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Thompson on Hollywood

Film in the Decade Since 9/11: From Superheroes to Westerns, What Came After

This week's “Now and Then” column started out comparing and contrasting two movies about assassins — Hanna (Joe Wright, 2011) and Léon: the Professional (Luc Besson, 1994)—and ended up ruminating on 9/11. Trailers below:Life and culture are too messy to be divided into easy categories like “Before” and “After,” but for all the continuities in the way films are made and viewed, a long view of the last decade reveals some important, if subtle, shifts. Watching the network news coverage of September 11 to prepare for this column, I was reminded of how much we didn’t know that day, how much our fear stemmed from no longer being able to control the course of events.
  • By Matt Brennan
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  • September 12, 2011 11:36 AM
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Video: Before They Were Famous

Matt Damon made his on screen debut in the 80s coming-of-age film Mystic Pizza. He had one line, spoken to his mother while eating lobster: "Mom, do you want my green stuff?"
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 18, 2011 5:47 AM
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  • 0 Comments

The Sell-Out Failures of Oscar Winners

The Sell-Out Failures of Oscar Winners
Entertainment blog Grantland's "made-up entertainment-related statistics" department trashes Oscar-winners who cash in on boffo box-office paydays in often second-rate studio features. We're not sure if potential embarrassment outweighs the paychecks these stars receive, but Grantland makes a valid career query:"2011's bumper crop of sequels, remakes, and general schlock has built swimming pools in the backyards of some of our most revered [Oscar winning] actors. But at what cost to their dramatic cred? Exactly how much of the shine have they taken off their Academy Awards? And which actor did the most damage this year?"
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • July 11, 2011 7:52 AM
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  • 3 Comments

Portman & Butler Win Elizabeth Taylor/Richard Burton Poll for Scorsese's Furious Love

Portman & Butler Win Elizabeth Taylor/Richard Burton Poll for Scorsese's Furious Love
It will be no easy task to cast legends Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. Last week we invited you to play dreamcast with us, voting for the actors to play Taylor and Burton in Martin Scorsese's adaptation of their tempestuous love affair and chronicled in Furious Love. The results are in, and despite being completely out of the running until June 24, Natalie Portman surged to the top to join Gerard Butler. We initially paired the two together, stating: "If anyone can raise Portman’s temperature, it would be Butler. He’d have to step up and bring some depth to the rugged masculinity he so easily depicts. Portman probably has this in her, but it won’t come naturally." Second and third place winners, our picks and the complete poll results are below:
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • June 27, 2011 5:37 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Summer Preview: Must-Sees on Big Screen, Skippable, Must-to-Avoid

Summer Preview: Must-Sees on Big Screen, Skippable, Must-to-Avoid
The summer is upon us, with a plethora of viewing choices, many of them utterly avoidable. I lay out the summer movie landscape.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 28, 2011 9:46 AM
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  • 7 Comments

Graig Gillespie To Direct Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Portman's Handsomecharlie Films Producing

Craig Gillespie (Lars and The Real Girl) will direct the Lionsgate adaptation of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Natalie Portman's Handsomecharlie Films and Darko Entertainment are producing. The adaptation is based on Seth Graham-Smith's 2009 zombified expansion novel of the Jane Austen classic, a NYT Bestseller and Oprah's "Summer Reading List" mention. He also wrote the screenplay.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • April 18, 2011 6:56 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Your Highness Clip: Franco Tells McBride To Shut Up, Talks Tears, Deschanel's "Cookies"

Check out this Your Highness clip at NME, in which James Franco shows his sensitive side and tells Danny McBride to shut up.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • April 6, 2011 8:45 AM
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Your Highness Early Reviews: "Utterly Batshit Insane, Misguided, Chaotic, Teenage Titillation"

Your Highness Early Reviews: "Utterly Batshit Insane, Misguided, Chaotic, Teenage Titillation"
Your Highness opens April 8 with Danny McBride, James Franco, Natalie Portman and Zooey Deschanel (trailer below). Pineapple Express's David Gordon Green directs. The script comes from McBride and his Eastbound & Down co-writer Ben Best.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 5, 2011 7:37 AM
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  • 4 Comments

Valerie Plame Wilson Writes Female Centered Suspense Novels with Female Action Star Potential

Seeking a female action hero? A new one may come from an unlikely source: memoirist and ex-spy Valerie Plame Wilson, whose CIA debacle was brought to the screen by Doug Liman in last year's Fair Game, which starred Naomi Watts as the glamorous, fierce yet tender operative (opposite Sean Penn as husband Joe Wilson).
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • March 21, 2011 8:28 AM
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  • 3 Comments

Actresses Take Control, Directing and Producing Their Own Projects

Drew Barrymore will follow up her Whip It (2009) directorial debut--which scored better with critics than audiences-- with How to Be Single, a romantic comedy for New Line, reports THR. She will also produce with her Flower Films partner Nancy Juvonen (Flower Films's first producing effort was Never Been Kissed in 1999).
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • March 16, 2011 8:29 AM
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  • 3 Comments

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