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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

Mad Men's Hamm Goes to the Movies

As Mad Men Season 3 gets under way to huge numbers (yes!), Jon Hamm is wasting no time chasing a movie career--which was stymied by last year's labor unrest. I have high hopes for the first film, The Town, director Ben Affleck's romantic thriller set in Boston, which starts shooting in September. I'm less confident in Zack Snyder's Sucker Punch, a 50s action fantasy for Warners. Hamm has enormous potential--he could be the next George Clooney-- but has to pick right while he has the chance.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 19, 2009 2:27 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Lionsgate Buys Comic-Con Hit Kick-Ass

Lionsgate Buys Comic-Con Hit Kick-Ass
As I suspected, Lionsgate has acquired Matthew Vaughn's violent action comedy Kick-Ass, which wowed audiences at Hall H in Comic-Con. It was one of several indie pics that used Comic-Con fan reaction to try to land an distributor. In this case, the strategy worked.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 17, 2009 4:41 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Bruno: Beware Sacha Baron Cohen's Squirm Zone

In many ways watching Sacha Baron Cohen promote his new movie Bruno, from his GQ layout and MTV Awards Eminem stunt to the series of global premiere stunts, from London to L.A. to Sydney, is more fun than the movie itself. While his performance art gives us a bit of distance, in the movie Larry Charles and Baron Cohen push audiences way past their comfort zones. No matter how sophisticated or tough you think you are--straight, gay, male, female, young, old--it doesn't matter. Something in the movie will make you squirm. (Here's Todd McCarthy.)
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 30, 2009 5:29 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Bruno's Cohen Strikes Gay Poses

We all saw Sacha Baron Cohen in his Bruno guise descend on the face of Eminem at the MTV Movie Awards. Well, not since Zoolander have we seen a straight actor take so many gay poses. Not only is he on the cover of GQ--with more provocative spreads inside--but he looks quite fetching in a Brit military outfit at the Bruno London opening.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 17, 2009 7:04 AM
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Six Lessons of Summer Box Office

First the media touted the uptick in 2009 theatrical business, now they're pointing to a downturn compared to last summer's b.o., a few big flops and the absence of blockbusters. "Through Sunday, summer B.O. revs stood at $1.46 billion, compared to $1.47 billion last year," reports Variety.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 17, 2009 3:04 AM
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  • 0 Comments

The Proposal's Writer and Director Talk Comedy

The rom-com seems doomed by studio formulas and misogynistic concepts like Bride Wars, which I refused to go see. Thank God for Judd Apatow and John Hamburg, but still, their bromances are aimed mostly at men. So when a fresh chick flick comes along that isn't a dumbed down vehicle for Kate Hudson, I cheer. Written on spec over several years by production exec-turned-scripter Peter Chiarelli and directed by choreographer-turned-helmer Anne Fletcher (Step Up, 27 Dresses), The Proposal stars Sandra Bullock, who pokes fun at her age and credibly falls for a younger man without turning shrill and brittle. Her chemistry with Reynolds, who she's known for years off-set, is palpable. Chiarelli and Fletcher explain how they made a smart studio rom-com, and how the Writers' Strike may have been a good thing for their movie, which opens June 19.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 12, 2009 7:36 AM
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  • 0 Comments

The Hangover Beats Up, Universal Loses on Land of Lost

Americans who are cinching their belts and making do with less flocked to cinemas over the weekend to watch a group of grown men exercising no restraint whatsoever. The Hangover was the perfect antidote to a nation on a fiscal diet.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 8, 2009 7:15 AM
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  • 0 Comments

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