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Thompson on Hollywood

Behind the Visual Effects on Black Swan

Behind the Visual Effects on Black Swan
Darren Aronofsky's Black Swan is one of those movies that is creepy, scary, believable and psychologically taut partly because he deploys 250 visual effects shots to such good effect. They aren't obvious, or on a big-budget scale. While we probably figured out that Nina morphing into a Black Swan at the film's finale is a visual effect (the most complex in the film), most of the film's effects are far more subtle.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 19, 2011 9:05 AM
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Anne Hathaway Rises as Catwoman in Nolan's Next Dark Knight: Right Pick?

Versatile actress on-the-rise Anne Hathaway just nabbed one of the most coveted roles in Hollywood. She'll play Selina Kyle (aka Catwoman, previously played by Michelle Pfeiffer and Halle Berry) in The Dark Knight Rises across from Christian Bale and bad-guy Tom Hardy.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • January 19, 2011 6:51 AM
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  • 3 Comments

No Strings Attached Reviews: "Shockingly Good," "Zero Charisma," "Reversal of Gender Roles"

No Strings Attached Reviews: "Shockingly Good," "Zero Charisma," "Reversal of Gender Roles"
Who can blame moviegoers for being wary of any studio romantic comedy? While Fox Searchlight successfully subverted the genre with 500 Days of Summer and Disney's The Proposal proved that it is still possible to deliver the goods with smart filmmakers and stars, they are the exception that prove the rule: rom-coms usually suck.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 19, 2011 5:50 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Golden Globe Wins Impact Box Office and DVDs

Golden Globe Wins Impact Box Office and DVDs
While the Golden Globes don't have an impact on Academy Award nominations--ballots were due last Friday--they can give winners a serious box office boost, reports Anthony D'Alessandro. See the chart of this year's Golden Globes box office bumps below. In contrast to last year, which saw a number of contenders on DVD by Golden Globes night, distributors took the old-fashioned route this year and unspooled their kudo crop during the late fall/early winter frame known in the trade as Oscar Alley. They also returned to the tried-and-true platform release. That's due to the Academy’s expansion of the best picture category, which makes it easier for off-season fare to get recognized. Distributors don’t have to stress out about opening a high-brow title in the fall; they can comfortably choose the best release date which will maximize B.O. and still gain exposure on DVD at awards time.
  • By Anthony D'Alessandro
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  • January 18, 2011 9:19 AM
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Sony Pictures Classics Milks Globes Attention, Bier Heads to Sundance

Sony Pictures Classics Milks Globes Attention, Bier Heads to Sundance
Because the wily operators at Sony Pictures Classics, co-presidents Tom Bernard and Michael Barker, have thrown countless movies into the awards season market over the decades, they have mapped out what works best for lower-profile films. They are well-positioned now, for example, to take full advantage of the boost that Paul Giamatti's Golden Globe best actor comedy win gives Canadian dramedy Barney's Version. After a qualifying late December week's run, SPC opened the film this holiday weekend and did decent business. "I hope people will go to see it now," said Giamatti at the HBO Globes party.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 18, 2011 12:11 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Stieg Larsson's Millenium Series May See a Fourth Book

Eva Gabrielsson, partner of Stieg Larsson, the late author of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo Millennium series, tells The Guardian that 200 pages of a fourth book were written before he died of a heart attack at age 50, walking up a flight of stairs. Gabrielsson's upcoming memoir, Millennium, Stieg and Me, reveals the existence of these unseen pages (she refuses to provide plot details and is hanging on to Larsson's computer) and the fact that they "often wrote together."
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • January 17, 2011 8:33 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Green Hornet Creams The Dilemma at Martin Luther King Holiday Box Office

Big-budget effects trumped raunchy buddy comedy as Michel Gondry and Seth Rogen's Green Hornet beat out Ron Howard and Vince Vaughn's The Dilemma at the Martin Luther King holiday box office. Anthony D'Alessandro reports.Monday morning Sony executives had every reason to keep Sunday night’s champagne flowing into their mimosas. Not only did the Culver City studio score big at the Golden Globes with The Social Network, but it continued to flex its B.O. muscle for No. 1 openers as superhero adaptation Green Hornet took $40 million over the four-day Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend. Meanwhile, Universal/Spyglass’ Vince Vaughn-Kevin James’ vehicle The Dilemma could have used a laugh track as the dramedy registered a low opening for both thesps at $21.1 million. Already, the media is proclaiming a recession for Hollywood after a three-day weekend haul of $127 million-plus (per Box Office Mojo estimates), which is 25% off last year’s $170 million. Their complaint: studios are delivering a crappy films. Relax. This is par for the course for January.
  • By Anthony D'Alessandro
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  • January 17, 2011 5:59 AM
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Oscar Talk: Golden Globes Weekend, Top Tens, The Fighter's Supporting Actress Split

Oscar Talk: Golden Globes Weekend, Top Tens, The Fighter's Supporting Actress Split
During this week's Oscar Talk, Kris Tapley and I talk the packed awards weekend with Golden Globes and Critics Choice Awards, the DGA and ACE nominations, Armond White vs. Darren Aronofsky, Oscar Top Ten possible surprises and The Fighter's rival supporting actress contenders, Amy Adams and Melissa Leo.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 14, 2011 8:48 AM
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Weekly Wrap: Awards Weekend; Guild Nominations, Bond 23 Proceeds; Mara's Salander

Weekly Wrap: Awards Weekend; Guild Nominations, Bond 23 Proceeds; Mara's Salander
AWARDS:
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • January 14, 2011 7:00 AM
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  • 0 Comments

LA Film Critics Award-Winner Mazursky Talks Career, Kubrick, Tempest, Hollywood

LA Film Critics Award-Winner Mazursky Talks Career, Kubrick, Tempest, Hollywood
Paul Mazursky, 80, has always been a one-of-a-kind Hollywood filmmaker. He started out as an actor, wrote (often with a partner), directed and produced his films, and he hasn't stopped. He directed a 2006 documentary about a meeting of Hassidic Jews in the Ukraine (Yippee), directs theater and is prepping a Broadway musical version of Moon Over Parador. The director flourished inside the studio system during the 70s and 80s, a time when execs allowed all sorts of things to happen that they wouldn't today. Movies didn't cost as much. A single exec actually in charge of production could greenlight a movie. We talk about this in the flip cam interview below, as well as starting off his film acting career in 1953 on Stanley Kubrick's first film, Fear and Desire, Mazursky and Julie Taymor's different takes on Shakespeare's The Tempest, and what's wrong with Hollywood today, where it's hard to imagine any studio head greenlighting a film about an old man and his cat.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 14, 2011 6:35 AM
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  • 1 Comment

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