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10 Oscars we bet the Academy wishes they could take back

10 Oscars we bet the Academy wishes they could take back

Can you really disagree with any of these mistakes?

There is probably no peer organization that receives more blowback over their annual honors than the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences.  There is rarely a year when at least one Oscar winner is deemed unworthy by the media or moviegoers.  Sometimes it's a question of taste.  "Crash" vs. "Brokeback Mountain"? Boy,that's a debate that won't end anytime soon.  Either you love "Dances with Wolves" or "American Beauty" or you don't.  Either you think Sandra Bullock was deserving of a best actress Oscar or you don't.  Many times, however, there is no debate.  History is the greatest judge of all and the Academy has made a number of glaring mistakes over the show's past 84 installments.  With that in mind, HitFix's editors have chosen 10 winners that truly weren't deserving in our eyes.  These aren't necessarily the 10 most glaring mistakes, but 10 we would likely fix first.

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<p>Julia Roberts in &quot;Mirror Mirror&quot;</p>

Julia Roberts in "Mirror Mirror"

Credit: 20th Century Fox

'Anna Karenina,' 'Mirror Mirror,' 'Skyfall' win Costume Designers Guild Awards

The late Eiko Ishioka gets recognized for her fantasy threads

It was a big year for the costumers. They finally broke away from the art department folks in the designers branch to have their very own branch in the Academy. And this evening, the Costume Designers Guild put a bow on the industry awards circuit by being the final such group to present superlatives for 2012 in advance of this weekend's Independent Spirit Awards and the 85th annual Oscars.

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<p>Seth MacFarlane may have been all smiles at HBO's Golden Globes after-party, but we'll see how he's looking by the end of Sunday's Oscar ceremony.</p>

Seth MacFarlane may have been all smiles at HBO's Golden Globes after-party, but we'll see how he's looking by the end of Sunday's Oscar ceremony.

Credit: AP Photo/Chris Pizzello/Invision

Seth MacFarlane's comedy Western is ready for auction and should be set up soon

Will Universal repeat the success of 'Ted' with the comedy superstar?

It is vaguely amazing that Seth MacFarlane has become the media titan that he is today, and no matter what you think of his work, you have to give it up to the guy for the way he turned things around.

There was a point, after all, when he was just the guy whose show got canceled not once, but twice.  It would have been easy, between 2002 and 2005, to pretty much count MacFarlane out.  Now, here we are eight years later, and not only is he hosting the Academy Awards this coming Sunday night, but he's actually nominated for one of those Oscars, his film "Ted" is a gigantic worldwide megasmash hit, he's got three different animated shows running at the same time, and he's gearing up to make his second movie.

I'd say that qualifies as one of the greatest bounces in recent memory.

Media Rights Capital is underwriting the film, and I like the way MacFarlane's played it this time around, putting together an entire package before finding a studio partner.  And despite Deadline's insistence that this is a "kindred spirit" to "Blazing Saddles," something MacFarlane directly disputed in this week's Entertainment Weekly cover story, they seem to have the details on how the auction is coming together on the film.

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<p>Timothy Olyphant and Raymond J. Barry in &quot;Justified.&quot;</p>

Timothy Olyphant and Raymond J. Barry in "Justified."

Credit: FX

Review: 'Justified' - 'Money Trap'

Raylan deals with a vengeful escappe, and Ava and Boyd go to a party

I'm on vacation this week, but I got to see tonight's "Justified" early, and have a few quick thoughts on it coming up just as soon as I don't use the diphthong...

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"The Bachelor"

 "The Bachelor"

Credit: ABC

'The Bachelor' recap: Sean tells all, more or less

Sean says he thinks Tierra should never have done the show

Chris Harrison promises that all of our burning questions will be answered, and by Sean himself no less, on this very special episode of "The Bachelor." I doubt it. I have burning questions about why this show is so creatively edited, and why Sean thinks he can really find love on a nationally televised dating show that has a really crappy track record, and who was actually a terrible kisser because I have my suspicious, and I'm pretty sure he's not going to answer any of those questions. At least not honestly or directly.

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Watch: Passion Pit's new video for 'Carried Away' featuring Sophia Bush
Credit: Columbia Records

Watch: Passion Pit's new video for 'Carried Away' featuring Sophia Bush

'Beasts of the Southern Wild' cinematographer Ben Richardson lensed the clip

Boys love crazy girls. If you need further proof, just watch the dysfunctional relationship played out in Passion Pit’s new video, “Carried Away," a track from 2012's "Gossamer."

[More after the jump...]

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<p>Jack White</p>

Jack White

Credit: Katie Hasty

Jack White appointed Record Store Day ambassador... What was that about video games?

Third Man Records man has strong feelings about beauty, digitization and gaming

Jack White has been appointed the official ambassador for Record Store Day this year, to help support and market the April 20 push for music-buyers to head into their local mom-and-pop shops.

To kick off the festivities, the Third Man Record head posted a cheeky video chock full of conspiracy theories set at the United vinyl-pressing plant in Nashville; he is also dressed like Boris Badenov, the villain from "The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show."

White also went to the lengths of penning a pro-vinyl post that commented on digital technology, the generation gap of music-buying and the importance of face-to-face interactions. The entirety of that missive is below.

Speaking to digital distribution of art and entertainment, White rhetorically asks, "What's the point?"

"Why go to a bookstore and get a real book? You can just download it. Why talk to other human beings, discuss different authors, writing styles and influences?" he wrote. "Well here’s what they’ll someday learn if they have a soul; there’s no romance in a mouse click. There’s no beauty in sitting for hours playing video games (anyone proud of that stop reading now and post your opinion in the nearest forum)."

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<p>Yep, there they are, right where we left them at the end of 'Toy Story 3'</p>

Yep, there they are, right where we left them at the end of 'Toy Story 3'

Credit: Pixar

That 'Toy Story 4' rumor is completely false

And here's why you shouldn't believe what you're reading

It seems like each week now, we get some new lesson in just how fast information, both true and false, can spread online.  The moment someone breaks a story like El Mayimbe's Harrison Ford scoop last week, it is everywhere.  And while there's been no official confirmation of that story yet, most online organizations picked the story up because they trusted the origin of the information.

But what about when people suddenly create headlines around something that comes from a totally untrustworthy and untested source?  Why do things that have no immediate credibility suddenly become worldwide trending topics on Twitter?  Is is just a case of people wanting a rumor to be true so much that they don't care about reality?  As Wilco once sang, "All my lies are only wishes," and it sounds today like a lot of people wish there was a "Toy Story 4" arriving in theaters in 2015.

The problem is, it's not.

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<p>Matt Davis of &quot;Cult&quot;</p>

Matt Davis of "Cult"

Credit: The CW

TV Review: The CW's 'Cult' is yet another unsuccessfully crazy midseason drama

Matt Davis and Jessica Lucas blandly investigate a very meta mystery
Don't look now, but TV networks are about to learn the wrong lessons about wackiness. 
 
If you measure your wackiness -- or "nuttiness" or "lunacy" or whatever -- by quantity, rather than quality, we're in a Golden Age of Goofiness this midseason. 
 
NBC's "Do No Harm" had a dude experiencing dissociative identity disorder at regularly partitioned daily intervals, a very expensive sex doll and a sneering psychotic warning a small child with a stuffed animal that monkeys have been known to eat their young.
 
That was wacky.
 
ABC's "Zero Hour," with its Nazis, Rosicrucians, demon babies, doppelgangers, underground clockmakers and ice-bound submarines, made "Do No Harm" look milquetoast and rational.
 
Of course, "Do No Harm" was cancelled after only two airings, which is what happens if you premiere with the lowest in-season numbers for any drama in the history of network television.
 
And although "Zero Hour" launched last week to more robust ratings than "Do No Harm," it was still the worst start for an in-season ABC drama series, again, in history. Figure in an inevitable Week 2 plunge and the clock is ticking for "Zero Hour." [Yes. I hate myself for that.]
 
[Due to its modicum of superficial prestige, I've exempted FOX's dreadful "The Following" from my survey of midseason wackiness, though its sadistic shower threesomes, rudimentary literary analysis and gasoline-wielding Romantic poets are more than enough to qualify. "The Following" also warrants temporary exemption because of its initial success for FOX, though ratings have settled more into the "qualified hit" range than "breakout smash."]
 
It would be wrong to say that "Do No Harm" and "Zero Hour" weren't relatively large swings by NBC and ABC, but they were also relatively large misses. I'll continue to insist that the version of "Do No Harm" that aired was much cleaner and saner than the pilot that NBC initially sent to series, but "saner" is short of a compliment (and may even be an insult in this context). And I'll also continue to insist that "Zero Hour" nearly delivered enough craziness to compensate for its overall awfulness, but "nearly" is short of a compliment as well. That's two strikes.
 
The third strike for balls-to-the-wall wackiness premieres on Tuesday (February 19) on The CW. Airing after the soothingly conventional and programmatic quirkiness of "Hart of Dixie" -- those things sound like criticisms, but "Hart of Dixie" has become an admirable plate of comfort food in its second season -- "Cult" has almost no chance of success, though thanks to "The L.A. Complex," The CW has an astoundingly low bar for in-season record lows and I wouldn't expect it to fail that badly. But even before it fails with audiences, "Cult" fails creatively. An ill-conceived, poorly scripted, woodenly acted mess, "Cult" is watchably crazy, but that's the highest praise I can give it. 
 
When "Cult" joins "Do No Harm" and "Zero Hour" on the quickly-forgotten scrap-heap, I fear networks will decide this is a sign that audiences hate wackiness, as opposed to a sign that audiences are able to sniff out when wacky shows are bad. "Lost" was a wacky show. "The Walking Dead" is a wacky show. Heck, this season's greatest rags-to-riches network success story is the second season of "Scandal" and there are few shows on network TV wackier than "Scandal." Blame these midseason failures for being dreadful, not for being difficult-to-categorize or creatively unhinged. 
 
"Do No Harm," "Zero Hour" and now "Cult" are examples of shows that are wacky without any grounding, that attempt to string viewers along with unmoored weirdness rather than compelling characters or grounded drama. I'm sure there are versions of all three shows that would have been more successful and a version of all three shows that might have been good (probably different versions). These shows failed because they were bad. I'd still rather have "Do No Harm," "Zero Hour" and "Cult" than "Formulaic CBS Procedural X." Better to try something big and fail spectacularly than to try nothing and still probably fail. 
 
And that was my brief-ish manifesto on failed wackiness. The actual review of "Cult" is after the break.
 
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<p>Cover art for &quot;The&nbsp;Master&quot;&nbsp;Blu-ray</p>

Cover art for "The Master" Blu-ray

Credit: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

Win a copy of 'The Master' on Blu-ray!

Paul Thomas Anderson's film hits shelves next week

Paul Thomas Anderson's "The Master" is still in the conversation at the end of the season because the actors stuck up for it in three key races. But the masterful 70mm effort will live on beyond this year, of course, as everything Anderson has put out into the world has.

My journey with the film has been an interesting one. I knew when I emerged from the Ziegfeld Theatre premiere here in New York that it wasn't going to be a Best Picture nominee. I also knew that didn't matter one bit because there was something lurking in that big, bold mixture that was speaking to me. A handful of revisits solidified it for me as one of the 10 best films of 2012.

While we wait to see if any of its actors has a shot at shocking the world on Oscar night, the film will be making it's way to the home market a week from today and we have an opportunity for you to win a copy of the Blu-ray Combo Pack and DVD for yourself. We have two copies, in fact. It's been a while since we've run a contest so let's remedy that!

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<p>Samantha Barks, the one &quot;Les Mis&quot; principal to have played her role on stage.</p>

Samantha Barks, the one "Les Mis" principal to have played her role on stage.

Credit: Universal Pictures

'Les Mis' returns to the Great White Way

On the heels of its screen success, the musical is set for a 2014 Broadway run

Good news for younger Broadway geeks who never got to see "Les Misérables" before it disappeared from New York stages in 2007, and have had their appetites whetted by Tom Hooper's film: the blockbuster musical is returning to the Great White Way next year. The 25th anniversary touring production that's been touring the US for a while now will settlle into a Broadway theater in spring 2014, a development presumably facilitated by the film's popularity. (Dates, venues and casting have yet to specified.)

On London's West End, where "Les Mis" is now in the 28th year of its run, the show has never stopped being a hot ticket -- albeit for tourists more than anyone else -- but apparently even its routinely robust box office has intensified since the film's release. Even Londoners are going to see it, I'm told, which probably hasn't happened in significant numbers since the 1980s.

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<p>'Inside Llewyn Davis'</p>

'Inside Llewyn Davis'

Credit: CBS Films

Coen Brothers' music drama 'Inside Llewyn Davis' picked up by CBS

Oscar Isaac, Carey Mulligan and Justin Timberlake star

The Coen brothers' upcoming music drama "Inside Llewyn Davis," starring Oscar Isaac, Carey Mulligan and Justin Timberlake, will be hitting screens later this year, as CBS Films has close a deal to acquire the North American rights distribution rights.

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