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Thompson on Hollywood

Up in the Air TV Spot

Here's the TV spot of Jason Reitman's adaptation of Walter Kirn's Up in the Air, starring George Clooney as an air-mile-obsessed executive, that was shown on the season finale Mad Men.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 12, 2009 11:38 AM
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  • 3 Comments

Bad Lieutenant Deserves Serious Release

In this day and age, any indie movie that gets a release at all is lucky, I suppose.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 27, 2009 2:23 AM
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  • 9 Comments

Jews on Film: A Serious Man and An Education; Polanski, Sellers

Jews are popping up all over. The Coens based A Serious Man, which is an affectionate yet scabrous portrait of Jewish suburban family life, on their 60s Minnesota upbringing. An Education's Nick Hornby relied on Lynn Barber's two-year old memoir and faithfully included the sleazy seducer played by Peter Sarsgaard, who is Jewish. Suffice it to say, he's a money-grubbing entrepreneur with less-than-impeccable values. Even Tim Blake Nelson includes the Jewish mafia in his midwestern comedy, Leaves of Grass, which recently played Toronto. And we must not leave out Quentin Tarantino's controversial contribution to Jewish cinema, the anti-Nazi World War II movie Inglourious Basterds, which was a sleeper summer hit. UPDATE: The NYT's A.O. Scott addresses Jewish history as interpreted by Tarantino and the Coens.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 5, 2009 5:15 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Buzz Boosts Zombieland, Moore, Paranormal Activity; Whip It Limps

Buzz Boosts Zombieland, Moore, Paranormal Activity; Whip It Limps
Lessons learned from the weekend box office:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 4, 2009 9:49 AM
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  • 6 Comments

Zombieland Builds Buzz: Five Clips

Zombieland Builds Buzz: Five Clips
Austin's Fantastic Fest is under way. The movie to fly out of there with the greatest buzz (besides Toy Story 3, which debuted a trailer) is Zombieland. Will this R-rated zombie parody starring Jesse Eisenberg and Woody Harrelson break the horror comedy curse?
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 27, 2009 5:39 AM
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  • 5 Comments

Penn and Teller Go to the Bees

Horrifying YouTube clip of Penn and Teller unleashing hordes of stinging, real bees. The cameraman is protected. They are not.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 26, 2009 4:15 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Weekend Box Office: Jennifer's Body Horror Tweener

As predicted, Jennifer's Body opened soft at the boxoffice. Fox marketed a horror movie aimed at men, who like Megan Fox. Twentieth Century Fox hung the marketing on the Transformers star, but girls don't want to see her. The studio failed to get women to watch Karyn Kusama and Diablo Cody's angry feminist movie. Thus Jennifer's Body is a classic tweener: neither a horror thriller for men, nor a coming-of-age horror-comedy for women. (It didn't earn strong reviews.) If Searchlight had marketed it, they might have been able to target the right smart crowd. (At a low-end cost of $16 million, the movie should come out ahead in any case.)
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 19, 2009 9:03 AM
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  • 11 Comments

Toronto Day One: Creation, The Informant!, Jennifer's Body

Toronto Day One: Creation, The Informant!, Jennifer's Body
The reason why film festivals pick movies like Creation for opening night is that they have all the right credentials: respected producer (Jeremy Thomas) and director (Jon Amiel) and two major stars (Paul Bettany and Jennifer Connelly) willing to show up for the gala TIFF screenings and party. But Creation was DOA tonight.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 11, 2009 1:38 AM
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  • 8 Comments

Telluride Watch: Up in the Air Will Fly

Telluride Watch: Up in the Air Will Fly
Folks lined up for two hours on a rainy Telluride Saturday to get into Up in the Air. Hundreds were turned away. Writer-director Jason Reitman (and obsessive airline mile collector) played the crowd like a pro, hoping that the movie would live up to their expectations. He didn't need to worry. The director, who debuted Juno here two years ago at the same theater, delivers a winner. Loosely based on Walter Kirn's novel, Reitman's updated movie, which he started working on six years ago, has become, with the economic downturn, far more timely. It's a witty, charming and moving exploration of a world we all recognize.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 6, 2009 4:25 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Trailer Watch: Men Who Stare at Goats

Trailer Watch: Men Who Stare at Goats
Grant Heslov's comedy The Men Who Stare at Goats looks pretty funny, I must say. I love George Clooney in full-on dimwit mode (see: O Brother, Where Art Thou?). The film is based on non-fiction writer Jon Ronson's book of the same name about a special paranormal military unit.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 28, 2009 4:28 AM
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  • 1 Comment

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