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Thompson on Hollywood

Weekend Preview: Drive Angry 3D, Hall Pass, Of Gods and Men, Heartbeats

Of this weekend's new entries, the one I want to see most is French Oscar entry Of Gods and Men, which earned raves around the world but was unaccountably shut out by the foreign language committee. UPDATE: It also won the Cesar award for Best Film.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 25, 2011 8:00 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Six Reasons Why Hollywood Box Office is Dipping, from Avatar vs. Tron to Snow vs. Netflix

Six Reasons Why Hollywood Box Office is Dipping, from Avatar vs. Tron to Snow vs. Netflix
After the MPAA released its latest figures Wednesday, in a conference call acting chief Bob Pisano and National Association of Theater Owners chief John Fithian tried to make the best of a bad situation. As usual, the MPAA blamed piracy on declining admissions (down 5% to 1.3 billion in 2010), while both hailed premium digital 3-D revenues and the continued expansion of 3-D screens and production. Sure, with 25 films released in 3-D in 2010, up from 20 in 2009, 3-D has temporarily staved off disaster at the box office. But despite Fithian's insistence that revenues are what count, a downward slide on admissions is not a good thing.
  • By Anne Thompson and Anthony D'Alessandro
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  • February 24, 2011 11:38 AM
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  • 10 Comments

Old School Action Stars: Few Replacements, Not Expendable

Action heroes come in two categories: New School and Old School. Just last weekend, Liam Neeson, 58, led the box office pack with Unknown, showing 16-year old Justin Bieber and I Am Number Four's 20-year old Alex Pettyfer who's Daddy. Neeson isn't the first, nor will he be the last, older man showing the world how a Hollywood action star should perform, both on screen and in the charts.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • February 22, 2011 8:39 AM
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  • 8 Comments

Depressed Holiday Weekend Box Office Taken by Unknown

Depressed Holiday Weekend Box Office Taken by Unknown
Unknown, Liam Neeson's follow-up to sleeper hit Taken, grabbed moviegoers at the Presidents Day weekend box office, which did little to pull Hollywood box office out of its ongoing depression. So far, first quarter box office is off 24 to 28 % from last year, reports Anthony D'Alessandro:
  • By Anthony D'Alessandro
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  • February 21, 2011 6:20 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Weekend Preview: Unknown, I Am Number Four, Big Mommas, Last Lions, Putty Hill

It's no surprise that indie offerings Putty Hill and the doc The Last Lions score the best reviews of the motley crew of movies that opened for the holiday weekend. Unknown, Liam Neeson's follow-up to sleeper hit Taken is next.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 19, 2011 1:18 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Weekly Wrap: EFM, Festivals, Awards, Counting Down to Oscar, Superheroes, Director Families

AWARDS
  • By Anne Thompson and Sophia Savage
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  • February 18, 2011 9:01 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Box Office Surges on Sandler vs. Bieber Weekend Duel

Just Go With It's established comedy stars Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston dueled teen music phenom Justin Bieber's 3-D concert doc Never Say Never at the surging weekend box office, which had been in the doldrums compared to last year's Avatar-fueled winter frame. Anthony D'Alessandro reports:
  • By Anthony D'Alessandro
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  • February 13, 2011 5:15 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Oscar Watch: Tim Burton and VFX Master Ken Ralston Talk Alice in Wonderland

Oscar Watch: Tim Burton and VFX Master Ken Ralston Talk Alice in Wonderland
Alice in Wonderland presented a high degree of difficulty for veteran VFX master Ken Ralston and director Tim Burton, who tends to prefer live action FX to digital ones. He clearly wrestled with the huge volume of CG effects—the film used far more green screen than he’s ever dealt with. “It starts freaking you out after a while,” he said at Comic-Con, admitting that Alice in Wonderland was “the most difficult” movie he’s ever done. Burton insisted on avoiding motion-capture as much as possible (the effects team did mo-cap some actors, for reference). Burton wound up favoring “pure animation and using actors in mysterious ways,” he said.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 11, 2011 9:29 AM
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  • 1 Comment

The Eagle Early Reviews: Tatum and Bell Are "Junior League Versions of Snyder's 300 Macho-Erotica"

Scottish filmmaker Kevin Macdonald is as gifted a documentarian as he is a feature filmmaker--he just premiered the brilliant YouTube/Ridley Scott doc Life in a Day at Sundance, and has been given the helm on the first authorized Bob Marley documentary. Macdonald also directed the great Touching the Void and The Last King of Scotland, for which Forrest Whitaker won the Oscar. State of Play is his weakest effort to date.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 9, 2011 9:28 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Seven Reasons To Be Excited about Abrams/Spielberg's Super 8

There's no question that the movie spot to break out on Super Bowl night, in all its Spielbergian glory, was Super 8 (both the trailer and spot, in which a voice warns, "Do not speak of this, if you do, they will find you") are below.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • February 7, 2011 6:12 AM
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  • 5 Comments

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