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Thompson on Hollywood

SIFF Review: 'The Savoy King' Celebrates Harlem Jazz Drummer Chick Webb

“Music is a universal combiner," says Dr. Muriel Petioni, the mother of Harlem medicine, in the first few measures of Jeff Kaufman’s spirited window into the culture of the Harlem music and dance movement in the 1920’s and '30’s. This is a perfect descriptor for "The Savoy King: Chick Webb and the Music That Changed America."
  • By John W. Comerford
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  • June 11, 2012 8:39 PM
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Now and Then: Do Silent Movies Still Matter?

In some quarters I'll be considered a heretic for even asking the question. But think about how many people you know — discounting film school types and critics, people pretty much required to do so — who have ever seen a silent, let alone watch them regularly. I'll bet the number is small. Should we care?
  • By Matt Brennan
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  • June 11, 2012 7:08 PM
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'Brave' Early Reviews: Merida May Not Be New Model Princess After All

The "Brave" trailers promo Pixar's foray into princess movies; the Disney animated feature is expected to be one of the summer's top performers. But early reviews suggest the tale isn't as fresh and groundbreaking as we'd hoped. Princess Merida is Pixar's first female lead, but may not prove to be a new feminist icon.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • June 11, 2012 2:16 PM
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  • 3 Comments

Seattle Film Festival Virgin Diary 1

The Seattle Film Festival has been going since May 17, so I'll be arriving a bit late to the party Thursday afternoon. The country's longest festival wraps up this Sunday, and I've been watching screeners in Los Angeles to prepare myself. Large and local, this festival offers cinephiles plenty of riches.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • June 7, 2012 1:43 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Weekend Preview: Spectacular 'Prometheus' Arrives, 'Safety Not Guaranteed' Best of the Indies

"Prometheus" finally arrives this weekend and it's quite a ride. While its story may not deliver on the promise of its dazzling trailer and promos, it's visually stunning and Noomi Rapace and Michael Fassbender are an impressive pair. Among the indie fare arriving this weekend is the charming Sundance hit "Safety Not Guaranteed."
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • June 7, 2012 1:40 PM
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Why Do We Care Who Killed Rosie Larsen?

In two episodes – as AMC’s trailers insist – we’ll know who killed Rosie Larsen. Given that the show isn’t about Rosie – it’s about Sarah Linden and, to a lesser extent, Stephen Holder and Darren Richmond – why is it so important that Rosie’s killer is revealed?
  • By Terry Curtis Fox
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  • June 6, 2012 6:08 AM
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  • 4 Comments

Now and Then: Wes Anderson and Ridley Scott, Two Master Stylists Whose Best Work Is Past

Let me begin by clarifying my headline. I am not saying that Wes Anderson and Ridley Scott, two master stylists with new movies in theaters, will not someday surpass their best films; that kind of prediction is impossible and counterproductive. But it must be admitted that they set the bar high, and neither has yet leaped over it.
  • By Matt Brennan
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  • June 5, 2012 6:01 AM
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  • 4 Comments

Weekly Wrap: Cannes Reviews, Oscar Talk is Back, Trailer Watch, and Industry News

Weekend Preview - it's slim pickings ahead but we steer you right. We give "Snow White and the Huntsman" a review and review round-up: it wants to everything it's not. Our review and review round-up for Ridley Scott's "Prometheus" in case you're planning ahead, this one promises stunning eye candy.
  • By TOH!
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  • June 2, 2012 8:17 PM
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Weekend Preview: Slim Pickings Ahead

There aren't many fresh choices at the box office this weekend. Critics deem "Snow White and The Huntsman," "For Greater Glory" and "High School" misfires, while first-person Israel/Palestine documentary and SXSW breakout "5 Broken Cameras" is the weekend standout. Oscar-nominated French animation "A Cat in Paris" lands (with a new English-language voice cast) for families to enjoy and the underappreciated Josh Lucas returns with "Hide Away." Check out trailers and reviews below:
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • June 1, 2012 1:27 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Review: Ridley Scott's 'Prometheus' Offers Eye-Popping 'Alien' Origin Myth

Ridley Scott’s return to the genre that forged his reputation as a visionary stylist arrives weighed down by expectations it was always going to struggle to match, let alone surpass. "Prometheus" contains neither the taut, visceral chills of "Alien" nor ground-breaking aesthetic of "Blade Runner" but does bite off some colossal themes.
  • By Matt Mueller
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  • June 1, 2012 1:23 PM
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  • 2 Comments

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