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Thompson on Hollywood

Immersed in Movies: Previewing 'Rise of the Guardians'

DreamWorks' "Rise of the Guardians" (November 21) is an exquisite and enchanting adaptation of William Joyce's magnificent and epic "Guardian" book series, which reinvents some of our favorite fairy tale icons. First-time director Peter Ramsey, who cut his teeth doing storyboards for David Fincher and Spike Jonze before moving into animation at DreamWorks, has wisely upped the superhero quotient in "Avengers"-like fashion, which makes for a more spectacular movie.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • November 1, 2012 9:00 PM
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'SEAL Team Six' Director John Stockwell Talks Fact and Fiction, Harvey Weinstein, 'Zero Dark Thirty'

Rushing out the fast-and-dirty TV movie of a big news story before the Hollywood class-act hits is nothing new. It's just odd that Harvey Weinstein got into the act with fiction film "SEAL Team Six: The Raid on Bin Laden." This is hardly Oscar or even Emmy fare. What exactly motivated the movie mogul to jump into this low-budget run-and-gun TV movie at last year's Cannes?
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 30, 2012 6:58 PM
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  • 1 Comment

'Cloud Atlas' Q & A: Wachowskis and Tykwer Talk Indie European Filmmaking, Multiple Roles (VIDEO)

While "Cloud Atlas" is meeting mixed response, the three-hour epic was a delirious joyride for me. Truth is, except for the flat "V for Vendetta" and the final pixel-struck "Matrix" movie, I've admired all of the Wachowskis' output, even "Speed Racer." These filmmakers have it all: strong writing chops, an instinct for entertaining audiences, and compelling visual style. They know how to create characters you care about, to fashion an engrossing narrative that carries you along, and to make your eyes pop with stunning cinematography. What they saw in David Mitchell's novel "Cloud Atlas" was an opportunity to weave six seemingly disparate but related stories in vastly different time zones into a sumptuous cinematic feast.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 26, 2012 4:28 PM
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Hedren Talks Devious Hitchcock and 'The Birds' at Academy: "fairytale" Discovery by Reville

Three days after the HBO premiere of "The Girl," Tippi Hedren appeared in person at the Academy for a beautiful digital screening of Alfred Hitchcock's "The Birds." Though the actress has been outspoken recently about her troubled relationship with the director -- particularly during the production of "The Birds," which "The Girl" chronicles -- her words for the Master of Suspense at the October 23 screening were more tempered.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • October 25, 2012 7:00 AM
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'Holy Motors' Trailer, Review ("bonkers, delirious, pretentious"); Carax Q & A (VIDEO)

Indomina has released an exhilarating U.S. trailer for Leos Carax's "Holy Motors," which debuted on the fest circuit last May in Cannes (where it did not score a prize) and wound up playing Fantastic Fest as well as New York, which tells you something. Matt Mueller's review calls the film "bonkers" and "equal parts delirious and pretentious." Indiewire's Eric Kohn draws some answers out of the notoriously press shy Carax here.
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • October 21, 2012 2:20 PM
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John Hawkes Finds Pain and Growth in 'The Sessions'; Helen Hunt Also Strong Oscar Contender (EXCLUSIVE VIDEO)

Fox Searchlight is no slouch at backing Oscar contenders (see "Slumdog Millionaire," "The Descendants," "The Wrestler"). Back in January at Sundance they scooped up "The Sessions," a small film from Australian writer-director Ben Lewin, who had not directed a feature film in 18 years. Why? Because it had the ring of authenticity.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 18, 2012 4:17 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Q & A: Sorrentino Talks Sean Penn-Starrer 'This Must Be the Place'

One of the more intriguing films opening this November stars Sean Penn in the most unconventional role of his life. In "This Must Be The Place," from the Italian writer-director Paolo Sorrentino, he plays Cheyenne, a rich, retired rock star, now about 50, who chooses to hold on to the way he looked in his glory days – hair dyed black and back-combed, mascara, pancake make-up and scarlet lipstick. (The real rock icon he most closely resembles is the Cure’s Robert Smith.)
  • By David Gritten
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  • October 17, 2012 7:06 AM
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Judi Dench Talks Feeling "drunk with power" as M, Intimidated by Clint Eastwood

With "Skyfall" earning rave early reviews, and this year's global indie blockbuster "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel," it's understandable that Judi Dench, 77, recently told the Guardian that she "never wants to stop working." The most recent Bond installment is the seventh 007 outing for Dench, and features a particularly hard-hitting storyline for her dry, steely-nerved M.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • October 15, 2012 5:15 PM
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Oscar Watch: 'Argo' Director Affleck & Editor Goldenberg Talk Reality vs. Comedy (EXCLUSIVE VIDEO)

"I maybe have matured," Affleck says of his pursuit of smart quality modest-budget movies--he calls $44-million Mideast thriller "Argo" "a labor of love"-- designed to stand the test of time like the 70s classics he reveres.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 15, 2012 2:27 PM
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  • 3 Comments

'Flight' Review; Zemeckis, Washington and Cheadle Talk at NYFF Press Conference (VIDEO)

Denzel Washington waltzed in late to the press conference following the NYFF screening of the Robert Zemeckis-directed "Flight." The audience didn't mind of course, because he's Denzel: His appearance prompted wild applause which immediately drowned out the voice of screenwriter John Gatins.
  • By Sheerly Avni
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  • October 14, 2012 3:59 PM
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  • 0 Comments

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