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Hollywood is gearing up for the 82nd annual Academy Awards, set to take place on Sunday March 7th at Hollywood's Kodak Theatre. This year, Kathryn Bigelow’s Hurt Locker and James Cameron’s Avatar are expected to be the big winners, having received nine nominations each. Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds is a close second with eight nominations. The year 2009 boasts an impressive lineup of films, and as expected, the competition is fierce.  Competing for the coveted best-picture award are Avatar, The Blind Side, District 9, An Education, Hurt Locker, Inglourious Basterds, Precious: Based on the Novel "Push" by Sapphire, A Serious Man, Up, and Up in the Air.  Of the 10 nominees, Avatar and Hurt Locker are considered the front-runners.

Mark BoalIf you have not yet had the opportunity to watch Mark Boal’s Hurt Locker, you are depriving yourself of a powerful cinematic experience. Apparently, the awards committee for the Academy agrees considering the movie has been nominated for several awards, most notably, best picture. Unfortunately for producer Nicholas Chartier, if the movie receives the coveted award, he will not be present to witness the event.

Turner Movie Classics on February 27th showed its viewers My Son John, a 1952 film that Robert Osborne advised his audience had been deliberately put out of circulation since soon after it was released. In his introduction to the film, Osborne acknowledges that the film’s stars and producers were first rate. The cast included Helen Hayes, Van Heflin, and Robert Walker. Osborne also makes it clear that the film is an embarrassment to the film industry, full of childish anti-Communism and the foolish paranoia of America in the 1950s.

Paramount’s decision to delay the release of Martin Scorsese’s Shutter Island only increased the anticipation for the film’s February 12th debut. Evidently, it was well worth the wait. Never before has Martin Scorsese nor Leonardo Dicaprio, star of Shutter Island, had an opening as big as that of this film. In the first weekend of its release, Shutter Island has sold approximately $40 million in ticket sales. After viewing Shutter Island, it is not difficult to comprehend the film’s success.

Wolfman“Even a man who is pure in heart and says his prayers by night, may become a wolf when the wolfbane blooms and the autumn moon is bright.” Set in Blackmoor, England, in 1891, The Wolfman embodies all of the elements of the old-fashioned horror film: gore, thrills, suspense, and surprise.

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