expanding wide in two weeks.)

Flipped - Rob Reiner rediscovers his knack for directing young actors and telling nostalgic tales of growing up (which he did expertly with 1986's Stand By Me) with this new release. Directing a script he co-wrote, the young cast is complimented with veteran actors, including Anthony Edwards, Rebecca De Mornay, Aidan Quinn, Penelope Ann Miller and John Mahoney. Flipped already has some critics buzzing and the advance word is Academy worthy.

The rest of our August List opens later in the month. Rounding out the six picks are...

The Expendables (8.13) - written, directed and starring Sylvester Stallone and an action star lineup that barely fits on the poster.

The Switch (8.20) - a romantic comedy starring Jennifer Aniston and Jason Bateman. We like the set-up and we're crossing our fingers for a great ending.

Avatar: Special Edition (8.27) - Yes, that Avatar, back in 3D theaters to wrap up this summer's movie season. These guys just aren't going to be happy 'til they break $3 billion. And of course, there's never before seen added footage!

You can check out why we picked these six, along with some upcoming trailers and movie news at Moviedozer.com. Just give us a click! We'll leave you with the trailer for Flipped. Have a great weekend at the movies.




Monday, July 26, 2010

Captain Jack's recruiting for a new adventure!

Movie news was breaking over the weekend from San Diego's 2010 Comic Con and some of it was made by one of our favorite movie rogues, Captain Jack Sparrow.
Meeting Capt. Jack was a rare pleasure back in 2003 (when he first set his silver screen sails on the Black Pearl), but it was his last voyage At World's End that we felt our pockets pilfered for booty, then kicked off the gang plank.

So be it and let bygones be bygones, but a new invitation's been proffered and though we may join the crew, if there be a hand in our wallets and no laughter in our hearts, we'll be seekin' a serious parley.

Are ya up to another voyage me maties? If so, the Captain would like a word with ya...


You can check out some of the other buzz building for next summer from Comic Con by clicking the link and jumping over to Moviedozer.com. Good sailing!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Is BP oozing into the movie biz?

We may have picked up a scoop yesterday as we were wandering through the offices of our sister blog Satire is Reason. Seems that in another effort to create better mojo with the masses, BP oil has hit on a scheme to introduce a retooled classic movie monster!

In an apparent partnership with Universal Studios, BP has suggested a reboot of the Creature character from Creature from the Black Lagoon fame. Although a great deal of secrecy reportedly surrounds the project, BP is said to be ''quietly" exploring the idea as a benefit to both the company's bottom line and as a way to re-infuse tourism dollars into the oil clogged beaches of the Gulf region.

BP has floated the new monster flick as Creature from the Black Gulf, using their own technological incompetence and stymied response to its oil rig explosion to "inspire" the main focal point of the script. The film being proposed is set-up as an origin styled action thriller with BP reportedly going as far as to present character costume concepts as part of their pitch.

With Universal as the owner of the Creature monster franchise, BP appears to be making legal moves to lockdown all film and story rights to their real life man-made disaster. Recent talks even suggest a potential theme park ride may be part of any future deal.

BP's Tony Heyward, who some say was relieved of day to day clean-up oversight in order to pursue the Universal partnership, was quoted as telling a Hollywood insider, "If it gets a go, a greenlight, ya know, then I think we'll be ready with a sequel. We know we can bring millions of dollars into the region with both the shooting of the film and as a tourism destination to see the actual sets and oily beaches featured in the movie".

Unidentified sources say a BP email addressed to the heads of Universal and apparently being readied for press release indicates a sequel may be titled Creatures from the Black Atlantic. We'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

We like Tom Cruise better now that he's gone nuts.

Crazy from the heat?
Tom Cruise's career has certainly gained lots of heat from his spin in the tropics with Ben Stiller and Robert Downey Jr. back in '08. Now, with Knight and Day just weeks away and a feature length revisit of his Les Grossman character under discussion, ya gotta admit, this guy's much funnier than that guy that tried to blow up Hitler.

Here's a taste from a promo for the recent MTV movie awards...


Monday, June 7, 2010

Big guy, itty bitty concept.


We have no idea when this thing is coming out but we just saw the poster today. Our first thought? It was funnier when Stiller did it in Night at the Museum. And it didn't take a whole movie to get the joke.



But if someone's looking to grab Ben Stiller's material, we would get a kick out watching a monkey slap the hell out of Jack Black for 90 minutes.

Just a thought.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Splice gets the pick of this weekend's releases.

This has got to be one of our favorite lines so far this summer... "Human Cloning is illegal, this won't be human... not entirely.". Don't you just have to get out and see that movie? We do, and that's why Splice is one of our most looked forward to flicks of June. Splice opens today in U.S. wide release and stars Adrien Brody and Sarah Polley.
We just posted the Trailer Takes review over at Moviedozer.com and here's what we said...

A couple of scientists in a conference room making their case... "if we don't use human DNA now, someone else will." - in the world of summer movies, nothing good can come from this. That is, except a scary night in a dark movie theater.

The truth is that when we saw the first trailer for Splice it just struck us as low budget weird. Until the moment you go, "wait, is that Adrien Brody?" and then you pay closer attention, and then, we have to admit, you get a little sucked in. The second trailer that's been playing up to this week's release has us caught even tighter, feeling a bit like Sarah Polley, who should never have stuck her arm into that thing on the screen when she really wasn't exactly sure what was in there.

Thanks to the trailer you'll be going into the theater knowing exactly what's in there, but if you're like us, you'll be wondering what the hell they're going to do with it once it gets out. In movies like this the set-up need only be barely believable, so throw rational thinking to the wind and grab another handful of popcorn. It's summer after all and this is one of those perfect, late night, irrationally spontaneous "isn't there another showing of Splice somewhere tonight" kind of movies. So go ahead, tweet the friends list, meet at your favor movie theater, snack up on the way in, grab some seats and have a blast.

Here's the internet version of the trailer courtesy of our friends over at Trailer Addict.



You can check out the rest of our June picks and latest Trailer Take reviews anytime at Moviedozer.com. Have a great weekend at the movies.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Moviedozer.com's June List

Every month at Moviedozer.com we pick the 6 films we're most looking forward to seeing. Like the good synergistic marketers we aspire to be, this month we've decided to begin letting our Dailies readers know when the list is up, fresh and ready for perusing. You're in luck 'cause today's the day!

You'll see that we don't always go with Hollywood stars or hot properties so sorry Ashton, Jonah Hill, Russell Brand, The A-Team and all of you stuck in the "Twilight" zone - you just didn't make the cut. Here's what did...


Opening June 4th -
1. Colin Farrell with Alicja Bachleda as directed by Neil Jordan in Onedine.

2. Adrien Brody dealing with an ill-advised cloning experiment in Splice.

Opening on the 18th -
3. Welcome back Woody, Buzz and Co. in 3D with Toy Story 3.

4. Casey Affleck playing a seriously disturbed sheriff in The Killer Inside Me.

On June 25th -
5. Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz in the most fun action flick of the summer (we think) in Knight and Day.

Finishing up on June 30th -
6. Joe Pesci and Helen Mirren as directed by Taylor Hackford in Love Ranch.

We think the list is a winner and yet another strong argument for seeking out great independent films. Jump over to Moviedozer.com and read why we picked our picks and enjoy the trailer for the powerful new Afghanistan war documentary Restrepo while you're there. (The Restrepo trailer will be showing through June 6th.)

What movies are you most looking forward to this summer? Compare your list with ours each month at Moviedozer.com.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The nature of things.

Earth Day 2010 passed by last week and with it an occasion that deserves as much press as any other ecological initiative from anywhere else on this scarred globe we live on. The occasion was the release of Disney's second Earth Day movie, Oceans.

Disney's awkwardly named new production banner, Disneynature, was announced two years ago and painted its first images on a movie screen on Earth Day, April 22, 2009.

That film, Earth, was a collection of nature footage shot all over the world for various projects and released in various forms, including the acclaimed TV series Planet Earth, which first began airing as early as 2006. But far from being a recycling of used footage, Earth blended many diverse sequences into a seamless experience. The result transported audiences into an extraordinary natural world and delivered the latest in high definition digital cinematography to screens as big as your local IMAX theater. The mission was clearly to inspire its audience with wonder. It worked marvelously.

Earth had found an audience and a venue that it deserved and though, arguably greater viewer numbers could be gleaned from multiple showings on television and through DVD releases, a theatrical release created the platform and showcase that spotlighted the message behind the beautiful images with a grandness television outlets couldn't hope to achieve.

For Disney, none of this was new, not by decades. Walt Disney had realized early on that nature was a perfect setting for telling stories. Debuting the idea in 1948 with Disney's film
Seal Island, Walt's company would establish a new standard for nature photography and win an Oscar at the same time. From that first film sprung a series, Real Life Adventures and when Disney drew back the curtain on television's Disneyland, nature themed programing would be a natural and welcome part of its programming mix. Kids tuned in looking forward to stories like Charlie, the Lonesome Cougar or Beaver Valley and parents were captivated by the exotic locations and first time glimpses at a world and creatures that few had ever seen outside of magazines or the local zoo.

Along with Walt Disney, his nephew Roy had an abiding and deep respect for the natural world on film. Cutting his teeth in the company so famously run by his uncle and his dad, Roy began by writing material for the early True Life Adventure series and, many years later, would be responsible for reviving all of the films in a magnificent collection of four special edition DVDs. By that time though, other companies had stepped in and filled a void largely left vacant by Disney.

National Geographic and a host of other small international companies had continued to shoot and commission amazing footage of creatures and spaces from all over the globe, realizing that as ecological disasters loomed and species across our planet faced harrowing if not completely doomed futures, these stories had grown beyond curiosity to become a powerful tool for reminding audiences of the fragile balance of life. Continuing advances in digital cameras and video equipment allowed cinematographers to shoot animals, birds and marine life in places impossible decades earlier and the results once again drew audiences into the natural world that had been absent from movie screens for nearly a generation.

With nature themed attractions planned for its theme parks and a renewed interest in what Disney had coined "edutainment", recommitting itself to funding and showcasing movies about nature became a corporate cause, both to the ecology of the planet and to the bottom-line of its shareholders.

So are Disney's new real life adventures filling up the bottom line? Hardly. Last week's heavily hyped Earth Day opening of Oceans only managed to bring in a little over eight and a half million for the three day weekend, only good enough for an eighth place finish at U.S. box-office and merely a twelve million dollar total worldwide. (If you were a member of a first week audience, you can take some credit for helping the planet's coral reefs through donations Disney made on behalf of all first week ticket buyers.) A year later, Earth has managed sixty-nine million at the box-office and an additional thirteen million from DVD sales.

So what's the fuss? In a publicly traded company that relies on its image for its brand, it would be easy to say that nature is just another billboard for Disney to paint its logo on. But cynical views aside, there's something very special about these films and Disney's ongoing commitment to produce them.

Aside from being immensely (almost surprisingly) entertaining, there's good being done here beyond preserving the art of nature documentaries. When we saw
Oceans over the weekend, the Friday night audience was fewer than a hundred but ran the spectrum from sixties to six. Four teenage girls in front of us at the box-office who we were betting on to pop for J-Lo's The Back-Up Plan, bought tickets for Oceans. An elderly couple, parents with young kids (How to Train Your Dragon was right next door), young daters (the perfect demo for any number of other films showing), all were drawn by a film that, surprise, actually had something to say about issues young and old are becoming increasingly concerned about.

We are thrilled that Disney and others, have recognized that there is more to consider in creating successful movies than opening weekend ticket sales and short-term profits. We were also heartened by the diversity of people that found time on a Friday night to consider their world and its beauty, as well as its fragility.

You should see
Oceans. You should see it with people you know and care about. If you haven't already, you should rent or buy Earth. You should watch it with your kids, throw it on at a party, screen it in the backyard with your neighbors this summer and donate a copy to your local library, senior center or children's hospital. More than all of this, you should talk about it. And next Earth Day, April 22, 2011, you should take everyone you know, most especially kids, to see Disney's next Earth Day adventure African Cats. You'll be fascinated, immensely entertained and you'll be taking a moment out to remind yourself once again, that there's a world out there that needs you, and all of us, to better understand it.

For more information about Disneynature's Oceans, including information for educators, click here.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Get ready for Oscar... 2011.

Yes it's official movie fans, just like two year long election campaigns and 24 hour news cycles, you can now wait in breathless anticipation for nearly a year before the next Oscar show which will officially happen on Feb. 27th of 2011.
Can't handle staring at movie trailers for that long? We didn't think so, so long overdue, here are some of our impressions, in appropriately random order, of the 2010 ceremony before it fades too far in your memories...

Not many of the comic bits have stayed with us but we did enjoy hosts Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin. If you sat through the show with a stop watch (and there were times when we felt like we should have) you'd realize that for all of the hype the Academy makes of who gets honored with hosting duties, hosts don't really get all that much screen time. There was one comic standout though that lingers, unpleasantly, in the memory. Let's just say that we'd encourage Ben Stiller's friends, loved ones and management to urge Ben to skip the ill-conceived and unfunny bits next year and just present an award. Blue, as it turns out, is very definitely not Ben's color.

A word about fashion - our top three, argue the order all you want - Sandra Bullock, Demi Moore and Cameron Diaz. A second word - the most inane television produced in the 21st century are the fashion segments covering the Oscars.

Were we the only ones to notice that the Oscars' telecast's, usually excellent production values, were marred by all things, with apparently out-of-phase audio (causing a hollow and compressed sound), during of all things, the video sequence for sound editing and mixing? Guess they'll be no tech Emmys awarded to the Oscars.

For all of the work that's been done to reenergize and enliven the telecast, and finally getting some seriously funny talent as hosts (Martin is a keeper for as long as he would accept), the whole affair is still extraordinarily boring, even to the most avid movie fans.

We said it last year (when the idea debuted) and we'll say it again, we love having Best Actor and Best Actress nominees presented by their peers who know them and who have worked with them. It may be akin to having the next door neighbor introduce the town's Best Plumber, but it works and we love it. Add the idea to presenting the Best Directors too.

In general, the video sequences and montages presented throughout the show were the worst in our memory of the Oscars. Poorly edited, badly presented and often straying far from their topic (Who really considers Jaws or Young Frankenstein a 'horror" movie?) or containing blatantly obvious omissions (the exclusion of Farrah Fawcett, with 14 feature films to her credit, during the "In Memoriam" video was inexcusable), segment producers for these videos should be banned from ever working for the Academy again. Awful. The comic video sequences featuring Martin and Baldwin fared only marginally better.

Some producer should go back into the telecast video and take a look at Keanu Reeves on stage. We have just one thought - cast this guy in a Rod Serling biopic.

Quentin Tarantino needs to be adopted as the national spokesperson for "the Association of American college Fraternities and General Disregard for Etiquette". Yet another reason we like this guy.

Oprah Winfrey bought into a share of Precious (incidentally, is it too much to ask to just call a movie by its name without mentioning its source material each time? "Push by Sapphire" - we get it already) and shows up on the Oscars referring to "our" movie. Writing checks makes you an investor not a filmmaker. It's the Oscars Oprah, not some product giveaway on your TV show, let the people who actually made the movie enjoy THEIR moment.

We loved Jeff Bridges nod to his folks, we loved that a great small movie and its director were honored and not that the Oscar for directing went to a woman - it went to a great director. We love knowing from Sandra Bullock that Meryl Streep is a great kisser, though we've always suspected as much, and we're delighted that a great film, Inglourious Basterds was honored for it's most incredible ingredient, Christoph Waltz as Best Supporting Actor.


And finally we make this observation. This is a big show with a very big stage. That stage, indeed, is the very center of attention from the moment the audience at the Kodak theater stride toward their seats. The audience, we would venture to say, has more than the average amount of time spent in the glare of bright lights and cameras. Then how could it be so impossibly difficult to find that enormous stage and the proper stairs to the podium when your name gets called? Actors! You gotta love 'em.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

An Oscar winning Must See


Perhaps the most deserved Oscar of the 2010 Academy Awards - if you haven't seen The Cove, you need to see it, and to react to it. And you should do it now. The trailer follows. We urge you to rent, buy or download this very important film.





Monday, January 18, 2010

After a golden night, next up is Oscar!

The 2010 Golden Globe awards were presented last night and like most of you, we had our favorites. For the next week our top five, along with junket interview clips from the winners, will be featured on the Sprocket Holes page of Moviedozer.com.
Here's a quick rundown of what we loved and how we think it'll effect Oscar nominations due in just two weeks in the early morning hours of Tuesday, February 2nd. In no particular order -

Mo'Nique, winner of the Best Supporting Actress award for her performance in Precious is, to anyone even the least bit familiar with the trailer for this film, well deserving of her recognition by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. Amidst this film's constant awards buzz, Mo'Nique's performance was rightly singled out and we expect a nomination for an Academy Award, even possibly a win, but this is the only category we see shining through for Precious.

Sherlock Holmes also garnered a single but well deserved Golden Globe in the category of Best Actor, Comedy for Robert Downey Jr. In his acceptance speech, Downey joked about the movie "needing" him, but while chuckling along with his wink-and-a-nod speech, he couldn't be more right. Not only was Downey the only reason Holmes soared at the box-office, he is also the only reason to produce a sequel. Finding himself now with two franchises to draw on, Downey's presence makes the next Sherlock Holmes at least as eagerly anticipated as this year's Iron Man 2.

Jeff Bridges appears to have finally found the film that may win him an Oscar. In one of the slightly more surprising wins of the night, Bridges took Best Actor, Drama honors with his performance as Bad Blake in Crazy Heart over odds on favorite George Clooney (nominated for Up in the Air). It's a certain bet that Bridges will hear his name on February 2nd when Oscar noms are announced but we think this win has greatly increased his chances for hearing his name on March 7th as well.

Sandra Bullock had one hell of a year. We're not sure that's it's over quite yet but even if there isn't an Oscar in her future, last night's Golden Globe for Best Actress, Drama is certainly a nice way to cap off the two most successful movies of her career. We loved The Blind Side (and The Proposal, which she was also nominated for), and we're hoping all of this success will see Bullock evolving into a true powerhouse in filmmaking. Expect a nod for The Blind Side come Oscar's announcements.

There's a casualness about the atmosphere at the Golden Globes that stands out nicely against the restrictive theater seating and imposed glitz of the Oscars, and perhaps that's one reason why it seems the Globes more readily honors films that are actually popular. There have been years when it seemed a big box-office, or even modest ticket sales, disqualified a movie from an Oscar win.

Not so the Globes, which honored tremendously successful films all night. Even then it was a bit of a surprise to hear the Best Picture, Comedy category announce a Golden Globe for The Hangover. A hugely popular success with a worldwide gross of more than $460 million, The Hangover was chosen over critically acclaimed films like 500 Days of Summer and Julie & Julia. In fact, The Hangover, at this writing, has a box-office total of more than $140 million over all of the other films in this category combined. A nice acknowledgement that moviegoers may actually know something about the movies they pay to see. (At least on occasion.)

And speaking of box-office... as the Golden Globes show began its live broadcast last night, the motion picture Avatar was busy passing 1977's Star Wars as the third largest grossing North American movie in history. Now, with less than 50 million to go before taking the number two slot from The Dark Knight, James Cameron has got only himself to beat for further box-office records.

Avatar, already the second most successful movie in global history with worldwide box-office standing in excess of $1.6 billion dollars (in just over 5 weeks of release), took home Best Picture, Drama & Best Director Golden Globes. Director James Cameron has distinguished himself as a creative force that has changed his industry, not with a wobble or nudge but with an explosion of sight and sound, quite literally into a new dimension. Oscar is calling. With $2 billion in tickets likely sold by the time the Academy hands out it's gold statuettes, Cameron deserves to be honored (and should be considered slighted if he is not) in the same categories on March 7th. Oscar, we hope, is taking note.

For the record - we loved host Ricky Gervais, (particularly his introduction of Mel Gibson), speeches by Meryl Streep and Robert Downey Jr. and Sandra Bullock's gown. We cringed at Drew Barrymore's rambling and were annoyed by the ever constant camera shots of George Clooney and Sir Paul McCartney. We've also had more than enough of Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro, in De Niro's own words, "giving each other awards". Need we remind you that last year saw De Niro fumble again with Everybody's Fine and Scorsese hasn't had a real project since 2006's mundane Departed. Shutter Island, Scorsese's next release starring Leonardo DiCaprio, was delayed from last year and looks like a suitably suspenseful, but ordinary thriller. These guys are both legends of American cinema, but we're of the opinion that the necessary accolades have, by now, all been given.

Lastly, a moment to recognize Nicole Kidman and the gracious and appropriate handling of the earthquake crisis in Haiti. Perfectly delivered, eloquent, and we hope, tremendously effective.

Check out Moviedozer.com as we run up to the Oscars with coverage of the nominations and all of the hype and buzz. See you there.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The match of the decade.

Like James Cameron and technology, George Lucas and droids or Will Ferrell and bad recycled ideas, here's a match that you'd be hard pressed to make any more perfect. Since it's the beginning of a new year and a new decade of moviemaking, we thought we'd start with one optimistic wish...

Put these two guys in a movie together.


It just doesn't need anymore explanation than that.