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Thompson on Hollywood

Arthouse Audit: 'I'm So Excited' Scores Decent Opening, 'Museum Hours' Is Surprise Success

Summer isn't the usual launchpad for subtitled films, but this weekend two June openers both show promise. "I'm So Excited" (Sony Pictures Classics), from the most consistently successful foreign language director Pedro Almodovar, opened solidly, if below his usual level. The much less-heralded "Museum Hours" (Cinema Guild) scored an above-average per screen average in two New York theaters. Both should gain attention across the country in upcoming weeks.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • June 30, 2013 3:55 PM
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'Despicable Me 2' Retains Original's Charm--and Minions

A half hour into “Despicable Me 2,” I had no idea what the story was. I didn’t care very much – directors Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud obviously knew that regular doses of Minion magic would mollify even the most nettlesome demand for a storyline– but the prospect of having to write a plot summary was making me crazy. What we get in “DM2” is what we loved about the first film – chiefly, the gibberish-burbling taxi-yellow Minions, who provide so much of the physical comedy, and whose only passing familiarity with any known language makes what might have been routine shtick into something delirious
  • By John Anderson
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  • June 30, 2013 3:30 PM
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Box Office Top 10: 'Monsters U' and 'The Heat' Beat Male Action Titles, $100-Million 'Now You See Me' Summer Sleeper

Led by two movies not primarily targeted at the studios' preferred young male demo (16-25) for summer fare-- Disney/Pixar's "Monsters University" and the female buddy cop comedy "The Heat" (Twentieth Century Fox) -- the weekend box office top 10 totaled some $182 million, down $7 million from last year.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • June 30, 2013 1:15 PM
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Classic Cinema at Bologna, Perils of a Paulette, from 'Guilt Trip' to 'Vera Cruz'

It's time to head to the Pizza Maggiore to join more than a thousand people for a free outdoor screening of "Vera Cruz," the stunning Technicolor western directed by Robert Aldrich, starring Burt Lancaster, whose daughter Joanna charmingly introduces the film by narrating a slideshow of photographs of her exceedingly photogenic father. Il Cinema Ritrovato's artistic director, Peter von Bagh, compares the prescient and influential 1954 film to its successors, the spaghetti westerns of Sergio Leone and the brutal ones of Sam Peckinpah.
  • By Meredith Brody
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  • June 29, 2013 10:21 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Obit: Elias Querejeta Was Spain's Producer of Producers

The death of Elias Querejeta, “producer of producers” according to the leading lights of Spanish cinema, did not cause a Gandolfini-size wake in the world of film. But film lovers should note the accomplishments of a man who, as much as anyone, moved his country’s cinema into a post-Franco landscape –a state-of-the-cinema where the likes of Pedro Almodovar are even imaginable.
  • By John Anderson
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  • June 29, 2013 4:26 PM
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  • 1 Comment
More: Obit, Foreign

Weekly Wrap: 'White House Down' Arrives, James Gandolfini Remembered, Emmy Watch, News and More

The top stories of the week from TOH!
  • By TOH!
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  • June 29, 2013 2:32 PM
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'Monsters University' and 'The Heat' Battle for Top Spot at Lagging Summer Box Office

The release calendar is crowded, and Friday's numbers show that the intense competition for the top films is not expanding the marketplace. The end result is not the box office bonanza many have been predicting. In fact, the total numbers for the top 10 yesterday fell just under 20% from the same Friday last year. This means that a blockbuster summer is less likely than ever to salvage a weak year. And this is at a time when multiple releases are burdened with unforgiving production budgets exceeding $150 million--and more.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • June 29, 2013 2:28 PM
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  • 3 Comments

WATCH: Lars von Trier's 'Nymphomaniac' First Clip, 'Chapter 1: The Compleat Angler'

Details of Lars von Trier's latest cinematic provocation, "Nymphomaniac," starring his fearless go-to actress Charlotte Gainsbourg ("Antichrist," "Melancholia"), have been titillating us for months. In the film, the title character shares her erotic experiences to a man who has saved her from a vicious beating. See the first clip and teaser poster below.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 29, 2013 2:10 PM
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  • 2 Comments

Circling the Airfield: Why Stony Brook Film Festival Booked Plane Crash Doc 'TWA Flight 800'

The Stony Brook Film Festival in New York (July 18-27) is the quintessential local movie event. Its director, Alan Inkles, sells out all his screenings, every year, because he knows exactly who his audience is, what it likes and where it lives. Which is why "TWA Flight 800" was a no-brainer: The site where the flight in question went down -- or was shot down -- is not so many miles from the state university where his festival takes place.
  • By John Anderson
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  • June 29, 2013 11:00 AM
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Frameline Reviews: Sweet, Sincere 'G.B.F,' Riveting Human Rights Doc 'Born This Way,' AIDS Panic Drama 'Test' and More

The Frameline Film Festival wraps up this weekend in San Francisco with a fascinating array of docs and features about gay lives both closeted and open including the hilarious teen comedy "G.B.F." and gripping human rights doc "Born This Way."
  • By Ryan Lattanzio
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  • June 28, 2013 4:22 PM
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  • 0 Comments

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