Archive for January, 2015

2015 BOPMadness (Bufo’s Oscar Prediction Madness)

January 25, 2015

2015 BOPMadness (Bufo’s Oscar Prediction Madness)

For more than twenty years, I’ve been doing an Oscar prediction contest.

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

We do ours a bit differently than most. You rank every nominee, and then you get the number of points you assigned to the winner.

For example, there are five nominees for Actor in a Leading Role. You would assign the one you thought the Academy was most likely to pick (not necessarily the one you thought most deserved it) with a 5. Your second most likely would be a 4, and so on.

For the first time this year, we are using SurveyMonkey, rather than Excel.

That means you can play anonymously, if you prefer…we also think many people may find it easier.

There are three surveys (we are currently limited to no more than ten questions per survey):

Big Six and Screenwriting:

Design and Appearance:

Whole Movies and Music

If you would like to be recognized as a winner of the Big Six (the acting awards, Best Picture, and Best Director), the Incredibly Difficult Maven Section (everything else), and/or Overall, you’ll have the opportunity at the site to enter your name (that will not be public). If you’d like to receive future communications about BOPMadness, you can also enter your e-mail address there (again, that will not be public).

If you have any questions, you can comment on this post. If you’d like your comment to remain private, please let me know in the comment.

We will post the group predictions here before the Oscar ceremony on Sunday, February 22nd.

The more people who play, the more accurate we tend to be…feel free to share this with anyone you think would like to participate.

See you in the movies!

Join thousands of readers and try the free The Measured Circle magazine at Flipboard

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the  The Measured Circle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy  Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.

2015 Oscar noms

January 15, 2015

2015 Oscar noms

This is very preliminary, almost live-blogging. 🙂 I’ll call out the geeky nominees as I catch them, sometimes shortening the names. After the announcements, I’ll formalize it more and add some comments.

Announcements are over…some early thoughts:

  • I’m surprised by the number of nominations for Interstellar…more than I expected
  • Birdman gets three acting noms
  • Best songs can still come from animated movies…and very popular (and profitable) ones at that
  • Maleficent is Oscar nominated
  • Guardians of the Galaxy was nominated for Hair and Makeup…and Into the Woods wasn’t
  • The Imitation Game got a lot of love
  • Eddie Redmayne was nominated…and seems to me to be the one to beat. It’s almost a perfect Oscar storm…and wouldn’t it be great to see Stephen Hawking at the ceremony?
  • Blockbuster geek movies which may be critical disfaves often get rewarded in technical categories…I didn’t see so much of that this time. For example, no noms for Transformers (we could have seen sound or Special Effects, perhaps)
  • You could notice how the lack of eligibility affects some categories: The Hanging Tree from The Hunger Games wasn’t eligible, Birdman for Score…
  • The Lego Movie was not nominated for Best Animated Feature
  • This is a notably non-diverse group of major nominees: I think we’ll hear people commenting on that

Best Original Song

  • Everything is Awesome from the Lego Movie

SFX (Special Effects)

  • Captain America: The Winter Soldier
  • Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
  • Guardians of the Galaxy
  • Interstellar
  • X-Men: Days of Future Past

Doc Short

Doc Feature

  • Citizen Four


  • The Imitation Game

Sound Editing

  • Birdman
  • The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
  • Interstellar

Sound Mixing

  • Birdman
  • Interstellar

Production Design

  • The Imitation Game
  • Interstellar
  • Into the Woods

Live Action Short

Animated Short

Best Animated Feature

  • Big Hero Six
  • Boxtrolls
  • How to Train Your Dragon 2
  • Song of the Sea
  • Tale of the Princess Kaguya

 Supporting Actor

  • Edward Norton in Birdman

Supporting Actress

  • Keira Knightly in The Imitation Game
  • Emma Stone in Birdman
  • Meryl Srteep in Into the Woods

Makeup and Hairstyling

  • Guardians of the Galaxy


  • Into the Woods
  • Maleficent


  • Birdman

Adapted Screenplay

  • The Imitation Game
  • The Theory of Everything

Original Screenplay

  • Birdman

Original Score

  • The Imitation Game
  • Interstellar
  • The Theory of Everything

Foreign Language


  • Birdman
  • The Imitation Game

Lead Actress

  • Felicity Jones The Theory of Everything

Lead Actor

  • Benedict Cumberbatch in The Imitation Game
  • Michael Keaton in Birdman
  • Eddie Redmayne in The Theory of Everything

Best Picture

  • Birdman
  • The Imitation Game
  • The Theory of Everything

2015 Oscar nominations video:

Complete list of nominees from the Academy website:

Join thousands of readers and try the free The Measured Circle magazine at Flipboard

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the  The Measured Circle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy  Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.

Geeky movies for 2015

January 8, 2015

Geeky movies for 2015

Note: this article was accidentally published while it was still being written…it’s that big! 🙂 It was withdrawn, and this is the complete version

We predict right now that there will be more movies that dogro (have a domestic gross) more than $400 million in 2015 than ever before.

While release dates are always subject to change, here’s a look at some of the geek-friendly movies we’ll probably see in the USA in 2015 (although it’s worth noting that many movies in our 2014 post got bumped to 2015 and beyond):

Sequels/Prequels (continuing a movie series, with events taking place after or before early entries)

Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens (December 18 2015)

The bar is high for this one…if it’s not the number one movie of the year (and it has stiff competition), it will be considered a disappointment by some. Last installment (by chronology of release, which is what we’ll use…it was Episode III: Revenge of the Sith): 2005, 380m dogro (domestic gross)

Avengers: Age of Ultron (May 1 2015)

Sequel to the third biggest domestic grossing movie (behind Avatar and Titanic), with the same director and stars…should be one of the highest grossing of the year. Last installment (just counting the Avengers, not other movies with Avengers or other connections): 2012, $623m dogro

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 (November 20 2015)

The last Hunger Games movie in the series should be of the very top earners of the year. Last installment: 2014, $325m dogro (may still earn more)

Jurassic World (June 12 2015)

Chris Pratt stars…takes place 22 years after the first movie. Last installment: 2001, 181m dogro

Spectre (November 6 2015)

Bond…James Bond. Last installment: Skyfall, 2012, $304m dogro

Insurgent (March 20 2015)

Sequel to Divergent. Last installment: 2014, $151m dogro

Terminator Genisys (July 1 2015)

It’s a new timeline, but is using the same characters. Jai Courtney, Matt Smith, Emilia Clarke, and yes, Arnold Schwarzenegger appear. Last installment: Terminator Salvation, 2009, $125m

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: The Green Legend (August 28 2015)

Donnie Yen, Michelle Yeoh, Jason Scott Lee, Harry Shum, Jr. Last installment: 2000, $128m dogro

Mission: Impossible 5 (December 25 2015)

Christopher McQuarrie directs Tom Cruise, Paula Patton, and Jeremy Renner. Last installment: Ghost Protocol, 2011, $209m dogro

Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials (September 18 2015)

Last installment: 2014, $101m dogro

Ted 2 (June 26 2015)

The Teddy bear is back! Last installment: 2012, $219m dogro

The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water (February 6 2015)

Last installment: 2004, $85m dogro

Hot Tub Time Machine 2 (February 20 2015)

Last installment: 2010, $50m dogro

Hotel Transylvania 2 (September 25 2015)

Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Selena Gomez, Mel Brooks…Last installment: 2012, $148m dogro

Yoga Hosers (June 1 2015)

Likely to be quite bizarre…cast includes Johnny Depp, Stan Lee, and Kevin Smith. Written and directed by Smith. Last installment: Tusk (this might be more of a sidequel…see below), 2014, $2m dogro

Insidious: Chapter 3 (June 5 2015)

Last installment: 2013, $84m dogro

Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension (March 13 2015)

Last installment: 2012, $54m dogro

Amityville: The Awakening (undated 2015)

Last installment: Amityville 3-D, 1983

Sidequels (movies set in the same universe as previous movies, but with events not in continuity with the others…may focus on other characters than the previous movies)

Ant-Man (July 17 2015)

It’s in the Marvel universe, and there are crossover characters (at least Peggy Carter and Howard Stark), but the story may not be in a direct line with, say, The Avengers.

Minions (July 10 2015)

The Minions from Despicable Me…voices include Jon Hamm and Sandra Bullock.

Pedigeeked originals (original movies, but with some geek cred to them…director, actors, screenwriters, source)

Chappie (March 6 2015)

Neill Blomkamp (District 9, Elysium) directs Sigourney Weaver and Hugh Jackman in a robot story

Significance (May 18 2015)

Based on the Shelly Crane novel

Jupiter Ascending (February 6 2015)

The Wachowski siblings direct Channing Tatum and Mila Kunis…oh, you’re okay if I stop there? 😉 Terry Gilliam! Sorry, couldn’t resist…

Tomorrowland (May 22 2015)

Disney is still trying to repeat the “movies based on the parks” success of Pirates. This one is directed by Brad Bird, co-written by Damon Lindelof, and starring George Clooney and Hugh Laurie

The Good Dinosaur (November 25 2015)

Pixar animation

Home (March 27 2015)

Dreamworks animation, based on the Adam Rex book…voices by Jim Parsons and Rihanna

Strange Magic (January 3 2015)

From a story by George Lucas, ILM animation

The Lazarus Effect (February 27 2015)

Olivia Wilde…medical students reanimate

Man Down (October 30 2015)

Jai Courtney is going to be very busy, and likely to be on our Box Office MVPs. Post-apocalyptic America. Also features Kate Mara (who should also be an MVP), Gary Oldman, and Shia LaBeouf

Walt Before Mickey (April 23 2015)

Biography of Walt Disney’s early years

Pixels (July 24 2015)

Big budget animation with “old school arcade gamers” having to defend the Earth from an attack by what appears to be 1980s videogame characters. Adam Sandler is one of the stars (with Sandler’s Happy Madison Productions involved)

The Martian (November 25 2015)

Ridley Scott directs Jessica Chastain, Kate Mara, and Matt Damon. Based on the Andy Weir book

Inside Out (June 19 2015)

Pixar animation with emotions as characters. Pete Docter (Up, Monsters, Inc.) and Ronaldo Del Carmen direct

The Phoenix Project (January 16 2015)

Scientists bring the dead back to life

Macbeth (undated 2015)

Michael Fassbender as Macbeth

Vice (January 16 2015)

Bruce Willis as the creator of a “live your fantasies” resort not named Delos 😉

Ex Machina (April 10 2015)

Perhaps Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking can see this artificial intelligence movie together…

The Age of Adaline (April 24 2015)

Blake Lively’s character doesn’t age…also features Harrison Ford

Knight of Cups (undated 2015)

Terrence Malick directs Christian Bale and Cate Blanchett

The Last Witch Hunter (October 23 2015)

Vin Diesel, Elijah Wood

The Little Prince (undated 2015)

James Franco, Marion Cotillard, Rachel MacAdams

Crimson Peak (October 16 2015)

Guillermo del Toro directs Jessica Chastain (likely MVP), Charlie Hunnam, Tom Hiddleston, Burn Gorman…

Spare Parts (January 16 2015)

True underdog story of a robot competition

Equals (undated 2015)

Futuristic love story with Kristen Stewart, Guy Pearce, and Nicholas Hoult

Dark Places (undated 2015)

Chloë Grace Moretz, Charlize Theron, Christina Hendricks

Remakes/Reboots (based on previous movies or TV shows)

The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (August 14 2015)

Guy Ritchie directs Henry Cavill (as Napoleon Solo) and Armie Hammer (as Illya Kuryakin). Hugh Grant is Mr. Waverly. It is set in the 1960s

Cinderella (March 30 2015)

Disney live action version, directed by Kenneth Branagh, and featuring Lily James, Helena Bonham Carter, Cate Blanchett, and Hayley Atwell

Jem and the Holograms (October 23 2015)

Juliette Lewis and Molly Ringwald are truly outrageous

Victor Frankenstein (October 2 2015)

Max Landis wrote this adaptation of Frankenstein from Igor (Daniel Radcliffe)’s point of view

Mad Max: Fury Road (May 15 2015)

Original director/writer George Miller is back. Tom Hardy plays Max, and Charlize Theron is Furiosa

Pan (July 24 2015)

An origin story for Peter Pan, with Hugh Jackman as Blackbeard (not as Captain Hook…that’s Garrett Hedlund) and Rooney Mara as Tiger Lily

The Fantastic Four (August 7 2015)

Kate Mara, Miles Teller, Michael B. Jordan…and Jamie Bell as Ben Grimm? The dancing British star of Billy Elliott wouldn’t have been the first actor to come to many people’s minds for the role of the football (not soccer) playing New Yorker

The Jungle Book (October 9 2015

Disney version directed by Jon Favreau (Iron Man) with Scarlett Johandsson as Kaa and Bill Murray as Baloo!

Poltergeist (July 24 2015)

Sam Rockwell stars. Sam Raimi is a producer

Peanuts (November 6 2015)

Yep, Snoopy and the gang

There’s a lot more than that, but that should get you into anticipation mode. 🙂

Dates subject to change…

For more information on upcoming events (movies, TV shows, cons, games, books), see

The Measured Circle current events calendar

Join thousands of readers and try the free The Measured Circle magazine at Flipboard

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the  The Measured Circle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy  Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.

Christine Cavanaugh reported dead

January 4, 2015

Christine Cavanaugh reported dead

It’s possible that Christine Cavanaugh was the voice of your childhood.

You might not have known the actor’s name, but you may have known (and loved) these characters:

  • Chuckie Finster, the most vulnerable of the Rugrats
  • Dexter of Dexter’s Laboratory
  • Babe (the gallant pig in the movie based on the novel the Sheep-Pig by Dick King-Smith)

Children may have a special relationship with the characters of their youth. It’s not exactly that they seem real, but there is an intimacy between a child and a video character that can be far simpler to achieve than that with those alien adults.

A lot of us geeks watched these shows as adults. We could see, with Chuckie in particular, a…reality that might not have been apparent to kids.

We genuinely felt empathy and felt sorry for Chuckie, but cheered the little guy’s successes. More than some “show geeks”, Chuckie was human.

In Dexter, we got to laugh. We knew it could be frustrating when others don’t get what we do, and Dexter let us let that out.

That was a real testament to Christine Cavanaugh’s talent. For actors who think of voiceover work as just “doing funny voices”, I’d recommend Cavanaugh as an example of the depth of characterization you can bring to a part…even that of a pig who wants to herd sheep.

Other geek friendly roles include:

  • David in the English version of David and the Magic Pearl, a Swedish/Polish cartoon with aliens
  • Gosalyn Mallard on Darkwing Duck
  • Bobby’s World (guest spot)
  • Ritchie Raccoon in the P.J. Funnybunny TV specials
  • Bunnie Rabbot on the Sonic the Hedgehog TV series
  • Marty Sherman on The Critic
  • Bamm-Bamm Rubble on The Flintstones spin-off, Cave Kids
  • The X-Files (in a relatively rare bit of face acting) as Amanda Nelligan in the Small Potatoes episode
  • Oblina on Aaahh!!! Real Monsters
  • 101 Dalmations: the series as Wizzer and Dumpling
  • Birdie in the Wacky Adventures of Ronald McDonald
  • Guest spot on The Wild Thornberrys

Good-bye, Christine Cavanaugh…childhood will be less sincere without you.

Join thousands of readers and try the free The Measured Circle magazine at Flipboard

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the  The Measured Circle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy  Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.

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