Category Archives: Best Director

Watch 82nd Academy Awards Live Chat on 44-D’s

The 82nd Academy Awards ceremony, presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, will honor the best films of 2009 and will take place March 7, 2010, at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California and will be televised in the United States on ABC. Actors Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin will serve as co-hosts for the show.

44-D’rs will be live chatting the ceremony as well. Please visit www.chatroll.com to set up your chat account (this only takes about 10 seconds), and then come back here to join us in all the fun!

If you didn’t already download/print your Oscars ballot, please click here.

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Wishing him the best birthday ever!!
Our fellow founder and friend, GeoT!
Please have a virtual slice 🙂

82nd Academy Awards and the winners are…

Best Motion Picture

Best Actor

Best Supporting Actor

Best Actress

Best Supporting Actress

Best Director

Best Documentary Feature

Best Documentary Short

Best Animated Feature

Best Foreign Language Film

Best Original Screenplay

Best Adapted Screenplay

Best in Cinematography

Best in Art Direction

Best Animated Short

Best Live Action Short

Best in Visual Effects

Best in Costume Design

Best in Film Editing

Best In Sound Mixing

Best in Sound Editing

Best in Music (Original Score)

Best in Music (Original Song)

Best in Makeup

44-D’s Blogs the Oscars Credits

Director/Producer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Audiegrl
Graphic Designer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . GeoT
Web Development and Layout . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Audiegrl
Research and Writing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . BlueDog89
Videology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Buellboy

Reviewers include: Betsm, Ogenec, TheLCster, Geot, Audiegrl, WillieBeyond, and more…

Many thanks to all who made the 44-D’s Blogs the Oscars project possible 🙂

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Filed under 82nd Academy Awards, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Adap Screenplay, Best Animated Feature, Best Animated Short, Best Animated Short, Best Art Direction, Best Cinematography, Best Costume Design, Best Director, Best Doc Feature, Best Doc Short, Best Film Editing, Best Foreign Film, Best in Art Direction, Best LA Short, Best Makeup, Best Music Score, Best Music Song, Best Orig Screenplay, Best Picture, Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing, Best Sup Actor, Best Sup Actress, Best Visual Effects, Hollywood, Live Stream Video, Make-up Category, Uncategorized, Video/YouTube

Academy Award® Nominated Directors

Ensemble post by: Audiegrl, Geot, and BuellBoy



James Cameron ~ AVATAR
JAMES CAMERON (Director-Writer-Producer-Editor) was born in Kapuskasing, Ontario, Canada, and grew up near Niagara Falls. In 1971, he moved to Brea, California where he studied physics at Fullerton Junior College while working as a machinist and, later, a truck driver. Setting his sights on a career in film, Cameron quit his trucking job in 1978 and raised money from a consortium of local dentists to produce a 35mm short film.

The visual effects in this film led to work on Roger Corman’s “Battle Beyond the Stars” (1980), on which he served as production designer, matte artist and visual effects director of photography. Next, he became second unit director on Corman’s subsequent sci-fi thriller, “Galaxy of Terror” (1981).

In 1983 Cameron wrote three scripts: “Rambo: First Blood Part 2,” “Aliens” and “The Terminator.” He directed “The Terminator,” starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, in 1984. It became an unexpected box office hit and made Time magazine’s ten best films of the year list.

Cameron subsequently directed “Aliens” (1986), then wrote and directed “The Abyss” (1989). Following that, he wrote, produced and directed “Terminator 2: Judgment Day” (1991), “True Lies” (1994), and “Titanic” (1997). He also co-wrote and produced “Point Break” (1991) and “Strange Days” (1994), and produced “Solaris” (2003).

His films have blazed new trails in visual effects and set numerous performance records both domestically and abroad. “Titanic” currently holds both the domestic and worldwide box office records having grossed over $1.8 billion at the global box office. Cameron’s films have also earned numerous nominations and awards from a variety of organizations, culminating in “Titanic’s” fourteen Academy Award nominations (a record) and eleven Oscars, including Cameron’s three Oscars for Best Picture, Best Direction and Best Editing.

In 1999, Cameron co-created the one-hour television series “Dark Angel.” The show ran for two seasons on the Fox Network and gained a loyal following and a number of prestigious nominations and awards, including the People’s Choice Award for Best New Television Drama. It also launched a new star: Jessica Alba.

Cameron also set to work on a digital 3-D camera system, which he developed with partner Vince Pace. The goal was to bring back the experience of deep ocean exploration with unprecedented clarity to a global audience.

Using this new camera system, Cameron proceeded to make underwater documentaries with his company, Earthship Productions. His team’s historic exploration of the inside of Titanic was the subject of Cameron’s 3-D IMAX film, “Ghosts of the Abyss.” In May 2002, Cameron guided his robotic cameras inside the wreck of Bismarck, which resulted in groundbreaking discoveries about the sinking of the legendary German battleship, and the Discovery Channel documentary, “James Cameron’s Expedition: Bismarck. Cameron’s team then made three expeditions to deep hydrothermal vent sites in the Atlantic, Pacific and Sea of Cortez over a two-year period, which became the subject of “Aliens of the Deep,” also released in 3-D IMAX. He was joined in his exploration of these extreme environments by a team of young scientists and marine biologists to study how life forms discovered there represent life we may one day find on other planets and moons in our solar system. Most recently, Cameron returned again to the Titanic to complete his interior exploration of the ship, which was showcased in the Discovery Channel’s program, “Last Mysteries of the Titanic.”
Cameron continues to work with his engineering partner, Vince Pace, to develop camera systems and tools for 3D photography, for movies, documentaries, sports and special events. Their Fusion Camera System is the world’s leading stereoscopic camera system, and has been used on AVATAR, “Journey to the Center of the Earth,” “Hannah Montana: Best of Both Worlds,” “U2:3D,” “Tron: Legacy,” and “The Final Destination,” as well as numerous special event projects, such as the NBA All Star Game. Cameron is also continuing to develop a number of ocean projects, and other environmentally themed documentaries.
Click for complete coverage of AVATAR, that includes: nominations, trailers, cast, reviews, production notes, and more…



Jason Reitman ~ UP IN THE AIR
JASON REITMAN (Director/Screenplay/Producer) is an Oscar®-nominated director who has established himself as an original, smart and funny storyteller known for his pitch-perfect commentaries on society. Reitman recently produced the horror comedy Jennifers Body for Fox. The Diablo Cody-scripted film was directed by Karyn Kusama and stars Amanda Seyfried and Megan Fox. In addition, Reitman executive-produced Atom Egoyan’s Chloe starring Liam Neeson and Julianne Moore, which debuted at this year’s Toronto Film Festival and has been picked up for release by Sony and is set for release in 2010. Reitman is also set to executive-produce Max Winkler’s directing debut Ceremony and is currently at work on an adaptation of Joyce Maynard’s novel Labor Day.

Through his company, Right of Way Films, Reitman is developing new scripts by Jenny Lumet and the Duplass brothers. He is also developing a feature film based on the cult children’s television show Yo Gabba Gabba.

He made his feature film directing debut with the 2006 hit Thank You for Smoking, based on the acclaimed novel by Christopher Buckley, which Reitman adapted for the screen. The film had its world premiere at the 2005 Toronto Film Festival, where it was acquired by Fox Searchlight. Thank You for Smoking went on to earn a Golden Globe nomination for Best Picture, an Independent Spirit Award for Best Screenplay and a WGA nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay. In 2006, Reitman was named Best Debut Director by the National Board of Review.

In December 2007, Fox Searchlight released Reitmans second feature, Juno, which follows the story of a pregnant teenager. Juno has earned widespread praise since its debut at the 2007 Toronto Film Festival, and has grossed over $230 million worldwide.
Reitman was nominated for an Academy Award® for directing Juno. The film earned one win for Diablo Cody’s screenplay and additional nominations for Best Picture and Best Actress (Ellen Page). Juno won three Independent Spirit Awards and a Grammy Award. Reitman was born in Montreal on October 19, 1977. At age 19, his first short film, Operation, premiered at the 1998 Sundance Film Festival. Reitman’s short films have played in over a hundred film festivals worldwide.

Reitman is half of the mash-up turntable band “Bad Meaning Bad.”
Up in the Air
Click for complete coverage of Up In The Air, that includes: nominations, trailers, cast, reviews, production notes, and more…



Quentin Tarantino ~ INGLORIOUS BASTERDS
Quentin TaratinoWith his vibrant imagination and his trademark dedication to richly detailed storytelling, Quentin Tarantino has established himself as one of the most celebrated filmmakers of his generation. Tarantino continues to infuse his distinct, innovative films with appreciative nods to classic moviemaking styles, genres and motifs.

Most recently collaborated with Robert Rodriquez on GRINDHOUSE, an unprecedented project from the longtime collaborators (FROM DUSK TO DAWN, FOUR ROOMS and SIN CITY) which presented two original, complete films as a double feature. Tarantino’s DEATH PROOF, one half of the double feature, is a white knuckle ride behind the wheel of a psycho serial killer’s roving death machine.
Tarantino guided audiences on a whirlwind tour of the globe in KILL BILL VOL. 1 and KILL BILL VOL. 2, in which Uma Thurman, as “the bride,” enacted a “roaring rampage of revenge” on her former lover and boss. KILL BILL VOL. 1 and KILL BILL VOL. 2 also star David Carradine as the doomed title character, and Lucy Liu, Daryl Hannah, Vivica A. Fox and Michael Madsen as his equally moribund team of assassins.

Following the worldwide success of KILL BILL VOL. 1 and KILL BILL VOL. 2, Tarantino seized another opportunity to collaborate with longtime friend and colleague Robert Rodriguez as a special guest director on the thriller SIN CITY. Based on three of co-director Frank Miller’s graphic novels, SIN CITY was released in 2005. The ensemble cast included Jessica Alba, Powers Boothe, Rosario Dawson, Benicio Del Toro, Michael Clarke Duncan, Michael Madsen, Brittany Murphy, Mickey Rourke, Bruce Willis and Elijah Wood.
Tarantino then turned his attention to the small screen, directing the season five finale of CSI. In the episode, entitled “Grave Danger,” Tarantino took the show’s fans on a chilling, claustrophobic journey six feet underground into a torturous coffin that contained CSI team member Nick Stokes (George Eads). The episode garnered Tarantino an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series. Tarantino made his television directorial debut in 1995 with an episode of the long-running drama ER entitled “Motherhood.”

Tarantino wrote and directed JACKIE BROWN, a comic crime caper loosely based on Elmore Leonard’s novel Rum Punch, starring Pam Grier, Robert Forster, Samuel L. Jackson, Robert De Niro, Bridget Fonda and Michael Keaton. JACKIE BROWN was released in 1997. Grier garnered both Golden Globe and SAG Award nominations for her performance in the title role. Forster was nominated for an Academy Award® for Best Supporting Actor. Jackson won the Silver Bear for Best Actor at the Berlin International Film Festival in 1998 for his performance as Ordell Robbie.

Tarantino co-wrote, directed and starred in PULP FICTION, which won the Palme D’Or at the 1994 Cannes Film Festival, numerous critics’ awards, and a Golden Globe for Best Screenplay. Tarantino made a return visit to Cannes in 2004 to take on the prestigious role of jury president. PULP FICTION was nominated for seven Academy Awards® including Best Picture and Best Director, and Tarantino received an Academy Award® for Best Screenplay. The time-bending, crime fiction collage stars John Travolta, Bruce Willis, Uma Thurman, Samuel L. Jackson, Eric Stoltz, Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth, Maria de Medeiros, Amanda Plummer and Christopher Walken.
He made a bold debut with RESERVOIR DOGS, a cops and robbers tale that Tarantino wrote, directed and produced on a shoe-string budget. The film boasts an impressive cast that includes Harvey Keitel, Steve Buscemi, Tim Roth and Michael Madsen.

Following the success of RESERVOIR DOGS, the screenplays that Tarantino wrote during his tenure as a video store clerk became hot properties: Tony Scott directed Christian Slater and Patricia Arquette in TRUE ROMANCE and Robert Rodriguez directed George Clooney and Salma Hayek in FROM DUSK TILL DAWN.

Tarantino joined Allison Anders, Robert Rodriguez and Alexandre Rockwell by directing, writing and executive producing a segment of the omnibus feature FOUR ROOMS.

Tarantino’s diverse work as a producer exemplifies both his dedication to first-time filmmakers and his enthusiastic support for his experienced peers and colleagues. Tarantino served as an executive producer on Eli Roth’s HOSTEL, a chilling horror film about vacationers who fall victim to a service that allows its patrons to live out sadistic fantasies of murder. In 2005, Tarantino also produced first-time director Katrina Bronson’s DALTRY CALHOUN, starring Johnny Knoxville and Juliette Lewis. Tarantino’s additional executive producer credits include Robert Rodriguez’s FROM DUSK TILL DAWN and Roger Avary’s KILLING ZOE. The longtime fan of Asian cinema presented Yuen Wo Ping’s IRON MONKEY to American audiences in 2001 and Zhang Yimou’s HERO in 2004.
Inglourious Basterds
Click for complete coverage of Inglourious Basterds, that includes: nominations, trailers, cast, reviews, production notes, and more…



Lee Daniels ~ Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire
Lee Daniels began his career in entertainment as a casting director and manager after a chance meeting with a Hollywood producer, who recognized that Daniels had the business and artistic savvy to succeed. He initially started out as a casting director working on projects such as Under the Cherry Moon and Purple Rain, and continued managing talent that included several Academy Award nominees and winners.

Monster’s Ball, the first production of Lee Daniels Entertainment, was a remarkable pioneering achievement. The film marked Daniels as the first African-American sole producer of an Academy Award earning substantial critical and box office success, Monster’s Ball was nominated for two Academy Awards in 2002—Best Original Screenplay and Best Actress, for which Halle Berry won an Oscar.

Daniels’ next producing effort was The Woodsman. The film, starring Kevin Bacon, Kyra Sedgwick and Mos Def made its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in 2004. Nominated for three 2005 Independent Spirit Awards, the film received the CICAE Arthouse Prize at the Cannes Film Festival; Jury Prize, Deauville International Film Festival and Special Mention for Excellence in Filmmaking from the National Board of Review.

Shadowboxer, marks Daniels’ directorial debut. This bold and heart wrenching tale of a pair of controversial assassins stars Helen Mirren, Cuba Gooding, Jr., Stephen Dorff, Vanessa Ferlito, Mo’Nique, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Macy Gray and had it’s world premiere at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival. Daniels received a nomination for the New Directors Award at the 2006 San Sebastian Film Festival on behalf of the film.

Krystal joins them along the way. The film will be shot in New Mexico and Tennessee. It is produced by Daniels, written by Russell Schaumberg and will be directed by Aaron Woodley who directed the critically acclaimed Rhinoceros Eyes.

Outside of his work in film, Daniels briefly stepped into the world of politics and community development. Upon the request of Harlem neighbor and former president Bill Clinton, Daniels produced public service announcements to inspire young people of color to vote.The effective campaign was launched in March 2004 and featured actor/musician LL Cool J and Grammy winner Alicia Keys.
Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire
Click for complete coverage of Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire, that includes: nominations, trailers, cast, reviews, production notes, and more…



Kathryn Bigelow ~ THE HURT LOCKER
KATHRYN BIGELOW (Director and Producer) has distinguished herself as one of Hollywood’s most innovative filmmakers. In 1985, Bigelow directed and co-wrote the stirring cult classic Near Dark, produced by Steven- Charles Jaffe. The film was critically lauded as a “poetic horror film.” As always, Bigelow’s visual style garnered positive reactions from the press, who described it as “dreamy, passionate and terrifying, a hallucinatory vision of the American nightworld that becomes both seductive and devastating.” Following the release of the film, the Museum of Modern Art honored Bigelow with a career retrospective.

In 1991, Bigelow directed the action thriller Point Break, which starred Keanu Reeves and Patrick Swayze. Executive produced by James Cameron, Point Break explored the dangerous extremes of a psychological struggle between two young men. The Chicago Tribune commended her astonishing filmmaking sensibilities and described her as “a uniquely talented, uniquely powerful filmmaker…Bigelow has tapped into something primal and strong. She is a sensualist in the most sensual of mediums.”

When Strange Days was released in 1995, Roger Ebert called it a “technical tour de force.” In the film, Bigelow explored the unsettling prospects of computer-generated virtual reality and the impending new millennium. Strange Days received rave reviews and was highly praised for its energy and unique, intense visuals. Janet Maslin, in The New York Times, stated that “the furiously talented” Bigelow was “operating at full throttle… using material ablaze with eerie promise… she turns Strange Days into a troubling but undeniably breathless joyride.” Starring Ralph Fiennes, Angela Bassett and Juliette Lewis, Strange Days was co-written by James Cameron and released by Twentieth Century Fox.

Bigelow also directed The Weight of Water, starring Sean Penn, Sarah Polley, Catherine McCormack and Elizabeth Hurley. Based on the bestselling Anita Shreve novel, The Weight of Water made its world premiere in a gala screening at the 25th annual Toronto International Film Festival in 2000 and drew praise from critics and filmmakers alike. Variety described the film as being “Bigelow’s richest, most ambitious and personal work to date; imbued with suspense, benefiting from Bigelow’s penchant for creating a visual sense of menace and an atmosphere of fear.”

On the release of K-19: The Widowmaker, The New York Times declared Bigelow “one of the most gifted…directors working in movies today.” Starring Harrison Ford, Liam Neeson and Peter Saarsgard, it was one of the more critically well-received films of the summer of 2002. The film tells the true story of a heroic Soviet naval crew who risked their lives to prevent a near nuclear disaster aboard their submarine. Critics praised Bigelow as “an expert technician who never steps wrong” (Roger Ebert).

Bigelow went where no other filmmaker has gone before, making Soviet soldiers from the Cold War era the heroes of a major American production. For Bigelow, there was a larger purpose to telling this important forgotten chapter of history. “…At times I allow myself to hope that K-19 will also have another role to play, that it can help to throw open the narrow ideological window through which we, as Americans, have viewed a particular past and culture. In those moments I’m thinking back over the many disquieting things I saw in Russia, and most of all the people I met there: Our former enemies whose great courage we may now, finally, after all these years, be prepared to acknowledge.”

Click for complete coverage of The Hurt Locker, that includes: nominations, trailers, cast, reviews, production notes, and more…


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Filed under 82nd Academy Awards, Best Director, Culture, Entertainment, Hollywood, Pop Culture, US, World

Academy Award® Nominated: Up In the Air

Ensemble post by: Audiegrl, Geot, Bluedog89, BuellBoy and Ogenec

Up in the Air
From Jason Reitman, the Oscar®-nominated director of Juno, comes Up in the Air, the timely odyssey of Ryan Bingham (Oscar® winner George Clooney), a corporate downsizer and consummate modern business traveler who, after years of staying happily airborne, suddenly finds himself ready to make a real connection.

Ryan has long been contented with his unencumbered lifestyle lived out across America in airports, hotels and rental cars. He can carry all he needs in one wheel‐away case; he’s a pampered, elite member of every travel loyalty program in existence; and he’s close to attaining his lifetime goal of 10 million frequent flier miles – and yet … Ryan has nothing real to hold onto.

When he falls for a simpatico fellow traveler (Vera Farmiga), Ryan’s boss (Jason Bateman), inspired by a young, upstart efficiency expert (Anna Kendrick), threatens to permanently call him in from the road. Faced with the prospect, at once terrifying and exhilarating, of being grounded, Ryan begins to contemplate what it might actually mean to have a home.

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Credits

Director . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Jason Reitman
Screenplay . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Sheldon Turner
Writer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Walter Kern
Producer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Ivan Reitman, Daniel Dubiecki, and Jeffrey Clifford
Executive Producers .Tom Pollock, Joe Medjuck, Ted Griffin and Michael Beugg
Production Designer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Steve Saklad
Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Dana E. Glauberman, A.C.E.
Costume Designer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Danny Glicker
Music . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Rolfe Kent
Music Supervisors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Randall Poster and Rick Clark

The cast includes: George Clooney, Vera Farmiga, Anna Kendrick, Danny McBride, Jason Bateman, Melanie Lynskey, Amy Morton, Sam Elliott, J.K. Simmons, Zach Galifianakis, and Chris Lowell

44D’s Reviews

Ogenec
Up In the Air is cool, old school film-making at its very best. Yes, I love watching mindless action movies as much as the rest of the gang. But I also appreciate movies with layers and layers of dialogue. Unfortunately, unless you subscribe to TCM, such movies are hard to come by. Especially in major studio releases. So I don’t know how Jason Reitman got this movie made, but bless his soul, he did. (A little movie called Juno probably had something to do with it.)

It’s hard to come up with a short list of the things I loved about this movie, but I’ll try. I’ve already mentioned the dialogue. But calling it dialogue is a huge disservice; more accurately, it’s repartee. And executed by two of the finest actors in Hollywood — George Clooney and Vera Farmiga. George is a man of many talents, but he is never more impressive than when he is channeling his inner Spencer Tracy. (See Out of Sight for another stellar example.) But I think he met his match in Vera Farmiga, who, as far as I am concerned, is the Meryl Streep of her generation. Except sexier. 🙂 Man, you have got to check out the scene in the airport lounge. The banter, the sexual tension, the double entendres… I was ready to light a cigarette right there in the theater. We need to see more of these two together, stat!

I’m running out of space, so I’ll briefly mention other highlights of the movie for me. It deals in a very deft way with the conundrum that, even as the world gets more interconnected, many of us feel so alienated and alone. It is very timely in its depiction of the horrible state of the economy, and how no industry — even one dependent on an economic downturn — is immune. And finally, it deals with the importance of love, and of family as an anchor in turbulent times. In so doing, the movie perfectly illustrates this saying by my favorite poet, Robert Frost: “Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in.” Wonderful movie, and I can’t recommend it highly enough.”

Did You Know?

With the exception of the famous actors, every person we see fired in the film is not an actor but a real life recently laid off person. The filmmakers put out ads in St. Louis and Detroit posing as a documentary crew looking to document the effect of the recession. When people showed up, they were instructed to treat the camera like the person who fired them and respond as they did or use the opportunity to say what they wished they had.

While at Lambert Field in St Louis, Ryan tries to make an impassioned speech to Natalie about Charles Lindbergh’s plane The Spirit of St Louis. Officially, Lindbergh’s plane was a Ryan NYP (New York to Paris) so the two share the same name.

When the character Bob, played by J.K. Simmons, shows Ryan a photo of his two children, it is a photo of Simmons’ real children.

Six Nominations

Best Motion Picture
Best Director
Best Actor (George Clooney)
Best Supporting Actress (Vera Farmiga)
Best Supporting Actress (Anna Kendrick)
Best in Adapted Screenplay

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Academy Award® Nominated: Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire

Posted by: Audiegrl, Geot, Bluedog89, and BuellBoy

Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire
Lee Daniels’ Precious is a vibrant, honest and resoundingly hopeful film about the human capacity to grow and overcome.

Set in Harlem in 1987, it is the story of Claireece “Precious” Jones (Gabourey Sidibe), a sixteen-year-old African-American girl born into a life no one would want. She’s pregnant for the second time by her absent father; at home, she must wait hand and foot on her mother (Mo’Nique), a poisonously angry woman who abuses her emotionally and physically. School is a place of chaos, and Precious has reached the ninth grade with good marks and an awful secret: she can neither read nor write.

Precious may sometimes be down, but she is never out. Beneath her impassive expression is a watchful, curious young woman with an inchoate but unshakeable sense that other possibilities exist for her. Threatened with expulsion, Precious is offered the chance to transfer to an alternative school, Each One/Teach One. Precious doesn’t know the meaning of “alternative,” but her instincts tell her this is the chance she has been waiting for. In the literacy workshop taught by the patient yet firm Ms. Rain (Paula Patton), Precious begins a journey that will lead her from darkness, pain and powerlessness to light, love and self-determination.

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Credits

Director . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Lee Daniels
Screenwriter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Geoffrey Fletcher
Producers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Sarah Siegel-Magness and Gary Magness
Co-Producer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mark G. Mathis
Executive Producers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Oprah Winfrey and Tyler Perry
Executive Producers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Lisa Cortés and Tom Heller
Co-Executive Producer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Simone Sheffield
Associate Producer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Andrew Sforzini
Associate Producer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Asger Hussain
Director of Photography . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Andrew Dunn, BSC
Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . John Klotz
Costume Designer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Marina Draghici
Music . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mario Grigorov
Music Supervisor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Lynn Fainchtein
Production Designer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Roshelle Berliner

The cast includes: Mo’Nique, Gabourey Sidibe, Paula Patton, Mariah Carey, Sherri Shepherd, and Lenny Kravitz, Stephanie Andujar, Chyna Lane, Amina Robinson, Xosha Roquemore, Angelic Zambrana, Aunt Dot, Nealla Gordon, Grace Hightower, Barret Isaiah Mindell, Kimberly Russell, Bill Sage, and Susan Taylor

44D’s Reviews

Audiegrl
First let me say, this was not an easy movie to watch. It’s a very intense film that deals with poverty, child abuse (mental, physical and sexual), and a broken education system. It hits you at a gut level and it becomes painfully obvious that the system has failed Claireece Precious Jones. From that point on, you can’t stop watching it, and rooting for her to overcome all of these obstacles. The performance by Gabourey Sidibe was incredibly powerful for a virtual unknown, and it’s easy to understand why she has decided to pursue a acting career. As for Mo’Nique’s performance as the abusive mother, lets just say she kept it so real…she scared me. In my book, both of these ladies deserve the awards they’ve been given so far, and the nominations for Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress from the Academy.

Did You Know?

Over 400 girls were interviewed from across the country for the part of Precious. Gabourey Sidibe was cast a mere six weeks before the start of shooting after being forced to the audition by friends.

Helen Mirren was originally cast as Mrs. Weiss, but dropped out. Mariah Carey was chosen as a replacement by director Lee Daniels only two days before the film went into production. Daniels has stated that he chose Carey based on her performance in Tennessee (2008), which he produced.

Oprah Winfrey said that when she saw the movie, it “split [her] open“, and that she immediately called Tyler Perry who gave her Lee Daniels’ number, so that she could call him and tell him she would do anything to promote the film. When she called him, he was onstage getting an award at the Sundance Film Festival. Oprah later stated that this film was why “we make movies“, and that she thought people might not “enjoy“, but would “appreciate this experience“.

This movie holds the record for averaging US$100,000 per screen in fewer than 50 US theaters.

Six Nominations

Best Motion Picture
Best Director
Best Actress~Gabourey Sidibe
Best Supporting Actress~Mo’Nique
Best in Adapted Screenplay
Best in Film Editing

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Academy Award® Nominated: Inglourious Basterds

Posted by: Audiegrl, Geot, Bluedog89, and BuellBoy

Inglourious Basterds
In the first year of the German occupation of France, Shosanna Dreyfus (Mélanie Laurent) witnesses the execution of her family at the hand of Nazi Colonel Hans Landa (Christoph Waltz). Shosanna narrowly escapes and flees to Paris where she forges a new identity as the owner and operator of a cinema.

Elsewhere in Europe, Lieutenant Aldo Raine (Brad Pitt) organizes a group of Jewish American soldiers to perform swift, shocking acts of retribution. Later known to their enemy as “the basterds,” Raine’s squad joins German actress and undercover agent Bridget von Hammersmark (Diane Kruger) on a mission to take down the leaders of the Third Reich. Fates converge under a cinema marquis, where Shosanna is poised to carry out a revenge plan of her own. Employing pulp and propaganda in equal measure, Quentin Tarantino’s INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS weaves together the infamous, oppressed, real and larger-than-life stories of WWII.

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Credits

Director . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Quentin Tarantino
Writer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Quentin Tarantino
Producer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Lawrence Bender
Executive Producers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Erica Steinberg and Lloyd Phillips
Executive Producers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Bob Weinstein and Harvey Weinstein
Co-Producers . . . . . Henning Molfenter, Carl L. Woebcken, and Christoph Fisser
Associate Producer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Pilar Savone
Special Makeup Effects . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Gregory Nicotero and Howard Berger
Director of Photography . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Robert Richardson, ASC
Production Designer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . David Wasco
Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Sally Menke, A.C.E.
Costume Designer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Anna B. Sheppard
Visual Effects Designer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . John Dykstra

The cast includes: Brad Pitt, Mélanie Laurent, Christoph Waltz, Eli Roth, Michael Fassbender, Diane Kruger, Daniel Brühl, Til Schweiger, Gedeon Burkhard, Jacky Ido, B.J. Novak, Omar Doom, August Diehl, Sylvester Groth, Martin Wuttke, Mike Myers, Julie Dreyfus, Samm Levine, Paul Rust, and Michael Bacall

Reviews

IMDB member from England
Inglorious Basterds makes no apologies, asks for no forgiveness, it’s a no holds barred assault on the senses. Tarantino doesn’t care if he offends, if he steps all over stereotypes and clichés, this is film making at it purest. It’s great to see a film maker whose work clearly isn’t interfeared with by the powers that be. Tarantino is a master of effortlessly cranking up immense tension and suddenly mixing it with laugh out loud moments; you’re not sure if you should be looking away in disgust or rolling around laughing, either way it’s a roller coaster and one not to be missed! It’s not for everyone and I’m unsure how Germans will take the film, certainly if you’re not a fan of Tarantino’s style, this may be a little hard to swallow, but never-the-less, it is a film which simply has to be seen. No self respecting film fan should miss this. And the performance of Christoph Waltz… Oscar don’t you dare ignore him!!”

Did You Know?

Quentin Tarantino intended for this to be as much a war film as a spaghetti western, and considered titling the movie “Once Upon a Time in Nazi-Occupied France“. He gave that title instead to the first chapter of the film.

When asked about the misspelled title, director Quentin Tarantino gave the following answer: “Here’s the thing. I’m never going to explain that. You do an artistic flourish like that, and to explain it would just take the piss out of it and invalidate the whole stroke in the first place.”

Eli Roth’s character, Sgt. Donnie Donowitz, is part of the Tarantino-verse, sharing the last name of the film producer character, Lee Donowitz, in the Tarantino-written True Romance (1993). The Lee Donowitz character also produced a war film “Comin’ Home in a Body Bag“.

The name of Brad Pitt’s character, Lt. Aldo Raine, is an homage to both the actor and WWII veteran Aldo Ray and a character from Rolling Thunder (1977), Charles Rane (played by William Devane). One of the casting directors, Johanna Ray, is Aldo Ray’s ex-wife.

Eight Nominations

Best Motion Picture
Best Supporting Actor ~ Christoph Waltz
Best Director
Best Original Screenplay
Best Cinematography
Best in Film Editing
Best Sound Mixing
Best Sound Editing

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Academy Award® Nominated: The Hurt Locker

Ensemble post by: Audiegrl, Geot, Bluedog89, and BuellBoy

The Hurt LockerThe Hurt Locker, winner of the 2008 Venice Film Festival SIGNIS Grand Prize, is a riveting, suspenseful portrait of the courage under fire of the military’s unrecognized heroes: the technicians of a bomb squad who volunteer to challenge the odds and save lives in one of the world’s most dangerous places. Three members of the Army’s elite Explosive Ordnance Disposal
(EOD) squad battle insurgents and each other as they search for and disarm a wave of roadside bombs on the streets of Baghdad—in order to try and make the city a safer place for Iraqis and Americans alike. Their mission is clear—protect and save—but it’s anything but easy, as the margin of error when defusing a war-zone bomb is zero. This thrilling and heart-pounding look at the effects of combat and danger on the human psyche is based on the first-hand observations of journalist and screenwriter Mark Boal, who was embedded with a special bomb unit in Iraq.

These men spoke of explosions as putting you in “the hurt locker.”

With a visual and emotional intensity that makes audiences feel like they have been transported to Iraq’s dizzying, 24-hour turmoil, The Hurt Locker is both a gripping portrayal of real-life sacrifice and heroism, and a layered, probing study of the soul-numbing rigors and potent allure of the modern battlefield.

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Credits

Director . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Kathryn Bigelow
Producers . . . . . . . . Mark Boal, Kathryn Bigelow, Nicolas Chartier, Greg Shapiro
Executive Producer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Tony Mark
Screenwriter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mark Boal
Director of Photography . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Barry Ackroyd
Production Designer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Karl Júlíusson
Editors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Bob Murawski and Chris Innis
Costume Designer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . George Little
Composer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Marc Beltrami

The cast includes: Jeremy Renner, Anthony Mackie, Brian Geraghty, Ralph Fiennes, Guy Pearce, David Morse, Christian Camargo, and Evangeline Lilly

Reviews

IMDB member from Argentina
“I spent the entire film grabbing the arms of my seat. I was there in Irak, steps away from my death and the death of those around me. The tension, the suspense is at times breathtaking, literally. “The Hurt Locker” is a miracle and the definitive consecration of a great filmmaker, Kathryn Bigelow. This is also a rare occasion in which I went to see the film without having read a single review or knowing anything about it. One should try to do that more often because the impact of the surprise translates into pure pleasure and in this case, sometimes, you have to look away from the unmitigated horror. Jeremy Renner is a real find. He is superb. A kind soul, wild man with enough arrogance to make him appear reckless and yet his humanity precedes him. People may commit the mistake of avoiding this gem thinking that it’s just a war film. Don’t. It isn’t. It’s a great, engrossing film about human emotions, not to be missed. “

Did You Know?

During filming, three, four or more hand-held super 16mm cameras were used to film scenes in documentary style. Nearly two hundred hours of footage was shot at an eye-popping 100:1 shooting ratio (a higher ratio of expended film than the notorious Francis Ford Coppola epic, Apocalypse Now (1979)).

James Cameron said this about ex-wife Kathryn Bigelow’s film: “I think this could be the ‘Platoon’ (1986) for the Iraq War.”

Jeremy Renner wore a real bomb suit in the sweltering desert heat without a stunt double.

The crew members were American, Jordanian, Lebanese, English, Irish, German, Moroccan, Danish, Tunisian, South African, Icelandic, Iraqi, Libyan, Circassian, Palestinian, Armenian, Swedish, Australian, and New Zealish.

Nine Nominations

Best Motion Picture
Best Director
Best Actor ~ Jeremy Renner
Best Original Screenplay
Best in Film Editing
Best Cinematography
Best in Music (Original Score)
Best Sound Editing
Best Sound Mixing

March 2, 2010
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Academy Penalizes Aggressive Campaigner

Beverly Hills, CA — The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced today that, should “The Hurt Locker” be announced as the recipient of the Best Picture award at Sunday’s ceremonies, only three of the picture’s producers will be present for the celebration. The fourth of the film’s credited producers, Nicolas Chartier, has been denied attendance at the 82nd Academy Awards® as a penalty for violating Academy campaigning standards.

Chartier had recently disseminated an email to certain Academy voters and other film industry figures in which he solicited votes for his own picture and disparaged one of the other contending films. Academy rules prohibit “casting a negative or derogatory light on a competing film.” The executive committee of the Academy’s Producers Branch, at a special session late Monday, ruled that the ethical lapse merited the revocation of Chartier’s invitation to the Awards.

The group stopped short of recommending that the Academy governors rescind Chartier’s nomination. If “The Hurt Locker” were to be selected as Best Picture, Chartier would receive his Oscar® statuette at some point subsequent to the March 7 ceremonies.”

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Academy Award® Nomination: Avatar

Posted by: Audiegrl, Geot, Bluedog89, and BuellBoy


AVATAR takes us to a spectacular world beyond imagination, where a newcomer from Earth embarks on an epic adventure, ultimately fighting to save the alien world he has learned to call home. James Cameron, the Oscar®-winning director of “Titanic,” first conceived of the film 15 years ago, when the means to realize his vision did not yet exist. Now, after four years of production, AVATAR, a live action film with a new generation of special effects, delivers a fully immersive cinematic experience of a new kind, where the revolutionary technology invented to make the film disappears into the emotion of the characters and the sweep of the story.

We enter the alien world through the eyes of Jake Sully, a former Marine confined to a wheelchair. But despite his broken body, Jake is still a warrior at heart. He is recruited to travel light years to the human outpost on Pandora, where a corporate consortium is mining a rare mineral that is the key to solving Earth’s energy crisis. Because Pandora’s atmosphere is toxic, they have created the Avatar Program, in which human “drivers” have their consciousness linked to an avatar, a remotely controlled biological body that can survive in the lethal air. These avatars are genetically engineered hybrids of human DNA mixed with DNA from the natives of Pandora… the Na’vi.

Reborn in his avatar form, Jake can walk again. He is given a mission to infiltrate the Na’vi, who have become a major obstacle to mining the precious ore. But a beautiful Na’vi female, Neytiri, saves Jake’s life, and this changes everything. Jake is taken in by her clan, and learns to become one of them, which involves many tests and adventures. As Jake’s relationship with his reluctant teacher Neytiri deepens, he learns to respect the Na’vi way and finally takes his place among them. Soon he will face the ultimate test as he leads them in an epic battle that will decide the fate of an entire world.

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Credits

Director . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . James Cameron
Writer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . James Cameron
Producer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . James Cameron
Producer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . John Landau
Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . James Cameron
Editors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . John Refoua, A.C.E. and Stephen Rivkin, A.C.E.
Production Designers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Rick Carter and Robert Stromberg
Director of Photography . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mauro Fiore, ASC
Senior Visual Effects Supervisor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Joe Letteri
Costume Designers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mayes C. Rubeo and Deborah L. Scott
Music . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . James Horner

The cast includes: Sam Worthington, Zoë Saldana, Sigourney Weaver, Stephen Lang, Michelle Rodriguez, Giovanni Ribisi, Joel David Moore, CCH Pounder, Wes Studi, and Laz Alonso

Reviews

IMDB member from England
It was Terminator in the 1980’s and then Titanic in the ’90s and it’s definitely Avatar in the 2000s!!

James Cameron is my most favourite director and he has once again broken all boundaries and created a visual extravaganza.

Avatar is Cameron’s latest magnum opus is probably one of the most anticipated movies since Titanic and now it seems that the visionary director has indeed created a film that’ll revolutionize the world of cinema.

The film was absolutely fascinating, interesting, entertaining and emotional. I loved the look on the Pandora jungle and it must be the best scenery in film history and the navis are definitely the best digital characters since Gollum from The Lord of the Rings. The special effects are so amazing that Pandora looks like a real location and you can mistake the navis as real characters. Avatar was almost 3 hours but it didn’t seem that long.

Avatar already makes it on my top 5 favourite movies and I intend to see it again and I am already waiting for it to release on Blu Ray because I’m sure that it will be one of the best Blu Ray titles.

Did You Know?

The year is never stated, but the video log shows that the year is 2154.

Sigourney Weaver plays a James Cameron persona for her character in this film. Sigourney stated in an interview, “I teased him because to me I’m playing Jim Cameron in the movie as this kind of brilliant, approach-driven, idealistic perfectionist. But that same somebody has a great heart underneath. So I have to say I was always kind of channeling him.”

The Na’vi language was created entirely from scratch by linguist Paul R. Frommer. James Cameron hired him to construct a language that the actors could pronounce easily, but did not resemble any single human language. Frommer created about 1000 words.

Nine Nominations

Best Motion Picture
Best Director
Best Cinematography
Best Art Direction
Best Visual Effects
Best in Film Editing
Best Sound Mixing
Best Sound Editing
Best in Music (Original Score)

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