THE STUDIO EXEC OSCAR PREDICTIONS 100 PERCENT EXACT

HOLLYWOOD – Yesterday we made our Oscar predictions and today we triumph in our 100 percent success rate.

The Oscars 2016 – alternatively known as the Academy Awards of OSCARS – are over and the Studio Exec having made his predictions (click here for that) has seen them confirmed 100%.

Here if anyone is still interested is

Best Picture

Who we predicted to Win: Spotlight

Who Did Win: Spotlight

Best Director 

Who we predicted to Win: Alejandro G. Iñárritu

Who Did Win: Alejandro G. Iñárritu

Best Actor

Who we predicted to Win: Leonardo diCaprio

Who Did Win: Leonardo diCaprio

Best Actress

Who we predicted to Win: Brie Larson – Room

Who Did Win: Brie Larson

Best Supporting Actor

Who we predicted to Win: Mark Rylance – Bridge of Spies

Who Did Win: Mark Rylance

Best Supporting Actress

Who we predicted to Win: Alicia Vikander – The Danish Girl

Who Did Win: Alicia Vikander

Best Adapted Screenplay

Who we predicted to Win: The Big Short

Who Did Win: The Big Short

Best Original Screenplay

Who we predicted to Win: Spotlight

Who Did Win: Spotlight

Best Animated Feature

Who we predicted to Win: Inside Out

Who Did Win: Inside Out

Best Foreign Feature

Who we predicted to Win: Son of Saul

Who Did Win: Son of Saul

Best Documentary Feature

Who we predicted to Win: Amy

Who Did Win: Amy

Best Cinematography

Who we predicted to Win: Emmanuel Lubezki – The Revenant

Who Did Win: Emmanuel Lubezki

Best Music

Who we predicted to Win: Ennio Morricone

Who Did Win: Ennio Morricone

Costume Design

Don’t give a shit

Film Editing

What?

Make up and Hair Design

Pffffffffft.

Production Design

Yes.

Sounding editing, Visual Effects, Animated Short, Documentary Short, Short Short

Nope. Mad Max Fury Road. I think. I don’t know.

For more Oscars Click HERE.

HATEFUL EIGHT DISQUALIFIED FROM OSCARS

HOLLYWOOD – In a shock move the Quentin Tarantino movie The Hateful Eight has had its Oscar nominations revoked and the film has been disqualified from the Oscars completely.

The Hateful Eight was nominated for Best Supporting Actress Jennifer Jason Leigh, cinematography and score for Ennio Morricone. However, all these nominations have been rescinded. An Academy spokesperson gave the Studio Exec the rationale for this unprecedented move:

We hadn’t seen the full film and when we did we realized that the actor Samuel L. Jackson has quite a prominent role in the film. And well… this is embarrassing, but you see, he’s a little bit black.

A little bit…

Well, actually, he’s very black. And I’m not sure if you’ve noticed but here at the Academy we’ve been trying to make things easier, streamline the whole process and just have people who are white get the awards and stuff.

But Samuel L. Jackson isn’t even nominated.

Yes, but what if Jennifer Jason Leigh invites him along?

But you have a black host.

What?

Chris Rock is black. 

No, he isn’t. I mean I saw him in Madagascar. He’s black and white.

But that was an animated movie. He’s not actually a zebra.

Are you serious?

Oh, come on.

No, wait this will work. We have Chris Rock, who is apparently black, hosting and then everyone else white, that’s great because then no one can accuse us of racism! Problem solved. And no angry Samuel L. Jackson telling us horrid stories about forcing someone’s son to do unspeakables on his unmentionables.

For more Oscar news CLICK HERE.

5 FACTS YOU NEVER KNEW ABOUT THE HATEFUL EIGHT

HOLLYWOOD – With the release of the new trailer for Quentin Tarantino’s 8th film The Hateful Eight hitting the internet, what do we really know about this so called ‘Western’?

The Studio Exec sent the FACT Squad into the snowy mountains to discover all they could about the new Quentin Tarantino film The Hateful Eight.

1. Although Quentin Tarantino has completed the film, The Hateful Eight will never be seen by anyone. This is because when the script leaked onto the internet, Tarantino promised that he would never make the film and Tarantino is a man of his word. Many wished they’d leaked Deathproof onto the internet instead. After a successful live script read, Tarantino decided he would after all make the film, but no one would ever see it. It is due to be destroyed in December.

2. The Hateful Eight is Quentin Tarantino’s eighth film and it also has eight in the title. There are eight main characters. It was filmed over eight weeks with eight cameras operated by eight camera operators all of whom have only eight fingers and eight toes. There was a tale told of cameramen so motivated to take part in the production they asked Eli Roth to cut off the digits which were surplus to requirement.

3. Kurt Russell’s Mustache is so magnificent that it has not only reversed climate change but is currently defeating ISIS in Syria. There are delegations from the UN pleading with Mr. Russell to keep from shaving.

4. The cast for The Hateful Eight includes many Tarantino regulars, including Tim Roth, Samuel L. Jackson, Bruce Dern, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Michael Madsen and Kurt Russell. According to onset rumors, the entire cast had sex in a massive orgy organized by Tarantino who sat on a tennis umpire’s chair shouting directions through a large cardboard cone.

5. The Hateful Eight is the first Quentin Tarantino movie to feature an original score by the old maestro of Spaghetti western soundtracks, Ennio Morricone. This despite tensions between the two after Quentin asked to do some whistling on the soundtrack. ‘Ennio does all his own whistling,’ Tarantino explained to Comic-Con.

For more FACTS click HERE.

THE HATEFUL EIGHT – REVIEW

THE HATEFUL EIGHT – REVIEW: Quentin Tarantino’s second Western is a bloody locked room mystery of a wide screen claustrophobia and unbridled suspicion and violence.

John Ruth (Kurt Russell at his most John Wayne-y) is a bounty hunter nicknamed the Hangman, because instead of shooting his targets and bringing them to town over a saddle insists on seeing them hang. Escorting notorious female felon, Daisy Domergue (Jennifer Jason Leigh) to the gallows he meets Major Marquis Warren (Samuel L. Jackson), a former soldier turned bounty hunter who has his own bodies to bring to market. Along the way they also meet Chris Mannix (Walton Goggins), a Confederate bushwhacker turned Red Rock sheriff. Why all these characters happen upon one another while running ahead of a potentially deadly blizzard is never fully explained and the mystery gets even deeper when they arrive at the dubious refuge of Minnie’s Haberdashery where they meet up with cowboy, Michael Madsen, Englishman, Tim Roth, Southern General, Bruce Dern and Mexican Bob, Demian Bechir. Minnie, sweet Dave and the other regulars of the place are missing and something is obviously afoot.

What follows is bloody and witty, long-winded, frustrating, violent (obviously) and both overwhelming and underwhelming at exactly the same time. The premise is much more modest than the epic treatment it is given. The Hateful Eight feels like an Agatha Christie inspired bottle episode of Bonanza written by Sam Peckinpah, but why it has to be three hours long  and shot in 70 mm is beyond me. There are performances to relish from the veterans of the cast – and it is a blessed relief to not have to put up with the supposedly brilliant Christoph Waltz any longer. Ennio Morricone’s score is worth the price of admission alone. The opening scenes of the snowy Wyoming landscapes are gorgeous but like many mysteries the initial intrigue leaks out with each ho-hum revelation. Of plot holes there are several and Bob and Harvey Weinstein might do well to employ a tough no nonsense script editor on the final two Tarantino productions.   All of that said, The Hateful Eight is a better film than Django Unchained and Inglourious Bastereds, though it doesn’t reach the early peaks of Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs.

 

For more Reviews, Click Here.

THE MAKING OF THE THING

HOLLYWOOD – In our ‘The Making of…  Series’ we turn our attention to the classic science fiction/ horror remake: John Carpenter’s The Thing.

The Idea

John Carpenter had wanted to make another Science Fiction film following his debut Dark Star in 1974. He made Escape from New York in 1981 and then immediately started work on The Thing I Like About You, a musical comedy written by Burt Lancaster’s son Bill Lancaster. Kurt Russell, who had just finished working with Carpenter playing Snake Pilsen in Escape, was immediately cast as the shoes salesman who becomes hopeless involved with a millionairess and a Sheik. It was obvious to Russell that Carpenter wasn’t inspired by the story:

To begin with, he immediately had us move the production from New England to British Columbia. Before we knew it all the women and the musicians got fired and the script was changing every day. It soon became obvious  that John had an old Science Fiction film in mind but everything was on the hoof. The funny thing was – if you’ll excuse the pun – the title didn’t change. And in fact the first full cut of the film still had the title card the The Thing I Like About You. It was actually a note from a Universal Exec that had us abbreviate it.

Production

Filming in sub-zero temperatures was a challenge for the cast and crew as John Carpenter revealed in his autobiography ‘Everything Looks Like a Nail’:

We would film from seven in the morning and go into the night. But the next morning I would find Kurt Russell had frozen solid. At first we rushed him to hospital but the doctors assured me that he was perfectly preserved and no damage had happened. Apparently it happens all the time in Canada. So it became a thing. We’d send a guy to Kurt’s room an hour early so he could defrost Kurt. Then we’d film and that night Kurt would freeze again. Someone suggested we should move him to room with heating, but what with the freezing and unfreezing Kurt didn’t have to eat for the whole shoot and we saved a lot of money on rice and beans.

The special effects to create the monster were particularly difficult. Stan Winston was called in to do some work:

Most of the work was done before I even got there but there was one particular creature they couldn’t get right. And they were very pushed for time. This was described in the script as a dog. Now I assumed the dog had been taken over by the alien, so that’s what I created, but when I showed John he said no it has to look more like a dog. I went away, had a think and then did it again. By the third or fourth time, I decided as a joke just to show him a real dog. He said that was perfect and in the end that’s what appears in the film. Just a dog!

The ending of the film proved particularly difficult and John Carpenter was forced by the studio to shoot an alternative ending which has Kurt Russell waking up and realizing the whole thing was a dream.

Reception

The film was released in a double bill with E.T. and proved to be both a financial and critical failure. Vincent Canby in the New York Times complained that his seat wasn’t comfy and the popcorn he was given was slightly stale, whereas Roger Ebert wrote: ‘Watching John Carpenter’s The Thing, I had this air current on my neck. I don’t know if it was the air-conditioning or what but by the time I came out I had this really sore neck. It was irritating.’

Now the film is a cult classic and the air-conditioning has been fixed.

The Thing was released in 1982.

For more of The Making of… CLICK HERE.

THE MAKING OF THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY

HOLLYWOOD – In our new series ‘The Making of…’ we go behind the scenes, using previously unseen letters, diaries and documents, of a major motion picture landmark of cinema. This week The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.

The Idea

Sergio Leone had always wanted to make a film about a treasure hunt. Growing up in Mussolini’s Italy, treasure hunts were actually banned by the Black Shirts, as were blue shirts, yellow shirts and salmon pink trousers. So following the success of his first two ‘Dollar’ films, Leone brushed off an old idea he had been toying with for years. Three rogues during the American Civil War  all go in search of an evasive wagon of gold. He provisionally entitled it Il Magro, Il Grasso, Il Marito, which translates as The Thin, the Fat and the Husband. He wrote to Dario Argento, a young film critic at the time and wannabe film director, and explained his idea:

The idea of my western is the purest concept I have come up with, now that I’ve run out of Akira Kurosawa films to copy. I’ve based it on an old Italian folktale my grandmother used to tell me. The thin man is always alert and wily, but the fat man is more charming and gregarious and everyone helps him, but the married man is the best because wherever he goes his wife follows him shrieking loudly. It is going to be very funny. Claudia Cardinale will play the wife I’m sure. Or Sophia Loren!

Casting

Despite his initial wish for Claudia Cardinale to play the married man’s wife, the role proved so difficult to to cast that the script was changed and the film retitled Il Magro, Il Grasso, Il Scapolo: The Thin, The Fat and the Bachelor. Thoughts turned to Clint Eastwood who – although his relationship with the Italian director was difficult – was still keen to make one last contracted film. Leone wrote to his American star:

Clint, I have a lovely role for you. It is perfect. You will get to wear that hat you like. You know the cowboy one! Yes, I knew that would bring a cheeky smile to that cheeky face. The role is Il Grasso, he is a gunfighter, but his real love is blueberry pies. Oh, he eats so many. The audience will see a whole new side to you, but listen you must put on some weight. I would say quite a few kilo. Fifty at least.

Clint responded cautiously:

Dear Sergio,

I read the script and it is a good one. I’m just not sure about my character. May I suggest that instead of being fat he is relatively slender. And instead of being garrulous, he is a man of few words. And instead of eating pies, he squints and shoots people. remember when you wanted me to wear that frogman’s suit in Fistful of Dollars, you remember telling me ‘A Poncho!? That’s ridiculous!’ but who was right in the end. Trust me on this.

Production

Now called Il Magro, Il Buono, Il Brutto (The Thin, The Good and The Ugly), the filmmakers moved to Franco’s Spain which would stand in for the US West. Eli Wallach, who had never worked with Leone before, was cast as The Magro. He wrote home to his mother:

Spain is nice. Hot as you’d expect this time of year. Clint is very quiet. A fitness nut, but you know. Nice. The film looks like being a bit of disaster. I’m clowning around as best I can but frankly I don’t understand the script, I don’t understand the direction, the story. Lee Van Cleef is here playing the Thin. I swear to God it’s a stupid film. Yesterday, Sergio made us stand around in a cemetery all day while he filmed our fingers and then the bridges of our noses! Europeans!

Post-Production

With the film complete all that remained was to add the score and overdub the dialogue. Clint told Roger Ebert in his documentary Clint and Sergio:

Sergio didn’t speak English and I spoke no Italian. And the script was often a mess. We knew roughly the scenes, but he didn’t have the dialogue properly translated or translated so badly that it was meaningless. So Sergio would just get us to count up to a number out loud. You count to 7 Clint, now Lee you count to 5, now Clint to 3 and so on. Then we’d overdub with actual words.

Ennio Morricone had completed the score early but the last touches were required the iconic ‘AIIIIAIAIA’ that would begin the score and the film. This was provided accidentally by the Maestro himself when he closed the piano lid on his own fingers. The sound of his shriek of pain had been inadvertently recorded and by looping it and manipulating it electronically Morricone added a strange and comic vibe to the film.

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly was released in 1966.

for more of The Making of CLICK HERE.