Blogroll

Thompson on Hollywood

Michael Sheen: New Man of a Thousand Faces

Michael Sheen: New Man of a Thousand Faces
Michael Sheen is as driven as the soccer coach he plays in The Damned United, his sixth collaboration with writer Peter Morgan. In demand for a range of roles, the Welsh-born stage actor has conquered London and Broadway, smart movies and genre franchises.
  • By Anne Thompson
  • |
  • August 28, 2009 6:32 AM
  • |
  • 6 Comments

Lasseter Talks Miyazaki and Ponyo

Lasseter Talks Miyazaki and Ponyo
I've been spending a lot of time with John Lasseter lately. In May, the Disney/Pixar animation chief brought Up to open the Cannes Film Fest, where animator Pete Docter got the full auteur treatment. Then Lasseter brought Japanese master Hayao Miyazaki, who he says had a huge influence on Up, to do a U.S. tour to support his latest, Ponyo, from closing night June 28 of the Los Angeles Film Festival and accepting an award at Berkeley to July's Comic-Con and a full-scale Academy tribute.
  • By Anne Thompson
  • |
  • August 14, 2009 10:30 AM
  • |
  • 4 Comments

Fox, Cody, Kusama, Reitman Talk Jennifer's Body

Fox, Cody, Kusama, Reitman Talk Jennifer's Body
The prospects for smart horror comedies are dicey. Audiences tend to get confused when their genres get too mixed up: are they supposed to laugh or be terrified? Look at the lackluster summer b.o. for Sam Raimi's Drag Me to Hell. Mixing sex and horror is also risky, as the feminist thriller comedy Teeth proved.
  • By Anne Thompson
  • |
  • August 10, 2009 7:32 AM
  • |
  • 3 Comments

Superman's Routh Talks Reboot

Superman's Routh Talks Reboot
Twilight star Rob Pattinson is handling his new fame with grace, according to Brandon Routh, who has endured his own E-ride through the vagaries of celebrity. "He's getting much worse, more outrageous media attention than I did," says Routh. "He was in something brand new. He's handling it well. He's seems to be a sensible guy. He's not getting a big head."
  • By Anne Thompson
  • |
  • July 30, 2009 10:00 AM
  • |
  • 0 Comments

Kathryn Bigelow Talks Hurt Locker

Kathryn Bigelow Talks Hurt Locker
Summit picked up Kathryn Bigelow's riveting, intense Iraq thriller The Hurt Locker out of Toronto, where I interviewed the director at the start of her long road to the Oscars (below). Jeremy Renner breaks out with this movie, which drew raves when it opened June 26 in limited release. Finally, The Hurt Locker didn't need ten best picture slots this year: the movie overcame considerable obstacles en route to landing on many critics' ten-best lists and winning one award after another.
  • By Anne Thompson
  • |
  • July 30, 2009 8:22 AM
  • |
  • 1 Comment

Cameron talks Avatar

Cameron talks Avatar
When I talked to James Cameron at Comic-Con (below), he admitted that he and producer Jon Landau know that they have a lot of heavy lifting to do before the 3D sci-fi epic Avatar hits screens on December 18. 24 minutes of footage played great at the Con, where Cameron announced that Fox will screen 15 minutes in IMAX on August 21 for free on 35 screens around the country. But the VFX-packed fantasy lacks major stars and is not based on anything (god forbid, it's an original), so the movie will need a major marketing push from Fox. Which is what the Con was all about.
  • By Anne Thompson
  • |
  • July 30, 2009 2:58 AM
  • |
  • 0 Comments

SDCC Interview: Cameron Talks Avatar

Here's my Comic-Con interview with James Cameron about how his undersea expeditions informed his return to moviemaking, Avatar. He digs into how he perfected the art of performance capture to allow the warmth of his actors to come through. He wants to do some consciousness-raising with SAG on what performance capture really involves. During Friday's panel with Cameron and Peter Jackson, the two men discussed how resistant actors have been to such acting as Andy Serkis as Gollum.
  • By Anne Thompson
  • |
  • July 25, 2009 5:45 AM
  • |
  • 0 Comments

Inglourious Basterds: Tarantino Talks

As Cannes wound down, writer-director Quentin Tarantino sat down for an interview about his long-awaited World War II opus, Inglourious Basterds. We talked about issues of structure, length and purpose:
  • By Anne Thompson
  • |
  • May 23, 2009 7:37 AM
  • |
  • 0 Comments

Star Trek Opens Strong; Kurtzman and Orci Talk

You can look at tracking all you want, and listen to studio marketers downplaying expectations. But truth is, if a movie plays as well as Star Trek does, the word gets out. The movie opened to an estimated $31 million on Friday (including Thursday night numbers), and we know that the WOM will be strong. So it's going to do a lot better than those $50-65 million estimates. UPDATE: It grossed an estimated $76.5 million for the weekend but scored only 35% under 25. Of course the core demo skewed older. Paramount has been spending the big bucks on luring the younger demo--which will likely expand on upbeat WOM.
  • By Anne Thompson
  • |
  • May 9, 2009 6:45 AM
  • |
  • 0 Comments

Twilight's Pattinson Flogs Indie How to Be

While Brit first-timer Oliver Irving's micro-indie How to Be may not be high art, because it stars Twilight star Rob Pattinson, it has a target audience. The flick about a sadsack guitar player who moves back in with his parents after his girlfriend dumps him had been seeking a distrib since its Slamdance debut in January, 2008. I asked Pattinson about How to Be in a Twilight interview back in November (Flip Cam video below), which was seen by IFC Films buyer Arianna Boccho, who tracked down How to Be and bought it one week later for IFC Festival Direct.
  • By Anne Thompson
  • |
  • April 28, 2009 7:00 AM
  • |
  • 0 Comments

Email Updates