Saturday, January 24, 2009

Nominations for the 81st Academy Awards!

Nominations for the 81st Academy Awards® were announced on Tuesday morning by Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences President Sid Ganis and Oscar-winning actor and Academy member Forest Whitaker. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button led the pack with 13 nominations, followed by Slumdog Millionaire with 10, and both The Dark Knight and Milk got eight.

Academy Awards for outstanding film achievements of 2008 will be presented on Sunday, February 22, 2009, at the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center®, and televised live by the ABC Television Network. The Oscar presentation also will be televised live in more than 200 countries worldwide.

Here is a complete list of nominees:

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (Paramount and Warner Bros.), A Kennedy/Marshall Production, Kathleen Kennedy, Frank Marshall and Ceán Chaffin, Producers
Frost/Nixon (Universal), A Universal Pictures, Imagine Entertainment and Working Title Production,Brian Grazer, Ron Howard and Eric Fellner, Producers
Milk (Focus Features), A Groundswell and Jinks/Cohen Company Production, Dan Jinks and Bruce Cohen, Producers
The Reader (The Weinstein Company), A Mirage Enterprises and Neunte Babelsberg Film GmbH Production, Nominees to be determined
Slumdog Millionaire (Fox Searchlight), A Celador Films Production,Christian Colson, Producer

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (Paramount and Warner Bros.), David Fincher
Frost/Nixon (Universal), Ron Howard
Milk (Focus Features), Gus Van Sant
The Reader (The Weinstein Company), Stephen Daldry
Slumdog Millionaire (Fox Searchlight), Danny Boyle

Richard Jenkins - The Visitor (Overture Films)
Frank Langella - Frost/Nixon (Universal)
Sean Penn - Milk (Focus Features)
Brad Pitt - The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (Paramount and Warner Bros.)
Mickey Rourke - The Wrestler (Fox Searchlight)

Anne Hathaway - Rachel Getting Married (Sony Pictures Classics)
Angelina Jolie - Changeling (Universal)
Melissa Leo - Frozen River (Sony Pictures Classics)
Meryl Streep - Doubt (Miramax)
Kate Winslet - The Reader (The Weinstein Company)

Josh Brolin - Milk (Focus Features)
Robert Downey Jr. - Tropic Thunder (DreamWorks, Distributed by DreamWorks/Paramount)
Philip Seymour Hoffman - Doubt (Miramax)
Heath Ledger - The Dark Knight (Warner Bros.)
Michael Shannon - Revolutionary Road (DreamWorks, Distributed by Paramount Vantage)

Amy Adams - Doubt (Miramax)
Penélope Cruz - Vicky Cristina Barcelona (The Weinstein Company)
Viola Davis - Doubt (Miramax)
Taraji P. Henson - The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (Paramount and Warner Bros.)
Marisa Tomei - The Wrestler (Fox Searchlight)

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (Paramount and Warner Bros.), Screenplay by Eric Roth, Screen story by Eric Roth and Robin Swicord
Doubt (Miramax), Written by John Patrick Shanley
Frost/Nixon (Universal), Screenplay by Peter Morgan
The Reader (The Weinstein Company), Screenplay by David Hare
Slumdog Millionaire (Fox Searchlight), Screenplay by Simon Beaufoy

Frozen River (Sony Pictures Classics), Written by Courtney Hunt
Happy-Go-Lucky (Miramax), Written by Mike Leigh
In Bruges (Focus Features), Written by Martin McDonagh
Milk (Focus Features), Written by Dustin Lance Black
WALL•E (Walt Disney), Screenplay by Andrew Stanton, Jim Reardon, Original story by Andrew Stanton, Pete Docter

The Baader Meinhof Complex A Constantin Film Production, Germany
The Class (Sony Pictures Classics), A Haut et Court Production, France
Departures (Regent Releasing), A Departures Film Partners Production, Japan
Revanche (Janus Films), A Prisma Film/Fernseh Production, Austria
Waltz with Bashir (Sony Pictures Classics), A Bridgit Folman Film Gang Production, Israel

Bolt (Walt Disney), Chris Williams and Byron Howard
Kung Fu Panda (DreamWorks Animation, Distributed by Paramount), John Stevenson and Mark Osborne
WALL•E (Walt Disney), Andrew Stanton

Changeling (Universal), Art Direction: James J. Murakami, Set Decoration: Gary Fettis
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (Paramount and Warner Bros.), Art Direction: Donald Graham Burt, Set Decoration: Victor J. Zolfo
The Dark Knight (Warner Bros.), Art Direction: Nathan Crowley, Set Decoration: Peter Lando
The Duchess (Paramount Vantage, Pathé and BBC Films), Art Direction: Michael Carlin, Set Decoration: Rebecca Alleway
Revolutionary Road (DreamWorks, Distributed by Paramount Vantage), Art Direction: Kristi Zea, Set Decoration: Debra Schutt

Changeling (Universal), Tom Stern
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (Paramount and Warner Bros.), Claudio Miranda
The Dark Knight (Warner Bros.), Wally Pfister
The Reader (The Weinstein Company), Chris Menges and Roger Deakins
Slumdog Millionaire (Fox Searchlight), Anthony Dod Mantle

Australia (20th Century Fox), Catherine Martin
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (Paramount and Warner Bros.), Jacqueline West
The Duchess (Paramount Vantage, Pathé and BBC Films), Michael O’Connor
Milk (Focus Features), Danny Glicker
Revolutionary Road (DreamWorks, Distributed by Paramount Vantage), Albert Wolsky

The Betrayal (Nerakhoon) (Cinema Guild), A Pandinlao Films Production, Ellen Kuras and Thavisouk Phrasavath
Encounters at the End of the World (THINKFilm and Image Entertainment), A Creative Differences Production, Werner Herzog and Henry Kaiser
The Garden A Black Valley Films Production, Scott Hamilton Kennedy
Man on Wire (Magnolia Pictures), A Wall to Wall Production, James Marsh and Simon Chinn
Trouble the Water (Zeitgeist Films), An Elsewhere Films Production, Tia Lessin and Carl Deal

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (Paramount and Warner Bros.), Kirk Baxter and Angus Wall
The Dark Knight (Warner Bros.), Lee Smith
Frost/Nixon (Universal), Mike Hill and Dan Hanley
Milk (Focus Features), Elliot Graham
Slumdog Millionaire (Fox Searchlight), Chris Dickens

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (Paramount and Warner Bros.), Greg Cannom
The Dark Knight (Warner Bros.), John Caglione, Jr. and Conor O’Sullivan
Hellboy II: The Golden Army (Universal), Mike Elizalde and Thom Floutz

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (Paramount and Warner Bros.), Alexandre Desplat
Defiance (Paramount Vantage), James Newton Howard
Milk (Focus Features), Danny Elfman
Slumdog Millionaire (Fox Searchlight), A.R. Rahman
WALL•E (Walt Disney), Thomas Newman

"Down to Earth" from WALL•E (Walt Disney), Music by Peter Gabriel and Thomas Newman, Lyric by Peter Gabriel
"Jai Ho" from Slumdog Millionaire (Fox Searchlight), Music by A.R. Rahman, Lyric by Gulzar
"O Saya" from Slumdog Millionaire (Fox Searchlight), Music and Lyric by A.R. Rahman andMaya Arulpragasam

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (Paramount and Warner Bros.), David Parker, Michael Semanick, Ren Klyce and Mark Weingarten
The Dark Knight (Warner Bros.), Lora Hirschberg, Gary Rizzo and Ed Novick
Slumdog Millionaire (Fox Searchlight), Ian Tapp, Richard Pryke and Resul Pookutty
WALL•E (Walt Disney),Tom Myers, Michael Semanick and Ben Burtt
Wanted (Universal), Chris Jenkins, Frank A. Montaño and Petr Forejt

The Dark Knight (Warner Bros.), Richard King
Iron Man (Paramount and Marvel Entertainment), Frank Eulner and Christopher Boyes
Slumdog Millionaire (Fox Searchlight), Tom Sayers
WALL•E (Walt Disney), Ben Burtt and Matthew Wood
Wanted (Universal),Wylie Stateman

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (Paramount and Warner Bros.), Eric Barba, Steve Preeg, Burt Dalton and Craig Barron
The Dark Knight (Warner Bros.), Nick Davis, Chris Corbould, Tim Webber and Paul Franklin
Iron Man (Paramount and Marvel Entertainment), John Nelson, Ben Snow, Dan Sudick and Shane Mahan

The Conscience of Nhem En A Farallon Films Production, Steven Okazaki
The Final Inch A Vermilion Films Production, Irene Taylor Brodsky and Tom Grant
Smile Pinki A Principe Production, Megan Mylan
The Witness - From the Balcony of Room 306 A Rock Paper Scissors Production, Adam Pertofsky and Margaret Hyde

La Maison en Petits Cubes A Robot Communications Production, Kunio Kato
Lavatory - Lovestory A Melnitsa Animation Studio and CTB Film Company Production, Konstantin Bronzit
Oktapodi (Talantis Films) A Gobelins, L’école de l’image Production, Emud Mokhberi and Thierry Marchand
Presto (Walt Disney) A Pixar Animation Studios Production, Doug Sweetland
This Way Up A Nexus Production, Alan Smith and Adam Foulkes

Auf der Strecke (On the Line) (Hamburg Shortfilmagency), An Academy of Media Arts Cologne Production, Reto Caffi
Manon on the Asphalt (La Luna Productions), A La Luna Production, Elizabeth Marre and Olivier Pont
New Boy (Network Ireland Television), A Zanzibar Films Production, Steph Green and Tamara Anghie
The Pig An M & M Production, Tivi Magnusson and Dorte Høgh
Spielzeugland (Toyland) A Mephisto Film Production, Jochen Alexander Freydank

Source: Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

Cinemalaya 2009 Full-Length Finalists Announced

The ten finalists in the full-length feature category of the Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival and Competition 2009 were announced recently by the Cinemalaya Foundation.

The finalists in the full length feature category are:
24K by Ana Agabin
Ang Nerseri (The Nursery) by Vic Acedillo, Jr.
Ang Panggagahasa kay Fe by Alvin B. Yapan
Astig (Mga Batang Kalye) by GB Sampedro
Colorum by Jon Steffan Ballesteros
Dinig Sana Kita by Mike E. Sandejas
Engkwentro by Pepe Diokno
Last Supper No. 3 by Veronica Velasco and Jinky Laurel
Mangatyanan (The Blood Trail) by Jerrold Tarog
Sanglaan by Milo Sogueco.

The finalists will receive an initial seed investment of Php500,000 from Econolink Investments. The final winning entry will be given an additional grant of Php200,000 plus the Cinemalaya Trophy during the awarding rites on July 26, 2009 at the Cultural Center of the Philippines. All the films will be screened during the 2009 Cinemalaya on July 17-26, 2009 at the CCP.

Now on its fifth year, the Cinemalaya Competition and Festival is a project of the Cinemalaya Foundation, CCP, Econolink Investments Inc. and the Film Development Council of the Philippines. It is an all-digital film festival and competition that aims to discover, encourage and honor the cinematic works of Filipino filmmakers that boldly articulate and freely interpret the Filipino experience with fresh insight and artistic integrity.

Cinemalaya is held in two categories - full length and short feature. Finalists in the short feature category will be announced in May 2009.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Ploning Fails To Get Into Oscars


The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced the nine films eligible for Best Foreign Language Film Oscar this year. These nine films were chosen from 65 eligible films from different countries, including the Philippine's Ploning.

The nominations for the 81st annual Academy Awards will be announced on January 22.

Judy Ann Santos, also the co-producer of Ploning, had lobbied arduously for her film's Oscar bid. The actress and her friends held fundraising events—like Damit Para Kay Ploning, Plato Para Kay Ploning, and Laro Para Kay Ploning—to help the film's cause. This Sunday, January 18, ABS-CBN will even air a TV special titled Pangarap ni Ploning on Sunday's Best.

Ploning also got P2.5 million from Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP). Its filmmakers also hired a highly-recommended public relations company, Murray Weissman and Associates, to increase the film's chances.

Juday and Direk Dante's efforts to make Ploning the first-ever Filipino film to be nominated in the Best Foreign Language category of Oscars is admirable, but it was still not enough for the Academy voters.

SOURCE: Philippine Entertainment Portal

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Doomed Projects for '09: "G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra"

Ever since its production company has released the official cast and the photos from the upcoming movie G.I. JOE, it has been met with negative reactions from forecasting critics and diehard fans of the original 80's animated series alike.

GI JOE: THE RISE OF COBRA is set to be released on August 7, 2009 but its already screaming as if it needs to be rebooted ALREADY. It's not easy for the fans to see something they have loved and have been part of their childhood, turned into garbage & bask in ultimate SUCKage... then wait for like 5 to 10 years till the movie would be rebooted the proper way. Yes, we prejudge it. but it's the kind of prejudging that's close to common sense. I mean DUH!!! You put the STEP UP guy as DUKE? Alter the ALREADY-REALISTIC costumes? & get the Van Helsing director? to direct this project? One would assume that what we'll be getting is more or less another Schumacher-Batman, or Van Damme-Streetfighter, or merely a Power Rangers.

maybe Sommers and Tatum will surprise us with a good movie
but on one hand, THAT could be a surprise. On the other hand, we also have what we may consider as a well-calculated anticipation. One that says this will be a doomed project. The kind of thing that will make people embarassed of having loved G.I. Joe.

1. THE CAST - The casting of teen-hearthrob disco dummy Channing Tatum is bad enough & reeks of being a marketing scheme rather than an intelligent choice to fit the role. What's worse is that he originally wanted no part in G.I. Joe, which he felt glorified war. Once he read the script though, he realized the franchise was a fantasy akin to X-Men, Mission: Impossible and Star Wars rather than a war film. Oh I see... disco dummy (pretentious-hippie-cause) Channing Tatum is going to approach this like a fantasy flick??? Well, G.I. Joe IS and SHOULD BE a war movie. EVERYBODY who truly KNOWS the G.I. Joe series KNOWS THAT.
There is also the casting of goofy comedian Marlon Wayans as Ripcord and Angels in the Outfield star Joseph Gordon Levitt as Cobra Commander.

2. THE COSTUMES - Have you even seen the look of the characters in this movie? Duke, Scarlett, HEavy Duty and Ripcord are all wearing this futuristic black X-men-like uniform. Everybody who knows G.I.Joe knows that these guys are military soldiers, not super-heroes. The original costumes are original enough... cant they just copy that?

3. THE VISION & DIRECTION - Stephen Sommers has a track record that includes colorful and oftentimes chaotic fantasy films that rely incredibly on CGI and possess no other charm aside from its forgettable graphics. His movies include The Mummy, The Mummy Returns, and the really awful Van Helsing; all movies that are equal to zero or garbage if not for their graphics. These are popcorn movies. Movies that may be fun, if only for the moment, but quickly forgotten. The essence of G.I. Joe is pure action. Hardcore ballistic war action. It may not be a smart movie to put somebody who is used to making movies about large monsters jumping around or heroes jumping around making corny jokes, into a project like this which may have great potential to be "Dark Knight caliber" if it were to be done smartly.

In my opinion, the original G.I. Joe storyline (as based in the TV series and the comics) tackles something that is relevant in this day and age: the war against terrorism. It is a storyline that may be given a make-over that could fit realistically in this day and age of paranoia and conflict. Obviously, everybody who has been fans of the animation are all adults now. There is no demand to make the G.I. Joe series stoop down to cartoon network levels just for the sake of merchandising.

INDICATION that this movie will be a surefire failure? Just look at its marketing. News about this movie is slow and almost non-existent. They are either intentionally keeping mum for a surprise. Or theyve realized the silliness of their upcoming project, so much so that theyve chosen not to let their babies out in the open for the critics to attack it before it could even be released.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Ploning Faces Oscar Screening January 22

SOURCE: Philippine Entertainment Portal

Come January 22, the whole world will know whether or not the film will be included in the list of five Oscar nominees that will be read during the awards night in February. The U.S. Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will announce the official nominees on January 22 at the Academy's Samuel Goldwyn Theater.

By January 28, the 6,000 Academy members will vote for the films that they wish to include in this year's edition of the annual Academy Awards. If the Philippine entry Ploning enters the prestigious list, it will mark a first-ever feat in local cinema.

The 81st Academy Awards telecast will take place on February 22 with X-Men Origins: Wolverine star Hugh Jackman serving as the host. The star-studded event will be held at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood & Highland Center.

Judy Ann is scheduled to leave on January 11 to attend the Palm Springs International Film Festival. Considered to be a pre-Oscars event, the filmfest will run from January 8-19 at Palm Springs, California. The 20th Palm Springs IFF boasts 209 films culled from 73 countries. Fifty of the 67 films submitted for consideration in the Best Foreign Language Film category for the Academy Awards will be screened at this year's PSIFF.

Juday will be there for two weeks to lobby for her movie, which is about a young woman from Cuyo, Palawan. Her character named Ploning is an "old maid" by rural standards but she refuses to marry. She is intent on waiting for the return of her lover who left for Manila many years ago. During the town fiesta, her secret is revealed—a fact that demonstrates her selfless love and sacrifice.

Ploning will be screened in California on January 12 (10:00 a.m.) and on January 13 (6:30 p.m.)

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Jonah Hex to be directed by Jimmy Hayward


It's been reported that the director chosen for the JONAH HEX film adaptation will go to Jimmy Hayward, who directed the animated "Horton Hears a Who!", which grossed $154.5 million at the US domestic boxoffice.

Josh Brolin is attached to star in the film, which previously had Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor ("Crank") on board as directors. The duo, who also wrote the script, bowed out over creative differences in November. The studio, which hopes to put the movie into production in March or April, went on a fast-track search, putting together a short list that included such names as Andy Fickman and McG before narrowing it down to Hayward.

Jonah Hex is a fictional character, a Western comic book anti-hero created by writer John Albano and artist Tony DeZuniga and published by DC Comics. The right side of his face is horribly distinctly scarred. He was an officer for the Confederacy during the American Civil War, fought at Gettysburg and is normally shown wearing a tattered Confederate States Army jacket. Hex is surly and cynical, and is in many ways similar to Clint Eastwood's Man with No Name or The Outlaw Josey Wales. One incarnation of his comic book series saw the Western genre combined with supernatural elements. Yes, that's what he looks like, right there. I know what you're thinking, he looks like Two-Face. This character has also appeared in episodes of the animated series Justice League Unlimited.

It's a bit odd and quite unusual to have somebody who directed a project like "Horton Hears A Who" to tackle a comicbook known for its gritty anti-hero violence. But then again, one cannot easily underestimate directors these days. I mean look at comedian/director Jon Favreau. Who would've known this director of "Swingers" and the kid friendly "Zathura" would direct "Iron Man" one of the best superhero movies ever made.


Thursday, January 01, 2009

Looking Back At Our TOP FIVE FILMS OF 2008

2008 was a year of great kickass movies. Let me remind you that this is a site for those like you and me... we are all Just Another Film Junkies. We never claim to be high-brow film lovers. So this is the site where we never include high-brow Oscar-caliber movies, just for the sake of bragging that we love classy movies. Our TOP FIVE includes movies that we LOVE. Straight from the heart, bord! Incidentally, these 5 movies are all sequels, and these 5 movies are also the 5 movies that I also couldnt wait to watch for last year. The kind of movies that I would make a sort of countdown, anticipating the day I would finally watch it. And as they were greatly anticipated, they also greatly satisfied the film geek in me.

5. Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian - Sometimes, you feel like this was sort of a Lord of the Rings Lite. But come to think of it, this one was even a bit more violent than the Rings. Because no matter what slaughter they do in Rings, all they slaughter are Orcs. In Caspian, we see kids slaughter armies of humans. The Pevensies can give Conan the Barbarian a run for his money on this one. KICKASS!

4. Hellboy II: The Golden Army - You gotta love HELLBOY, the anti-hero who also happens to be a cool fun dude, who loves cats. The second movie which has more fantasy creatures and creepy monsters, is actually one that is also a big bag of fun, action and adventure.

3. James Bond: Quantum of Solace - Darker and more realistic, JAMES BOND is back. Not your tatay's James Bond who is a bit of a misogynistic arrogant prick. THIS James Bond is closer to what an intelligence agent/government assassin is like. Sure, he's also a womanizer. But that doesnt mean he gets to sleep with each and every hot chick he meets. In this movie he doesnt even get to sleep with THE main hot chick.

2. John Rambo - There may be an exercise of bias here. RAMBO was my one of my childhood action heroes after all. Even though Rambo 3 was a bit lousy, this is one, this 4th Rambo movie redeems the Rambo series. Stallone shows off that he is an excellent film director. The action here is more realistic than any of the previous Rambo movies, and comes back more to the FIRST BLOOD tone, but never does choose to disregard or even forget the existence of 2 & the movie also manages to bring to the audiences attention the relevant topic that is the violence that occurs in Burma. JOHN RAMBO (a.k.a. "Rambo 4" or just "Rambo") may not be for all audiences because of its brutal, ultra-realistic violence. What I also love that the hero here is a kickass senior citizen who can still manage to strike terror into the hearts of evil men.

1. The Dark Knight - I need not explain why this is NUMERO UNO. The movie considered to be THE GREATEST MOVIE EVER MADE. And yes, this movie is BETTER THAN SEX, according to the site and this site agrees with that position. This is the movie is what all geeks and Batman fanatics have been waiting for. A comicbook movie made seriously.. so serious that it feels like its worthy of an Academy Award.