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Caryn James

The Improved Oscar Show with Ellen, Lupita, Jared & Adele Dazeem

  • By Caryn James
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  • March 3, 2014 1:39 PM
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  • 4 Comments
I did not have great hopes for the Oscar show going in -- I'm not even an Ellen fan -- but you cannot hate anything that has Brad Pitt passing around pizza and John Travolta creating an entirely new name for the person he was introducing (Adele Dazeem, a star is born).

Risk-Taking James Franco In Risk-Free 'Oz the Great and Powerful'

  • By Caryn James
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  • March 6, 2013 10:00 AM
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  • 1 Comment
Flying moneys, good. Flying baboons, bad. That's one difference between the classic, 1939 'Wizard of Oz' and 'Oz the Great and Powerful,' Disney's pricey new extravaganza with James Franco as the pre-wizard carnival con man. More important: don’t go on comparing them. The new 'Oz' is loaded with references, some direct and some tongue-in cheek, but mostly it is a sweeping, kinetic adventure all its own.

Oscar Review: Seth MacFarlane's Badness Explained

  • By Caryn James
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  • February 25, 2013 2:39 AM
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  • 30 Comments
Was Seth MacFarlane the victim of some terrible time-travel accident that caused him – and all his Oscar-show material – to be trapped in the 1950’s (and not in a successfully ironic way)? That’s the most generous explanation I have for his pathetically unfunny job as Oscar host.  

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.

"Rejected Pitches" Takes On the Oscars (Video)

  • By Caryn James
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  • February 21, 2013 3:22 PM
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  • 0 Comments
“Rejected Pitches,” the on-line comedy series that plays out typical Hollywood rejections of very successful films, takes on this year’s crop of Oscar nominees with some priceless responses to Silver Linings Playbook, Argo and Beasts of the Southern Wild: “I love Hushpuppy – she’s so sassy! Everything else can go.”

'Between Two Ferns' Oscar Edition Part 2, with Bradley Cooper, Jessica Chastain

  • By Caryn James
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  • February 12, 2013 10:20 AM
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  • 1 Comment
In the followup to yesterday’s "Between Two Ferns," Oscar Edition, today Zach Galifianakis talks to Jessica Chastain, Sally Field and his old friend from "The Hangover" Bradley Cooper.

Zach Galifianakis' Between Two Ferns: Oscar Questions As They (Maybe) Ought To Be

  • By Caryn James
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  • February 11, 2013 12:25 PM
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  • 1 Comment
In a promo for 'Pitch Perfect' that seems to have been on an endless loop on my On Demand Chanel lately, Rebel Wilson gushes “We had such fun” making the movie. Just once, I would love to hear an actor say: “It was hell, we hated each other, I never want to work with those losers again.” Just once.  In the meantime, we have Zach Galifianakis’ new Oscar installment of his faux-web show, 'Between the Ferns'. Galifianakis, as the idiot host, talks to real-life nominees Jennifer Lawrence, Naomi Watts, Christoph Waltz, Anne Hathaway and Amy Adams about, as he puts it  “all of their Oscar buzzness around them.”  His question to Watts – “Do you have to shrink yourself to get into the camera?” -- is only slightly more ridiculous than some actual questions I’ve heard.

The Secrets of Monsieur Lazhar

  • By Caryn James
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  • April 13, 2012 9:02 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Monsieur Lazhar may have lost the Best Foreign Language Oscar to A Separation – I can’t argue with that; A Separation is extraordinary – but if any film could have given it a real challenge, it might have been this unexpectedly powerful, subtle little film from Canada: exquisitely made, enormously moving and politically-charged. Don’t be put off by its hokey-sounding subject: a substitute teacher takes over a class. This gem from director Philippe Falardeau is far from the inspirational snooze that description suggests.

Still More Kimmel's Making the Movie: Scorsese in Black and White

  • By Caryn James
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  • March 2, 2012 10:27 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Every producer knows you’re not through until you have drained all the possible behind-the-scenes extras for the DVD; same for Jimmy Kimmel’s parody trailer Movie: The Movie. The third installment was on his prime-time special last night, and he saved some of the best for last, including a short supposedly directed by George Clooney, starring Martin Scorsese in black and white. (Wonder what they’re making fun of.)

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