Blog Posts by Will Perkins

  • Oscars 2015: How does Academy Award voting work?

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    For most Oscar watchers, there are two days of every year that are of special concern: the morning the Academy Award nominees are announced and then Oscar night itself. While these two occasions are the most public face of the Academy Awards, there is much more to the the Oscars process than meets the eye. Ever wondered about who the Academy voters are? Want to know how the nominees and winners are picked? Here’s a primer on how Oscar voting works.

    Who are the Academy?

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     Though a full list of AMPAS membership has never officially been publicized, the names of new members are published when they join the Academy, as are the names of members who join the Board of Governors.

    There are exceptions to the rule, but for the most part, if an actor, actress, or other person in the film business has ever been nominated for an Oscar, it’s almost guaranteed that they are a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Members invited to join over the past several years include

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  • There and Back Again: Peter Jackson on his post-'Hobbit' life

    Peter Jackson and Hobbit star Lee Pace at the Toronto screening of The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies. (George Pimentel/WireImage)Peter Jackson and Hobbit star Lee Pace at the Toronto screening of The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies. (George Pimentel/WireImage)

    For nearly two decades, “Hobbit” director Peter Jackson has lived and breathed the world of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth. Orcs, elves, wizards, hobbits, dwarves, dragons, and dark lords -- day in and day out, for almost 20 years.

    Is it any wonder that Jackson is ready to take a vacation?

    “We haven’t had a day where we haven’t woken up and there’s been a deadline coming,” Jackson said while promoting “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” in Toronto earlier this month. “You can’t believe how much we don’t want anything to do.”

    Appearing even more frazzled than usual, the New Zealand filmmaker seemed relieved by the very concept of time off with his wife and filmmaking partner Fran Walsh. “It’s always been this looming thing. Now we get to wake up and done, finished… Fran and I have just so badly wanted for once in the 30-odd years of our professional lives to have nothing to do.”

    Jackson and his “Lord of the Rings” and “Hobbit” collaborators Walsh and Philippa Boyens began

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  • Lee Pace: The movie star you hardly recognize

    Lee Pace at the premiere of 'The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies' (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)Lee Pace at the premiere of 'The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies' (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

    Although you’ve almost certainly seen actor Lee Pace on the big screen many times in recent years, you might have a hard time recognizing him without his elf ears or alien warpaint.

    Believe it or not, Pace has had starring roles in some of the biggest movies of the past year or so – it’s just difficult to tell because he’s been hidden away under heavy make-up and prosthetics. He played King Thranduil in the first two “Hobbit” movies and reprises the Elven role in the forthcoming sequel “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies.” Pace also battled the titular “Guardians of the Galaxy” this past summer as Kree warlord Ronan the Accuser.

    Warner Bros., MarvelWarner Bros., Marvel

    Yup, that's the same guy!

    “I’ve loved this experience of playing characters that are so far from myself,” Pace said while promoting “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” in Toronto earlier this month. “These characters are fun to play!”

    Pace’s “Guardians” and “Hobbit” characters may have been fun for the actor, but neither is exactly what you’d

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  • Will 'Nightcrawler' bring Jake Gyllenhaal some Oscar glory?

    Jake Gyllenhaal in Nightcrawler. (Elevation Pictures)Jake Gyllenhaal in Nightcrawler. (Elevation Pictures)

    There are few actors working today who are doing as interesting work as “Nightcrawler” star Jake Gyllenhaal.

    Sure, Gyllenhaal got a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination back in 2006 for his portrayal of a gay cowboy in “Brokeback Mountain,” and he won raves for his role as an obsessive amateur detective in David Fincher’s 2007 thriller “Zodiac.” But over the past few years the Los Angeles native has completely reinvented himself. Gyllenhaal turned his back on blockbusters after the critical and financial failure of the 2010 mega-budget video game adaptation “Prince of Persia” and began focusing on smaller films directed by buzzy filmmakers.

    The results have been a tremendous. In 2011, Gyllenhaal starred in Duncan Jones’ acclaimed time travel thriller “Source Code,” the following year in David Ayer’s gritty crime docu-drama “End of Watch,” and in 2013 he collaborated with Canadian director Denis Villeneuve on the dark and disturbing double whammy of “Prisoners” and “Enemy.”

    Now at

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  • VIDEO: Teenager recreates famous movie scenes with Lego

    Is there anything Lego can’t do? The Danish construction blocks are more than just a humble kids toy these days. They’re now a force to be reckoned with at the box office thanks to hits like “The Lego Movie,” and there’s seemingly a new Lego video game released every time we turn around.

    But the physical bricks are still the heart and soul of the toy. More than just a plaything, Lego has recently become a real boon to amateur filmmakers on the web. Anyone with a camera, an affinity for building, and a knack for animation can use the plastic building blocks to create some pretty amazing things.

    One such filmmaker is 15-year-old Morgan Spence. The Scottish teen started animating films using Lego a few years ago for a school project and hasn’t looked back. His latest creation is a montage of famous movie scenes reimagined with Lego bricks and minifigures.

    Using the original audio and sound effects, Spence has recreated scenes from movies like “Singin’ in the Rain,” “Titanic,” to “Pulp

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  • Ryan Gosling wanted by both Marvel and DC for superhero roles

    (Photo by Foc Kan/FilmMagic)(Photo by Foc Kan/FilmMagic)Canadian actor Ryan Gosling is a wanted man.

    The 33-year-old London, Ontario native has earned legions of fans, thanks to hearthrob turns in movies like “The Notebook” and “Drive,” but he has yet to become that blockbuster star that many thought he would be. That may change very soon, though.

    According the The Hollywood Reporter, word is that Gosling is being sought after by the two biggest names in the superhero movie game: Marvel Studios and DC Entertainment. Gosling reportedly sat down with Marvel recently to discuss the possibility of taking on the title role in the upcoming “Doctor Strange” movie. (Joaquin Phoenix was originally tapped for the role, but the notoriously picky actor eventually dropped out.) Gosling is the latest big name to be associated with the role of Marvel’s sorcerer supreme, joining names like Keanu Reeves, Matthew McConaughey, Ewan McGregor, Jared Leto, and Ethan Hawke on the long list of contenders.

    The “Gangster Squad” star is also said to be high on DC’s

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  • VIDEO: How 'X-Men: Days of Future Past' created Quicksilver's slow-motion scene

    Earlier this year, fans of the “X-Men” movies were generally pretty excited in the lead up to the release of “X-Men: Days of Future Past." A movie that brought together the original X-cast with the new faces of “X-Men: First Class”? Of course they were stoked.

    But despite all the positive buzz surrounding the movie, there was one character who took a lot of flack prior to the film’s release: the super-speedy mutant Quicksilver (played by Evan Peters). Between Quicksilver’s somewhat goofy-looking costume (goggles and a portable cassette player?) and unabashed shilling for burger joint Carl’s Jr. in a silly commercial, many X-fans accused director Bryan Singer of ruining the beloved character.

    Then they saw the movie.

    Whatever issues those fans had with Quicksilver before “Days of Future Past” hit theatres were oh-so-quickly erased when they saw the teenage mutant in action.

    One scene in particular (and if you’ve seen “Days of Future Past” then you know exactly which scene we’re

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  • What is 'Civil War'? A primer for Marvel's gigantic 'Captain America 3' plan

    Big things are afoot at Marvel this week, things that could spell big changes for everyone’s favourite team of on-screen superheroes.

    On Monday, news broke that Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark would be joining his Avengers teammate Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) in the upcoming “Captain America 3.”

    We’re not just talking about a cameo or walk on appearance, here. The third “Captain America” film will co-star both Evans and Downey. So is it a buddy superhero flick featuring Cap and Iron Man? Not quite. The presence of the two high-profile heroes in the same movie signalled one thing to comic book fans everywhere: the famous “Civil War” storyline is finally coming to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

    What is Civil War?


    Simply put, “Civil War” was one of the most game-changing storylines ever published by Marvel Comics. The 2006 crossover event featured pretty much every major character in the Marvel Universe, but it primarily centered on Tony Stark (Iron Man), Steve Rogers (Captain America), and

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  • George Clooney to Adam West: Sorry about ‘Batman & Robin’

    George Clooney made an unexpected appearance at New York Comic-Con (Invision/AP)George Clooney made an unexpected appearance at New York Comic-Con (Invision/AP)
    George Clooney may be one of the most well-liked stars in Hollywood, but even his biggest fans have a hard time defending his leading performance in the disastrous 1997 film “Batman & Robin.”

    Taking over the role of Batman from Val Kilmer, Clooney’s take on the Caped Crusader was a hammy, one-liner spewing cartoon hero whose Batsuit prominently featured nipples. “Batman & Robin” was not particularly well-received by critics or audiences, and neither was Clooney’s performance. The film essentially killed the franchise until director Christopher Nolan rebooted it with 2005’s “Batman Begins.”

    In the years since “Batman & Robin” hit theatres, Clooney has joked about the role and talked about his disappointment with how it turned out, but this week at New York Comic Con he formally apologized to fans and another actor famous for wearing the cape and cowl.

    “I think since Batman that I’ve been disinvited from Comic-Con for 20 years,” Clooney quipped at a panel for his upcoming film

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  • Benedict Cumberbatch is tired of playing geniuses, says he wants to play ‘stupid’

    Benedict Cumberbatch says he’s sick of playing smart.

    The English actor and current Hollywood “It” boy has made a career out of portraying eccentric geniuses, learned gentlemen, and people who are just too smart for their own good. But while promoting his new film “The Imitation Game” (in which he plays the brilliant but troubled wartime codebreaker Alan Turing) Cumberbatch stressed that he can play other sorts of characters.

    "[I] play stupid people as well, you know,” Cumberbatch joked at the BFI London Film Festival press conference for “The Imitation Game. “If anyone’s got any other stupid people I can play, let me know.”

    It’s not the first time that Cumberbatch has complained about playing characters with super intelligence.

    “I am so ready to play a really dumb character,” he told T magazine back in March. Then, last month at the Toronto International Film Festival, Cumberbatch got a little testy with journalists during the “Imitation Game” press conference when asked why he’s

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Pagination

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