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Thompson on Hollywood

Fantasia Fest Review: 'Doomsdays' Is Defiantly Original

Tired of train wrecks? Alienated by mutant life forms? Bewildered by budgets? Done with the undead? Then the movies for you, thus far this year, are 1) Andrew Bujalski’s “Computer Chess” and 2) Eddie Mullins’ as-yet-all-but-unseen “Doomsdays,” which premieres tonight at Fantasia Fest in Montreal. The two films share numerous dissimilarities. They are also unlike anything else out there.
  • By John Anderson
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  • July 23, 2013 2:07 PM
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Venice Days Program of the Biennale Announces Lineup, Includes Films from the Safdie Brothers, Ava DuVernay and More

The tenth edition of the Venice Days program at the Venice International Film Festival unfolds from August 28 through September 7. Its lineup, consisting of 12 feature films, two shorts, three special events and two special screenings, focuses heavily but not exclusively on debuts. Included in this year's just-announced program are John Krokidas' "Kill Your Darlings," starring Daniel Radcliffe, Cherien Dabis' "May in the Summer," Josh and Benny Safdie's "Lenny Cooke," and Ava DuVernay's short film "The Door." Full lineup below.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • July 23, 2013 12:34 PM
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Toronto International Film Festival Launches Oscar Race; 'Fifth Estate' Is Opener, 'Life of Crime' Is Closer

DreamWorks’ World premiere of Bill Condon's "The Fifth Estate" will open the 38th Toronto International Film Festival announced that the world premiere of Festival on September 5; the fest will close on September 15 with the world premiere of Daniel Schechter’s "Life of Crime."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 23, 2013 11:38 AM
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Women Kick Ass at Comic-Con: Guys, Don't Mess with Michelle Rodriguez!

The actresses on the EW Women Who Kick Ass panel at Comic-Con started off soft and came on strong when moderator Sarah Vilkomerson asks them if they've ever experienced sexism on the job. Have they ever. It was like turning on a faucet as the women compared notes on surviving in what is still very much a man's world. They admitted that while they can act tough on-screen--and train hard to be able to embody what's on the written page--navigating the treacherous entertainment industry requires an equally valuable set of skills.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 22, 2013 7:28 PM
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Comic-Con Visionaries Talk Realizing 'Gravity' and 'Amazing Spider-Man' in 3-D, Staging Fights in 'World's End,' Long Takes, 3-D and Future of Film (TRAILERS)

The high point of the annual EW Comic-Con Visionaries panel with Alfonso Cuaron ("Gravity"), Marc Webb ("The Amazing Spider-Man") and Edgar Wright ("The World's End") moderated by Anthony Breznican was an exchange on the aesthetics of long takes and bringing reality into fantasy on film. Wright launched a discussion about combining fights and effects in a reunion comedy about old chums (led by co-writer/star Simon Pegg and Nick Frost) returning to their home town for a pub crawl--and stumbling on an alien invasion.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 22, 2013 1:39 PM
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Outfest 2013 Winners: 'Test,' 'Born This Way,' 'Bridegroom,' 'Reaching for the Moon' and More (TRAILERS)

Outfest announced its 2013 competition winners on Sunday, wrapping up the LGBT film festival's 31st year in Los Angeles. Among big were the AIDS-panic drama "Test," gay romance "Pit Stop" and the critically acclaimed documentaries "Bridegroom" and "Born This Way."
  • By Ryan Lattanzio
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  • July 21, 2013 10:41 PM
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Comic-Con Immersed in Movies: Whedon and Gregg Talk 'Marvel's Agents of SHIELD,' Separate from 'The Avengers: Age of Ultron'

The tagline says it all for ABC's "Marvels's Agents of SHIELD," which sneaked the pilot Friday at Comic-Con:"Not all heroes are super." In fact, creator Joss Whedon, who directed the pilot, suggested that this rag-tag group of agents without super powers represent the Marvel universe on a much more human scale. Like their mentor, the resurrected Agent Coulson (Clark Gregg, who stars in Whedon's arthouse hit "Much Ado About Nothing"), they investigate the bizarre occurrences that connect The Avengers to ordinary people. (Whedon showed up as the capper for the Marvel panel, with a brief teaser of "The Avengers" sequel, now called "Age of Ultron." The crowd roared.)
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • July 20, 2013 11:21 PM
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Comic-Con Immersed in Movies Exclusive: Director Jose Padilha Talks Politicizing 'RoboCop' Remake (VIDEO)

For acclaimed Brazilian director Jose Padilha ("Elite Squad," "Bus 174"), remaking "RoboCop" (February 7, 2014) is the perfect storm of politics and robotics. We chatted at Comic-Con about re-imagining the Paul Verhoeven cyborg classic from '87, which recasts Joel Kinnaman ("The Killing") as Alex Murphy, the Detroit cop gunned down and transformed into the half-man/half-machine Frankenstein. The timely actioner co-stars Gary Oldman, Michael Keaton, Samuel L. Jackson, and Abbie Cornish.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • July 20, 2013 7:23 PM
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Takashi Miike's 'Shield of Straw' Fantasia Fest Review

The most enthusiastic audiences in the world are in Montreal -- specifically at Fantasia Fest, the horror-fantasy-genre extravaganza that opened last night with a double bill of Warner Bros.: “The Conjuring,” to which Fantasia fans were provided a sneak peak before its theatrical opening today; and -- more intriguingly-- Japanese madman Takashi Miike’s less-than-lunatic “Shield of Straw,” a production of Warner Brothers Japan that got a less than lukewarm reception at Cannes this year, but found its way into the hearts of the Fantasian genre nuts filling the grand Imperial theater off the Rue Ste. Catherine.
  • By John Anderson
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  • July 20, 2013 12:25 PM
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Comic-Con: Lionsgate/Summit Puts on Major 'Divergent' and 'Ender's Game' Push, Deflects Controversy

No question that the high point of Comic-Con so far is the Lionsgate/Summit panel to see a trailer for sci-fi "Ender’s Game" (November 1) which is directed by South African director Gavin Hood ("Tsotsi," "X-Men Origins: Wolverine") and aimed at boys, and first-ever footage from young adult "Divergent" (March 21, 2014, IMAX) which is directed by Neil Burger ("Limitless") and aimed at the "Twilight" crowd. Casting is strong on both book adaptations for which Summit harbors high hopes of franchise potential. But it's clear that while the media is aware of Summit's marketing push on these films, the hordes didn't pack into Hall H.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 19, 2013 4:33 PM
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  • 2 Comments

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