Blogroll

Thompson on Hollywood

Paranormal Activity Gets Release

Paranormal Activity Gets Release
Israeli emigre Oren Peli's microbudget haunted house film Paranormal Activity is one scary movie. Thanks to producer Jason Blum, Paramount picked up the $11,000 movie after some re-cutting and has set a September 25 release. Paranormal Activity scared the bejeezus out of the crowds at last weekend's Telluride Film Festival. (It's five-review ranking on Rotten Tomatoes is 100% fresh.)
  • By Anne Thompson
  • |
  • September 8, 2009 12:08 PM
  • |
  • 1 Comment

At the Movies Debuts New Hosts

At the Movies Debuts New Hosts
Thank the Lord for small favors. Michael Phillips and Tony Scott (he should ditch the too-formal A.O.--this is about relating to people, folks) have debuted their new At the Movies format. It's fine by me. They are still a tad stilted--they've never worked together before. Phillips has more experience as a co-host than Scott. But they'll loosen up and let the fur fly. It already feels so much better. I hope it works. I like the idea of looking at past classics, too.
  • By Anne Thompson
  • |
  • September 8, 2009 11:30 AM
  • |
  • 5 Comments

TIFF Watch: A Serious Man Clips

TIFF Watch: A Serious Man Clips
I'm making a quick transition between Telluride and Toronto, trying to catch up and get prepped, knowing that I will feel under the gun and behind for the next ten days, no matter what. It's the nature of the beast, even in relatively calm Telluride. Wednesday, travel day, I will post the first draft of my Oscar Predicts chart, which I will adjust frequently going forward into awards season.
  • By Anne Thompson
  • |
  • September 8, 2009 7:37 AM
  • |
  • 1 Comment

Telluride Wrap: Oscar Buzz for An Education, Up in the Air, The Road

Telluride Wrap: Oscar Buzz for An Education, Up in the Air, The Road
It was a solid if not stellar year at Telluride. Co-directors Tom Luddy and Gary Meyer persevered through the crazy economy by cutting back their budget (due to sponsor fall-offs) without sacrificing their high programming standards. "We made a commitment to figure out how to do more with less," says Meyer. After the well-publicized Into the Wild/Juno year of 2007, festival attendance broke records in 2008 but fell off slightly this year; passes sold more slowly, and absent sponsors didn't import the usual squads of corporate clients.
  • By Anne Thompson
  • |
  • September 8, 2009 5:17 AM
  • |
  • 2 Comments

Telluride Update: Last Day

Telluride Update: Last Day
I've been running around seeing movies, doing interviews, attending the terrific Viggo Mortensen tribute and going to various social events with filmmakers. IFC and SPC held back-to-back dinners Saturday night, while Sunday night the Steinbergs hosted their annual closing night bash.
  • By Anne Thompson
  • |
  • September 7, 2009 4:34 AM
  • |
  • 4 Comments

Telluride Watch: Up in the Air Will Fly

Telluride Watch: Up in the Air Will Fly
Folks lined up for two hours on a rainy Telluride Saturday to get into Up in the Air. Hundreds were turned away. Writer-director Jason Reitman (and obsessive airline mile collector) played the crowd like a pro, hoping that the movie would live up to their expectations. He didn't need to worry. The director, who debuted Juno here two years ago at the same theater, delivers a winner. Loosely based on Walter Kirn's novel, Reitman's updated movie, which he started working on six years ago, has become, with the economic downturn, far more timely. It's a witty, charming and moving exploration of a world we all recognize.
  • By Anne Thompson
  • |
  • September 6, 2009 4:25 AM
  • |
  • 2 Comments

The Last Station Brings Tolstoy Family to Telluride

The Last Station Brings Tolstoy Family to Telluride
The Last Station is a straight-on period biopic starring Christopher Plummer as the aged Leo Tolstoy, the famed Russian author of War and Peace, constantly at war with his mercurial wife Sophya (Helen Mirren). Paul Giamatti, a scheming Tolstoy disciple, wants to share the author's copyrights with the masses, while Sophya fights for her husband's love and her children's inheritance. Caught in the middle is Tolstoy's loyal, vegetarian, celibate secretary (James McAvoy). Plummer and Mirren are equally matched blazing adversaries and McAvoy is wonderfully reactive as the virginal acolyte who not only loses his innocence, but starts to learn about love and marriage.
  • By Anne Thompson
  • |
  • September 5, 2009 9:20 AM
  • |
  • 2 Comments

Downfall Redux: Hitler Reacts to the Latest Posting of Downfall

Funny or Die gets into the Downfall Hitler tantrum subtitling act. This time Hitler is reacting to all the other parodies.
  • By Anne Thompson
  • |
  • September 5, 2009 7:51 AM
  • |
  • 3 Comments
More: Video

Telluride: Red Riding, The Last Station

Telluride: Red Riding, The Last Station
The first day of Telluride screenings kicked off Friday with IFC's North American debut of Brit TV's Red Riding trilogy, produced by Andrew Eaton and directed by Juian Jarrold, James Marsh and Anand Tucker. I screened Red Riding: 1974, the first installment of Tony Grisoni's adaptation of four novels by David Peace. Cocky young journalist/womanizer (Andrew Garfield) faces his own Chinatown in Yorkshire as he investigates a possible serial killer/rapist. Garfield (Boy A) is strong as a guy with a good heart who can't catch a break. The always impressive Rebecca Hall plays the femme fatale Faye Dunaway role and Sean Bean is the reporter's nemesis, a real estate thug. This noirish tale never lets up as it digs darker and deeper and nastier than you'd ever expect. I look forward to parts 2 and 3, as the Yorkshire story continues into 1980 and 1983. (Here's Todd McCarthy's rave review.) Red Riding is not playing Toronto.
  • By Anne Thompson
  • |
  • September 5, 2009 6:35 AM
  • |
  • 0 Comments

Festival Updates

Several Telluride titles are debuting in Venice, from John Hillcoat's The Road (which has a new poster and clips online) to Todd Solondz's Life During Wartime and Werner Herzog's Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans, starring Nic Cage.
  • By Anne Thompson
  • |
  • September 5, 2009 1:16 AM
  • |
  • 0 Comments
More: festivals

Email Updates