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Hot Movie Moment Denied! No Songs at the 84th Oscars

Man or Muppet ♫ ...You won't see Walter or Jim Parsons at the Oscars


Guestblogger Do you recall that brief 'Have the Muppets host the Oscars!' fanwagon that erupted in the window between Eddie Murphy quitting as host (following the Brett Ratner anti-gay slur) and Billy Crystal signing on again? Needless to say the Academy never considered it. They have a tough time thinking outside the box but Billy Crystal fits squarely inside it.

To add insult to injury for Muppet lovers when the Oscar nominations were announced only one song from The Muppets (2011) was nominated, "Man or Muppet", despite the film being the only real musical this year and despite three songs being eligible. Oscar rules now only allow two nominees from any one film in that category but most pundits believed that The Muppets would max-out by way of either the rousing sing-along "Life's a Happy Song" or Kermit's ballad "Pictures in My Head". 

Now comes even worse news. MORE AFTER THE JUMP...


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Miss Piggy Attacks FOX News: VIDEO


The pig has a point. Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

(via digg)

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Movies: Ten Best Things About Thanksgiving Weekend At the Movies

Give Jean Dujardin and Berenice Bejo a standing ovation for THE ARTIST (2011)

...would live in the movie theater but for the poor internet reception. He blogs daily at the Film Experience. Follow him on Twitter @nathanielr.

We always begin this column by mentioning the new releases of the week but it might just be easier to say "EVERYTHING" and be done with it. Hollywood wants you to gorge on showbiz this weekend so they're releasing three movies about movies  (HUGO, MY WEEK WITH MARILYN, THE ARTIST) as well as two family films (ARTHUR CHRISTMAS, THE MUPPETS) and two Best Actor Oscar hopefuls (RAMPART, THE DESCENDANTS). With this many new well-received movies in play (all seven are well into the red i.e. "fresh" at rotten tomatoes) chances are great that audiences will flock to Breaking Dawn Part 1 instead. Sigh. 


Marilyn-michelle10 "Shall I be her? Who? Marilyn!" 
If you like the magic trick of famous people pretending to be other famous people as much as Oscar voters do (it's their all time favorite party trick!) you'll want to see Michelle Williams coo and shimmy and sing and suffer as Marilyn Monroe in MY WEEK WITH MARILYN.  Consider it a warm up for the other Best Actress Oscar-seeking transformation: Meryl Streep as Margaret Thatcher. 

09 Silence is Golden
Any movie whatsoever can provide an enforced couple of hours of silence if you need a break from arguing politics with your relatives. Pick a movie, any movie.

08 Misery Loves Company
If you like wallowing in depression during the holidays (no judgments) but you'd prefer to do it with more visual imagination and Off-Hollywood artistic ambition than Bella and Twilight or Michelle as Marilyn (while doped up) can musterdo not miss Lars von Trier's MELANCHOLIA "a beautiful movie about the end of the world" with a sensational performance by Kirsten Dunst as a bipolar bride. She's so depressed that she doesn't even seem interested in sleeping with Alexander Skarsgård. No anti-depressants can cure depression that large but maybe a planet hurtling towards earth to kill us all will shake her from her stupor.


Gay films, Sex Therapy and The Artist AFTER THE JUMP...


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Movies: All Divas All The Time — Piggy, Tink, Natalie, Tilda, Cleopatra

Clooney and his onscreen girls in THE DESCENDANTS

...would live in the movie theater but for the poor internet reception. He blogs daily at the Film Experience. Follow him on Twitter @nathanielr.

Writer/director Alexander Payne (Sideways) is back after a long hiatus with THE DESCENDANTS. The dramedy finds a wealthy Hawaiian landowner (George Clooney) totally at sea with the women in his life (his wife is in a coma, and his daughters are hard to handle) while attempting to find his footing on land as the family prepares to sell their unspoiled prime real estate. It's a certain player in this year's Oscar race

Muppets-twilightLess certain is whether Academy voters will go for a second round with those dancing penguins in HAPPY FEET TWO

Meanwhile, mopey terrible-role-model Bella "I'm nothing without a man!" Swan is back to marry her vampire in THE TWILIGHT SAGA: BREAKING DAWN PART 1 but don't make me talk about it. Let's illustrated Bella's return with a photo of Miss Piggy as "Bella Swine" because the world would be a better place with more Muppets (next week!) and less Twilight. Breaking Dawn supposedly has a 35 minute wedding sequence and I swear to god the next person who tells me they thought the brilliant Rachel Getting Married was boring or that the hilarious bridal shower toasts in Bridesmaids went on too long is getting karate chopped. "Hiiii-yaaaaa."

May Oscar winning out filmmaker Bill Condon (Dreamgirls, Kinsey, Gods and Monsters) survive his years with Bella & Edward and return to making good movies with more progressive sexual politics soon.


 roadOn the topic of Bridesmaids, have you watched the "line-o-rama" feature on the DVD/Blu Ray? It's crazy to to soak in all that discarded improv comedy. Even Rose Byrne can do it! Who knew she had that performance in her? 


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Movies: Martha, Musketeers, Muppets and Margin Calls

Zachary Quinto in "Margin Call"

...would live in the movie theater but for the poor internet reception. He blogs daily at the Film Experience. Follow him on Twitter @nathanielr.

Will you get out this weekend and support newly out Zachary Quinto who stars in MARGIN CALL? Vote with your wallets! Eventually out gay actors headlining movies won't be a big deal at all but it has to start somewhere and it needs to start soon. (Imagine how great it would be to see Cheyenne Jackson, Jonathan Groff and whoever comes out next getting the supersizing their careers deserve?) MARGIN CALL was just nominated for a Gotham Award for Best Ensemble and also stars Kevin Spac... oops, does he cancel 'out' the voting with your wallets? Never mind! 

Martha4The must-see movie of the weekend is the indie drama MARTHA MARCY MAY MARLENE (pictured left). It's about a girl who escapes from a cult in New York's Catskills. It's just fantastic and Elizabeth Olsen -- yes, she's the baby sister of the infamous Olsen Twins -- may be heading towards a Best Actress Oscar nomination. In an atypical way it's a perfect film for Halloween. It has none of the cheapness of a typical "scary" movie but it's incredibly menacing and uncomfortably sticky; you'll still be haunted by it weeks later. 

Also Opening: The imaginatively titled PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 3 has also arrived if you'd like a third round. It seems likely to make a mint again since, as a wise woman recently wrote

"Whether they’re “good” or “bad” is irrelevant—what matters is that they’re effective. You could make the case that they’re monotonous on purpose—they know they have a Pavlovian audience that’s trained to scare on cue. You could make the case that they’re monotonous on purpose—they know they have a Pavlovian audience that’s trained to scare on cue."  

Finally, Alexander Dumas's legendary story THE THREE MUSKETEERS which is no silver screen virgin gets the deluxe 3D remake rethink reboot. It's already been memorably jabbed by critics "more dumbass than Dumas" and its studio (Summit) has been jabbed by Milla Jovovich (the leading lady and the director's wife) who thinks they haven't promoted it enough.


 roadIf you grew up loving The Muppets (and who between, say, 30 and 50 didn't?) will you be horrified or charmed by the new MUPPETS movie? Has a backlash already begun?



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Sesame Street Responds to Marriage Petition: Ernie and Bert are Not Gay, They Are Best Friends

Bert_Ernie The Sesame Workshop has responded to an online petition urging them to marry Ernie and Bert:

Bert and Ernie are best friends.  They were created to teach preschoolers that people can be good friends with those who are very different from themselves.
Even though they are identified as male characters and possess many human traits and characteristics (as most Sesame Street Muppets™ do), they remain puppets, and do not have a sexual orientation.

Petition Urges Marriage for Sesame Street's Ernie and Bert [tr]


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