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Thompson on Hollywood

Toronto Day One: Creation, The Informant!, Jennifer's Body

Toronto Day One: Creation, The Informant!, Jennifer's Body
The reason why film festivals pick movies like Creation for opening night is that they have all the right credentials: respected producer (Jeremy Thomas) and director (Jon Amiel) and two major stars (Paul Bettany and Jennifer Connelly) willing to show up for the gala TIFF screenings and party. But Creation was DOA tonight.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 11, 2009 1:38 AM
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  • 8 Comments

Paranormal Activity Gets Release

Paranormal Activity Gets Release
Israeli emigre Oren Peli's microbudget haunted house film Paranormal Activity is one scary movie. Thanks to producer Jason Blum, Paramount picked up the $11,000 movie after some re-cutting and has set a September 25 release. Paranormal Activity scared the bejeezus out of the crowds at last weekend's Telluride Film Festival. (It's five-review ranking on Rotten Tomatoes is 100% fresh.)
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 8, 2009 12:08 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Weekend Box Office: The Horror!

The Final Destination got a major lift from premium 3-D ticket prices as rivals cried foul, "no fair." The Weinstein Co. inexplicably competed with itself as Rob Zombie's Halloween II came in third after strong second-week holdover Inglourious Basterds.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 30, 2009 12:53 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Nine Goes to the Movies

Nine Goes to the Movies
Nine is a popular number at the movies these days. Last week I saw Shane Acker's animated dystopian adventure 9, featuring the voice of Elijah Wood, which opens September 9, 2009. Wednesday night I see Neill Blomkamp's alien thriller District 9, produced by Peter Jackson. The German film Cloud 9 opens in New York this Friday and in LA on August 28. This fall I look forward to the Rob Marshall musical Nine. Earlier this year I missed the animated feature $9.99. I count four past movies named Nine, as well as such classics as Nine Months, The Whole Nine Yards, Nine Queens, Nine 1/2 Weeks and Nine to Five. Is any other number as frequently used in movie titles? I guess one and ten are just as common, finally. But why the plethora of nine titles in 2009?
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 11, 2009 7:51 AM
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  • 3 Comments

Fox, Cody, Kusama, Reitman Talk Jennifer's Body

Fox, Cody, Kusama, Reitman Talk Jennifer's Body
The prospects for smart horror comedies are dicey. Audiences tend to get confused when their genres get too mixed up: are they supposed to laugh or be terrified? Look at the lackluster summer b.o. for Sam Raimi's Drag Me to Hell. Mixing sex and horror is also risky, as the feminist thriller comedy Teeth proved.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 10, 2009 7:32 AM
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  • 3 Comments

Trailer Watch: Jennifer's Body

The mighty combo of producer Jason Reitman, director Karyn Kusama, writer Diablo Cody and Transformers hotty Megan Fox (whether or not she can act) should add up to a very commercial Jennifer's Body. This angry-at-men demonic horror flick reminds me for some reason of Attack of the 50-Foot Woman. This is one of several pics (also including The Rocker and the upcoming I Love You, Beth Cooper) developed by Fox Searchlight's one-time sibling Fox Atomic to be released, not by Searchlight, but by Big Fox, which is sticking a trailer --not the red band trailer below-- in front of Bruno this Friday.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 6, 2009 1:15 AM
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  • 0 Comments

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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  • 0 Comments

Cannes: Von Trier's Antichrist is Arthouse Horror

Antichrist is a shocker, no question. It's powerful filmmaking. Danish bad boy Lars von Trier set out to make moviegoers gasp. It's unreleasable as is in many countries--insertion shot, bloody hand job, female genital self-mutilation and all.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 18, 2009 9:38 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Cannes Press Conference Erupts Over Trier's Antichrist

The Monday press conference for Lars von Trier's Antichrist was packed. Right out of the gate, The London Daily Mail's Baz Bamigboye demanded that Trier justify his film. This immediately threw the filmmaker off, and he refused to expound on his thinking. "I don't have to justify," he said, his hand trembling.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 18, 2009 9:34 AM
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  • 0 Comments

13 Most Horrifying Screen Chills Ever

The London Times chooses the top 13 scariest horror scenes ever. Be afraid. Very afraid. [Hat Tip: Colin Boyd.]
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 15, 2007 6:46 AM
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  • 0 Comments

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