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Thompson on Hollywood

Sacha Baron Cohen as The Dictator, and the Great Man Beards That Came Before Him

Larry Charles (Borat) directs Sacha Baron Cohen in The Dictator, which won't open until May 11, 2012. In the meantime, check out the Dictator (below) and the non-Islamic-extremists that may have inspired his beard:
  • By Sophia Savage and Anne Thompson
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  • June 9, 2011 8:15 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Super 8 Reviews: "Early Spielberg Classic," Spielberg & Abrams "Spiritually Clash On-Screen" UPDATED

Super 8 Reviews: "Early Spielberg Classic," Spielberg & Abrams "Spiritually Clash On-Screen" UPDATED
I went in to see Super 8 with modest expectations. I kept waiting for the movie to derail and lose its footing at some point. That never happened. I was instantly caught up with this group of kids trying to shoot a movie (the final result unspools over the closing credits, so stick around) and then figure out what sort of thing escaped from a huge train wreck to devastate their town. The rules of this movie are strictly Spielberg sci-fi universe, circa 1979, which is a wonderful place to be.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 9, 2011 7:55 AM
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  • 2 Comments

From Britain With Love: Best of British Indies Kicks off with Toast at Lincoln Center

The best of British indie cinema is landing June 11: "From Britain With Love." Six new films, curated by the Film Society of Lincoln Center and presented by the UK Film Council, will screen: Toast, In Our Name, Third Star (all US premieres) as well as A Boy Called Dad, Africa United and NEDs. The series kicks off in New York City but 30 additional venues for the screenings are listed here.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • June 9, 2011 7:12 AM
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  • 0 Comments

The Hangover Part III Might Have a New Plot, Galifianakis & Cooper Slap Each Other Between Two Ferns

The Hangover Part III will actually have a new plot, believe it or not. Zach Galifianakis tells Rolling Stone that his character will be broken out of a mental institution by cohorts Bradley Cooper and Ed Helms (sans tattoo). We don't really care. But here's Galifianakis interviewing Cooper on his Funny or Die series, Between Two Ferns. It's funny. In fact, we're thinking of starting a regular column called "Things That are More Entertaining Than The Hangover Part II." Here are parts 1 and 2.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • June 9, 2011 6:53 AM
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  • 0 Comments

The Wangover: Jon Stewart On Weiner, Clinton, Sexting: Kimmel asks Paris Hilton: "Hot or Huge?"

We've been studiously avoiding anything Weiner--but Jon Stewart on day five was too funny to not share. And here's Paris Hilton's take on Weiner pictures: Jimmy Kimmel asks her: Hot or Huge?
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • June 9, 2011 5:56 AM
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  • 1 Comment
More: Video, Politics

Super 8 Q & A: Spielberg and Abrams Talk to EW About Growing Up, Obsessions, Their Inner Child

Writer-director J.J. Abrams was smart to pull Steven Spielberg in as a producer on PG-13 sci-fi adventure Super 8, set in 1979, which is the ultimate homage to the great Spielberg movies of the 70s and 80s, referencing Jaws, Close Encounters of the Third Kind and of course, E.T. Paramount understood that they were selling, in effect, a non-Spielberg Spielberg film. And the movie feels as comfortable as an old shirt: the second you enter this world, you know exactly what the rules are. As Abrams understood the DNA of the Star Trek universe, so he understands the kids at the core of Super 8, their relationship to their parents, their love of making movies, and each other. (Check out this six-minute MSN clip from the beginning of Super 8, and our collection of Super 8 early reviews.)
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 9, 2011 5:11 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Possibilities: Witherspoon's Wedding Rom-Com, Aronofsky's Noah Epic, Poltergeist Eyes Lindsay-Abaire

- Reese Witherspoon may have redeemed herself at the MTV Movie Awards for How Do You Know by calling out Hollywood starlets and their poor self-marketing skills, but now she's producing a possible starring vehicle that is yet another wedding-themed rom-com, Who Invited Her?, at DreamWorks. Seriously, women will still buy movie tickets even if no one gets married at the end. Promise.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • June 8, 2011 10:04 AM
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  • 0 Comments

In the Works: Eisenberg's Magician Heist Pic, Liman Meets Cooper for Luna, McCarthy's Home Movies

The Social Networks's Jesse Eisenberg will do magic for Summit Entertainment's Now You See Me, to be directed by Louis Leterrier (Clash of the Titans). Jake Gyllenhaal is being eyed to play the second lead and Melanie Laurent has been offered a role. The fun goes like this: A group of the world's top illusionists perform a series of bank heists during their performances and share the riches with their audiences. Of course, when the FBI gets word, the movie turns into a thriller. Boaz Yakin and Edward Ricourt wrote the script. Variety reports that Summit considered Colin Firth, Sacha Baron Cohen, Jim Carrey and Hugh Grant before settling on these younger men. While an Eisenberg/Gyllenhaal duo is appealing, a Firth/Cohen pairing is even sexier.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • June 8, 2011 8:26 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Super 8 Opening Projections Are Irrelevant; Word-of-Mouth Will Sell This Critics' Darling

Super 8 Opening Projections Are Irrelevant; Word-of-Mouth Will Sell This Critics' Darling
Having seen Super 8 Tuesday--it did not disappoint--I agree with box office analyst Anthony D'Alessandro's assertion that it doesn't matter if Super 8 opens soft. It's an original that plays like gangbusters and as such, the eventual returns will dwarf its opening this weekend, whatever it is. (This terrific unofficial fan poster evokes the spirit of one-sheet artist Drew Struzan of Lucas/Spielberg fame, who denies any authorship.)Super 8 has been driving Paramount and online movie sites super crazy. After word broke Monday evening  that advance tracking was soft on the J.J. Abrams-Steven Spielberg nostalgia-fest, the studio went into PR overdrive, clarifying projections. And in a final riposte to all box office naysayers, decided to offer Thursday sneak previews via Twitter in an effort to swell sales.
  • By Anthony D'Alessandro
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  • June 8, 2011 7:21 AM
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  • 5 Comments

Life in a Day and Ridley Scott's Micro Movie Mogul Initiative Raise Money for Charities

Ridley Scott invites the public to aid in promoting the UK theatrical release of Life in a Day on June 17 (it opens in the US June 29), and by doing so raise money for UK charities, all through the Micro Movie Moguls initiative. This is how it works: An individual or company sets themselves up as a Micro Mogul and they chose a charity -- any good cause -- to receive 25% of the tickets sold through their online ticket booth. Here's more information. Here is our review and the Life in a Day trailer. This movie is a must-see.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • June 8, 2011 6:40 AM
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  • 0 Comments

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