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Thompson on Hollywood

As Moviegoers Cool on 3-D, Next Breakout Could Be Tron: Legacy

It's amazing how far the 3-D clock has turned in a short time. In classic Hollywood fashion, the industry seems to have cooked its own 3-D goose in just a few years. After talking theater owners across America into building some 5000 digital cinemas equipped with 3-D projectors, the studios have jumped eagerly onto the 3-D bandwagon, throwing one movie after the other into shoddy quickie retrofit post-production. While high-quality early efforts such as Avatar ($3 billion worldwide) and Alice in Wonderland ($116 million opening weekend) pulled in huge percentages of 3-D patrons, audiences swiftly got pickier about what they were going to pay for after getting burned on such B-efforts as Clash of the Titans and The Last Airbender. If you track opening weekend grosses on 3-D vs. 2-D, there's a precipitous drop from December 2009 to August 2010.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 27, 2010 12:37 PM
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  • 2 Comments

King, Schlessel, Berney Talk FilmDistrict, Plan to Release Depp's Rum Diary, London Boulevard

When a market contracts, it offers opportunities to fill the void. As expected, having imported Sony heavyweight Peter Schlessel as president, producer Graham King of GK Films, backed by his financing partner Tim Headington, is pushing forward to fill the current distribution gap with FilmDistrict.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 27, 2010 12:19 PM
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  • 5 Comments

Trailer Watch: Coens Western True Grit Stars Bridges, Brolin, Damon

True Grit is the 2010 movie I cannot wait to see--and the big unknown for Oscar watchers. We'll all have to wait until Joel and Ethan Coen finish the movie in time for a December 25 release. But the trailer hit today (below).
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 27, 2010 11:33 AM
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  • 3 Comments

Boardwalk Empire Recap: Money and Relationships, Clunky Dialogue

Boardwalk Empire Recap: Money and Relationships, Clunky Dialogue
Because everyone we know is watching and debating the merits of Boardwalk Empire every week, TOH critic Tim Appelo is keeping the conversation going. He favors Tim Van Patten's slick camera moves, but worries about some clunky over-familiar dialogue. (Spoiler Alert!)Everybody made a big deal about the Scorsese-directed pilot of Boardwalk Empire, but Timothy Van Patten’s followup is in some ways better. No muzzle-flash valentines to the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre this time, but instead of endless setups and proud pans of HBO’s multimillion-dollar period set, we get some actual storylines unspooling. Last week we saw Nucky’s nooky naked; this week we get a peek at his unguarded heart. And Van Patten beats Scorsese’s bookend iris shots with the opening scene (pan down with the Chicago snow to mob boss Big Jim’s funeral) and the finale (a Baltimore flapper rolls her averted eyes and mechanically works the crankshaft of crass businessman Baxter in his Tin Lizzie – until the gory, half-dead survivor of the first episode’s massacre staggers zombielike out of the woods and into their headlamps). And Van Patten’s old-time movie moves work as well as Scorsese’s: I like the wipe from the closeup of Capone stomping reporter Eddie Corrigan’s face to Nucky at his desk.
  • By Tim Appelo
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  • September 27, 2010 6:13 AM
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  • 2 Comments
More: Reviews, TV, HBO

3D Film Festival Opener is Streetdance 3D, Closer is Joe Dante's The Hole

3D Film Festival Opener is Streetdance 3D, Closer is Joe Dante's The Hole
The fourth annual 3D Film Festival announces its lineup for 2010. It opens September 30 with the U.S. premiere of Giwa and Dania Pasquini's Streetdance 3D, starring Charlotte Rampling, and closes on October 3 with Joe Dante's The Hole.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • September 27, 2010 4:40 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Trailer Watch: Client 9: Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer, Inside Job

Two excellent Wall Street exposes, Alex Gibney's Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer (on demand October 1, theaters November 4) and Charles Ferguson's Inside Job (NYFF October 1, NY October 8, LA October 15) serve as brainy fact-packed companion pieces to Oliver Stone's commercial sequel Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, which opened at number one this weekend. Here are trailers for both Oscar-worthy docs:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 26, 2010 5:43 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Weekend Box Office: Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps Easily Clips Legend of the Guardians, You Again

There's life yet in the adult drama, as Oliver Stone's Wall Street sequel easily outscored the weekend competition. Anthony D'Alessandro reports.
  • By Anthony D'Alessandro
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  • September 26, 2010 4:30 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Venice Photo Gallery

Venice Photo Gallery
When you're in the thick of a film festival, it's hard to keep up with all the real news, reviews and just keeping your appliances charged. At Venice, especially, I kept running out of juice on my laptop, phone, camera or flip cam. Keeping them all up to snuff was a challenge. Thus some of my best Venice photos were taken with my BlackBerry, finally. Most of my time was spent on the Lido; I biked to the Movie Village from the yellow Viktoria Palace Hotel.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 25, 2010 11:53 AM
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  • 0 Comments
More: festivals

Oscar Watch: Waiting for Superman Meets Zuckerberg on Oprah

Oscar Watch: Waiting for Superman Meets Zuckerberg on Oprah
Paramount has sent out "for Your Consideration" six-city screening invites for Martin Scorsese's Shutter Island and Davis Guggenheim's Waiting for Superman, which got serious Oprah Winfrey love this week, with two shows devoted to the controversial American education expose. The second show also featured Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who didn't say much as Winfrey explained that he was reluctant to appear and had wanted to make his contribution to the Newark city schools anonymously.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 25, 2010 11:00 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Oscar Talk: Frontrunners King's Speech vs. The Social Network, Why The Fighter Isn't A Shoo-In

Oscar Talk: Frontrunners King's Speech vs. The Social Network, Why The Fighter Isn't A Shoo-In
It's only September, which means that Kris Tapley and I are declaring The King's Speech and The Social Network frontrunners---for now. Which films could possibly supplant them? Toy Story 3 is an animated sequel. I argue that The Fighter is directed by the one and only David O. Russell, while Kris points out that All the President's Men was beaten by Rocky. The Beaver's Mel Gibson makes another problematic award-season figure. Ben Affleck's The Town needs to accumulate success and gravitas. And then there's the Coen brothers' True Grit.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 24, 2010 12:30 PM
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  • 14 Comments

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