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Oscars 2010: The armed forces vs the alien insurgents.

Oscars 2010: The armed forces vs the alien insurgents. (photo)

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Despite the early buzz around “Precious” and the timely subject matter of “Up in the Air,” it’s looking more and more like this year’s Oscar race is going to come down to a battle of the exes, of the alien insurgents versus the armed forces, the most expensive film ever made against a particularly well-funded indie.

The Academy Awards are going to war, and it’s “Avatar” versus “The Hurt Locker” with nine nominations each — unless, of course, “The Blind Side” sneaks in and steals the win. It wouldn’t surprise me — with this year’s ten film Best Picture race, there’s a feeling that anything goes.

Best Picture
“Avatar”
“The Blind Side”
“District 9”
“An Education”
“The Hurt Locker”
“Inglourious Basterds”
“Precious”
“A Serious Man”
“Up”
“Up in the Air”

Best Director
Kathryn Bigelow, “The Hurt Locker”
James Cameron, “Avatar”
Lee Daniels, “Precious”
Jason Reitman, “Up in the Air”
Quentin Tarantino, “Inglourious Basterds”

Best Actor
Jeff Bridges, “Crazy Heart”
George Clooney, “Up in the Air”
Colin Firth, “A Single Man”
Morgan Freeman, “Invictus”
Jeremy Renner, “The Hurt Locker”

02022010_theblindside.jpgBest Actress
Sandra Bullock, “The Blind Side”
Helen Mirren, “The Last Station”
Carey Mulligan, “An Education”
Gabourey Sidibe, “Precious”
Meryl Streep, “Julie & Julia”

Best Supporting Actor
Matt Damon, “Invictus”
Woody Harrelson, “The Messenger”
Christopher Plummer, “The Last Station”
Stanley Tucci, “The Lovely Bones”
Christoph Waltz, “Inglourious Basterds”

Best Supporting Actress
Penelope Cruz, “Nine”
Vera Farmiga, “Up in the Air”
Maggie Gyllenhaal, “Crazy Heart”
Anna Kendrick, “Up in the Air”
Mo’Nique, “Precious”

Best Animated Feature Film
“Coraline”
“Fantastic Mr. Fox”
“The Princess and the Frog”
“The Secret of Kells”
“Up”

Best Foreign Film
Argentina, “El Secreto de Sus Ojos,” Juan Jose Campanella, director
Israel, “Ajami,” Scandar Copti and Yaron Shani, directors
Peru, “The Milk of Sorrow,” Claudia Llosa, director
France, “Un Prophète,” Jacques Audiard, director
Germany, “The White Ribbon,” Michael Haneke, director

Best Original Screenplay
Mark Boal, “The Hurt Locker”
Quentin Tarantino, “Inglourious Basterds”
Alessandro Camon and Oren Moverman, “The Messenger”
Joel and Ethan Coen, “A Serious Man”
Pete Docter and Bob Peterson, “Up”

Best Adapted Screenplay
Neill Blomkamp and Terri Tatchell, “District 9”
Nick Hornby, “An Education”
Jesse Armstrong, Simon Blackwell, Armando Iannucci and Tony Roche, “In the Loop”
Geoffrey Fletcher, “Precious”
Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner, “Up in the Air”

Best Documentary Feature
“Burma VJ”
“The Cove”
“Food, Inc”
“The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers”
“Which Way Home”

05202009_inglouriousbasterds.jpgBest Cinematography
Mauro Fiore, “Avatar”
Bruno Delbonnel, “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince”
Barry Ackroyd, “The Hurt Locker”
Robert Richardson, “Inglourious Basterds”
Christian Berger, “The White Ribbon”

Best Film Editing
Stephen Rivkin, John Refoua and James Cameron, “Avatar”
Julian Clarke, “District 9”
Bob Murawski and Chris Innis, “The Hurt Locker”
Sally Menke, “Inglourious Basterds”
Joe Klotz, “Precious”

Best Original Score
James Horner, “Avatar”
Alexandre Desplat, “Fantastic Mr. Fox”
Marco Beltrami and Buck Sanders, “The Hurt Locker”
Hans Zimmer, “Sherlock Holmes”
Michael Giacchino, “Up”

Best Original Song
“Almost There,” music and lyrics by Randy Newman, from “The Princess and the Frog”
“Down in New Orleans,” music and lyrics by Randy Newman, from “The Princess and the Frog”
“Loin de Paname,” music by Reinhardt Wagner, lyrics by Frank Thomas, from “Paris 36”
“Take It All,” music and lyrics by Maury Yeston, from “Nine”
“The Weary Kind (Theme from Crazy Heart),” music and lyrics by Ryan Bingham and T-Bone Burnett, from “Crazy Heart”

Best Costume Design
Janet Patterson, “Bright Star”
Catherine Leterrier, “Coco Before Chanel”
Monique Prudhomme, “The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus”
Colleen Atwood, “Nine”
Sandy Powell, “The Young Victoria”

Best Art Direction
Rick Carter and Robert Stromberg for art direction, Kim Sinclair for set decoration, “Avatar”
Dave Warren and Anastasia Masaro for art direction, Caroline Smith for set decoration, “The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus”
John Myhre for art direction, Gordon Sim for set direction, “Nine”
Sarah Greenwood for art direction, Katie Spencer for set direction, “Sherlock Holmes”
Patrice Vermette for art direction, Maggie Gray for set direction, “The Young Victoria”

Best Visual Effects
Joe Letteri, Stephen Rosenbaum, Richard Baneham and Andrew R. Jones, “Avatar”
Dan Kaufman, Peter Muyzers, Robert Habros and Matt Aitken, “District 9”
Roger Guyett, Russell Earl, Paul Kavanagh and Burt Dalton, “Star Trek”

Best Makeup
Aldo Signoretti and Vittorio Sodano, “Il Divo”
Barney Burman, Mindy Hall and Joel Harlow, “Star Trek”
Jon Henry Gordon and Jenny Shircore, “The Young Victoria”

05132009_up.jpgBest Sound Editing
Christopher Boyes and Gwendolyn Yates Whittle, “Avatar”
Paul N.J. Ottosson, “The Hurt Locker”
Wylie Stateman, “Inglourious Basterds”
Mark Stoeckinger and Alan Rankin, “Star Trek”
Michael Silvers and Tom Myers, “Up”

Best Sound Mixing
Christopher Boyes, Gary Summers, Andy Nelson and Tony Johnson, “Avatar”
Paul N.J. Ottosson and Ray Beckett, “The Hurt Locker”
Michael Minkler, Tony Lamberti and Mark Ulano, “Inglourious Basterds”
Anna Behlmer, Andy Nelson and Peter J. Devlin, “Star Trek”
Greg P. Russell, Gary Summers and Geoffrey Patterson, “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen”

Best Documentary Short
“China’s Unnatural Disaster: The Tears of Sichuan Province”
“The Last Campaign of Governor Booth Gardner”
“The Last Truck: Closing of a GM Plant”
“Music By Prudence”
“Rabbit à la Berlin”

Best Animated Short
“French Roast”
“Granny O’Grimm’s Sleeping Beauty”
“The Lady and the Reaper (La Dama y la Muerte”)
“Logorama”
“A Matter of Loaf and Death”

02022010_thedoor1.jpgBest Live-Action Short
“The Door”
“Instead of Abracadabra”
“Kavi”
“Miracle Fish”
“The New Tenants”

[Photos: Cameron on the set of “Avatar,” Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation, 2009/Bigelow on the set of “The Hurt Locker,” Summit, 2009; “The Blind Side,” Warner Bros. Pictures, 2009; “The White Ribbon,” Sony Pictures Classics, 2009; “Inglourious Basterds,” Weinstein Company, 2009; “The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus,” Sony Pictures Classics, 2009; “Up,” Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, 2009; “The Door,” Octagon Films, 2008]

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Scarface Movie Al Pacino

Wanna Play?

Say Hello to Our Scarface Quiz

Play along with movie trivia during "Scarface" tonight at 8P on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Tony Montana is all about money, power and respect. And while we can’t promise you’ll get money or power by taking our Scarface quiz below, you will get respect if you get a perfect score. One out of three ain’t bad. Click below to take the quiz, and catch Scarface this month on IFC.

take-the-quiz-quotes-image

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Hank Azaria Commencement

Best Speech Ever

Hank Azaria’s Simpsons Advice For Grads, Questionable Shark Facts and More of This Week’s Funniest Videos

This week we're laughing at Hank's Tufts commencement speech, Jason Alexander's shark facts and more.

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Photo Credit: YouTube/Tufts University

We’ve made it! Memorial Day weekend! But before we can complain that it’s over too quickly, take a moment to bask in the pre-break lack of productivity and enjoy some lighthearted videos.

From Hank Azaria channeling Chief Wiggum and other Simpsons characters while talking to college grads to “Shark-spert” Jason Alexander sharing questionable shark facts, here are five funny things from this week you need to watch.

1. Kermit Informs Fozzie Bear That They’ve Been Canceled

It’s never easy to see someone receive bad news, much less a Muppet. But if anything, Kermit’s poise and acceptance during a time of crisis is impressive, admirable even. Fozzie Bear, on the other hand, reacts with greater similarity to how we would: with baseless anger and utter despair.


2. Jason Alexander Offers Shark “Fin Facts”

Memorial Day weekend means the start of beach season, aka Shark Feeding Season. As part of IFC’s Shark Half-A-Day Memorial Day marathon, “sharks-pert” Jason Alexander offers up some interesting “fin facts” about our sharp-toothed friends from the deep. You can also check out Jason’s beach tips, and catch the Jaws movies with more “fin facts” from Jason this Memorial Day on IFC.


3. Game of Thrones’ Emilia Clarke Confirms Dothraki Is a Real Language

With eyes still dewy from the climax of this past Sunday’s Game of Thrones (Hold the door!), the Mother of Dragons herself Emilia Clarke dropped by Late Night with Seth Meyers to throw the diehard fans a reason to smile: Yes, Dothraki is a real language. Watch Clarke discuss the phonetics and grammar involved with vying for Westeros rule.


4. Hank Azaria Gives Advice Through Simpsons Characters

Hank Azaria — star of The Simpsons, The Birdcage, and Brockmire, premiering in 2017 on IFC — gave the commencement speech at his alma mater Tufts University. In the hilarious speech, Azaria discusses how he got through college, recounts his early career struggles, and offers up life advice via fan favorite Simpsons characters like Chief Wiggum and Comic Book Guy.


5. X-Men: The Animated Series Gets Honest

Screen Junkies are back this week with another round of Honest Trailers. This entry focuses on the cartoon mutants that comprise X-Men: The Animated Series — an ultra-’90s Marvel property that predates the comic book adaptation boom of the 21st Century. But looking back at the decade of Rob Liefeld and Todd McFarlane, this video finds much to mock.

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Weird Al Comedy Bang Bang Season 5

Call Him Al

“Weird Al” Talks Comedy Bang! Bang!, His Upcoming Tour, Favorite Videos and More

Weird Al comes to Comedy Bang! Bang! starting June 3rd at 11P on IFC.

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With a career spanning five decades, “Weird Al” Yankovic has defined the song parody genre and become a beloved pop culture icon. Starting June 3rd, you’ll be able to catch him as the brand new Comedy Bang! Bang! bandleader Fridays at 11P on IFC.

We recently chatted with Al about joining Scott Aukerman on the new season, his upcoming tour, favorite CB!B! characters and his future dream projects. (Hint: it might involve actors spontaneously breaking into song.)

The Comedy Bang! Bang! bandleader gig seems like a natural fit for you. Did it take any time to get acclimated?

Weird Al: Yeah. It’s a slightly different skill set. The accordion is my main act, but I don’t use it on the show at all. It’s a keyboard setup. The actual setup is a little bit of a combination of what Reggie [Watts] had and [Kid] Cudi had. And a few extra things thrown in. So I’m trying to do my own version of what they brought to the show.

You’ve been on the Comedy Bang! Bang! podcast and the show many times. Do you have a favorite CB!B! character?

Weird Al: I’d probably have to say Doctor Time. Every time Scott wants me to do an evil character, he’s always got a bad English accent. [Laughs] Any time my character goes evil, he becomes sort of British.

Any favorite guests you’ve worked with?

Weird Al: Gosh, I love them all. Paul F. Tompkins is always fun. His Andrew Lloyd Webber character, Cake Boss, everything he does. And Andy Daly as well. They’re so versatile and so amazing at improv. That’s the one thing I was a little nervous about because I’ve never been super confident with my improv skills. But Comedy Bang! Bang!, particularly the TV version, is good for that because it’s all heavily edited. So it kind of gives me permission to try out whatever comes to my mind, so if it really sucks, they’re not gonna use it. [Laughs]

Scott Aukerman Weird Al

Your upcoming tour is a continuation of your Mandatory Fun tour from last year. Any new elements to the show?

Weird Al: Well, it is the same tour, so it’s not that much different. I might freshen some video a little bit. I’m hoping to use a bit or two from the current season of Comedy Bang! Bang! and slip that into the show somewhere.

The tour starts June 3rd in St. Petersburg, Florida and ends September 24th at Radio City Music Hall. How do you keep up the pace? 

Weird Al: It’s just a mindset. I’m really only working for two hours a day, so I basically just save up my energy for the show. I relax, surf online, watch satellite TV, read a book, rest my voice, and then give it all I got when I’m onstage.

Looking back at your vast song catalog, was there ever a parody that came to you immediately upon hearing the song?

Weird Al: Yeah, that’s happened a few times. More often than not, I have to think about it and analytically work out all the variations on a theme that I can and pick out the one with the most potential. But there’s been a few times where the idea came to me spontaneously. I think the first time I saw Michael Jackson’s “Bad” video, before it was even over, I thought, “Oh! I gotta do ‘Fat’! Super-plus-sized actors trying to get through a turnstile on a subway! I gotta do that!”

Do you have a favorite of your many hilarious videos?

Weird Al: Oh boy, it’s hard to say. “White and Nerdy” has been my biggest hit and that was a really fun video to do. But in terms of making a video, “Tacky” was really fun to do because it was so easy and I got to work with amazing people like Jack Black, Margaret Cho, Kristen Schaal, Eric Stonestreet, and Aisha Tyler. And we knocked it out in a couple of hours. We were having so much fun while making it, I kinda wish we weren’t so efficient and professional. [Laughs] I could’ve done that all night.

Was it filmed all in one take or was it stitched together?

Weird Al: That was all one take. Some people say, “Oh, I see where the edit is,” but it was all one shot. We did a total of six takes, and I think four of those takes were usable, but the last one was the best.

And you were directing while performing?

Weird Al: I directed that one, yeah. We location scouted and found a building in downtown LA that I thought was good for the shoot. I’ve since seen that building in a lot of other movies and TV shows — I think it was used in The Big Lebowski and a few others. It was difficult because I start the video in one set of clothes and I also end the video in a completely different set of clothes. So while the cameras were off me, because there’s only one elevator in the building, I had to run down five flights of stairs, quickly change my clothes, and hit my mark for the end. And after the take, we’d all just watch what we did, and say, “OK, let’s do it again.”

Is there a director you’d love to work with in the future?

Weird Al: Oh gosh, yeah, but I mean, music videos are notoriously low-budget so that’s why I end up directing them myself. [Laughs] But I’d love to be in a movie codirected by Steven Spielberg and Quentin Tarantino.

Do you have a particular genre of music that you love parodying the most? Or is it more of the moment and different for each song?

Weird Al: It doesn’t necessarily revolve around personal taste so much. It really depends more on the song than the genre. But I found rap songs tend to lend themselves to parody, mostly because there’s a lot of words to play with. A lot of pop songs are repetitive, and that’s sometimes been an issue. With rap, there’s no shortage of syllables to mess around with.

Given that you’ve been so prolific and done so much, is there any type of art left that you’d like to dip your toe in? Dramatic acting, perhaps?

Weird Al: Well, if Spielberg and Tarantino want me for their film, I wouldn’t want to turn them down. But there’s no burning desire to do drama. I love doing comedy and feel comfortable doing that. Writing a musical might be something I do down the line. I don’t know when but I might take a shot at something in that area. Other than that, I’ve done pretty much all I wanted to do in my life so far. A lot of it not successfully. [Laughs] But I took a stab at it and feel gratified by that.

You’ve had such a eclectic career in music and comedy. What do you attribute your longevity to?

Weird Al: [Laughs] I don’t know what I’d attribute the longevity to. There’s a modicum of talent, but it’s mostly because I surround myself with very talented people. I’ve got a great support group, I’ve got the same band since the early ’80s, and I’ve worked with the same people for decades. And I got a very loyal fan base and I love what I do. And somehow I’ve been very lucky and it’s worked out so far.

Watch “Weird Al” in an episode from the new season of Comedy Bang! Bang! right now, before the season premiere on Friday June 3rd at 11P.

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