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Thompson on Hollywood

Eastwood's Changeling: Manna for Adults

I saw Changeling for the second time Thursday night. It's as good as I remember it from last May at Cannes. And it's just the kind of movie that Academy members will appreciate--it played well at the Academy premiere.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 24, 2008 4:45 AM
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Quantum of Solace vs. Casino Royale

When I talked to director Marc Forster on Monday morning, he admitted that trying to top Martin Campbell's Casino Royale was the thing that gave him the most pause. But he plowed ahead and delivered a Bond that is long on action and short on sex and dialogue.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 24, 2008 4:44 AM
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Quantum of Solace: Smart Bond

I confess that I had a great time at Quantum of Solace last night. Sure it's glitzy and glam and jammed with heart-stopping violent action. But it's also arty and elegant and beautiful. One of the main sequences is a lyrical homage to Alfred Hitchcock's The Man Who Knew Too Much, set during a performance of Tosca.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 20, 2008 4:29 AM
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Cameron talks Avatar on CBC

"It's going to be interesting," Cameron said on CBC's The Hour back in October 2008. The director is talking about "Avatar," a movie that has already eaten up two years of his life, and has one more to go. "We finished with the actors," he says. "We're in CG hell. We're trying to create a world from scratch. It's like trench warfare. We're working with computer-generated characters that are photo-realistic. That's tough. We set the bar high. We're just now getting confidence that it's going to work."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 15, 2008 11:08 AM
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Thank Heaven for Movie Musicals like Gigi

Speaking of escapist musicals, 1000 folks crammed into the Academy Theater on Friday night to escape the financial crisis and fall happily into the giddy world of the 1958 Arthur Freed/Vincente Minnelli musical Gigi, which swept all nine of its Oscar nominations. It's the film's Golden anniversary, and star Leslie Caron flew in from France to be quizzed by critic Stephen Farber. Warners supplied a gorgeous digital restoration. Both Minnelli's Gigi and 1951's An American in Paris are coming out in special two-disc editions.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 13, 2008 12:52 PM
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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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Will W Hit Zeitgeist?

Lionsgate threw a party at the Landmark in Westwood Monday night for Oliver Stone's W, which was basically an intimate L.A. premiere for Stone and his cast; the movie will also premiere in New York and the Austin Film Fest. Josh Brolin soaked up the applause, flanked by his father and uncle; everyone agreed that he did a helluva job as George W. Bush, from Yale frat-party boy to reformed drunk and born-again Christian and one of the worst presidents in United States history. James Cromwell also scored big as Bush, Sr. in the father-son drama. Cast members Richard Dreyfuss, Scott Glenn, Ioan Gruffudd, and Noah Wyle were also on hand, along with producers Bill Block and Moritz Borman.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 7, 2008 7:38 AM
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Weekend Viewing: Appaloosa, Nick and Norah, Religulous

The younger generation--even smart cinephiles--doesn't like westerns anymore. The period is just too far away for them, they don't relate. It's a genre that isn't surviving. It had its place in American history: basically, western tropes have been absorbed into other genres like action adventures and sci-fi fantasy.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 6, 2008 9:31 AM
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Oprah Boosts Spike Lee, Secret Life of Bees

While Oprah may not be willing to promote Barack Obama on her show these days, she doesn't hesitate to use her considerable clout with women to sell movies she believes in. She delivered for helmer Spike Lee, exhorting her millions of viewers to see his revisionist World War II epic The Miracle at St. Anna, for which he was duly grateful. The movie needs her help; it scored a miserable 29 % on Rotten Tomatoes.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 3, 2008 8:43 AM
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More: TV, Books, Genres

Watchmen Preview: Review

[Posted by Marc Graser]You’ve got to give Zack Snyder a lot of credit for knowing how to sell his movies.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 2, 2008 8:40 AM
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