Rick Ross, Fiona Apple, and Eight Other Artists Who Deserved a Best Original Song Nomination

The category for Best Original Song is always a bit of a mess. The songs are rarely judged on how they sound; the importance is, of course, how the song fits into the film for which it was written. This year’s nominees are representative of the usual fare. There’s the popular choice (Adele’s "Skyfall," which will likely win, as it should), the new song for the big-budget musical adaptation (the unnecessary "Suddenly" from Les Misérables), and then there are the forgettable tunes (I didn’t even know what Chasing Ice was before today, much less the song from it). It’s a shame, really, because there were plenty of good tracks included in the list of 75 eligible songs. Here are a few that probably will have a longer shelf life than "Pi’s Lullaby."

Karen O – "Strange Love" (from Frankenweenie)

Fiona Apple – "Dull Tool" (from This is 40)

Rick Ross – "100 Black Coffins" (from Django Unchained)

John Legend – "Who Did That To You" (from Django Unchained)

Sunny Levine – "No Other Plans" (from Celeste and Jesse Forever)

Arcade Fire – "Abraham’s Daughter" (from The Hunger Games)

The Bootleggers feat. Emmylou Harris – "Cosmonaut" (from Lawless)

Florence + The Machine – "Breath of Life" (from Snow White and the Huntsman)

Katy Perry – "Wide Awake" (from Katy Perry: Part of Me)

The Black Keys / RZA – "The Baddest Man Alive" (from The Man With the Iron Fists)

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Kristen Stewart Admits to Cheating on Robert Pattinson

The world was shocked—SHOCKED, I tell you—when US Weekly ran a picture of the young Twilight lass kissing her Snow White and the Huntsman director Rupert Sanders. In a new shocking twist, Kristen Stewart has responded to the gossipy item, acknowledging and apologizing for her infidelity. 

In a statement to People, Stewart said:

I’m deeply sorry for the hurt and embarrassment I’ve caused to those close to me and everyone this has affected. This momentary indiscretion has jeopardized the most important thing in my life, the person I love and respect the most, Rob. I love him, I love him, I’m so sorry.

I’m more surprised by the public statement, to be honest, although our weekend blogger Jessica Wakeman put it pretty bluntly in an IM conversation just now: "She’s probably fearing Twihard revenge. Those girls will come for her." So, is Stewart taking it public on her own accord, or might be a bit pressured from the Twilight folks to keep that major fanbase from tracking her down and taking out retribution on account of Robert Pattinson’s poor broken heart? (Pattinson’s heart, recently and unexpectly open about his relationship with Stewart, has been mum on the matter.)

Perhaps her apology should have been more like, "Sorry, Twlight fans, for throwing it your face that not only do you not get to fuck Edward like I do, but, like, I’m even bored with it."

Less People Wanted To See ‘That’s My Boy’ and ‘Rock of Ages’ Than Expected

That’s My Boy already looked terrible from the poster, but bad Photoshop alone couldn’t have accounted for its performance at the box office this weekend. Despite Adam Sandler’s perpetual stardom, the co-vehicle for Andy Samberg opened in fifth place, with earnings of only $13 million dollars. Vulture reports that this makes That’s My Boy Sandler’s lowest-performing opening weekend for a comedy in 15 years.

Meanwhile, America’s interest in Tom Cruise playing novelty roles seems to have diminished. Rock of Ages didn’t come out on top, either, opening in third place with $15.1 million. The Cruise-helmed classic rock musical didn’t quite find its voice, or its audience.

Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted remained on top with $35.5 million, while Prometheus came in second with $20.2 million. Snow White and the Huntsman rounded out the top five, just passing That’s My Boy with $13.8 million.

We can now continue to have a little more faith in American moviegoers.

First-Time Director Rupert Sanders Takes the Helm of ‘Snow White and the Huntsman’

If you pour over Rupert Sanders’s rich collection of commercial work, you’ll see a consistent theme of art and imagination embattled with commerce. It also proves he can tell just about any type of story—from the jaw-dropping futuristic war scene from Halo ODST to the short, comically charming fable for Monster.com to bringing delicate, artful beauty to the creation a slogan for Absolut Vodka. So while film geeks and other trade-perusing industry outsiders may have been collectively scratching their noggins when Universal brought in Sanders to direct the epic Snow White and the Huntsmen as his first feature, those on the inside like producer Joe Roth and top Universal brass were betting it was the young, soft-spoken Londoner’s time to finally put his wide array of advertorial proven talents together. The gamble clearly paid-off: the reimagined Snow White epic opened at number one at the box office, made a cool hundred mill worldwide over its first weekend in release and generally thrilled audiences by reinventing a tale we had all grown up knowing by heart, yet somehow making it feel new.

Sanders now finds himself on the less traveled by track of names like David Fincher and Michael Bay—top tier commercial directors who have risen to the top of the feature world, albeit in vastly different styles. What a difference a weekend in Hollywood makes. Sanders chatted with me a day after his debut film’s successful opening about the experience of making Snow White, making grown men look like dwarves, Charlize Theron and where, exactly, he comes from.

Congratulations on the film. Were you nervous last week?
Friday was a very tense day. I’m glad it’s over. I haven’t gotten a patch or anything to say I’ve accomplished something. I’m just happy people went to see it and the response has been good. You can’t plan for a successful film; you just have to try and do what inspires you and is close to your heart and see what happens.

Let’s start with how you became a director, since most people have no idea who you are.
Hello, I’m Rupert. I’m from London. I went to an art college called St. Martins. I’d grown up loving films—David Lynch films, David Lean films—but I never thought of myself as doing that. I wasn’t shooting cardboard cutout characters with my dad’s Super 8 since I was 4. It wasn’t till I came to America after college and ended up on a set with a guy named Tony Kaye.

Right, he directed American History X.
He was still shooting it at the time, but I was working with him on a Tag Hauer commercial. He was dangling out of a helicopter shooting a MIG jet flying 12 feet above a Formula One racecar racing around a track in Palm Springs. It was intoxicating. I remember watching him and saying to myself, “I want to be that dude.”

So he was an inspiration of sorts?
Yeah, he kind of took me under his wing. He showed me the mayhem of filmmaking—that he was using typography and tracking vehicles and poetry and weird casting and artistic people from all walks of life bundled together in this sort of massive circus. So I went back to England, wrote a commercial for Sony Walkman, shot it for about 600 quid over a weekend and then sold it to them for 35,000 pounds. That was the start of it.

Had you made any narrative films before this one?
I’d done a couple of shorts, one called Black Hole based on Charles Burns’s graphic novel of the same name, and a couple long form commercials that were about three minutes and were mostly narrative. But no, technically, this was my first long-form piece.

Was it daunting at all? I mean, was there that moment when the dog catches the car and it’s like, “Now what?”
Every day was a challenge. Dealing with eight dwarves, dealing with big armies, complicated locations and sets. The thing is though, you don’t really have time to sit around and be nervous about it. You just have to keep going.

How different was the script from the film we are all seeing now?
Quite different. What was great about Evan’s [Daugherty] first draft was the character of the huntsman, the vampiric queen and the escaping Snow White, but it had a different lighter tone. I wanted to include some of the classic iconic images from the original Grimm story. However, the script was constantly evolving and changing while we were shooting. The tone is what changed more then anything else.

Did a lot hit the cutting room floor?
Not really. I’m quite honored most of my original cut stayed intact.

Did you have to walk a fine line with the violence in the film, considering there is so much throughout?
If you see someone stabbed, you don’t need spurting arteries. Less is more. You know what’s happened, as the audience. Hitchcock did it so well by showing the implication of violence and the audience puts their own perception of fear into it.

How did you pull off making grown men look like dwarves?
A lot of random techniques really. Each shot was different. The toughest part was getting those eight great actors to remain still, as they all wanted to move and express themselves in each scene. So we were walking this fine line of making them appear to be dwarves and not limiting their full performance. That—and the troll, I suppose—were the toughest parts of the film.

How was it working with Charlize Theron, especially with how dark and intense she was as the Evil Queen?
She’s actually incredibly funny and ballsy, not nearly as intense as she may seem onscreen. She’s got a bit of a dirty mind and was constantly joking around.

Not only was this a monumental first film but you had a competing project out there at the same time (Mirror, Mirror). Was there any concern about this?
Yeah, there was concern the whole time. At least until [producer] Joe [Roth] pulled me aside and said, “Just make your film. Don’t worry about anyone else or anything else. Just make your film.” So that’s what I did.

‘Snow White’ Tops Friday Box Office

Even though its domestical haul now puts it behind only Avatar and Titanic on the all-time gross revenues list, The Avengers was no match for newcomer Snow White and the Huntsman on Friday at the U.S. box office.

Snow White raked in $20.3 million last night–higher than studio execs had predicted for the Charlize Theron and Kristen Stewart-starring flick–good for first place and a likely weekend total of about $55 million. Last week’s champ, Men in Black 3, slipped to second place with $8.1 million, and as previously mentioned, mega-blockbuster The Avengers finished in third with $5.6 million.

Courtesy Nikki Finke at Deadline, here’s how things are likely to shape up this weekend:

1. Snow White And The Huntsman (Universal) NEW [3,773 Theaters]
Friday $20.3M, Weekend $55.8M, International $39.3M

2. Men In Black 3 (Columbia/Sony) Week 2 [4,248 Theaters]
Friday $8.1M (-54%), Weekend $29M, Cume $112M

3. The Avengers (Marvels/Disney) Week 5 [3,670 Theaters]
Friday $5.6M, Weekend $19M, Cume $541.5M

4. What To Expect When… (Warner Bros) Week 3 [2,907 Theaters]
Friday $1.4M, Weekend $4.8M, Cume $31.1M

5. The Dictator (Paramount) Week 3 [2,649 Theaters]
Friday $1.4M, Weekend $5M, Cume $51.1M

6. Battleship (Universal) Week 3 [3,144 Theaters]
Friday $1.3M, Weekend $4.9M, Cume $55.2M

7. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (Fox Searchlight) Week 5 [1,294 Theaters]
Friday $1.2M, Weekend $4.8M, Cume $25.7M

8. Dark Shadows (Warner Bros) Week 4 [3,002 Theaters]
Friday $1.0M, Weekend $3.6M, Cume $70.6M

9. Chernobyl Diaries (Alcon/Warner Bros) Week 2 [2,433 Theaters]
Friday $1.0M (-70%), Weekend $2.8M, Cume $14.2M

10. For Greater Glory (Arc Entertainment) NEW [575 Theaters]
Friday $585K, Weekend $1.5M

What movie are you excited to see this weekend?

Movies Opening This Weekend In Order Of How Much We Like Their Trailers

Some people judge a movie based on reviews, other will go see something just because it features a favorite actor. Here, we’re judging this weekend’s offerings based solely on what we see in the trailers and ranking them accordingly.

Snow White And The Huntsman: God bless a summer blockbuster filled with swords and evil queens and a bunch of creepy birds. There is nothing about this movie that doesn’t look amazing.

The Loved Ones: A demented horror movie about a sad, weird girl and her prom? Been there! But this trailer seems to offer something more: serious violence, a high creep factor and a break from hostage/torture porn that had made horror movies borderline unwatchable. Well done!

High School: Most stoner comedies are somewhat lacking and since your own high wore off during those endless coming attractions they’re a total drag. This one, about kids who get their entire school stoned in order to make sure nobody passes a drug test, actually looks funny, no matter what condition you go in.

Piranha 3DD: For a movie about a fishy bloodbath at a waterpark—easy sell, right?—this trailer is way too long. Sure, you want to let everyone know you emptied your pockets to get Hasselhoff, but something shorter and snappier—some might say with more teeth—would have been a lot more appealing.

Battlefield America: This movie is most likely dreadful, but the trailer is a delight. A bunch of tiny little breakdancing children all talking trash to one another and competing in dance battles for some sort of unknown prize or glory that comes with being the fanciest dancer? Yes please.

6 Month Rule: This player-gets-played movie looks pretty bottom of the barrel. We’ve seen this sort of thing over and over again. What we haven’t seen is Dave Fucking Foley looking like Santa’s dentist brother. Now that is some shit.

Your Essential ‘Snow White’ Syllabus

This Friday, Snow White and the Huntsman hits theaters. It’s the second attempt to resurrect the fairy tale this year. The first one sucked balls. Like any fairytale, this one can be read on many levels. To help you prepare for the release on Friday, we’ve prepared a syllabus of some films to watch and books to read to gird yourself for Charlize vs. Kristen.

The Dark Crystal
Jim Henson and Frank Oz’s 1982 puppet fantasy epic prefigures the Evil Queen’s life-sucking obsession with youth and beauty. More directly, the ability of the Skeksis to utilize the youth and beauty of the Gelflings is a clear precursor.

Young Adult
OMG, Charlize Theron has played a bitch before. Also see: Monster.

The Power of Myth by Joseph Campbell
This great series between mythologist Joseph Campbell and journalist Bill Moyers aired on PBS in the 1988 and explores the archtypes inherent in modern and ancient myths. Understand how Star Wars, Jesus, Buddha, and James Joyce have to do with Kristen Stewart (a lot!).

The Uses of Enchantment by Bruno Bettelheim
Using Freudian analysis, the Austrian-American psychologist explains how fairy tales reflect repressed sexual desire and what that has to do with Charlize Theron and Kristen Stewart (a lot!).

Charlize Theron and the History of Evil Queens

Long before the Julia Roberts stinker Mirror, Mirror came and went, there was talk about that movie and the forthcoming Snow White and the Huntsman and which witch—Roberts’ evil queen or that of Huntsman’s Charlize Theron—would be worst. Talk no more, folks. Today a clip from Huntsman, featuring Theron not-so-gently asking her loyal servant, played by everyhunk Chris Hemsworth, to go into some haunted-ass woods and hunt down Snow White so the queen can eat her heart already.

But what we’re seeing from Theron, while pretty good considering our recent smattering of evil queens, isn’t without precedent. No, there have been evil queens before. And they’ve been bad. Really bad. Like the Wicked Queen from Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarves.

Or Mary, Queen of Scots, whose bloody reign stretched across Europe and gave Vanessa Redgrave a meaty role to play.

There was Dame Judi Dench as the ultimate bad girl, even if she was royal only briefly, Lady MacBeth.

Pinks Flamingos’ Babs Johnson might not live in a castle, but Divine was sure one killer queen. And you don’t get much more evil than Babs.

New ‘Snow White & The Huntsman’ Trailer Ups the Ante, Number of Dwarves

Snow White and the Huntsman, otherwise known as Thor & Bella Fight Mavis Gary, looks like a pretty intentionally Epic sword-and-sorcery action flick, filled with slow-motion horses, high fantasy art direction and a story older than America. This new trailer courtesy of Xfinity widens the scope by quite a bit: There are some more palatable magical elements (CGI turtles!), more action shots of Kristen Stewart all Joan of Arc-ed out, and the appearance of the famous seven dwarves, looking a bit more Tolkien than Disney. Oh, and there’s the introduction of a typical fantasy trope about how Snow White is the one to rescue the kingdom from the darkness, but of course it would have to go down like that. Take a look after the jump.

Calling it now: Whoever hosts next year’s Oscars will make some truly horrible jokes about the similarities between this and the other Snow White movie due for release in 2012, Mirror Mirror. "Two Snow Whites? S’no problem why audiences got confused!" Ugh, it’s going to be the worst. Snow White and the Huntsman is out on June 1.