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Thompson on Hollywood

Book Review: David Thomson's 'The Big Screen'

In the epilogue to “The Big Screen,” his one-volume history of the movies, David Thomson warns the reader: “You should be ready for the loss of theaters and video stores….Be prepared for the word ‘movie’ being replaced by ‘bits’ or ‘bites’ or ‘viddies’ (a term Anthony Burgess used in 'A Clockwork Orange' in 1962).”
  • By Aljean Harmetz
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  • December 31, 2012 1:55 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Critics Weigh in on Worst Movies of 2012

Critics let the fur fly when they unleash their scorn on the year's worst movies, the dregs at the bottom of the barrel, the flicks that really waste their time. For your reading pleasure we present an assortment of "Worst Movies of the Year" lists. Our own is right here.
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • December 31, 2012 7:00 AM
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  • 33 Comments

'Django Unchained': Why Spike Lee Refuses to See It, More Reviews UPDATED

Quentin Tarantino's "Django Unchained," which opened Christmas Day, played well at the DGA screening I attended, as well as the subsequent L.A Academy screening. Audiences are flocking to see it (we'll do the box office numbers on Thursday) and critics love it (89% on Rotten Tomatoes, 80% on MetaCritic). Of course they do--per usual, Tarantino offers up a meaty dish to be savored and interpreted, crammed with movie references and rich performances from a wide range of great character actors.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 26, 2012 7:16 PM
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  • 6 Comments

'Les Miserables' Review Round-Up; Detractors Could Hurt Musical's Oscar Bid

Christmas Day saw two new openings of award-season contenders, "Les Miserables" and "Django Unchained." (We will parse their box office on Thursday.) But judging from social media chatter as well as reviews, it is clear that Tom Hooper's approach to the musical may be too radical for many moviegoers.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 26, 2012 4:08 PM
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  • 1 Comment

DVD Review: 'The Words' Has A Serious Case of Writer's Block

It would be easy to come away from "The Words" with the impression that writing is a stiff, musty line of work — all grand ballrooms, solemn readings, and blue-blooded accents, a veritable Titanic of pretensions. This would be a mistake. The only sinking ship here is the film itself.
  • By Matt Brennan
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  • December 26, 2012 6:11 AM
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  • 3 Comments

Now and Then: Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

Early in "Meet Me in St. Louis," Esther Smith (Judy Garland) pines for the boy next door. Lent silky grace by Garland's perfect warble, Esther describes love — and, by extension, Vincente Minnelli's 1944 classic. "I want it to be something strange and wonderful," she says. "Something I'll always remember."
  • By Matt Brennan
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  • December 24, 2012 2:51 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Garcia Bernal and Larrain Just Say 'No' EXCLUSIVE VIDEO

Oscar-shortlisted "No," a hit on the festival circuit, comes from Chilean director Pablo Larraín and Mexican producer-star Gael García Bernal, who collaborated on a novel recreation of the 1988 ousting of Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet after 15 years of oppression. Sony Pictures Classics acquired all North American rights.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 21, 2012 12:26 PM
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  • 2 Comments

Holiday Weekend Preview 2012: 'Zero Dark Thirty,' 'Les Mis,' 'Django,' 'Impossible,' 'On the Road,' 'This is 40' and More Make a Christmas Movie Feast

At last audiences can sink their teeth into Kathryn Bigelow's "Zero Dark Thirty," which is inspiring debate as it enjoys a top spot on many Best of 2012 lists. If Jessica Chastain hunting down Osama bin Laden is not your thing, there's plenty to sample this pre-holiday weekend. Bigelow's excellent film, however, should be considered essential viewing as we head into the next phase of awards season. Ditto for Tom Hooper's "Les Miserables" and Quentin Tarantino's "Django Unchained," which both arrive on Christmas day next week.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • December 20, 2012 7:26 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Blu-ray Review: Smoldering Dietrich is Von Sternberg's 'Blue Angel' in Kino Restoration

“The Blue Angel,” a crowning achievement of Weimar cinema and the most famous of the seven collaborations between director Josef von Sternberg and Marlene Dietrich, is newly on Blu-ray from Kino. The finely restored transfer, with sharp picture quality and crisp sound highlighting Von Sternberg’s early-talkie innovations, is the original German-language version. (Two versions were shot simultaneously in 1930 -- the lesser known English-language version was long considered a lost film until its discovery in the early 2000s.)
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • December 19, 2012 2:38 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Top Ten Lists of 2012: An Updated Guide to the Favorite Films of the Year

In December, critics and film writers look back at the year's best and worst movies, performances, breakouts, trends...We'll keep adding more updates to these 2012 lists.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • December 19, 2012 2:15 PM
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  • 1 Comment

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