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Thompson on Hollywood

Mad Men Era Commercials from the 60s

Missing Mad Men? Check out these commercials from the 60s: favorites: Noxzema -- "take it off, take it all off," and 007 After Shave--"License to Kill...Women."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 27, 2011 2:51 AM
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Ava Gardner Loves That Man: Show Boat

For your pleasure, here's Ava Gardner (dubbed by Annette Warren) singing Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II's "Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man of Mine" from the 1951 musical Show Boat. Ella Fitzgerald, Liza Minnelli, Barbra Streisand, Lena Horne and Judy Garland all covered this, and Helen Morgan made it famous in the original 1927 Broadway show. But Gardner singing in the context of the movie is sublime. (Gardner's voice wound up on the soundtrack album of the film Show Boat, but not in the film itself.) She's playing a character passing for white who could have been played by Horne, but wasn't.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 27, 2011 2:45 AM
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  • 6 Comments

Crazy, Stupid, Love Reviews: Refreshingly Upscale, Contrived, Genial Messy Comedy, Real Actors

Each time a studio presents a new romantic comedy I face it with dread, unless Judd Apatow is involved. He works hard at finding some grain of truth about how men and women relate to each other. (Check out this candid KCRW podcast interview.) I'm allergic to fake studio gloss, and was surprised by the skill applied to Crazy, Stupid, Love (July 29), which could easily have gone south--the degree of difficulty was high. The top-flight cast delivers on this one.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 26, 2011 10:45 AM
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Michel Gondry Directs Bjork's Crystalline

Michel Gondry directs yet another wonky Bjork video, "crystalline." Always fun. Check out older ones below.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 26, 2011 9:39 AM
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Crazy, Stupid, Love Ad Meeting: Steve Carell Has a Big Head

In case you never noticed, Steve Carell, whose comedy Crazy, Stupid, Love opens Friday, has a big head. Check out this Funny or Die video:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 26, 2011 9:13 AM
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Whit Stillman's Damsels in Distress to Close Venice Fest, Slate in Focus, Pacino Debuts Wilde Salome

Whit Stillman’s first film in 12 years, Damsels in Distress (Sony Pictures Classics), starring indie darling Greta Gerwig, will close the 68th Venice Film Festival on September 10th, and George Clooney's The Ides of March, co-starring Clooney and Ryan Gosling, will open the Biennale (as previously announced) on August 31. Marco Bellocchio will receive the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the fest, directed by Marco Müller for perhaps the last time, and actor-director Al Pacino will be given the Jaeger-Le Coultre Glory to the Filmmaker Award before debuting his third feature-length film out-of-competition, Wilde Salome, starring Jessica Chastain (The Tree of Life).
  • By Anne Thompson and Sophia Savage
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  • July 26, 2011 6:35 AM
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Soderbergh's Tyranny of Narrative, Haywire at SDCC, Can Carano Hold a Candle to Action Star Jolie?

Steven Soderbergh presented footage from Haywire at Comic-Con. It was well-received. In ThePlaylist's interview with the director, he admits they weren't sure if Comic-Con was the right fit for the film, but "ultimately we decided, yeah, this is our take on the action film and we should show it off.” It was a good call, because the movie features an ass-kicking (and hot) female MMA champion, Gina Carano, muscle-boy Channing Tatum and newfound heartthrob and serious thesp Michael Fassbender (Carano and Tatum joined Soderbergh on stage for the panel). Why wouldn't it play well at Comic-Con?
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • July 26, 2011 5:45 AM
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Toronto 2011: Guggenheim's From the Sky Down Opens Strong Slate of Star-Packed Films, Oscar Hopefuls

Toronto 2011: Guggenheim's From the Sky Down Opens Strong Slate of Star-Packed Films, Oscar Hopefuls
Davis Guggenheim's From the Sky Down will open the 36th Annual Toronto Film Festival on September 8, making history as the first documentary to do so. Of the U2 doc, Guggenheim says, "U2 has defied the gravitational pull towards destruction, this band has endured and thrived," and his film "asks the question why." Among the Gala (10) and Special Presentation (43) programs, there are 31 world premieres, from Luc Besson's Michelle Yeoh actioner The Lady and Bennett Miller's Brad Pitt baseball flick Moneyball to Canadian Sarah Polley's Take this Waltz, starring Michelle Williams; Jennifer Westfeldt's Friends with Kids, starring Jon Hamm; and Fernando Meirelles' 360, adapted by Peter Morgan from La Ronde.
  • By Anne Thompson and Sophia Savage
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  • July 26, 2011 5:37 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Trailer Watch: Margin Call Spells Out Doom for Wall Street Financial Crisis

Check out this taut trailer for writer-director J.C. Chandor's indie Margin Call, inspired by true events leading to the 2008 financial crisis. Here's our Sundance interview with Chandor and star Zachary Quinto. The all star cast (with also includes Kevin Spacey, Jeremy Irons, Stanley Tucci, Demi Moore, Penn Badgley, Simon Baker and Paul Bettany) worked for next to nothing to get this movie made. Roadside will release the film October 21:
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • July 26, 2011 3:33 AM
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Comic-Con Exclusive: Gale Anne Hurd Talks Walking Dead, Comic Book Movies, Girls Gone Genre

Comic-Con Exclusive: Gale Anne Hurd Talks Walking Dead, Comic Book Movies, Girls Gone Genre
There's a reason Gale Anne Hurd turned from producing movies like The Terminator, Aliens and The Punisher to cable series like The Walking Dead. HBO, AMC, FX, Showtime, USA and other cable networks are where the smart writing, production values and character development are. And Comic-Con demonstrated without a doubt that the organizers have to rethink who gets to go into Hall H.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 25, 2011 8:29 AM
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  • 2 Comments

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