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Thompson on Hollywood

With 'Joe,' Nic Cage Gives His Best Performance Since 'Bad Lieutenant,' Insists He's Always Indie (VIDEOS)

"I had taken a year off," says Cage. "I wanted to put the mistakes I'd made in the past into a character. I wanted to make a movie with a filmmaker who has an original voice...I'm at my best when I'm working. That doesn't mean I cable it in, or roll over. I work through problems, when I have a job to do. It keeps me disciplined."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 9, 2014 4:40 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Weekend Preview: Almodovar's The Skin I Live In is Best Bet of Disappointing Openings

Weekend Preview: Almodovar's The Skin I Live In is Best Bet of Disappointing Openings
While it may not be his greatest film, The Skin I Live In is still essential viewing for any Pedro Almodovar fan. Just gazing at stars Antonio Banderas, Elena Anaya and the gorgeous sets within this beyond-twisted melodrama is worth the ticket price. Given the star power spread across the other films on offer, you'd think there was much to look forward to, but critics are grasping at straws trying to say positive things about the likes of Fireflies in The Garden (Julia Roberts, Ryan Reynolds, Willem Dafoe), Trespass (Nicole Kidman, Nicholas Cage), Universal's remake of The Thing (Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Eric Christian Olsen, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Joel Edgerton) and The Big Year (Jack Black, Steve Martin, Owen Wilson). Ami Canaan Mann's (Michael Mann's daughter) gritty debut Texas Killing Fields, inspired by actual events, is boosted by a strong cast (Sam Worthington, Jessica Chastain, Chloe Moretz). But it's a wasted opportunity; promising moments are weakened by an uninspired script and clumsy construction. Believe it or not, the Footloose remake is making critics tap their feet.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • October 13, 2011 5:43 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Now and Then: The Transformation of Michael Bay to Sunday Hangover Auteur

Now and Then: The Transformation of Michael Bay to Sunday Hangover Auteur
Occasioned by the DVD release of Transformers: Dark of the Moon last week, and a few too many drinks Saturday night, Matt Brennan’s “Now and Then” column celebrates director Michael Bay, Sunday hangover auteur. Trailers below:
  • By Matt Brennan
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  • October 3, 2011 3:48 AM
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  • 3 Comments

Is Millennium Dumping Toronto's Trespass, Starring Kidman and Cage?

Is Millennium Dumping Toronto's Trespass, Starring Kidman and Cage?
Poor Nic Cage can't get a break from Millennium Entertainment. He co-stars with Nicole Kidman as husband and wife in Joel Schumacher's R-rated heist thriller Trespass, which is making its debut at the Toronto Film Festival (trailer below). The movie is scheduled to be released by Millennium Entertainment (formerly First Look) on October 14 in theaters and on VOD, followed a bit too swiftly by a Blu-ray release on November 1. "Millennium Entertainment will release TRESPASS on October 14, 2011 in theaters and at home – rent it with your remote control," invites the press release.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 18, 2011 10:31 AM
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  • 1 Comment

The Sell-Out Failures of Oscar Winners

The Sell-Out Failures of Oscar Winners
Entertainment blog Grantland's "made-up entertainment-related statistics" department trashes Oscar-winners who cash in on boffo box-office paydays in often second-rate studio features. We're not sure if potential embarrassment outweighs the paychecks these stars receive, but Grantland makes a valid career query:"2011's bumper crop of sequels, remakes, and general schlock has built swimming pools in the backyards of some of our most revered [Oscar winning] actors. But at what cost to their dramatic cred? Exactly how much of the shine have they taken off their Academy Awards? And which actor did the most damage this year?"
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • July 11, 2011 7:52 AM
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  • 3 Comments

A Curation of Nicolas Cage Debacles, Difficulties & Dinosaur Skulls

A Curation of Nicolas Cage Debacles, Difficulties & Dinosaur Skulls
The trouble with a movie star who runs afoul of the law in the age of chasing celebrity hot topics to build traffic, is that when you mess up, the media piles on you, big time. Nic Cage's run-in with the New Orleans cops this weekend is a case in point. We round up some of the more responsible coverage:
  • By Anne Thompson and Sophia Savage
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  • April 18, 2011 8:26 AM
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  • 2 Comments

In The Works: Bullock and Freeman May Chase Somali Pirates, Meg Ryan Directs, Medallion Adds Stars

- Sandra Bullock and Morgan Freeman are wanted for an adaptation of 2010 Somali pirate novel , by 85-year-old writer Elmore Leonard (Justified, 3:10 to Yuma, Get Shorty, Out of Sight). "We're trying to get my new book Djibouti [made as a film]," Leonard told Digital Spy. "Morgan Freeman likes it a lot. In fact, I even thought of him while I was writing it," he said. Apparently Samuel L. Jackson has already turned down a part because he wasn't the star (though Leonard insisted his character would have all the good lines) and Freeman dubbed Bullock as first choice for the female lead. The story follows an award-winning filmmaker and a 72-year old African American seafarer who pair to get footage of Somali pirates in action.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • April 6, 2011 6:23 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Relativity to Hire New Marketing and Distribution Head to Sell Summer Slate

The departure of Relativity Media marketing and distribution chief Peter Adee June 1 after ten months is a typical "blame the messenger" move. In other words, it's age-old industry practice to scapegoat marketing heads when movies aren't working. Adee came in when Relativity acquired Overture's distribution and marketing infrastructure and staff of 43. The MGM and Universal marketing vet knows his stuff. That said, the LAT's use of the word "outspoken" speaks volumes. Part of Adee's job was to figure out how to get along with Relativity's "outspoken" CEO, Ryan Kavanaugh (pictured).
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 4, 2011 3:46 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Weekend Box Office: Gnomeo & Juliet Elves Bash Cage's Drive Angry 3D and Farrelly's Hall Pass

Animated holdover Gnomeo & Juliet surged ahead of yet another set of weak openers as the box office continues in the doldrums.(Here's our six reasons why.) See weekend trailers and Top Ten Box Office Chart below. Anthony D'Alessandro has the numbers:A band of CGI elves had the last laugh as Disney’s Gnomeo & Juliet stole the box office with $14.2 million, kicking former marquee champs, the Farrelly Brothers and Nicolas Cage, in the groin. The Farrelly’s Hall Pass, distributed by Warner Bros./New Line, slid to second with a $13.4 million three-day after showing signs of a No. 1 win on Friday with $4.6 million.  Summit Entertainment’s Cage headliner Drive Angry 3D from Nu Image Pictures crashed and burned in ninth with $5.1 million – the lowest opening for a 3D live-action feature after Gulliver’s Travels ($6.3 million bow) and another sign in Nicolas Cage’s apocalyptic career. The success of Gnomeo proves that when there’s crap at the box office, family titles flourish, a pattern seen last April when the fourth frame of How to Train Your Dragon bested the bows of Jennifer Lopez’s The Back-up Plan and DC comics also-ran The Losers.  After filing fourth on Friday with $3.16 million, Gnomeo climbed 101% yesterday to $6.3 million. 
  • By Anthony D'Alessandro
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  • February 27, 2011 5:48 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Weekend Preview: Drive Angry 3D, Hall Pass, Of Gods and Men, Heartbeats

Weekend Preview: Drive Angry 3D, Hall Pass, Of Gods and Men, Heartbeats
Of this weekend's new entries, the one I want to see most is French Oscar entry Of Gods and Men, which earned raves around the world but was unaccountably shut out by the foreign language committee. UPDATE: It also won the Cesar award for Best Film.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 25, 2011 8:00 AM
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  • 0 Comments

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