(UPDATE: It's been pointed out to me by the competition is open to US readers only. Sorry -- I don't make the rules.) It was clear from your response to our SAG and Globe-related open-floor posts recently that many of you can't resist a prediction opportunity, so here's your chance to put that urge to profitable use. HitFix is holding an Awards Pool for the upcoming Golden Globe Awards next month, inviting readers to submit their best guesses in the film and television races -- with a shiny new Kindle Fire waiting for the person with the most accurate forecast. You have little to lose but your own credibility -- plus, it's the Globes, where cred hardly comes into it. Your guesses are literally as good as mine in the TV categories, but the comedy-musical film races are a walk in the park, right? Enter here.
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It never fails. Every week we gather together on Thursday and I say that we're on the verge of saying farewell to Marcus Canty and every week something gets in the way and Marcus Canty survives.
But tonight, we're TOTALLY on the verge of saying farewell to Marcus Canty, aren't we?
Let's find out...
This year's race for Best Animated Feature Film is a bit of a full one. After only 15 titles qualified last year (yielding just three nominees), the total number of qualifying films in the hunt this time around is 19, meaning we'll have a set of five contenders when the nominees are announced in January.
And yet, I can barely think of five films worth being included. It's a rather weak year in general for animation (despite two animated contenders popping up in my top 10). I've been pushing through the ones I've missed along the way, as well as those that came from the fringe. So it seems to me a good enough time to really set the field.
An interesting note on this year's field of contenders is the presence of live action filmmakers and outsider animation teams in the mix. And two key entries in that light both come from Paramount: Gore Verbinski's "Rango" and Steven Spielberg's "The Adventures of Tintin."
When I first heard "Born to Lose," I thought, "Oh no, you did NOT just throw some synths in there..."
They didn't. But it does sound dreamier.
The New York rock duo keep up with their reputation of prettyprettypretty prettypretty UGLYUGLYUGLY prettyprettypretty sounds on this single, the first from forthcoming album "Reign of Terror."
If you were wondering what those blood-spattered Keds were all about, that would be the album cover. Pretty ugly!
Tate Taylor is living the dream. The screenwriter and director of "The Help" has seen his surprise blockbuster turn into an awards season darling. The film's biggest kudos so far came over the past two days as it was nominated for best ensemble at the SAG Awards, best picture - drama at the Golden Globes and three of his actors, Viola Davis, Jessica Chastain and Octavia Spencer, received both SAG and Golden Globe acting nominations. For a Hollywood lifer who spent over a decade trying to land his big break in the business, it sounds like he's still pinching himself.
We are back to that time-honored tradition of compressing more than 300 days of good music into handy lists, this particular chronicle summarizing songs that moves us, make us move, or make us stop. And by us, I mean just me.
I liked that the discovery process this year was aided, in part, by Spotify, in an avoidance of the clunky CPU vampire that is MySpace or taking up bits of hard drive space for full mp3 downloads. My friends were posting what turned them on more and more on Facebook (sometimes unintentionally). Other people's Top 10s were showing up as early as mid-November. I'm not going to pretend I haven't seen some.
Since the delineation between songs and singles is becoming hazier, made squishy by terms like "leak," "preview," "premiere," "teaser," "alternative edits" and other language, I've tried to keep this list equally loose, sometimes going with songs that weren't official radio drops, tracks that arrived in 2010 (but came into their own in 2011) artists that aren't singles artists and songs that I wouldn't even say are representative of the artists that perform them.
They're just songs, folks. I liked them, and I hope there's some you like.
Grinderman have apparently called it quits, but all the better, to free up the hands of Warren Ellis: his other, epic band The Dirty Three are releasing their first album since 2005 next year.
"Toward the Low Sun" is dropping via Drag City on Feb. 21, and in March in the U.K. on Bella Union. The trio -- consisting of Nick Cave/Grinderman mainstay Ellis, one of my top five favorite drummers of all time Jim White and Mick Turner -- last released "Cinder" in 2005 on Touch & Go (may it rest in peace).
And speaking of proper RIPs, Bella Union head Simon Raymond used that exact expression as he wrote about Grinderman, in lieu of the new D3 set. Cave himself called the whole thing off.
Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, episode 107: Golden Globe and SAG nominations, 'Enlightened' & 'The Life & Times of Tim'
Bonus podcast time! We decided to do an extra Firewall & Iceberg Podcast this week to talk about the silly awards nominations, the end of "Enlightened," and the surprising but welcome return of "The Life & Times of Tim." Fewer topics than Monday's show, and no sports blather segment, yet we still almost hit an hour. Apparently, we had a lot to say about the HFPA.
Bryan Cranston has won three Emmys for his meth-making role on "Breaking Bad," and he's just scored some more respect from the foreign press (which previously nominated him for "Malcolm in the Middle") with his third Golden Globes nomination. I talked to the ever-loquacious Cranston about the latest critical kudos for his portrayal of Walter White and why he has no idea what's next for the troubled character.
It looks like Adam Lambert held out on all his Glamberts! On Wednesday, he tweeted the album cover for new single, “Better Than I Know Myself” and a 30-second snippet of the song, but left out the big news: the release date for his second, post-”American Idol” album, “Trespassing.”
The set will come out March 20 on 19 Entertainment/RCA. Fans who pre-order the album on Dec. 20, will get an instant, free download of “Better Than I Know Myself,” which goes on sales next Tuesday. (Even though we're still in 2011, March 20 is starting to look like a major release date: both The Shins and Madonna announce this week that they will also release albums in "late March").
[More after the jump...]
Steven Spielberg has Diane Keaton to thank for opening his eyes to the work of cinematographer Janusz Kaminski. The director happened to see Keaton's TV movie "Wildflower" in 1991 and liked the photography so much, he hired Kaminski to shoot a TV movie for his company, Gregory Hoblit's "Class of '61." From there the two collaborated on 1993's "Schindler's List" and the rest was history.
Kaminski has shot 11 of Spielberg's features since, working almost exclusively with the director. "War Horse" is the latest example of their combined visual eye, a sweeping epic with nods to classic cinema and a fierce reverence for the landscape it captures.
Indeed, the environment is a key element of a cinematographer's arsenal. "An essential part of the job is to tell the story through non-verbal means," Kaminski says. "Placing the actor within their environment is essential not just from the cinematographer's point of view but from the storytelling point of view. So whether a character lives in Manhattan or whether he lives in Montana, it shapes him.