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Thompson on Hollywood

Marvel Update, Netflix Refunds, Simple and Cheap is Good

Thankfully, a cooling marine layer blew in over L.A. Tuesday morning, which shifted the balance a bit for exhausted firefighters battling the huge Station fire which has destroyed some 63 homes and threatens some 12,000. "The Station fire grew to more than 122,000 acres overnight and continued to burn out of control despite some signs of improving weather conditions," reported the LAT. UPDATE 4:20 PM: "Firefighters made significant progress today in the Station fire, but a tense battle was underway this afternoon to save the communication centers atop Mt. Wilson. By 3 p.m., the fire was approaching closer than ever from two directions: one-half mile to the north and three-quarters of a mile to the west." Here's a NASA space photo from Sunday--the fire is now twice as big.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 1, 2009 10:43 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Festival Season: Feast and Famine, Ten Hot Toronto Pick-Ups

Festival Season: Feast and Famine, Ten Hot Toronto Pick-Ups
Going into the fall festival season in Venice, Telluride, Toronto and New York, we know the following:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 1, 2009 10:07 AM
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  • 3 Comments

Tarantino Reviews There Will Be Blood, Sunshine, Taxi Driver

Tarantino Reviews There Will Be Blood, Sunshine, Taxi Driver
Brit Sky Movies gave Quentin Tarantino a shot at programming, and he reviews his selections. Not surprising if you've ever spent any time with him, the guy's a perceptive and engaging critic.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 1, 2009 5:03 AM
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  • 3 Comments

Introducing New At the Movies Team

After they got the sack, the young and callow two Bens vanished from At the Movies, which is now gearing up for a Labor Day Weekend reboot. Just watching this preview of the Chicago Tribune's Michael Phillips and the New York Times' A.O. Scott makes me eager to get back into the At the Movies habit, spending time with two brainy film critics who will dig way deeper into movies than any ATM team since the original Ebert and Siskel. At a time when the overall film discussion seems to be dumbing down, these guys are going to smarten things up. Thank God.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 1, 2009 1:49 AM
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  • 12 Comments

Academy Changes Best Picture Voting Rules

Academy Changes Best Picture Voting Rules
In his new The Wrap Oscar column "The Odds," Steve Pond reveals new voting rules to accompany the top ten best picture Oscar contenders. The goal, says Academy executive director Bruce Davis, is to eliminate the possibility that one of the films could win with less than 18% of the vote. This seems like a reasonable--if arcane--solution. And one that will change the way Oscar campaigners have sought to persuade voters to choose their number one favorite. That's less important now. The top five favorites will now become key.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 31, 2009 9:34 AM
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  • 8 Comments
More: Awards, Oscars

Disney/Marvel Reaction Around Web

The reaction around the web to the news that Disney is buying Marvel for $4 billion was swift--and mixed. Here's a sampling of reporting and culled Tweets:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 31, 2009 9:00 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Critics Faves: Arty or Artful?

Critics Faves: Arty or Artful?
In the fall season, as hundreds of movies are launched and weighed at film festivals, critics come into their own. They don't hold much sway with audiences in the summer. But in the fall, suddenly, what they think does matter.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 31, 2009 8:58 AM
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  • 12 Comments

Weekend Fires, Festival Watch, New Moon Pics, Battsek Talks

Weekend News:Two Los Angeles County firemen were killed in a vehicle crash as they fought the Station fire near Acton after a long weekend battling fierce blazes in the Angeles National Forest brought on by hot, dry Southland weather. The Mt. Wilson tower-cam continued recording Sunday as wildfires threatened the mountain's radio and TV towers. Thousands of area residents were evacuated and sought shelter at local schools as their homes were endangered.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 31, 2009 6:12 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Disney to Acquire Marvel Entertainment for $4 Billion

Marvel Entertainment was so successful as an independent studio that it's a surprise to see it gobbled up by the Mouse House. Disney announced early Monday that it plans to acquire the comics company that spawned Spider-Man, Iron Man, X-Men and The Hulk, among some 5,000 Marvel characters. “We believe that adding Marvel to Disney’s unique portfolio of brands provides significant opportunities for long-term growth and value creation,” said Disney chairman Robert Iger.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 31, 2009 4:34 AM
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  • 3 Comments

Weekend Box Office: The Horror!

The Final Destination got a major lift from premium 3-D ticket prices as rivals cried foul, "no fair." The Weinstein Co. inexplicably competed with itself as Rob Zombie's Halloween II came in third after strong second-week holdover Inglourious Basterds.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 30, 2009 12:53 PM
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  • 0 Comments

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