Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...

Blogroll

Thompson on Hollywood

Brand New Spy and Cult Classic Alias Play Spy Game--by Different Rules

In this week’s “Now and Then” column, Matt Brennan takes a look at two players in the small-screen spy game, the new Sky 1/Hulu comedy Spy and J.J. Abrams breakout cult hit, Alias.
  • By Matt Brennan
  • |
  • October 31, 2011 3:45 AM
  • |
  • 0 Comments

Oscar Talk Mid-Summer Outlook: New Rules, Midnight in Paris, Streep vs. Close

Oscar Talk Mid-Summer Outlook: New Rules, Midnight in Paris, Streep vs. Close
Kris Tapley and I reconvened over Skype for a mid-summer Oscar Talk (below). We covered quite a bit of ground. New Academy rules affect the top ten best picture ballot, VFX, documentaries and animation, but not foreign eligibility. New members may tip the scale as well on a more mainstream selection.
  • By Anne Thompson
  • |
  • July 8, 2011 5:08 AM
  • |
  • 4 Comments

Super 8 ILM VFX Master Dennis Muren Talks Spielberg, Going Back to 70s

Super 8 ILM VFX Master Dennis Muren Talks Spielberg, Going Back to 70s
Dennis Muren is the godfather of visual effects artists. Hired by George Lucas in 1976 to work on Star Wars and help launch Industrial Light & Magic (ILM), he went on to make the key breakthroughs that led to where VFX are today. Muren has won nine Oscars, including Visual Effects awards for Jurassic Park, Terminator 2: Judgment Day, The Abyss, Innerspace, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Return of the Jedi, E.T., and The Empire Strikes Back. He masterminded everything from the miniature dogfighters in Star Wars to the first fully CG larger-than-life Hulk.
  • By Anne Thompson
  • |
  • June 20, 2011 8:40 AM
  • |
  • 2 Comments

News Wrap: Abrams Opens Up on Super 8 Secrets, Apple Threatens Cable, Boondock Saints Web Sequel

During production on Super 8, director J. J. Abrams was notably secretive--as producer Steven Spielberg likes to be as well, preserving the mystery, hiding the alien. Now that the film has delivered a strong $35.5 million opening weekend, he is being less tight-lipped. [SPOILER ALERT] In an interview with MTV, Abrams was open about the many-limbed, mysterious monster in the film. He noted that Neville Page, the same man who created the monster in his 2008 film, Cloverfield, designed the creature for Super 8, but there was no “same-universe” connection. “They actually look very different,” he said, “but they both have two eyes, a nose and a mouth. So, in that regard, it also looks a lot like Laurence Olivier!" He said creating the creature was a balance; the alien needed to be scary, but also relatable, something that could be “full of rage and also could be emotional and nuanced.” (The bar for scary/relatable alien design was really set by District 9.)
  • By Maggie Lange
  • |
  • June 15, 2011 3:58 AM
  • |
  • 0 Comments

Weekend Box Office: Super 8 Pulls $38 Million, Beats X-Men: First Class for Number One Slot

Weekend Box Office: Super 8 Pulls $38 Million, Beats X-Men: First Class for Number One Slot
As Paramount labored to both downplay expectations and build up word-of-mouth via advance sneaks, Super 8 exceeded box office predictions and got off to a strong start. Anthony D'Alessandro reports:Super 8’s projector bulbs burned brighter than expected as Paramount’s sci-fi drama bested its lowest box office estimates by 52% for a wondrous weekend estimate of $38 million. Concern that J.J. Abrams’ cinematic love letter to Steven Spielberg would bow to dismal results provoked Paramount to hammer the film’s critical acclaim into gold by unspooling the film on Thursday at 300-plus sites (including 239 IMAX hubs) via a Twitter promotion. One couldn't expect record grosses from a limited release: thus Thursday’s $1 million take amounted to cherries on Paramount’s sundae.
  • By Anthony D'Alessandro
  • |
  • June 12, 2011 4:52 AM
  • |
  • 4 Comments

Weekend Preview: Can the Fab Super 8 Beat Holdovers X-Men & The Hangover?

First, check out J.J. Abrams' Spielberg homage, Super 8: you'll have fun discussing it afterwards.
  • By Sophia Savage
  • |
  • June 10, 2011 6:34 AM
  • |
  • 0 Comments

Super 8 Inspires Cinephile Debate

Super 8 reviews are by no means uniformly positive. It is in fact inspiring considerable cinephile debate. While I am convinced that the movie will 1) please most fans 2) be a huge hit and 3) inspire a Spielberg lovefest at this point in his career, the issues raised by the film's detractors are worth considering.
  • By Anne Thompson
  • |
  • June 10, 2011 4:56 AM
  • |
  • 0 Comments

Spielberg & Abrams: Working Together On Super 8 Was "Crazy Good," What's Next

How was it working with Steven Spielberg on Super 8? "Crazy good," says director J.J. Abrams. "Working with Steven Spielberg was a dream, and I was kind of nervous about it because he was like a hero of mine since I was a kid." Will they work together again? Given how successful Super 8 should prove to be, their already longstanding relationship should continue. Back in February we listed 7 Reasons to be Excited About Super 8. They're still true, but the movie's even better than we'd hoped.
  • By Sophia Savage
  • |
  • June 9, 2011 8:17 AM
  • |
  • 0 Comments

Super 8 Reviews: "Early Spielberg Classic," Spielberg & Abrams "Spiritually Clash On-Screen" UPDATED

Super 8 Reviews: "Early Spielberg Classic," Spielberg & Abrams "Spiritually Clash On-Screen" UPDATED
I went in to see Super 8 with modest expectations. I kept waiting for the movie to derail and lose its footing at some point. That never happened. I was instantly caught up with this group of kids trying to shoot a movie (the final result unspools over the closing credits, so stick around) and then figure out what sort of thing escaped from a huge train wreck to devastate their town. The rules of this movie are strictly Spielberg sci-fi universe, circa 1979, which is a wonderful place to be.
  • By Anne Thompson
  • |
  • June 9, 2011 7:55 AM
  • |
  • 2 Comments

Super 8 Q & A: Spielberg and Abrams Talk to EW About Growing Up, Obsessions, Their Inner Child

Writer-director J.J. Abrams was smart to pull Steven Spielberg in as a producer on PG-13 sci-fi adventure Super 8, set in 1979, which is the ultimate homage to the great Spielberg movies of the 70s and 80s, referencing Jaws, Close Encounters of the Third Kind and of course, E.T. Paramount understood that they were selling, in effect, a non-Spielberg Spielberg film. And the movie feels as comfortable as an old shirt: the second you enter this world, you know exactly what the rules are. As Abrams understood the DNA of the Star Trek universe, so he understands the kids at the core of Super 8, their relationship to their parents, their love of making movies, and each other. (Check out this six-minute MSN clip from the beginning of Super 8, and our collection of Super 8 early reviews.)
  • By Anne Thompson
  • |
  • June 9, 2011 5:11 AM
  • |
  • 0 Comments

Email Updates