The Oklahoma Film Critics Circle Podcast Debuts On iTunes – Episode 1 (PODCAST)

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Episode 1: The Phantom Critics.
Or to put it another way, The OFCC Podcast is now on iTunes. You can also stream it by clicking here.

A new production of the Oklahoma Film Critics Circle, The OFCC Podcast is a bi-monthly program (that’s twice a month for those of you in Pawhuska – I KID!) that brings members of the OFCC together to discuss the latest releases in theaters, topical conversations ranging from Awards Season to industry news and trends, as well as film festival reports and filmmaker interviews.On the debut episode – with host Charles Elmore and OFCC officers Jason Black (President), Craig Sanger (Vice President), and me, Jeff Huston (Secretary/Treasurer) – we discuss the following:

NEW RELEASES
– Split
– The Founder
– Silence
– 20th Century Women
– Live by Night

Then, following a brief introduction of what the Oklahoma Film Critics Circle is (which just celebrated its 10th Anniversary)…

AWARDS
The OFCC’s 2016 Film Awards 
– A recap of the surprises, snubs and controversies with the Academy Award nominations that were just announced
– Jason and Craig’s experience at the Critic’s Choice Awards

Future episodes will include a regular rotation and mix of OFCC members.

Click here to subscribe through iTunes.

Ben Affleck Will Not Direct THE BATMAN

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Holy blindsides, Batman.

After news that pre-production had fallen behind, and reports of displeasure by both Affleck and executives with the current state of the script, Ben Affleck has announced that he will no longer direct The Batman. He remains onboard, however, as both star and producer.

“It has become clear that I cannot do both jobs to the level they require,” Affleck said in a statement, referring to his directing and acting responsibilities. “Together with the studio, I have decided to find a partner in a director who will collaborate with me on this massive film. I am still in this, and we are making it, but we are currently looking for a director. I remain extremely committed to this project, and look forward to bringing this to life for fans around the world.”

According to Variety’s exclusive report, Matt Reeves is a leading contender to replace Affleck behind the camera. He’s most known for Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, the second film in that franchise reboot, and has been a past collaborator with J.J. Abrams including Cloverfield. He’s currently in post-production on the this summer’s upcoming War for the Planet of the Apes. Reeves is rumored to be near the top of a very short list.

DC had earmarked October 5, 2018 for an as-yet-titled movie, one that many have suspected would be The Batman, particularly given Affleck’s successes in October (from Argo to Gone Girl to The Accountant). Whether The Batman remains on course for 2018 remains to be seen.

This all, of course, comes on the heels of Affleck’s latest directorial / starring / producing / writing effort Live by Night bombing at multiplexes with both audiences and critics. It had the filmmaker’s biggest scale production to date, and the net effect may have been his final wake up call to stop trying to take so much on, particularly on a movie the scale The Batman will inevitably be.

A New STAR WARS Movie Started Shooting Today (IMAGE)

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A surprise Star Wars movie?! Nope, just a clever title for the currently untitled Young Han Solo anthology entry. It began production on Monday January 30, 2017.

Written and Directed by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller (The Lego Movie, the 21 Jump Street movies, TV’s Last Man on Earth), the temporary fake title is a nod to the famous red “Solo” plastic cups, and also a likely homage to the fake title “Blue Harvest” that Return of the Jedi was filmed under.

The action-comedy (that’s reportedly going to be more dramatic than it was first publicized to be) stars Alden Ehrenreich (Hail, Caesar!) as the young Han Solo, Donald Glover (TV’s Atlanta and Community) as young Lando Calrissian, Emilia Clarke (TV’s Game of Thrones) has been cast in an unknown role, and recently Woody Harelson was added as the scoundrel smuggler’s mentor.

“The Untitled Young Han Solo Star Wars Anthology Movie” will open Memorial Day weekend of 2018 – where a Star Wars movie belongs.

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Producers Guild Winners Produce No Surprises (AWARDS 2016)

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Last year, the Producers Guild threw a curve ball into a highly competitive Best Picture Oscar race when they chose The Big Short as the Best Film of the Year.

This year, the Producers stuck strictly to the 2016 Awards Season script in their Film, Animated, and Documentary categories.

Producers Guild of America 2016
Darryl F. Zanuck Award Winners (and Nominees)

Best Film
Winner: 
La La Land


Best Animated Film
Winner: 
Zootopia


Best Documentary Feature
Winner: 
O.J. Made in America

Click on links below for other Critics Group Awards and Guild Nominees that have been announced so far this season:

Academy Award Nominees
Golden Globe Winners
Screen Actors Guild Winners
Writers Guild of America Nominees
National Society of Film Critics
New York Film Critics Circle
Los Angeles Film Critics Association
Boston Society of Film Critics
Washington, D.C. Area Film Critics Association
The National Board of Review
Critics’ Choice Awards Winners

Screen Actors Guild Winners Bring Clarity To Oscar Race (AWARDS 2016)

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Actors be bingin’ on The Crown, yo.

But that’s television. We’re just a movie blog around here.

As far as Oscar pre-cursors go for the 2016 Awards Season, the Screen Actors Guild spent the first half of the night following the script, the second half finishing the script, and then capping things off with a surprise twist.

The biggest question mark after nearly two months was the Best Actress race, but a win for Emma Stone in La La Land essentially forecast to Oscar statue engravers that they can start working on her name now. The Best Actor race was less clouded, a two-man heat between Casey Affleck (who’d been taking everything in sight for his role in Manchester by the Sea) and Denzel Washington, one of the most beloved and respected actors in the business. This year it looks like Hollywood’s going with beloved and respected, but no one would argue that Washington’s powerhouse turn in Fences isn’t worthy either.

The front-runners in the other two individual acting categories won, and since Best Picture shoe-in La La Land wasn’t nominated by SAG for Best Cast, it opened the door for the night’s biggest surprise at its final moment.

Instead of going to one of the other two leading award winners of the season – Manchester and Moonlight – the acting guild honored the very surprised but worthy ensemble of Hidden Figures, a film that can be recommended to everyone without qualification, hesitation, or reservation. Go see it.

Suffice it to say, #SAGsSoBlack

Also, if being lectured on politics by liberals is your jam, this year’s ceremony was quite the ideological dance party.

WINNERS for the 23rd SCREEN ACTORS GUILD AWARDS
Films of 2016

Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
Winner:  Hidden Figures 

     – Captain Fantastic
     – Fences
     – Manchester by the Sea
     – Moonlight

Outstanding Performance by a Leading Male Actor
Winner: Denzel Washington – Fences

     – Casey Affleck – Manchester by the Sea
     – Andrew Garfield – Hacksaw Ridge
     – Ryan Gosling – La La Land
     – Viggo Mortenson – Captain Fantastic

Outstanding Performance by a Leading Female Actor
Winner: Emma Stone – La La Land

     –
Amy Adams – Arrival
     – Emily Blunt – The Girl on the Train
     – Natalie Portman – Jackie
     – Meryl Streep – Florence Foster Jenkins

Outstanding Performance by a Supporting Male Actor
Winner: 
Mahershala Ali – Moonlight

     – Jeff Bridges – Hell or High Water
     – Hugh Grant – Florence Foster Jenkins
     – Lucas Hedges – Manchester by the Sea
     – Dev Patel – Lion

Outstanding Performance by a Supporting Female Actor
Winner: Viola Davis – Fences

     – Naomie Harris – Moonlight
     – Nicole Kidman – Lion
     – Octavia Spencer  – Hidden Figures
     – Michelle Williams – Manchester by the Sea

53rd Life Achievement Recipient
Lily Tomlin

Click on links below for other Critics Group Awards and Guild Nominees that have been announced so far this season:

Academy Award Nominees
Golden Globe Winners
Directors Guild of America Nominees
Producers Guild of America Winners
Writers Guild of America Nominees
National Society of Film Critics
New York Film Critics Circle
Los Angeles Film Critics Association
Boston Society of Film Critics
Washington, D.C. Area Film Critics Association
The National Board of Review
Critics’ Choice Awards Winners

2016 Oscar Nominees You Can Watch At Home (LINKS)

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Most 2016 nominated films are still in theaters, but a few – including some nominated shorts – can be watched at home via streaming.

Here is a list of Academy Award nominated titles that are currently available via online and streaming outlets (whether for free or to rent).

Click on the provider (Netflix, Amazon, Youtube, etc.) to access the movie.

Best Picture
Hell or High Water (Amazon Video)

Best Actor
– Viggo Mortensen, Captain Fantastic (Amazon Video)

Best Actress/Costume Design
– Ruth Negga, Loving (Amazon Video)
– Meryl Streep, Florence Foster Jenkins (Amazon Video)

Best Original Screenplay
The Lobster (Amazon Prime)

Best Animated Film
– Kubo and the Two Strings (Amazon Video)
Zootopia (Netflix)

Best Documentary Feature
– 13th (Netflix)
Life, Animated (Amazon Prime)
O.J.: Made in America (Hulu) (Also available on many VOD cable/satellite platforms via ESPN)

Best Foreign Language Film
A Man Called Ove (Amazon Video)

Best Makeup and Hairstyling
Star Trek Beyond (Amazon Video)
Suicide Squad (Amazon Video)

Best Animated Short
Pearl (YouTube) (This is a 360-degree video, to be viewed in a VR Video Playback device)

Best Documentary Short
4.1 Miles (YouTube)
Joe’s Violin (YouTube)
The White Helmets (Netflix)

Best Sound Mixing
13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi  (Amazon Prime)

Best Sound Editing
Deepwater Horizon (Amazon Video)
– Sully (Amazon Video)

Best Visual Effects
Deepwater Horizon (Amazon Video)
– 
The Jungle Book (Netflix)
– Kubo and the Two Strings (Amazon Video)