This Sunday's Academy Awards ceremony with be the 85th in history -- an auspicious number, and a "wine anniversary" if you go according to the traditional gift list. (Appropriate, too: I think we could all use a drink now.) But you won't find any mention of that in the show's official marketing this year, which has erased the phrase "85th Academy Awards" in favor of the simpler, more casual-sounding "The Oscars." Steve Pond reports that producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron chose to rebrand the show in this fashion to give it a younger appearance: "We're not calling it 'the 85th annual Academy Awards,' which keeps it mired somewhat in a musty way," says Meron. Personally, I think the number lends proceedings a sense of authority rather than mustiness, but I can't see it making much difference either way. An AMPAS spokesperson, meanwhile, says the change isn't necessarily permanent. [The Wrap]
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"Emad Burnat, Palestinian director of Oscar nominated '5 Broken Cameras,' was held tonight by immigration at LAX as he landed to attend the Oscars," documentary filmmaker and Academy branch governor Michael Moore Tweeted to his 1.4 million followers this evening. "Emad, his wife and 8-year-old son were placed in a holding area and told they didn't have the proper invitation on them to attend the Oscars."
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.
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.
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.
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...
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.
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...]
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)."
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.
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!