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Thompson on Hollywood

Weekend Preview: Harry Potter Will Dominate; Indies Tabloid, The Tree, Life, Above All & Snow Flower

Weekend Preview: Harry Potter Will Dominate; Indies Tabloid, The Tree, Life, Above All & Snow Flower
Harry Potter #8 will make ridiculous amounts of money this weekend while indies and foreign offerings try to make a dent in the increasingly crowded summer box office. Here is our Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II box office analysis and media coverage round-up. Check out the reviews for "clumsy" Snow Flower and the Secret Fan (co-produced by Rupert Murdoch's wife, Wendi Murdoch), our interview with Errol Morris for his doc Tabloid, which tops indieWIRE's weekly critic consensus. There's also well-reviewed The Tree from France and Life, Above All from South Africa/Germany, plus Colin Hanks' dark comedy Lucky, which has been only slightly luckier with the critics than his father's Larry Crowne, and Sundance entry Salvation Boulevard, which is being critically slaughtered despite a stellar cast.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • July 14, 2011 5:29 AM
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  • 5 Comments

Comic-Con Preview: The New (Amazing) Spider-Man, Twilight: Breaking Dawn, Masters of the Web UPDATE

Comic-Con Preview: The New (Amazing) Spider-Man, Twilight: Breaking Dawn, Masters of the Web UPDATE
As we gird our loins for this week's San Diego schlep to Comic-Con--which is not my idea of a good time, just getting into everything is an enormous chore--the revelations are coming fast and furious. Yes, we will see Cowboys and Aliens and Captain America there, and Steven Spielberg is making his first appearance with The Adventures of Tintin--as is another veteran filmmaker, Francis Ford Coppola, with his indie horror film TWIXT. DreamWorks/Disney is promoting Fright Night, with Colin Farrell on hand. Universal is presenting a panel on Snow White and the Huntsman, which hasn't even started shooting yet, but why miss an opportunity to highlight star Kristen Stewart, who's there anyway for Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn?
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 14, 2011 5:13 AM
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  • 1 Comment

HBO Picks Up Scorsese's Spiritual Doc: George Harrison: Living in the Material World

HBO has picked up Martin Scorsese's latest music documentary, George Harrison: Living in the Material World. The film will premiere in two parts on October 5 and 6.
  • By Jacob Combs
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  • July 14, 2011 4:00 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan Early Reviews: Clumsy Mistranslation

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, adapted from Lisa See’s 2005 novel, tells parallel stories of lifelong female friendship in 19th century China and modern Shanghai. Early reviewers find that Wayne Wang’s adaptation fails both in comparison to the novel and to his 1993 hit the Joy Luck Club.
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • July 14, 2011 1:38 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Trailer Watch: Steven Soderbergh's Contagion Stars Damon, Paltrow, Winslet, Law, Fishburne

It looks like Steven Soderbergh is returning to the land of smart mainstream commercial filmmaking with Contagion (September 9), starring Matt Damon as an everyman whose wife (Gwyneth Paltrow) appears to be patient zero in a burgeoning killer bird flu virus sweeping the globe. It is transmitted by touch. Marion Cotillard, Kate Winslet, Jude Law, John Hawkes and Laurence Fishburne also star.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 13, 2011 12:44 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Robot Builders Doc Bots High: Mad Hot Ballroom with Nerds

Bots High is a film that proudly declares its geekiness, which is a promising sign for a documentary that follows three groups of high school robotics students as they develop and (literally) battle their way to a national combat robots competition in Miami. Basically, it's Mad Hot Ballroom with nerds.
  • By Jacob Combs
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  • July 13, 2011 10:44 AM
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  • 0 Comments

TMZ Sex Professor Harvey Levin Explains It All to You

Do you know what soaking is? As TMZ's Harvey Levin (@HarveyLevinTMZ) promoted a TMZ Live story on Twitter, he felt called upon to define--to those who were not in the know--what sex-forbidden Brigham Young University kids mean when they say that "soaking" is not sex. He started out tweeting thus: This is the most fun I've ever had doing @TMZLive today.. talking about soaking and how BYU students do it to get around the no-sex policy
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 13, 2011 9:58 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Helena Bonham Carter Honored by BAFTA

Helena Bonham Carter is a woman of many faces, many of them terrifying. From the memorable and fragile female in Fight Club and the powerful sorceress in the Harry Potter films to King George’s IV’s willful wife in The King's Speech, and her perennial appearances in husband Tim Burton’s films, Bonham Carter has brought wild-eyed poise to dozens of films. Hell, we predicted her to win best supporting actress last year!
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • July 13, 2011 8:03 AM
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More: Awards, BAFTA

Oh The (Female) Horror! Viscera Film Festival Launches in LA

Oh The (Female) Horror! Viscera Film Festival Launches in LA
The Viscera Film Festival, featuring horror shorts made by femme directors, launches this weekend in Los Angeles. Running the gamut from hard-to-watch gross-out gore to slowly suspenseful, this festival proves that “women can be just as twisted, emotionally grinding, terror-inducing and splatter spewing as men," states the Viscera Fest.
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • July 13, 2011 7:47 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Trailer Watch: Steve James' The Interrupters Is Heartbreaking, Hopeful

The trailer is out for a harrowing and haunting documentary about violence in Chicago, The Interrupters, from doc veteran Steve James (Hoop Dreams) and Alex Kotlowitz (author of There Are No Children Here), which debuted at Sundance and went on to win critics' raves as well as the special jury award at the Sheffield Doc/Fest and grand jury prize at Miami Film Fest. Here's indieWIRE's review.
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • July 13, 2011 7:35 AM
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  • 0 Comments

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