Precious: Based on a novel by Sapphire

After the critical and commercial success of Precious, director Lee Daniels most likely had offers flooding into his office. Considering the way he describes the post-Precious period, that was indeed the case. There were plenty of movies Daniels could have made and for large sums of money as well. In the end, Daniels decided to followup Precious with The Paperboy, a movie many have called “pulpy.” Pulpy material usually doesn’t equal commercial success, but after making a hit, Daniels decided to stick with his gut even if his gut told him to turn down millions. The Paperboy, as ludicrous as it certainly is at times, remains a personal story for Daniels. Some may not see through the sweat and violence of the picture, but he saw this as another tale filled with people he knows well and who we don’t see on screen often enough: characters with a death wish. The world those characters inhabits is one you’ll either love or hate. Here’s what director Lee Daniels had to say about his artist side superseding commercialism, when the magic happens on set, and why he really shows Zac Efron in his underwear so much:

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Reel Sex

People were up in arms Tuesday after the announcement of nominees for the 84th Annual Academy Awards. So many seem to forget that every year they are disappointed with the nominees and every year there is some film or performer who was left off or included on the prestigious list. I may have spent the final weeks of 2011 lamenting my utter ennui with last year’s films, but I never in a million years expected some of the Oscar outcomes. No Supporting Actor nomination for Albert Brooks, whose performance in Drive unnerved audiences to the core? Or the blatant disregard for solid documentary filmmaking in The Interrupters, Buck, or Project Nim, three entries into filmmaking that will forever impact the way we view the world around us? No, the Academy seemed to forget the impressive and daring offerings in favor of an adorable dog in a silent film. What is this, 1920? Last I checked The Jazz Singer pushed us into the land of the talkies. I could spend all day gnawing my tongue over which films shouldn’t have been included in this year’s awards recognition, but just like arguing the virtues and evils of the MPAA, our time is better used talking about some of the sexy pieces of work that the Academy felt were too provocative to include (for reasons I have completely made up in my mind. Hey, they have their prerogative, I have mine.). Going along with the Academy’s new voodoo math rules of deciding the […]

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Do you remember a time before Mo’Nique was an Oscar winning actress? No, neither do I. It just feels like it has always been. Unfortunately, we haven’t seen much from our generation’s finest living performer since she won the golden statue for her bone chilling, lunch spewing role as an abusive mother in Precious. As a matter of fact, we haven’t seen her do anything. But that is looking to change. Mo’Nique has entered negotiations to join an ensemble cast for a new film called Bumped. If she gets the papers signed she would join a cast that already includes X-Men: First Class’ Alex Gonzalez, Gossip Girl’s Katie Cassidy, and Casino Jack’s Xenia Siamas. Bumped is an indie dramedy about a disparate group of passengers forced to spend time together during an extended layover at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport (ORD). As someone who has spent a decent amount of time sitting in O’Hare airport, I imagine that it will end up being more drama than comedy, but I guess we shall see. The real exciting news about the project is that Stephen Herek will direct. “Wait,” you might be thinking, “I’ve looked over the films he’s made over the last ten years and they’re all straight-to-video sequel nonsense, why would I be excited about him?” Okay, probably you didn’t think that, but let’s pretend you did. The reason you should get excited is because of Herek’s legendary run on films in the 80s and early 90s that include Critters, Bill & […]

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A man recounts the worsening abuse he endured as an adolescent from his alcoholic mother and passive father. From beatings to starvation to actions labeled illegal by the Geneva Convention.

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Movie Drinking Games

Now that we’ve survived the onslaught of award season, you can travel to the video store and watch many of the winners in the comfort of your own home. And with both Up in the Air and Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire hitting the streets this week, it’s time for an all-encompassing drinking game to give you an honest-to-God Oscar hangover.

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Like clockwork, I’m back with another round of high definition goodness with This Week in Blu-ray. It’s a fairly light week, as several major Oscar nominees seek to capture your home video dollars by piggybacking onto the hype from this past Sunday’s ceremony. We’ve also got a few awful films that I won’t hesitate to smack around a bit, mostly because they made me feel as if my time was completely worthless.

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Rob Hunter loves movies. He also loves flying. These two joys come together in the form of cash money payments that he receives every week and immediately uses to buy more DVDs. This week we go Up In the Air with The Boondock Saints, Matt Houston, and some terribly unfunny Old Dogs.

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Tonight, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will hand out the 82nd Annual Oscars. And like any great movie site would, we will be updating our site live along with the ceremony. We will also be live-blogging the event, with much of the FSR staff providing up-to-the-minute commentary on the winners, the speeches, and everything in between. Come join!

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Oscar Predictions: Best Picture

This year has been a strange one for acting performances. In a big way, the only category to fully reflect the new diversity that the Academy seems to be going for is the Best Actress category in which we see a Southern mom, a famous author’s wife, a young girl finding her purpose, a young girl finding her purpose through intense hardship, and a former spy who wants to take cooking lessons.

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Oscar Predictions: Best Director

Best Director is a tricky category with, like many awards bestowed at the Oscars, a questionable track record. Venerated filmmakers like Hitchcock, Kubrick, and Altman, for instance, never won the award. While it’s arguably impossible to objectively compare different works of art, Best Director is an especially elusive and subjective category that forces one to compare apples to oranges, especially with this year’s nominees.

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Oscar Predictions

This year’s nominees in the Best Supporting Actress category run the gamut from a feisty lingerie-wearing mistress to a monstrous, abusive excuse for a mother, and while this category is usually pretty hard to predict, I’m thinking this year not so much. Here are the nominees for best actress in a supporting role.

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It’s Academy Awards time again, and even though we all know the awards are basically an irrelevant exercise in mutual masturbation it’s still fun to watch. This year sees a wide variety of films gain entry into Oscar history via nominations for Best Screenplay, Original and Adapted. Some deserve the honor, while others are based on the novel “Push” by Sapphire.

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Remember a little while back there was some rumbling about a remake of Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver? I wrote that one up. I didn’t like the idea. But here comes a blip from the great director where he says he’d like to give 3D a try. Well then, what better vehicle than Taxi Driver. I of course would take it one step further and go for IMAX as well. It would seem Scorsese would disagree with me when it comes to a dramatic film using 3D technology.

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It is quite early in the morning, even here in the Central Time Zone. But so many of us in the movie world were up early, watching as Anne Hathaway unveiled the nominees for the 82nd Academy Awards, which will take place 33 days from now.

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The 67th Annual Golden Globe Awards are upon us. And while they are on live on ABC as of 8/7c, you may not be watching them. That’s okay, as I will updating our list with the winners as they are announced.

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Put simply, it’s going to be a populist kind of year. Once again, the likes of Avatar and Star Trek, along with The Hangover, are hanging around during awards season.

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Some years at the cineplex are just better than others. Which years those are can always be debated, hence the reason why FSR writer Paul Sileo and FSR’s resident devil’s advocate Josh Radde sat on their collective asses to hash out whether or not 2009 was particularly strong or notably weak.

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The Directors Guild of America announced the nominees for its 62nd Annual Awards today, honoring outstanding directorial achievement in feature films.

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In the online world, our lives wouldn’t be complete without the embattled entity known as the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS). Which means this year’s awards season wouldn’t be complete without this list of winners.

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Often “Best of” lists include a bunch of the Oscar bait roles that we hear about at the end of every year but in 2009 we had some great performances in big movies which sadly isn’t always the case. With this list I tried to balance the two opposing worlds of critical credibility and popularity by considering which roles stuck out in my mind most. This is what I came up with…

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