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Thompson on Hollywood

Summer Movies: Drag Me to Hell, Away We Go

Every once in a while I am reminded that my taste is not the same as the mass audience. I can usually call a blockbuster like 300 or Star Trek--in other words, I ignore the tracking and opening weekend predictions to insist--THIS MOVIE IS SO GOOD IT WILL DO BUSINESS. Sometimes, thank God, word-of-mouth counts for something, so that a movie becomes A MUST-SEE.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 5, 2009 8:16 AM
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Trailer Watch: Sacha Baron Cohen's Bruno

Universal has posted a red band trailer for Sacha Baron Cohen's Bruno on MySpace.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 2, 2009 5:54 AM
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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
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  • April 1, 2009 6:02 AM
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SXSW: Hill and Rogen Talk Observe and Report

Monday morning I interviewed Observe and Report writer-director Jody Hill (The Foot Fist Way) and star Seth Rogen. The movie played well on Monday night at the Paramount. It's a very dark reality-based comedy about fantasy and self-delusion, basically. The flipcam interview is broken into two parts:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 17, 2009 7:16 AM
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Hail Fredonia! Hollywood Depression Economics

"We're in the money," sang Ginger Rogers in the escapist musical Gold Diggers of 1933. Luxurious Busby Berkeley musical comedies were big hits during the Depression.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 12, 2008 12:40 PM
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Comic-Con: Comedies Pineapple Express, Tropic Thunder and the City of Ember Train

I saw three summer comedies in a row this week, two from the Judd Apatow factory, Step Brothers and Pineapple Express, plus Ben Stiller's Tropic Thunder, which screened at Comic-Con last night (Pineapple Express screens here too). UPDATE: Here's Todd McCarthy's Tropic Thunder review.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 24, 2008 8:05 AM
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Summer Begins: Iron Man, Speed Racer, and Superheroes

Let the summer games begin. The LAT's Ken Turan takes on summer blockbuster syndrome, while The Huffington Post addresses summer superheroes.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 1, 2008 5:48 AM
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Leatherheads: Clooney Goes Retro

George Clooney is the sort of movie star who gets to do what he wants, especially if he's willing to direct himself. In this case the period football comedy Leatherheads had been languishing on the shelf at Universal for decades, and was going to be directed by Steven Soderbergh at one time. Clooney's version is a sweetly daffy valentine to classic Hollywood screwball comedies, Coen brothers comedies and romantic comedies. Clooney stars as a handsome over-the-hill football player who's pretty smart but gets beat up on the playing field and takes plenty of pratfalls and romances a wise-cracking reporter (Renee Zellweger).
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 1, 2008 4:45 AM
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Holiday Weekend Update: Good and Plenty

There's plenty to see in theaters this weekend.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 21, 2008 5:40 AM
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Judd Apatow Alert: Four Comedies Coming

We all know producer Judd Apatow has four movies coming up in 2008. But which ones will work at the boxoffice? By my guess, all of them. It's just a case of how high is high.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 19, 2008 5:48 AM
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