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Thompson on Hollywood

Now and Then: 'Decoding Deepak,' or What the Bleep Does He Know?

Early in "Decoding Deepak," the titular spiritualist and his filmmaker son float languidly over Thailand's Chao Phraya river delta, on their way to the former's ordination as a Buddhist monk. "Don't try to make sense of it, just roll the cameras and try to keep up," the director sighs. Mission accomplished.
  • By Matt Brennan
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  • October 9, 2012 4:04 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Now and Then: 'Looper' and the Future of Sci Fi

Deep into "Looper" we meet Sara (Emily Blunt), a young mother and cane farmer in the year 2044. The moment, for science fiction, is riskily quiet — in the first blush of dusk she mimes lighting a cigarette, taking a slow drag on imagined bliss. It's also, for all the film's nodding at the genre's past, a glimpse of where sci fi is going.
  • By Matt Brennan
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  • October 2, 2012 11:59 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Now and Then: 'The Master' and Paul Thomas Anderson's American Quadrilogy

"The Master" is challenging, gorgeous, and forcefully weird, a critical darling and early Oscar contender, but you already knew that. It's also the fourth film in a great, daring, ambitious project to depict the shadow side of our national life over the course of a century — what might be called Paul Thomas Anderson's "American Quadrilogy."
  • By Matt Brennan
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  • September 25, 2012 1:14 PM
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  • 5 Comments

Now and Then: In 'Chico & Rita' and 'Nobody Walks,' The Sound of Heartache

Early in "Chico & Rita," under the shimmer of the Tropicana's spotlight, Rita rummages through the lower octaves of attraction. Smitten, Chico gapes from the bar, dragging on a cigarette. Humid with sound, the scene has the texture of live action, its every wrinkle and wink. A movie song hasn't conveyed desire quite like this in nearly forty years.
  • By Matt Brennan
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  • September 18, 2012 1:12 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Now and Then: NBC's Big Miss, 'The New Normal,' Could Learn a Thing or Two from 'Sleepwalk With Me'

I look forward to each fall's slate of network comedies with roughly the same relish as I do a dental procedure. There are exceptions — "Modern Family" and "30 Rock," though they've struggled to stay fresh, started strong — but episodic comedy is hard to get right. Which is why I was surprised to find the season's best example of it at the movies.
  • By Matt Brennan
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  • September 11, 2012 12:09 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Now and Then: The Evacuee's Guide to Movies

Living in New Orleans sometimes means leaving it. That's why, with Hurricane Isaac bearing down on the city, I hit the highway last Monday for an extended Florida sojourn. And since a film buff's road trip is nothing without a screening schedule, here's a handy guide to movies for your next evacuation...
  • By Matt Brennan
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  • September 4, 2012 2:43 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Now and Then: For the Love of 'Bernie' and Jack Black

"Bernie" wears as many hats as a Texas cowboy. Somehow, and simultaneously, Richard Linklater's latest is a genuinely surprising confidence game, a homey slice of Southern life, and an eccentric black comedy of small-town manners. The most apt description is far simpler, though: "Bernie" is one of the best films of the year.
  • By Matt Brennan
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  • August 21, 2012 4:00 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Now and Then: Waiting for Julie Delpy

Full disclosure: I'm a little bit in love with Julie Delpy, sometimes unaccountably so. She's neurotic, fretful, and sharp-tongued, a femme fatale with a French accent and Woody Allen specs. Her first film as a director was a mess. And yet she keeps growing on me, a habit I just can't seem to break...
  • By Matt Brennan
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  • August 14, 2012 11:42 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Now and Then: The Best of the Year So Far

The dog days of summer are here, and for moviegoers that usually means an August lull between tentpole extravaganzas and festival fodder, a chance to reflect on the year so far...
  • By Matthew Brennan
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  • August 7, 2012 6:28 PM
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  • 6 Comments

Now and Then: Raunchy 'Klown' and the Problem with Sex Comedies

Frank (Frank Hvam), the hapless protagonist of the funny but disappointingly diagrammatic Danish film "Klown," musters only one nugget of wisdom for his 12-year-old charge, Bo (Marcuz Jess Petersen). It's sage advice from a professional man-child to a burgeoning one: "When grown-ups are horny, they do terrible things to those they love."
  • By Matt Brennan
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  • July 24, 2012 6:30 AM
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  • 0 Comments

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