The Blind Side

Saving Mr. Banks is a Kelly Marcel-penned Black List script that details the 14 years it took Walt Disney to convince author P.L. Travers to give him the movie rights to her Mary Poppins character. The result of the lengthy courtship was, of course, the Julie Andrews-starring 1964 Disney film Mary Poppins. That movie has made Disney a whole lot of money over the years, so it makes sense that they would be looking to produce any sort of acclaimed script that manages to cash in on Poppins’ mainstream name recognition; especially one that features their company’s founder, Walt Disney, as the main character. To that end, Disney has acquired Marvel’s script and hired The Blind Side helmer John Lee Hancock to direct. That’s all old news though. The new news about this project is that casting has started, and they’re looking at some pretty huge names to play Disney and Travers. According to Variety, Hancock and company are talking to none other than Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson to fill the roles. Just let that sink in for a moment — Tom Hanks may play Walt Disney in a movie about the making of Mary Poppins. Have you ever heard of anything that will make a more violent grab for the hearts and wallets of everyone’s parents and grandparents than that?

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Culture Warrior

The Help has started a conversation that’s stretched far beyond the 137-minute confines of the film itself. And in its second week in a row atop the late-summer box office, the critical conversation surrounding the film has continued amidst (and, sometimes, against) the sleeper popularity it endures in a fashion similar to the success of the book it was based on. In interest of full disclosure, I have deliberately chosen by this point not to see The Help (perhaps a combination of my reservations against it combined with its daunting running time). However, in following the many editorials published in response to the film’s release, it oddly enough feels appropriate to comment on the conversation that the film has inspired without having seen it, as it’s a conversation that is hardly limited to the film itself. The Help seems to represent a breaking point, the last piece of white liberal guilt that broke the clear-cut racial fantasies of Hollywood cinema’s back, so to speak. The film is bearing the brunt of a decades-long history of similarly minded feel-good studio fare about race relations. While The Help certainly has its full-throated detractors, one interesting component about the overall critical reaction to the film is that it is politically simplistic while also presenting good or perfectly competent filmmaking, carried by a couple of strong female performances at its center (which, when considering what’s lacking in terms of identity and representation in Hollywood, is itself no small miracle).

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After taking a week off due to the big fiesta film party that is South by Southwest, I’m back in action with my fingers all over the pulse of the world of Blu-ray. In this entry of This Week in Blu-ray, I’m not only bringing you the releases of this week, but I will be mixing in some choice picks from last week…

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Rob Hunter loves movies. He also loves stealing Quorn brand faux-chicken nuggets from nasty old farmers. These two joys come together in the form of cash money payments that he receives every week and immediately uses to buy more DVDs. So join us each week as he takes a look at new DVD releases and gives his highly unqualified opinion as to which titles are worth BUYing, which are better off as RENTals, and which should be AVOIDed at all costs.

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Movie Drinking Games

It was one of the biggest hits of 2009, not just for audiences but also for star Sandra Bullock’s career. Heck, she won an Oscar for it, after all. And that gave her a reason to raise a glass and toast the Academy. Now that The Blind Side is out on DVD and Blu-ray, we can raise our glasses along with Sandra Bullock while we watch the film at home.

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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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Last year, we live-blogged the Academy Awards from a large yacht. This was, of course, in honor of the fact that the characters from Slumdog Millionaire could not afford such lavish luxury, at least not until the end. This year, in honor of nominees like Avatar and District 9, we considered live-blogging Oscar night from space. We’re still waiting on a few call-backs on that one…

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Oscar Predictions: Best Picture

Read as we break down the films nominated for Best Picture and what their chances are of taking home the prize. We’re pretty sure it won’t be Crash.

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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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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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After appearing in a breakout role in one of the breakout movies of the year, Nick Saban (who starred as LSU coach Nick Saban in The Blind Side) has taken his hobby as a sometimes football coach to the next level.

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Welcome to the 2009 Reject Report Box Office Year in Review, and what a record-settiing year it was. As it turns out, the race for the title of 2009 Box Office Champ remains up in the air as we speak.

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Another weekend, another big haul for Avatar. If James Cameron isn’t king of the box office world right now I don’t know who is.

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This weekend was indeed a good one for the frogs, as The Princess and the Frog won the box office with a solid though not overwhelming haul of $25 million.

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This week moviegoers set the record for the biggest box office year ever at the movies — already past 9.63 billion — and this weekend is bound to see an increase in that total as two new movies go wide: Invictus and The Princess and the Frog.

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Well, it finally happened. The Blind Side finally knocked off The Twilight Saga: New Moon to win the weekend box office. Way to go, Sandra Bullock!

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This week’s Culture Warrior talks about something that never makes anybody uncomfortable: RACE!

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Well, we almost had a big upset at the box office this Thanksgiving, as The Blind Side almost toppled The Twilight Saga: New Moon. The fact that The Blind Side did so well this weekend has to rank as an upset in its own right.

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This week, on a very special episode of Reject Radio, we blather on and on for no real reason until the end credits and, for some reason, a ton of 14-year old girls camp out to get tickets.

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Wow. I knew the fans of The Twilight Saga: New Moon were crazy for this movie, but I didn’t realize they were going to be THIS crazy. It’s an enormous $140 million opening domestic haul for the whole weekend for New Moon.

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