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Thompson on Hollywood

Now and Then: In Two Foer Adaptations, Surprises and Disappointments Abound

I'll admit it came as a shock, near the end of "Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close," to find myself crying. As it turns out, movies can still surprise us, and I don't just mean that they defy the expectations set by Rotten Tomatoes. I mean they can, in the midst of things, find what they've been missing.
  • By Matt Brennan
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  • April 2, 2012 12:29 PM
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Book Review: Annette Insdorf's 'Philip Kaufman' Elevates the Director But Skips the Pain

Annette Insdorf's monograph on director Philip Kaufman is just what you'd expect from the astute and thorough Columbia University Director of Undergraduate Film Studies.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 2, 2012 7:13 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Weekend Preview: Violence, Fairy Tales, Bullies & Horny Norwegians

Joining current box office king "The Hunger Games" this weekend are popcorn-sellers "Wrath of the Titans" (VFX 3-D sequel) and family fairy tale "Mirror Mirror" ...
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • March 30, 2012 12:21 PM
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'Mirror Mirror' Early Review and Round-Up: Leave Princess Fairy Tales to Disney

"Mirror Mirror" means a lot to producer/distributor Relativity Media, which needs hits in order to survive. That's why the $60-million PG flick is aimed so squarely at a mainstream family audience. Visually, it looks like a movie directed by Tarsem Singh ("The Immortals"), but it doesn't feel like one. The movie will play young. Very young.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 29, 2012 4:29 PM
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For Titanic Disaster's 100th Anniversary, 'A Night to Remember' Comes to Criterion Blu-ray: Docudrama meets Pinewood Studios

With James Cameron grabbing headlines for his deep ocean plunges and "Titanic" 3-D re-release, the doomed oceanliner is back in headlines. Another terrific Titanic flick, "A Night to Remember," has come to the Criterion Collection in a new digital restoration, commemorating the 100th anniversary of the RMS Titanic's sinking.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • March 29, 2012 1:38 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Brownlow Restoration of Abel Gance’s 'Napoleon' Triumphs at Oakland’s Paramount Theater

If at all possible, you should get yourself over to the Paramount Theater in Oakland next weekend (March 31 and April 1) for the final two performances of Kevin Brownlow’s 5½ hour restoration of Abel Gance’s 1927 "Napoleon," accompanied by Carl Davis conducting the Oakland East Bay Symphony in the performance of his score.
  • By Meredith Brody
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  • March 26, 2012 7:02 PM
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  • 4 Comments

'Mad Men' Season 5 Opener 'A Little Kiss': Review and Recap, Premiere Sets Record

After an 18-month hiatus, "Mad Men" is back with electric car windows, tacky polyester and even a bit of health consciousness. ("Please, no smoking.") Spoilers ahead!
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • March 26, 2012 2:44 PM
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Now and Then: How to Ruin a Marriage Without Really Trying, from 'Carnage' to 'Virginia Woolf'

A quick tip for anyone interested in making a film about class resentment in a recession: as the Soviet filmmakers proved, it usually helps if you're juxtaposing two distinct points of view. Roman Polanski's film "Carnage," about a quartet of outraged — and outrageous — New Yorkers, doesn't quite follow this advice. It's made for the one percent.
  • By Matt Brennan
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  • March 26, 2012 1:05 PM
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The Death of 'Luck'

What happened in "Luck"'s last two episodes is that Hoffman and Farina's characters had something to do of consequence. Farina stopped being a chauffeur and started being a tough guy who could see what others cannot. We finally knew why Hoffman kept him around.
  • By Terry Curtis Fox
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  • March 26, 2012 1:00 AM
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  • 4 Comments

Immersed in Movies: The Return of Abel Gance's 'Napoleon'

Never mind about 3-D and IMAX and higher frame rates and immersive design and "The Artist" and "Hugo": Abel Gance's monumental silent, "Napoleon" (1927), is back and fully restored and better than ever. It boasts more than half-an-hour of additional footage discovered by tireless Oscar-winning British author/director/preservationist Kevin Brownlow.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • March 23, 2012 2:07 PM
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  • 2 Comments

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