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Thompson on Hollywood

Revivals: The Return of Schwarzenegger and the Western

Remakes and reboots are a dime a dozen these days, but roots run deeper for some more than others. Arnold Schwarzenegger, 63, is getting back to work. And having been pronounced dead, the western genre is being welcomed by a new generation in both classic and hybrid forms.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • March 7, 2011 9:14 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Festival News: Provincetown Honors Aronofsky & Farmiga, Tribeca Lineup, Dallas Honors Ann-Margret

Festival News: Provincetown Honors Aronofsky & Farmiga, Tribeca Lineup, Dallas Honors Ann-Margret
This year's Provincetown International Film Festival, which will showcase 50 films June 15-19, will honor Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan) with its Filmmaker On The Edge Award, and actress-director Vera Farmiga (Higher Ground) with the Excellence in Acting Award. Executive director Gabby Hanna says each of them "represent the spirit and artistic voice of what filmmaking is today.” More information on the festival is here.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • March 7, 2011 8:30 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Video: Cruise vs. Sheen, Saturday Night Live, Stark Raving Mad Libs

The basic profile of the grandiose movie star is not hard to track, from Tom Cruise to Charlie Sheen. When Reid Rosefelt slams them together (see video), it works. Try Michael Solomon's ingenious Stark Raving Mad Libs and Part Deux. And Saturday Night Live's inevitable Sheen video is below.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 7, 2011 8:26 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Academy Names Beauchamp and Keating Academy Film Scholars; Accepting Nicholl Fellowship Screenplays

Academy Names Beauchamp and Keating Academy Film Scholars; Accepting Nicholl Fellowship Screenplays
One of the reasons the Academy is so eager to get good ratings at the Oscars is that the ad revenue that they raise that night funds all their ongoing activity, from exhibitions and programming to the Academy Library. They also back film scholarship and the high-profile Nicholl Screenwriting Fellowship competition, which is now accepting entries for 2011. The Academy will award up to five $30,000 fellowships in November. Last year's competition drew 6,304 entries; since 1985, the Academy has awarded 118 fellowships, which function as a gateway to the industry.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 7, 2011 7:20 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Michael Moore Declares War on America's Uber-Class: "America is Not Broke"

Filmmaker/activist Michael Moore (Fahrenheit 9/11, Capitalism: A Love Story) is on the war path against America's greed-is-good uber-rich. On Sunday he impulsively flew to join protesters in Madison, Wisconsin--and he is as angry as Inside Job Oscar-winner Charles Ferguson, who declared at the Academy Awards: "I must start by pointing out that three years after our horrific financial crisis caused by financial fraud, not a single financial executive has gone to jail. And that's wrong."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 7, 2011 6:37 AM
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  • 11 Comments

The Adjustment Bureau vs. Fringe

Wired is not the first to make the comparison between The Adjustment Bureau and Fringe's Observers. While writer-director George Nolfi did a good job of expanding on the original 1954 Philip K. Dick short story, especially with the romance between politico Matt Damon and modern dancer Emily Blunt, he missed a step when he visualized the bureau agents in 60s fedoras:Members of both groups wear hats and suits. Both carry briefcases or books. Both have existed for centuries on the periphery of human consciousness. Both take orders from unknown superiors and periodically create unintended consequences when they feel compelled to intervene in the lives of the subjects under their watch.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 7, 2011 2:49 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Weekend Box Office: Animation Rules as Rango Wins Opening Duel with Adjustment Bureau

Weekend Box Office: Animation Rules as Rango Wins Opening Duel with Adjustment Bureau
As the studios chase branded entertainment, the one genre open to original thinking is animation. Who can blame Gore Verbinski, after three Pirate movies, for heading back to the old West with a John Logan homage to westerns, top-of-the-line Industrial Light and Magic animation, and Johnny Depp leading a cast of great character actors? After a slow winter lacking an Avatar or Alice in Wonderland to perk up attendance, audiences returned to multiplexes to check out Rango, the winter's second hit western (after True Grit) and a slew of other new entrants.
  • By Anthony D'Alessandro
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  • March 6, 2011 5:45 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Rango, Adjustment Bureau, Beastly, Take Me Home Tonight, I Saw the Devil: Blockbuster Weekend?

Rango, Adjustment Bureau, Beastly, Take Me Home Tonight, I Saw the Devil: Blockbuster Weekend?
2011 is due for its first blockbuster weekend. From Johnny Depp's animated Rango and Matt Damon and Emily Blunt's The Adjustment Bureau to teen flick Beastly, 80s throwback Take Me Home Tonight and Korean horror film I Saw the Devil, all the demographic bases are covered. We recommend Damon and Blunt's effortless on-screen chemistry, the wondrously imaginative Rango, and indie festival favorites Abel and Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives. Film details, reviews and trailers are below.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • March 4, 2011 8:30 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Potiche Early Reviews: Delicious French Feminist Comedy

A fest favorite at Venice, François Ozon's feminist comedy Potiche (New York and LA, March 24, followed by a national release), stars a comedic Catherine Deneuve as a 70s trophy wife who takes over her husband’s umbrella factory while he is away and loves it so much that she tries to take it back from him. She has been flirting with an old lover, Gerard Depardieu, for decades. Even though the vet French star is as big as a house, their scenes together are delicious. This comedy is commercial enough to score with a stateside art-house boomer audience. A round-up of early reviews, the poster and trailer are below:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 4, 2011 8:30 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Weinstein Co. & Branagh Team for Rowing Tale Boys in the Boat

Kenneth Branagh, who just wrapped Paramount's Thor (which has a bad-ass new poster), will next take charge of The Boys in the Boat, a 1930s story about the University of Washington's rowing team, based on a non-fiction book to be written by Daniel James Brown. Film rights have gone to The Weinstein Co., whose production chief Donna Gigliotti will serve as producer.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • March 4, 2011 7:58 AM
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  • 1 Comment

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