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movies | film

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Oscar-nominated movies explained in one sentence each

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The 88th annual Academy Awards will take place Feb. 28 at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California. 

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If you haven't had time to see the movies, here's a breakdown of the nominees, one potentially sarcastic sentence at a time: 

"The Big Short" – A simple explanation of the 2008 financial crisis thanks to celebrities like Margot Robbie, who explains finance terms while drinking champagne in a bathtub.

"Bridge of Spies" – Tom Hanks has to negotiate trading a Soviet spy for an American military man across a bridge during the Cold War. 

"Brooklyn" – An Irish girl who moved to America is confused about where she wants to live and forgets she's married for a second.

"Mad Max Fury Road" – Charlize Theron and Tom Hardy are chased by a band of guitar-playing dehydrated warriors through a sandstorm.

"The Martian" – Astronauts accidentally leave Matt Damon behind on Mars, where he fights for his life and figures out how to grow potatoes out of dehydrated excrement.

"The Revenant" – Leonardo DiCaprio gets attacked by a bear and has an all around bad week as he fights the elements and seeks revenge for his family.

"Room" – Jacob Tremblay gains freedom after being held captive in a room for years, allowing him the opportunity to experience the outside world for the first time.

"Spotlight" – Mark Ruffalo helps uncover the Catholic church sex abuse story.

"Trumbo" – Bryan Cranston just wants to write movies, but he gets accused of being a communist because he is one.

"Steve Jobs" – It's about the life of Apple co-founder and former chairman and CEO Steve Jobs.

"The Danish Girl" – Eddie Redmayne transforms himself as he undergoes one of the first sex-change operations in a tear-inducing story.

"Joy" – Jennifer Lawrence plays a mom and reminds viewers that Joy Mangano developed velvet hangers.

"Carol" – 1950s fashion and forbidden love are on display in this film.

"45 Years" – An old married couple has a late life crisis when the wife finds out the husband was engaged before.

Academy Awards have decades-long history with race controversy

This video includes clips from CBS, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and images from Getty Images, Kate Gabrielle / CC BY 2.0 and Loren Javier / CC BY ND 2.0.

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One of the most talked about stories surrounding this year’s Academy Awards is the #OscarsSoWhite controversy, prompted by a lack of diversity in the award show's nominations.

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Racial issues have plagued the film industry for decades, as highlighted by the first black Academy Award winner, Hattie McDaniel. McDaniel won the award in 1940 for her portrayal of a slave named Mammy in "Gone With the Wind."

McDaniel was reportedly segregated from her white co-stars at the event, forced to sit at a table in the back of the room. After the Academy Awards, McDaniel had to celebrate elsewhere too, as the clubs were still separated in the 1940s.

Much like Will and Jada Pinkett Smith are planning to do this year, McDaniel’s co-star Clark Gable considered skipping the awards ceremony over segregation. McDaniel reportedly had to convince Gable to change his mind.

Although McDaniel got her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, she still faced discrimination after her death. She was denied a spot in the Hollywood cemetery due to her race.

Hollywood has certainly come a long way since McDaniel’s Oscar win, but there’s still progress to be made. It took 50 years for another black actress to take home an Oscar, when Whoopi Goldberg won for her role in "Ghost."

Oscars swag bags value more than $200,000

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Jennifer Lawrence, Cate Blanchett, Leonardo DiCaprio and Matt Damon are among some of the many stars who will be attending the Oscars this year on Feb. 28. 

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But the actors who don't go home with an Academy Award won't leave empty-handed. 

Like any good celebration, each year the Oscars give out gift bags to attendants. 

This year, the goodies inside the bag are worth an estimated $200,000. That's a significant increase from last year's $125,000 bags.

The bags, packaged by Distinctive Assets, will include a 10-day first class trip to Israel worth about $55,000 and a 15-day Japanese walking tour worth approximately $45,000. Smaller items like $300 worth of personalized M&Ms and "luxury toilet paper" that costs more than $200 will be included as well. 

Distinctive Assets said this year's bag is "once again a blend of fabulous, fun and functional items meant to thrill and pamper those who may have everything money can buy but still savor the simple joy of a gift."

The package also contains a year’s worth of unlimited Audi car rentals, worth $45,000, a lifetime supply of Lizora skin creams, worth $31,200, $5,530 worth of laser skin therapy and other high-priced items, The Guardian reported. 

Whoopi Goldberg calls for year-long focus on Oscars diversity

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Whoopi Goldberg led a spirited discussion of the diversity missing from this year’s Oscars acting nominees on "The View" Monday morning, calling for a sustained focus on the issue.

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"This fight is only going to go on if people realize there’s an issue. Not just during the Academy Awards, during the year," she said. "That’s what’s going to make the change."

In response to widespread outrage over the lack of acting-nominee diversity the Academy announced a number of new guidelines aimed at change. "Selma" director Ava DuVernay applauded the move as a "one good step" in the right direction:

While some, including director Spike Lee and acting couple Jada Pinkett and Will Smith, are among those calling for boycott action, Ice Cube likened the Oscars outrage to "crying about not having enough icing on your cake."

"We don’t do movies for the industry," he said during an interview with Graham Norton. "We do movies for the fans, for the people, If the industry gives you a trophy or not, or pats you on the back or not, it’s nice, but it’s not something you should dwell on."

Here's that clip:

Here’s why #OscarsSoWhite is trending

Jennifer Brett of the Atlanta Journal Constitution contributed to this story.

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Once again, #OscarsSoWhite is trending on social media.

The hashtag first surfaced after the 2015 Oscars nominees were announced. 

The films and categories represented in the awards show were extremely diverse. But the actors nominated for awards weren't.

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Now, in the wake of the release of actors and actresses to be considered for accolades at the 2016 Oscars, #OscarsSoWhite is trending again.

Will Smith, who earned a Golden Globes nomination this year for his role as Dr. Bennet Omalu in “Concussion,” wasn’t among the 2016 Academy Awards nominees announced Thursday morning. 

Sylvester Stallone, who claimed a best supporting actor Globe trophy for his role in “Creed,” is up for a similar Oscar. The movie’s black star and director, Michael B. Jordan and Ryan Coogler, were not among nominees for either a Golden Globe or Oscar.

Idris Elba was up for a supporting-actor Globe for “Beasts of No Nation” but received no Oscars nod.

Most social media users, which spanned many races and ethnicities, expressed shock and disappointment that "Creed" and "Straight Outta Compton," both of which topped box office sales, did not yield any award nominations for actors of color.

The most recent black actor to win an Academy Award was Lupita Nyong, who played a slave in 2013’s "12 Years a Slave." The first was Hattie McDaniel, who also played a slave for her role in 1939’s "Gone With the Wind." Only one Latino actor has won best actor for a lead role, and no Latina actress has ever won best actress for a leading role.

Eva Longoria, America Ferrera call out racism against Latina actresses at Golden Globes

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Golden Globes host Ricky Gervais got political while introducing presenters Eva Longoria and America Ferrera, joking that “future president Donald Trump” wants to deport them. Ferrera was born in Los Angeles and Longoria was born in Corpus Christi, Texas.

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But the Latina actresses had the last laugh, dropping the buzziest diss against racism in Hollywood with a brief exchange before presenting the award for Best Actor in a Drama Series.

“Yes, hi, I’m Eva Longoria, not Eva Mendes,” Longoria said.

“Hi, I’m America Ferrera, not Gina Rodriguez,” Ferrera said, referencing tweets from the Golden Globes Twitter account that identified her as Rodriguez during the nominations announcement.

“And neither one of us are Rosario Dawson,” Longoria said, to which Ferrera replied “Nope.”

“Well said, Salma,” Ferrera said, referring to Mexican actress Salma Hayek.

“Thank you, Charo,” Longoria said, name-dropping the singer and actress from 1970s TV shows including “The Love Boat” and “The Carol Burnett Show.”

Viewers quickly took to Twitter to suggest that the pair co-host the Golden Globes next year.

Watch the exchange below:

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Leonardo DiCaprio's reaction to Lady Gaga bumping his elbow is hilarious

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Lady Gaga might have won a Golden Globe, but Leonardo DiCaprio gained all the attention when the singer-turned-actress walked to the stage to accept her award.

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The singer won her first Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actress in a Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television for her role as the Countess in "American Horror Story: Hotel."

As the emotional 29-year-old made her way to the stage, she passed a laughing DiCaprio, who had his elbow resting on the back of his chair.

Lady Gaga's hand knocked into DiCaprio's elbow and he pulled it away, grimacing behind her back.

“I just didn’t know what was passing me – that’s al,l” DiCaprio, 41, later told Entertainment Tonight of the face.

The interaction between the two prompted DiCaprio and Lady Gaga to be among the top three stars that were talked about the most on social media during the awards show.

Later that night, DiCaprio took home the award for Best Actor in a Drama Motion Picture for "The Revenant."

Metallica's Kirk Hammett hosts inaugural 'Fear FestEvil' in SF

Award-winning Metallica guitarist and horror aficionado Kirk Hammett is showing off his collection of horror-film memorabilia at Fear FestEvil, the inaugural edition of Hammett's new horror and metal convention at the Regency Ballroom this weekend.

The full name of the event is Kirk Von Hammett’s FEAR FestEvil

The inaugural event will feature highlights of Hammett’s world famous Crypt Collection (including some of the most valuable horror collectibles in the world) inside the Regency Ballroom's spectacular former Masonic temple, an extensive array of panels, live music, vendors and special guests. Attendees will also have the opportunity to wander through out the venue and experience various "haunting areas" for one-of-a-kind scares. There will even be a taxidermy class held on-site at the feastival. 

Krik told KTVU his love for the horror genre came from watching 'Creature Features' with Bob Wilkins on Channel Two in the 60's and 70's. "I've come full-circle," said Kirk. "I used to watch Creature Features every Saturday night…Bob Wilkins was one of my big inspirations."

Fear FestEvil will also feature live music with performances by an array of metal bands including headlining sets by local thrash legends Exodus (Hammett's first band before joining Metallica) and Carcass on Friday and Death Angel, Orchid and Death Division on Saturday. Hammett is scheduled to join both Exodus and Death Angel onstage at the festival, and with additional metal luminaries like Anthrax founder Scott Ian, legendary guitarist Slash and Slayer's Kerry King also on hand for Saturday's events, the possibility of a historic thrash-metal jam to close the festival is a distinct possibility.

For more information, visit www.fearfestevil.com.

Remembering swim and film star Esther Williams

2012 People's Choice Awards Red Carpet

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