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Thompson on Hollywood

William Friedkin Makes a Midler Musical, Defends Digital, Restores 'Sorcerer,' Reveres Old Studios

The director has been keeping busy not only writing his memoir, The Friedkin Connection, and directing such films as Tracy Lett's adaptation of "Killer Joe," starring Matthew McConaughey, but many operas. He's legendary for his intensity and demands for excellence--but the results speak for themselves. Always have. Friedkin has also painstakingly restored 1977 cult film "Sorcerer" which is out on Blu-Ray and is coming on DVD and Digital Download.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 31, 2014 5:25 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Are Studio Ghibli's Days Numbered? Say It Ain't So

It seems impossible to think that one of the world's most beloved animation studios might shut its doors and stop making films, but that's what one Japanese news site says might happen to Hayao Miyazaki's Studio Ghibli.
  • By Jacob Combs
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  • July 31, 2014 4:15 PM
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  • 2 Comments

Netflix Releases Groundbreaking Eco-doc 'Mission Blue,' Plus Other Potential Doc Oscar Contenders (TRAILER)

The words 'Netflix' and 'original content' bring to mind shows like "House of Cards" and "Orange Is the New Black." But Netflix has been consistently seeking new types of programming to bring to viewers under its own banner, and it plans to do so significantly this year with a raft of new documentaries.
  • By Anne Thompson and Jacob Combs
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  • July 31, 2014 3:37 PM
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'Guardians of the Galaxy' Director James Gunn Looks Forward -- and Back

"Guardians of the Galaxy" is the most irreverent Marvel departure, and, thanks to writer-director James Gunn ("Slither"), we're reminded that sci-fi can be fun. What's old is new again. But even though it wasn't his intention to give us a nostalgia trip while creating his own colorful galaxy of rogues and villains, it's an occupational hazard of turning archetypes on their heads.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • July 31, 2014 1:44 PM
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  • 0 Comments

WATCH: Disney's 'Into the Woods' Gets a Tantalizing First Trailer (And Production Photos)

Musical theaters nerds, our wishes have been granted: the first trailer for Rob Marshall's adaptation of "Into the Woods" is here, and it definitely makes us wish for more.
  • By Jacob Combs
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  • July 31, 2014 1:40 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Makeup Artist Dick Smith Has Died at 92

Makeup artist Rick Baker tweeted the news Thursday morning that his mentor, the legendary Dick Smith, had died, at age 92. He did makeup effects for "The Godfather" I and II, "Scanners," "The Exorcist," "Altered States," and "Little Big Man."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 31, 2014 1:26 PM
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  • 0 Comments
More: Obit

'Happy Christmas' Stars Melanie Lynskey and Mark Webber Dive Off the Deep End with Joe Swanberg

Joe Swanberg is familiar to many as a Mumblecore director--which means he writes, directs, shoots, often acts in and improvises his way through his low-budget naturalistic movies, although his last one was done on a somewhat grander scale that required some writing and organization--"Drinking Buddies. "Happy Christmas," though, is a return to his old ways, which means you need to like this kind of movie to enjoy it.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 30, 2014 5:28 PM
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'Guardians of the Galaxy''s Groot Deserves Best Animated Character of the Year Award

One of the best animated characters ever--even better than the fabulous Andy Serkis's groundbreaking work with Weta Digital in everything from Gollum and King Kong to Caesar--is Groot in "Guardians of the Galaxy" (August 1). One reason: thanks to motion capture, you can feel the actor behind the animation--it's in the eyes. It's not just Vin Diesel's delivery of the phrase, "I am Groot," which provides comic relief.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 30, 2014 3:57 PM
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  • 3 Comments

Matthew McConaughey Takes Giant Leaps for Mankind in New 'Interstellar' Trailer

As we reported last week, Christopher Nolan and Matthew McConaughey dominated Comic-Con when they previewed the newest trailer for Nolan's upcoming Paramount feature, "Interstellar." Today, that trailer was released to the public, and it's a home run.
  • By Jacob Combs
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  • July 30, 2014 2:55 PM
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  • 0 Comments

The Met Opera Struggles to Adapt and Survive Amid Controversy ('60 Minutes' VIDEO)

A major labor lock-out looming, a famous composer's opera facing scrutiny from those fearing it will incite anti-Semitism abroad: these days, the majority of the drama at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City seems to be happening not onstage, but offstage.
  • By Jacob Combs
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  • July 30, 2014 2:51 PM
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  • 0 Comments

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