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Thompson on Hollywood

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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Comic-Con First Look: Terry Gilliam's 'The Zero Theorem,' Starring Christoph Waltz, Bald and Naked

So far, after one day Summit's "Divergent" and "Ender's Game" presentation provided the big news at Comic-Con. (More on that later.) In other news, Hall H saw the long overdue first woman moderator of a movie panel in Hall H, the LATimes' Hero Complex editor Gina McIntyre. Jenna Busch has moderated one Sunday TV panel, according to Comic-Con staffers.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 19, 2013 6:30 AM
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Comic-Con Immersed in Movies Exclusive: Marc Webb Slings 'Amazing Spider-Man 2'

I grabbed "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" director Marc Webb for a Comic-Con chat --he'll meet the fans at Friday's panel in Hall H at 5:30 pm. For him, the follow-up was not only about continuing the rite of passage of Andrew Garfield's Peter Parker, but also learning more about the vernacular of tentpole movies. After all, Webb's only prior feature experience was helming "(500) Days of Summer," so he's still facing a steep learning curve in handling the demands of the superhero genre.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • July 19, 2013 6:00 AM
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Producer Christine Vachon to Receive Stony Brook Festival Award, Talks Her Career and Advice: "Be Platform Agnostic"

They say that those who can’t do, teach. And those who can’t teach, teach gym. But sometimes, those who can do also teach, and if you’ve made 70 movies over 20 years, while raking in a bunch of Independent Spirit award and Oscar nominations, apparently it’s time to share some of the expertise.
  • By John Anderson
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  • July 18, 2013 2:45 PM
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Review: Tragi-Comedy 'Act of Killing' Confronts the Killer Inside (TRAILER)

With his documentary "The Act of Killing," Joshua Oppenheimer has reset the bar for tragi-comedy. As in, don’t even bother trying, Hollywood. Ever again. In fact, why don’t we just dispense with next year’s Oscar race right now and give both the best documentary and the best feature award to this film? It even has a musical within it, so it could take that category at the Globes, too.
  • By Tom Christie
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  • July 18, 2013 1:48 PM
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  • 1 Comment

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