Entertainment behind the scenes
Back in June, when the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences said it would expand its list of best film Oscar contenders to 10 from five, then Academy President Sid Ganis told reporters doing so would “cast our net wider, and it casting that net wider, who knows what will turn up.” (Read about that here). Essentially, what that meant was the Academy wanted more populist fare among its nominees after years of seeing its membership favor low-budget adult dramas over box office hits like Batman movie, “The Dark Knight.”
Why is that important? The Academy knows that nominating popular movies helps boost the audience size for the Oscar telecast. Last year, when “Slumdog Millionaire” was on a roll at box offices ($141 million), more than 38 million people tuned in to the Oscars compared with 32 million the previous year when gritty drama “No Country For Old Men” ($74 million) won best film.
Luckily for the Academy, this year it has a box office smash and a critical hit on its hands in “Avatar” — the highest grossing movie of all time. But the film that pundits say is right behind is low-budget, art house flick “The Hurt Locker.” And heading into Tuesday’s Oscar nominations (read about them here), if you asked Oscar pundits who the top five films would have been, the would have said: “Inglourious Basterds,” “Up in the Air” and ”Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire.” The fifth slot may have been a toss-up. Then again, it generally always is.
The point is, all five of those films were nominated, and likely only the two — “Avatar” and “The Hurt Locker” — stand a chance at winning, pundits say. So, having 10 nominees may not have changed a thing. But that is what insiders think. You are the fans. What do you think? Did the 10 matter, and does it make for a more exciting show? Put another way, is having “District 9″ among the nominees, for instance, really going to change the thinking among the 6,000 or so Academy members? Maybe not. But how about “The Blind Side”? And do movies like those make you any more, or less, willing to tune in to the show on March 7?
Horror movies scared up big ticket sales at theaters across the United States with the fourth installment of the “Final Destination” series taking the No. 1 spot ($28.3 million) from director Quentin Tarantino’s violent “Inglourious Basterds.” You can read the box office coverage here.
But the “Basterds” landed in the No. 2 spot (R20 million), and it must’ve been heartening for its distributor, the Weinstein Co., which also claimed the No. 3 film with its latest “Halloween” horror flick. We were in front of a megaplex again on Sunday asking people what they liked — and didn’t. Click below for a look.
Director Quentin Tarantino’s widely-hyped “Inglourious Basterds” enters its second weekend at U.S. and Canadian box offices on Friday after claiming the No. 1 spot last weekend with a debut of around $38 million. Tarantino has many loyal fans who can be counted on to show up on the opening weekend, but the second weekend is a bigger question. If fans liked the movie and if their “word-of-mouth” recommendations to friends are strong, then “Inglourious” may be able to retain audiences and beat newcomers “The Final Destination” and “Halloween 2.”
Diane Kruger and Brad Pitt starred together in the 2004 movie “Troy,” and they reunite on screen in the movie “Inglourious Basterds” opening on Friday. But the reunion comes with a bloody twist, a moment more akin to a Freddy Krueger movie than a Diane Kruger’s flick, when Pitt’s U.S. Army lieutenant character sticks his finger in a fresh bullet wound in her leg.
It’s squeamish stuff, in line with the movie itself, which is high on over-the-top violence and the sometimes gruesome irony that is inherent in much of Tarantino’s work. But Kruger isn’t sore about the painful scene, and she has nothing but good things to say about Pitt and Tarantino.
As the Cannes film festival headed toward it’s final weekend with a few films left to play on Saturday and awards to give away on Sunday, the reactions to films screening here seemed to be mixed and the star power decidedly low, which was what had been expected going into the world’s largest film gathering.
The frontrunner for the coveted Palme d’Or, the festival’s top honor, appears to be French film “Un Prophete” (“A Prophet”) from director Jacques Audiard, telling of a 19-year-old man who learns how to survive in prison. Read more about it here. Because Cannes is considered a festival where cinematic art is explored, winning the Palme d’Or does not always translate into commercial success, especially in the Hollywood-dominated United States. But Sony Pictures Classics acquired U.S. distribution rights to the film, and they are masters at luring U.S. audiences to foreign films. Perhaps their biggest success in that arena was Oscar nominee “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.”
As if to dispel all the rumors of discord in the relationship between Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, the glamour couple strolled the red carpet at the Cannes film festival premiere of Brad’s “Inglourious Basterds” on Wednesday night. They also showed up at the after party.
The party was jam packed with media on the outside and studio execs inside, and we couldn’t get anywhere near the couple at the party — security being what it was. Actually, it was more like onlookers four-deep using their peripheral vision to sneak peaks at the Hollywood couple. We didn’t want to play that game. In any case, we promised we’d take Fan Fare readers inside, so click below. You’ll see Harvey Weinstein walk across one sequence, and stay to the end where you’ll get a fan reaction to the Quentin Tarantino-directed film.
Director Quentin Tarantino’s new movie, ‘Inglourious Basterds” shot its way into the Cannes film festival on Wednesday morning for early press and public screenings ahead of its red carpet premiere and after-party in the evening, and what a blood bath it was.
Tarantino, director of movies such as “Pulp Fiction,” has created a sort of cartoonish, comic book-style nod to shoot ‘em up World War II movies such as 1967′s “The Dirty Dozen.” But it is far more graphic with its violence, which includes scalping dead soldiers’ heads, and more modern than that old war tale — using background music ranging from David Bowie to ”The Green Leaves of Summer” from the soundtrack of the motion picture “The Alamo.” In fact, the movie opens with the feel of an old Clint Eastwood spaghetti western such as ”The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.”