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Oscar poster is out now; 'Hercules' is in, too

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As January rolls, the movie pickings are a bit slim with new wide releases. This weekend is no exception. "The Legend of Hercules" is the lone wolf on that front.

The term blockbuster seldom gets attached to films that get released in January as Hollywood turns its eyes on awarding themselves. That actually happens all year long, but it is really occurring right now and will through March 2, when the Oscars take place.

Weekend
1. "The Legend of Hercules" - 2,000 theaters
2. "The Adventurer: The Curse of the Midas Box" - 81 theaters

One could put "Her" and "Lone Survivor" into this report since they expand, so let's do. There is not enough material to go around with "The Legend of Hercules," but with its release now, that should tell you all you need to know.
But with "Her," it is all about a voice and Joaquin Phoenix. Now, if one is inclined to fall in love with a character's voice, then this may be the movie to see. If one gets lost in translation, go ahead and skip it. One thing is certain, this movie can provoke some dialogue into how deep and rewarding a voice character can get. Much like Hal in "2001 A Space Odyssey," Scarlett Johansson as Samantha in "Her" fascinates, but, come on, it is just a voice. To get so wrapped up by thinking it is more complex can be a bit over dramatic.

Those into a sci-fi-style romance like this will be very satisfied, and those who cannot see past the computer, will not see past it. It is that simple. When computers and smartphones get leads in movies, that cannot be good in the long run. It does, somehow, paint a picture of life today with its false emotions and artificial love.
"Lone Survivor" takes viewers along with the Navy Seals on a mission — an impossible one. The title alone should tell the movie-goer how this one ends. Mark Wahlberg stars in this gritty and bloody film.

Oscar news
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) has announced that 19 scientific and technical achievements represented by 52 individuals will be honored with awards.

These awards are achievements that may have occurred over the year and not just in 2013. They range from movie inventions such as those that renders fire, smoke and explosions for motion picture visual effects to a Pneumatic Car Flipper.

“This year’s honorees have in a myriad of ways enabled today’s movie-going experience,” said Richard Edlund, Academy Award-winning visual effects artist and Scientific and Technical Awards Committee Chair, in a release. “Their efforts have advanced not only the art and science of motion pictures, but the work of countless global industries.”

According to AMPAS, the Award of Merit will be awarded to the collective group as a whole, known as lab workers. The awards, noted AMPAS, is dedicated to “all those who built and operated film laboratories, for over a century of service to the motion picture industry.”

The honors will be honored on Saturday, Feb. 15, at The Beverly Hills Hotel. For a complete list and descriptions of winners, head here. AMPAS also released the official Oscar poster featuring host Ellen DeGeneres.

In other award news, CBS has struck a deal to air the Hollywood Film Awards. They actually kick off award season, not ones that get handed out in January, as many note. For sure, the award season is not kicked off by "The People's Choice Awards," which should be retired and/or ignored.

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