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Thompson on Hollywood

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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Now and Then: The Dardenne Brothers' Lost Boys

From the first minutes of "The Kid with a Bike," marked by an energetic shot of its young protagonist, Cyril, careening through a field and climbing over a fence, Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne's latest is an exercise in kinesis. It's not just that Cyril's always running: he's running away.
  • By Matt Brennan
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  • February 14, 2013 1:56 PM
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Eva Mendes Joins Ryan Gosling's 'How to Catch a Monster' with Christina Hendricks and Ben Mendelsohn

Ryan Gosling's directorial debut, "How to Catch a Monster," has Ben Mendelsohn ("Animal Kingdom") on board to star with Christina Hendricks. The film, which Gosling and Hendricks describe as a fantasy noir...
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • February 6, 2013 2:46 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Now and Then: 'Side by Side,' I'll Still Take Film Over Digital

Smart, wide-ranging, and informative, "Side by Side" may be a postcard from the future of movies, but it's still intoxicated by the past. Its dreamiest moment comes at the outset, a montage of clips from the first century of cinema: Eadweard Muybridge's horses to "Do the Right Thing."
  • By Matt Brennan
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  • February 5, 2013 1:29 PM
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Brace Yourselves, Nicolas Winding Refn to Helm Small Screen 'Barbarella'; Bond Writers Purvis and Wade on Board UPDATE

Update: "Skyfall" co-writers Neal Purvis and Robert Wade (they share this Bond credit with John Logan) are tapped to write Nicolas Winding Refn's TV series, "Barbarella." Pervis and Wade also penned Bond's "The World Is Not Enough," "Casino Royale," "Quantum of Solace" and "Die Another Day."
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • January 29, 2013 12:44 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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Now and Then: In Must-See 'Detropia,' the Many Lives of an American City

It is a story we think we know already. Unions weaken. Corporations outsource. Politicians waver. The economy collapses. Public resources shrivel. A city dies. But that's only the bird's-eye view: in Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady's powerful document of an age of grief, "Detropia" is the way we live now.
  • By Matt Brennan
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  • January 14, 2013 12:55 PM
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EW Launches CapeTown for Comic-Con Culture Enthusiast, All Things Superhero, Sci-Fi and Fantasy

EW announces Capetown, a new site dedicated to Hollywood and "Comic-Con culture," a place for all things superhero, sci-fi, fantasy and horror on film, TV, gaming, comic and novel platforms. The site launches today and in the first week will showcase interviews with Robert Downey Jr...
  • By Anne Thompson and Sophia Savage
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  • January 7, 2013 5:43 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Now and Then: 'Enlightened,' HBO's Masterpiece of Heartbreak

"Enlightened" opens with Amy Jellicoe (Laura Dern) gag-sobbing in a bathroom stall, mascara streaking down her cheeks in mournful black rivulets. Like the rest of Season 1 of HBO's masterpiece, which returns for Season 2 on Sunday at 9:30, it isn't all that funny. But to call "Enlightened" simply a comedy is unjust: it's a symphony of regret.
  • By Matt Brennan
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  • January 7, 2013 2:01 PM
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  • 1 Comment

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