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Thompson on Hollywood

Why 'The Wizard of Oz' 3-D IMAX Conversion is Worth It

I have seen “The Wizard of Oz” at least 26 times. I have watched it in movie theatres, on television, on tape, on DVD, on Blu-Ray, after talking about the movie to 1000 people in Sacramento, and twice in 16 millimeter on my living room wall when I was writing “The Making of the Wizard of Oz: Movie Magic and Studio Power in the Prime of MGM” 35 years after the movie was made.
  • By Aljean Harmetz
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  • September 18, 2013 11:48 AM
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  • 3 Comments

'Oz the Great and Powerful' Super Bowl Teaser

Disney ran a TV spot on Sunday night's SAG awards for Sam Raimi's big-budget revisit of L. Frank Baum's wonderful world of Oz (March 8), entitled "Oz The Great and Powerful." Produced by Hollywood vet Joe Roth, the movie stars Mila Kunis, Rachel Weisz and Michelle Williams as a trio of witches, wicked and otherwise, and James Franco as a hapless Kansas circus magician who somehow becomes a wizard. I have no problem with reentering this wonderful world--brought to the screen in the classic "Wizard of Oz" musical starring Judy Garland, Ray Bolger et al. The wizard in that film, caught behind the curtain, was played by Frank Morgan.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 28, 2013 3:35 PM
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Dubai Festival Day Two: Disappointing 3-D 'Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away,' Must-Sees 'Me and You' and 'Here and There'

After an unsuitably lavish breakfast, I catch a Mall of the Emirates-bound shuttle by the skin of my teeth and scuttle through the Mall --which looks just like a mall, only bigger, to paraphrase the well-known joke of what the unimpressed woman said to the flasher – arriving at the theater screening “Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away” in 3-D, just before it starts. I’m underwhelmed. After Werner Herzog’s amazing 3-D “Cave of Forgotten Dreams,” exploring the 20,000-year-old paintings in the Chauvet caves of southern France, and Wim Wenders’ glorious 3-D “Pina,” featuring the dances of Pina Bausch, it seemed that 3-D had claimed its place as a valid art form. The presence of James Cameron as an executive producer of “Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away,” also seemed to indicate seriousness.
  • By Meredith Brody
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  • December 14, 2012 1:08 AM
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Now and Then: In Harmony, 'Life of Pi' and 'Beasts of the Southern Wild' Are the Best Films of the Year

One is a grand, sea-borne spectacle, a master's first glorious foray into 3-D. The other, like its breakout star, is a furious miniature whose impact far outweighs its size. But both "Life of Pi" and "Beasts of the Southern Wild" are fervently alive to the world of nature, of spirit — two halves of the same double helix.
  • By Matt Brennan
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  • December 4, 2012 4:25 PM
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  • 4 Comments

Peter Travers Lists 10 Best 3-D Films; 'Avatar,' 'Life of Pi,' 'Dial M for Murder,' Leaves Out Key Titles

With Ang Lee's 3-D achievement "The Life of Pi" earning strong reviews, Rolling Stone critic Peter Travers has compiled a list of the 10 best (and three worst) 3-D movies. Lee's adaptation of the Yann Martel novel ranks as the third best 3-D film, with -- you guessed it! -- James Cameron's "Avatar" as the reigning champ.
  • By Anne Thompson and Beth Hanna
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  • November 23, 2012 2:51 PM
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  • 7 Comments

'Hobbit' to Play in 48 FPS on 450 Screens--For Starters

Finally, Peter Jackson's "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" will screen in its original 48 FPS version in only about 450 of its approximate 4,000 release locations on December 14. That was not the original plan. Warner Bros. distribution president Dan Fellman tells TOH! that the majority of the higher frame rate screenings will happen in or near most major and mid-sized cities.
  • By Anne Thompson and Beth Hanna
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  • November 7, 2012 1:47 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Immersed in Movies: Back to Basics with 'Hotel Transylvania'

It turns out that Genndy Tartakovsky's hand-drawn vision for "Hotel Transylvania" was just what this troubled movie needed. The monster mash about letting go of your children and learning to live with humans (echoing Pixar's "Monsters, Inc." and "Finding Nemo") might be light on story, but...
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • September 20, 2012 11:53 AM
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Immersed in Movies: Talking Virtual Production and Higher Frame Rate at SIGGRAPH

Virtual production and higher frame rate dominated the conversation at this week’s SIGGRAPH conference in LA, just as they did at FMX earlier in the year. Despite Warner Bros. scaling back on the number of screens that it will play “The Hobbit” at 48 fps on December 14...
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • August 9, 2012 3:53 PM
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Trailer Watch: Ang Lee's 3-D Epic 'Life of Pi' Heads for Oscar

Listening to masters Ang Lee and Martin Scorsese talk about the process of learning how to direct in 3-D was one of the highlights of CinemaCon. They embrace the technology while taking advantage of how it enhances their storytelling; they intellectually gauge how the placement of the camera will impact the audience.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 25, 2012 12:55 PM
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Disney Screens 'Finding Nemo' in 3-D for Olympic Swim Team; Hits Theaters September 14, Followed by Blu-Ray

"While the blogosphere rips apart Pixar for selling out for earmarking a "Finding Nemo" sequel for humbled writer-director Andrew Stanton's return to filmmaking--which is absurd, as Pixar can be counted on to produce better sequels than most, i.e. "Toy Story" 2 and 3--I will be sitting in a theater on September 14 to see the 3-D version of "Nemo."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 20, 2012 7:28 PM
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  • 0 Comments

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