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Thompson on Hollywood

Internet: Critics' Friend, Young or Old

Internet: Critics' Friend, Young or Old
The latest film critics pile-on this week started with the suggestion from The New York Observer's Christopher Rosen that the NYT's A.O. Scott and the Chicago Sun-Times' Roger Ebert were attacking movie audiences for being so dumb. Then Drew McWeeny at Hitfix responded that older critics were losing their touch with younger audiences. And Glenn Kenny jumped into the fray on the young vs. old critics' divide.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 14, 2009 5:46 AM
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  • 4 Comments

Docu-Weeks Round-Up

Docu-Weeks Round-Up
There happen to be a surfeit of good docs going the rounds right now, which will be available through various media, theatrical, online and if you need to check where to find something, you can look things up on SpeedCine or SnagFilms. Currently playing there is Zombie Girl: The Movie, directed by 12-year-old Emily Hagins:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 14, 2009 1:49 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Trailers: from Hell and TCM

Let's get lost: Turner Classic Movies has posted a cool--and vast--collection of classic trailers to browse and watch.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 13, 2009 10:59 AM
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  • 1 Comment
More: Video, Trailers

Avatar Day, Sony Acquires Parnassus, Tarantino, Screwball Ladies

We've been tracking news that Sony Pictures Classics would release The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus this fall. But as the NY-based specialty division rigorously refuses to confirm these talks, the rumors spread around the internet until Variety figured out a way to write the story so that Sony Worldwide Acquisitions Group "is in advanced talks" to acquire the movie for SPC to release. It's easy to run a rumor, harder to run it down.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 13, 2009 6:52 AM
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  • 1 Comment

District 9 Must Do Well

District 9 Must Do Well
Root for District 9 to do well. The Comic-Con hit represents a lifeline to Hollywood. Commercial director Neill Blomkamp (with backing from Peter Jackson) has made an intense, unpredictable, edge-of-your-seat sci-fi thriller that throws you into the doc-like reality (think Cloverfield on steroids) of a battle between humans and insect-like aliens (“prawns”) in Jo’burg. The budget was lean ($30 million). No stars. Leading man Sharlto Copley had never acted in a feature before.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 13, 2009 4:02 AM
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  • 24 Comments

Hubble Peeks at Deep Field in 3-D

The late great Carl Sagan used to wax on about "billions and billions of stars." Well check out this video of Hubble's probe of deep space galaxies in 3-D:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 12, 2009 12:59 PM
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  • 2 Comments
More: Video

Scorsese Writes Letter Protesting LACMA Film Shut-Down

Here is director Martin Scorsese's open letter to Los Angeles County Museum of Art director Michael Govan, who actually sat down and talked with his recently laid-off program director Ian Birnie this month while they both vacationed in the Hamptons. In July, Govan told Birnie he was losing his job after 13 years without ever giving him the chance to alter his programming or improve attendance. Birnie, who was job hunting back East, says that Govan had no idea what kind of reaction his hasty decision to shutter the film program this October would inspire from the film community. Govan has agreed to meet with the Save Film at LACMA group. UPDATE: The meet is confirmed for September 1.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 12, 2009 9:51 AM
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  • 5 Comments
More: Exhibition

Movies Go to Facebook, Legos, Lebanon, Redbox and Wellywood

Media Watch: Vibe could be coming back to--digital--life, while it looks like those wild and crazy salad days at Conde Nast are finally over.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 12, 2009 2:39 AM
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  • 1 Comment

The Time Traveler’s Wife: Flash in Pan or Classic?

The Time Traveler’s Wife: Flash in Pan or Classic?
With very few impediments to romance left in conventional storytelling, writers are forced to add a touch of fantasy or sci-fi to create artificial barriers to love.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 12, 2009 2:02 AM
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  • 11 Comments

Astro Boy Trailer Goes Online

I grew up watching Japanese anime--I didn't know it at the time, because it was dubbed in English. But I loved Kimba, Astro Boy, Speed Racer. This trailer for Imagi Studios' animated feature Astro Boy, voiced by Nic Cage and Freddie Highmore, was screened at Comic-Con and left me cold. It doesn't feel right. Summit will release it stateside in October.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 11, 2009 11:26 AM
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  • 1 Comment
More: Video, Trailers

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