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Thompson on Hollywood

Top Ten Box Office Takeaways: 'Turtles' Beats 'Guardians'; 'Hundred-Foot Journey' Scores With Adults, 'Get On Up' Stumbles

For the second time this summer and the first time ever in August, two films grossed over $40 million on the same weekend. "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" (Paramount) opened over expectations at $65 million, while Marvel's "Guardians of the Galaxy" (Buena Vista) dropped a reasonable 56%. Last summer four films opened at over $40-million mark, three on one weekend.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • August 10, 2014 4:50 PM
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Can 'Get On Up' Star Chad Boseman Land a Best Actor Oscar Nomination?

After the packed "Get On Up" Producers Guild of America screening Thursday at the Pacific Design Center, star Chadwick Boseman, who channels mercurial funk star James Brown in the musical biopic, earned a rousing standing ovation. During the Q & A, Oscar-winning producer Brian Grazer (Ron Howard's "A Beautiful Mind"), explained that it took decades to get the $30-million period drama made, even after such African-American hits as "Ray," which won an Oscar for Jamie Foxx, and "42," which launched Boseman's star. Universal eventually released the picture--insisting on a PG-13 rating and an August opening.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 4, 2014 4:56 PM
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  • 4 Comments

WATCH: Another Star Goes Musical, Keira Knightley Sings in 'Begin Again,' Ruffalo & Keener's Top 26 Flicks (VIDEO)

We've seen Keira Knightley kick, swashbuckle, and charm her way through her career so far, but one thing we haven't seen her do very much of--until now--is sing.
  • By Jacob Combs
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  • June 26, 2014 10:32 AM
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Handicapping this Year's Movie Musicals, from 'Jersey Boys' to 'Annie' to 'Into the Woods'

The multiplex is alive once more with the sound of Broadway show tunes: a trio of popular shows, all aimed at distinctly different audiences, will take a bow in movie theaters this year.
  • By Susan Wloszczyna
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  • June 17, 2014 7:00 AM
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  • 1 Comment

'Jersey Boys' Review Roundup: Eastwood's Musical Biopic Never Decides What To Be

Clint Eastwood wasn't necessarily anyone's first thought when it came to a director for the film version of the 2005 Broadway hit "Jersey Boys." But the director's still on the A-list at Warner Bros. for his calm, economic, unpretentious, methodical filmmaking, flair for local color and good ear for music. Don't forget Cannes prize-winner "Bird"--Eastwood's a jazz pianist and composer.
  • By Anne Thompson and Jacob Combs
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  • June 16, 2014 1:12 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Should Brit Star Tom Hiddleston Take on Country Icon Hank Williams?

As high as I am on Tom Hiddleston, the idea of him playing all-American country music icon Hank Williams gives me pause. Somehow this role should go to an American actor. This casting feels like a foreign sales decision. Hiddleston, who is bankable thanks to playing Loki in two Thor films and 'The Avengers," is set to play Williams in writer-director Marc Abraham's "I Saw the Light," based on Colin Escott’s biography. Via Sony ATV, the biopic has secured rights to the Williams music catalogue including such hits as “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry,” “Hey Good Lookin’” and “Your Cheatin’ Heart.”
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 12, 2014 8:34 PM
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  • 14 Comments

Happy Birthday, Ann-Margret! (VIDEO)

A belated happy 73rd birthday to Ann-Margret, whose best movie--in my humble opinion--is the 1963 George Sidney musical "Bye Bye Birdie."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 29, 2014 2:11 PM
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  • 1 Comment

WATCH: Deleted Musical Number from Steve Coogan's 'The Trip' (NSFW)

Not to put too fine a point on it, in Monty Python style, the refrain of this profane Steve Coogan musical number cut from "The Trip" is "everyone is a bit of a c..t sometimes." It's funny.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 13, 2014 4:48 PM
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Robert Altman's 'Nashville': The First Modern TV Musical (VIDEO)

"Treme" embarked on its final season Sunday. "Smash" is gone. "Glee" and "Nashville" soldier on, but the bloom of pop-cultural significance is off their respective roses. With this age of the hour-long musical television series fast coming to a close, I set out searching for its origins, and I found it at the movies. Robert Altman's "Nashville" (1975) may be the finest American film of the 1970s -- and the first modern TV musical, too.
  • By Matt Brennan
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  • December 4, 2013 1:17 PM
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  • 1 Comment

After Years in Shadow, Oscar Winner '20 Feet From Stardom' Lets Backup Singers Take Center Stage (UPDATED)

"20 Feet From Stardom"
It was a big task for a little documentary to go up against the likes of "Man of Steel," "Monsters University" and "World War Z." In a way, though, it's a fitting role for Morgan Neville's film. Those big popcorn flicks can hold up a mirror to our lives, but "20 Feet from Stardom" goes deeper. By asking questions about sex, race and the American dream, it challenges us to look critically at our collective, national soul. In doing so, it's one of the most important films of the year.
  • By Jacob Combs
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  • November 26, 2013 4:01 PM
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  • 2 Comments

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