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Thompson on Hollywood

Berlinger & Sinofsky's HBO Doc 'Paradise Lost: Purgatory' on DVD August 14; Collector's Edition Trilogy Lands November 6

Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky’s "Paradise Lost: Purgatory," the third of their West Memphis Three trilogy, will be released on DVD August 14 and a collector's edition of the complete HBO trilogy will be available November 6...
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • July 19, 2012 3:49 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Now and Then: The Long, Slow Death of the Movie Musical

It's been 60 years since the musical's prime — when Gene Kelly and Stanley Donen, those sorcerers of sound, joined forces on "Singin' in the Rain" — so you'll forgive me if this week's theatrical screenings in honor of the anniversary feel less like a celebration than an obituary. The musical is dead at 83, from complications of creative neglect.
  • By Matt Brennan
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  • July 16, 2012 4:30 PM
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  • 7 Comments

Now and Then: The Extraordinary Kenneth Lonergan, 'Margaret' & 'You Can Count on Me'

Rare are squabbles over production and distribution as fraught as those that accompanied the long gestation and brief theatrical life of Kenneth Lonergan's second feature. It would seem that a film must be something special to elicit such strong feelings, and "Margaret" is that film and then some. It's extraordinary.
  • By Matt Brennan
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  • July 10, 2012 3:15 PM
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Now and Then: '360,' Another of Fernando Meirelles' Beautiful Disappointments

Of all the sloppy descriptions in film criticism, "visceral" may be the most misleading. It's a frequent synonym for "loud," not to mention "flashy," "punishing," or "gory." What it almost never means is instinctive, earthy, and intestinal, so forthright it grabs you. Except, that is, when we're talking about Fernando Meirelles.
  • By Matt Brennan
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  • July 2, 2012 11:38 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Now and Then: Hitchcock's First Classic, and an Underrated Modern Descendant

Alfred Hitchcock had been working as a director for more than a decade when he made "The 39 Steps" (1935), a film that's half trench coats, street lamps, and foreign agents. The other half is English wit, a marriage plot, and a MacGuffin: the first proof, long before his later masterworks, that he was a maestro of the unbalancing act.
  • By Matt Brennan
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  • June 26, 2012 2:53 AM
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Now and Then: Do Silent Movies Still Matter?

In some quarters I'll be considered a heretic for even asking the question. But think about how many people you know — discounting film school types and critics, people pretty much required to do so — who have ever seen a silent, let alone watch them regularly. I'll bet the number is small. Should we care?
  • By Matt Brennan
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  • June 11, 2012 7:08 PM
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BBC's 'I Claudius' The Accidental Emperor on DVD

Rome and its emperors are with us still. What are the "Hunger Games" but a modern version of the gladiator fights-to-the-death with which the emperors pacified unruly citizens? There is a lot of killing in the brilliant 1976 BBC miniseries “I Claudius,” newly remastered with a sharper look, and released on DVD by Acorn Media.
  • By Aljean Harmetz
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  • May 1, 2012 12:25 PM
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  • 2 Comments

EXCLUSIVE: Online Indie Label SundanceNOW Launches Curated Doc Club

It's no secret for film festivalgoers that the best titles tend to be documentaries. And yet they are often not released widely outside of major cities. Thus the folks at Sundance Selects have not only launched their digital sister online site SundanceNow ("a new online destination for independent film") but a VOD subscriber site for doc lovers as well. Doc Club offers subscribers eight new titles a month for $3.99, or $19.99 a year. 
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 19, 2012 1:08 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Focus World & Tugg Team for 'Extraterrestrial' Theatrical and VOD Release

Focus Features' VOD label Focus World is partnering with Tugg to release Nacho Vigalondo's "Extraterrestrial" in theaters and through VOD beginning June 15. "Extraterrestrial" is set to play theaters in Brooklyn, Seattle, North Hollywood, and Texas' Alamo Drafthouse cinemas, and will expand to wherever audiences demand it through Tugg.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • April 17, 2012 7:10 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Trying to Load Sony and Amazon Instant Video App for My PlayStation 3

As soon as Amazon and Sony Computer Entertainment announced the launch of the Amazon Instant Video app for PlayStation 3, which means that as an Amazon Prime member I can not only upload to watch on my TV some 120,000 movies and TV shows, but 17,000 movies and TV shows on the PlayStation Network as well.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 4, 2012 10:09 PM
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  • 0 Comments

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