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Thompson on Hollywood

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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Depp Developing Live Action Dr. Seuss, Thin Man Remake Finds New Scribe in Billy Ray

It was only a matter of time. Dr. Seuss will be brought to live-action life, and as long as Johnny Depp is accepting the stupid money, he'll likely be in the title role. The project is in development at Illumination Entertainment and Depp's Infinium Nihil, with Depp producing (and possibly starring), and Keith Bunin pegged to write the script.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • October 7, 2011 7:38 AM
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  • 1 Comment

No Bridesmaids Sequel, Mick Jagger as Big Bad Media Mogul, Free Previews for Footloose

Almost as soon as runaway comedy Bridesmaids hit theaters this spring, there was talk about a sequel. At the time, director Paul Feig told New York Vulture: "When you get a group that's this deep and this good, it's a crime to not use them again." However, an Entertainment Weekly interview with Jon Hamm, who played a sleazy love interest in the comedy, put a halt to sequel rumors: "I don't think Kristen is going to do it," said Hamm. "They need to lock [Wiig] up before me."
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • September 28, 2011 6:17 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Yes, Really: Universal Remaking a Non-remake of Scarface; Vulture on Unoriginality in Hollywood

Say it ain't so, but Universal is gearing up for a new version of Scarface. Writers are at work trying to find a way to make this story relevant again. Back in 1983, Brian De Palma and Oliver Stone's version starring Al Pacino was initially met with skepticism, as it was a remake of the 1932 film produced by Howard Hughes and directed by Howard Hawks and Richard Rosson. But the remake became a classic in its own right.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • September 22, 2011 4:28 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Weekend Box Office: Disney's Lion King 3D Pops, Drive Starts Solid

Weekend Box Office: Disney's Lion King 3D Pops, Drive Starts Solid
Surprisingly, Disney's 3-D retooling of The Lion King held off all newcomers, from smart-house actioner Drive, which got a decent start, to the remake of Straw Dogs. It even bested strong holdover Contagion, in second place. Anthony D'Alessandro reports:Walt Disney's 3-D re-release of 1994's hand-drawn animated box office champ The Lion King raked the competition this weekend with a shocking $29.3 million gross, fending off three adult choices including FilmDistrict's critically acclaimed action noir Drive, which fueled $11 million, Sony-Screen Gems' Straw Dogs, which fed off scraps at $5 million and Weinstein Co.'s Sarah Jessica Parker romcom I Don't Know How She Does It at $4.5 million.
  • By Anthony D'Alessandro
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  • September 18, 2011 4:37 AM
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  • 6 Comments

Film in the Decade Since 9/11: From Superheroes to Westerns, What Came After

This week's “Now and Then” column started out comparing and contrasting two movies about assassins — Hanna (Joe Wright, 2011) and Léon: the Professional (Luc Besson, 1994)—and ended up ruminating on 9/11. Trailers below:Life and culture are too messy to be divided into easy categories like “Before” and “After,” but for all the continuities in the way films are made and viewed, a long view of the last decade reveals some important, if subtle, shifts. Watching the network news coverage of September 11 to prepare for this column, I was reminded of how much we didn’t know that day, how much our fear stemmed from no longer being able to control the course of events.
  • By Matt Brennan
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  • September 12, 2011 11:36 AM
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Lone Ranger: Inflated Budget Drama Pits Risk-Averse Disney Against Verbinski Loyalist Depp UPDATE

UPDATE 9/29: The Lone Ranger is set to ride again, with budget issues being worked out between the studio and director Gore Verbinski and his loyal star, Johnny Depp. Deadline has the good news details (though an official announcement is yet to be made).
  • By Anne Thompson and Sophia Savage
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  • September 1, 2011 11:06 AM
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Refn Teases Gosling and Malick Pairing; DiCaprio On Gatsby Set; Aykroyd Promises Ghostbusters 3

- According to his Drive director, Nicolas Winding Refn, Ryan Gosling will work on a film with Terrence Malick after the actor completes Refn’s Only God Forgives. Here's ThePlaylist's investigation of this potentially awesome news.
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • August 26, 2011 8:25 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Confessions of Conan the Barbarian Writer, Dark Knight Leaves Pittsburgh, Universal Drops Ouija

Christopher Nolan has wrapped filming on The Dark Knight Rises in Pittsburgh; he still has more principal photography in New York and Los Angeles. The film opens July 20, 2012.
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • August 24, 2011 8:11 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Weekend Box Office: The Help Ascends to Number One, Spy Kids 4 Strongest Newbie

As expected, robust holdover drama The Help kept all weekend newcomers at bay and claimed the number one spot. Of the newbies, family-friendly Spy Kids 4 fared best. Anthony D'Alessandro reports:Disney/DreamWorks' The Help bossed around three franchise reboots and an arthouse film for the top box office spot, earning $20.5 million in its second sesh and a respectable 21% dip. Clearly, many moviegoers have lost patience with summer carbon copies and are ready to embrace the autumn wave of smart adult fare coming down the pipe. Weinstein Co. four-quel Spy Kids: All the Time in the World came out ahead of the competition with $12 million because it was the only film geared toward families. Meanwhile, two R-rated 3-D films shot each other in the chest: Nu Image/Lionsgate's Conan the Barbarian forked $10 million and DreamWorks' Fright Night, handled by Disney, scared audiences out of the multiplex with $8.3 million. And Focus Features' One Day bucked sour reviews in top markets, grossing $5.1 million.
  • By Anthony D'Alessandro
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  • August 21, 2011 4:51 AM
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  • 9 Comments

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