Oscar Envelope

No matter how ambivalent this year’s Oscars might make everyone, trying to guess the winners is almost always intriguing. It’s usually broken down by factors such as prior victories in other awards shows, likeability of the nominee,what’s being talked about the most, what made more money…you know, characteristics that actually speak nothing about the film itself or how good it is. Yet, regardless, it’s still fun. Though, just because I can’t quantify the value of specific factors to pick a winner doesn’t necessarily mean that a quantifiable formula does not exist in terms of systematically predicting who will win; and if there was going to be someone to develop such a formula then it was most likely going to come from a student at Harvard because (as one of last year’s nominees taught us) people love math there. They love it. Indeed though, Harvard student Ben Zauzmer has developed a formula for calculating who will walk away with a statuette this Sunday and posted those math-based Oscar predictions on his blog.



Welcome back to Junkfood Cinema; fatter than Jesus. This is the weekly column that celebrates the myriad ways a film can fail. Every Friday I take you for a ride on the SchlockCoaster; careening through each of the movie’s wild faults. I then level things off and explain how I still love the film despite those faults. Then, after your confidence in my tastes plummets at thrilling speed, we exit the ride and I treat you to a gooey, sticky snack food that is sure to unsettle your stomach. With today’s inexplicable release of yet another Final Destination movie, I believe it’s called FIVEnal Destination Goes West, I thought it would be fun to look back at the only entry in the franchise that I find enjoyable. This week’s snack: Final Destination 3


The Best Short Films

Why Watch? Because the format needs challenging. This short film from Tatiana Plakhova consists of two things. One, the music of Philip Glass. Two, the music of Philip Glass expressed as mathematically created art. It’s experimental to be sure, but the effect is a stirring one that is sure to either create an emotional response, or at least a nod of approval for the beauty of its combination. Or, like all art, maybe it won’t do anything for you at all. But finding out should be fun. What Will It Cost? Just 3 minutes of your time. Check out Music Portraits for yourself:



The star of The Messenger talks about losing loved ones, his X3 disagreements with Brett Ratner, and the film he turned down five times.



Joe Johnston worked on Raiders of the Lost Ark, directed The Rocketeer, and I have no idea if he’s connected at all to Saving Private Ryan, but it looks like he’ll be bringing that signature style to Captain America.

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published: 01.29.2015
published: 01.28.2015
published: 01.28.2015
published: 01.28.2015

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