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Thompson on Hollywood

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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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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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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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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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

Weekly Wrap: Awards Season Climax, Oscar Parties & Video, Box Office, Oscar Contenders at Work

- Oscar Talk: Final Edition, Oscar Wrap.
  • By Anne Thompson and Sophia Savage
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  • March 4, 2011 7:20 AM
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I Saw the Devil Early Reviews, Kim Jee-woon and Lee Byung-hun Interview: Vengeance is Mine

Korean director Kim Jee-woon is the real deal. He's a smart visually canny director with a sharp sense of humor who adeptly plays with genres, from his sixth film, the wacky Oriental western hit The Good, The Bad, and the Weird to the serial killer thriller I Saw the Devil, which also features Good Bad Weird star Lee Byung-hun.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 3, 2011 9:29 AM
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Upcoming: Dylan Dog Gets April Release, Sorvino & Mulroney Pair for Trade of Innocents

Dylan Dog: Dead of Night, a bestselling comic book series blending humor and horror has been adapted into a film starring Brandon Routh (a.k.a. the man who played Superman [Superman Returns, 2006] before Henry Cavill), Sam Huntington and Anita Briem, and directed by Kevin Munroe. The film will be released by Omnilab Media (newly formed by Omni and Freestyle Releasing) on April 29. The film is set in New Orleans' backstreets and follows Dylan Dog, a private investigator of the undead: "No pulse, no problem" reads his business card. Omnilab's Christopher Mapp says "Dylan Dog is one of the most beloved comic characters in the world…through the new Omni/FSR label, we will expand Dylan¹s popularity to a whole new set of fans in America."
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • March 3, 2011 7:29 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Stieg Larsson's Millenium Trilogy: Brother Says There Won't Be A Fourth Book

Word and Film's Christine Spines interviews Stieg Larsson's brother Joakim on whether a fourth Millennium series book will see the light of day. The answer? No.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • March 3, 2011 6:50 AM
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  • 3 Comments

Oscar Box Office Bump for King's Speech and Black Swan

Oscar Box Office Bump for King's Speech and Black Swan
While Oscar wins can have a big impact on subsequent box office, some years they just don't. This year has seen a big boost in ticket sales from Oscar nominations on quite a few awards contenders. Anthony D'Alessandro looks at the numbers; see Oscar Bump Chart (below).Oscars have been handed out, but award season still isn’t over at the box office.  A best picture win can translate into an extra 20% bump after Oscar night, while an actress or actor trophy can trigger an extra 30-50% in a film’s domestic cume.   Fox Searchlight’sBlack Swanwill expand Friday from its current 617 locales to 681.  At $103.83 million, the film recently inched out The Chronicles of Narnia 3($103.81 million) to become Fox’s highest-grossing 2010 domestic release.   Meanwhile the Weinstein Co. is plotting to unspool its PG-13 take on King’s Speech at some point down the road, but will continue to play out its R-rated reel currently at 2,386 sites.  No matter what version of King’s Speech audiences attend --with or without the ‘F’ words-- Weinstein Co. president David Glasser insists that there’s are still crowds who haven’t seen the period piece, despite its 93% domestic B.O. boost between noms and Oscar Night.
  • By Anthony D'Alessandro
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  • March 3, 2011 6:26 AM
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  • 3 Comments

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