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Tag: Steven Spielberg (21-30 of 56)

Inside the Best Picture nominees: A deep dive into 'War Horse'

There are a whopping nine films nominated for Best Picture at this year’s Academy Awards. And between your work, family, and constant USA marathons of Law & Order: SVU (when will those ever stop being addictive?!), you simply do not have time to catch all nine in the theaters or on DVD. But never fear, dear PopWatchers — that’s why we’re here! Each day leading up to the Academy Awards Feb. 26, we’ll be providing you with a deep dive into one of the nine Best Picture nominees. Fear showing up to your Oscars party unprepared to discuss the year’s most notable films? We’ve got you covered. (Just beware:SPOILERS AHEAD!) And if you’ve already seen all nine films, even better — our inside look at each nominee will serve as a handy guide to remind you of the best and worst moments from every Best Picture candidate this year. In this installment we’ll break down all the statistics of War Horse. (And be sure click here for more deep dives into this year’s Best Picture nominees!)

Name: War Horse

Release date: December 25, 2011

DVD release date: April 3, 2012

Run time: 2 hours, 26 minutes READ FULL STORY

'Phantom Menace' will eclipse 'Dark Knight' grosses -- Is Top 10 quality going down like the 'Titanic'?

News broke today that Star Wars: Episode 1 — The Phantom Menace, thanks to its recent 3-D re-release, is on track to surpass 2008’s The Dark Knight in box office grosses. This infusion of money will make Phantom Menace the 10th highest-grossing film of all time. Many would argue that Christopher Nolan’s twisty Batman Begins sequel is far superior to George Lucas’ uncontrollable exercise in CGI, and it got us thinking: Are the newest crop of movies to join the top 10 (six since Avatar kick-started a box office frenzy in 2009) demonstrably worse than their chart-mates? Well… yes and no. See the new top 10 list below. READ FULL STORY

Oscars Myth Busting: Do presenters have a connection to the winner?

Put down those Pop Rocks and Diet Cokes. We’ve got some A-list myths to examine! Ahead of this Sunday’s Oscars, we’ll be taking a look at some of the most famous myths to rise out of the annual awards ceremony. Want to know if being nude will get you a Best Actress statue? Or if the Best Supporting Actress trophy is indeed a curse? You’re in luck -- we’ll be investigating one Oscars-related urban legend each day this week. Today, we’ll see if we can bust the presenter-winner nepotism myth: Over the past 25 years, has everyone been as connected as, say, 1994 presenter and winner Harrison Ford and Steven Spielberg? Read on to find out. (And click here for more of EW’s Oscars Myth Busting.)

Oscar myth: Presenter-winner nepotism

What Is It?: In some quarters, there is a belief that Oscar presenters are handpicked to deliver the award to their A-list buddies or former costars. READ FULL STORY

Nominated for Nothing: Why J.J. Abrams' 'Super 8' deserves more recognition

Just about every year, brilliant movies are utterly ignored by the Oscars. The Searchers, Groundhog Day, Persona, Breathless, Hoop Dreams, The Bourne Supremacy, King Kong, Casino Royale, Touch of Evil, Caddyshack, Mean Streets, The Big Lebowski — the Academy has a long history of overlooking comedies, action movies, horror flicks, hard-boiled genre pics, artsy foreign films, and documentaries that aren’t about World War II. This year, we’ll be taking a closer look at films that were too small, too weird, or perhaps simply too awesome for the Academy Awards. These are the Non-Nominees.

The Film: Super 8, writer-director J.J. Abrams’ love letter to his childhood, and all that that entails: Making Super 8 movies in the 1970s with his newly pubescent friends (including longtime collaborators Bryan Burk, Matt Reeves, and Larry Fong, Super 8‘s director of photography); fantasizing about wild adventures involving dangerous extra-terrestrials and nefarious military conspiracies; and obsessing over the movies of Steven Spielberg, the man who essentially invented the childhoods of a generation of Gen Xers, and who eventually collaborated with Abrams on this film.

Why it Wasn’t Nominated:  READ FULL STORY

Stop-motion Indiana Jones: Watch out for that boulder!

The opening scenes of Raiders of the Lost Ark is generally regarded as one of the best action sequences ever. Now, animator Jeff Gurwood has painstakingly recreated that sequence as a stop-motion video, using uncannily spot-on sets and Hasbro action figures. There’s a lot to enjoy about the video — my favorite part is when the camera appears to dolly into a close-up on Indy right before he grabs the idol, a shot that I would imagine took about a month to create in stop-motion. And it’s impossible to ever get tired of the traitorous, doomed Alfred Molina doll. Check out the video: READ FULL STORY

'War Horse' poll: Did you cry?

Considering the War Horse trailer made some people misty, I assume the answer is “yes,” the majority of moviegoers did cry when seeing the actual film. But let’s make it official with the PopWatch poll below. You’ll notice there is an option for those who, like myself, want to see it but haven’t yet because the relatives they’re visiting and assumed would go won’t. My mother has always cared more about the fate of animals than humans in movies. (See: the dog in Independence Day.) My sister, who owns two quarter horses, shielded her eyes for the length of the War Horse trailer that played before our showing of The DescendantsREAD FULL STORY

Best of 2011 (Behind the Scenes): Riley Griffiths shares his memories from the set of 'Super 8'

As 2011 comes to a close, EW.com wanted to honor some of the unsung heroes of the year for their outstanding achievements in entertainment. As Super 8‘s driven filmmaker Charles Kaznyk, 14-year-old Riley Griffiths (far right) made his big-screen debut in one of the most anticipated movies of the summer. Below, he talks about landing the role, horsing around with Kyle Chandler, and how J.J. Abrams worked his magic (literally). For more behind the scenes access to the year’s best TV and movie scenes, click here for EW.com‘s Best of 2011: Behind the Scenes coverage.

As told by: Riley Griffiths

I had no idea what the project was. The script that they sent me to audition with had nothing to do with Super 8. I remember seeing the Super 8 trailer and thinking, “Oh man, that looks like a cool movie!” It turns out I was auditioning for it at the time and didn’t even know! READ FULL STORY

This Week's Cover: The secrets of Steven Spielberg


Sit down with Steven Spielberg and there is plenty to ask about — even beyond his two movies opening later this month, War Horse and The Adventures of Tintin. Was E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial really going to be a horror movie? (Yes.) Did John Wayne call to berate the director about his World War II spoof 1941? (Yes.) And how did he handle it when Billy Wilder asked to take over Schindler’s List? (Very delicately.)

The 64-year-old Oscar winner is open and thoughtful in discussing his storied career, from his 1968 short film Amblin’ to Lincoln, the biopic he’s currently shooting in Virginia with Daniel Day-Lewis. Despite all the acclaim (and box office success) he’s had over the years, Spielberg says he’s still anxious every time he starts a new project. “I think it’s my fuel, basically—my nervous stomach. That’s what keeps me honest, right? And a little bit humble, in the sense that when I make a movie, I never think I have all the answers.”

So what gave him doubts over the years? One example was one of his biggest (and earliest) hits: 1981’s Raiders of the Lost Ark. “I was a little bit dubious about what happens when they open the ark,” he says. “What actually is going to come out of the ark? There were a lot of crazy things in the script. I wasn’t sure how much we could actually get on the screen. We made a lot of it up as we were in postproduction.”

For more on Spielberg, including whether he really advised Michael Bay to fire Megan Fox from the Transformers franchise, pick up the new issue of Entertainment Weekly, on stands now. Or order it here.

'Tintin' website to hold Americans over while the world enjoys the real thing


Americans aren’t used to waiting for anything, but Steven Spielberg’s The Adventures of Tintin is already playing in Europe and it is expected to open in about 40 countries before it finally opens in the United States on Dec. 21. Put it this way, only Pakistan and Brazil have to wait longer than us Yanks! (Pakistan!!) Let’s not hold a grudge, though. Focus on the positive. The new Tintin website features snippets of John Williams’ new score for the film, and it is positively johnwilliams-y.

Not to belabor the point, but it is fairly unusual for a huge Hollywood film to get a two-month head-start abroad before it finally opens stateside. There’s no denying that Tintin, the creation of the Belgian cartoonist Hergé, has a larger fan-base in Europe, but it’s not winning any new American fans by making us wait. To cheer you up in the interim, watch this behind-the-scene featurette embedded on the new Tintin site: READ FULL STORY

Steven Spielberg admits he had reservations about 'Indiana Jones 4,' but still defends worst scene in 'Indiana Jones 4'

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is not a very good movie. Actually, it’s less of a movie than a horrific catalogue of everything that is miserable and boring in modern Hollywood: The urge to sequelize into infinity, the paycheck-gravitas of great British actors, the redefinition of “plot” as “a series of digitalized set-pieces signifying nothing,” the notion of Shia LaBeouf as an action hero, the notion that Russians still make interesting villains, the limits of Cate Blanchett’s greatness, but, most of all, the TV-ification of movie stardom, whereby every movie star is only really a star when they’re sleepwalking through reheated incarnations of their most iconic roles. (See also: Renée Zellweger, Sylvester Stallone, everyone who has ever starred in a superhero movie besides Christian Bale, the cast of Fast Five, the cast of Twilight.)

But Crystal Skull was directed by Steven Spielberg, who has almost certainly earned the right to strike out every now and then. READ FULL STORY

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