1. "Oscar Voter Reveals Brutally Honest Ballot." One cranky member of the Academy's directors branch talks THR's Scott Feinberg through his picks.
"American Hustle is light years better than anything else. There is nothing but sharp cuts and rhythm in the movie—there is not a wasted frame. Captain Phillips is, to me, the chickenshit way of editing; it's usually done because you're terrified of boring the audience, so you keep cutting, and it actually becomes unbelievably tedious and headache-inducing, and it's not the way the mind perceives reality, either. And 12 Years a Slave had about 15 to 20 minutes of sluggish, boring stuff that I would have ripped out."
2. "Why Pompeii Doesn't Blow." Rearview: Why the critically maligned box office flop is the latest evidence for Paul W.S. Anderson's rise to the top tier of vulgar auteurs.
"Now, chances are that when you turn around to shush those rude patrons yapping away behind you during your screening of Pompeii, it won't be a conversation about pessimism and precluded revolt that you've interrupted. And in fairness to [Paul W.S.] Anderson's champions, most of them praise the director not on any highfalutin philosophical grounds, but rather for his spatially coherent action sequences staged with a minimum of the shaky-cam aesthetics and nerve-jangling editing that have become the dominant m.o. of the post-MTV Hollywood blockbuster. Or, as [Nick] Pinkerton deftly puts it, 'the too-common hurly-burly that's meant to disguise the fact that there was no scene there in the first place.'"