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Thompson on Hollywood

Trailer Watch: Client 9: Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer, Inside Job

Two excellent Wall Street exposes, Alex Gibney's Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer (on demand October 1, theaters November 4) and Charles Ferguson's Inside Job (NYFF October 1, NY October 8, LA October 15) serve as brainy fact-packed companion pieces to Oliver Stone's commercial sequel Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, which opened at number one this weekend. Here are trailers for both Oscar-worthy docs:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 26, 2010 5:43 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Weekend Box Office: Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps Easily Clips Legend of the Guardians, You Again

There's life yet in the adult drama, as Oliver Stone's Wall Street sequel easily outscored the weekend competition. Anthony D'Alessandro reports.
  • By Anthony D'Alessandro
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  • September 26, 2010 4:30 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Venice Photo Gallery

When you're in the thick of a film festival, it's hard to keep up with all the real news, reviews and just keeping your appliances charged. At Venice, especially, I kept running out of juice on my laptop, phone, camera or flip cam. Keeping them all up to snuff was a challenge. Thus some of my best Venice photos were taken with my BlackBerry, finally. Most of my time was spent on the Lido; I biked to the Movie Village from the yellow Viktoria Palace Hotel.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 25, 2010 11:53 AM
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  • 0 Comments
More: Festivals

Oscar Watch: Waiting for Superman Meets Zuckerberg on Oprah

Oscar Watch: Waiting for Superman Meets Zuckerberg on Oprah
Paramount has sent out "for Your Consideration" six-city screening invites for Martin Scorsese's Shutter Island and Davis Guggenheim's Waiting for Superman, which got serious Oprah Winfrey love this week, with two shows devoted to the controversial American education expose. The second show also featured Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who didn't say much as Winfrey explained that he was reluctant to appear and had wanted to make his contribution to the Newark city schools anonymously.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 25, 2010 11:00 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Oscar Talk: Frontrunners King's Speech vs. The Social Network, Why The Fighter Isn't A Shoo-In

Oscar Talk: Frontrunners King's Speech vs. The Social Network, Why The Fighter Isn't A Shoo-In
It's only September, which means that Kris Tapley and I are declaring The King's Speech and The Social Network frontrunners---for now. Which films could possibly supplant them? Toy Story 3 is an animated sequel. I argue that The Fighter is directed by the one and only David O. Russell, while Kris points out that All the President's Men was beaten by Rocky. The Beaver's Mel Gibson makes another problematic award-season figure. Ben Affleck's The Town needs to accumulate success and gravitas. And then there's the Coen brothers' True Grit.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 24, 2010 12:30 PM
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  • 14 Comments

Review: Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps is Stone in Mainstream Studio Mode

Review: Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps is Stone in Mainstream Studio Mode
Like the 1987 film, this Wall Street installment is Oliver Stone in mainstream studio mode. Sure, his political slant on the financial crisis comes through loud and clear--the son of a Wall Street broker is preaching to the choir at this point--and he uses cigar-chomping alpha male Josh Brolin, who played George W. Bush in W., as this film's embodiment of Wall Street greed and villainy, Master of the Universe Bretton James. But James, who is part of a sprawling ensemble, is less fleshed-out and articulate than Douglas's Gordon Gekko in the first film. He's a caricature.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 24, 2010 12:19 PM
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  • 5 Comments

Trailer Watch: Bollywood Robot Stars Rai, Rajni

Screenwriter Damon Lindelof (Lost) just tweeted that he was going to India, possibly to see this movie, Shankar's Robot, due out September 24, starring Aishwarya Rai and Rajnikanth, plus a lot of visual effects and music by A. R. Rahman. Looks like Hollywood remake fodder to me.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 24, 2010 11:56 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Howl Review: Doc/Drama Hybrid Misfires, Franco Soars

Howl is an ambitious and admirable film from documentarians Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman (The Times of Harvey Milk). The filmmakers started out trying to make a documentary, but wanted to be able to show poet Allen Ginsberg as a young man, delivering the searing, profane classic poem “Howl” in 1955. They workshopped the movie at various Sundance labs, but the transition from doc to dramatic feature is an awkward one. The documentarians fell into the trap of trying to make everything based on real life, including the “Howl” obscenity trial that made Ginsberg famous—but putting well-known actors Bob Balaban, David Straithairn and Jon Hamm, skilled as they are, into the courtroom just serves to underscore its inauthenticity.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 24, 2010 11:23 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Kasdan Talks Return to Directing with Darling Companion, Wiest, Duplass, Shepard Join Keaton, Kline

Kasdan Talks Return to Directing with Darling Companion, Wiest, Duplass, Shepard Join Keaton, Kline
No director better represents the sorry state of the current moviemaking scene than Lawrence Kasdan. For most of his career, the studios supplied him with steady work as a screenwriter (Raiders of the Lost Ark, Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back, The Bodyguard) and writer-director (The Big Chill, Body Heat, The Accidental Tourist, Grand Canyon). The writing has continued--he's still a well-paid fixer-for-hire--but Kasdan has had a tough time getting arrested as a director. He is now one of many senior players who are no longer in demand at the studios, which chase young whiz kids with VFX skills who can deliver them what they want without demanding final cut. And it takes a while for once top-tier directors to admit that with the studio jobs gone, the only way to get a smart non-tentpole non-genre movie made now is to raise the money independently.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 24, 2010 7:36 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Two Social Network Clips, NYFF Press Conference, Live MySpace Webcast

Check out these two clips from David Fincher's The Social Network, starring Jesse Eisenberg as Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, which opens the NYFF Friday night. And here's a link to the NYFF press conference. Billionaire Zuckerberg, 26, appears on Oprah Friday to announce his $100-million donation to the Newark schools, one week before The Social Network opens. "People don't care what people say about you in a movie," he told ABC's Diane Sawyer, "they care what you build." Fascinating interview. Eisenberg got the eyes right.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 24, 2010 4:03 AM
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  • 4 Comments

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