Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...

Blogroll

Thompson on Hollywood

Dark Knight Ripple Effect: Dark Summer Movies

It's not like the Terminator franchise was ever light, exactly. But in the post-Dark Knight era, summer action movies--even Star Trek--are trending dark and edgy, and Terminator Salvation, Angels & Demons, and Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen certainly fit the bill. Word on Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is that's darker than any of its predecessors.
  • By Anne Thompson
  • |
  • May 7, 2009 5:43 AM
  • |
  • 0 Comments

Angels & Demons: Guilty Pleasure

Most studio movies aim at your pleasure center; they're not trying to challenge your brain. But Ron Howard, like Steven Spielberg, is that rare studio hybrid--the quality/commercial filmmaker who likes to turn out both mass-audience blockbusters and Oscar contenders.
  • By Anne Thompson
  • |
  • May 5, 2009 6:03 AM
  • |
  • 0 Comments

Star Trek: Engaging Fun

I saw J.J. Abrams' new Star Trek Friday night, sitting in the front row at the Paramount Studio Theatre. The movie grabbed me from the get-go. Because the Star Trek universe is already established, the filmmakers get away with throwing the audience into a classic stand-off between a Starfleet ship and a frightening Romulan vessel commanded by deadly Nero (Eric Bana). Suddenly lives are at stake and key figures are dead. One survivor of the melee: James T. Kirk. By the time the Star Trek title appeared at the end of this sequence, I was in tears.
  • By Anne Thompson
  • |
  • April 27, 2009 7:17 AM
  • |
  • 0 Comments

Grey Gardens Blurs Lines Between Cable Movies and First-Run

These days, many of the people who aren't interested in what's playing at the multiplex are checking out the new movie opening on HBO instead. Hollywood only has itself to blame. Ignore the adult audience and they'll get out of the moviegoing habit, rent DVDs and subscribe to HBO. This weekend many folks watched the opening of Grey Gardens, starring movie stars Jessica Lange and Drew Barrymore (both strong Emmy contenders for Big and Little Edie) instead of going out to see new movie State of Play (which earned a barely respectable 63% on Metacritic to Grey Garden's 77). There was a time when Grey Gardens would have been a theatrical release. Now it's an HBO film--reviewed by the Two Bens on At the Movies:
  • By Anne Thompson
  • |
  • April 20, 2009 7:21 AM
  • |
  • 0 Comments

Recession Era Movies: From Fast & Furious to Grapes of Wrath

As Fast & Furious does better at the weekend b.o. than it has any right to do--the weekend was up 75-80% from last year-- Entertainment Weekly's Mark Harris sees the first casualty of the recession: ambition. If all audiences want is escape, he worries, that's all the studios and TV networks will give them. "Stop the inanity!" he pleads.
  • By Anne Thompson
  • |
  • April 6, 2009 5:30 AM
  • |
  • 0 Comments

Duplicity: What Happened?

While a recession-fueled box office boom is lifting most boats, one notable exception is Tony Gilroy's Duplicity, which boasted the earmarks of a commercial Hollywood vehicle--big budget, exotic locations, thriller genre, two sexy movie stars--but may have been too costly for what was really a smart-house play. (It earned strong reviews, but only $27 million so far.) Part of the problem: Universal paid Julia Roberts $20 million.
  • By Anne Thompson
  • |
  • April 2, 2009 5:56 AM
  • |
  • 0 Comments

ShoWest: Strong Sony Summer Preview

I flew into Vegas Wednesday morning to catch day three of the annual ShoWest exhibitors' confab. I was spoiled by my last plane trip: American Airlines boasted wifi (I couldn't blog on Typepad, though) on both coastal flights for $12.95 each way. No such luck on Southwest today.
  • By Anne Thompson
  • |
  • April 1, 2009 6:15 AM
  • |
  • 0 Comments

ShoWest: Bullock vs. Reynolds in The Proposal

I'm a sucker for a good rom-com. Disney screened The Proposal, the latest rom-com from director Anne Fletcher (27 Dresses). From column A comes the uptight urban workaholic nightmare boss (Sandra Bullock) who is thrown into column B, a rural fish-out-of-water situation with the endearing family of her handsome, ambitious, super-competent assistant (Ryan Reynolds). Think Sweet Home Alabama meets the old Bullock/Bill Paxton Pullman chestnut While You Were Sleeping. In other words, we find out how sensitive the bitch boss really is (she lost her family years ago) while she falls in love with her assistant--and vice versa--and his family. It works. I've always liked Bullock, who looks great. I'm not sure how I feel about Reynolds; I've missed most of his movies so far. He's okay. This will do fine. Betty White as grammy is worth her weight.
  • By Anne Thompson
  • |
  • April 1, 2009 6:02 AM
  • |
  • 0 Comments

Public Enemies' Marion Cotillard Ramps Up

It's rare for a European actress to carve out a career in Hollywood. But honing her English with rounds of Berlitz and winning both the best actress Oscar and Cesar awards for La Vie en Rose have spun Marion Cotillard into a whirlwind of film roles. First, she went to Chicago to shoot Michael Mann's Public Enemies, playing moll Billie Frechette to Johnny Depp's gangster John Dillinger (July 1).
  • By Anne Thompson
  • |
  • March 31, 2009 6:31 AM
  • |
  • 0 Comments

Monsters vs. Aliens Brings 3-D Invasion

One of the surprises of the year so far is how well Henry Selick’s 3-D animated gothic fairy tale Coraline lasted at the b.o.; this weekend brings DreamWorks Animation's Monsters vs. Aliens and a spate of 3-D offerings are on the way. Even the venerable Cannes Film Festival, which has made an annual tradition of unveiling the latest animated fare, will for the first time open the 62nd fest on May 13 with not only an animated movie but Disney/Pixar’s 3-D balloon adventure Up, which opens May 29.
  • By Anne Thompson
  • |
  • March 24, 2009 7:11 AM
  • |
  • 0 Comments

Email Updates