Bradley Cooper Deserved An Oscar Nomination For Best Director

The nominees for the 91st Academy Awards were announced bright and early this morning. And as is the case every year, there is a lot to discuss. Just like every other year, a lot of that discussion will be around who got snubbed. Snubs are a natural product of awards, where only a certain number of people can be recognized. This is an evaluation of art, not a mathematical measurement, it is subjective and imperfect and susceptible to multiple forces that have nothing to do with the art itself. That means that fair or unfair, like it or not, someone inevitably always gets left out.

Still, Bradley Cooper deserved an Oscar nomination for Best Director for A Star is Born.

When the five nominees for Best Director were read off, Bradley Cooper’s name was glaring in its absence. The category consists of Spike Lee for BlacKkKlansman, Alfonso Cuarón for Roma, Pawel Pawlikowski for Cold War, Yorgos Lanthimos for The Favourite and Adam McKay for Vice. It is a fine list of deserving candidates, but Bradley Cooper deserved to be among them. More than that, he was expected to be.

There is no such thing as a sure thing, especially when it comes to Oscar prognostication. But Bradley Cooper getting a Best Director nod for A Star is Born seemed about as much a lock as anything else this year. This wasn’t a case of everyone hoping he would get in against all odds and despite evidence to the contrary. Bradley Cooper has been a mainstay of awards season, and that led us to believe that he would be recognized with a nomination for the industry’s highest honor.

Bradley Cooper netted a Best Director nomination at the Golden Globes, and although the award wound up going to Alfonso Cuarón for Roma, at least Cooper was among the nominees. Bradley Cooper also received a record 5 nominations for the BAFTA Award, including for Best Director. The Directors Guild of America nominations are usually a pretty good indicator of the eventual Oscar nominees and Bradley Cooper received a DGA nomination for Best Director there too.

This is not to mention the many nominations that A Star is Born itself has garnered throughout awards season. The point is that there were plenty of reasons and historical indicators to think that Bradley Cooper was a shoe-in for a Best Director nomination. And with good reason, because what he did with A Star is Born is nothing short of incredible.

With A Star is Born, Bradley Cooper took a story told multiple times before and remade it for modern audiences. And in doing so, he crafted an emotional musical epic. This is a deftly directed film that is both hugely entertaining and has a deeply human core. Bradley Cooper makes smart choices that have a huge impact and help this film to say something.

Everything from the concert that opens the film, to the calamitous awards ceremony, to the heartbreaking end, and all the quiet moments in between are crafted with skill– conveying meaning and expanding his characters. The romance between Bradley Cooper’s Jackson Maine and Lady Gaga’s Ally is positively electrifying and the first 45 minutes of A Star is Born alone are deserving of a Best Director nomination.

Bradley Cooper not only directed A Star is Born, but he co-wrote the script, starred in it and sang his own songs, some of which he helped write. He also directed his co-star Lady Gaga, who is relatively new and inexperienced in acting, to an Academy Award nominated performance (to be fair Alfonso Cuarón did the same with Yalitza Aparicio). He also got a stellar (no surprise) performance out of Sam Elliott, netting him his first nomination. Bradley Cooper brought the best out in himself and in his cast and that is one of the primary jobs of a director.

What makes the achievement all the more impressive is that this was Bradley Cooper’s directorial debut; he did all of this his first time out. That shouldn’t be an excuse for him not receiving a nomination either, because Robert Redford, Kevin Costner and Sam Mendes as well as a few others all won Best Director statues their first time out. This precedent disproves any sentiment that a director has to pay their dues and shouldn’t be nominated or even win for their first film.

In addition to being one of the best-reviewed movies of 2018 A Star is Born was also a smash hit at the box office, earning more than $400 million worldwide. A Star is Born checks every box the Academy could want in a film: it’s artistic, critically-acclaimed, it’s about the entertainment industry, and it was commercially successful and that wouldn’t have happened without Bradley Cooper.

A Star is Born was nominated for 8 Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Best Original Song, Best Sound Mixing and Best Adapted Screenplay. There is often the question of how a film can be nominated for Best Picture if the director, the person most responsible for the final film, isn’t nominated for Best Director and Bradley Cooper’s snub demands that question be answered.

Bradley Cooper wasn’t some hired gun; he was intimately involved in the creation of this film beyond just directing. So how could A Star is Born be deserving of all these nominations and Bradley Cooper not be? This is a snub akin to Ben Affleck’s Best Director snub in 2013 for Argo.

I’m not saying that any of the nominees don’t deserve the honor and I’m not sure who I would take out to give Bradley Cooper the spot, but I do know that he deserved a nomination. Ultimately the Best Director Oscar is probably Alfonso Cuarón’s to lose, but the cliché is true, it is an honor just to be nominated and Bradley Cooper deserved that honor for A Star is Born.

The 91st Academy Awards air on February 24 on ABC. Check out our 2019 Release Schedule to see all the big movies looking to make a splash at next year’s ceremony.

Did Bradley Cooper Deserve A Best Director Nomination For A Star Is Born?

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How Did Emily Blunt Not Get A Best Actress Oscar Nomination For Mary Poppins Returns?

It’s too damn early in the morning on the west coast when they announce the Oscar nominees, and while I had coffee in hand, I still wasn’t entirely with it as the nominees were being announced. Maybe I was still in shock over Won’t You Be My Neighbor? not receiving a nomination in the feature documentary category. I didn’t even realize at first that Emily Blunt hadn’t been nominated for Best Actress for Mary Poppins Returns, but now that the smoke has cleared, this is the one Oscar snub that has me the most surprised. More than that, I’m sort of angry about it.

Mary Poppins Returns made a perfectly respectable showing at this mornings reveal of the 2019 Oscar nominees. It received four nominations, for song, score, productions design, and costume design. The musical nominations seemed very likely going in, and the pair of technical nods also make sense considering the film, but Mary Poppins Returns was also expected to compete for some bigger prizes and chief among them was Emily Blunt’s performance in the title role.

Instead, the five nominees were Yalitza Aparicio for Roma, Glenn Close for The Wife, Olivia Colman for The Favourite, Lady Gaga for A Star is Born, and Melissa McCarthy for Can You Ever Forgive Me?

I’m not going to get into the question of whether or not these five nominations were deserved. There are certainly some surprises in this list, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t fine performances worthy of recognition. That doesn’t make Emily Blunt‘s lack of nomination any less surprising.

From the beginning, Mary Poppins Returns was a movie that risked being buried under a mountain of its own expectation. The original Mary Poppins was itself an Oscar winner. It was nominated for Best Picture and it won the Oscar for Julie Andrews‘ performance in the title role. It’s also one of Disney’s most beloved films. The idea of even making a sequel was a massive risk. How could such a movie possibly live up to the incredible expectations?

However, in the opinion of myself, and a lot of other people, Mary Poppins Returns succeeded in doing everything it set out to do. Emily Blunt was the centerpiece of it all. If she had faltered then the movie doesn’t work, but she nailed the performance. She accomplished everything the role required, which was a lot, and then some.

From almost the instant Emily Blunt comes on the screen, you forget for two hours that the role of Mary Poppins was ever played by somebody else. She makes it her own and she becomes Mary Poppins. The glint in her eye and the smile when nobody is looking are pure magic.

While there are certainly some similarities between Blunt’s performance and that of Julie Andrews, those are more due to the fact that the movie is a sequel and less to do with any attempt to be Julie Andrews. Blunt’s version of the character has a bit of a rougher edge to her than Andrews did, which calls back to the original P.L. Travers stories more than it does the Disney original.

While Emily Blunt is able to do new things with the role, (try to imagine Julie Andrews singing “The Cover is Not the Book.”) she’s no less the Mary Poppins that you expect when you sit down to watch the movie. She can be funny and silly (though she’d never claim to be silly) and serious and emotional. Hell, Blunt’s performance of the song “The Place Where Lost Things Go” should have been enough to secure the nomination. There’s an entire emotional journey in that four minutes of song. At least the song itself was nominated.

The proper balance of originality and nostalgia was always going to be the difficult part of making Mary Poppins Returns work as a film, and nearly all that load was on the shoulders of Emily Blunt. It’s not simply that Blunt’s performance works, it’s that it seems to be so utterly effortless. Maybe the Academy overlooked her because the role didn’t seem to be so tough, but then that’s just how good she was at it.

And those are just the reasons the performance was worthy of nomination. Whether or not other factors should ever be considered in these decisions, we all know they are, but that fact makes the lack of nomination that much more surprising. Emily Blunt is a popular actress who has never been nominated for an Oscar, so seeing her get her first would be a big deal.

The Academy has also been dealing with a little problem recently, nobody gives a crap about their awards. The divide between the movies that win Oscars and the movies audiences actually go see seems to only be getting wider. While Mary Poppins Returns may have been playing second fiddle to Aquaman at the box office for the last month, the fact is the movie has made over $300 million around the world. Of the five films that were nominated in the Best Actress category, only A Star is Born has made more, the other four don’t even come close, having made less than $100 million in total between them, though the fact that Roma is a Netflix movie throws off the math a bit. Emily Blunt being added to the category adds another name people actually care about.

It also adds an element of drama into the race that people might tune in to follow. Will Emily Blunt be able to win an Oscar for the same role that won Julie Andrews the prize 55 years ago? Or, will Lady Gaga play spoiler? The commercials write themselves.

Emily Blunt was great in Mary Poppins Returns and she deserved to be nominated for an Academy Award for the performance, but even if we’re entirely mercenary about, there was every reason she should have received the nod. It’s utterly shocking that she wasn’t regardless of which way you look at it.

Maybe I’ve been tripping the light fantastic a little too much. Should Emily Blunt have received an Oscar nomination today or not? Let us know n the poll below.

Should Emily Blunt Have Received An Oscar Nomination?

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The Best Picture Oscar Nominees, Ranked By Their Chance At Winning

This is, without question, the most wide open field I can ever remember at the Oscars. There are five movies I’d legitimately consider putting money down on, if given enticing odds, and I have absolutely no idea who is going to end up winning. It’s utter chaos, and I love it.

That being said, I think there is a rough order of where things stand right now, based on how much love the films got in other categories, how well each did during the precursor ceremonies and what the buzz on the street is like. So, prior to any of the campaigning that’s about to go on, I’m going to take my shot at ordering the field. As always, feel free to bookmark this page and scream at me when it turns out I was way off base.

Bohemian Rhapsody

What a world. After parting ways with its director in the middle of production, Bohemian Rhapsody originally was headed for dark places. The mediocre reviews that followed didn’t seem poised to help a ton, but then fans started flocking to the film and loving it. Good word of mouth spread quickly, and suddenly the film found itself in the middle of awards season as a real contender, even outside of the Rami Malek Best Actor nomination that was always coming. It ultimately won Best Drama at the Golden Globes and now, here we are. There was such backlash after the Globes win, however, that you’d have to think it won’t win here. Stranger things have happened, but I think all involved should enjoy their nomination and be content knowing they produced one of the most seen and liked films of the year.

Vice

With only pretty decent reviews and much of the chatter centering on its incredible acting performances, Vice‘s Best Picture nomination is definitely the most surprising of the group, but in a vacuum, it also has a lot going for it. Today, the film picked up additional nominations in a ton of categories, including major ones like Director, Actor, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress and Original Screenplay. Normally, that combination would be enough to push a film to favorite status, but Vice is definitely going to be too political for some voters. It’s also widely considered, even amongst its supporters, to be a worse film than The Big Short, which lost all of its categories back in 2016 except for Adapted Screenplay.

Black Panther

It’s a good day for Black Panther. There’s no arguing that. The film picked up seven nominations and hopefully proved once and for all that superhero films can and should be considered among the top echelon of work being produced in Hollywood. There’s a very good chance the movie might clean up on some of the technical awards, as well, but its case for Best Picture is a bit harder to make. It didn’t pick up nominations in any of the acting, directing or screenplay categories, and it even missed out on editing. Typically, you want a wide variety of nominations to show broad support from different branches of the Academy. That being said, there is a lot of love for Black Panther. It’s a movie that was almost universally liked by fans, critics and people within the industry, and that puts it in a better spot than the two movies above.

The Favourite

Three acting nominations were all but certain for The Favourite, and in some ways, its Best Picture nomination seemed like a slam dunk too. What I was interested to watch for was how it did in other categories, and the answer is very well. It also got nominations for directing, screenplay and a bunch more, ultimately tying Roma for the most with ten. Leading the pack in nominations does matter, and The Favourite is definitely in play. Anecdotally, however, I think there is more respect for what the film tried to do and how weird it is than there is genuine love for the movie itself. That’s not to say people don’t love the movie, but there haven’t been nearly as many for or against type editorials as we’ve seen for the other major contenders. It’s almost as if everyone is happy it’s getting recognized but also content to fight for other things.

A Star Is Born

Oh how the mighty have fallen. Remember when everyone assumed A Star Is Born was going to coast to victory? Well, it has lost a whole lot more than it has won this awards season, and while eight nominations is nothing to scoff at, that’s still less than both Roma and The Favourite. In addition, Bradley Cooper missing out on Best Director seems like a comment on the quality of the film itself, and it’s hard to look at the larger picture and see any real momentum. It’s still a leading contender. I wouldn’t be shocked if it won, but there is no way A Star Is Born is the frontrunner anymore, which would have been unthinkable a few months ago.

BlacKkKlansman

Outside of John David Washington missing out on a Best Actor nomination, it’s hard not to see today as validation for Spike Lee’s BlacKkKlansman. The film picked up six nominations, and it did so across a lot of branches. We’ve got acting, directing, screenplay, editing and score. There’s also just a lot of positive buzz around the film, and it all seems to be peaking at just the right time. Editing and directing are typically really good signs, and so is overachieving on nomination day. There were some who thought BlacKkKlansman might not be recognized at all. As such, this big performance today will vault it back into the spotlight, and you’ll likely start seeing editorials written about how it deserves to win.

Green Book

Well, Green Book certainly hasn’t suffered from a lack of conversation. When the film was originally released, it was met with mostly solid reviews and a feeling of “hey, that was a nice story.” Then it started picking up awards buzz and the editorials about how it wasn’t progressive enough or how the story may not be exactly accurate followed. Later, there were less than flattering stories about the director and one of the writers published, and yet, it still won at the Golden Globes and picked up five nominations today. I tend to agree with the pundits that Green Book will likely clean up with older voters, and in a split field, that may be enough. I don’t know. A few weeks ago, I would have put Green Book as the frontrunner, but it feels like it’s losing steam.

Roma

I think Roma has the best chance of winning. It tied for the most nominations. It has a ton of good buzz. People love Alfonso Cuaron. Most of the things you look for in a potential winner are here, except it has two glaring, huge shortcomings. First, it’s a foreign language film, and second, it’s a Netflix movie that only received a token release in order to qualify. Those might not be huge issues to you, but they’re two big issues to a lot of people. Whether people should see Roma or not, there are plenty of everyday Americans who will never give it a chance because they don’t feel like reading something, and there are voters who will never vote for a Netflix movie because they think the theater experience has to be protected. So… can Roma overcome all of that? I bet yes, but I’m not confident at all.

Ultimately, I have no idea exactly what’s going to happen over the next few weeks. That uncertainty always makes the Oscar race exciting, but the key difference this year is that instead of two or maybe three total movies fighting with each other, damn near everything on the board is actually in play. That’s incredible, and it should make for one of the most exciting Academy Awards in a long time. So, keep it here for more Oscar coverage than you can handle over the next few weeks, and please let us know in the poll below who you think is going to win…

What Will Win Best Picture?

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Leaked Toy Design Possibly Reveals Pepper Potts’ Avengers: Endgame Armor

Since the devastating release of Avengers: Infinity War, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been in a fascinating state of flux. Marvel Studios had been keeping its secrets, with the after affects of Thanos’ finger snap of death (aka The Decimation) a total mystery. The first brief trailer for Avengers: Endgame may have arrived, but the film’s actual contents are unknown by the public.

There are plenty of rumors swirling around about Endgame, one of which revolving around Gwyneth Paltrow’s Pepper Potts. The OG girl of the MCU has been rumored to be gearing up in her own Iron Man armor, after the actress revealed a few photos when working on the upcoming blockbuster’s set. Now a possible leak of upcoming action figures may have revealed what the suit will look like. That is, except for the helmet.

While these images are a bit bizarre (where are their heads?), you can see Pepper’s possible armor on the middle left. It seemingly matches up with what we’ve seen from Gwyneth’s social media, so it should be fascinating to see how things shake up as Endgame slowly approaches.

This new image comes to us from Twitter. While not confirmed by Marvel Studios, this possible suit reveal does track, given what we’ve gathered about Pepper Potts’ upcoming Endgame role over the past year or two. While not quite as guilty of spoilers as Mark Ruffalo and Tom Holland, Gwyneth Paltrow has been known to be chatty about her role in the MCU. Even if she’s never seen an Avengers movie.

In addition to posting photos wearing motion capture suits from the the set of Avengers: Endgame, Paltrow has also been a bit chatty about Pepper’s mysterious fate in the next blockbuster. For instance, she mentioned months ago that she and Tony had a kid. And since they were child-less in Infinity War, this seemingly gives away her character’s fate, and could tease a time jump for Endgame.

Marvel fans have been waiting to see Pepper Potts suit up and kick ass in the MCU since her character debuted back in 2007’s Iron Man. In the comics, Pepper Potts has used her own suit a number of times, taking on the superheroic mantle of Rescue in the process. Rescue’s armor has a variety of different abilities than Tony Stark’s Iron Man suit. Rather than being equipped with destructive weaponry, her abilities are more defensive, including the heavy use of electromagnetic force fields.

It should be fascinating to see which rumors about Pepper Potts come to fruition, and how much she’d suited up throughout the course of Avengers: Endgame. Since Tony is stranded in space with Nebula, it might be the perfect time for Pepper to become Rescue, and save the love of her life.

Avengers: Endgame will arrive in theaters on April 26th, 2019. In the meantime, check out our 2019 release list to plan your trips to the movies in the New Year.

8 Biggest Snubs From The 2019 Oscar Nominations

Going into this morning’s Oscar nomination presentation, a lot of people probably thought they had a good idea what to expect. And for the most part, things went largely as expected. A Star is Born got nominations for acting and music. Roma had a very good morning, as did its director Alfonso Cuaron. However, a lot of names we expected to hear were surprisingly missing.

There are always a few surprise nominees, and that means there are always a few names left off the final ballots. However, this year the list of snubs feels even more shocking than recent years. Here are the deserving films and people that the Academy completely forgot this year.

Bradley Cooper – Best Director

A Star is Born was expected to compete in numerous categories and it certainly will. It received acting nominations in three of four categories, nominations in sound mixing and cinematography, and one for Best Adapted Screenplay. Conspicuous by its absence, however, was a nomination for Bradley Cooper as Best Director. While this was Cooper’s first directing gig, many fully expected him to get a nomination. Actors turning directors have frequently been rewarded by the Academy (Kevin Costner, Mel Gibson), but this year, that transformation didn’t even warrant a nomination. Considering all the other places the movie was recognized, not recognizing the person who brought it all together seems odd.

Mary Poppins Returns – Best Actress/Picture

While the Best Actress category is absolutely stacked with some deserving nominees and powerful performances, there were a couple of surprise nominations, and that meant that a couple of more expected names weren’t going to make the cut. Emily Blunt not getting nominated for her performance in Mary Poppins Returns feels like a serious mistake was made somewhere along the line. Many felt that Mary Poppins Returns was a surprisingly strong follow-up to the original, and since that film won Julie Andrews an Oscar, many expected the sequel to at least get a nomination for Blunt. The film was also left off of the Best Picture slate. Blunt also missed out on A Quiet Place, in a year where some predicted she could get love for BOTH films.

Eighth Grade

Bo Burnham’s Eighth Grade has a total of 237 reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, the number deemed negative is three. This movie was one of the most universally loved films of the year. It had one of the most powerful performances of the year from an actress who is all of 15-years-old. And yet, somehow, the movie was entirely shutout of the Oscar nominations. No acting nomination for Elsie Fisher. No directing or writing nomination for Burnham. Nothing in Best Picture. It seems like everybody loves this movie, except, somehow, all the people who nominate for the Oscars. It feels like the Academy just forgot this movie existed, which seems impossible to do for most of the people who have actually seen it.

If Beale Street Could Talk – Best Director/Cinematography/Picture

If Beale Street Could Talk had a solid morning today with three good nominations. The screenplay and score both received nominations, as did Regina King for Best Supporting Actress. However, that recognition put into sharp relief two places where Beale Street got snubbed. Barry Jenkins was nominated for his screenplay, but not for his skills as a director. In a move that was probably related, If Beale Street Could Talk was also left off the slate of Best Picture nominees. One other surprising snub was that the film wasn’t nominated in the cinematography category, a place where it has received praise from many other corners during the awards season.

Won’t You Be My Neighbor? – Documentary Feature

Documentary feature isn’t usually a category that a lot of people care about, and yet this year, if you were paying attention, it was likely because of one of the films that did not get nominated. Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, the documentary about children’s television host Fred Rogers, received universal acclaim and certainly seems to have been one of the more widely seen documentaries in recent memory. And yet, somehow, it did not get a nomination. While other films can make do with snubs in one category with nominations in another, Won’t You Be My Neighbor? only had one shot, and Mr. Rogers got denied.

Crazy Rich Asians

Crazy Rich Asians felt like a watershed moment in a lot of ways. It was the first movie with an exclusively Asian cast in years. It was one of the best romantic comedies in recent memory, and to top it all off, it was successful at the box office. The film has received some awards consideration, and so it seemed likely that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences would recognize the film in some way. And yet, we sat through the entire presentation of all the nominees and didn’t hear the title of this film once.

First Man – Best Supporting Actress/Score/Picture

First Man hasn’t received the universal love from audiences and critics that Damian Chazelle is used to receiving. However, the movie has done just as well during awards season. Justin Hurwitz won the Golden Globe for his score to the film, and yet the music did not receive a nomination today. Likewise, the performance of Claire Foy, which was regarded by many as the strongest of the film, went without any recognition. It felt like a Best Picture nomination was also in this movie’s future, so not receiving it felt surprising. First Man did walk away with four technical awards.

First Reformed – Best Actor

First Reformed has been something of an under the radar film, in large part because it was released back in May rather than waiting for the heated awards season of the fall. However, the film made a number of critics’ top 10 lists for the year and a large part of the reason for that was Ethan Hawke‘s remarkable performance. Hawke has been nominated for Academy Awards before but has never won. His body of work is incredibly well regarded, and whether or not that’s supposed to matter, we all know it does. The movie wasn’t entirely forgotten, however, as it did receive a nomination for Best Original Screenplay.

Every Oscar year has surprise snubs. It doesn’t make the performances of those who are overlooked any less impressive. In a few years, most people will likely forget who was even nominated anyway. Still, it’s nice when great work gets recognized as such, and in these cases, some truly great work did not get the love it deserved.

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Black Panther Had A Great Oscar Nomination Morning

It was a very exciting morning for the world of movies, as the nominations for the 91st Academy Awards were announced. Hosted by the always delightful Tracee Ellis Ross and Kumail Nanjiani, the film industry and fans tuned in to see which projects were recognized by the Academy, and will be battling to snatch some trophies when the ceremony airs in February.

Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther had a ton of buzz surrounding it before the nominations, with the Academy flirting with a new category to give the blockbuster a better chance. The new category was tabled until a future year, but Black Panther still had a very strong outing, as it was nominated for an impressive seven Oscars, including the coveted Best Picture.

Black Panther got a ton of nods this morning, largely related to the technical and design prowess of the MCU– specifically the team assembled by Ryan Coogler and producer Kevin Feige. This includes categories like Costume Design, Sound Editing and Sound Mixing. Wakanda was a vibrant and musical world unlike anything the MCU has ever seen, so it’s no doubt validating to be recognized in this way by The Academy

The music of Black Panther was one of the many ways the film succeeded; the soundtrack was super popular upon its release, with artists like Kendrick Lamar, SZA, The Weeknd, and Travis Scott all contributing tracks. “All The Stars” ended up getting a Best Original Song nomination, competing against A Star Is Born‘s “Shallow” and Mary Poppins Returns tear-jerker “The Place Where Lost Things Go.” Plus, Black Panther‘s score also got an Oscar nomination.

Overall, the 91st Oscar Noms have broken new ground, especially when it comes to how much Black Panther was recognized. The superhero genre isn’t usually considered for the biggest awards, as ceremonies like the Academy Awards and Golden Globes don’t always take comic book adaptations seriously. Black Panther is the first superhero movie to be nominated to Best Picture, showing what the genre is truly capable of.

Black Panther wasn’t the only superhero flick nominated for an Oscar this year, either. Avengers: Infinity War snagged a nom for Visual Affects, while Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse is competing in the Animated Feature category alongside Disney frontrunners The Incredibles 2 and Ralph Breaks the Internet.

Still, Black Panther‘s seven Oscar nominations are the most remarkable, and it should be fascinating to see how the blockbuster ultimately performs on Oscars night. T’Challa’s solo movie is in the same category as Oscar favorites like A Star Is Born, BlackKklansman, and Roma, so the pressure is certainly on. Especially as Ryan Coogler’s movie is breaking new ground for superhero flicks in general.

All will be revealed when the Oscars take place on February 24th. In the meantime, check out our 2019 release list to plan your trips to the movies this year.

2019 Academy Awards: The List Of Oscar Nominees, Updated Live

With the precursor ceremonies out of the way and the grueling and sometimes weird award season winding to a close, the Oscars finally stepped into the spotlight today and announced the Academy’s 2019 nominations for every category. Not surprisingly, we still don’t have a ton of insight into what’s going to happen in a few of the major races. This year’s field is, perhaps, more wide open than we’ve seen in a long time, and it won’t be long before all the campaigning really kicks into high gear.

The Oscars is one of the few ceremonies in which it really is an honor to be nominated. The phrase “Academy Award Nominated” follows people around for the rest of their careers, especially if it’s in the service of an indie movie that is stacked with enough former nominees to look the poster and/ or end of the trailer look really cool. So, a big congratulations to everyone who picked up a nomination today. You can check out the full list below…

Best Foreign Language Film

Best Makeup And Hairstyling

We’ll have plenty of Oscar coverage over the next several weeks leading into the ceremony, which as you may remember, is going without a host this year. We can’t promise you whether that’ll help or hurt the entertainment value, but we can promise you we’ll be updating the winners live and providing commentary during the ceremony on February 24th.

Even Captain Marvel’s Brie Larson Can’t Resist Teasing Mark Ruffalo About Spoiling Movies

Unlike their comic book counterparts, most of the heroes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe don’t really have secret identities. That’s probably for the best, because even the actors playing them can’t manage to keep a secret, most notably Tom Holland and Mark Ruffalo. The MCU’s newest hero, Captain Marvel actress Brie Larson, is well aware of the loose-lipped nature of her co-stars and couldn’t resist teasing the Hulk actor about it. Check it out:

She may be new to this whole superhero thing, but Brie Larson figures that if her tweet showing her magazine cover is a spoiler, at least she’ll be in good company. It is a good-natured but hilarious jab at the Bruce Banner actor who has more than earned his reputation as a spoiler during his time in the MCU. She even @s Mark Ruffalo on Twitter, as if to remind him of his missteps.

Everyone teases the young Tom Holland (ironically the only actor whose character has a major secret identity) for the amount of beans he has spilled, so it’s only fair Mark Ruffalo gets called out for his spoilers — and Brie Larson couldn’t resist. Her first onscreen appearance in the MCU is still a month and a half away but Brie Larson is already fitting right in with her superpowered cohorts.

Hopefully this tweet will keep secrecy at the forefront of Mark Ruffalo’s mind as we race towards the release of Avengers: Endgame and he won’t accidentally spoil something or livestream the movie. Maybe Brie Larson can be the person on the press tour who babysits the Hulk actor to make sure he doesn’t let the cat out of the bag; Don Cheadle certainly doesn’t want the job.

It sounds like Mark Ruffalo and Brie Larson may have a chance to discuss the latter’s jokes onscreen too, considering that we’ve heard that they share a scene together in Endgame. Can Captain Marvel outmuscle the Hulk? Time will tell.

Although Brie Larson joked that she’ll be the Mark Ruffalo of 2019, the actress has actually made a concerted effort to do quite the opposite. She is seemingly determined not to have a mortifying slip-up and is endeavoring to keep the secrets she knows hidden until after the films are released and everyone can discuss them.

Like the rest of the MCU actors, Brie Larson knows a lot of secrets too. We’ll see how well she can keep them and how well her strategy of erasing her mind works in the lead up to Captain Marvel and Avengers: Endgame, where she will be asked many prying questions looking for a Ruffalo-esque slip.

Captain Marvel opens in theaters on March 8. Check out our 2019 Release Schedule for the biggest movies heading to theaters this year, and for all the latest on why spoiler-free is the way to be, stay tuned to CinemaBlend.

12 Weird Disney Live-Action Films That Time Forgot

The Walt Disney company’s classic animated films are timeless, and a vast majority of them may remain that way. When it comes to the company’s live-action endeavors, however, many of those have aged quite a bit worse. Whether it’s the age we live in that makes some older titles bizarre, or these movies were always a little weird, here are a handful of weird live-action Disney films time forgot and the House of Mouse has swept under the rug.

Tom and Huck (1995)

Jonathan Taylor Thomas was one of the “it kids” of the 90s, and if audiences weren’t watching him on Home Improvement, they were seeing him or hearing him on the big screen. In 1995, the world received a unique addition to J.T.T.’s resume in which the young actor played a literary character. Thomas played Tom Sawyer in a period piece that would make teenage girls swoon for an adaptation of the work of Mark Twain.

Teen girls may have swooned, but critics almost universally tore apart Tom and Huck for its overall blandness. The movie was called “boring” which, in terms of longevity, can be worse than being bad. Those who remember it from their youth might still check it out, however, if only to spot a young Rami Malek long before his role as Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody.

Toby Tyler or Ten Weeks With The Circus (1960)

There’s no evidence that Toby Tyler was made as propaganda to prevent kids from running away to join the circus, but it certainly feels like there could be. In the movie, Toby runs away from home after his uncle criticizes him, and quickly learns working for a circus isn’t a ton of fun. He makes the best of it though, and quickly rises through the ranks thanks to his connection to a chimpanzee called Mr. Stubbs.

Spoilers!Toby eventually reunites with his aunt and uncle, who he discovers love him despite his employer’s efforts to persuade him otherwise. Mr. Stubbs gets shot and is presumed dead, only to make a triumphant return in the midst of Toby’s circus act. It’s a wild scene, especially considering it looks like the actor Kevin Corcoron is trying to prevent being choked out by the ape the whole time. That alone makes this one a must-watch, if not a classic.

Mighty Joe Young (1998)

Some may think Disney’s recent trend of remaking classic films is rather new, but it’s something the studio has been doing for quite a while. Case in point, the 1998 version of Mighty Joe Young is based on a film from 1949 with the same name. The difference between them is that this one had Bill Paxton, Charlize Theron, and a motion suit gorilla much larger than the gorilla that was in the original movie.

While the film may not be talked about much these days, it certainly should be. Joe may not be a gorilla as big as King Kong, but Disney’s decision to use animatronics, a human actor and miniature sets make for a gorilla that ages much better than a digital gorilla may have. Plus, it’s certainly one of the more quality forgotten films on this list, especially for those with children looking for a serviceable family drama.

Darby O’Gill And The Little People (1959)

Darby O’Gill And The Little People tells the tale of Darby O’Gill and his capture by Leprechauns after losing his job. Darby eventually outwits the Leprechauns and escapes and even manages to trick one into giving him three wishes which he uses throughout the course of the film. The film is certainly weird due to its general premise and a particular violin scene, but it’s also pretty good.

Audiences who tune into this one will find a quality adventure from start to finish from an era that was exceptionally impressed by the special effects work. Critics loved the film, although one did complain about the “weak” performance of a supporting actor in his late 20s by the name of Sean Connery. I’m curious as to what that critic thought three years later when he saw Connery as James Bond?

The Country Bears (2002)

Disney has often tried to spin its popular Disney World and Disneyland rides into film franchises, and sometimes, it pays off. Other times, not so much, and The Country Bears is a perfect example of that. As it turns out, not even a cast of celebrities and a leading performance by a bear version of Haley Joel Osment was enough to convince audiences to take a chance on this odd adventure.

The Country Bears was a box office disaster, with a worldwide total that came in slightly above $18 million. That’s only a little over half of what it cost to make the film, which fell flat with critics as much as it did the general public. As CinemaBlend’s own Sean O’Connell put it: “Bears is bad. Not ‘terrible filmmaking’ bad, but more like, ‘I once had a nightmare like this, and it’s now coming true’ bad.”

Almost Angels (1962)

Almost Angels is a story about a young boy that essentially serves as an educational documentary informing on the famous Vienna Boys Choir. I’m not sure how big a deal the organization was back then compared to now, but the fact that Disney paired this feature alongside a remastered screening of The Lady and the Tramp might mean executives thought it wasn’t good enough to put butts in the theater.

This feature is packed with traditional Austrian songs, all of which are performed elaborately. That’s typical of the time, but what makes it weird is all the crowd shots during these performances which presumably are done to drive the plot further. Unfortunately, the performances are very rarely interrupted with sound, so it’s just a lot of weird gestures and eye movements while these kids with beautiful voices belt out songs. It’s interesting, but weird.

102 Dalmations (2000)

How many Dalmations does it take to make a sequel of a live-action adaptation of a Disney classic? I’m not entirely sure about that answer, but it seems as though the producers of 102 Dalmations believed they really only needed Glenn Close to make this sequel a success. To their credit, Cruella de Vil’s relapse into puppy killing for high fashion was a commercial success.

Critically though, this one was a dud. In what’s essentially a movie that repeats the big high notes of the original, 102 Dalmatians has been largely forgotten in the years since its release. To be fair, I’m not sure the original live-action really gets a lot of love these days either, and even the animated original is not as fondly thought of as some other Disney flicks. Perhaps that means it’s time for yet another reboot?

The Misadventures Of Merlin Jones (1964)

Merlin Jones is a clever college student who, through the use of a helmet with a lot of antennae on it, gains the ability to read thoughts. This leads to events that one would typically deem not exciting enough to appear in a film, such as Merlin mistaking a judge for a criminal but he was actually a secret author of crime novels. How come his mind-reading abilities didn’t pick up on that detail?

Of course, who am I to criticize Disney for taking a light approach to mind reading and hypnotism in what’s meant to be a light-hearted movie. The Misadventures of Merlin Jones isn’t necessarily good, but it’s not at all a film anyone should call awful. Perhaps its mediocrity is why many have forgotten it over time?

Blackbeard’s Ghost (1968)

Audiences may be well familiar with Disney’s ghost tale The Haunted Mansion, but it’s safe to say a fair few less remember Blackbeard’s Ghost. That’s a real shame because if ever there was an obscure film for Disney to remake into a live-action adventure, this is it. A mild-mannered man named Steve wins an item at a charity auction, only to be cursed by the spirit of Blackbeard upon receiving the item.

Steve is the only person who can see Blackbeard, who immediately lands Steve in trouble with the law by driving his car as if it were a ship. Blackbeard also steals the Steve’s arresting officer’s motorcycle and crashes it into a tree. Basically, Blackbeard is an asshole, and it’s up to Steve to get Blackbeard to perform a good deed so that his soul can move on to the afterlife.

The Monkey’s Uncle (1965)

Remember Merlin Jones? Well, his first film was a big enough success that Disney decided to make a sequel where Merlin is tasked with creating a man-powered flying machine that will win Midvale college a huge donation. Merlin then tries his best to create a machine, lest the donor’s money go to a rival college and impact Midvale’s bottom line.

So, what does any of this have to do with a monkey? As it turns out, Merlin is the legal uncle to his nephew monkey named Stanley. Stanley has almost nothing to do with the film’s plot and was potentially only brought on to justify the title. Keep in mind, Disney put some money into this, or at least enough money for the Beach Boys to appear in it and perform.

The Devil And Max Devlin (1981)

Remember when Disney made a film about a guy being sent to hell and Bill Cosby played a demon? I’m doubtful many do, or there would’ve been several memes referencing this bizarre Disney film last year. Yes, Disney actually made a movie that featured a rather frightening and grotesque version of hell, and it’s actually rather impressive how scary the studio made it look.

There were those at the time who were less than impressed with The Devil And Max Devlin, and the movie ended up convincing Disney to release its more mature-themed films under the umbrella of different companies. Had it not been for this feature, Touchstone Pictures and Hollywood Pictures may never have existed. That alone should make it relevant enough to be remembered, and maybe even rented by some film group looking for a truly bizarre entry in Disney history.

Jungle 2 Jungle (1997)

Jungle 2 Jungle is one of those movies where a person might question whether or not it truly existed, or if it was all a fantasy like that genie movie starring Sinbad. Yes, Jungle 2 Jungle did happen, and for those who forgot, involves a New York businessman finding out he has a son who was raised in the jungle. He then takes the boy to New York and attempts to teach him about city life.

Folks may remember the kid killing the fly with a blow dart in the car, but the rest of the plot may be fuzzy. Just to fill in the rest, Tim Allen’s character ends up leaving his fiance and his life in New York to reconcile with his ex-wife who he only saw briefly after learning he had a 13-year-old son. If that’s not the weirdest most unrealistic ending Disney has ever delivered, I don’t know what is.

Hopefully, a few of these entries arrive on Disney’s upcoming streaming service Disney+ so that the world can remember these weird films and enjoy them time and time again. For an update on Disney’s latest exploits in the world of live-action, find out what animated feature the company made that is planned to be getting the live-action treatment next!

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Why James McAvoy Had To Get Jacked For Glass

If you saw Glass during opening weekend, you may already know that James McAvoy really worked out before and during the movie’s filming to get into beast mode. He’s previously talked about his insane workouts, but recently James McAvoy revealed his motivation for getting into unbelievable shape for Glass. The answer might surprise you. He said:

Of course, if you’ve seen both Glass and Split, The Beast has his shirt off in both movies. However, while The Beast’s big scene in Split was filmed during nighttime hours, Glass‘ scenes were often set during daylight. Which means viewers had the opportunity to see every ripped muscle, or if James McAvoy hadn’t gotten into shirtless shape, every single ounce of fat.

Previously, James McAvoy’s trainer talked about what it took to get the actor into shape for Glass, noting that during Split‘s filming the actor basically hadn’t tried hard enough. The trainer worked with McAvoy for weeks on training different muscles on different days to get him into peak (and vein-y) physique.

Elsewhere in James McAvoy’s interview with USA Today about fitness, he also talked a little bit about what it took to become The Beast for the bigger budget Glass. He also revealed working out while acting helped.

All of that working out, not to mention all of the personality changes James McAvoy needs to inhabit in Glass were really difficult to achieve. McAvoy refers to playing Kevin as “knackering” and even says that it was “tiring” to “just stand[sic] still” while playing The Beast.

Not that he’s really complaining. Glass has only been out one week and it has already been a big hit for Universal. Made on a relatively small $20 million budget, Glass has already raked in $95.5 million at the worldwide box office. So, James McAvoy might be tired after all of the months filming and all of the press that comes with officially releasing a movie, but I’m assuming the exposure will be worth it in the end.

Glass is one of the biggest releases this January. To see what else is coming up, take a look at our full movie schedule.