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Oscars Death Race 2012

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    OSCARS DEATH RACE: Surveying the race for Best Actor

    The Best Actor category is more interesting, to my mind, for who didn't get a nomination than for who did, although I guess the actual nominations are interesting. "Baffling" counts as interesting, right? Let's get to it.

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    OSCARS DEATH RACE: HUGO

    Hugo Cabret (Asa Butterfield) lives in a fairy tale, in both senses of that word. He's not troubled with real-life adolescent bagatelles like homework, and he lives unsupervised in the clock tower of a Parisian train station, where he's in charge of keeping the clocks running. But Hugo is unsuper...

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    OSCARS DEATH RACE: RIO

    A serviceable but obvious animated tale about a blue macaw named Blu (Jesse Eisenberg, typecast even in avian-cartoon form) who reluctantly returns to his roots in Brazil, then finds love…and his wings. Awww! But also, kind of zzzz! "Rio"'s most striking visuals and renderings of animal physicality ...

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    OSCARS DEATH RACE: THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO

    A disgraced journalist, Mikael Blomkvist (Daniel Craig), is called to the home of aging magnate Henrik Vanger (Christopher Plummer) to investigate an ancient crime in the magnate's family -- the disappearance and presumed death of Vanger's niece, Harriet, decades ago. Parked in a drafty cabin on the...

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    OSCARS DEATH RACE: REAL STEEL

    "Real Steel" is one of those trailers that makes you turn to your movie-going companion and say, "You know, I really like [above-the-title star who's talented, attractive, and doesn't take himself too seriously but apparently just hit some kind of alimony balloon payment]. He's a nice man. I want hi...

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    OSCARS 2012: PRESS PLAY'S staff picks their favorites

    After last week’s announcement of this year’s Oscar nominees, a handful of Press Play contributors gathered together via email to discuss the highs and lows in some of the major award categories. Below are some of the highlights of the conversation, and as always, we encourage you to keep the discu...

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    OSCARS DEATH RACE: UNDEFEATED

    It's not generally a compliment to say that a film reminds you of other films, or has the DNA of other films; the phrases "a poor man's" or "but with less" seem inevitable. To call a documentary "well made" isn't the highest of praise, either, suggesting as it does the absence of anything extraordin...

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    OSCARS DEATH RACE: MONEYBALL

    When I heard that "Moneyball" was set to become a film, I didn't get it. It's a good book, and I'm a huge baseball fan, but as far as a narrative with wider cinematic appeal, I didn't see a there there. It's a story about a guy using statistics to exploit market inefficiencies, so…good luck with tha...

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