Posts Tagged ‘Alice in Wonderland’

2011 Oscars in Four Moments

March 3, 2011

The 83rd Annual Academy Awards took place on February 27 and here is the list of  winners:

Best Picture
The King’s Speech

Best Director
Tom Hooper – The King’s Speech

Best Actor
Colin Firth – The King’s Speech

Best Actress
Natalie Portman – Black Swan

Best Supporting Actor
Christian Bale – The Fighter

Best Supporting Actress
Melissa Leo – The Fighter

Best Original Screenplay
The King’s Speech

Best Adapted Screenplay
The Social Network

Best Animated Feature
Toy Story 3

Best Foreign Language Film
In a Better World

Best Documentary Feature
Inside Job

Best Animated Short
The Lost Thing

Best Documentary Short
Stranger No More

Best Art Direction
Alice in Wonderland

Best Cinematography
Inception

Best Costume Design
Alice in Wonderland

Best Film Editing
The Social Network

Best Live Action Short
God of Love

Best Original Score
The Social Network

Best Original Song
We Belong Together
Toy Story 3

Best Makeup
The Wolfman

Best Visual Effects
Inception

Best Sound Editing
Inception

Best Sound Mixing
Inception

Of course a lot goes on in an Oscar broadcast, too much for me to write about, still there are four moments that I would like to present for your consideration.

Hosts Moment or Moments
In an effort to attract a younger demographic, the Academy picked Anne Hathaway and James Franco. I thought Hathaway was good as a host. She really put the effort to be engaging with the audience in the hall and with the television audience. As for Franco, he was just there, even dressed up as Marilyn Monroe. Since I’m a recent MBA graduate, the only reason I can think of for Franco’s not engaging performance was that he was very concerned about his studies and that got in the way of his host duties.

Can’t Take That Away From Me Moment
In the celebrity world of plastic surgery, botox and all around shallowness, it was great to see how Kirk Douglas handled himself. Yes, he doesn’t walk as well as he used to and he doesn’t talk as well as he used to, still for someone who is 94 years old and still dealing with the aftereffects of his stroke he showed the world two things:

1.     His mind is still as sharp as ever.

2.     While a stroke can make it difficult to walk and talk, it doesn’t take away the fact that you have class and Kirk Douglas has it.

By the way, the person who fought over Douglas’ cane was none other than Omar Sharif, Jr. Yes, he’s the son of that Omar Sharif. He has appeared in Egyptian television shows and films and now he wants to try his luck in Hollywood.

This Broadcast Has Been Brought To You By…
The American Broadcasting Company (ABC), at least until the year 2020. While some didn’t like it the network promoted itself during the Oscar broadcast, I didn’t mind. The Oscars has a worldwide audience of at least one billion, so I can’t fault the network for getting the word out about itself. After all with the Internet and satellite television providers, ABC doesn’t have to content itself with North America anymore. There are opportunities to get the network’s programming out all over the world. So, when opportunity to do some promotion came up, ABC grabbed it.

Bravo Bravo Natalie Moment
Yes, I was rooting for Natalie Portman to get the Oscar for Black Swan. Not only did she work hard in preparing for the role, she worked hard and smart throughout her career. She choose roles that weren’t just “girl next door” or love interest. They ran the gamut from Queen Amidala in the Star Wars prequels to Evey in V for Vendetta and it paid off on Oscar night for her. Also, she was gracious enough to thank her parents, her fiancé Benjamin Millipied and the many, many people who were involved in Black Swan. It costs nothing to say thank you, but it means a lot to those who hear it.

Well there you have it, the Oscars in four moments. What will happen with next year’s Oscars? We’ll find out next year.

Sources:
http://oscars.movies.yahoo.com/nominees;_ylt=AgaPEOKqWkPbaM8JKL5jrzhIPKJ4

http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/41817860/ns/today-entertainment/

http://www.vancouversun.com/entertainment/movie-guide/When+Kirk+Omar+Hollywood+story/4370595/story.html

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qfzmj5yYI4Y

Advertisements

Highest Grossing Films of 2010

January 6, 2011

Here are the top ten domestic grossing films, as reported in the December 24, 2010 issue of The Hollywood Reporter

1.     Toy Story 3 $415 million  (The folks at Pixar and Disney must be very happy.)

2.     Alice in Wonderland $334.2 million

3.     Inception $292.5 million (Christopher Nolan has proven that he doesn’t need Batman to boil his pot.)

4.     Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 $265.7 million

5.     Shrek Forever After $238.5 million

6.     The Twilight Saga: Eclipse $300.5 million (Team Jacob or Team Edward? Who cares! Vampires AND Werewolves aren’t sexy.)

7.     Iron Man 2 $312.1 million

8.     Despicable Me $250.5 million

9.     How to Train Your Dragon $217.6 million  (Or How to Train Your Dragon and Make Millions in the Process)

10.  Clash of the Titans $163.2 million

Joking aside, four out of the ten films in the 2010 list are animated. It is not hard to figure out why, since the ongoing recession has people yearning not just for an escape but a reminder of childhood and animated films do both.  (I explored this idea further in my blog entry of July 21, 2010 and you can read it here: https://justmovieposters09.wordpress.com/2010/07/21/animated-movies%E2%80%94they%E2%80%99re-not-just-for-kids-anymore/). Also, half of the films in the list are sequels. Love’em or hate’em, sequels make the cash register go cha-ching million of times over. From Harry Potter to Twilight and loads of movies in between, people like to see how characters progress over time. I admit, I like sequels for that very reason. Because people want to see the next chapter, they go the see the sequel and the film makes lots of money. It’s not rocket science, folks. It’s what the engineers call “If it works, it works” principle.

So, what will 2011 bring in movies? While I could wax poetic about the art of film, the reality is that the studios aren’t going to mess with a good formula. So, there will be more blockbusters, sequels and animated films in 2011. Of course, there is a chance that I’m wrong and there will be less films that are just formulaic plots with different characters and more films that explore the human condition.

Naaaaa.

Source:
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/gallery/top-10-grossing-films-2010-65349

3D Movies—The Boomerang Film Effect, Since It Keeps Coming Back

April 22, 2010

Recently several big budget films, such as Avatar, Alice in Wonderland and Clash of the Titans, have been made available in 3D versions. This film effect isn’t new. Mainstream 3D films first came along in the 1950’s as a way to get people away from their televisions and back to the theaters. Most of the films from the 1950’s wave of 3D were in the horror genre. They included films like Bwana Devil and House of Wax and they weren’t exactly Oscar contenders. Many times the fact that they were 3D films was the only thing going for them. Also, the moviegoer had wear cheap paper glass with red and green plastic sheets in each eyepiece, in order to experience the 3D effects. Then the fad faded. In the 1980’s came a resurgence of 3D films. Movie such as Jaws 3D and Friday the 13th Part III in 3D, helped to cement 3D’s reputation as a cheesy gimmick that didn’t add much to the film.

With advances in technology, the studios are hoping that the recent crop of 3D films will show how this can enhance a film. The trouble is how do the studio heads define enhance? Among the group of recent 3D movies, only Avatar was filmed in 3D. The 3D effects in Alice in Wonderland and Clash of the Titans were added post-production. Because of that fact, not everyone is jumping on the 3D bandwagon. Avatar director, James Cameron states that the decision to make a 3D movie should be made by the director, not by studio heads.

So, where does that leave the average filmgoer? I don’t know. I will say that while I’m intrigued by this next generation 3D, in the end, I want a movie that tells a good story. I don’t want to pay extra for a gimmick that may not add anything to the movie going experience. So to the studio heads out there, cool your jets when it comes to 3D. Like James Cameron said, if the director wants to do a 3D movie, great, let him or her do it. If not, leave the film alone. Not every movie benefits from being viewed 3D. Also, many filmgoers have complained of headaches and dizziness from watching a 3D movie. So, just because 3D worked for Avatar, it doesn’t mean it will work for every movie.

Sources:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2009/aug/20/3d-film-history

http://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/digital/3d/aliceinwonderland3dvfx

http://www.latinoreview.com/news/james-cameron-thinks-studios-should-chill-on-3d-conversions-9545

http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE62N14P20100325?feedType=RSS&feedName=entertainmentNews&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+reuters%2Fentertainment+%28News+%2F+US+%2F
+Entertainment%29