Oscars’ Biggest Snubs — 2014 Edition

snubs1Sometimes, it’s an honor just to be nominated for an Academy Award — and sometimes being passed over is a snub!

These are the most egregious errors on the part of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, in order of outrageousness and indefensibility, from brain-meltingly inexplicable to bemusedly obtuse — according to me, at least.

Best Picture:
  American Hustle
 • Captain Phillips
 • Dallas Buyers Club
 • Gravity
 • Her
 • Nebraska
 • Philomena
 • 12 Years a Slave
 • The Wolf of Wall Street

Snubbed: Inside Llewyn Davis. On the surface, this story of a struggling folk musician in 1961 New York is just a small and quirky film, but the Oscar-winning Coen Brothers (Fargo, No Country for Old Men) have crafted yet another idiosyncratic movie about a particularly peculiar fellow moving through a world he barely comprehends — Llewyn Davis is a purist who refuses to compromise even one iota to claim the fame he desperately desires but which dangles just beyond his reach.
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A Survey of the Districts in Catching Fire’s Panem

Theater chain AMC has created a quick basic primer to familiarize viewers with the nation of Panem, as seen in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, which opens today.

The illustrated guide is just a general overview of the 12 districts, identifying the chief industries and the past victors (if they have names) returning for the third Quarter Quell.

Happy Birthday to Catching Fire’s Jena Malone!

I want to wish a very happy birthday today to one of the most talented, beautiful and underappreciated actresses in Hollywood, Jena Malone. To help celebrate, here is a gallery of Jena looking gorgeous while promoting her newest film, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, in which she plays the crafty and deadly Johanna Mason.

 

When Catching Fire opens tomorrow, I hope it proves to be the breakout role that Jena has been waiting for; the one that really puts her in the spotlight. She has been acting and winning awards ever since she was a child, but has yet to really break through into the public’s consciousness. May the odds be ever in your favor, Jena!

(She’s also a damn great photographer!)

Katniss Kills… and Kills… and Kills….

Here’s a fun little video mashup that blends footage of Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games with clips from dozens of other films (plus TV’s GAME OF THRONES and THE WALKING DEAD) to deliver a hilarious body count when “Katniss Everdeen Kills Everything”:

One can only hope that Katniss will get to use her bow and arrow just as much in the big-screen adaptation of Catching Fire, which opens Nov. 22.

‘Final’ Trailer for ‘Catching Fire’ Looks Pretty Hot

If you’re like me and you hate the Boston Red Sox with the fiery passion of 10,000 suns (or maybe you just don’t like baseball), then you also weren’t watching the World Series last night when Lionsgate unveiled what it’s calling the “final trailer” for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.

It’s the best trailer so far because it actually contains some footage from the arena for the very first time. It would be a shame to miss it, so here it is:

Sadly, the new fan favorite (and mine) from the novel, Johanna Mason (Jena Malone), is hardly in it — she can be glimpsed at the 0:57 mark, over Peeta’s left shoulder as he’s talking to Katniss.

The other novel fan fave, Finnick Odair (Sam Claflin), and Mags (Lynn Cohen) are just barely recognizable at the 0:46 mark, running through the jungle.

New ‘Catching Fire’ Photos (Including Johanna!)

Finally, we get a new promotional photo for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire that includes Jena Malone’s Johanna Mason!

I know that Katniss Everdeen is the lead character in this flick, but — even setting aside my obsession enthusiasm for Jena — I’m surprised that Johanna is not getting a big push, since she is probably the most popular new character from the sequel book. Okay, you can probably make a case for Finnick, but he’s pretty front-and-center in the promotional campaigns. I was at the New York Comic Con this past weekend, where the Catching Fire booth included a display of character Barbie dolls, and who do you think was represented? Katniss, Peeta, Finnick and Effie Trinket! No Johanna. (Interestingly, the Peeta doll is the same height as the Katniss.) Let’s see a little more love for Johanna, people!

johannacrewDistrict 7’s Johanna (Jena Malone) practicing with her axe while District 1’s Cashmere (Stephanie Leigh Schlund) and Gloss (Alan Ritchson) look on.

 

 

gamesmakersThe Gamesmakers, including Plutarch Heavensbee (Philip Seymour Hoffman) front and center.

 

 

New Images, Video for Catching Fire

As we draw closer to the Nov. 22 opening of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (advance tickets are already on sale online!), the promotional campaign is starting to pick up steam. Here have the latest images released — including the official final poster and some scene stills of the tributes, among them Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence), Peeta (Josh Hutcherson), Finnick (Sam Claflin) and my fave, Johanna (Jena Malone).

In addition, there is a behind-the-scenes featurette that focuses on the IMAX filming but contains lots of new footage.

Looks pretty exciting…