Circuit Round-Up (Week Ending 8/5)

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  • This was a definitive week for us at The Awards Circuit. Thanks to the exclusive content partnership we recently formed with Hollywoodnews.com, your favorite site for entertainment news, awards prognostication, and general movie and television talk has now extended its reach across the internet by being a part of the Awardsrace.com network. This new online network, launched by Hollywoodnews.com, brings pop culture enthusiasts and awards buffs the most up-to-date news on the year’s movie/television/music awards race. You’ll find many of our sites’ articles posted on the network, so please be sure to check it out. Let’s all take pride in this expansion of The Awards Circuit and our incredible new partnership with the web’s leading news of Hollywood-based entertainment, Hollywoodnews.com
  • A few new films were released this week, though they didn’t always hit the mark for Joey Magidson and Michael Ward. Despite a near-universal panning of The Babymakers, Joey maintains and passionately defends his critical score, which has me even more excited to see the film for myself. I do know what it’s like to genuinely enjoy and defend a film that no one else seems to like (wait until you see some my updated staff Top 10 picks). On the other hand, Joey couldn’t muster any real enthusiasm at all for the clinical remake of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Total Recall. He did get some genuine laughs, however, from the raunchy foreign film, Klown. Michael Ward was not laughing this week after watching what he considered to be a film that “offers nothing more than a whimper,” Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days. The lesson here, folks? Leave the “dog days” to Florence + The Machine. Looking to the past, John H. Foote shared with us his thoughts on a film that still horrifies him to this day, John Boorman’s Deliverance.
  • Some exciting trailers were released this week for your enjoyment. The full trailer for Skyfall (AKA the film I’m most skeptical of this year, considering it’s the sequel to that bargain bin heap of trash that is Quantum of Solace) was finally unveiled, and although I’m in the minority of people who aren’t hungry for this latest Bond flick, I imagine it’ll be a solid performer in November when it’s released. We also shared trailers for Head Games, Paranormal Activity 4, The Paperboy, and Andrew Dominik’s Killing Them Softly.
  • The Award Circuit’s popular podcast series, “Power Hour,” is now coming to you on a weekly basis! If you haven’t gotten a chance to listen to the latest episode, please do so now, as we discuss a plethora of topics, including the TIFF Lineup and some potential fall movie flops. Please be sure to also submit your reader questions for the upcoming episode.
  • Was it another rough patch for DVD releases, according to our own Joey Magidson? Well, perhaps a bit. Joey wasn’t completely enamored by Mario Van Peebles’ We The Party, but still found it recommendable enough to cite it as this week’s DVD Pick-of-the-Week. For his vintage choice, or rather “choices,” Joey gave us a complete dossier of less-than-happy romantic dramedies that you all should seek out (ranging from Annie Hall to Chasing Amy) in honor of this week’s (*tries very hard not to unleash a rancorous rant on this film*) new romantic dramdy/indie film, Celeste and Jesse Forever. Those who read my LA Film Fest diaries know that I was no fan of this Rashida Jones co-written/co-starred movie, but Terence and Joey found it charming and enjoyable enough to recommend. Bottom line: go see this film and make up your own mind!
  • While the national Presidential Election is still a few months away, AMPAS had their own changing of the guard after it was announced that Producer Hawk Koch had been elected to take over the position of president to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. What does this mean for the Academy’s future? I guess we’ll all find out at the beginning of next year following the Oscar 2013 nomination announcement and ceremony.
  • Everyone’s favorite historian, Mr. John H. Foote, published several introspective, opinion-based articles this week. Be sure to check out Parts 1 and 2 of his TIFF Golden Moments series. John also provided his thoughts on Peter Jackson’s gargantuan — some may say slightly unnecessary — undertaking of dividing J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit into three separate films.
  • Which birthday boy or girl found themselves honored in this week’s edition of Circuit 3? To nobody’s surprise, it was Batman’s golden boy, Christopher Nolan. While my devotion to Nolan really begins and (hopefully not) ends with his adaptation of the famed caped crusader, please don’t let my personal feelings affect your unbound enthusiasm for one of the 21st century’s most influential directors. Share your top three Nolan films right here!
  • Seeing as how the first half of the year is now behind us, Joey Magidson put on his thinking cap and came up with a solid list of the 2012 Q1 and Q2 films with the most Oscar® potential. Be sure to add your own two cents into the mix, as I can only imagine we all have very different, yet justifiable, opinions of which early released films can truly go the distance when the awards race reaches its boiling point.
  • Ready for some more Oscar 2013 Predictions? We’ve got them! Take a glance at Editor-in-Chief Clayton Davis’ most recent update on his Oscar predictions for next year. The staff will be sharing their updated predictions in the near-future as well, so stay tuned!
  • As always, I like to wrap up the week with an article I believe to be highly prolific and trendily relevant. I can’t think of a better one than the announcement of Sight and Sound’s most recent poll result, where after every decade the nation’s top critics and directors come together to vote for the best of all-time in cinema. Orson Welles’ Citizen Kane — a film I’ve always respected for its historical value but never really saw it as the timeless classic it’s stated to be — was finally dethroned after 50 years of claiming the top spot as Sight and Sound’s Greatest Film of All-Time. Seeing as how our entire staff recently unveiled what we considered to be our “Greatest Films of All-Time,” this poll hit closer to home for us more than ever before. While I do agree with my colleagues that it’s unfortunate to see post-1968 cinema ignored in this Top 10 list, I cannot discount my sheer satisfaction of seeing my #2 favorite film of all time, Vertigo, stand proud and tall as Sight and Sound’s #1 film of all-time. I revere this film as much as I revere the geniuses who helped bring this masterpiece, an undervalued and underrated flop in its initial release, to life before our very eyes. Vertigo is pure Hitchcock in every frame, and the single most pleasurable, mental roller coaster ride in all of cinema. The fact that a thriller/horror film sits on the throne of “Greatest Film of All-Time” has me hopeful for a future critical and artistic community that can embrace “genre films” in equal measurement to their beloved drama-heavy fare. I’m sure everyone has a lot to say on this matter, and we encourage you all to express yourselves, as the term “greatest of all-time” does hold quite a bit of power and meaning for many. Once again, thank you all for your constant loyalty and readership, and keep on reading as always!