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Thompson on Hollywood

Review Roundup: Must-See Doc 'Gideon's Army' Follows Tenacious Public Defenders in the Deep South (TRAILER)

Dawn Porter's documentary "Gideon's Army," which premiered earlier this year at Sundance, had its HBO debut July 1. The film, which follows overworked yet idealistic public defenders in the deep South, has gained high praise from critics: the Village Voice hails it as "the most illuminating crime drama since 'The Wire,'" while the New York Times claims it will "grab you by the throat." Look out for this one come Oscar season. Review roundup below.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • July 2, 2013 1:26 PM
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  • 2 Comments

'Venus Vs.' Review: Venus Williams Fights for Gender Equality at Wimbledon in Ava DuVernay's Rousing Sports Doc

Ava DuVernay’s skilled documentary “Venus Vs.,” which debuts on ESPN July 2, charts Venus Williams’ two-year battle from 2005 to 2007 for equal prize money among genders at Wimbledon. In the film, sports journalist Howard Bryant explains that it takes a certain collision of factors for someone to be the right and most effective person to champion a cause. In 1973, it was Billie Jean King. In this millennium it’s Williams, a superstar in the world of tennis who also understands acutely what it is to be an outsider in that sport -- racially, economically and in terms of gender.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • July 2, 2013 11:42 AM
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  • 3 Comments

Trailers from Hell: Max Landis on Joe Dante's 'Innerspace'

"It's Back to the 80s!" at the newly revamped Trailers from Hell this week, with screenwriter Max Landis introducing TFH creator Joe Dante's 1987 comedy-fantasy entry "Innerspace," starring Dennis Quaid, Meg Ryan and Martin Short.
  • By Trailers From Hell
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  • July 2, 2013 11:30 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Frameline Film Festival 2013 Winners: 'Out in the Dark,' 'Concussion,' 'Big Joy' and More (TRAILERS)

Frameline, the world's longest running LGBT film festival, announced its 2013 winners for both audience and juried awards after wrapping up its 37th year this past Sunday. Among honorees are "Out in the Dark," "Concussion" and "Big Joy."
  • By Ryan Lattanzio
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  • July 1, 2013 9:11 PM
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  • 1 Comment

'Ray Donovan': The Next Big Thing? Debuts to Record Ratings

The terrific new series "Ray Donovan" is premiering on Showtime Sunday night -- and you should be watching it rather than reading this. If the show fulfills the promise of its pilot episode it could turn out to be one of the great ones, an ideal anecdote for those of us who expect to be suffering from "Breaking Bad" withdrawal in a few months.
  • By David Chute
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  • July 1, 2013 4:44 PM
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  • 6 Comments

Amy Nicholson Lands Karina Longworth Slot at LA Weekly

Film critic Amy Nicholson, who left her film editor gig during cutbacks at Boxoffice Magazine last year, has signed on as full-time staff film critic at LA Weekly, effectively replacing Karina Longworth, who ankled the paper in 2012 to write books on Meryl Streep and Al Pacino.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 1, 2013 4:21 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Fox Searchlight Picks Up British Period Drama 'Belle,' Directed by Amma Asante

Fox Searchlight has acquired most worldwide rights including North America and the U.K. to the British period drama "Belle," directed by Amma Asante who in 2005 won a BAFTA for her debut film "A Way of Life."
  • By Ryan Lattanzio
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  • July 1, 2013 3:37 PM
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  • 0 Comments

New CBS Series 'Under the Dome' Now Available to Stream on Amazon Instant Video (TRAILER)

The critically acclaimed CBS summer series "Under the Dome" -- which nabbed the network very high ratings when it kicked off last Monday -- is now available to stream on Amazon Instant Video.
  • By Ryan Lattanzio
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  • July 1, 2013 2:58 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Kevin Smith Wisely Won't Use Kickstarter to Fund 'Clerks III': "I Have Access to Money" (KCRW Interview)

Hear the KCRW podcast in which filmmaker Kevin Smith opens up about why he won't be using Kickstarter after all to finance "Clerks III."
  • By Anne Thompson and Ryan Lattanzio
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  • July 1, 2013 2:57 PM
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  • 4 Comments

WATCH: Cleverly Creepy New Trailer for 'The Conjuring'

Check out the canny new trailer for James Wan's "The Conjuring," which is receiving strong reviews prior to its July 19 release. (Variety's hailed it as "Insidious" and "Saw" director Wan's "masterpiece.") The trailer cleverly interweaves interview snippets with the real-life Perron family, whose story of being haunted in their Rhode Island farmhouse in the 1970s is the basis for the film. Even the use of the baritone voiceover evokes a creepily vintage feel.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • July 1, 2013 2:40 PM
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  • 1 Comment

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