Category Archives: Quick Hits

Critics’ Choice Movie Awards nominees announced

"The Grand Budapest Hotel" received 11 nominations for the 20th annual Critics' Choice Movie Awards.

“The Grand Budapest Hotel” received 11 nominations for the 20th annual Critics’ Choice Movie Awards.

As a longtime member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association, I am pleased to announce the nominees for the organization’s 20th annual Critics’ Choice Movie Awards. I cast my nomination ballot Friday, as did the other 300 or so members of the group, so the nominees represent something of a critical consensus of the best of 2014 cinema.

Now, we get to digest the nomination list for about a month before voting for the winners, which will be announced during a live TV broadcast Jan. 15 on A&E. The show will air at 6 p.m. PT (9 p.m. ET), and it’s always a lot of fun.

“Birdman” leads all contenders with 13 nominations, but “The Grand Budapest Hotel” and “Boyhood” aren’t far behind, with 11 and eight nods respectively.

Following is the complete nomination list …





Gone Girl

The Grand Budapest Hotel

The Imitation Game



The Theory of Everything



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Critics’ Choice Movie Award Winners

The 19th Critics’ Choice Movie Awards were doled out Thursday, Jan. 16, in Santa Monica. Here is a complete list of winners.

Best Picture – “12 Years a Slave”
Best Actor – Matthew McConaughey, “Dallas Buyers Club”
Best Actress – Cate Blanchett, “Blue Jasmine”
Best Supporting Actor – Jared Leto, “Dallas Buyers Club”
Best Supporting Actress – Lupita Nyong’o, “12 Years a Slave”
Best Young Actor/Actress – Adele Exarchopoulos, “Blue Is The Warmest Color”
Best Acting Ensemble – “American Hustle”
Best Director – Alfonso Cuarón, “Gravity”
Best Original Screenplay – Spike Jonze, “Her”
Best Adapted Screenplay – John Ridley, “12 Years a Slave”
Best Cinematography – Emmanuel Lubezki, “Gravity”
Best Art Direction – Catherine Martin (Production Designer), Beverley Dunn (Set Decorator), “The Great Gatsby”
Best Editing – Alfonso Cuarón and Mark Sanger, “Gravity”
Best Costume Design – Catherine Martin, “The Great Gatsby”
Best Hair & Makeup – “American Hustle”
Best Visual Effects – “Gravity”
Best Animated Feature – “Frozen”
Best Action Movie – “Lone Survivor”
Best Actor in an Action Movie – Mark Wahlberg, “Lone Survivor”
Best Actress in an Action Movie – Sandra Bullock, “Gravity”
Best Comedy – “American Hustle”
Best Actor in a Comedy – Leonardo DiCaprio, “The Wolf of Wall Street”
Best Actress in a Comedy – Amy Adams, “American Hustle”
Best Sci-Fi/Horror Movie – “Gravity”
Best Foreign Language Film – “Blue Is the Warmest Color”
Best Documentary Feature – “20 Feet From Stardom”
Best Song – “Let It Go” Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez, “Frozen”
Best Score – Steven Price, “Gravity”


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Dealer’s Choice Podcast is now live

Dealer’s Choice Logo JPEGRecently, I sat down with my friend and fellow journalist Josh Nagel to record a new podcast called Dealer’s Choice. I encourage all of my readers to check it out. Among other things, we critique the new Superman movie, “Man of Steel”:

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Critics’ Choice Movie Awards air tonight

If you’re a movie lover, be sure to check out the Critics’ Choice Movie Awards airing tonight on VH1 (8/7 central). As long-time readers know, I’m a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association, so I vote in the awards, and that makes them near and dear to my heart.

Personal biases aside, these awards have an excellent track record of predicting future Oscar nominees and winners. So, if you watch this show and the Golden Globes (Sunday), you’ll be well prepared for the Academy Awards race.


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New ‘Avengers’ trailer available

If you’re looking forward to the upcoming superhero flick “The Avengers,” you may be interested in the trailer. It’s too soon to make predictions about the movie, but it’s always fun to see early footage. Check it out here:


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Look for me at the 69th World Science Fiction Convention

I’m pleased to let all of you know that I’m going to be a program participant at Renovation: the 69th World Science Fiction Convention, which is slated for Aug. 17-21 in Reno, NV.

This is a huge event in the science-fiction world, so I’m thrilled to play a small part in it. Among other things, it sounds like I will be making a presentation on Nevada movies with former Nevada film commissioner Robin Holabird. This is a fun topic and Robin is a blast to work with, so I’m looking forward to that. As we work out the details, I’ll be sure to post them here.

Hope to see you at the convention this summer!

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Las Vegas critics friend ‘The Social Network’

Jesse Eisenberg, left, and Joseph Mazzello in a scene from "The Social Network." The film was named best of 2010 by the Las Vegas Film Critics Society.

I’ve been a member of the Las Vegas Film Critics Society for years, and I’m pleased to say that we doled out our annual Sierra Awards today. Below is a complete list of the winners. For a story on the awards, visit

Las Vegas Film Critics Society
2010 Sierra Award Winners

Best Picture
“The Social Network”

Best Actor
James Franco, “127 Hours”

Best Actress
Natalie Portman, “Black Swan”

Best Supporting Actor
Christian Bale, “The Fighter”

Best Supporting Actress
Amy Adams, “The Fighter”

Best Director
David Fincher, “The Social Network”

Best Screenplay (Original or Adapted)
Aaron Sorkin, “The Social Network” 

Best Cinematography
Wally Pfister, “Inception”

Best Film Editing
Lee Smith, “Inception”

Best Costume Design
Colleen Atwood, “Alice in Wonderland”

Best Art Direction
“Black Swan”

Best Visual Effects

Best Documentary
“Waiting for Superman”

Best Foreign Film
“Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” (Sweden)

Best Song
“I See the Light” from “Tangled”

Best Score
Trent Reznor, “The Social Network”

Best Family Film
“Toy Story 3”

Best Animated Film
“Toy Story 3”

Youth in Film
Hailee Steinfeld, “True Grit”

Best DVD (Packaging, Design, and Content)
“Alien Anthology” (Blu-Ray) Fox Home Entertainment

The William Holden Lifetime Achievement Award
Thelma Schoonmaker

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And the Oscar winners are …

Following is a complete list of nominees and winners from the 82nd Academy Awards. Note that winners are listed in bold with an asterisk.

* Jeff Bridges in “Crazy Heart”
George Clooney in “Up in the Air”
Colin Firth in “A Single Man”
Morgan Freeman in “Invictus”
Jeremy Renner in “The Hurt Locker”

Matt Damon in “Invictus”
Woody Harrelson in “The Messenger”
Christopher Plummer in “The Last Station”
Stanley Tucci in “The Lovely Bones”
* Christoph Waltz in “Inglourious Basterds”

* Sandra Bullock in “The Blind Side”
Helen Mirren in “The Last Station”
Carey Mulligan in “An Education”
Gabourey Sidibe in “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire”
Meryl Streep in “Julie & Julia”

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Director bringing indie film to Reno

I figure readers in the Reno area will be interested that Louis Mandylor is bringing his film “In the Eyes of a Killer” to Reno Saturday, April 25, and admission is free.

Click here for the details:

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Video Verdict expands to new markets

I’m pleased to report that my weekly Video Verdict column was picked up this week by two additional newspapers: The Lansing State Journal (Lansing, MI) and Florida Today (Brevard and Melbourne counties in Florida). So, if you live in those areas, you will now be able to find my DVD reviews in print each week.

Thanks to my friends at both papers for adding the column. If you live outside the markets that carry the column in print, you can always find it right here at Also, I’m continually looking to add new outlets, so if you’d like to see me in your favorite paper, give management a call and send them to this Web site.


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