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Thompson on Hollywood

Paramount Makes Moves Toward the Digital Future

As much as many of us bewail the studios' pokey moves into the digital future, the truth is, they are not stupid. What they are doing--and why they can be counted on to make many ill-advised decisions going forward--is thinking about how to buttress their bottom line, satisfy stockholders, and cover their huge executive salaries and overhead. That's why making more big movies that may score big and pay all their bills is still their prerogative, rather than more less risky small movies. Even after six would-be tentpoles tank in a row.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 30, 2013 6:15 PM
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DVD Review: Pema Tseden's 'Old Dog,' a Powerful Political Allegory of Modern Tibet (TRAILER)

Forget Uggie. My favorite canine companion in recent cinema is the shaggy, steadfast nomad mastiff of Tibetan writer-director Pema Tseden's contemplative and ultimately wrenching "Old Dog" (2011), available today on DVD from Icarus Films Home Video/dGenerate Films Home Video Collection.
  • By Matt Brennan
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  • July 30, 2013 2:40 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Johnny Depp Loves Buster Keaton: Check Out the Great Silent Comedian (MANY CLIPS)

Great Silent director-star Buster Keaton is revered by the likes of Jackie Chan and Johnny Depp, who channels him in "The Lone Ranger" and even borrows some of his train stunts from his classic "The General." Orson Welles once stated that "The General" is "the greatest comedy ever made, the greatest Civil War film ever made, and perhaps the greatest film ever made."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 2, 2013 2:46 PM
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Magnolia Sets Malick's 'To the Wonder' For Both Theaters and VOD on April 12

In a sign of the times, Magnolia Pictures will release Terrence Malick's "To the Wonder" both in theaters (April 12) but also day and date via Video on Demand and iTunes. The film, starring Ben Affleck, Olga Kurlylenko, Javier Bardem and Rachel McAdams, showed initially at the Venice and Toronto festivals last year, and was acquired by Magnolia shortly thereafter.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • March 27, 2013 4:23 PM
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Catch Up on Oscar Winners, VOD-Style

If you missed the theatrical runs of some of Sunday night's Oscar-winning films, Movies On Demand has a slew of titles to get you caught up. Full list of available films below...
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • February 27, 2013 1:40 PM
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UPDATED '5 Broken Cameras' Oscar Contender Detained En Route to Oscars, Issues Statement: "Example of what my people face every day"

Emad Burnat, co-director of "5 Broken Cameras," has issued a statement about his and his family's detention at LAX en route to the Oscars:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 21, 2013 1:04 PM
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  • 9 Comments

Now and Then: In 'For Ellen,' the Many Faces of Paul Dano

Put a quarter in the jukebox and the rocker Joby Taylor (Paul Dano) transforms. His loping gait diffuses into trance, a manic, writhing riff on his stage persona. It's a conversion experience of sorts, fittingly enough: "For Ellen" is a tale of many metamorphoses.
  • By Matt Brennan
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  • February 19, 2013 1:34 PM
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Behind Richard Burton's Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

Richard Burton will receive his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on March 1. These ceremonies aren't cheap -- per the New York Times, the 300-pound cement-based terrazo stars themselves cost $30,000 a piece.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • February 15, 2013 3:21 PM
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  • 3 Comments

Now and Then: The Soul of Netflix's New Series? The BBC's 'House of Cards'

"Lilyhammer," Netflix's first foray into original programming, failed to generate sustained attention when it premiered last year. One suspects this won't be true of its star-studded second attempt, "House of Cards," debuting Friday. Except Netflix's latest isn't so novel after all: its animating force is the BBC's mostly excellent original.
  • By Matt Brennan
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  • January 29, 2013 12:03 PM
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Now and Then: A 'Zero Dark Thirty' Piece That's (Mostly) Not About Torture

We are Maya. That's the first thought that comes to mind about Jessica Chastain's tireless, obsessed CIA analyst in "Zero Dark Thirty," a "motherfucker" who's been chasing Osama bin Laden for twelve years — nearly the same length of time as this country's impossible war.
  • By Matt Brennan
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  • January 22, 2013 1:22 PM
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  • 0 Comments

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