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Thompson on Hollywood

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

Five or Six Things I Learned at the Extract Premiere

Five or Six Things I Learned at the Extract Premiere
1. Mike Judge is a terrific writer and not such a terrific movie director. Extract is one of those comedies that reads hilarious on the page and flattens on execution. Judge makes Kevin Smith and John Waters, who are also snappier writers than they are directors, look like geniuses. (And I love King of the Hill.)
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 26, 2009 6:30 AM
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  • 4 Comments

Trailer Watch: Bullock Adapts Blind Side

Hollywood was bound to make a movie of Michael Lewis's non-fiction book The Blind Side. The question is, what kind? I wish Steven Soderbergh were directing this Lewis movie (as long as he's not doing Moneyball) because he would bring the clear-eyed authenticity that made both Erin Brockovich and Traffic Oscar winners instead of soapy high-minded morality tales.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 24, 2009 4:13 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Up in the Air Heads to Toronto

Up in the Air Heads to Toronto
Jason Reitman's Up in the Air, starring George Clooney, will launch at the Toronto Film Fest (where loyal Canadian Reitman debuted Thank You for Smoking and Juno). This is classic pre-Oscar positioning.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 19, 2009 5:40 AM
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  • 1 Comment

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