PopEater: Oscar Betting is the Most Gambled Upon Non-Sporting Event in the U.S.

When it comes to movies during Oscar season, everyone’s a critic. And most people would be willing to bet they already know who’s going home with a statue on Sunday (Colin Firth, Christian Bale, Natalie Portman) and who isn’t (Jeff Bridges, Annette Bening, Jeremy Renner). But the bigger question is, how many of them would really be willing to bet — as in, make an actual cash wager — they are right?

A lot, it seems. According to some estimates, the Oscars are the most gambled upon non-sporting event in the U.S. after the presidential election.

And, as with most things in life, you have to pay to play. Ed Pownall, the entertainment and political trading director at Bodog.com, one of the largest online gaming sites, explains that there are two types of players when it comes to the Oscars: “Those looking to ‘buy’ money with very short prices (i.e., if an actor or film is 1/12 to win — you have to bet $12 to win $1, so some big players will bet $12K to win $1K thinking it is such a certainty). The other Oscar player is the genuine fan who will play with $5 to $10 and tend to back their favorite actor or film.”

If you fall into that second category, thanks a lot — you’re the reason the house always wins. Just because you loved, say, ‘Little Fockers,’ doesn’t mean you ought to risk your money on it. (Though it does mean you’re a candidate for a lobotomy.) Continue reading

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PopEater: 8 Movies That Should Be Nominated for Oscars But Probably Won’t Be

The countdown to the 83rd Academy Awards is on, with the official nomination press conference set for the early hours of tomorrow morning. As is the custom, bloggers and critics have been hypothesizing for weeks now as to which movies and actors will be recognized by the Academy. Everyone seems to agree that ‘The Kids Are Alright,’ ‘The Fighter,’ ‘Black Swan,’ ‘Toy Story 3,’ ‘The King’s Speech’ and ‘The Social Network’ will pick up several nominations, including Best Picture. Nods for ‘True Grit,’ ‘127 Hours’ and ‘Inception’ are also on the table. But what about the many standout films and performances that are likely to be overlooked by Oscar this year? Continue reading

Tribeca Film Festival: Inside the “Baby Mama” Premiere

Moma_partyThe Tribeca Film Festival is off to a strong start, with the stars turning out for last night’s world premiere of “Baby Mama” at the Ziegfeld. We were in attendance at the official after-party, held at the Museum of Modern Art, which could have been mistaken for a “Saturday Night Live” reunion. In addition to Lorne Michaels and “Baby Mama” stars Amy Poehler and Tina Fey, guests at the MoMa included a long list of present and former cast-members, like Jimmy Fallon (who eventually left the party with former “SNL” player Chris Kattan), Rachel Dratch, Jason Sudeikis, Fred Armisen, Molly Shannon and even Chevy Chase. But the superstar of the evening was Steve Martin, who sauntered in wearing a panama hat, spent most of his time at a table with Lorne and Chevy and later departed without obliging the fans who were waiting outside for an autograph. (That said, Martin’s role in “Baby Mama” is much funnier than the rest of the movie.) Continue reading

Citysearch: Places We’d Like to See Squashed by the Cloverfield Monster

Cloverfield_movie_poster

Photo: Cloverfield hits theaters this weekend

Lady Liberty is just one of the New York City landmarks that takes a beating in the highly anticipated new monster movie, “Cloverfield,” which hits theaters today. From what I can surmise, the premise goes something like this: Young, fun-loving crowd of New Yorkers are at one of those cheesy parties where the hosts videotape their guests talking about how totally awesome the party is, when all hell breaks loose. Suddenly New York is under attack by a savage, futuristic-Godzilla-style monster. Chaos and massive destruction ensue as said monster proceeds to obliterate everything (and everyone) in its path, all but leveling the city. But every movie has a hero (although judging from the “Cloverfield” cast, that hero needn’t be a celebrity), and ours turns out to be one of the dudes who was at that party before all the madness began. Ultimately, that guy, whoever he is, leads a mission to defeat the monster, thereby restoring order and saving the city. 

With any luck, “Cloverfield” will deliver at least one good old-fashioned impaling–perhaps one that involves the Empire State Building needle, for example–but suffice it to say that there will be blood. So, at the risk of offending a broad spectrum of our audience, we’re paying tribute to this epic movie with a little hit list of our own: Places We’d Like to See Squashed by the “Cloverfield” Monster. Continue reading

YRB Magazine Interview: Director James Wan

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After making his wildly successful directorial debut with the low-budget horror film Saw, young director James Wan returns with Death Sentence, a revenge-thriller about a family man (Kevin Bacon) who takes matters into his own hands after his son is murdered. I caught up with Wan to discuss Death Sentence and his approach to filmmaking, and here’s what he had to say.

Movie: The Brothers Solomon

Will Arnett and Will Forte are the Brothers Solomon

The Solomon brothers want to put a baby in you, and goddammit they will, even if it’s the last thing they do. When their dying father expresses one final wish to have a grandchild, Dean and John Solomon (Will Forte and Will Arnett) must find a way to procreate, stat. And it’s not going to be easy. That’s because until now, they’ve grown and developed (or rather, not developed) in the social equivalent of a concentration camp: a remote arctic location where they were home-schooled by their father. Miffed to find that the ladies aren’t exactly swooning, Dean and John explore other options, such as kidnapping (“We were trying to coax that little girl into our car, but her mom’s being a real pain in the ass,” Arnett explains to the police) and adoption (“What is your return policy?”), before they find Janine (SNL’s Kristen Wiig) on Craigslist, and convince her to serve as a surrogate. Written by Forte and directed by the legendary Bob Odenkirk (Mr. Show), this late-summer gem has all the right ingredients for comedy gold.

Movie: Superbad

-Popular Girl: "You know, you scratch our backs, we'll scratch yours." -Fat Nerd: "The funny thing about my back is that it's located on my cock."

Once again, director Judd Apatow (The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Knocked Up) proves that good things happen when you combine a funny script with funny actors. Superbad tells the tale of Evan and Seth (played by Michael Cera of Arrested Development and Knocked Up’s Jonah Hill), two socially inept best friends and high school seniors who must make the most of their days together before enrolling at different colleges in the fall. With no social skills, less than no sex appeal, and nothing even resembling a cool bone in their bodies, the boys realize that if they want to make it as college men, they’re going to have to turn around their luck with the ladies – starting tonight, on the eve of their graduation. Not to be mistaken for a classic coming of age tale a la Stand By Me, Superbad is about as heartwarming as a funeral. But thankfully, it’s a whole lot funnier.