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Thompson on Hollywood

Critics on 'Maleficent': Jolie Is Fierce and Film Looks Great, But Fairytale Wears Thin

First reviews have swooped in for "Maleficent," Disney's take on the "Sleeping Beauty" classic arch villain here played by a wickedly gorgeous Angelina Jolie, a ringer for the iconic character. Per critics, the news is good and bad. The film, helmed by Oscar-winning VFX artist Robert Stromberg making his directorial debut, is a suitably sumptuous visual feast. And Jolie kicks ass, clearly reveling in the role. But the message and story seem to have gotten muddled along the way, making reviewers wonder whether this fairytale is more regressive than revisionist.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • May 28, 2014 1:38 PM
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'Star Wars' Cast Revealed on Facebook, Arndt and Lucas Not Mentioned

After all the speculation over recent months, Disney and Lucasfilm--whose leaders Robert Iger and Kathleen Kennedy have joined forces-- announced the cast of the new J.J. Abrams "Star Wars" movie. On Facebook.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 29, 2014 1:10 PM
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'Captain America 3' Gets US Release Date

Disney and Marvel have dated "Captain America 3" for May 6, 2016. That's neck-and-neck with Warner Bros.' untitled "Superman-Batman" movie, slated for release the same day.
  • By Ryan Lattanzio
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  • April 7, 2014 1:42 PM
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As CinemaCon Wraps, Hollywood Needs to Learn Popcorn Time (Studio Roundups, DEMO VIDEO)

We wrap up studio-by-studio takeaways from the exhibitor convention CinemaCon in Las Vegas, as movie theaters and studios are stuck in an old paradigm. And then there's Popcorn Time.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 28, 2014 8:58 PM
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WATCH: Angelina Jolie Takes Flight with Maleficent's Wings

Turns out, Angelina Jolie's Maleficent is even scarier than we thought. Disney has released a new promo spot wherein we see a young Maleficent take flight with gigantic, Angel-of-Death-style dark wings. She tells princess Aurora: "My wings were stolen from me." This must be another reason she's so pissed (aside from not being on the guest list for Aurora's christening). Watch below.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • March 17, 2014 2:16 PM
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'Frozen' Puts Chill on 'Lion King,' Longest Running No. 1 Film Soundtrack Since 2003

"Frozen" has beaten Disney's highest grossing animated blockbuster "The Lion King." The film's mighty soundtrack has held at No.1 on the charts for its fourth non-consecutive week, the first theatrical film album to do so since 2003's "Bad Boys II."
  • By Anne Thompson and Beth Hanna
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  • February 6, 2014 1:15 PM
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WATCH: New Trailer for Disney's 'Maleficent,' Featuring Lana Del Rey's 'Once Upon a Dream'

A new trailer has arrived for Disney's "Maleficent," featuring Lana Del Rey's slinky rendition of the "Sleeping Beauty" classic "Once Upon a Dream."
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • January 27, 2014 11:32 AM
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EXCLUSIVE: Behind the Scenes at Studio Ghibli and Miyazaki's Oscar-Contender 'The Wind Rises' (TRAILER)

A contender for the animated feature Oscar, the subtitled "The Wind Rises" (Disney) is now playing a one-week Oscar qualifying run in Los Angeles and New York in its Japanese subtitled version. Possibly the last film from Hayao Miyazaki, the Walt Disney of Japan, who won the animated Oscar for "Spirited Away," "The Wind Rises" is not aimed at young kids. Gorgeously drawn, it's an historical true story of the brilliant designer behind the Zero fighter plane that wrecked havoc in World War II. I interview Geoffrey Wexler, a high-ranking Studio Ghibli executive who was in town to start dubbing the English version that Disney will release on February 21.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 12, 2013 11:39 AM
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Tom Hanks Talks His 'Life in Pictures,' Hair-Raising 'Captain Phillips' and Sugar-Coating Walt Disney at London Film Festival (CLIPS)

During his 33-year career Tom Hanks has branched into writing, directing and producing, both in film and television. But it was as an actor that he was in London this month, performing a rare double as his films "Captain Phillips" and "Saving Mr. Banks" opened and closed the London Film Festival, respectively. While in London Hanks discussed his craft and career at BAFTA’s latest “Life in Pictures” event, a series of onstage interviews whose subjects have included Dustin Hoffman and Meryl Streep. “The first job I ever got was because I was louder and funnier than the others – or maybe just louder,” he said.
  • By Demetrios Matheou
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  • October 20, 2013 3:22 PM
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Watch: Johnny Depp in Eye Liner in 'The Lone Ranger' Trailer

One glance at this trailer for "The Lone Ranger" (July 3, 2013) and there's no need to announce that the remake comes from the filmmaking team behind "Pirates of the Caribbean." Per usual these days, Johnny Depp is in heavy character makeup as the brave and brilliant fool to his stalwart fair-haired companion (Armie Hammer).
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • October 3, 2012 11:32 AM
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