S.H.I.E.L.D. is Coming!

Is anyone else ridiculously freaking excited about S.H.I.E.L.D.?? The new show from Joss Whedon, an off-shoot from The Avengers, started shooting last week. I simply cannot contain my excitement.

If you haven't seen Joss Whedon's gripping performance in "Scary Smash," click here and watch it now. Seriously. You won't be disappointed.

If you haven’t seen Joss Whedon’s gripping performance in “Scary Smash,” click here and watch it now. Seriously. You won’t be disappointed.

Although I have been thoroughly delighted by Whedon’s recent foray into the film world, and even more pleased by his well-deserved reception (finally!), I still believe his true medium is television. After his success with the long-running Buffy the Vampire Slayer and its spin-off Angel, in which he proved his talent for playing on your heartstrings, among other things, Whedon’s subsequent projects, Dollhouse and Firefly, were unfortunately stymied despite their massive potential.

So despite the excellence (and abundance) of his work in film over the past year, I couldn’t be happier about Whedon’s return to television, if anything just because I’ll get to bask in the glory of his genius for an hour every week. But also he now has the clout to ensure that something like the devastating loss of Firefly won’t happen again. Right guys? It couldn’t possibly. Could it?

There are also talks of Cobie Smulders joining the cast of S.H.I.E.L.D. as her character from the film, Maria Hill, and the wonderful Clark Gregg has already been attached to the series, even though Agent Coulson is no longer with us (maybe Whedon will pull one of his classic resurrections à la Buffy?).

Cobie Smulders Talks Agent Maria Hill in S.H.I.E.L.D. and Captain America
Roth Cornet @ IGN

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Cobie Smulders’ inclusion in last summer’s comic book movie mega-hit, The Avengers, as Agent Maria Hill left many fans wondering what the actress’ role in the larger Marvel cinematic universe might be. When the S.H.I.E.L.D. television series was announced it was natural to guess that she may be a part of that story.

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Oscar Nomination Predictions

Oscar nominations will be announced tomorrow, and I’m coming to realize that I haven’t seen all that many of the films that will likely be in the running for best picture. This is a very strange state of affairs, especially given how much of my budget gets chewed up by movie tickets every month. According to this educated and well-reasoned article which proposes possible nominees for best picture, I’ve only seen two out of the ten films with the best shot.

Am I that out of tune with the film industry right now, or is it actually that I’m just out of tune with the Academy? I think it’s the latter, as most of the films that have a shot at the nomination aren’t the big blockbuster films, but instead the more “respectable”, supposedly insightful, or even artistic films.

While I’m glad to see Django Unchained and Les Miz on the list, I’m curious why some of my favorite films of the year aren’t even on the Academy’s radar. The other eight films on my Top Ten of Twenty Twelve list are nowhere to be seen, including The Avengers and Looper, two of the best sci-fi films to come out in a while, in my opinion.

Come to think of it, there aren’t any sci-fi films on this list of potential Best Picture nominees. Why is it that science fiction gets such a bad rap, when in reality this genre generates some of the most thought-provoking and compelling films?

Who do you hope to see nominated?

Best Picture Power Rankings: Final Pre-Nomination Predictions
Ben Travers @ PopMatters

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The time has come to put forth my final predictions for Best Picture, and never has a task been more daunting. With so many films making late surges (Skyfall on the Producers Guild List? Salmon Fishing in the Yemenwith three Golden Globe nods?) and the Academy rules allowing for up to 10 nominees, there are more movies with a legitimate shot at a nomination than ever before.

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