Circuit Round-Up (Week Ending 11/19)

  • Cue Richard Strauss’ “Also sprach Zarathustra” in honor of the announcement of The Awards Circuit’s infamous online movie competition…Academy Idol!! Yes, thanks to the help of our “Academy Idol” liaison and former staff member, Myles Hughes, we unleashed what could possibly be the best viral video of the year: The Introduction of Academy Idol Six’s Top 26. Like Scar sings in The Lion King, you best “BE PREPARED!” for the competition by making sure to vote for your absolute favorites. Trust me when I say that at any week, any film is vulnerable no matter its commercial stature or indie sophistication, so your votes are of the utmost importance. We will commence with the first round of voting this week to determine the films moving forward as Finalists, so please…do us a favor…ROCK THE VOTE!
  • This week on Power Hour, the staff was rather mixed on the latest trailer of Tom Hooper’s heavily anticipated Les Miserables. Editor-in-Chief Clayton Davis goes beyond the common gripe with Hooper’s problematic cinematography and addresses an even more dire concern: the “live” singing feature, which by the looks of things doesn’t seem to be the well-executed experiment we imagined it to be, and could make for a rather trying experience at the movies. The current state-of-the-race is once again touched upon, this time juxtaposed with a deeper inspection of upcoming films that could push some contenders into a “Top Five” slot if their films make a splash (The Impossible and Zero Dark Thirty, for instance). Clayton also flirts with the idea that my theory of a potential John Hawkes snub may not be all that far-fetched — Lionsgate’s strong awards campaigning could propel Hollywood veteran Richard Gere into the “Best Actor” category, with The Weinstein’s Bradley Cooper drunkenly stumbling his way into the lineup as well.
  • For his DVD Pick-of-the-Week, Joey Magidson chose Brave, a definite moneymaker but largely a disappointment with fans that refuse to settle for anything less than great from Pixar. Brave was merely good but as Joey said, it might wind up with the “Best Animated Feature” Oscar® “by default.” In honor of David O. Russell’s newly released awards contender, Silver Linings Playbook, Joey selects one of the director’s earlier works, Spanking the Monkey, a black comedy that focuses on the most uncomfortable of subjects: incest.
  • Speaking of Silver Linings Playbook, does it have a shot at taking home the Oscar® for “Best Picture”? Click here to read why Joey Magidson still feels as though Argo is leading the race for this coveted prize. On the flip side, Historian John H. Foote believes Lincoln is the contender we should all be focusing on.
  • In more Star Wars Episode 7 related news, Nicole Melkonian brought us up to date on the epic project: Toy Story 3 & Little Miss Sunshine screenwriter Michael Arndt will be penning the next installment in the resurrected movie franchise. Hear that? That’s the sound of kids and adults simultaneously cheering over this announcement. Is an attached director soon to follow? Joey made several good suggestions on the matter, which sprung forth great opinions from readers partaking in the discussion.
  • Anna Belickis and I remained as objective as possible with our critiques of this week’s Dancing with the Stars and The Voice. As much as we tried to convince America, we weren’t able to boot The Voice’s Melanie Martinez andDancing with the Star’sEmmitt Smith out of the competition. Like they say, there’s always a next time!
  • Mark Johnson’s popular Circuit 3 article is always a weekly delight (and this week was no exception since it featured the great Martin Scorsese, now 70 years the wiser!), but we have to pause for a second and give a shout-out to Mark for the arrival of his own birthday just yesterday! Happy birthday, Mark and thank you for launching a weekly series that enriches the discussion of our favorite actors and the classic films which they helped make timeless. Once again, I hope everyone has another terrific week in both your daily lives and here on the site. As always, stay tuned for more!