Colin Firth talks about royalty and managing speech impediments in "The King's Speech"

Colin Firth talks about royalty and managing speech impediments in "The King's Speech."

Oscar Watch: Colin Firth talks royalty and 'The King's Speech'

Plus: Paramount begins their 'Shutter Island' campaign

It's going to be another busy fall and winter for Colin Firth.  After campaigning hard last year for his acclaimed work in "A Single Man," Firth is back in Oscar's cross hairs with another great turn in the upcoming drama "The King's Speech."

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Kobe Bryant, Lebron James and Kevin Durant have the power in this Marvel inspired cover for ESPN the Magazine.

Kobe Bryant, Lebron James and Kevin Durant have the power in this Marvel inspired cover for ESPN the Magazine.

Credit: ESPN

Disney does Marvel synergy right with 'Tron' and ESPN

Studio smartly working its $4 billion purchase throughout its properties

Having worked at two major media companies I know something about how difficult it is to get different divisions to work together.  Synergy was the buzz word in my early days at NewsCorp owned 20th Century Fox International and seemed always more of a talking point than anything that was ever seriously implemented (at least back in the day).  At Viacom's Paramount Pictures, divisions could certainly work with each other, assuming you'd pay something out of your budget to make it happen.  Competitors always thought the studio had it easy with MTV, but unless it was an MTV Film or someone shouted from the top of the Viacom ladder, you weren't getting much help from the all important cable net.  So, it's something of a surprise that after only one year, the Walt Disney Company has been able to integrate its Marvel properties so quickly into the entire operation.

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Jim Carrey and Rodrigo Santoro in "I Love You Phillip Morris"

Jim Carrey and Rodrigo Santoro in "I Love You Phillip Morris."

Credit: Roadside Attractions

Watch: Jim Carrey is gay, gay, gay in new 'Phillip Morris' red band trailer

The Sundance flick is finally hitting theaters with a smart new campaign

It's hard to believe it's been almost two years since "I Love You Phillip Morris" debuted at the Sundance Film Festival.  While the Luc Besson produced dramedy opened to strong reviews across the globe, American moviegoers were the victim of one bad distribution squabble after another.  Now, with the on a roll Roadside Attractions behind it, "Phillip Morris" is finally hitting theaters this December and you'll finally be able to catch what could be the performance of Jim Carrey's career.

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<p>Thandie Newton in a poster for Tyler Perry's new movie &quot;For Colored Girls.&quot;</p>

Thandie Newton in a poster for Tyler Perry's new movie "For Colored Girls."

Credit: Lionsgate

Oscar Watch: Living portraits bring Tyler Perry's 'For Colored Girls' to life

Impressive interactive achievement for new Nov. drama

if there is any film that will no doubt divide critics and pundits over the next few weeks it's Tyler Perry's "For Colored Girls." The long awaited movie adaptation of Ntozake Shange's classic play, the film features some outstanding performances, but faces a number of challenges at the box office and among numerous cinefiles ready to pounce on anything Mr. Perry tries to do on the big screen.  I'll be discussing that issue much closer to the film's Nov. 5 release, but in the meantime, Lionsgate has launched a slew of impressive interactive "Living Portraits" as part of an online initiative for the film.<

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Natalie Portman is a ballerina in the dramatic thriller "Black Swan"

Natalie Portman in Gotham Awards best picture nominee "Black Swan."

Credit: Fox Searchlight

'Black Swan' and 'The Kids Are All Right' dominate 2010 Gotham Awards nominees

'Let Me In' a surprise best picture contender

The 2010 Gotham Independent Film Awards announced their nominees this year and the East Coast competitor to the Independent Spirit Awards continues to become more and more relevant to the Oscar race.  

Last year, eventual Academy Award winner "The Hurt Locker" won both best picture and best ensemble at the Gothams while best documentary champ "Food, Inc." made the cut in the Oscar doc race.  That was a big turnaround from the year before when the esoteric, but excellent "Synecdoche, New York" won best ensemble and "Frozen River" picture.  Today's nominees found major players such as "Black Swan," "The Kids Are All Right" and "Winter's Bone" all making their mark with Gotham.  Now, whether that insinuates the Gothams are becoming more consumer friendly or something more about awards season overall, remains to be seen.

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<p>Melissa Leo and Christian Bale in &quot;The Fighter.&quot;</p>

Melissa Leo and Christian Bale in "The Fighter."

Credit: Paramount Pictures

'Mad Men' delivers a dramatic new preview for Mark Wahlberg's 'The Fighter'

Christian Bale and Melissa Leo dominate a much more intriguing sneak peek

Talk about a 180 degree turnaround.  After initially releasing a teaser that did everything possible to position David O. Russell's "The Fighter" as the next uplifting sports drama, Paramount Pictures debuted a new preview during the season finale of "Mad Men" tonight that made the prestige buzz around the picture much, much clearer.

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<p>An image from the set of Steven Spielberg's &quot;War Horse.&quot;</p>

An image from the set of Steven Spielberg's "War Horse."

Oscar Watch: Academy Awards aren't moving 2012 at least

Plus: Steven Spielberg's 'War Horse' gets a prime awards season release date

Ever since word got out that the Governor's board of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences was considering moving the date of the Oscars to earlier in the year debate has raged over the pros and cons of such a move.  Well, put that debate off, for at least a year. After last night's board meeting, AMPAS has decided not to make a radical change for the 2012 Academy Awards.  The Academy's official statement is as follows:

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<p>&quot;Born Sweet&quot; debuted at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival.</p>

"Born Sweet" debuted at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival.

Best Documentary Short narrowed to 8 contenders

Academy makes it a long wait for narrow field

The Academy Award nominations are over three months away, but eight filmmakers are going to have to hold it together until then.  The Academy announced eight finalists for the best documentary short category today of which three to five will land a coveted nomination.  The last time there were only three nominees was in 2003.  The following list was cutdown from an 30 original submissions after voting by the Academy's documentary branch.

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Javier Bardem

Javier Bardem in Mexico's foreign language film entry "Biutiful."

Credit: Roadside Attractions

65 films wage war for the Foreign Language Oscar

Who will win is anyone's guess

If there has been one Academy Awards category which has continued to beguile, frustrate and confuse even the powers that be in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, it's the best foreign language film.  Every year 65 countries or so submit their choices to complete for the prestigious award.  And while controversy surrounding a nation or two's choice is as predictable as Adam Sandler having another summer hit, who will actually win the award has turned not something of a "pick 'em" scenario. 

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<p>Colin Firth walks the red carpet at the 82nd Academy Awards as a best actor nominee for &quot;A&nbsp;Single Man.&quot;&nbsp; Could he finally win at the 83rd?</p>

Colin Firth walks the red carpet at the 82nd Academy Awards as a best actor nominee for "A Single Man."  Could he finally win at the 83rd?

Credit: AP Photo/Chris Pizzello

Contender Countdown: Colin Firth may be Oscar's only sure thing

Best Supporting Actress appears very much up for grabs

One of the great things about participating in Movie City News's Gurus of Gold and The Envelope's Buzzmeter is it's usually a good indicator of who in the Oscar game has seen certain films and who hasn't.  The latest installment of the Gurus is out and for the first time it is very telling in that regard.  This week we'll review my updated picks for best picture include the main acting categories.  When you compare them to the Guru's picks it's easy to tell who has done their homework.  First up, however, this pundit's humble picks and then some thoughts on the votes of the 14 other Gurus.

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