Summer’s here and people across the world are getting vaccinated and getting out of the house, but Netflix wants to give you some reasons to stay home with its July lineup of movies and series.

Those reasons start with some of our highlights below: the Fear Street film trilogy (based on R.L. Stine’s horror book series), season 2 of series creator Mindy Kaling’s teen comedy Never Have I Ever, star-studded action film Gunpowder Milkshake, part 1 of Kevin Smith’s animated Masters of the Universe: Revelation show, and the second season of teen drama Outer Banks.

Be sure not to miss the premiere of bizarre dating show Sexy Beasts, in which dating hopefuls wear costumes to get to know each other before making physical judgements; the final season of Atypical; an animated series adaptation of video game franchise Resident Evil; romantic comedy Resort to Love, starring Christina Milian and Jay Pharoah; season 2 of sketch comedy series I Think You Should Leave with Tim Robinson, and a whole lot more.


HIGHLIGHTS




Fear Street Part 2: 1978
Fear Street Part 3: 1666

Description: In 1994, a group of teenagers discover the terrifying events that have haunted their town for generations may all be connected – and they may be the next targets. Based on R.L. Stine’s best-selling horror series, the Fear Street film trilogy follows Shadyside’s sinister history through a nightmare 300 years in the making.

Premiere Dates: July 2, 9, and 16, 2021



Gunpowder Milkshake (2021)

58%

Description: Three generations of women fight back against those who could take everything from them in the mother of all action movies.

Premiere Date: July 14, 2021



Description: A new love life, a new classmate and new reasons to bicker with mom give Devi plenty more ways to make courageous moves… and questionable decisions.

Premiere Date: July 15, 2021



Description: The war for Eternia begins again in what may be the final battle between He-Man and Skeletor. A new animated series from writer-director Kevin Smith.

Premiere Date: July 15, 2021



Description: Outer Banks is a coming-of-age story that follows a tight-knit group of local teens (the “Pogues”) in the beach vacation destination of the Outer Banks of North Carolina. After their near-death escape, season 2 finds John B and Sarah on the run – and in over their heads – in the Bahamas. New friends also bring new foes as they’re back on the trail of the gold, while the stakes for Kiara, Pope, and JJ rapidly escalate at home. The $400 million is still in the game, but will the uncovering of a new-found secret reunite the group for a fresh mission? The adventure of a lifetime awaits, but uncharted waters ahead mean our Pogues must do all they can to make it out alive.

Premiere Date: July 30, 2021


FULL LIST OF SHOWS AND MOVIES COMING TO NETFLIX THIS MONTH


* NETFLIX ORIGINALS

Coming Soon


Feels Like Ishq*

Available 7/1


























Young Royals*
Bureau of Magical Things


Available 7/2







Available 7/3


Available 7/4

We The People*


Available 7/5

You Are My Spring*


Available 7/6


Available 7/7

Brick Mansions
Cat People*
The Mire: ’97*
The War Next-door*
Major Grom: Plague Doctor*
This Little Love of Mine



Available 7/8



Elize Matsunaga: Once Upon a Crime*


Available 7/9




The Cook of Castamar*
How I Became a Superhero*
Last Summer*
Lee Su-geun: The Sense Coach*


Available 7/10


Available 7/13

Ridley Jones*


Available 7/14

A Classic Horror Story*
The Guide to the Perfect Family*
Heist*
My Unorthodox Life*
Private Network: Who Killed Manuel Buendía?*


Available 7/15


A Perfect Fit*
Emicida: AmarElo – Live in São Paulo*
My Amanda*


Available 7/16







Deep*
Johnny Test*


Available 7/17


Available 7/20



Available 7/21



Chernobyl 1986*
One on One with Kirk Cameron*
Too Hot to Handle: Brazil*


Available 7/22

Words Bubble Up Like Soda Pop*


Available 7/23




Bankrolled*
Blood Red Sky*
Kingdom: Ashin of the North*


Available 7/24



Available 7/26



Available 7/27




Available 7/28


Bartkowiak*
The Snitch Cartel: Origins*
Tattoo Redo*
Too Hot to Handle: Brazil (new episodes)


Christina Milian and Sinqua Walls in Resort to Love

(Photo by David Bloomer/ Netflix)


Available 7/29



Available 7/30



Centaurworld*
Myth & Mogul: John DeLorean*


Available 7/31


TV SHOWS AND MOVIES LEAVING NETFLIX THIS MONTH


Leaving 7/5


Leaving 7/7


Leaving 7/14


Leaving 7/15


Leaving 7/19

Love Sick: The Series: Season 1


Leaving 7/22



Leaving 7/28


Leaving 7/30


Leaving 7/31



























King Arthur
Little Baby Bum: Nursery Rhyme Friends: S1


On an Apple device? Follow Rotten Tomatoes on Apple News.


Thumbnail images: Netflix

Michael Bay
went through the wringer with the fanboys on
Transformers
.
He addressed every concern — early designs, scripts, remaining faithful to the
source material — and delivered a movie that won over most audiences, grossing
nearly $320 million in America alone. But with Transformers 2 in
development, Bay isn’t taking any more lip service.

"One thing I do know is I know how to screw them up more,"
said Bay. "We’re going to leak a lot of false information all over the place. I
now know their game. They’re going to get a lot of script treatments that they
think are going to be the script. They will never see the script. We’ve got
scripts and treatments written up that we’re going to leak. No one’s going to
know."

Scoopers who currently think they’re sitting on a hot one,
here’s a head’s up. "There’s one out that’s fake right now. There are going to
be many others."

In the days leading up to the writer’s strike, Bay was in
the trenches working on the sequel script. "Every day now. I’m excited about it.
We’ve got
Alex
[Kurtzman]
and
Bob [Orci],
the original writers, and we’ve got
Ehren Kruger
(Blood and
Chocolate
, The Ring),
who’s a new writer coming in. We have three very good writers."

Moviegoers will have plenty to choose from over the long Christmas holiday weekend as four new star-driven wide releases hit the marketplace adding to an already crowded marquee.

The Ben Stiller fantasy pic "Night at the Museum" leads the way as the frame’s only new comedy while the Matthew McConaughey football drama "We Are Marshall" offers an inspirational story based on true events. Meanwhile, a pair of Italian Stallions hop into the director’s chair as Sylvester Stallone‘s boxing drama "Rocky Balboa" and Robert De Niro‘s espionage thriller "The Good Shepherd" offer even more choices to holiday moviegoers. As is typical of this time of year, Christmas Eve will hurt the box office on Sunday as last-minute shopping and early theater closings will take their toll. But the Monday holiday will see a major recovery since Christmas Day brings forth a surge in traffic to the multiplexes.

Blasting into nearly 3,700 theaters including 72 Imax venues is the comedy "Night at the Museum" which finds Ben Stiller playing the new night watchman at New York’s Museum of Natural History where all the artifacts and statues come to life each night. Director Shawn Levy ("Cheaper by the Dozen," "The Pink Panther") leaves behind Steve Martin to work with a younger funnyman and more special effects. The PG-rated film is aiming for broad audiences hoping to bring in entire families looking for a fun time this holiday season. "Museum" also plans to score with teens and young adults as the only major comedy option for them. With "The Holiday" being the only other laugher in the top ten to register with that lucrative group, look for a solid response.

Stiller brings considerable starpower to the film but he also gets backup from comedians like Robin Williams, Ricky Gervais, and Dick Van Dyke. Plus with the prestigious ‘and’ credit already claimed by Williams, Owen Wilson takes a sizable supporting role but is so cool that he is nowhere to be found in the credits at all. Audiences want happy and funny films during the Christmas holidays and "Night at the Museum" should post muscular numbers thanks to its starpower, lack of comedy competition, mild rating, and formidable marketing and distribution push. Fox looks to close up the books on 2006 by taking over the number one spot this weekend. Attacking 3,688 locations, "Night at the Museum" could debut to about $34M over the four-day Friday-to-Monday holiday period.

Ben Stiller in "Night at the Museum."

Sylvester Stallone brings the eye of the tiger back to the multiplexes one last time in "Rocky Balboa" which got a jumpstart on the holiday weekend with its Wednesday launch. The MGM release brings the iconic boxer back to the screen in what is supposedly the end of the franchise with Stallone back in the saddle as writer and director. In this tale, Rocky is brought back into the ring when media hype prompts fans to wonder who the best boxer is of all time. The underdog story on screen mirrored the one within industry circles. How could a franchise that died 16 years ago with the poorly-received "Rocky V" find its way back into the hearts of today’s moviegoers. MGM and the "Judge Dredd" star moved forward. Today, they proudly claim one of the best reviewed films of the Christmas season and the Wednesday bow is being counted on to get die-hard fans out early so they can spread positive buzz at work and in school going into the lucrative yet overcrowded weekend period.

With so many other films in the marketplace, and plenty with PG or G ratings aimed at luring in full families, "Rocky Balboa" will have to take its time at the box office as many moviegoers may need some convincing before spending money on the followup to the Tommy Gunn flick. Older adults are the ones who remember the excitement of the franchise, but the studio is hoping they could bring their kids with them for an uplifting tale that makes you feel good inside. "The Pursuit of Happyness" and "We Are Marshall" will be direct competitors in the feel-good genre and the latter will steal away many sports fans too. "Balboa" will have to rely on nostalgia and good word-of-mouth to carry it through round after round. Already playing in 2,752 theaters and adding more locations on Friday, "Rocky Balboa" may gross about $16M over four days and around $21M over six days.


Stallone is back for one more round in "Rocky Balboa."

For football fans this holiday weekend, Warner Bros. trots out another pigskin drama with "We Are Marshall" starring Matthew McConaughey, Matthew Fox, and David Strathairn. The PG-rated film tells the true story of the football program at Marshall University in West Virginia which had to be rebuilt from scratch after a plane crash killed most of the players and coaches. Hollywood seems to have an endless line-up of sports dramas these days and since most of them become commercial successes, it’s no wonder that they keep getting churned out. Just a few months ago, moviegoers powered the football flicks "Invincible" and "Gridiron Gang" to the number one spot with bows of $17M and $14.4M, respectively. "Marshall" should play to much of the same audience and with its underdog feel-good story, the time of year will help since people are in the mood for that type of emotion.

Reviews have not been too good, but that should not matter much. "We Are Marshall" is meant for sports fans and those who love stories about overcoming adversity, regardless of how predictable they may be. Sales from the heartland should be solid and with the tame rating, entire families can come out together. Plus McConaughey is a reliable draw at the box office and is believable as a quirky football coach. Still, competition will be strong and coming from all directions so a blowout will not be possible. Opening in 2,606 theaters, "We Are Marshall" could score about $14M over the Friday-to-Monday frame.


They are Marshall.

Countering the parade of PG flicks is the R-rated CIA thriller "The Good Shepherd" directed by Robert De Niro. The Universal release stars Matt Damon as Edward Wilson, a loyal government agent who helped to create the agency during the Cold War. Angelina Jolie, Alec Baldwin, William Hurt, John Turturro, and De Niro also star. "Shepherd" boasts solid starpower which could help the film have broad appeal. The subject matter appeals to the 30+ crowd, but Damon and Jolie should help to pull in twentysomethings. Teens and ethnic audiences will have minimal interest. Critics have been mixed on the film which could impact the overall turnout.

The last few months have not been kind to star-driven period dramas aimed at adult audiences. Pictures like "Hollywoodland," "All the King’s Men," and "Bobby" have all struggled to find paying audiences with none reaching the $15M mark in total sales. "Shepherd’s" cast is what will allow it to rise above those failures. But the fight for the attention and time of mature adults will be fierce and a running time of nearly three hours will allow for one less showtime per day on every screen further cutting into its commercial potential. Infiltrating 2,217 locations, "The Good Shepherd" might capture around $13M over four days.


Matt Damon and Alec Baldwin in "The Good Shepherd."

With the calendar year coming to a close, things continue to get crowded in the specialty arena this weekend. Clint Eastwood‘s award-winning war drama "Letters From Iwo Jima" debuted on Wednesday in limited release ahead of a January expansion similar to what Warner Bros. did two years ago with the director’s "Million Dollar Baby" which went on to reign at the Oscars. Edward Norton and Naomi Watts star in the period romance "The Painted Veil" from Warner Independent which also platformed on Wednesday in New York and Los Angeles. Thursday brings the limited launches of Miramax’s "Venus" starring Golden Globe nominee Peter O’Toole and the Chinese period drama "Curse of the Golden Flower" from Sony Classics which stars Gong Li and Chow Yun-Fat.


Zhang Yimou’s "Curse of the Golden Flower."

Last weekend, Will Smith scored a number one hit with "The Pursuit of Happyness" which continues to please audiences. Overall moviegoing should increase over the holiday weekend, but more choices for adult audiences will give Sony some competition. "Pursuit’s" four-day take could drop 25% from its three-day debut gross giving the film about $20M and a cume of $58M after 11 days.

As a sci-fi actioner, Fox’s "Eragon" is likely to see one of the largest drops in the top ten. The dragon adventure might fall by 35% to around $15M over the four-day session leaving the studio with $46M.

Kidpics score big points over Christmas so "Charlotte’s Web" might see many of those fans who skipped out last weekend actually show up this time. The Paramount release’s four-day tally may slip 10% from its three-day bow and bring in roughly $10M. That would give the family film a total of $27M after 11 days.

LAST YEAR: With Christmas falling on a Sunday, the observed holiday on Monday gave the box office an expanded four-day holiday frame allowing the mega holdovers to repeat atop the charts. "King Kong" spent its second weekend at number one and grossed $33.3M over four days and was closely followed by "The Chronicles of Narnia" with $31.7M in its third adventure. The combined haul for the pair soared to $285M with much more still to come. Newcomers rounded out the top five with Jim Carrey defeating Steve Martin in the battle of the comedies. Sony’s "Fun With Dick and Jane" opened in third with $21.5M over four days while Fox’s sequel "Cheaper by the Dozen 2" settled for fourth with $15.3M. Final tallies reached $110.3M and $82.6M, respectively. Sony also claimed fifth with "Memoirs of a Geisha" which expanded nationally and took in $10.2M over the long weekend. Also opening were Fox Searchlight’s Johnny Knoxville comedy "The Ringer" with $7.7M over four days, the Jennifer Aniston pic "Rumor Has It" with $7.5M in two days for Warner Bros., and Universal’s "Munich" with $6M in four days. The films went on to reach $35.4M, $43M, and $47.4M respectively. The debuting horror pic "Wolf Creek" opened outside the top ten with $4.9M in two days on its way to $16.2M.

Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com

A wave of new releases hits the multilplexes on Friday as the North American box office looks to bounce back after a slugglish weekend and get the final month of the year started with a bang.

Mel Gibson‘s ultraviolent historical epic "Apocalypto" hits theaters nationwide while his "What Women Want" director Nancy Meyers counters with the feel-good romantic comedy "The Holiday" starring Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet. The latter’s iceberg lover Leonardo DiCaprio stars in the new political thriller "Blood Diamond" and kids too young for all those flicks will be offered the family comedy "Unaccompanied Minors."

Mel Gibson once again plays tricks on the box office bringing forth one of the most unpredictable grossers of the year in "Apocalypto." The R-rated film examines the end of the once-great Mayan civilization from five centuries ago with the story of one brave man, captured by warriors and set to be sacrificed, who must break free and rescue his pregnant wife and young son. As one of the bloodiest and most violent films of 2006, the Buena Vista release is also one of the most challenging to market. Like the director’s last effort, 2004’s smash hit "The Passion of the Christ," "Apocalypto" is made in a language now dead and is subtitled all the way through. But whereas "Passion" had some small level of starpower, Gibson’s new offering boasts a cast of unknowns including many non-actors.

Selling a subtitled film with no stars about a part of history that few today are talking about is risky enough. But Gibson’s arrest over the summer for drunk driving and his anti-Jewish remarks led to horrible PR for "Apocalypto’s" only marketable asset. A few weeks ago, this film looked like it would have a tough road to travel in order to succeed. But like with "Passion," targeted marketing at those audience segments most likely to embrace the pic has helped fuel positive buzz and even good reviews have sparked more interest, not only with moviegoers, but also with exhibitors. Disney upped its opening weekend run from 2,000 to 2,500 theaters as the exhibition community is showing more confidence in the box office potential of the film. "Passion" also saw its theater bookings jump in the final weeks before launching.

Because of Gibson’s summer escapade, there are some who cannot be convinced to spend money and time on a Mel movie. However, the controversy has given "Apocalypto" a ton of free media exposure over the last couple of months and curiosity has grown. Plus the studio has wisely targeted the large Latino audience which never gets to see a big Hollywood epic made about its ancient history. They came out in big numbers for "Passion" and are expected to show up again this weekend. Also there are moviegoers sick of wasting time and money on sequels and remakes who want something fresh and unique that are looking at the Mayan adventure as an experience they can’t get anywhere else. It will be a closely-watched opening for "Apocalypto," but a weekend tally of about $15M could result giving Gibson a reasonable shot at scoring back-to-back number one hits with foreign language movies.

Mel Gibson’s "Apocalypto."

Moviegoers in search of less bloodshed and a lower body count this weekend will be checking out the new romantic comedy "The Holiday" which stars Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet as two frustrated professionals who decide to swap homes in order to get away from their woes. The PG-13 film finds Diaz going to snowy England while Winslet’s character heads to sunny Los Angeles. Jude Law and Jack Black play the love interests in the Nancy Meyers film. "Holiday" boasts plenty of starpower even though the casting of Nacho Libre in a date movie will have many scratching their heads. Teenage girls and adult women will make up the primary audience, but male interest will be there too thanks to the sassy Diaz who remains a big box office pull with both genders.

Female audiences have been neglected in recent weeks with most major grossers tapping into male or family audiences. The December marketplace will welcome a multi-star romantic comedy set during the Christmas season, however the whites-only casting policy may prevent a more diverse turnout. Sony offered sneak previews last Saturday to boost awareness and word-of-mouth. "Holiday" looks to reach the same crowds that came out for previous mid-December romantic comedies like last year’s "The Family Stone" ($12.5M opening), Meyers’ 2003 hit "Something’s Gotta Give" ($16.1M), and 2002’s Yankee-Brit combo "Two Weeks Notice" ($14.3M). "The Holiday" should receive good cheer from ticket buyers and take in roughly $15M this weekend.

Kate Winslet and Jack Black in "The Holiday."

Like this weekend’s Mel Gibson epic, Leonardo DiCaprio’s new film "Blood Diamond" is also a violent tale of a man whose village is ransacked by warlords and who must fight to retrieve his wife and family. This time, the action takes place only seven years ago in the African nation of Sierra Leone where rebels fight to protect their illegal diamond trade. Djimon Hounsou and Jennifer Connelly co-star in the R-rated film directed by Ed Zwick ("The Last Samurai," "Glory"). Warner Bros. has poured some major marketing dollars into hyping up its new political thriller and like most major releases these days, "Blood Diamond" has some controversy of its own which the studio hopes will help generate more interest. Many stories have been written about how the film might impact the global diamond industry as more Americans (by far the world’s largest consumers of the gem) learn about how conflict diamonds make their way into the market.

Story and starpower should be the main factors at the box office, however. DiCaprio has pull and Hounsou has been getting lots of notice for this role including winning the Best Supporting Actor award from the National Board of Review this week. A year ago this weekend, DiCaprio’s "Departed" foe Matt Damon teamed up with George Clooney for the international political saga "Syriana" which went nationwide with a $11.7M opening from 1,752 theaters for a $6,699 average. With mixed reviews and only 158 more theaters, "Blood Diamond" could find itself in the same neighborhood as it will appeal to much the same audience. Young women who dig the "Titanic" boy and want more upbeat entertainment may get steered over to "The Holiday" and young men who seek screen violence will find much more of it in "Apocalypto" so competition will be fierce this weekend. Opening in 1,910 theaters, "Blood Diamond" might shine with around $12M this weekend.

Leo and Djimon in "Blood Diamond."

Kids have just one new movie aimed at them this weekend. Warner Bros. offers up its second wide release of the frame with "Unaccompanied Minors," a story about a group of children causing chaos when left behind at an airport. The PG-rated film will play exclusively to the family crowd and with "Happy Feet," "Deck the Halls," and even "The Santa Clause 3" still lingering in the marketplace, competition will be tight. Lewis Black and Wilmer Valderrama are the only major names here so starpower will not be much of a factor in drawing in paying customers. "Minors" just does not have enough bells and whistles to rise above the crowded arena. Although the film opens with the most number of theaters, it may end up with the worst gross among the newbies. "Unaccompanied Minors" sneaks into 2,775 sites and could take in about $9M.

A group of kids up to airport hijinks in "Unaccompanied Minors."

After a three-week party atop the box office charts, "Happy Feet" will dance its way down a couple of notches thanks to the wave of new product. "Unaccompanied Minors" will be the only true competitor so the drop should not be too hard. A 35% fall to about $11M could result giving Warner Bros. $136M overall.

James Bond has also been celebrating a solid box office run with its three straight silver medals and is hoping to surpass "The Devil Wears Prada" ($124.7M) and "Over the Hedge" ($155M) to eventually become the top-grossing film of 2006 to not reach the number one spot. This weekend, a 40% decline could be in order giving Agent 007 around $9M for the session pushing the cume for Sony to $129M.

LAST YEAR: Making a big splash at the box office was "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe" which bowed to a ferocious $65.6M for the second largest December opening in history. Disney’s effects-filled adventure went on to capture $291.7M domestically and a stunning $750M worldwide. Opening far back in the runnerup spot, but still posting solid numbers, was the oil industry drama "Syriana" with $11.7M and a $6,699 average. The Warner Bros. release went on to gross $50.8M domestically and $93M globally. "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" dropped to third after three weeks at number one and grossed $10.3M. The Johnny Cash flick "Walk the Line" followed with $5.7M and the family comedy "Yours, Mine & Ours" rounded out the top five with $5.1M. Debuting in limited release with explosive averages were "Memoirs of a Geisha" with a $85,313 average from eight locations and "Brokeback Mountain" with a $109,485 average from only five theaters. Final domestic grosses reached $57M and $83M and each won three Oscars.

Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com

Helen Mirren‘s astoundingly successful biopic "The Queen" is getting some serious competition from Pedro Almodovar‘s latest, as "Volver" has emerged a frontrunner for the box-office returns (and Awards Season affections) of the artsy crowd.

"The Queen," directed by Stephen Frears, was picked up in October 2005 by Miramax, who then cited the pick-up as the desire to build "an eclectic, wide-ranging slate of specialty projects." With a good-sized (at least for a studio indie) budget estimated at $15 M, it seems Miramax’s acquisition of the quiet Brit royalty drama was a stroke of genius; since debuting in a scant three-theater limited release at the end of September, the film has built unrelenting momentum into a domestic gross of $10.1 M.

Of course, box-office recognition for "The Queen" has mirrored the response of critics, making it both a successful money-maker and a deserving prestige pic. That wave of laurels can be traced back to September, when it debuted to great acclaim at the Venice Film Festival and went on to win three of that festival’s awards (for Best Screenplay, Best Actress, and the FIPRESCI Prize; Frears lost the Golden Lion to Zhang Ke Jia‘s "Still Life").

"The Queen" is currently Certified Fresh and sitting pretty at 98 percent on the Tomatometer, only three out of 120 critics having disliked it (including Stella Papamichael of the BBC, who wrote of it "The tabloid appeal is obvious, but Morgan’s script is tomorrow’s chip paper."). Most critics, however, agree with the Toronto Star‘s Peter Howell that the picture is "led by Mirren in a title role that demands Oscar glory."

But on the whole the critics are raving; it’s no surprise, then, that Helen Mirren has been pegged for months as a shoe-in for Best Actress. She knows it, too; her steely, powdery visage on the film’s poster screams confidence — "It’s mine, all you other actresses get out of my way!" — a statuette finally in her hands, after two previous unrealized nominations (for "The Madness of King George" in 1995, and "Gosford Park" in 2002). Plus, Mirren’s on a royal roll, having just won an Emmy for playing another Elizabeth, Elizabeth I, in the acclaimed 2005 HBO miniseries.

But last weekend a contender emerged to threaten Helen Mirren’s near-lock on the Best Actress award. And her name is Penelope.

Penelope Cruz, carrying an equally strong ensemble piece, is simply luminous in "Volver," a quasi-magical tragicomedy by Spanish director Pedro Almodovar released by Sony Pictures Classics last week. Like "The Queen," "Volver" has reaped praise from critics the world over. And although it only just opened in limited release in the U.S., it’s also poised to make big bucks — and make it’s leading lady a strong candidate for Oscar.

A foreign film after all, "Volver" premiered in Almodovar’s native Spain last March and proceeded to rake in the dough on its tour across Europe, Latin America, and other markets. It also hit up the festival circuit — Almodovar is a certified auteur, and proved so by nabbing a Best Screenplay award at this year’s Cannes, (although he lost the Palme d’or to Ken Loach‘s IRA drama "The Wind That Shakes the Barley"). His film also won the festival’s Best Actress prize — a shared honor awarded to the six female leads of "Volver."

"Volver" is no slouch when it comes to the Tomatometer, either; it’s currently at 93 percent, with 60 reviews. And what of the numbers?

Since debuting this spring overseas, the Almodovar film has grossed $61.5 M worldwide; last weekend it posted "Queen"-like numbers, averaging $40,400 per screen in only five theaters (when "The Queen" debuted in three theaters this fall, it took in a similar $40,671 per site). On November 22 "Volver" will hit 20 more theaters, with more and more playdates as its platform release continues — and, you can be sure, as it keeps filling seats.

All of this is has set Oscar-watchers abuzz, as Cruz — certainly known to American audiences, albeit for eye-candy roles and the spectacle of a Spanish beauty circulating in Hollywood — seems a compelling Best Actress alternative to Mirren. As the beleaguered yet beautiful young mother Raimunda, Cruz’s performance is revelatory; IGN Movies critic Todd Gilchrist muses "she is strong, weak, tender, tough, sexy, and maternal, often all at once." Slant Magazine writer Ed Gonzalez writes "‘Mildred Pierce’ won Joan Crawford an Oscar, and Almodóvar’s quaint riff on the Michael Curtiz classic may do the same for Penélope Cruz."

The LA Times’ Gold Derby columnist Tom O’Neill calls Mirren "the Best Actress frontrunner" but also that "Penelope Cruz has The Babe Factor in a race crowded with older gals." And while these two are certainly reigning over awards contention right now, a handful of other names have been thrown into the ring, including four-time nominee Kate Winslet for "Little Children," multiple-time nominee and twice-winner Meryl Streep for "The Devil Wears Prada," and three-time nominee Annette Bening (for the critical dud "Running With Scissors."

But there’s plenty of time left in the year for more nominees, and a trio of forthcoming flicks have more potential Best Actress-worthy thesps: Dame Judi Dench, for "Notes on a Scandal" (December 25), her co-star Cate Blanchett for Steven Soderbergh‘s "The Good German" (December 15), and — surprise, surprise — Chinese actress Gong Li for "Curse of the Golden Flower," the forthcoming period epic from Zhang Yimou (December 22).

Li’s entrance into the speculative arena is the most recent, and the most interesting; with turns in her first two American movies within the last year ("Memoirs of a Geisha," "Miami Vice") Li has certainly bumped up her exposure stateside. Plus, anyone remotely familiar with Chinese cinema knows she has the skills to be in contention (see "Raise the Red Lantern," "Ju Dou," or any other films she made with director Yimou). But "Curse of the Golden Flower," to be released by Sony Pictures Classics, will have the barriers of language and culture to overcome, and while the same can be said of Almodovar, Cruz, and "Volver," it will certainly be a bigger hurdle for Yimou, Li, and "Flower."

When we last saw Michelle Yeoh on the big screen, she was teaching Zhang Ziyi the finer points of how to stop a man in his tracks with a blink of the eyes in "Memoirs of a Geisha." According to Variety, Yeoh has signed on to appear in "True North" and "Babylon A.D."

In "True North," she will star alongside Sean Bean and Michelle Krusiec in a story about "a woman and a young girl whose barren existence is disrupted by a soldier." The pic, directed by Asif Kapadia ("The Warrior") will start shooting this week in Norway.

Yeoh will play a nun who is taking care of a little girl who may have been injected with a deadly virus in "Babylon A.D." The movie, based on Maurice Dantec’s novel "Babylon Babies," will be directed by Mathieu Kassovitz ("Gothika") and stars Vin Diesel.


Yeoh in "Memoirs of a Geisha."

A day after we got word of a possible Peter Jackson-Jet Li-Jackie Chan collaboration, it seems that Steven Spielberg — also rumored to have been interested in adapting the "Journey to the West" Chinese epic — might indeed give the JetJackie pic a run for its money. And he’s got a big name in Chinese cinema in his posse.

MonkeyPeaches.com is reporting that not only is Spielberg interested, but that he would do his "Journey to the West" in tandem with Chinese director Zhang Yimou ("Hero," "House of Flying Daggers"). The news comes from Chinese producer and Yimou pal Zhang Weiping, who told Sina.com that the two renowned directors "agreed to make a movie together and this movie would probably be based on Classic Chinese fantasy novel Journey to the West."

Jet and Jackie: Looks like you’ve got company

Is Weiping a credible source? He’s produced six of Yimou’s last projects, including the now-filming "Curse of the Golden Flower," which stars Chow Yun-Fat and Gong Li, and has already been picked up by U.S. distributor Sony Pictures Classics. Oh, and by the way, Weiping has stated that he and Yimou are already gunning to win Best Foreign Film at the next Oscars with "Flower."

While the Spielberg-Yimou collaboration has yet to begin, both directors are apparently set to produce the 2008 Olympics ceremonies in Beijing.


A Zhang Ziyi – Jackie Chan rematch? A Gong Li – Jet Li showdown?

And who might join the pair in a "Journey to the West?" A smart bet might be on Chinese actress Zhang Ziyi, who was discovered in Yimou’s "The Road Home" (1999) and appeared later in both "Hero" and "House of Flying Daggers" for the director. Ziyi also starred in the Spielberg-produced "Memoirs of a Geisha" and is arguably the most recognizable Asian actress in Hollywood — a key casting move if the Spielberg-Yimou project aims for American audiences.

Another frequent Yimou collaborator is Gong Li ("Ju Dou," "Raise the Red Lantern,") who also appeared in "Memoirs" and widened her Hollywood exposure with this summer’s "Miami Vice."

Which begs the question: who is the powerhouse team in this American-Chinese folk-legend adaptation face-off? Peter Jackson/Jet Li/Jackie Chan or Steven Spielberg/Zhang Yimou/Zhang Ziyi?

ComingSoon.net recently had a brief chit-chat with filmmaker Brett Ratner, and this time the focus of the conversation was NOT on the upcoming "X-Men: The Last Stand," but Ratner’s next flick, "Rush Hour 3," which begins production on August 16th.

The specific topic of discussion was Mr. Ratner’s ultra-wish-list dream cast for "Rush Hour 3," and it would certainly make for one international action comedy!

"Obviously, Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan are back, but Ratner talked with ComingSoon.net about some of the actors he’d love to bring in for the third installment. "I’ll tell you who I’m going after," he said with a burst of excitement. "I want Yao Ming, the basketball player, to be in it. I want to recreate the fight sequence from the Bruce Lee movie where he fights Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, but I want to do the reverse; I want Chris Tucker to fight Yao Ming. I want that to happen. I want Aishwarya Rai [the biggest female star in Bollywood] and I would love Gong Li [last seen in Memoirs of a Geisha] to be in the movie. There’s some people that I want, but I don’t know if I’ll be able to get them. Tony Jaa [star of last year’s Ong Bak: Thai Warrior] I want, too. I love him.""

Click here for the rest of the piece.

You thought the awards season ended with the Oscars? Please. MTV’s just gearing up for their movie awards, which will be broadcast worldwide on June 8th — but we have all the nominations listed just a click away. (Interesting to note that not only were Paris Hilton & Rob Schneider nominated for awards, but also that "Hustle & Flow" earned three noms — a movie produced by "MTV Films.")

More than an award show, but a film unto itself, MTV: Music Television today announced the cast, or nominees, of the “2006 MTV Movie Awards.” Up for starring roles are the “40-Year-Old Virgin” and “Wedding Crashers,” each receiving five nominations. Also vying for the spotlight are “Batman Begins,” “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire,” “Hustle & Flow,” “Sin City” and “Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge Of The Sith” with three nominations each. Filming June 3rd at Sony Picture Studios in Culver City, CA, the “2006 MTV Movie Awards” will premiere to audiences nationwide on Thursday, June 8th at 9pm ET/PT on MTV.

MTV also announced it will cast for new categories of “Best Hero,” “Sexiest Performance” and the “mtvU Student Filmmaker Award” for the first time ever. And in another Movie Awards first, all of this year’s categories, including “Best Performance,” will make no distinction between male and female. Breaking the gender barrier and award show tradition, both actors and actresses will be vying for the same coveted golden popcorns.

Fans can vote for the entire nominated cast of the “2006 MTV Movie Awards” by visiting movieawards.mtv.com before May 19th . Fans can also vote from their mobile phone by texting “MOVIEAWARDS” to 91757 to receive a ballot. Voting is also available by dialing toll free to 1-877-MTV-VOTE where fans can support their favorite nominees with a different category available for voting each day.

“This year’s Movie Awards will be more than an awards show — it’s an experience completely inspired by the movies, and everything we love about them,” said Christina Norman, President, MTV. “This year’s cast of movies and stars are all deserving nominees, and there is no doubt this year’s Movie Awards will in itself, be a movie to remember.”

Starring Hollywood’s hottest actors and celebrities, the “2006 MTV Movie Awards” promises to be one of the summer’s biggest blockbusters. Sources close to the production have remained tight lipped, revealing little of the project’s storyline or script except to say mystery, adventure and mayhem prevail. MTV will announce other starring roles in the upcoming weeks including the project’s leading man and/or lady, along with featured bands and performers making up the production’s soundtrack.

The “2006 MTV Movie Awards” will be seen in 171 countries/territories via 50 music programming services, and in 23 languages in more than 479.5 million households.

Nominees for the “2006 MTV Movie Awards” are:

*BEST MOVIE*

The 40-Year-Old Virgin
(Universal Pictures)
Batman Begins (Warner Bros. Pictures)
King Kong (Universal Pictures)
Sin City (Dimension Films)
Wedding Crashers (New Line Cinema)

*BEST PERFORMANCE*

Joaquin PhoenixWalk the Line
Jake GyllenhaalBrokeback Mountain
Rachel McAdamsRed Eye
Steve CarellThe 40-Year-Old Virgin
Terrence HowardHustle & Flow
Reese WitherspoonWalk the Line

*BEST COMEDIC PERFORMANCE*

Owen WilsonWedding Crashers
Adam SandlerThe Longest Yard
Steve Carell – The 40-Year-Old Virgin
Tyler PerryTyler Perry’s Madea’s Family Reunion
Vince VaughnWedding Crashers

*BEST ON-SCREEN TEAM*

Steve Carell, Paul Rudd, Seth Rogen & Romany MalcoThe 40-Year-Old Virgin
Johnny Knoxville, Seann William Scott & Jessica SimpsonThe Dukes of Hazzard
Jessica Alba, Ioan Gruffudd, Chris Evans & Michael ChiklisFantastic Four
Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson & Rupert GrintHarry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Vince Vaughn & Owen Wilson – Wedding Crashers

*BEST VILLAIN*

Cillian Murphy
Batman Begins
Hayden ChristensenStar Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith
Ralph FiennesHarry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Tilda SwintonThe Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
Tobin BellSaw II

*BREAKTHROUGH PERFORMANCE*

Andre “3000” BenjaminFour Brothers
Isla FisherWedding Crashers
NellyThe Longest Yard
Jennifer CarpenterThe Exorcism of Emily Rose
Romany Malco –The 40-Year-Old Virgin
Taraji P. HensonHustle & Flow

*BEST HERO*

Christian BaleBatman Begins
Jessica Alba – Fantastic Four
Daniel Radcliffe – Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Kate BeckinsaleUnderworld: Evolution
Ewan McGregorStar Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith

*SEXIEST PERFORMANCE*

Beyonce KnowlesThe Pink Panther
Jessica Alba – Sin City
Jessica Simpson – The Dukes of Hazzard
Ziyi ZhangMemoirs of a Geisha
Rob SchneiderDeuce Bigalow: European Gigolo

*BEST FIGHT*

Kong vs. The Planes — King Kong
Stephen Chow vs. Axe Gang – Kung Fu Hustle
Angelina Jolie vs. Brad PittMr. & Mrs. Smith
Ewan McGregor vs. Hayden Christensen – Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith

*BEST KISS*

Jake Gyllenhaal & Heath Ledger – Brokeback Mountain
Taraji P. Henson & Terrence Howard – Hustle & Flow
Anna Faris & Chris Marquette – Just Friends
Angelina Jolie & Brad Pitt – Mr. & Mrs. Smith
Rosario Dawson & Clive OwenSin City

*BEST FRIGHTENED PERFORMANCE*

Rachel Nichols – The Amityville Horror
Jennifer Carpenter – The Exorcism of Emily Rose
Derek RichardsonHostel
Paris HiltonHouse of Wax
Dakota FanningWar of the Worlds

*mtvU STUDENT FILMMAKER AWARD*

Joshua Caldwell (Fordham University) – A Beautiful Lie
Sean Mullin (Columbia University) – Sadiq
Stephen Reedy (Diablo Valley College) – Undercut
Jarrett Slavin (University of Michigan) – The Spiral Project
Landon Zakheim (Emerson College) – The Fabulous Felix McCabe

*2006 MTV Movie Awards *
*Total Number of Combined Category Nominations*

The 40-Year-Old Virgin — 5
Wedding Crashers — 5
Batman Begins — 3
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire — 3
Hustle & Flow — 3
Sin City — 3
Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith — 3
Brokeback Mountain — 2
The Dukes of Hazzard — 2
The Exorcism of Emily Rose — 2
Fantastic Four — 2
King Kong — 2
The Longest Yard — 2
Mr. & Mrs. Smith — 2
Walk the Line — 2
The Amityville Horror — 1
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe — 1
Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo — 1
Four Brothers — 1
Hostel — 1
House of Wax — 1
Just Friends — 1
Kung Fu Hustle — 1
Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Family Reunion — 1
Memoirs of a Geisha — 1
The Pink Panther — 1
Red Eye — 1
Saw II — 1
Underworld: Evolution — 1
War of the Worlds — 1

* Nominees are chosen through a national poll of MTV and MTV2 viewers.

Movie geeks love Tuesdays, and here’s why: It’s DVD Day! With each new Tuesday comes the promise of varying DVD goodness, so I thought it might be fun to do a reminder-piece each week, if only to help my fellow disc junkies to keep their shopping lists in order. And it looks like I picked a pretty good week to get started, because beginning today, Peter Jackson‘s "King Kong" can be yours!

Scoring an impressive 84% on the Tomatometer and tallying nearly $218 million at the domestic box office, "King Kong" was a huge treat for tons of moviegoers. True, Universal was betting on a relatively higher box office showing, but it’s tough to knock a flick that crossed the $210 million mark. And now that the DVDs are out, the profit margin is about to skyrocket. "Kong" hits DVD in your choice of a single-disc serving or a two-platter SE … but be warned: Universal is well known for "double (& triple) dipping, and the eventual arrival of a multi-disc Mega-Swanky Kongdition is almost a foregone conclusion. (The two-discer, which is what I’ll be purchasing in about two hours, comes with three hours worth of post-production diaries and various Peter Jackson-y treats.)

And for those who still need a copy of the original "King Kong" on DVD, WB sliced their phenomenal special edition down to a bare-bones single-disc release, which also hits stores today.

Most of the majors are (wisely) opting to stay out of the monkey’s way this Tuesday, but Sony’s not afraid. Today you can also purchase your "Memoirs of a Geisha" DVD (35% Tomatometer, $57m box office), which comes with a pair of audio commentaries, 11 featurettes, and some recipes. (Yep, I said recipes!)

Also hitting the shelves today is the urban drama "Get Rich or Die Tryin’," which scored a measly 18% on the Tomatometer and grossed about $31 million at the box office, the psycho-thriller "Stay" (26% T-meter, $3.3m), and the sci-fi turkey "A Sound of Thunder," which hit a whopping 7% on the Tomatometer on its way to a $1.7 million box office run. (This one’s good for fans of bad cinema. Rent it and see!)

Fans of the catalog titles will want to check out an all new "Godzilla" Monster Edition (or maybe not), Adam Goldberg‘s directorial debut "I Love Your Work," the "Sliver" special edition that nobody asked for, and (finally!) the DVD debut of some Peanuts classics: "A Boy Named Charlie Brown" and "Snoopy Come Home" both arrive on DVD today, and I know a few Gen-Xers who’re pretty darn psyched about it. (Bring on "Race for Your Life, Charlie Brown" and "Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown (and Don’t Come Back!") already!)

Last but in no way least is a mega-massive-huge "Planet of the Apes" collection from Fox. This 14-disc behemoth includes the following movies: "Planet of the Apes" (1968), "Beneath the Planet of the Apes" (1970), "Escape from the Planet of the Apes" (1971), "Conquest of the Planet of the Apes" (1972), "Battle for the Planet of the Apes" (1973), Tim Burton’s 2001 remake of the original, all 14 episodes of the 1974 spinoff series (epsiodes of which were, at one point, wedged into a pair of TV movies called "Back to the Planet of the Apes" and "Farewell to the Planet of the Apes," but that’s some mega-geeky trivia there, so let’s move on), all 13 episodes of the 1975 animated spinoff "Return to the Planet of the Apes," the 1998 feature-length documentary "Behind the Planet of the Apes," and more extra Apes goodies than you can shake a banana at. PLUS it comes in this box:

Whew, that’s a lot of apes for one Tuesday. The secret words for next Tuesday are "Narnia" and "Brokeback."

So, it’s the day after the Oscars. You might be stinging from the upset wins of last night (Three 6 Mafia, Oscar-winners?? No acting honors for "Brokeback?"), or maybe you actually won the office pool by picking dark horse "Crash" for best pic. Either way, the 78th Annual Academy Awards show was a doozy.

There were so many wacky moments and surprises, it’s hard to pinpoint exactly where the Academy Awards stopped being the Academy Awards and started becoming a weird entertainment show mutation; part Oscars, part MTV Video Music Awards, and part Daily Show.

Let’s recap: there was Jon Stewart‘s politicized (but not too politicized) hosting job; Charlize Theron‘s giant bowtie of a dress; Three 6 Mafia‘s red carpet teeth bling discussion; Three 6 Mafia’s Oscar win for "It’s Hard Out Here For A Pimp;" Will Ferrell and Steve Carell‘s hilarious presentation of Best Makeup; "Tsotsi" director Gavin Hood‘s emotional shout out to South Africa; Ben Stiller‘s excruciating green screen bodysuit; the terrible, theatrical, performance of "Crash" Best Song nomination "In The Deep," with a burning car onstage and dancers recreating key scenes from the film, IN SLO-MO; Lauren Bacall‘s difficult-to-watch teleprompter trouble; the history of gay westerns montage; Tom Hank‘s awkward taped spoof acceptance speech; "Memoirs of a Geisha" costume designer Colleen Atwood thanking "the people of Japan" for her award.

And since we didn’t get an invite (and didn’t feel like watching the post-Oscars specials all night long), we can only imagine what the after parties were following this year’s crazy Academy Awards. Thankfully, the AP’s got a rundown of Vanity Fair’s big bash, which sounds just as random and indulgent as the awards show itself:

"At the stroke of midnight, a grinning Reese Witherspoon showed up to Vanity Fair’s annual bash at Morton’s with two men dangling from her arms: her best actress Oscar statuette and husband Ryan Phillippe.

Phillippe couldn’t quite contain his enthusiasm, and for good reason.

"Best picture, bitch! Best picture!" he yelled to his "Crash" co-star Larenz Tate after hugging him in front of a wall of photographers."

Also at the Vanity Fair party, celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck entertained hungry guests with the highest degree of gastronomical delights:

"Inside the bash, which this year reportedly cut its guest list by 500, old Hollywood royalty and new Hollywood starlets schmoozed, drank and feasted on hors d’oeuvres and lollipops depicting the faces of Shirley Temple and Dakota Fanning."

Such is the life of a Hollywood star. "Best Picture, bitch!" and Dakota Fanning lollipops.

The British Academy of Film & Television Arts (BAFTA) held their annual awards presentation on February 21st, and they managed to dole out some love for an interesting variety of films and filmmakers — most of which have been on the receiving end of other awards already, but they’re good choices anyway, if it’s me you’re asking.

Best FilmBrokeback Mountain

The Alexander Korda Award for Outstanding British Film of the Year — Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit

The Carl Foreman Award for Special Achievement by a British Director, Writer or Producer in their First Feature Film
Joe Wright, Pride & Prejudice

The David Lean Award for Achievement in DirectionAng Lee, Brokeback Mountain

Original ScreenplayPaul Haggis & Bobby Moresco, Crash

Adapted ScreenplayLarry McMurtry & Diana Ossana, Brokeback Mountain

Film Not in the English LanguageThe Beat That My Heart Skipped

Actor in a Leading RolePhilip Seymour Hoffman, Capote

Actress in a Leading RoleReese Witherspoon, Walk the Line

Actor in a Supporting RoleJake Gyllenhaal, Brokeback Mountain

Actress in a Supporting Role
Thandie Newton, Crash

The Anthony Asquith Award for Achievement in Film Music
John Williams, Memoirs of a Geisha

Cinematography
Dion Beebe, Memoirs of a Geisha

EditingClaire Simpson, The Consant Gardener

Production DesignStuart Craig, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Costume DesignColleen Atwood, Memoirs of a Geisha

Sound
— Walk the Line

Achievement in Special Visual EffectsKing Kong

Make-up & HairThe Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

Short Animation Film — Fallen Art

Short Film — Antonio’s Breakfast

The Orange Rising Star AwardJames McAvoy

BAFTA is a charity with principal objects to promote and advance education through its events and to cultivate and improve public taste in the film, television and games industries. Its principal activities are the staging of UK and international awards ceremonies, special tribute evenings and an ever-expanding events and education programme. BAFTA has approximately 6,500 members worldwide.

Like most pathetic movie geeks, I was up at the crack of dawn (ok, 8:30am eastern time) to see how my nomination prediction ballot would measure up. (I was perfect on all 20 acting nods and all 10 screenwriting nods, but I erroneously predicted that “Walk the Line” would get nominated over “Capote” for Best Picture, and I picked Croneberg for director over Benett Miller.) Anyhow, here are the nominations for us to rant and rave about for the next five weeks…

BEST PICTURE
Brokeback Mountain
Capote
Crash
Good Night, and Good Luck.
Munich

BEST DIRECTOR
George Clooney – Good Night, and Good Luck.
Paul Haggis – Crash
Ang Lee – Brokeback Mountain
Bennett Miller – Capote
Steven Spielberg – Munich

BEST ACTOR

Philip Seymour Hoffman – Capote
Terrence HowardHustle & Flow
Heath Ledger – Brokeback Mountain
Joaquin PhoenixWalk the Line
David Strathairn – Good Night, and Good Luck.

BEST ACTRESS
Judi DenchMrs. Henderson Presents
Felicity HuffmanTransamerica
Keira KnightleyPride & Prejudice
Charlize TheronNorth Country
Reese Witherspoon – Walk the Line

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Matt Dillon – Crash
George Clooney – Syriana
Paul GiamattiCinderella Man
Jake Gyllenhaal – Brokeback Mountain
William HurtA History of Violence

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Amy AdamsJunebug
Catherine Keener – Capote
Frances McDormand – North Country
Rachel WeiszThe Constant Gardener
Michelle Williams – Brokeback Mountain

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

Match PointWoody Allen
The Squid & the WhaleNoah Baumbach
Good Night, and Good Luck. – George Clooney & Grant Heslov
Syriana – Stephen Gaghan
Crash – Paul Haggis & Robert Moresco

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
The Constant Gardener – Jeffrey Caine
Capote – Dan Futterman
Munich – Tony Kushner & Eric Roth
Brokeback Mountain – Larry McMurtry & Diana Ossana
A History of Violence – Josh Olson

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
Don’t Tell (La Bestia nel Cuore) – Italy
Joyeux Noel – France
Paradise Now – Palestine
Sophie Scholl – Germany
Tsotsi – South Africa

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
Darwin’s Nightmare
Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room
March of the Penguins
Murderball
Street Fight

ANIMATED FILM
Corpse Bride
Howl’s Moving Casle
Wallace & Gromit in The Curse of the Were-Rabbit

ART DIRECTION

Good Night, and Good Luck.
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
King Kong
Memoirs of a Geisha
Pride & Prejudice

CINEMATOGRAPHY

Batman Begins
Brokeback Mountain
Good Night, and Good Luck.
Memoirs of a Geisha
The New World

COSTUME DESIGN

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Memoirs of a Geisha
Mrs. Henderson Presents
Pride & Prejudice
Walk the Line

FILM EDITING

Cinderella Man
The Constant Gardener
Crash
Munich
Walk the Line

MAKEUP
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
Cinderella Man
Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith

SCORE

Brokeback Mountain
The Constant Gardener
Memoirs of a Geisha
Munich
Pride & Prejudice

SONG
“In The Deep” – Crash
“It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp” – Hustle & Flow
“Travelin’ Thru” – Transamerica

SOUND EDITING

King Kong
Memoirs of a Geisha
War of the Worlds

SOUND MIXING

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
King Kong
Memoirs of a Geisha
Walk the Line
War of the Worlds

VISUAL EFFECTS
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
King Kong
War of the Worlds

DOCUMENTARY SHORT SUBJECT
The Death of Kevin Carter: Casualty of The Bang Bang Club
God Sleeps in Rwanda
The Mushroom Club
A Note of Triumph: The Golden Age of Norman Corwin

LIVE ACTION SHORT FILM

Ausreisser (The Runaway)
Cashback
The Last Farm
Our Time Is Up
Six Shooter

ANIMATED SHORT FILM
Badgered
The Moon and the Son: An Imagined Conversation
The Mysterious Geographic Explorations of Jasper Morello
9
One Man Band

I hate to sound like a geek (actually, no I don’t), but how was Episode III not nominated for best FX? And would it have been so hard for the Academy to throw some small amount of love towards Sin City?

And how the hell was Serenity not nominated for Best Picture???

If you didn’t watch tonight’s Golden Globes Awards, you missed out on two big winners, a few personal triumphs, and (surprisingly) few fire-your-stylist fashion faux pas. Read on for the entire list of winners from the television and film honorees (here’s a hint: the Hollywood Foreign Press sure like those cowboys)!

Leading the Golden Globes with seven nominations, Ang Lee’s cowboy love story “Brokeback Mountain” emerged victorious with four awards for Best Picture (Drama), Best Director, Best Screenplay and Best Song (“A Love That Will Never Grow Old”).

Also winning multiple honors, the Johnny Cash biopic “Walk the Line” took home three awards in the Musical or Comedy category, including Best Picture. Reese Witherspoon and Joaquin Phoenix, who star as June and Johnny Cash, each won Golden Globes for their performances.

Adding to the gay-friendly honors of the night were Felicity Huffman, who nabbed Best Actress for her portrayal of a pre-operative transsexual in “TransAmerica,” and Philip Seymour Hoffman, whose spot-on personification of gay author Truman Capote in "Capote"won him a Best Actor trophy.

Two other front-runners for the Globes, George Clooney’s “Good Night, and Good Luck” and Woody Allen’s “Match Point,” came out empty-handed despite each having four nominations apiece (Clooney, at least, won the Best Supporting Actor award for his role in "Syriana"). Meanwhile, the critical dud “Memoirs of a Geisha” (currently at 33 percent on the Tomatometer) came out a winner for Best Original Score, thanks to composer extraordinaire John Williams. And finally, Sir Anthony Hopkins Cecil B. DeMille lifetime achievement award from his “Proof” co-star Gwyneth Paltrow.

In the realm of television, awards went to ABC’s “Lost” and “Desperate Housewives” for Best Drama Series and Comedy Series, respectively, and HBO’s “Empire Falls” for Best Mini-Series or TV Movie. Read on for the complete list of television and film winners.

Best Motion Picture – Drama
"Brokeback Mountain"

Also nominated:
"The Constant Gardener"
"Good Night, and Good Luck"
"A History of Violence"
"Match Point"

Best Performance By An Actress In A Motion Picture – Drama
Felicity Huffman, "TransAmerica"

Also nominated:
Maria Bello, "A History of Violence"
Gwyneth Paltrow, "Proof"
Charlize Theron, "North Country"
Ziyi Zhang, "Memoirs of a Geisha"

Best Performance By An Actor In A Motion Picture – Drama
Philip Seymour Hoffman, "Capote"

Also nominated:
Russell Crowe, "Cinderella Man"
Terrence Howard, "Hustle & Flow"
Heath Ledger, "Brokeback Mountain"
David Strathairn, "Good Night, and Good Luck"

Best Motion Picture – Musical Or Comedy
"Walk the Line"

Also nominated:
"Mrs. Henderson Presents"
"Pride & Prejudice"
"The Producers"
"The Squid and the Whale"

Best Performance By An Actress In A Motion Picture – Musical Or Comedy
Reese Witherspoon, "Walk the Line"

Also nominated:
Judi Dench, "Mrs. Henderson Presents"
Keira Knightley, "Pride & Prejudice"
Laura Linney, "The Squid and the Whale"
Sarah Jessica Parker, "The Family Stone"

Best Performance By An Actor In A Motion Picture – Musical Or Comedy
Joaquin Phoenix, "Walk the Line"

Also nominated:
Pierce Brosnan, "The Matador"
Jeff Daniels, "The Squid and the Whale"
Johnny Depp, "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory"
Nathan Lane, "The Producers"
Cillian Murphy, "Breakfast on Pluto"

Best Foreign Language Film
"Paradise Now" (Palestine)

Also nominated:
"Kung Fu Hustle" (China)
"Master of the Crimson Armor AKA The Promise" (China)
"Merry Christmas (Joyeaux Noel)" (France)
"Tsotsi" (South Africa)

Best Performance By An Actress In A Supporting Role In A Motion Picture
Rachel Weisz, "The Constant Gardener"

Also nominated:
Scarlett Johansson, "Match Point"
Shirley MacLaine, "In Her Shoes"
Frances McDormand, "North Country"
Michelle Williams, "Brokeback Mountain"

Best Performance By An Actor In A Supporting Role In A Motion Picture
George Clooney, "Syriana"

Also nominated:
Matt Dillon, "Crash"
Will Ferrell, "The Producers"
Paul Giamatti, "Cinderella Man"
Bob Hoskins, "Mrs. Henderson Presents"

Best Director – Motion Picture
Ang Lee, "Brokeback Mountain"

Also nominated:
Woody Allen, "Match Point"
George Clooney, "Good Night, and Good Luck"
Peter Jackson, "King Kong"
Fernando Meirelles, "The Constant Gardener"
Steven Spielberg, "Munich"

Best Screenplay – Motion Picture
Larry McMurtry & Diana Ossana, "Brokeback Mountain"

Also nominated:
Woody Allen, "Match Point"
George Clooney & Grant Heslov, "Good Night, and Good Luck"
Paul Haggis & Bobby Moresco, "Crash"
Tony Kushner & Eric Roth, "Munich"

Best Original Score – Motion Picture
John Williams, "Memoirs of a Geisha"

Also nominated:
Alexandre Desplat, "Syriana"
James Newton Howard, "King Kong"
Gustavo Santaolalla, "Brokeback Mountain"
Harry Gregson, "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe"

Best Original Song – Motion Picture
"A Love That Will Never Grow Old" – "Brokeback Mountain"

Also nominated:
"Christmas In Love" – "Christmas In Love"
"There’s Nothing Like a Show on Broadway" – "The Producers"
"Travelin’ Thru" – "TransAmerica"
"Wunderkind" – "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe"

Best Television Series – Drama
"Lost" (ABC)

Also nominated:
"Commander In Chief" (ABC)
"Grey’s Anatomy" (ABC)
"Prison Break" (FOX)
"Rome" (HBO)

Best Performance By An Actress In A Television Series – Drama
Geena Davis, "Commander In Chief"

Also nominated:
Patricia Arquette, "Medium"
Glenn Close, "The Shield"
Kyra Sedgwick, "The Closer"
Polly Walker, "Rome"

Best Performance By An Actor In A Television Series – Drama
Hugh Laurie, "House"

Also nominated:
Patrick Dempsey, "Grey’s Anatomy"
Matthew Fox, "Lost"
Wentworth Miller, "Prison Break"
Kiefer Sutherland, "24"

Best Television Series – Musical Or Comedy
"Desperate Housewives" (ABC)

Also nominated:
"Curb Your Enthusiasm" (HBO)
"Entourage" (HBO)
"Everybody Hates Chris" (UPN)
"My Name Is Earl" (NBC)
"Weeds" (Showtime)

Best Performance By An Actress In A Television Series – Musical Or Comedy
Mary-Louise Parker, "Weeds"

Also nominated:
Marcia Cross, "Desperate Housewives"
Teri Hatcher, "Desperate Housewives"
Felicity Huffman, "Desperate Housewives"
Eva Longoria, "Desperate Housewives"

Best Performance By An Actor In A Television Series – Musical Or Comedy
Steve Carell, "The Office"

Also nominated:
Zach Braff, "Scrubs"
Larry David, "Curb Your Enthusiasm"
Jason Lee, "My Name Is Earl"
Charlie Sheen, "Two and a Half Men"

Best Mini-Series Or Motion Picture Made for Television
"Empire Falls" (HBO)

Also nominated:
"Into The West" (TNT)
"Lackawanna Blues" (HBO)
"Sleeper Cell" (Showtime)
"Viva Blackpool" (BBC America)
"Warm Springs" (HBO)

Best Performance By An Actress In A Mini-Series Or Motion Picture Made for Television
S. Epatha Merkerson, "Lackawanna Blues"

Also nominated:
Halle Berry, "Their Eyes Were Watching God"
Kelly MacDonald, "The Girl in the Café"
Cynthia Nixon, "Warm Springs"
Mira Sorvino, "Human Trafficking"

Best Performance By An Actor In A Mini-Series Or Motion Picture Made for Television
Jonathan Rhys Meyers, "Elvis"

Also nominated:
Kenneth Branagh, "Warm Springs"
Ed Harris, "Empire Falls"
Bill Nighy, "The Girl in the Café"
Donald Sutherland, "Human Trafficking"

Best Performance By An Actress In A Supporting Role In A Series, Mini-Series Or Motion Picture Made for Television
Sandra Oh, "Grey’s Anatomy"

Also nominated:
Candice Bergen, "Boston Legal"
Camryn Manheim, "Elvis"
Elizabeth Perkins, "Weeds"
Joanne Woodward, "Empire Falls"

Best Performance By An Actor In A Supporting Role In A Series, Mini-Series Or Motion Picture Made for Television
Paul Newman, "Empire Falls"

Also nominated:
Naveen Andrews, "Lost"
Jeremy Piven, "Entourage"
Randy Quaid, "Elvis"
Donald Sutherland, "Commander In Chief"" accepted the

The Chinese premiere of "Memoirs of a Geisha," which aroused controversy in China and Japan after three leading Chinese film stars, Ziyi Zhang, Gong Li and Michelle Yeoh, were cast in the roles of Japanese women, has been indefinitely postponed, the online Shanghai Daily News reported today (Monday), citing a report in the Shanghai Morning Post.

According to the report, a spokesperson for distributor Columbia Pictures "remained tight-lipped on the issue." The spokesperson said that the company had gone to great efforts to bring the film to the China mainland and remains optimistic that a "satisfactory outcome" will be reached in negotiations with authorities.

(From Skewed and Reviewed via the AP news wire.)

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