February 28, 2009

In case you thought Jason was dead for good...

He lives...and The Hollywood Reporter has the gory details:
Jason's coming back.
The villain who's defied death more often than Evil Knievel is making another appearance on the big screen. Sources saying that New Line and Platinum Dunes are moving forward on a new “Friday the 13th" and that Damian Shannon and Mark Swift, who wrote the recently released reboot, beginning work on a script for a new picture.
There's a catch, though.
Unlike the sophomore efforts of other franchises, the new “Friday” is expected to be not a sequel so much as a follow-up, those familiar with the project say. Jason Voorhees will be the villain, of course, but the new picture is expected to use elements of the original franchise more as a jumping-off point than as a template.
The reason? The reboot drew from the first four pictures in the “Friday” series, and producers are said not to be keen on the plot elements of the half-dozen movies that followed. And Marcus Nispel, who directed the latest film, is a possible but unlikely candidate to helm the “Friday” follow-up; the director is believed to be fielding offers for movies across other genres.
The wild cards are stars Jared Padalecki and Amanda Righetti; though both survive in the latest film and are considered rising young stars, they also are on hit TV shows (“Supernatural” and “The Mentalist,” respectively) and their schedules could be too packed.
Insiders caution that there is no green light and Platinum Dunes and New Line are actively working together on another franchise reboot, “A Nightmare on Elm Street,” which is set to start shooting in two months.
Still, the “Friday” property is a desirable one, and in a best-case scenario the next film could be ready as early as the second half of 2010.
The first reboot, which brought a group of attractive young victims nack to get slashed at Camp Crystal Lake, was one of the surprise hits of the winter, earning $70 million worldwide. New Line and Paramount split domestic and international rights on the recent release and likely would do so again on a new picture.
In addition to the new “Friday,” the CAA-repped Shannon and Swift are in development on a number of other projects, including “Inland Saints” for Paramount and “Jerry the Giant Killer” for Columbia.
-Well, duh

Narnia gets a new scribe

From Variety:

Michael Petroni has been tapped to write the next installment in "The Chronicles of Narnia" franchise.
Petroni will write "The Voyage of the Dawn Treader" for Walden Media and Fox 2000. He will take over for Richard LaGravanese, who penned the most recent draft of the C.S. Lewis novel.
Move signals that Walden is moving full steam ahead on the third chapter in the franchise with its new Narnia studio partner, 20th Century Fox. In late December, the project seemed in doubt after Disney decided to pull the plug on co-financing the pic.
Walden is eyeing a summer start date for a holiday 2010 release through the Fox Walden label.
Petroni landed the "Narnia" gig based on his recent work for Fox 2000, including a rewrite of the Kevin Lima directing vehicle "Afterlife," an adaptation of Markus Zusak's novel "The Book Thief" and a rewrite of the Julia Roberts starrer "Daniel Isn't Talking."
Project also reteams Petroni with "Narnia" producer Mark Johnson. The scribe adapted the Australian novel "The Long Green Shore" for Johnson, Intermedia and Russell Crowe.

-I'm not a fan of the series, but hey, you never know...

A "Gigantic" Poster

February 27, 2009


Best Actress Predictions up on the Site. Check them out.

Also, American Idol Results Recap.

And make sure to keep voting in the ACCA's for 2007. Voting ends soon. VOTE HERE

Venice chooses Ang Lee to head its Jury

Variety has the story:
Ang Lee will head the main jury of the 66th Venice Film Festival.
A two-time Golden Lion winner -- in 2005 for "Brokeback Mountain," and in 2007 for "Lust, Caution" -- Lee was praised by fest topper Marco Mueller as "one of the most successful directors at creating a dialogue between the filmmaking cultures of the East and West."
Lee, who was born in Taiwan and trained at NYU Film School, is in post on the comedy "Taking Woodstock," based on the memoir about the leadup to the 1969 Woodstock concert by author Elliot Tiber.
While fest organizers declined to confirm whether "Woodstock" -- slated by Focus Features for an Aug.14 U.S. release date -- will unspool at the Lido, a Venice bow in an out-of-competition slot certainly seems timely.
The fest, which runs Sept. 2-12, will be the first to unspool while a new Palazzo del Cinema venue is under construction. In early February builders began work on the $100 million palazzo, part of a broader infrastructural Lido revamp that will also see the historic Hotel Des Bains converted into luxury apartments managed by the Four Seasons Hotel.
-I'm excited for his Woodstock film...how bout you?

Trailer for The Informers

Wonder if this film will benefit from Mickey Rourke's newfound popularity:

-This was one of my favorite books growing up...hope it translated well to the screen...

Another UP Poster

Going into production...Damn Yankees!

Yes, the musical is being remade with some big names attached. Here's Variety's take on the matter:

New Line Cinema is playing ball with Jim Carrey and Jake Gyllenhaal on "Damn Yankees," attaching both actors to star in a contemporized film transfer of the classic musical.
Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel are set to write the script.
The musical is being produced by Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, the duo behind New Line's musical "Hairspray"; a sequel to that film is in the works.
"Damn Yankees," which bowed on Broadway in 1955 and won seven Tony Awards, focuses on Joe Boyd, a happily married middle-aged man whose devotion to a hapless pro baseball team prompts him to make a Faustian bargain with the devil to help the team. He's transformed into slugger Joe Hardy, in exchange for Boyd's soul. Boyd can break the deal, but the deadline occurs during the World Series. For good measure, the devil engages Lola, a gorgeous lost soul, to seduce the slugger and seal his fate.
The plan is for Carrey to play the devil, and Gyllenhaal to play Boyd. It's the first musical for each.
The producers tried but struck out on a version of "Damn Yankees" five years ago at Miramax, where they made "Chicago." The rights lapsed after Harvey Weinstein exited that studio. After two years of rights negotiations, "Damn Yankees" is moving forward with Toby Emmerich's New Line.
The trick is finding a balance that retains the show's classic tunes like "(You Gotta Have) Heart" and "Whatever Lola Wants," while injecting a contemporary feel on a musical that is firmly rooted in the 1950s. The intention is to get a script from Ganz and Mandel before meeting directors, and actresses who'll want to play Lola.
The original was directed by George Abbott and choreographed by Bob Fosse, with music and lyrics by Richard Adler and Jerry Ross, and book by Abbott and Douglass Wallop. "Damn Yankees" was turned into a 1958 Warner Bros. film that was directed by Abbott and Stanley Donen, with Ray Walston and Gwen Verdon re-creating their stage performances, and Tab Hunter playing the slugger.
Carrey is coming off "Yes Man" and "I Love You Phillip Morris," the latter of which premiered at Sundance and is in distribution discussions. Carrey also plays Ebenezer Scrooge and several other roles in "A Christmas Carol," which Robert Zemeckis directed for Disney in performance capture digital 3-D animation. Carrey also plans to star for director Jason Reitman in "Pierre Pierre" for Fox Searchlight.
Gyllenhaal recently completed the David O. Russell-directed "Nailed," the Jim Sheridan-directed "Brothers," and he plays the title role in the Mike Newell-directed "Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time" for Disney and Jerry Bruckheimer.
-How do you think this will turn out....damn good or a damn shame?

Poster for Steve McQueen's Hunger

No, not that Steve McQueen...

Woody Allen's 2010 film adds even more to its already impressive cast

Variety has the story:

Antonio Banderas has been added to the lengthening cast of Woody Allen's next pic, a still-untitled project set to roll this summer in London, according to producer Mediapro.
The Spanish actor joins the already-announced Naomi Watts, who will co-star with "Slumdog Millionaire" discovery Freida Pinto, Josh Brolin and Anthony Hopkins.
This will be Banderas' first gig with Allen.
Film will be produced by Letty Aronson, Steve Tenenbaum and Jaume Roures, a principal at Barcelona-based Mediapro, which will also finance the movie.
Aronson's Gravier Prods. co-produced "Vicky Cristina Barcelona" with Mediapro.
The London project kicks off a three-pic co-production deal between Allen and Mediapro.

-This is becoming one of the best looking casts of any flick currently in development, at least to me.

A new poster for Up

Pixar seems to be going the WALL-E route and introducing us to the protagonist before anything else...a good strategy?

February 26, 2009

Clint Eastwood manages to receive the Palme d'Or before Cannes even gets started!

And with no film in competition at this point either! It's an honorary award, and Variety has the story:

Clint Eastwood received an honorary Palme d’Or from Cannes festival toppers Gilles Jacob and Thierry Fremaux to celebrate “the talent of a grand master at the summit of his craft” at a private ceremony in Paris on Wednesday.
Eastwood, in France for the release of “Gran Torino,” has a long relationship with Cannes stretching back to 1985 when “Pale Rider” played in competition. He has returned to present “Bird,” “White Hunter Black Heart,” “Mystic River” and “Changeling.”
“When I made my first film 39 years ago, no one in the U.S. -- except for Roger Ebert who was always very enthusiastic -- believed in me as a filmmaker. But French cineastes have always been very supportive,” Eastwood told guests at a Paris restaurant. “France remains one of the rare countries that approaches cinema as an art form.”
Fremaux said of the honor, “In the U.S., they call this a lifetime achievement award, but in French the word achievement means ‘done’ and Clint Eastwood is far from being done. We’ll call it an ‘opening award.’ “
Fremaux said the fest gave the Palme d’Or to Eastwood on Wednesday because he won’t be able to attend Cannes this year.
-Just in case we thought he might have to go some time with no awards....check the Palme d'Or off his list.

Robin finds his Marian

At least Ridley Scott's Robin Hood has, according to Variety:
Cate Blanchett will play Maid Marian alongside Russell Crowe's Robin Hood in the Ridley Scott-directed adventure pic for Universal Pictures.
The film, which had been called "Nottingham" but is undergoing a title change, begins production in early April.
Imagine Entertainment's Brian Grazer is producing with Scott and his Scott Free banner.
The drama, originally scripted by Ethan Reiff and Cyrus Voris and then rewritten by Brian Helgeland, has evolved into a "Gladiator" version of the Robin Hood legend. Crowe starred in that film and Scott directed it.
The film will be shot on a $130 million budget, benefiting from favorable exchange rates and tax credits that come from shooting in London. Scott will be aiming for a PG-13 rating.
Crowe plays Robin of Loxley in an original story that hews close to historical facts of the period. Abandoned as a child, he finds community with the common people of Nottingham. Robin's abandonment and trust issues hamper his ability to fall in love. He meets his match in Marian, a strong, independent woman.
Sienna Miller was at one time attached to play the role, but exited late last year.
Grazer said Blanchett was a strong match for Crowe.
"They are both highly accomplished dramatic actors who are taken seriously playing rich characters in period pieces, but each has the ability to show you fun," Grazer said.
Blanchett was last seen in "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" and teamed with George Clooney to provide the lead voices in the Wes Anderson-directed animated "Fantastic Mr. Fox."
-Good choice I think...thoughts?

Trailer for the FINALLY being released horror flick "All The Boys Love Mandy Lane"

Yes, a film originally supposed to be out in 2006 is finally getting a theatrical release during the 2009 blockbuster season. Outside of film festivals and leaked online bootlegs, the film has not really been seen by audiences, but I have actually seen it and found it to be a rather brilliant little flick. Here's a trailer:
-Jonathan Levine has since made The Wackness, but this was quite the debut...be on the lookout for it.

February 25, 2009

Nick fury will return with a familiar face in Iron Man 2!

Yup, Sam is coming back, according to Variety:
Samuel L. Jackson has buried the hatchet with Marvel Entertainment, making a deal to play the role of Nick Fury in "Iron Man 2," and potentially many other films.
Jackson's deal is a long-term commitment to play Fury, the leader of the espionage unit the Shield. His deal contains an option to play the character in nine future Marvel superhero films, efforts that are expected to include "Captain America," "Thor," "The Avengers" and "The Shield" as well as potential sequels.
Jackson introduced Fury in the closing moments of "Iron Man," when the character asked Robert Downey Jr.'s Tony Stark to join his group. Fury is a natural to show up in multiple Marvel franchises, as he crosses paths with many Marvel superheroes in the comicbooks.
Jackson's Marvel future looked murky, after he reportedly expressed his displeasure with the producer-financier's initial offer to reprise his role. Jackson was hardly alone: Even though "Iron Man" grossed more than $600 million worldwide, Marvel brass has been sparing in offers to talent like Mickey Rourke and Sam Rockwell to play villains in the sequel, sources said.
Jackson and his ICM reps have evidently cleared those dealmaking hurdles, and he will take part in the sequel that director Jon Favreau shoots in the spring, with Paramount Pictures distributing in summer 2010.
-Very good news to me about a sequel that I'm looking forward to a great deal...thoughts?

Trailer for Agora


Seth Rogen collides with Michel Gondry

The result...Green Hornet has a director. Here's Variety's story on the matter:
Columbia has set Michel Gondry to direct "The Green Hornet," and the studio has set a June 25, 2010, release date for the film.
Seth Rogen plays the title character, and Stephen Chow will play his sidekick, Kato.
Rogen wrote the script with Evan Goldberg. Neal Moritz is producing through is Original Film banner.
Gondry, best known for far-out fare like "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind," "The Science of Sleep" and "Human Nature," brings an unusual sensibility to what will be the most overtly commercial film of his career.
He got the job after presenting a vision that wowed production presidents Doug Belgrad and Matt Tolmach. They had been looking for a director since late last year, when Chow ("Kung Fu Hustle") bowed out over creative differences (Daily Variety, Dec. 19).
Chow decided at that time to remain in the picture playing the Kato role (made famous by Bruce Lee), and that remains the case despite rampant Internet speculation that he ankled completely.
"The Green Hornet," which began on the radio in the 1930s and is best remembered for an incarnation as a '60s TV show, has had a long, tortured track to the bigscreen.
At one time, George Clooney was pay or play at Universal to star as the masked hero, only to have Steven Spielberg pry him loose so that Clooney could star in DreamWorks' first live-action feature, the 1997 drama "The Peacemaker."
Rogen and Goldberg are executive producers.
Gondry most recently helmed "Be Kind Rewind" and his next film, "Tokyo!" will be released March 6
-Very cool news to me.

Attack of the High Concept Projects!

Via Variety:
Studios that are trying to fill 2010 release slates are weighing spec packages that would give them either an Adam McKay-directed action comedy starring Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg, or a drama that will reunite Matt Damon with his "Bourne Ultimatum" scribe George Nolfi.
Damon is at the center of "The Adjustment Bureau," a contemporary science fiction love story that was shopped to studios by Media Rights Capital.
Nolfi wrote a script that is loosely based on a Phillip K. Dick short story, and he will make his directing debut on the film, which will begin production by late summer.
Nolfi scripted the Damon-starrer "Ocean's Twelve," but they developed a closer relationship when he scripted "The Bourne Ultimatum." He is also writing the fourth installment of the Bourne franchise for Universal.
Seperately, several studios were bidding Tuesday on "B Team," a McKay-directed action comedy that casts Ferrell and Wahlberg as cops, with Chris Henchy writing the script.
Henchy co-wrote the upcoming Ferrell-starrer "Land of the Lost," and he is co-executive producer of "Entourage," the HBO show on which Wahlberg is executive producer.
Even though "B Team" and "The Adjustment Bureau" come with pricey packages -- buyers essentially commit to make the movies -- both pictures are expected to have studio homes before the week is over.
-Wonder if any of these will turn out decent...thoughts?

Mutant Chronicles Trailer

-Overdose on scenery chewing...

Melissa Leo parlays an Oscar nod into a new job

Seems she's going supporting this time out, as per Variety:
Melissa Leo has joined the cast of indie drama “Betty Ann Waters” alongside Hilary Swank, Minnie Driver and Sam Rockwell.
Production started this week in Ann Arbor, Mich., on the pic, produced by Sidney Kimmel Entertainment and Omega Entertainment.
Tony Goldwyn directs from a script rewritten by Richard LaGravenese from Pamela Gray’s original screenplay. Andy Karsch, Andrew Sugarman and Goldwyn are producing.
“Betty Ann Waters” centers on an unemployed single mother who saw her brother begin serving a life sentence in 1983 for murder and robbery. Convinced that he was innocent, she earned a law degree and challenged the conviction with DNA evidence, resulting in her brother being freed in 2001.
Swank’s playing the title character while Leo portrays the only woman officer at a local police station who’s trying to pin the murder on him.
-Good cast, and I actually enjoy Goldwyn's directorial efforts, especially The Last Kiss, so this is something to follow....

February 24, 2009

A Rather Dry DVD Week

Unfortunately, very little is out this week, and none really of too high a quality. Luckily, March brings around the releases of many of the Oscar flicks on DVD, so stay tuned for that. This week, however, we have to deal with that which we have at our disposal. With only three theatrical releases on DVD this week, my PICK OF THE WEEK wins by proxy, since it's frankly the only one that's any good. It's:
What Just Happened
Now, this is nowhere near as good as something like The Player, but as a Hollywood satire and one big inside joke, it does the job better than some other films manage to do. It's nothing special, but there's laughs to be had, and as my grandfather says, "it won't give you heartburn". Robert De Niro and Bruce Willis especially seem to be enjoying themselves a great deal here, so give it a shot and see if they hit on something good.
-Next up is Sex Drive, which I actually laughed more at than I did for What Just Happened. Sex Drive is a teen flick with a bit of heart, but it just can't sustain itself long enough for a recommendation from me. If you think you might like it, you probably will though.
-We come now to The Haunting of Molly Hartley, and not to make a pun out of the title, but this film is haunting indeed, just in all the wrong ways.
-Of some note this week is a re-release of The Last House on the Left, which is getting remade in the coming months, and the perhaps last of the Futurama DVD movies, this one called Into the Wild Green Yonder. Last House is brutally gritty and intense early Wes Craven film, but insanely well made considering the budget. All of these Futurama flicks have been of similar quality, so you know what you're getting into. If you're a fan of either old school no budget horror or Futurama, these are up your alley. If not, don't bother.
-My Vintage pick this week is Lars and the Real Girl. If you didn't think a touching story could be made about a delusional manchild and his sex doll, you need to see this. Ryan Gosling is fantastic here, making the film more than a one note mocking of his character. It's treated very well, almost in a Capra-like way, and the end result is oddly touching. Check it out if you missed it last year.
-In the next month , as I said earlier, many Oscar flicks will be hitting shelves (Australia, Milk, and Rachel Getting Married to name a few), so keep that in mind. Aside from that, what will everyone be watching this week?

An interesting cast comes together for John Cusack's reteaming with his Grosse Point Blank and High Fidelity co-writer

Indeed, Cusack seems to be toplining this flick, which I first heard about when it started a small bidding war a few months back. Here's the quick hit from Variety:
John Cusack and Rob Corddry are set and Craig Robinson (“Knocked Up”) and Clark Duke (“Sex Drive”) are negotiating to star in MGM comedy “Hot Tub Time Machine,” which Steve Pink will direct.
Production starts April 20 in Vancouver. Cusack and New Crime partner Grace Loh will produce with Matt Moore.
Scripted by Josh Heald, the comedy follows a group of friends who are frustrated when they return to a ski lodge where they partied as teens. They then get in a hot tub -- which happens to be a time machine -- and get transported to 1987.
-Kind of a light premise, but perhaps they can make it work.

Poster for Spinning into Butter

A non Sex and the City role for Sarah Jessica Parker, this film was actually on my radar since a few years back when they filmed part of it at my old school (Brooklyn College)...wonder if it will be any good...

February 23, 2009

Woody Allen's best cast in years shaping up?

Seems like it might be the case, as Allen's next film (not Whatever Works, which is out this summer), which is shooting in London again, has an incredible cast coming together. Here's the Variety story:
Naomi Watts is joining Woody Allen's latest film, starring alongside the already-announced Josh Brolin and Anthony Hopkins.
Mediapro, the Spain-based company behind "Vicky Cristina Barcelona," is financing the as-yet-untitled pic, which will be produced by Letty Aronson, Steve Tenenbaum and Jaume Roures.
Allen's next pic, "Whatever Works," will be released by Sony Pictures Classics in June.
Watts is currently filming "Mother and Child."
-Will Woody's film be an Oscar contender this year or perhaps next?

Next Year's Best Picture...

What do you ladies and gents think it will be? Blind guesses at this time, to say the least, but will Peter Jackson get back to the big show with The Lovely Bones, or Clint Eastwood with The Human Factor, or Martin Scorsese with Shutter Island, or Ang Lee with Taking Woodstock, or Quentin Tarantino with Inglorious Basterds? Will one of the films pushed back to 09 make a splash, like The Road or The Soloist? Will Pixar's Up do what WALL-E couldn't? Will Judd Apatow make his Funny People into Oscar People?
-Who knows at this point, and this is obviously a very small sampling of what's out there, but feel free to take a stab at it!

In case you missed it...The Razzie Winners!

From Variety's story on the awards presentations:
Mike Myers' "The Love Guru" has found some disciples among Razzies voters who pick Hollywood's lowest achievements.
And Paris Hilton is getting her own Razzies moment with three awards all on her own at a ceremony that spoofs the Academy Awards on the eve of the Oscars.
"The Love Guru" won three Razzies on Saturday for worst picture, actor (Myers in the title role) and screenplay, which Myers co-wrote. Hilton's three prizes are worst actress for "The Hottie and the Nottie," supporting actress for "Repo! The Genetic Opera" and screen couple alongside either of her "Hottie" co-stars, Christine Lakin or Joel David Moore.
With three Razzies, Hilton tied the record set last year by Eddie Murphy, who won worst actor, supporting actor and supporting actress for his multiple roles in "Norbit."
Pierce Brosnan was chosen as worst supporting actor for "Mamma Mia!" The worst-director Razzie went to Uwe Boll for three movies: "In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale," "1968: Tunnel Rats" and "Postal."
Razzies voters also gave a prize for worst career achievement to Boll, whose critically drubbed movies include "Bloodrayne" and its sequel.
"Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" was named worst prequel, remake, rip-off or sequel.
John Wilson, founder of the Razzies, said Boll and Hilton's movies are so bad, he could envision a collaboration between the two.
"She is the 21st century Zsa Zsa Gabor. She is famous for who she hangs out with. She's not famous for any talent she has yet exhibited," Wilson said. "She may end up working with Uwe Boll. She could be the head vampire in `Bloodrayne 3.'"
"The Love Guru" features Myers as the world's second-best self-help guru, who must come to love himself before he can fully realize his potential. The movie topped out at $32 million at the domestic box office, chump change compared to the haul of Myers' "Austin Powers" sequels.
Wilson disagreed with other Razzies voters on "The Love Guru," saying that after watching it again to pull clips for the group's awards ceremony Saturday night, he did not think it was the year's worst movie.
"A couple of things he did got me to laugh, and these days, two laughs in a comedy is a high ratio," Wilson said.
In "The Hottie and the Nottie," Hilton plays a babe who won't date until her homely best pal lands a man. Hilton has a small role in "Repo," a horror musical about organ recipients who face a visit from the repo man if they fall behind on the payments.
"Repo" and "Hottie" combined did not even manage to take in $200,000 at the domestic box office.
Unlike many years, when one movie dominates, the Razzies were shared among a variety of flicks.
One voter joked that "we decided to spread the loathe around," Wilson said. "Everybody got kicked in the shin at least a little."
-Aside from Paris Hilton in Repo (not to say she was good by any stretch, but she was passable) I agree pretty much with these "winners"...how bout you?

Your pick for the best moment of the night...

I'm sure they'll be plenty of different ones, but I found the most lasting moment of the night to be Dustin Lance Black's speech that he gave after winning Best Original Screenplay for Milk.
Here's the speech:
-What was your favorite moment of the night? (Personally, I missed out on what I expected to be a standing O for Mickey Rourke and his acceptance speech, but it is what it is)

February 22, 2009

Reactions to the Show

Myles - And we're off. The crew is already interviewing Kate Winslet, Josh Brolin, and Amy Adams, and I can tell that the only thing they care about is what kind of fashion statement the nominees are making.

Myles - We have our obligatory appearances from Zac Efron, Vanessa Hudgens, and Miley Cyrus. The interviewer says that she hopes to see them return as nominees; none of them pick up on the sarcasm.

Myles - Okay, Marisa Tomei is in her 40s. How on earth does she manage to stay so youthful? On a side note, I fear I am sinking into the mindset on these entertainment reporters the more I watch this.

Myles - Enter our controversial new host, Hugh Jackman, as the show begins. He has confidence and showmanship, but maybe somebody should have written him a joke or two. He follows up the shortest opening monologue ever with a showy musical tribute to the year's films. It's cute, but a little gimmicky for my tastes. I do admire his openness in admitting that he never bothered to see The Reader. Overall very entertaining.

Keith - Great opening. Hugh is doing a great job so far.

Myles - In a change from tradition, we have five previous Best Supporting Actress winners presenting the award. While it lends a bit more gravitas to the proceedings, it also extends the presentation of a single category to about ten minutes in length.

Keith - Penelope takes the first one. Taraji Henson is beautiful, and the new format is pretty dope. Kind of corny, but better than before.

Myles - Dustin Lance Black gives a moving, heartfelt speech, cementing Milk's status as an important and moving film.

Myles - Slumdog wins Adapted Screenplay. Is this a sign of things to come?

Myles - Jack Black and Jennifer Aniston introduce a clever little segment chronicling the big animated films of the year, leading up to the winner of the category, WALL-E (surprise surprise).

Joey- Everything has a sort of club like feel...even the jazz music in the background during the art direction presentation

Myles - I've noticed about the show this year is that it's fantastically paced. They keep the various categories in groups and keep it moving at a brisk pace with vary little downtime. Very classy: I like it.

Joey- I'm digging that everything feels very natural and less scripted and forced than in years past...even the witty banter has a good feel to it.

Myles - Robert Pattison and Amanda Seyfried introduce a montage of all the romantic moments from film this year. It's cute without coming off as cheesy. It also brings home how the most poignant romance of the year was between the two robots from WALL-E. Go figure.

Myles - Ben Stiller comes on playing Joaquin Phoenix. Everyone laughs and gets the joke, implying that Mr. Phoenix's reputation in Hollywood has already gone and dried up.

Joey - Loved Stiller's lampoon...even Natalie Portman played it off well. On a more serious note...is this win for Slumdog a good indicator that we won't have too much in the way of surprises this evening?

Myles - Yeah, probably.

Joey - One can still hope for some originality...we still have some drama left in Best Actor, Original Song, and a tech award or two.

Myles - The stoners from Pineapple Express lead a hilarious segment on the comedies and the unintentionally funny dramas of the year.

Joey - Perhaps the Academy likes Judd Apatow more than previously thought. A good sign for Funny People's chances next year?

Joey - The first ever Barack Obama/musical joke ever?

Myles - Jackman leads another musical number. At first it was a cool change of pace, now it feels utterly superfluous. The pacing has definitely started dragging since the early segments. Jackman is a fantastic entertainer, but I feel like somebody needs to remind him that this is the Oscars, not the Tonys.

Joey - Was Zac Efron really necessary?

Myles - Or the Mamma Mia couple? Or Beyonce? Or the entire segment?

Joey - Well played sir...well played.

Myles - On another note, I think it's been about twenty minutes since we've announced a winner. I wasn't aware the Oscars had this much time to burn.

Joey - Cuba Gooding Jr...hoping for someone to see him here and cast him in something worthwhile for a change?

Joey - On a serious note...I very much like how they make each nominee feel like a winner in their own right before crowning an "official" winner.

Myles - Standing ovation as Heath Ledger becomes the second posthumous Oscar winner for acting. It may have been expected, but it was never anything less than deserved.

Joey - Everyone the camera focused in on was choking back tears...quite moving.

Myles - Okay, having Bill Maher come on to present Best Documentary after they snubbed Religulous is just cold. As such he takes the opportunity to advertise his own film anyway. Also, the winner for Man on Wire is a magician.

Joey - The pace is definitely slowing down now...wonder if they're on schedule or not?

Myles - I would sincerely hope so. We're currently at the Action segment of the highlight reels, showcasing The Dark Knight, Iron Man, Quantum of Solace, and all the summer dreck you'd assumed wasn't classy enough to even be mentioned at the Oscars.

Joey - So much for a Slumdog sweep.

Myles - Eh, don't speak too soon. I don't think any of us were expecting Sound Mixing of all things.

Joey - No sweep, but it's beginning to dominate...I think Best Picture is 95% sewn up, unless Milk or The Reader has a late surge...but I have my doubts.

Myles - For me, there is no more doubt: Slumdog Millionaire will win Best Picture. On a side note, I'm getting kind of thrown of by some of the transitional music choices. We have some Electric Light Orchestra here, some Aimee Mann there. They can't quite find a theme to settle on.

Keith - No doubt, Slumdog is a shoe in. It won editing, and generally that's a pretty good indicator of who will win best picture. So far, the show has been fairly predictable. But, I have to say it's slightly more entertaining than last year.

Myles - Eddie Murphy (who's an Oscar nominee, remember that?), introduces Jerry Lewis as the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award. Lewis's speech is heartfelt, if not particularly funny (except for the beautiful facial expression following his final "thank you").

Keith - Fairly decent speech. Succinct. This is a pretty decent musical number.

Joey - The march for Slumdog continues...

Myles - I'm not sure who this guy is they had replace Peter Gabriel to sing "Down To Earth", but he's making me forget why I liked the song so much. Where is Bruce Springsteen when you need him?

Keith - It's John Legend.

Joey - Indeed on both the John Legend and Springsteen comments.

Myles - Liam Neeson and Frieda Pinto? They really know how to mix and match these presenters.

Keith - First shock of the night in Best Foreign Film category. Did anyone predict Departures?

Joey - Believe it or not, I did.

Keith - Much props. What prompted you to pick Departures over Class or Waltz?

Joey - Gut instinct that this category can go in some odd directions, but also that The Class was a late bloomer awards wise, save for the Palm D'or, but they rarely translate to Oscars...and Waltz just felt too "off" for a win, if that makes sense

Myles - Can I just say I was not a fan of the In Memorial tribute? Not only can you barely read some of the names, but the Academy managed to forget Brad Renfro for the second year running.

Keith - Certainly. Any doubt Danny Boyle doesn't win?

Keith - I meant to follow that with nope. Danny Boyle is a showman. Much congrats to him and Slumdog.

Joey - Indeed sir. Now that we're onto the big awards, strap in. I think both Lead Acting slots are more open than we think, but Best Picture...less so.

Keith - You're right Joey. Or, at least I hope you are. Best Picture might be wrapped up though.

Joey - Best Pic is done I think...It's Rourke vs Penn for Actor, but I think Melissa Leo or Anne Hathaway have a slightly better shot at this than we're giving them...I still think Kate Winslet is up for the wrong movie, but she's a fine choice here as well.

Myles - Sophia Loren could play Dracula's wife someday. And Marion Cotillard should play my lover, like now.

Joey - Johnny Depp beat you to it my friend, in terms of Marion (Public Enemies). Good for Kate Winslet though...I was more a fan of her previous nominations for Eternal Sunshine and Little Children, but it's good she finally has an Oscar.

Myles - Duly noted. I feel like The Reader is to Kate Winslet what The Departed was to Martin Scorsese; not their best work, but more then good enough for them to win with.

Keith - Marion should be nominated off the strength of her looks. She is beautiful. Winslet was due an Oscar. I look at it as a life time achievement award. Well deserved for her entire body of work.

Joey - Here we go...does Mickey complete the comeback?

Keith - Hopefully.

Myles - Evidently not. That's really a shame. Harvey Milk will live on as Penn's best role, but Rourke's performance was truly legendary.

Keith- No no. Hopefully Rourke will get back on this stage again. Slumdog is gonna win. I can probably turn off my t.v. now. They showed 12 ANGRY MEN! Awesome!

Joey - I don't see anyone else winning, but maybe, just maybe, Milk has a shot.

Keith - Well that was awfully predictable.

Myles - I will say I enjoyed the Best Picture montage before the obvious Slumdog victory. Nice way to end the evening.

Joey - Indeed Myles...still smarting over Rourke's loss, but he's not the first deserving one to lose...overall, an interesting night, but not much in the way of surprises...mild shame.

11: 55
Myles - What's this? A preview of some flicks from next year. Sherlock Holmes, Funny People, Up, Terminator Salvation, Fame, Julie and Julia, 500 Days of Summer, Amelia, Whatever Works, Inglourious Basterds, Night at the Museum 2, Monsters vs. Aliens, The Soloist, Harry Potter 6, Angels and Demons, Old Dogs, Ice Age 3, The Boat That Rocked, An Education, State of Play, Imagine That, and G-Force.

Keith- Unfortunately, the Academy made it seem like Slumdog was the best movie far and beyond. However, the show was pretty good. Thought it was better than last year. Yet, there were very few surprises, which makes for a predictable show.

Myles - Well, I was very entertained by the show itself, and liked the new direction that they took in presenting it. I'd like to thank my co-bloggers, Joey Magidson and Keith Lucas, our editor-in-chief and fearless leader Clayton Davis, the found of the Oscar Igloo Johnny Alba, and of course all of the readers that allow us to continue reporting on what we love every year. Here's to another good season, and looking forward to an even better one next year. Good night!

Keith - I second what Myles said. The AwardsCircuit team worked very hard this year, and I think we did a phenomenal job with the site. We will continue to improve and bring you movie news throughout the year. I look forward to working with you guys again for the '09/10 Oscar race. Cheers to a prosperous year, and much thanks to all of our readers!

Joey - Me three for what everyone said. Good night, and good luck!