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Thompson on Hollywood

Interview Watch: Wood Calls Gosling James Dean, Pinto Reveals Herself, How Del Toro Chooses Projects

- Evan Rachel Wood's next film, George Clooney's The Ides of March (pictured), sticks to her pattern of choosing gritty roles (think Thirteen, Down in the Valley, Mildred Pierce). Her Ides character is embroiled in a sex scandal. So what does Wood say about politicians in the news? She tells Vulture, "Yeah, politicians are also kinky and some of them cheat on their wives and some of them are gay. Like normal people. It's not really shocking to me." She also admits to loving Justin Bieber "unashamedly" and holds out the possibility of venturing into music. As for her Ides co-star Ryan Gosling: "I get the feeling [when he walks into a room] that that must have been how people felt when James Dean walked into a room. Just like, 'Whoa, what just walked in?' There's something really special here. It's that striking. I think he's the James Dean of now. And he'd better kiss my ass for saying that."
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • August 22, 2011 5:29 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Disney D23: Box Office Outlook for 2011-13, John Carter's Marketing Challenge, Muppets Make Comeback

Disney's weekend of fan love at D23 Expo in Anaheim offered a preview of the studio's fall season as well as its upcoming 2012 and 2013 slate. Anthony D'Alessandro assesses the playability of the studio's upcoming projects.On Saturday Disney trotted out its 2011-2013 film slate, including some major gambles, from The Muppets reboot and the $250 million sci-fi epic John Carter to Pixar’s first femme-led toon The Brave and Sam Raimi’s Oz: The Great and Powerful.
  • By Anthony D'Alessandro
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  • August 22, 2011 4:44 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Crazy, Creepy Love: Romance is Dangerous in Rebecca, Jane Eyre

In this week's “Now and Then" column, Matt Brennan looks at two adaptations of Gothic novels: Hitchcock’s Rebecca (1940) and Cary Fukunaga’s Jane Eyre (out on DVD), see trailers below. A pair of young women, the rough men who love them, the creepy manors they live in, and the eerie forces attempting to thwart them: it’s enough to make you wish you had a fainting couch.
  • By Matt Brennan
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  • August 22, 2011 4:10 AM
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Vera and Taissa Farmiga Talk Higher Ground: Strength, Vulnerability, Self-Discovery, Courage

Vera and Taissa Farmiga Talk Higher Ground: Strength, Vulnerability, Self-Discovery, Courage
Vera Farmiga's Higher Ground premiered at Sundance last January to strong reviews. While Variety called it "a startlingly bold directing debut," as THR put it, "no one should really be surprised that Vera Farmiga brings the same meticulous craftsmanship and passion for truth found in her extraordinary acting to her debut as a director."
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • August 22, 2011 3:52 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Wish I Was There: MoMA's “Carte Blanche: Dieter Kosslick, the Culinary Cineaste”

Hungry? You will be after reading Bay Area restaurant critic Meredith Brody's words on MoMA'a food and film series, “Carte Blanche: Dieter Kosslick, the Culinary Cineaste”:In a recent article in the San Francisco Chronicle, Alice Waters said, ”I can’t live without films. They’re like food to me. I need them both.”
  • By Meredith Brody
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  • August 22, 2011 3:48 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Weekend Box Office: The Help Ascends to Number One, Spy Kids 4 Strongest Newbie

As expected, robust holdover drama The Help kept all weekend newcomers at bay and claimed the number one spot. Of the newbies, family-friendly Spy Kids 4 fared best. Anthony D'Alessandro reports:Disney/DreamWorks' The Help bossed around three franchise reboots and an arthouse film for the top box office spot, earning $20.5 million in its second sesh and a respectable 21% dip. Clearly, many moviegoers have lost patience with summer carbon copies and are ready to embrace the autumn wave of smart adult fare coming down the pipe. Weinstein Co. four-quel Spy Kids: All the Time in the World came out ahead of the competition with $12 million because it was the only film geared toward families. Meanwhile, two R-rated 3-D films shot each other in the chest: Nu Image/Lionsgate's Conan the Barbarian forked $10 million and DreamWorks' Fright Night, handled by Disney, scared audiences out of the multiplex with $8.3 million. And Focus Features' One Day bucked sour reviews in top markets, grossing $5.1 million.
  • By Anthony D'Alessandro
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  • August 21, 2011 4:51 AM
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  • 9 Comments

D23 Expo Adds Two New Pixar Pics on Dinosaurs and the Inner Mind, Promos John Carter, The Avengers

The warmth in the Anaheim Convention Center Hall at D23 for Pixar and Disney animation czar John Lasseter was expressed, loudly, with a standing ovation. Also getting one was Billy Crystal (make him Oscar host already!), who's back with John Goodman in Disney/Pixar sequel Monsters University (2013). Borrowing a few pages from Comic-Con, Disney is using its direct relationship with fans and marketing synergy to promote its characters and products at its huge three-day D23. Not getting as warm a welcome as Lasseter was Disney chairman Rich Ross, who still seemed stiff in front of the teleprompters, even when he cried, "cupcakes for everyone!"
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 21, 2011 1:48 AM
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TIFF Trailer Watch: Winterbottom's Trishna Moves Hardy's Tess of the d'Urbervilles to India

The teaser for Michael Winterbottom's Trishna, reveals a translation of Thomas Hardy's romantic English novel Tess of the d'Urbervilles to a modern-day setting in India. This is Winterbottom's third Hardy adaptation, following 1996's Jude (Jude the Oscure) and 2000's The Claim (The Mayor of Casterbridge). For Trishna, Winterbottom replaces the fervent English wilds with rural and urban Indian backdrops in Jaipur and Mumbai for a love affair between moneyed businessman Jay (Riz Ahmed, Four Lions) and working class Trishna (Freida Pinto, Slumdog Millionaire).
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • August 20, 2011 11:21 AM
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Torchwood: Miracle Day, Episode 7, “Immortal Sins,” Recap and Review: Tightly Plotted, Romantic

Torchwood: Miracle Day, Episode 7, “Immortal Sins,” Recap and Review: Tightly Plotted, Romantic
Animatronic aliens hit Torchwood: Miracle Day, reports critic David Chute:After episode seven, no one will be able to argue any longer that Miracle Day “isn’t Torchwood” -- not without revealing themselves to be terminally full of shit. There’s even a small and memorably nasty animatronic alien on display, which is supposedly an iron clad indication or orthodoxy – although, thankfully MD seems to be stopping far short of pinning the underlying global health care conspiracy on aliens. Resorting to that creaky SF equivalent of a deus ex machina would be an act of desperation unworthy of a creator and showrunner as cool as Russell T Davies.
  • By David Chute
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  • August 20, 2011 5:59 AM
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  • 13 Comments
More: Reviews, TV

Strike Back Episode 2, Recap and Review (SPOILERS)

Still mourning the demise of 24, action fan David Chute finds his bliss on Cinemax.At some point I will have to devote some major word count to the work of frequent Strike Back director Daniel Percival. In my youth I was a dedicated action aficionado, with enthusiasms that have moved from Don Siegel and Sam Peckinpah to George Miller and John Woo. We can’t put Percival in the all-time category quite yet, in part because he doesn’t use battle sequences for displays of virtuosity. The firefights aren’t abstract exercises, for him. His action sequences are scenes of drama. They are horrendous ordeals that are happening to people who seem normal to him. He’ll give us a tight close up of a fighter’s face, just as he’s firing, as if the most important thing to understand at that moment is why this guy is taking that particular shot.
  • By David Chute
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  • August 20, 2011 5:43 AM
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  • 0 Comments
More: Reviews, TV

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