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Movie Nerdery: You Desire It, Film Nerds, So Chew On This

Movie Nerdery: You Desire It, Film Nerds, So Chew On This

Movie Nerdery: You Desire It, So Here is Some Information You Can Eat Up

Nerds rule the world. This is something that seems to be a common refrain lately and perhaps, if nothing else, has some significant merit to coming to fruition. Bill Gates and Steve Jobs were no doubt nerds. As such, the world demands more nerdery with regards to the coverage of things that they are interested in. Whether it is sports (Bill Simmons’ NBA nerdery), politics (I don’t know, Rachel Maddow maybe?) or movies (countless), readers want those that are at a minimum significantly invested in the topics they discuss and at an extreme, nerded out beyond belief on the topics. This is a conundrum for me. (Ed. Note: The pic of Michael Cera could not be more apropos..he is a quintessential nerd actor, yet still largely embraced and even I am coming around on him.)

I am against the term, I grew up mocking “nerds” and still lean that way, consider myself pretty far away from what I deem a nerd and have never found the idea particularly appealing. Nerd to me growing up, meant :weakling and bookworm,” today it means “smart.” Perhaps doing away with the term itself would help me overcome my aversion to the idea. That being said, I suppose the ideology behind being a nerd on a global scale no longer has a negative connotation to it and in fact, is largely embraced. So, when it comes to movies and this site, I figured I should pass on some information pertaining to the idea. In this case, I read a piece that talks about Predicting the Oscars through data (a somewhat nerdy thing to do) and the challenges surrounding doing so on a site developed by statistician (read: nerd) du jour Nate Silver. I like numbers and while there use in the article is more of an abstract thought I figured I would pass it along to our readers. Nerd out on them as you please.

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Rest In Peace to 96 Year-Old Production Manager Abby Singer of the famed ‘Abby Singer Shot’

Rest In Peace to 96 Year-Old Production Manager Abby Singer of the famed ‘Abby Singer Shot’

Rest In Peace to 96 Year-Old Production Manager Abby Singer of the famed ‘Abby Singer Shot’

Abby Singer died at toady at the age of 96. He eventually succumbed to cancer and old age. He passed at the Motion Picture & Television Country House in Woodland Hills, CA just outside of Los Angeles. Singer, known for his work on the Doris Day Show, Hill Street Blues and the Mary Tyler Moore Show had a career spanning more than 60 years in the business.

He leaves a legacy behind that not only includes his production work but also the long-standing term known as the Abby Singer shot, the shot before “the martini” (which in Hollywood and film production lingo is known as the last shot of the day). The “Abby Singer” is the second to the last shot of the day, which was to promote crew to prepare their next location to save time and money. They would hence begin to set up gear elsewhere when necessary and the term lives on to this day. He will be forever remembered for having his name attached to this idea that he created. This is in memory of…may he Rest In Peace.

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2014 Oscars Swag Bag: Nominees Do Not Leave As Losers

2014 Oscars Swag Bag: Nominees Do Not Leave As Losers

2014 Oscars Swag Bag: Nominees Do Not Leave As Losers

The 86th Academy Awards show ran on for several hours with the entertainment value being pretty low, which is sadly par for the course for the annual show and most film related awards shows. That is coming from the perspective of someone who (had) chose to sit through it all. Imagine what it must have been like for the poor souls who were there, having to sit through lame joke after lame joke, waiting to get to the good parts. I think of a nominee like Jonah Hill. His Best Supporting Actor award category started the show, he lost and had to sit around and stew in the filth for the next several hours. Not easy. Alas, he – like all nominees – won’t go home empty handed. The Oscar nominee swag bag can save them to some degree.

The Academy boosted the value of this years gift bag into the range of $85,000 per nom. That is up from roughly $55k last year. Included in this years bag were vacations, art work, wine and more, 50 items in total from as small as a few bucks to as much as $16k. Thats not a bad consolation prize. DailyMail breaks it down a bit:

  • Nominees and presenters at this year’s Academy Awards will receive an extravagant gift bag
  • The bag has 50 gifts ranging in price from $6.49 to $16,000
  • This year’s haul is worth a total of $85,000 – last year’s bag was worth $55,000
  • The most expensive item in the bag is a $16,000 voucher towards hair transplant treatment
  • Holidays stars will receive include a $15,000 walking tour of Japan and luxury stays in Hawaii and Mexico
  • The oddest gifts this year are an ‘O-Shot’ procedure to enhance a woman’s orgasm and his ‘n’ hers pepper spray guns
Interesting to say the least. See the pic below for a shot of the goods. I guess not everyone went home emptyhanded.
2014 oscars gift bag

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Director Michel Gondry Remakes ‘Taxi Driver’ with Video

Director Michel Gondry Remakes ‘Taxi Driver’ with Video

Director Michel Gondry Remakes ‘Taxi Driver’ with Video

Michel Gondry was at one time a pretty hailed filmmaker around these parts. The director of a great movie, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, he was on our list of one to watch. At this point though, it appears his career, like Fernando Meirelles, may go the direction of a one-hit wonder variety. 2011’s The Green Hornet appeared to be a particular low-point.

Now, the director returns to his roots, with ultra low budget filmmaking (thanks CP), ala 2008’s Jack Black led Be Kind, Rewind (another flop for the most part). Figured I would pass along this Taxi Driver remake video that was recently posted, directed by and starring Gondry himself.  The process is called “sweding” and this short film has a laugh or two. This could be viewed as fun (most likely) or desperate (hopefully not), from a career standpoint. Have a look and enjoy.

 

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2014 Oscar Winners List from 86th Annual Academy Awards

2014 Oscar Winners List from 86th Annual Academy Awards

2014 Oscar Winners List from 86th Annual Academy Awards

Tonight at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, the 86th Annual Academy Awards were distributed during the 2014 Oscar ceremony, just a few miles from here. The show itself, as per the norm, tends to be pretty boring and corporate, with horrible gags like passing out pizza, but perhaps those are the trappings of an awards show in almost any capacity. The rare Pharrell performance a noted exception.

There are always snubs and disappointments. This time around, my favorite film of 2013, Spike Jonze’s Her, which was also the most poignant (with the possible exception of 12 Years A Slave) released this past year, went without the big victory but took home one writing award. Still, there were notable and deserved winners in many categories. Have a look at the complete winners list below. Check out the Academy’s website for more.

Best Motion Picture: 12 Years A Slave

Achievement in Directing: Alfonso Cuaron, Gravity

Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role: Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club

Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role: Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine

Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role: Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club

Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role: Lupita Nyong’o, 12 Years A Slave

Adapted Screenplay: 12 Years A Slave, John Ridley

Original Screenplay: Her, Spike Jonze

Original Score: Gravity, Steven Price

Original Song: “Let It Go,” Lopez’s; Frozen

Best Animated Feature Film: Frozen

Best Animated Short Film: Mr. Hublot

Achievement in Cinematography: Gravity, Emmanuel Lubezki

Achievement in Visual Effects: Gravity

Achievement in Costume Design: The Great Gatsby, Catherine Martin

Achievement in Makeup & Hairstyling: Dallas Buyers Club

Best Live-Action Short Film: Helium

Best Documentary Short Subject: The Lady In Number 6

Best Documentary Feature: 20 Feet From Stardom

Best Foreign-Language Film: The Great Beauty (Italy)

Achievement in Sound Mixing: Gravity

Achievement in Sound Editing: Gravity

Achievement in Film Editing: Gravity

Achievement in Production Design: The Great Gatsby

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2014 Film Independent Spirit Awards Winners List

2014 Film Independent Spirit Awards Winners List

2014 Film Independent Spirit Awards Winners List

There was no real surprise at the 2014 Film Independent Spirit Awards, the ceremony which aired last night. For a list of all the 2014 Spirit Awards nominees, look here. The big winner of the night was 12 Years A Slave as it took home several statues. Both lead actors and Oscar faves from Dallas Buyers Club cashed in as well. This of course serves as the final precursor to today’s potentially rain-soaked Academy Awards here in LA. It is March after all, so why not be celebrating films that came out up to 14 months ago? Sweet. For the full list of the winners, have a look below. Cred: Film Independent

Full list of winners below:

BEST FEATURE:
12 Years a Slave

BEST DIRECTOR
Steve McQueen, 12 Years a Slave

BEST SCREENPLAY
John Ridley, 12 Years a Slave

BEST FIRST FEATURE (Award given to the director and producer)
Fruitvale Station

BEST FIRST SCREENPLAY
Bob Nelson, Nebraska

JOHN CASSAVETES AWARD – Given to the best feature made for under $500,000.  Award given to the writer, director, and producer.  Executive Producers are not awarded.
This Is Martin Bonner

BEST FEMALE LEAD
Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine

BEST MALE LEAD
Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club

BEST SUPPORTING FEMALE
Lupita Nyong’o, 12 Years a Slave

BEST SUPPORTING MALE
Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
12 Years a Slave

BEST EDITING
Short Term 12

BEST DOCUMENTARY (Award given to the director and producer)
20 Feet From Stardom

BEST INTERNATIONAL FILM (Award given to the director)
Blue is the Warmest Color

PIAGET PRODUCERS AWARD – The Piaget Producers Award honors emerging producers who, despite highly limited resources demonstrate the creativity, tenacity, and vision required to produce quality, independent films.  The award includes a $25,000 unrestricted grant funded by Piaget.
Toby Halbrooks and James M. Johnston

ROBERT ALTMAN AWARD – (Given to one film’s director, casting director, and its ensemble cast)
Mud
Director: Jeff Nichols
Casting Director: Francine Maisler
Ensemble Cast: Joe Don Baker / Jacob Lofland / Matthew McConaughey / Ray McKinnon / Sarah Paulson / Michael Shannon / Sam Shepard / Tye Sheridan / Paul Sparks / Bonnie Sturdivant / Reese Witherspoon

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President Obama Releases Statement on Talent Harold Ramis’ Death

President Obama Releases Statement on Talent Harold Ramis’ Death

President Obama Releases Statement on Harold Ramis’ Death

Sadly, a growing category of deaths continues to hit Tinseltown. Hollywood multi-talent Harold Ramis passed on Monday. Most of you know this by now. The director, writer and actor died at age 69 due to a four year battle with auto-immune inflammatory vasculitis. When he passed, given the recent deaths of James Gandolfini and perhaps even more notably, Philip Seymour Hoffman, few could have expected the outpouring of love and support of the man and his talents. It’s natural for Hollywood to have a reaction to the passing of one of their own, such as when Judd Apatow commented on Ramis:

“Harold Ramis made almost every movie which made me want to become a comedy director. Animal House, Stripes, Ghostbusters, Vacation, Groundhog Day. These films are the touchstones of our lives. I interviewed him when I was 16 years old for my high school radio station and he could not have been more gracious and hilarious. I looked up to him as a director but even more so as a man. We hired him to play Seth’s father in Knocked Up because we all saw him as the dream dad – funny, warm and wise. Harold was one of the nicest people I have ever met and he inspired countless people to go into comedy. His brilliant work will make people happy forever.”

Great words and sentiments to the Ghostbusters star and writer. But when the POTUS Barack Obama gets involved, the passing becomes even more noteworthy. The President released the following statement on Harold:

Michelle and I were saddened to hear of the passing of Harold Ramis, one of America’s greatest satirists, and like so many other comedic geniuses, a proud product of Chicago’s Second City. When we watched his movies – from “Animal House” and “Caddyshack” to “Ghostbusters” and “Groundhog Day” – we didn’t just laugh until it hurt. We questioned authority. We identified with the outsider. We rooted for the underdog. And through it all, we never lost our faith in happy endings. Our thoughts and prayers are with Harold’s wife, Erica, his children and grandchildren, and all those who loved him, who quote his work with abandon, and who hope that he received total consciousness.

Chicago native or not, those are significant words. Ramis will indeed be missed. Thanks to Deadline for info.

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Seth Rogen To Write, Direct ‘Console Wars’ Movie

Seth Rogen To Write, Direct ‘Console Wars’ Movie

Seth Rogen To Write, Direct ‘Console Wars’ Movie

Star of screen and screen Seth Rogen (This Is The End) will write and co-direct (and presumably star in) the movie Console Wars, based on Sega’s classic battle with Nintendo for video gaming supremacy 20 years ago. The movie is set to be a “cinematic thriller” based on the Blake Harris novel of the same name, Here’s more:

The book has all the makings of a Hollywood movie, with the likable underdog Sega going up against industry Goliath Nintendo. This was the era of classic video games like Nintendo’s The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past and Super Metroid, and Sega’s Sonic the Hedgehog and Earthworm Jim.

The book will be released in May and the foreword was penned by Rogen and buddy Evan Goldberg. Not entirely sure what to make of this based on the still flimsy details. I’m still reeling from Rogen going thin from his initially chubby and more loveable phase. If you have thoughts or know more, chime in.

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