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Lone Ranger

It's not hard to imagine that somewhere in the recesses of Hollywood, some development exec is pointing at the abysmal returns from Disney's failed attempt at a new Johnny Depp franchise, "The Lone Ranger," and saying that the western is dead because audiences don't care about cowboys.

That studio exec is very, very wrong.

The exec has some good evidence, though. "The Lone Ranger" may result in a loss for Disney totaling $150 million. One of last year's biggest flops, "John Carter," begins in a western setting. Even James Bond and Han Solo couldn't bring audience out to see "Cowboys & Aliens." Don't even mention "Wild Wild West."

But these aren't the movies that the exec should be looking at to gauge the vitals of the western. These are all perfectly good examples of why, of all genres, you don't mess with the western by adding crappy effects. If you really want to know if the western still has some power, these are the three movies you need to consider.

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Even if she didn't win an Oscar, there's no doubt that Hailee Steinfeld is a winner all the same thanks to her breath-taking and star-making big-screen debut in "True Grit," the Joel and Ethan Coen-directed Western about young but driven Mattie Ross' quest to avenge her father's death.

Steinfeld's turn as Mattie was an unexpected but welcome breath of fresh air for moviegoers who, of course, were expecting a strong performance — but perhaps not that strong. The young actress' success in the role owes no small amount to her very own talents, but as Steinfeld herself explains in this behind-the-scenes clip from the recently-released "True Grit" Blu-ray and DVD, her directors had quite a large role to play as well.

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Hailee SteinfeldThe fairy tale fever sweeping through Hollywood has claimed one more actor in the form of Hailee Steinfeld.

The 14-year-old "True Grit" actress, who rightfully earned an Oscar nomination with her stunning performance as the fearless Mattie Ross, is attached to play the title role in a new take on "Sleeping Beauty," Deadline reports. But don't expect this teenage bad-ass to take the proceedings lying down—in this version of the classic tale, the story is "told from [Steinfeld's] point of view as she enters the dream world and has to find her way out."

We have little doubt that Steinfeld is more than up to the task of fighting through the fierce world of dreams, if her "True Grit" experience is any indication of her capabilities. After the jump, see what we're expecting from the erstwhile Mattie.

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The Academy Awards are only two days behind us and there’s already chatter of a sequel to one of this year’s Best Picture nominees.

Mark Wahlberg dished about a continued take on “The Fighter” while walking the Oscar red carpet this past Sunday (February 27). Supposedly, he’s already entered into talks regarding a companion film, which would focus on the torrid ring-bound history of Micky Ward and boxing opponent Arturo Gatti.

We’re not exactly shocked by the prospect – after all, 2011 is already the biggest year for movie sequels, so why not up the ante for 2012? We’re fairly certain these other five Best Picture nominees could be stretched into a second story, too!

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With just hours to go before the Oscars launch, it's time to tackle the big question: who's going home with the Best Picture award?

In a field of ten nominees, it's seemingly once again down to two familiar competitors. Just as "The Hurt Locker" and "Avatar" raced neck-and-neck throughout the 2009 Academy Awards, tonight's show appears to be a similar throwdown between the popular favorite and the critical darling: "The Social Network" versus "The King's Speech."

But is the race really down to two? What of the other eight contenders? We've got some analysis after the jump, and make sure to cast YOUR vote for the Best Picture winner in our poll!

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Let’s be honest: in this day and age, the idea of watching an entire 90-minute movie with uninterrupted concentration is almost inconceivable. Certainly not in a world where e-mail, commercials and, of course, Twitter completely rule our lives.

And it gets worse: this year's Oscar ceremony, airing on Sunday (February 27), has ten Best Picture nominees. Ten! It's hard enough to watch an entire movie on its own, and it's downright impossible to expect that you've seen all ten of the big contenders come Oscar night.

But as always, we have a solution. We're marrying our Twitter fixation with the Best Picture problem: we've seen every movie up for the award this year, and to bring you up to speed, we're reviewing each one of them Twitter style. After the jump, get our quick takes on all of the Best Picture nominees — in 140 characters or less, of course!

#BestPictureNominees, engage!

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If "Toy Story 3" left you with a lingering hope for the continuing adventures of Woody and Buzz, don't worry — they're coming.

We already knew about the Hawaii-centric short attached to "Cars 2," and now comes word of another "Toy Story" tale that'll play in front of "The Muppets," arriving just in time for Christmas! There's no word on the short's story, but here's hoping that it involves a return trip to Sunnyside.

That's not all the news that's fit to print — head past the jump for "True Grit" star Hailee Steinfeld's new gig, a new clip from "Source Code" and more!

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The King's SpeechTo the surprise of few, "The King's Speech" came out of Sunday night's BAFTA awards show with seven of its 16 eligible awards in hand, including Best Film, Outstanding British Film, Original Screenplay, Leading Actor, Supporting Actor and Actress and Original Music.

These big wins certainly shorten the gap between "The King's Speech" and "The Social Network" for the Best Picture race as we head toward the Oscars. Though "The Social Network" originally struck many as the favorite -- and it did land a few big awards at the BAFTAs, including Best Director, Adapted Screenplay and Editing -- "The King's Speech" has picked up speed in recent weeks, with the string of BAFTA wins only furthering its momentum.

For those of you still upset about the slights at "Inception" for Oscar nominations you'll be happy to know that Tom Hardy was awarded the Orange Wednesdays Rising Star Award. It's an obvious recognition of the talent he displayed in "Inception" last year, and the film was also awarded for Production Design, Sound and Special Visual Effects.

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There were few surprises as to what films were named as nominees during this morning's Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences announcement of the 2011 Oscar nominees, but that is definitely a good thing. As suspected, "The King's Speech," "The Social Network" and "True Grit" led the pack. "The King's Speech" led the nominees with 13 nods, while "True Grit" had a surprising 10 and "The Social Network" had nine.

First up: the best picture race. In addition to the three films above, "The Fighter," "The Kids Are All Right," "Inception," "Winter's Bone," "Toy Story 3," "127 Hours" and "Black Swan" were all recognized. Those have been the front runners the whole race, and though "The Town" and "Blue Valentine" seemed somewhat likely to at least get a nomination, this was pretty much what was expected.

Click on after the jump to see who else got nominated.

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The King's SpeechTwo things the British apparently love: stammering English monarchs and crazy-eyed New York ballerinas.

Tom Hooper's historical drama "The King's Speech," starring Colin Firth as speech-impeded King George VI, and Darren Aronofsky's "Black Swan," featuring a crazy-eyed Natalie Portman as a dancer on the verge of a "Swan Lake"-induced breakdown, topped the Orange British Academy Film Awards nominations, which the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) announced today. "The King's Speech" led the way with 14 nominations, "Black Swan" scored 12, "Inception" snagged nine, and "True Grit" and "127 Hours" nabbed eight apiece. Golden Globes Best Picture winner and Oscar front runner "The Social Network" earned a more modest six nominations. Read More...

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