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SFIFF 54 Day Seven: A Useful Life, Oliver Stone Tribute, The Last Buffalo Hunt, Attenberg

SFIFF 54 Day Seven: A Useful Life, Oliver Stone Tribute, The Last Buffalo Hunt, Attenberg
Meredith Brody's diary entry for SDIFF day seven: The film-going day begins with inserting a DVD into the player, which I guess means staying rather than going. It’s A Useful Life, a film directed by a former employee of the Cinemateca Uruguaya, Federico Veiroj, about a longtime employee of the Cinemateca Uruguaya in Montevideo (which occasions a notation in the opening credits that the movie does not reflect the actual Cinemateca Uruguaya in any way shape or form). Said rather sad-sackish employee (played by an Uruguayan film critic with the young/old face of an obsessive) has spent a quarter-century doing all that’s necessary in showing films to the public – programming, introducing, talking on the radio, even repairing a seat in the theater.
  • By Meredith Brody
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  • April 29, 2011 6:43 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Oscar Watch: Director/Picture Splits, Black Swan Promo

Oscar Watch: Director/Picture Splits, Black Swan Promo
- What are the odds of a director winning an Oscar without their film? LAT's new Awards Tracker blog considers the importance of the best director and best picture unity. "Over the past 20 years, the awards for best picture and director split only four times. That's 80% overlap," notes Tom O'Neil, pointing out that being "overdue" is a big factor. Could this happen with Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan), Christopher Nolan (Inception) or and Peter Weir (The Way Back)?
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • November 5, 2010 3:06 AM
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  • 3 Comments

David Poland vs. TOH

Monday, The Hot Blog's David Poland took off after me without realizing at first that the story that so enraged him was written by ex-Variety box-office analyst Anthony D'Alessandro. And both stories he pops off about, my rather sober analysis of what went wrong with Tamara Drewe and D'Alessandro's take on the poor performance of Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, are among TOH's most popular, sparking healthy debate.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 20, 2010 7:46 AM
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  • 10 Comments

Names That Command the Moviesphere: Cameron Talks Avatar Sequels, True Lies, Cleopatra

If you run a movie site that seeks to service readers --and build traffic--then you don't have to be a rocket scientist to know what works. Certain names, stars, projects have heat. When you write about James Cameron, David Fincher, Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, franchises like Avatar, Inception, Spider-Man, Batman, Superman, Bourne, Twilight or The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Swedish or American), or hot films like The Social Network (or Mark Zuckerberg), they will come. And despite David Poland's sloppy rant about headlines with numbers in them, guess what? They pull more readers: folks love races, contests, drama, debates, polls, controversy, exclusives (which is why the word is so rampantly abused--there's a difference between a one-on-one interview and an exclusive) and yes, lists.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 20, 2010 4:19 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Five Things that Went Wrong with Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps

Five Things that Went Wrong with Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps
As a reminder that a strong opening does not always a winning movie make, Twentieth Century Fox is looking at some red ink on the fall sequel Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps. This is not necessarily good news for the future of studio adult dramas. Anthony D'Alessandro reports: While Oliver Stone scored his biggest opening ever at $19 million, glossy sequel Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps wound up being more of a bear than a bull at the domestic box office with $47.9 million, coming out slightly ahead of the 1987 original's $43.8 million gross. Inside the average range for a Stone title, it's Shia LaBeouf’s lowest-grossing live-action wide release since his christening as a marquee draw with 2007’s Disturbia. The biggest hurdle for Wall Street 2: it was a sequel to a 23-year old adult drama, not a mass-audience franchise such as Rocky or Star Wars. Even if it was timely, its B.O. prospects were limited from the start. Here are five reasons why Wall Street 2’s stock fell:
  • By Anthony D'Alessandro
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  • October 18, 2010 10:15 AM
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  • 17 Comments

Weekend Box Office: Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps Easily Clips Legend of the Guardians, You Again

There's life yet in the adult drama, as Oliver Stone's Wall Street sequel easily outscored the weekend competition. Anthony D'Alessandro reports.
  • By Anthony D'Alessandro
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  • September 26, 2010 4:30 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Review: Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps is Stone in Mainstream Studio Mode

Review: Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps is Stone in Mainstream Studio Mode
Like the 1987 film, this Wall Street installment is Oliver Stone in mainstream studio mode. Sure, his political slant on the financial crisis comes through loud and clear--the son of a Wall Street broker is preaching to the choir at this point--and he uses cigar-chomping alpha male Josh Brolin, who played George W. Bush in W., as this film's embodiment of Wall Street greed and villainy, Master of the Universe Bretton James. But James, who is part of a sprawling ensemble, is less fleshed-out and articulate than Douglas's Gordon Gekko in the first film. He's a caricature.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 24, 2010 12:19 PM
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  • 5 Comments

Michael Douglas Fights Throat Cancer

Michael Douglas, 65, has been diagnosed with a tumor in his throat, reports People Magazine. The veteran actor will undergo eight weeks of radiation and chemotherapy. We wish him the best.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 16, 2010 8:13 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Post-Cannes Fest Landscape: What's Real?

Post-Cannes Fest Landscape: What's Real?
The Cannes Film Festival unfolds in two parts: what gets seen during the festival itself--and what happens afterwards.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 12, 2010 3:30 AM
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  • 2 Comments

From South of the Border to Restrepo, Docs Fill Media Gap

There has never been a richer time for documentaries, nor a greater need of them.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 6, 2010 12:08 PM
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  • 0 Comments

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