Archive for February, 2012

Davy Jones (of the Monkees) reported dead

February 29, 2012

Davy Jones (of the Monkees) reported dead

Davy Jones was a singer and actor before he was a Monkee.

However, the cute Britisher had his biggest success as a member of the “pre-fab four”.

Fans of The Monkees know, though, that the band stands on its own. We probably wouldn’t have had them without The Beatles, certainly, but I didn’t think about the Beatles when I saw their goofy adventures on TV. They had great fun with Davy’s “dreaminess”, with his eyes and a girls literally sparkling across the room.

Would their music have been successful without the TV show? Sure, I think so. Jones’ gentle delivery of “Cuddly Toy” still pops into my head from time to time…unassociated with any specific episode or visual.

He had another odd impact on pop culture: another singer named Davy Jones changed his last name for performing to prevent confusion…to David Bowie.

The Monkees brought an uncomplicated joy into our world in the 1960s, and Davy was a big part of that.

Good-bye, Davy…you’ll always make us smile…and our eyes sparkle.

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the The Measured Circle blog.

2012 BOPMadness Oscar Group Predictions (live updates with winners)

February 26, 2012

2012 BOPMadness Oscar Predictions (live updates with winners)

This is being published before the start of the 2011 Oscar broadcast. We are updating it as each winner is announced.

It’s based on aggregate analysis of the ballots submitted in the 2012 BOPMadness (Bufo’s Oscar Prediction Madness) contest.

Thanks to everyone who played! I’ll give individual results to the winners in the next few days. We announce a winner in the Big Six (the acting categories, director, and picture), the incredibly difficult Maven section (everything else), and overall.

First, to keep it simple, here are our predictions:

  • Picture: The Artist Winner: The Artist
  • Actor: The Artist (Jean Dujardin)
  • Actress: The Help (Viola Davis) Winner: Iron Lady (Meryl Streep)
  • Supporting Actor: Beginners (Christopher Plummer) Winner: Christopher Plummer
  • Supporting Actress: The Help (Octavia Spencer) Winner: The Help
  • Director: Michel Hazanavicius (The Artist)
  • Foreign Language Film (Asghar Farhadi: Iran) Winner: Iran
  • Adapted Screenplay: The Descendants Winner: The Descendants
  • Original Screenplay: Midnight in Paris Winner: Midnight in Paris
  • Art Direction: Hugo Winner: Hugo
  • Cinematography: The Artist Winner: Hugo
  • Sound Mixing: Hugo Winner: Hugo
  • Sound Editing: War Horse Winner: Hugo
  • Score: The Artist Winner: The Artist
  • Song: The Muppets (Man or Muppet) The Winner: The Muppets
  • Costume: Hugo Winner: The Artist
  • Documentary Feature: Hell and Back Again Winner: Undefeated
  • Documentary Short: The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom Winner: Saving Face
  • Editing: The Artist Winner: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
  • Makeup: The Iron Lady Winner: The Iron Lady
  • Animated Short: The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore Winner: The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore
  • Live Action Short: The Shore Winner: The Shore
  • Visual Effects: Hugo Winner: Hugo
  • Animated Feature: Rango Winner: Rango

Now, here are our group pictures ranked in order of what we think is most probable (Supporting Actress for The Help for Octavia Spencer, Director for the Artist for Michel Hazanavicius) to the least (Costume for W.E.):

category Movie Nominee Probability
Supporting Actress The Help Octavia Spencer 97%
Director The Artist Michel Hazanavicius 97%
Art Direction Hugo Dante Ferretti, Francesca Lo Schiavo 91%
Best Actor The Artist Jean Dujardin 90%
Best Actress The Help Viola Davis 90%
Foreign Language  Film A Separation Asghar Farhadi: Iran 90%
Visual Effects Hugo Robert Legato, Joss Williams, Ben Grossmann, Alex Henning 90%
Best Picture The Artist Thomas Langmann 87%
Supporting Actor Beginners Christopher Plummer 86%
Live Action Short The Shore Terry George, Oorlagh George 86%
Best Actress The Iron Lady Meryl Streep 83%
Adapted Screenplay The Descendants Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon, Jim Rash 83%
Cinematography The Artist Guillaume Schiffman 83%
Score The Artist Ludovic Bource 83%
Costume Hugo Sandy Powell 83%
Editing The Artist Anne-Sophie Bion, Michel Hazanavicius 83%
Best Picture The Help Brunson Green, Chris Columbus, Michael Barnathan 83%
Best Picture The Descendants Jim Burke, Alexander Payne, Jim Taylor 81%
Best Actor The Descendants George Clooney 80%
Original Screenplay Midnight in Paris Woody Allen 80%
Sound Mixing Hugo Tom Fleischman, John Midgley 80%
Costume The Artist Mark Bridges 80%
Documentary Short The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom Lucy Walker, Kira Carstensen 80%
Song Rio (Real in Rio) Sergio Mendes, Carlinhos Brown, Siedah Garrett 79%
Sound Editing War Horse Richard Hymns, Gary Rydstrom 77%
Costume Jane Eyre Michael O’Connor 77%
Director Hugo Martin Scorsese 77%
Score Hugo Howard Shore 77%
Editing Hugo Thelma Schoonmaker 77%
Animated Short The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore William Joyce, Brandon Oldenburg 77%
Visual Effects Rise of the Planet of the Apes Joe Letteri, Dan Lemmon, R. Christopher White, Daniel Barrett 77%
Makeup The Iron Lady Mark Coulier, J. Roy Helland 76%
Song The Muppets (Man or Muppet) Bret McKenzie 75%
Original Screenplay The Artist Michel Hazanavicius 74%
Art Direction The Artist Laurence Bennett, Robert Gould 73%
Sound Mixing War Horse Gary Rydstrom, Andy Nelson, Tom Johnson, Stuart Wilson 73%
Documentary Short Incident in New Baghdad James Spione 73%
Animated Feature Rango Gore Verbinski 73%
Makeup Albert Nobbs Martial Corneville, Lynn Johnson, Matthew W. Mungle 72%
Score War Horse John Williams 71%
Foreign Language  Film Footnote Joseph Cedar: Israel 70%
Adapted Screenplay Moneyball Steven Zaillian, Aaron Sorkin, Stan Chervin 69%
Cinematography War Horse Janusz Kaminski 69%
Sound Mixing The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo David Parker, Michael Semanick, Ren Klyce, Bo Persson 69%
Animated Feature Puss in Boots Chris Miller 69%
Supporting Actor Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close Max Von Sydow 67%
Adapted Screenplay Hugo John Logan 67%
Sound Editing The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Ren Klyce 67%
Documentary Feature Hell and Back Again Danfung Dennis, Mike Lerner 67%
Animated Short La Luna Enrico Casarosa 67%
Animated Short Wild Life Amanda Forbis, Wendy Tilby 67%
Foreign Language  Film In Darkness Agnieszka Holland: Poland 66%
Documentary Feature Undefeated Daniel Lindsay, T.J. Martin, Rich Middlemas 66%
Best Actor Moneyball Brad Pitt 63%
Best Actress My Week with Marilyn Michelle Williams 63%
Supporting Actress The Help Jessica Chastain 63%
Original Screenplay Bridesmaids Kristen Wiig, Annie Mumolo 63%
Cinematography Hugo Robert Richardson 63%
Documentary Feature If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front Marshall Curry, Sam Cullman 63%
Documentary Feature Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory Joe Berlinger, Bruce Sinofsky 63%
Documentary Short Saving Face Daniel Junge, Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy 63%
Visual Effects Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 Tim Burke, David Vickery, Greg Butler, John Richardson 63%
Best Picture Hugo Graham King, Martin Scorsese 61%
Supporting Actor My Week with Marilyn Kenneth Branagh 60%
Supporting Actress Bridesmaids Melissa McCarthy 60%
Animated Short A Morning Stroll Grant Orchard, Sue Goffe 60%
Live Action Short Raju Max Zähle, Stefan Giere 60%
Animated Feature Kung Fu Panda 2 Jennifer Yuh 60%
Director The Descendants Alexander Payne 57%
Art Direction Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 Stuart Craig, Stephenie McMillan 57%
Sound Editing Hugo Philip Stockton, Eugene Gearty 57%
Live Action Short Time Freak Andrew Bowler, Gigi Cause 57%
Animated Feature Chico & Rita Fernando Trueba, Javier Mariscal 57%
Makeup Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 Nick Dudman, Amanda Knight, Lisa Tomblin 56%
Supporting Actor Moneyball Jonah Hill 53%
Supporting Actress The Artist Bérénice Bejo 53%
Sound Mixing Transformers: Dark of the Moon Greg P. Russell, Gary Summers, Jeffrey J. Haboush, Peter J. Devlin 53%
Sound Editing Drive Lon Bender, Victor Ray Ennis 53%
Documentary Short God Is the Bigger Elvis Rebecca Cammisa, Julie Anderson 53%
Live Action Short Tuba Atlantic Hallvar Witzø 53%
Editing The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Angus Wall, Kirk Baxter 51%
Director Midnight in Paris Woody Allen 50%
Cinematography The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Jeff Cronenweth 50%
Sound Editing Transformers: Dark of the Moon Ethan Van der Ryn, Erik Aadahl 50%
Editing Moneyball Christopher Tellefsen 50%
Visual Effects Transformers: Dark of the Moon Scott Farrar, Scott Benza, Matthew E. Butler, John Frazier 49%
Adapted Screenplay Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy Bridget O’Connor, Peter Straughan 47%
Original Screenplay A Separation Asghar Farhadi 47%
Documentary Feature Pina Wim Wenders, Gian-Piero Ringel 47%
Editing The Descendants Kevin Tent 47%
Live Action Short Pentecost Peter MacDonald 47%
Animated Feature A Cat in Paris Alain Gagnol, Jean-Loup Felicioli 47%
Best Picture War Horse Steven Spielberg, Kathleen Kennedy 46%
Best Actress Albert Nobbs Glenn Close 46%
Best Actor Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy Gary Oldman 43%
Foreign Language  Film Monsieur Lazhar Philippe Falardeau: Canada 43%
Score Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy Alberto Iglesias 43%
Best Picture Midnight in Paris Letty Aronson, Stephen Tenenbaum 41%
Adapted Screenplay The Ides of March George Clooney, Grant Heslov, Beau  Willimon 40%
Original Screenplay Margin Call J.C. Chandor 40%
Art Direction Midnight in Paris Anne Seibel, Hélène Dubreuil 40%
Art Direction War Horse Rick Carter, Lee Sandales 40%
Cinematography The Tree of Life Emmanuel Lubezki 40%
Costume Anonymous Lisy Christi 40%
Best Picture The Tree of Life Nominees to be determined 39%
Supporting Actor Warrior Nick Nolte 37%
Director The Tree of Life Terrence Malick 37%
Foreign Language  Film Bullhead Michae R. Roskam: Belgium 37%
Animated Short Dimanche Patrick Doyon 37%
Best Picture Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close Scott Rudin 33%
Documentary Short The Barber of Birmingham: Foot Soldier of the Civil Rights Mvmt Robin Fryday, Gail Dolgin 33%
Best Picture Moneyball Michael De Luca, Rachael Horovitz, Brad Pitt 31%
Sound Mixing Moneyball Deb Adair, Ron Bochar, David Giammarco, Ed Novick 30%
Score The Adventures of Tintin John Williams 30%
Visual Effects Real Steel Erik Nash, John Rosengrant, Danny Gordon Taylor, Swen Gillberg 30%
Best Actor A Better Life Demián Bichir 27%
Best Actress The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Roomey Mara 27%
Supporting Actress Albert Nobbs Janet McTeer 27%
Costume W.E. Arianne Phillips 23%

We’ll revisit this after the broadcast to see how we did.

To see my own predictions, see this earlier post

See you in the movies!

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the The Measured Circle blog.

Based on Barsoom?

February 23, 2012

Based on Barsoom?

When Disney’s John Carter movie comes out on March 9th*, there is no doubt that some of it is going to seem familiar to audiences.

That’s true even if they’ve never read the original book** by Edgar Rice Burroughs.

While the assumption might be that this 2012 movie is being inspired by earlier movies and TV shows (and that might be true to some extent…I haven’t seen it), it may also be that those earlier works were inspired by the 1917*** novel.

Here, then, are some works that came after Edgar Rice Burroughs’ A Princess of Mars…but have some of its elements. Note that I’m not saying that these were deliberately copied (even though, if the book was in the public domain at the time, that would have been legally okay).  It’s just that PoM had it first, and certainly for geeks, was in the zeitgeist by the time these other works were created. I’m also not going to base inclusion on what the later creators have said about it…just on what is actually in the book.

Superman

What makes Superman super? Does he have the dedication to train two hours a day like Doc Savage (with whom he shares a first name and who had a Fortress of Solitude in the Arctic Circle first)? Did he train for a lifetime like Batman? Is he a scientific genius who invented his own web-shooters after being bitten by a radioactive spider like Spider-Man, or who created a super-suit that also, incidentally, has therapeutic advantages, like Iron Man?

Nah.

He was just born on another planet…way to earn it, Super-Dude! 🙂

Kal-El is super on Earth because of the differences in his home planet Krypton (which, yes, was tragically destroyed…but he was a baby at the time, so we can’t give him much credit for making something out of what happened) and Earth. Any Kryptonian on Earth is super…Superman, Supergirl, Krypto the Superdog, Beppo the Supermonkey (really)…it’s just the way it is.

John Carter is super on Mars because he is from Earth.

How is he super?

Well, maybe the most obvious thing is his ability to jump…really far and really high.

Doesn’t sound like Supes?

What if I used the word “leap”instead of “jump”? What if he could “leap tall buildings in a single bound?”

Now does it sound familiar?

In the beginning in the comics, Superman didn’t fly. He jumped, a lot like John Carter. He didn’t start flying until the Fleischer brothers made cartoons in the 1940s. They just thought that was easier to animate (and more dramatic, presumably). Superman’s super-strength was also a lot less when he started…he wasn’t throwing planets around. John Carter also has superior strength…he can snap chains that would hold a Barsoomian securely.  Burroughs even uses the term “superhuman” to describe the Virginian’s abilities.

Star Wars

One obvious connection is the term “Jedi”.  In Princess of Mars, the alien leaders are Jeds and Jeddaks. John Carter has a big hairy (for Mars, anyway) companion, one of the few “characters” we encounter regularly who doesn’t speak. Fiercely loyal, he does seem more like a dog than Chewbacca…but his name is Woola. Woola/Wookie…woo woo! 😉  The speeder bikes are also reminiscent of the one person flying craft used in Princess of Mars.

Star Trek

Remember when Kirk ran into the Mugato, a Great White Ape? Well, Great White Apes (Burroughs doesn’t give them a species name, although they are a somewhat intelligent group) are a big deal on Barsoom…and dangerous. I could have included the Wampa from Star Wars in this category…but I had enough going on there.  If you think they all come from the Abominable Snowman, well, that term  wasn’t used until 1921…and the few reports of a man-beast in the Himalayas that got to the West before that were of things with dark hair. Hmm…I wonder if Burroughs’ popular Great White Apes could have impacted the concept of the Yeti having white hair? It’s also worth noting that Tarzan (an earlier Burroughs creation) had also been referred to as a “white ape”.

Mork & Mindy

No, Dejah Thoris didn’t say “Shazbot” when things went wrong.  However, both she and Mork are from oviparous species…born from eggs that mature outside the body. That always seemed a little creepy to me.  Not the process of being hatched, but that John Carter clearly was in love with Dejah Thoris…and not just in a spiritual way, if you know what I mean. Carter even says:

“So this was love! I had escaped it for all the years I had roamed the five continents and their encircling seas; in spite of beautiful women and urging opportunity; in spite of a half-desire for love and a constant search for my ideal, it had remained for me to fall furiously and hopelessly in love with a creature from another world, of a species similar possibly, yet not identical with mine. A woman who was hatched from an egg, and whose span of life might cover a thousand years; whose people had strange customs and ideas; a woman whose hopes, whose pleasures, whose standards of virtue and of right and wrong might vary as greatly from mine as did those of the green Martians.”

Um…she was hatched from an egg! I’m not sure whether her biggest hope was to own a house in the suburbs or not should be your primary concern. The whole thing just seemed odd…not to even think about how the mechanics must have been…awkward.

GPS

Yep…John Carter had what was basically a GPS system at one point. He describes the tech this way:

“He set my compass for me, a clever little device which will remain steadfastly fixed upon any given point on the surface of Barsoom.”

Can’t you just see John Carter engaged in a fierce aerial battle with sky pirates, striking out with his long sword, and hearing, “When possible, make a legal u-turn.” 😉

Well, that just scratches the surface.  I could go on and on…John Carter says he is better known as “Captain Jack” (later used by Sparrow and Harkness…and an alligator on Leave It to Beaver), there’s a character named Tardos (TARDIS?) Mors, the use of repulsor rays (utilized by Tony Stark as Iron Man), Burroughs often talks about the protruding eyes of the green Martians…making them bug-eyed monsters, perhaps?

So, when you go to see John Carter and something seems familiar, remember: that’s not déjà vu, it’s Dejah Thoris. 😉

* March 9th, 2012, is the release date for John Carter in the USA

** There is actually a whole series of Barsoom books, and John Carter isn’t in all of them. I’ve heard that the first movie is mostly drawing from the first book, though (A Princess of Mars). Wait, did I say “first movie”? Hm…

*** The first part of the book appeared in the February, 1912 issue of All-Story Magazine…meaning the movie is coming out very close to the 100th anniversary.  The novel version, published in 1917, restored material which had been cut

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the The Measured Circle blog.

Bufo’s Oscar Prediction Madness 2012

February 19, 2012

Bufo’s Oscar Prediction Madness 2012

For more than twenty years, I’ve been doing an Oscar prediction contest.  If you are interested in playing, comment this post and I’ll send you the spreadsheet and the instructions.  I’ll keep your post private: I will get your e-mail address, but I won’t publish it on the blog.

The more people we get, the more accurate we tend to be.  I’ll put out the group’s predictions before the Oscars are announced on February 26th.

Important note: there is no fee to play the real game, and we only play for that most valuable of human possessions…bragging rights. 

As I did last year, I’m going to publicly put out my own predictions before I get any from anybody playing the game. I’m not overly confident in some categories…we’ll see.

category Movie Nominee ranking
Best Picture The Artist Thomas Langmann 9
Best Picture The Descendants Jim Burke, Alexander Payne, Jim Taylor 7
Best Picture Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close Scott Rudin 5
Best Picture The Help Brunson Green, Chris Columbus, Michael Barnathan 8
Best Picture Hugo Graham King, Martin Scorsese 4
Best Picture Midnight in Paris Letty Aronson, Stephen Tenenbaum 3
Best Picture Moneyball Michael De Luca, Rachael Horovitz, Brad Pitt 6
Best Picture The Tree of Life Nominees to be determined 2
Best Picture War Horse Steven Spielberg, Kathleen Kennedy 1
Best Actor The Artist Jean Dujardin 5
Best Actor A Better Life Demián Bichir 1
Best Actor The Descendants George Clooney 3
Best Actor Moneyball Brad Pitt 4
Best Actor Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy Gary Oldman 2
Best Actress Albert Nobbs Glenn Close 2
Best Actress The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Roomey Mara 1
Best Actress The Help Viola Davis 5
Best Actress The Iron Lady Meryl Streep 4
Best Actress My Week with Marilyn Michelle Williams 3
Supporting Actor Beginners Christopher Plummer 5
Supporting Actor Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close Max Von Sydow 4
Supporting Actor Moneyball Jonah Hill 3
Supporting Actor My Week with Marilyn Kenneth Branagh 2
Supporting Actor Warrior Nick Nolte 1
Supporting Actress Albert Nobbs Janet McTeer 3
Supporting Actress The Artist Bérénice Bejo 4
Supporting Actress Bridesmaids Melissa McCarthy 2
Supporting Actress The Help Jessica Chastain 1
Supporting Actress The Help Octavia Spencer 5
Director The Artist Michel Hazanavicius 5
Director The Descendants Alexander Payne 2
Director Hugo Martin Scorsese 4
Director Midnight in Paris Woody Allen 1
Director The Tree of Life Terrence Malick 3
Foreign Language  Film Bullhead Michae R. Roskam: Belgium 2
Foreign Language  Film Footnote Joseph Cedar: Israel 4
Foreign Language  Film In Darkness Agnieszka Holland: Poland 3
Foreign Language  Film Monsieur Lazhar Philippe Falardeau: Canada 1
Foreign Language  Film A Separation Asghar Farhadi: Iran 5
Adapted Screenplay The Descendants Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon, Jim Rash 4
Adapted Screenplay Hugo John Logan 3
Adapted Screenplay The Ides of March George Clooney, Grant Heslov, Beau  Willimon 1
Adapted Screenplay Moneyball Steven Zaillian, Aaron Sorkin, Stan Chervin 5
Adapted Screenplay Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy Bridget O’Connor, Peter Straughan 2
Original Screenplay The Artist Michel Hazanavicius 4
Original Screenplay Bridesmaids Kristen Wiig, Annie Mumolo 3
Original Screenplay Margin Call J.C. Chandor 1
Original Screenplay Midnight in Paris Woody Allen 5
Original Screenplay A Separation Asghar Farhadi 2
Art Direction The Artist Laurence Bennett, Robert Gould 5
Art Direction Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 Stuart Craig, Stephenie McMillan 2
Art Direction Hugo Dante Ferretti, Francesca Lo Schiavo 4
Art Direction Midnight in Paris Anne Seibel, Hélène Dubreuil 3
Art Direction War Horse Rick Carter, Lee Sandales 1
Cinematography The Artist Guillaume Schiffman 5
Cinematography The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Jeff Cronenweth 4
Cinematography Hugo Robert Richardson 3
Cinematography The Tree of Life Emmanuel Lubezki 2
Cinematography War Horse Janusz Kaminski 1
Sound Mixing The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo David Parker, Michael Semanick, Ren Klyce, Bo Persson 5
Sound Mixing Hugo Tom Fleischman, John Midgley 3
Sound Mixing Moneyball Deb Adair, Ron Bochar, David Giammarco, Ed Novick 4
Sound Mixing Transformers: Dark of the Moon Greg P. Russell, Gary Summers, Jeffrey J. Haboush, Peter J. Devlin 2
Sound Mixing War Horse Gary Rydstrom, Andy Nelson, Tom Johnson, Stuart Wilson 1
Sound Editing Drive Lon Bender, Victor Ray Ennis 4
Sound Editing The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Ren Klyce 5
Sound Editing Hugo Philip Stockton, Eugene Gearty 3
Sound Editing Transformers: Dark of the Moon Ethan Van der Ryn, Erik Aadahl 2
Sound Editing War Horse Richard Hymns, Gary Rydstrom 1
Score The Adventures of Tintin John Williams 1
Score The Artist Ludovic Bource 5
Score Hugo Howard Shore 4
Score Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy Alberto Iglesias 2
Score War Horse John Williams 3
Song The Muppets (Man or Muppet) Bret McKenzie 2
Song Rio (Real in Rio) Sergio Mendes, Carlinhos Brown, Siedah Garrett 1
Costume Anonymous Lisy Christi 2
Costume The Artist Mark Bridges 5
Costume Hugo Sandy Powell 4
Costume Jane Eyre Michael O’Connor 3
Costume W.E. Arianne Phillips 1
Documentary Feature Hell and Back Again Danfung Dennis, Mike Lerner 1
Documentary Feature If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front Marshall Curry, Sam Cullman 3
Documentary Feature Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory Joe Berlinger, Bruce Sinofsky 5
Documentary Feature Pina Wim Wenders, Gian-Piero Ringel 4
Documentary Feature Undefeated Daniel Lindsay, T.J. Martin, Rich Middlemas 2
Documentary Short The Barber of Birmingham: Foot Soldier of the Civil Rights Mvmt Robin Fryday, Gail Dolgin 1
Documentary Short God Is the Bigger Elvis Rebecca Cammisa, Julie Anderson 4
Documentary Short Incident in New Baghdad James Spione 5
Documentary Short Saving Face Daniel Junge, Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy 2
Documentary Short The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom Lucy Walker, Kira Carstensen 3
Editing The Artist Anne-Sophie Bion, Michel Hazanavicius 5
Editing The Descendants Kevin Tent 2
Editing The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Angus Wall, Kirk Baxter 3
Editing Hugo Thelma Schoonmaker 1
Editing Moneyball Christopher Tellefsen 4
Makeup Albert Nobbs Martial Corneville, Lynn Johnson, Matthew W. Mungle 3
Makeup Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 Nick Dudman, Amanda Knight, Lisa Tomblin 1
Makeup The Iron Lady Mark Coulier, J. Roy Helland 2
Animated Short Dimanche Patrick Doyon 2
Animated Short The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore William Joyce, Brandon Oldenburg 5
Animated Short La Luna Enrico Casarosa 3
Animated Short A Morning Stroll Grant Orchard, Sue Goffe 1
Animated Short Wild Life Amanda Forbis, Wendy Tilby 4
Live Action Short Pentecost Peter MacDonald 2
Live Action Short Raju Max Zähle, Stefan Giere 3
Live Action Short The Shore Terry George, Oorlagh George 5
Live Action Short Time Freak Andrew Bowler, Gigi Cause 4
Live Action Short Tuba Atlantic Hallvar Witzø 1
Visual Effects Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 Tim Burke, David Vickery, Greg Butler, John Richardson 3
Visual Effects Hugo Robert Legato, Joss Williams, Ben Grossmann, Alex Henning 5
Visual Effects Real Steel Erik Nash, John Rosengrant, Danny Gordon Taylor, Swen Gillberg 1
Visual Effects Rise of the Planet of the Apes Joe Letteri, Dan Lemmon, R. Christopher White, Daniel Barrett 4
Visual Effects Transformers: Dark of the Moon Scott Farrar, Scott Benza, Matthew E. Butler, John Frazier 2
Animated Feature A Cat in Paris Alain Gagnol, Jean-Loup Felicioli 4
Animated Feature Chico & Rita Fernando Trueba, Javier Mariscal 5
Animated Feature Kung Fu Panda 2 Jennifer Yuh 2
Animated Feature Puss in Boots Chris Miller 1
Animated Feature Rango Gore Verbinski 3

There you go!  Now you’ll be able to see later how I did.

Remember, if you’d like to play the traditional Bufo’s Oscar Prediction Madness, and help our group accuracy, just comment this post and let me know, and I’ll send you the entry form.  Group entries are fine.

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the The Measured Circle blog.

“You…you out there! Do you know…”

February 16, 2012

“”You…you out there! Do you know what horror is? Smug, confident, secure because you are sane. Do you know what madness is or how it strikes? Have you seen the demons that surge through the corridors of the crazed mind? Do you know that in the world of the insane you will find a kind of truth more terrifying than fiction? A truth that will shock you!”
–Narrator
Daughter of Horror
screenplay uncredited

I’ve been working, from time to time, on a book of quotations for many years.  I call it, “The Mind Boggles”, from one of my favorite quotations.  I do source quotations a bit differently from a lot of people.  In the case of a work of a fiction, I consider that the character said the line…not the author.  As a bit of an author myself (in a minor way), I can tell you…my characters definitely say things that I would never say.  These are all quotations that I’ve collected myself: I’ve read the book, seen the TV episode, and so on.

Hope you enjoy them!

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the The Measured Circle.

Congratulations to The Measured Circle’s 2011 Top 10 Movie Box Office MVPs!

February 12, 2012

Congratulations to The Measured Circle’s 2011 Top 10 Movie Box Office MVPs!

While the box office returns for movies released in 2011 aren’t final, we are ready to congratulate those actors who have made it on to our list!

You can see all of the MVPs and the details here:

2011 The Measured Circle’s Box Office MVPs

To sum up, our rules our this:

  1. You must have been first billed in a movie released in the USA in 2011 that makes at least $100 million there (domestic gross, which we abbreviate “dogro”)
  2. You must have appeared in another 2011 USA release (at whatever billing) in a movie that dogroed at least $40 million
  3. Voice roles count…a star cast in a voice role can influence box office

Our rankings are based on the average of the movies for those who qualified that dogroed at least $40 million. While they may have appeared in great movies that didn’t make $40 million, those are not included in the calculation.

#1: Hugo Weaving
592.4 (total) 296.2 (average)
100K or more movies: Captain America: The First Avenger (177m);
Transformers: Dark of the Moon (352)
40k to 99.9k movies: Happy Feet Two (63.4)

#2: Tyrese Gibson
562.0 (total) 281.0 (average)
100k or more movies: Transformers: Dark of the Moon (352); Fast Five 5 (210)

#3: Tom Felton
558.0 (total) 279.0 (average)
100k or more movies: Rise of the Planet of the Apes (177); Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (381)

#4: Gary Oldman
546.0 (total) 273.0 (average)
100k or more movies: Kung Fu Panda 2 (165m); Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (381)

#5: Alan Tudyk
480.0 (total) 240.0 (average)
100k or more movies: Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked (128); Transformers: Dark of the Moon (352)

#6: John Hurt
464.5 (total) 232.3 (average)
100k or more movies: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (381)
40k to 99.9k movies: Immortals (83.5)

#7 (tie): Ty Olsson
458.0 (total) 229.0 (average)
100k or more movies: The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 (281);
Rise of the Planet of the Apes (177)

#7 (tie): James Pizzinato
458.0 (total) 229.0 (average)
100k or more movies: The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 (281);
Rise of the Planet of the Apes (177)

#9: Rich Hutchman
436.2 (total) 218.1 (average)
100k or more movies: Transformers: Dark of the Moon (352)
40k to 99.9 movies: Crazy, Stupid, Love (84.2)

#10: Gil Birmingham
404.0 (total) 202.0 (average)
100k or more movies: The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 (281);
Rango (123)

Separate congratulations to Ken Jeong, whose average of 193.2 puts him 11th on the list…and his total dogro is an amazing 772.7m! Nobody else on the list broke 600m.

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the The Measured Circle.

Whitney Houston reported dead

February 12, 2012

Whitney Houston reported dead

Whitney Houston will always be known for her music.

She appeared in the remake of The Preacher’s Wife in which an angel (Denzel Washington) comes to Earth to advise a preacher.

In a TV movie, she played the Fairy Godmother to Brandy’s Cinderella.

Good-bye, Whitney…your music will never die.

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the The Measured Circle.

“My mind is evidently so…”

February 11, 2012

“My mind is evidently so constituted that I am subconsciously forced into the path of duty without recourse to tiresome mental processes.”
John Carter (Captain Jack Carter)
A Princess of Mars
written by Edgar Rice Burroughs

I’ve been working, from time to time, on a book of quotations for many years.  I call it, “The Mind Boggles”, from one of my favorite quotations.  I do source quotations a bit differently from a lot of people.  In the case of a work of a fiction, I consider that the character said the line…not the author.  As a bit of an author myself (in a minor way), I can tell you…my characters definitely say things that I would never say.  These are all quotations that I’ve collected myself: I’ve read the book, seen the TV episode, and so on.

Hope you enjoy them!

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the The Measured Circle.

Review Storm #2: Lost Girl, The Fades, Face Off

February 9, 2012

Review Storm #2: Lost Girl, The Fades, Face Off

What’s a “Review Storm”? It’s like piloting your pop culture spaceship through an asteroid storm…a whole bunch of little things hitting you at once. :)

In this second one in the series, I’m going to give you my short takes on three recent TV shows.

First, there’s Lost Girl, a new regular series on Syfy, Mondays at 10. This is what I call a “Discovered Destiny” story…the protagonist finds out that they aren’t what they always thought they were, and they have extraordinary abilities and responsibilities. In this case, Bo (Anna Silk) learns that she is a Fae, and specifically, a succubus. She is empowered by sexual energy, and until she learns to control it, can kill people when she draws it out of them. Of course, she gets a quirky hipster sidekick accidentally. That reminded me of the Highlander series…if, you know, McLeod had wielded a tongue instead of a sword. There are good Fae and bad Fae, and they don’t get along, and there’s a sexy Fae who is a police officer…and look! Hair-obscured breasts and a butt crack! 😉  This Canadian series is reasonably fun: the leads are good…Kristen Holden-Reid is charming as the wolf-cop, and Ksenia Solo is electric as the sidekick. The effects work (and there are quite a few of them). The dialogue is far from deathless, but the gimmicky set up is okay…they bring in a number of types of Fae, including a will-o’-the-wisp Overall, worth watching.

The Fades, now having its first American run on BBC America on Saturdays at 9, is another discovered destiny series…but I really do like the writing on this one. Paul finds out he’s an Angelic, and can see dead people. There’s a very solid mythology going on here, and the Styles to his Teen Wolf, Mac, seems like a very believable teenage geek to me. If you are an American not used to watching BBC America, be prepared…not only are the accents thick, it’s probably a lot racier than you are used to seeing. I wouldn’t want you to be watching this on your tablet at work and have your boss notice it during a scene of…um…self-involvement. If you are comfortable with Brit TV, though, I think you’ll find this may be one of your favorite current shows.

The second season of Syfy’s reality competition special effects makeup show, Face Off, is better than the first. The shows seems more secure and confident…the challenges have been on a bigger scale. I still am geekily thrilled that one of the Westmore family is the host, and the judges are truly leaders in the field. Ve Neill is the stand out, with seven Oscar nominations and three wins, and seems to genuinely care about both the art and the contestants…not a combination we always see in judges. Speaking of the contestants, they also seem more interesting…more outsize characters than the first season, but the quality of the makeups has also been good. Yes, there have been some failed designs, but they are really pushing them in a short amount of time to deliver high concepts…that need to be practical in special ways as well (the idea of having your makeup work underwater would have thrown me). This is a show I recommend…you don’t have to get makeup to enjoy it.

Want to comment about these shows or recommend others? Feel free. 🙂

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the The Measured Circle.

Oscar nominees you won’t believe

February 2, 2012

Oscar nominees you won’t believe

Ah, the Oscars! The very pinnacle of recognition of quality in movies!

However…

An Oscar-nominated movie isn’t necessarily a good movie.

It might be a bad movie with some really good narrow aspect, like sound editing or a song.

Here, then, is a list of ten of those exalted nominees…you may not believe:

Norbit  (2007)
Nomination: Best Achievement in Makeup for Rick Baker and Kazuhiro Tsuji

Eddie Murphy produced, co-wrote, and starred (in multiple roles) in this comedy about a man married to an obese woman.

The Swarm (1978)
Nomination: Best Costume Design for Paul Zastupnevich

Irwin Allen directed Michael Caine, Richard Widmark, and Katharine Ross in this killer bee disaster movie.

Whiffs (1975)
Nomination: Best Music, Original Song: George Barrie, Sammy Cahn

Elliott Gould is an ex-military guinea pig who uses secret gases to rob banks.

Heartbeeps (1981)
Nomination: Makeup for Stan Winston

Andy Kaufman and Bernadette Peters are robots in love.

Junior (1994)
Nomination: Best Music, Original Song for Carole Bayer Sager, James Newton Howard, James Ingram, Patty Smyth

Arnold Schwarzenegger…pregnant!

Ben (1972)
Nomination: Best Music, Original Song: Walter Scharf, Don Black

In this sequel to Willard, a boy’s best friend is his…killer rat. Sure, Michael Jackson had a hit with the song, but still…

King of the Zombies (1941)
Nomination: Best Music, Scoring of a Dramatic Picture for Edward J. Kay

Yes, zombies! Add Dick Purcell and Manton Moreland to this World War II monster movie.

Mannequin (1987)
Nomination: Best Music, Original Song for Diane Warren and Albert Hammond

Andrew McCarthy makes a mannequin (played by Kim Cattrall) who comes to life in a department store owned by Estelle Getty.

Jonathan Livingston Seagull (1973)
Nominations: Cinematography for Jack Couffer and Editing for Frank P. Keller and James Galloway

Winning Best Editing is often a predictor of Best Picture, and Cinematography is an important category, but despite the fact that many people loved the book, this movie about a seagull who wants to get more out of life is probably not the first thing that comes to mind as an Oscar movie.

Shanks (1974)
Nomination: Best Music, Original Dramatic Score for Alex North

William Castle (The Tingler, House on Haunted Hill) directs Marcel Marceau as a deaf mute puppeteer who works for a mad scientist and when his boss dies, uses his secrets to animate dead bodies and get revenge.

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the The Measured Circle blog.


%d bloggers like this: