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Caryn James

Your Burning Oscar-Show Questions Answered, MacFarlane to Best Dead People

  • By Caryn James
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  • February 25, 2013 1:00 AM
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  • 1 Comment
The Oscar show was bloated with movie music that had no reason being there. (A tribute to Chicago? Other than the fact that the Oscar show producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron also produced that movie .. oh yeah, that’s why). It had Seth MacFarlane, whose jokes might have been offensive if they weren’t so stale and dull. It had Adlele singing the theme from Skyfall, only to have her voice struggle to be heard over the orchestra. No sound editing at this all-musical Oscars? Ugh.

Predicting the Oscars: Don't Trust Me, Trust Nate Silver

  • By Caryn James
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  • February 23, 2013 9:30 AM
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  • 0 Comments
I was thinking this might be the first year in recent memory when the Oscars actually held some suspense about the winners. Is anything really a lock for Best Picture? What about that wacky Best Directors race, already full of also-rans? Then I read Nate Silver’s thoroughly lucid and compelling analysis in his FiveThirtyEight blog, so: Argo, Argo, Argo. And Spielberg.

Watch Tina Fey and Amy Poehler's Funny, Edgy Golden Globes Opener

  • By Caryn James
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  • January 13, 2013 11:54 PM
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  • 1 Comment
It’s too bad they disappeared for most of the show, because hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler were by far the best part of watching The Golden Globes. Some of their lines were as jaw-dropping as anything Ricky Gervais said, but were delivered with such warmth that they didn’t seem to sting. “I haven’t really been following the controversy over Zero Dark Thirty,” Poehler said, “but when it comes to torture, I trust the lady who spent three years married to James Cameron.” The “special material” writers included SNL’s Seth Meyers and 30 Rock’s Robert Carlock, which explains a lot.  

Watch The Oscar Nominations: The Good, The Bad, The What Were They Thinking?

  • By Caryn James
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  • January 10, 2013 10:44 AM
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  • 0 Comments
What a relief! It looks like the Oscar show might actually be fun, thanks to Seth MacFarlane. When he and Emma Stone announced the nominees, MacFarlane commented with barbed lines that were as edgy as anything Ricky Gervais did during his controversial Golden Globes gigs. After announcing the Best Supporting Actress category, he congratulated the nominees with, “You five ladies no longer have to pretend to be attracted to Harvey Weinstein.” Too far? I’ll always choose a host who crosses the line rather than someone tame and snoozy.

The Best Films of 2012

  • By Caryn James
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  • December 18, 2012 9:00 AM
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My top three films of 2012 were easy to name, if not to order. Each is amazing, each wildly different from the other two, but they form a trio of incomparable experiences. There’s a deep dropoff from those three to the others, all fantastic --  though more flawed. I didn’t reach for ten movies (you do remember that I’m math-challenged?) because lists are arbitary enough. But every one of these eight films is worth your time, over and over again.

Review: Terror Meets Humor in Ben Affleck's 'Argo'

  • By Caryn James
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  • October 10, 2012 9:01 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Argo places us so much in the middle of the furious crowd storming the American Embassy in Tehran -- and the captives inside who see it coming -- that the episode is viscerally frightening. Back home, the Hollywood players who create a fake movie as a cover for the CIA rescue mission of Americans is full of hilarious lines sending up the movie business. One of the wonders of Ben Affleck’s extremely entertaining film is how easily he shifts from the threatening to the comic, keeping a steady balance.

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