Circuit Round-Up (Week Ending 7/29)

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  • And…we’re back! Coming off a huge week with The Dark Knight Rises, you’d expect us to slow down at The Awards Circuit. Hah, not a chance! We began the week with some wrap-up thoughts on Christopher Nolan’s final film in his heavily acclaimed — although polarizing to some — Batman Trilogy. First up was Robert Hamer’s mixed review of The Dark Knight Rises, and while his was the lone review on the site that wasn’t effusively praising Nolan’s latest to the nth degree, he raised some very worthy points of contention that had many of our readers nodding their heads in agreement. The debate continued on in our most recent episode of “Power Hour,” where Robert found himself once again the odd man out when it came to his overall impression of The Dark Knight Rises. You have to admire his spirit and unequivocal passion for defending what he believes in and backing up his arguments with sound reasoning. As the longest podcast episode ever recorded thus far, this is perhaps our most lively one yet, so please…do yourself a favor…give it a listen! Also contained in the episode was the announcement of your ACCA 2000 Winners. Let’s just say that Darren Aronofsky is heavily admired on this site…heavily.
  • We also saw film reviews for French drama Nuit #1, Jonah Hill/Ben Stiller/Vince Vaughn’s latest comedic romp in The Watch, the newest NC-17 film to hit cinemas, William Friedkin’s Killer Joe, Rashida Jones’ screenplay debut with Celeste and Jesse Forever, and finally Joey Magidson’s much beloved Ruby Sparks (for which he also had the opportunity to interview the cast and participate in roundtable sessions — lucky!).
  • Joey Magidson may not have felt this was the best week for DVD/Blu-Ray releases, but the show must go on, and so it did. His DVD Pick-of-the-Week is none other than Silent House, starring Martha Marcy May Marlene breakout Elizabeth Olsen. I’m excited to see this one, as I’ve been dying for a good horror flick this year, although arguably The Grey provided some of the best thrills and scares for me so far, so I haven’t been totally “horror” deprived in 2012. For his vintage selection, Joey went with Stranger Than Fiction in honor of Ruby Sparks‘ equally quirky yet presumably lovable screenplay. I have yet to see this Will Farrell film, but from what I hear the curly haired goofball delivers his best work yet, so I’m looking forward to checking this one out.
  • Missed any major news scoop this week? There’s no need to fear…Terence Johnson is here! Check out his news wrap-up with the latest edition of Late Press.
  • John H. Foote takes us back to the decade of white picket fences and June Cleaver with his Best of the Decades: 1950s article. It’s a shame this was the same decade where movies suffered the most, since the rise of television and its popularity amongst Middle America nearly brought Hollywood to its knees. Still, there’s plenty of films to love from the 1950s, so soak in Mr. Foote’s excellent list and by all means share your own appreciation of the best films from this decade.
  • Who was the subject of Mark Johnson’s popular Circuit 3 this week? It was the director who made us laugh to no end (Dr. Strangelove), awe us to no end (2001: A Space Odyssey), and rattle us to no end (A Clockwork Orange) — Stanley Kubrick. Like how my fellow colleague John H. Foote is not the biggest fan of Alfred Hitchcock, I myself am not the biggest fan of Kubrick (my favorite film of his, a masterpiece by the way, is Eyes Wide Shut, so that should alert you to my non-Kubrick fanboy status), but the guy’s mark in cinema is too valuable and tangible to ignore, and we thank Mark for letting us celebrate his birthday by letting us share our top three favorite Kubrick films. I still need to go back and revisit 2001: A Spacey Odyssey, a film that’s never quite worked for me. Re-watching The Shining multiple times has made me embrace it more with each viewing, but I still attest to the fact that the film lacks the scares of some of the best horror films out there (Stephen King’s novel delivers the nightmares and goosebumps instead). Regardless, there’s something exciting about Kubrick, his films, and his cinematic legacy that will never leave our minds, and for that his presence is eternally felt.
  • Big Oscar contenders are coming to the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival! Check out the full lineup here, and try to contain your envy of Canada’s own regular TIFF attendee John H. Foote, who I believe will once again attend the famed venue this fall.
  • Put on your dancing shoes and get excited, because Dancing With the Stars has just announced its All-Star lineup for the fall season! Anna Belickis dishes the news, and I have to agree with her that it’s utterly revolting that Bristol Palin has decided to return to collect a paycheck compete again. One of the Olympians is sure to win, which will probably make for a dull and predictable season, but alas I’ll still be watching. Anna Belickis, resident TV guru, also delivers to us the complete fall schedule for ABC programming.
  • Film 2012 has been touted as the “Year of the Super Hero.” In response to this, alongside popular new releases like The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises, Joey Magidson has compiled a list of what he feels are the 10 Greatest Superhero Films of All-Time. I personally love his list (no Spider-Man 2, hoorah!), and I hope those who haven’t already participated will come forward to share their own list of the best in superhero-based cinema.
  • Finally, we welcome the return of Daniel Ashtiany, Britain’s finest, with his illuminating take on the 2012 London Olympic’s Opening Ceremony. Daniel couldn’t help but feel a great sense of British pride, proud of his heritage and his nation as they did a marvelous job presenting the opening ceremony, courtesy of the always amazing Danny Boyle. While he noted that many Americans held a somewhat negative attitude toward the ceremony, by and large the people of the world made their opinions known with record breaking television ratings. We thank Daniel for bringing us his native outlook on what has been, and is sure to still be, one of the most memorable Olympics in history. Thank you all, once again, for another terrific week here at The Awards Circuit. Stay tuned for more film reviews, trailers, opinion pieces, and of course Oscar 2013 Predictions in the near future!