ICYMI: February 28, 2014

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It’s the weekend of the Oscars, y’all!!!!

But apparently, other stuff happened this week as well, so let’s wrap up this week so we can get pumped about the end of Awards Season this Sunday!!!

Late Night with Seth Meyers began this week. I quite enjoy it. Stuff like this happens.

-Adam Driver is in final talks to be playing a villain in the new Star Wars film. Welcome to 2014.

-If this David Fincher/Aaron Sorkin Steve Jobs biopic actually does come to fruition, then it could definitely be something amazing.

-Alec Baldwin is disappearing from “public life.” He’s also appearing on an episode of Law and Order: SVU. Great.

-Two very interesting people appeared on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. No, I’m not being sarcastic, they are both fascinating people, and their upcoming movie looks hilarious and heartfelt. No, I will not stop frowning.

-Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard, in a very worthwhile campaign, have been voicing their plea for paparazzi and entertainment outlets to stop taking pictures of children of celebrities, and only allow their visage to be used with the parents’ consent. This is extremely important as a step away from the invasive nature of the Hollywood mainstream. Way to go, Shepard and Bell!

-Key and Peele will be on the FX series “Fargo,” based on the movie “Fargo.” FARGO.

-Sony is planning to release a new Spider-Man film every year, since it’s essentially the only franchise they have to their name. Aren’t we all so lucky.

Please join us on Sunday for our Oscar coverage! Nina and I will be tweeting from our own accounts (@ninastarner and @thebenkaye, respectively), and our Twitter (@PopCultInformed) will be run by our Guest Commentators, Brian Pope and Shannon Knapp, fellow Pittsburgh entertainment gurus. See you on the red carpet!

Our Guide to the Oscars!

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Is everyone excited for this Sunday? Good, I thought so. We’ve got you all covered this year, with all of our predictions posted, and all of our profiles written for the Best Picture nominees! Here’s a handy guide for you with all of these fancy links!

Predictions:
Predictions Part 1
Predictions Part 2
Predictions Part 3
Predictions Part 4

Best Picture Profiles:
American Hustle
“The depth of character mixed with Russell’s trademark improvisational style results in a quick-witted character study that’s pretty fun to watch.”
Captain Phillips
“…the juxtaposition of the lives of two captains…is one that makes this film not just good, but great.”
Dallas Buyers Club
“Matthew McConaughey as Ron Woodroof is nothing short of transcendent.”
Gravity
“…a technologically groundbreaking film with a large scale and a small point – that the human spirit is indomitable.”
Her
“There isn’t a movie out there that speaks to this generation’s longing for connection like Her.”
Nebraska
“…it’s hard to think of another film this year that had such a fascinating character study of such a forgotten pocket of contemporary America.”
Philomena
“In Philomena’s story, [Martin Sixsmith] not only finds an expose, but personal inspiration.”
12 Years a Slave
“This film crawls under your skin and refuses to leave.”
The Wolf of Wall Street
“[Leonardo DiCaprio’s] performance is completely unhinged and utterly deranged.”

Best Picture Profile: 12 Years a Slave

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As we come closer to the Academy Awards on March 2nd, we’ll be posting short profiles of each Best Picture nominee, attempting, in our own ways, to not only sum up what the movie is about, but why we believe it scored one of the nine coveted nominations, and why it could possibly take home the big prize come Oscar night. Enjoy!

12 Years a Slave is your Best Picture of 2013. The race is certainly heating up, and Gravity, and for some reason American Hustle, have very strong chances of winning the Oscar this Sunday. But there is a power, a beauty, and, yes, an importance to 12 Years a Slave. Whether you agree or not, I truly believe there is a cultural significance to this film winning Best Picture, but I don’t want to use this column to discuss that (many other writers have already expressed this point far more eloquently than I ever could). Because yes, 12 Years a Slave is very much a movie that makes a statement. But it’s also, on its own merits, a great work of cinema.

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Best Picture Profile: The Wolf of Wall Street

As we come closer to the Academy Awards on March 2nd, we’ll be posting short profiles of each Best Picture nominee, attempting, in our own ways, to not only sum up what the movie is about, but why we believe it scored one of the nine coveted nominations, and why it could possibly take home the big prize come Oscar night. Enjoy!

The Wolf of Wall Street, the semi-true story of Wall Street hustler Jordan Belfort, made immediate waves upon release, and the majority of those waves were related to the depiction of Belfort himself (played, obviously, by Leonardo DiCaprio). Is Belfort portrayed too sympathetically? Does the film glorify his drug-fueled, money-filled lifestyle? Or does it show us the realities of what really happens when you fly too close to the sun (and break a whole bunch of laws along the way?)

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Best Picture Profile: Her

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As we come closer to the Academy Awards on March 2nd, we’ll be posting short profiles of each Best Picture nominee, attempting, in our own ways, to not only sum up what the movie is about, but why we believe it scored one of the nine coveted nominations, and why it could possibly take home the big prize come Oscar night. Enjoy!

Her was my favorite movie of 2013, hands down. I saw it twice. I cried like a baby both times. I wasn’t expecting it either. It’s a strange movie. VERY, very strange. I’m the sort of guy who adores these strange, off-kilter movies, and they’re the ones usually at the top of my “Best Of” list.  It was the same with Synecdoche, New York . Magnolia. Cloud Atlas. I’m that guy who loved those movies more than anything else that respective year. Maybe I just like rooting for the underdog? But in the case of Her, I think it’s something deeper than that. Spike Jonze is addressing something that desperately needed to be addressed in our time; how we connect with one another.

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