Oscars

‘Whiplash,’ ‘Big Hero 6’ Arrive on Home Video

Forrest Hartman

In “Whiplash,” J.K. Simmons plays Terrence Fletcher, a college music professor so brutal and intense that he is literally capable of making students ill. It’s a role Simmons inhabits completely, and it has, quite correctly, become one of the most celebrated performances of the movie awards season. Fletcher is, in the simplest sense, a monster. But he is also capable of inspiring his students to greatness.

6 Reason Why ’12 Years a Slave’ Matters

Genetta M. Adams

Director Steve McQueen’s hauntingly graphic depiction of slavery even made some people declare they were sitting this one out because they couldn’t bear to watch. The film has seeped into America culture. The long-term effects may never be fully measured, but the recent announcement that both the movie and the memoir on which it is based will be used in high school curricula ensures that people will be discussing it for years to come.

Movie Watch: A Look at This Year's Oscar Contenders

Forrest Hartman

With Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto winning best actor and best supporting actor from numerous awards groups, they are the unquestioned frontrunners in the Oscar race. McConaughey famously lost more than 40 pounds to portray real-life AIDS victim Ron Woodruff. The Dallas resident refused to see his disease as a death sentence and began smuggling experimental medications into the U.S., then selling them to others with HIV. Leto plays a transgender woman who was created by screenwriters as a composite of numerous people in Woodruff’s life. 

Movies to Watch in 2014

Kate Voss

Now that the awards season is almost over, with only the Academy Awards remaining, our attention turns toward the most eagerly awaited films of 2014. This past year focused on real-life stories, with stellar accomplishments like 12 Years a Slave, American Hustle, Wolf of Wall Street, The Butler, and Mandela. However, 2014 is looking to both expand on and provide some counterpoint to this trend, with a new crop of fantasy, sci-fi, futuristic, and supernatural films, as well as historical fiction.

‘Dallas Buyer’s Club,’ ‘About Time’ Arrive on Home Video

Forrest Hartman

McConaughey famously lost more than 40 pounds to portray real-life AIDS victim Ron Woodruff. The Dallas resident refused to see his disease as a death sentence and began smuggling experimental medications into the U.S., then selling them to others with HIV. Leto plays a transgender woman named Rayon, who was created by screenwriters as a composite of numerous people in Woodruff’s life.

 

The Bamboo Ceiling: Why Hollywood Ignores Asians

Andrew Lam

Cats and Asian Americans reign supreme on Youtube, but in Hollywood it’s another story: discrimination, stereotypes and exclusion are the norm for Asians, both on television and the silver screen. The most recent evidence of this came during the Golden Globe awards ceremony, where viewers were hard-pressed to find an Asian face in the audience, let alone an Asian name among the nominees. The TV camera showed flashes of the marvelous Lucy Liu and comedian Ansari Aziz, as if trying to make sure that these two “cats” would somehow make up for the lack of Asian diversity. 

‘Lincoln,’ ‘Killing Them Softly’ Arrive on DVD, Blu-ray

Forrest Hartman

Day-Lewis won his third best actor Oscar for his portrayal of Lincoln, and he is deserving of the award. Despite his English roots, the actor disappears so thoroughly into the role that it’s hard to imagine anyone else – American or British – playing it. As depicted by Day-Lewis, Lincoln is a charismatic man who is quick with a story and a smile, but he’s also a fearless champion of his beliefs.    

Oscars 2013: Which Film Will Win ‘Best Picture’?

Suzanne Scacca

“Having 10 Best Picture nominees will allow Academy voters to recognize and include some of the fantastic movies that often show up in the other Oscar categories but have been squeezed out of the race for the top prize," AMPS President Sid Ganis said at a press conference.  While the expansion of the Best Picture category at the Oscars allows for more movies to receive the recognition they deserve, it does not change the fact that the voters lean towards awarding similar themes and performances every year.  They love dramas, lengthy historical epics, and tales of patriotism, controversy, and triumph over adversity.

‘Argo,’ ‘Sinister’ Arrive on DVD, Blu-ray

Forrest Hartman

This is one case where the hype is deserved because the movie, directed by its star, Ben Affleck, is a remarkable real-life drama. Set during the 1979 Iran hostage crisis, the picture focuses on six American diplomats who escape a siege of the U.S. embassy in Iran only to find themselves trapped in the hostile country. Realizing the refugees are in danger, U.S. officials authorize an improbable rescue helmed by CIA specialist Tony Mendez (Ben Affleck).

10 Indie Actors on the Verge of Mainstream

Loren DiBlasi

Below are ten actors and actresses -- some more recognizable than others -- who represent the best and brightest currently working in film. Their differences are vast: they are men and women of various ages, representing many different backgrounds. So what do they all have in common? For starters, none of them have ever won an Academy Award, though several have been nominated at least once. Further, when it comes to the mainstream Hollywood career path, each one has diverged in slightly left-of-center directions.

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