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Thompson on Hollywood

Career Watch: Can Eva Green Rise Above Femme Fatale Typecasting?

“Sin City: A Dame to Kill For" did little to add sizzle to the late-summer box office this past weekend after collecting a slim $6.5 million and dismissive reviews. But it’s not from lack of trying on the part of Eva Green. This casting addition to the stylized babes-brutes-and-bullets sequel based on Frank Miller’s lurid comic-book series steamed up more than a few critics’ 3-D glasses as Ava Lord, a diabolical emerald-eyed femme fatale who has a hard time keeping her clothes on.
  • By Susan Wloszczyna
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  • August 25, 2014 8:06 AM
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  • 4 Comments

Career Watch: TV Boosts Movie Stars Jon Voight, Robin Wright and Kevin Spacey

With Emmy Award season in full swing (the show airs Aug. 25), we look at three Emmy nominees who came up in Hollywood and are enjoying a career boost from their work in television. These days it's possible to move more fluidly than ever before between movies and TV (the late great James Garner was a rare example of a star who could swing both ways). The Third Golden Age of Television --easily viewed on multi-platforms by a wide range of viewers--has proved a boon for these movie actors.
  • By Susan Wloszczyna
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  • July 21, 2014 11:56 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Career Watch: Stealth Rising Star Jason Clarke Breaks Out in 'Dawn of the Planet of the Apes'

It is not easy being a mere mortal pitted against a population of spectacular CG-enhanced and motion-capture simians. But Jason Clarke does our species proud as Malcolm, the human emissary who seeks a peaceful co-existence with the genetically evolved beasts who now have the upper paw in “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.”
  • By Susan Wloszczyna
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  • July 14, 2014 2:37 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Career Watch: Superhot Melissa McCarthy Needs to Improve on 'Tammy'

Plenty of people – especially those dismayed by the continued dearth of women who occupy Hollywood power seats – want Melissa McCarthy to continue to prove herself to be the female equal of such bankable male laugh-getters as Adam Sandler, Ben Stiller and Will Ferrell both onscreen and behind the scenes.
  • By Susan Wloszczyna
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  • July 7, 2014 6:50 AM
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  • 3 Comments

Career Watch: Mark Wahlberg Deftly Commands 'Transformers,' But Isn't It Time for More Challenging Roles?

Unlike his predecessor Shia LeBeouf, whose rep as a serious artist took a nosedive whenever another “Transformers” sequel clunked onto the screen, Mark Wahlberg had no such problem taking the lead in the fourth entry in the franchise. He easily balances his duties as both a strict single dad and a human recruit in the war against those big bad robots in “Transformers: Age of Extinction.”
  • By Susan Wloszczyna
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  • June 30, 2014 10:00 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Career Watch: Jonah Hill Is King of the Box Office

With Jonah Hill’s involvement in both of the sequels that opened as the No. 1 and 2 highest-grossing titles this past weekend, "22 Jump Street" and "How to Train Your Dragon 2," the actor has earned the right at age 30 to be proclaimed not just one of Hollywood’s most coveted court jesters but also a king of the box office.
  • By Susan Wloszczyna
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  • June 16, 2014 7:03 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Career Watch: Has 'Maleficent' Restored Angelina Jolie's Box Office Mojo?

Reviews were mixed. But for moviegoers, the $70 million opening for "Maleficent" -- an Angelina Jolie record -- for a rare female summer action adventure suggests that they were transfixed by the sight of the right actress in a perfect-fit role.
  • By Susan Wloszczyna
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  • June 2, 2014 6:30 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Career Watch: Will James McAvoy’s ‘X’ Factor Raise His Stature?

With its time-traveling multi-generational cast, “X-Men: Days of Future Past” is a-swarm with super-powered beings. Yet James McAvoy manages to prove -- as he did before in 2011’s “X-Men: First Class” -- that brains are often as crucial as brawn when it comes to comic-book heroes.
  • By Susan Wloszczyna
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  • May 25, 2014 11:11 AM
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  • 3 Comments

Is Rose Byrne of 'Neighbors' Comedy's New Secret Weapon?

Who says beautiful women can’t be funny? Just watch as porcelain-pretty Rose Byrne does the near-impossible by upstaging the bawdy boys in “Neighbors,” a raunchy R-rated suburban warfare comedy and now box-office hit that pits abdominally-endowed frat leader Zac Efron against pot-bellied cubicle drone Seth Rogen.
  • By Susan Wloszczyna
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  • May 12, 2014 1:52 PM
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  • 3 Comments

Does Spidey's Andrew Garfield Have the Right Star Stuff?

Critics are less enthused about “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” than they were about 2012’s reboot of the comic-book franchise. The Chicago Tribune review headline declaring the sequel as “just adequate, too long” pretty much nails it. What is amazing, however, is the praise being heaped upon the more intimate moments shared by the cast members over the web-slinging action sequences. Much of that is due to the edgy yet playful performance by Andrew Garfield in the title role.
  • By Susan Wloszczyna
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  • May 5, 2014 7:00 AM
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  • 10 Comments

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