Mickey Ward goes toe-to-toe with Mark Wahlberg, and Peyton Manning apparently equals James Franco.
Christopher Rosen announces that the Academy Awards and the National Football League playoffs go together "like pigeons and Bisquick" (i.e., not at all), but he doesn't let that stop him from whipping up a batch of pigeon pancakes. Matching each NFL playoff team with an Oscar movie (or a non-Oscar movie, in the case of the hapless Seattle Seahawks, who get saddled with "Grown Ups"), he plays connect-the-dots. The Philadelphia Eagles have a cocky attitude and crazy speed? "Black Swan." The New England Patriots have the best record and are led by a coach who’s a jerk? "The Social Network." (Hmm, is he talking about David Fincher or Scott Rudin?) It gets a little confusing when his connections seem to imply that Peyton Manning is going to cut off his right arm, or that the Coen Brothers need a better running game. (Movieline)
Speaking of sports, the fight sequences in "The Fighter" are carefully choreographed to resemble the actual fights of Micky Ward (left), the boxer played by Mark Wahlberg in David O. Russell's film. But the movie also takes some liberties – which Kevin B. Lee points out with a striking video that places scenes from the film side-by-side with HBO footage from the actual Ward vs. Shea Neary fight. Using the actual ringside commentary in their reenactment, the filmmakers get pretty high marks – though one thing I noticed when I watched the original footage a couple of weeks ago is that the movie makes it seem as if Ward was being battered for most of the fight and was well behind on points, when in fact Neary had only a slight edge in points going into the final round. (YouTube)
The Gurus o' Gold have returned from the holidays, and now have "The Social Network" and "The King's Speech" in a dead heat for the top spot. "True Grit" comes in third, followed by "The Fighter," "Black Swan" and "Toy Story 3." And for that all-important 10th slot, "The Town" now has a comfortable lead over "Winter's Bone." The Gurus are also asked to correlate guild nominations with corresponding Oscar categories, though I'm not sure how much credence to place in these: the chart leaves out three of the answers I sent in, and gets the other two wrong. So, for the record: I think all five of the SAG ensemble nominees will get Oscar Best Picture nods; four of the five (yet-to-be-announced) DGA nominees will be singled out by the Academy; seven of the 10 WGA nominees will repeat at the Oscars; and nine of the 10 PGA choices will also get Oscar noms. (Movie City News)
The Central Ohio Film Critics Association joins the small band of regional critics groups who've honored something besides "The Social Network." Instead, "Inception" is their pick for picture and director, with acting awards going to James Franco, Natalie Portman, Geoffrey Rush and Hailee Steinfeld. I guess they didn't get the memo in Columbus that there's only one critics fave this season. (Central Ohio Film Critics Association)