This Day in Oscar History: July 30 (2021)

Here’s what happened today in Oscar History.

Born

Died

Released

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Film Preview: Demonic (2021)

Film Poster

Page Revisions:

(July 25, 2021) Original

Release Date:

August 20, 2021

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “A young woman unleashes terrifying demons when supernatural forces at the root of a decades-old rift between mother and daughter are ruthlessly revealed.”

Poster Rating: C

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Review: The digitalization of the cross makes sense within the concept of the film, but it’s not part of an appealing design.

Trailer Rating: B- / C+

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Review: (#1 & #2) The concept of demonic possession has been a part of cinema for decades. Most of these kinds of films follow a similar formula, especially those released in the last couple of decades. Yet Neill Blomkamp definitely looks like he’s trying to do something new with his quasi-futuristic Cell-like notion of invading another person’s mind. Where it goes is somewhat easy to tell, unless he’s better at subverting expectations than audiences are at setting them. The first trailer is quite a bit more appealing than the second, but neither is terribly impressive.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Trailer #1

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Poll: Remaking Best Adapted Screenplay, 2016

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Remaking Best Adapted Screenplay, 2016

In our twelfth pass of the Oscar nominees from 1997 through 2016, we take a look at the nominees for Best Adapted Screenplay. Each week, we’ll present a list of contenders from which you can select five to make up the Best Adapted Screenplay slate. There will be an “Other” option, but you can only use this once and you’ll have to specify your other in the comments. Now on to the game: Best Adapted Screenplay.

Cinema Sight Asks: Which Hopefuls Should Have Been Nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay (select up to 5)?

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5 Favorites Redux #90: Matt Damon

Welcome to 5 Favorites. Each week, I will put together a list of my 5 favorites (films, performances, whatever strikes my fancy) along with commentary on a given topic each week, usually in relation to a specific film releasing that week.

Who would have thought that the kid who starred in Good Will Hunting would turn into one of our finest actors. A lot of people, actually. Both he and Affleck showed a lot of promise with that film, especially the screenplay. However, Damon was front-and-center on the big screen and ably carried the effort on his shoulders. Affleck had a minor role that gave us little indication of his potential. Damon has a new film coming out this weekend where he stars as a Midwestern farmer who travels to Europe in order to prove his daughter’s (Abigail Breslin) innocence. The film is directed by Best Picture-winning filmmaker Tom McCarthy (Spotlight) and has already earned strong reviews out of its Cannes Film Festival debut. This week, I’m going to look Matt Damon’s 30-year career and select five of his best movies.

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Oscar Profile #558: Madeline Kahn

Born September 29, 1942 in Boston, Massachusetts, Madeline Gail Wolfson known professionally as Madeline Kahn, was the daughter of a garment manufacturer and his wife. Her parents were divorced when she was two and she moved to New York with her mother. Her mother later married her stepfather, Hiller Kahn, who adopted her.

Kahn graduated from Martin Van Buren High School and attended Hofstra University on a scholarship where she studied drama, music, and speech therapy, graduating with a degree in the latter. She made her stage debut as a member of the chorus in a 1965 off-Broadway revival of Kiss Me, Kate. Her roles in the Broadway bound musicals How Now, Dow Jones and Promises, Promises were written out of the shows before they reached the Great White Way. She made her Broadway debut in New Faces of 1968 and later had a major role in Two by Two before heading to Hollywood.

Kahn’s feature film debut was in a major supporting role in Peter Bogdanovich’s 1972 film, What’s Up, Doc? which led to her casting in Bogdanovich’s 1973 film, Paper Moon which garnered her the first of her back-to-back Oscar nominations. Her second was for 1974’s Blazing Saddles, the first of two films she made for Mel Brooks that year, the other being Young Frankenstein. Subsequent 1970s films included At Long Last Love, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes’ Smarter Brother, Won Ton Ton: The Dog Who Saved Hollywood, High Anxiety, The Cheap Detective, and The Muppet Movie.

Her roles in two Broadway shows, the 1974 play, Boom Boom Room and the 1978 musical, Twentieth Century earned Kahn the first and second of four Tony nominations. She was forced to leave the latter after nine weeks due to damage to her vocal cords. Her third Tony nod would be for the 1989 revival of Born Yesterday and her fourth would be for 1993’s The Sisters Rosenweig which she won.

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This Day in Oscar History: July 29 (2021)

Here’s what happened today in Oscar History.

Born

Died

Released

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Film Preview: Dune (2021)

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Page Revisions:

(July 25, 2021) Original

Release Date:

October 22, 2021

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “Feature adaptation of Frank Herbert’s science fiction novel, about the son of a noble family entrusted with the protection of the most valuable asset and most vital element in the galaxy.”

Poster Rating: C (14)

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Review: This series of character designs are intended to stoke interest in fans of the novel. They won’t do much for general audiences, especially since they are very limited in terms of artistic quality.

Trailer Rating: B-

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Review: A drab, but exciting trailer features moments of wonder combined with witless attempts at humor. It’s going to appeal to sci-fi fans mostly, especially those who’ve read the actual novel.

Oscar Prospects:

One of the year’s bigger Oscar contenders, Denis Villeneuve’s big screen take on Frank Herbert’s classic sci-fi novel has plenty of potential and a starry cast that could struggle with Oscar voters while the production values alone could net it several below-the-line nominations with a Best Picture nod coming in tandem.

Trailer #1

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Poll: What Are You Watching? (Jul. 30-Aug. 1, 2021)

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What Are You Watching? (Jul. 30-Aug. 1, 2021)

Cinema Sight Asks: What are you watching? (Jul. 30-Aug. 1, 2021)

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Looking at the Weekend: Jul. 30-Aug. 1, 2021

With both Snake Eyes and Old putting up unexceptional numbers, one of this week’s three new wide releases could come out on top. Stillwater doesn’t seem like the kind of film to have a strong opening weekend, but it might have quite a bit of longevity. The Green Knight doesn’t have anyone that broad audiences would recognize or be intrigued in seeing. That leaves Jungle Cruise, which not only has popular Emily Blunt and Dwayne Johnson, but also has the Disney stamp on it, being as it’s an adaptation of one of their popular attractions. It seems like a slam dunk for the Mouse House.

Our Highest Rated Films: Stillwater, The Green Knight
Our Best Awards Ratings: The Green Knight (Oscars), Jungle Cruise (Oscars), Stillwater (Oscars)

OTHER LIMITED RELEASES

8 Days to Hell (Limited)
Awaken (Limited)
A Dark Foe (Limited)
Enemies of the State (Limited)
Lorelei (Limited)
Masquerade (Limited)
Sabaya (Limited)
Twist (Limited)

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Review: Daylight (1996)

Daylight

Daylight

Rating



Director

Rob Cohen

Screenplay

Leslie Bohem

Length

1h 54m

Starring

Sylvester Stallone, Amy Brenneman, Viggo Mortensen, Dan Hedaya, Jay O. Sanders, Karen Young, Claire Bloom, Vanessa Bell Calloway, Renoly Santiago, Colin Fox, Danielle Harris, Trina McGee-Davis, Marcello Thedford, Sage Stallone, Jo Anderson, Mark Rolston

MPAA Rating

PG-13

Original Preview

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This Day in Oscar History: July 28 (2021)

Here’s what happened today in Oscar History.

Born

Died

Released

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Film Preview: Swan Song (2021)

Film Poster

Page Revisions:

(July 25, 2021) Original

Release Date:

August 13, 2021

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “A formerly flamboyant hairdresser takes a long walk across a small town to style a dead woman’s hair.”

Poster Rating: C+

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Review: At first it’s easy to mistake Udo Kier for Terence Stamp, but after that, the flamboyance comes through well with a color scheme that is heavily complimentary if not simplistic.

Trailer Rating: B

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Review: This looks like a number of simplistic stories of former gay luminaries trying to find their way back into the limelight. It feels both familiar and fresh.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Trailer #1

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The DVD Report #735

With the DVD and Blu-ray releases of new films still at a post-pandemic premium, most new releases continue to be of classic films, many of them courtesy of Kino Lorber and Warner Archive. Newly released are four of note from Kino and three from Warner.

Two of the Kino releases are Cecil B. DeMille films, two are films noir, as are two of the Warner releases. The third Warner release is a musical which has something in common with the release of a recent film taken from a filmed Broadway/London musical, also discussed here.

DeMille’s The Plainsman, copyright 1936 but not released until January 1937, was that year’s first hit. Originally intended to be primarily about Buffalo Bill Cody (1846-1917), the casting of Gary Cooper as Wild Bill Hickok (1837-1876) changed the focus to his character. Jean Arthur, who had been his co-star in the 1936 megahit Mr. Deeds Goes to Town, was cast opposite him as Calamity Jane (1852-1903). James Ellison (I Walked with a Zombie) was cast as Buffalo Bill. Making her screen debut, Helen Burgess, who would die of pneumonia weeks before her 21st birthday shortly after the release of the film, was cast in the pivotal role of Cody’s wife, Louisa.

The film, which begins in 1865, takes the real-life romance of sharpshooters Annie Oakley and Frank Butler in Buffalo Bill’s carnival show of decades later as portrayed in Annie Get Your Gun and gives it to frontierswoman Calamity and lawman Hickok at which time he would have been 28 and she 13. In actuality, the two did not meet until shortly before Hickok’s death eleven years later. Fiction, however, continued to reign over fact as late as 1953 when, based on the success of the 1950 film version of Annie Get Your Gun, Warner Bros. made the musical Calamity Jane, in which Calamity (Doris Day) and Hickok (Howard Keel) were again romantically linked.

The film begins well with the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, moving on to its main settlers vs. Native Americans narrative in which all four stars excel, especially Arthur and Burgess. It then settles into a typical cowboys vs. Native Americans narrative, ending on a somber note as it focuses unflinchingly on Hickok’s death over a card game.

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This Day in Oscar History: July 27 (2021)

Here’s what happened today in Oscar History.

Born

Died

Released

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Film Preview: The Last Duel (2021)

Film Poster

Page Revisions:

(July 25, 2021) Original

Release Date:

October 15, 2021

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “King Charles VI declares that Knight Jean de Carrouges settle his dispute with his squire by challenging him to a duel.”

Poster Rating: B-

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Review: As simple as this design is, it harkens back to a Bergman-esque style with the simple line art and the Seventh Seal-styled figure.

Trailer Rating: B+

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Review: If we’ve seen a film like this one before, it’s been a very long time. The period storyline makes for an interesting backdrop and the narrative looks compelling.

Oscar Prospects:

Ben Affleck and Matt Damon won Oscars for writing the script to 1997’s Good Will Hunting. It’s now been 24 years and they could be in the hunt again alongside Can You Ever Forgive Me? screenwriter Nicole Holofcener. Directed by Ridley Scott, it could also be a return for him as the film feels like a major contender at this juncture.

Trailer #1

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