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Thompson on Hollywood

SXSW Review: Vampires Get Real in Hilarious Mock Doc 'What We Do In the Shadows'

It’s hard out there for a vampire. Sunlight’s a (literal) pain, dining on human blood can get messy, and primping for a night out on the town is tricky when you can’t see your own reflection in a mirror. Aside from these supernatural hang-ups, Taikia Waititi and Jemaine Clement’s rollicking mockumentary “What We Do in the Shadows” shows us that bloodsuckers have more banal problems, too -- like getting along with roommates.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • March 12, 2014 1:50 PM
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SXSW Review: 'Frank,' Starring Michael Fassbender Wearing a Giant Fake Head, Totally Rocks

In Lenny Abrahamson’s lovely film ‘Frank,’ Jon (Domhnall Gleeson) is a would-be musician who works an office job by day. It’s possible he doesn’t have a lot of talent.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • March 11, 2014 12:53 PM
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SXSW Review: The Zellners Strike Wonder with 'Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter,' Starring Rinko Kikuchi

Many delightful, haunting things happen in David and Nathan Zellner’s “Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter,” which screens at SXSW 2014. One is that a duo of filmmaking brothers -- moving steadily toward the top of their game after a decade of turning out weird, unique short and feature films -- quote another duo of filmmaking brothers, who have been at the top of the their game for decades.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • March 11, 2014 12:35 PM
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  • 1 Comment

How HBO's 'Looking' Went from Boring to Brilliant

"Looking" began like most blind dates: awkwardly. It made introductions and exchanged pleasantries, but it was unsure of itself, and of us. With time, though, it eased up and leaned in close, becoming one of the best new series of the year. [SPOILERS below if you're not up to date.]
  • By Matt Brennan
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  • March 10, 2014 2:03 PM
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  • 10 Comments

SXSW Review: Kate Lyn Sheil Is the Beating Heart of 'The Heart Machine'

Having now seen six of the total eight films in SXSW’s narrative competition section, I must admit I’m rather underwhelmed by the offerings. However, one performance has stuck with me.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • March 10, 2014 12:22 PM
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SXSW Review: 'Obvious Child' Succeeds Admirably as an Abortion Rom-Com

Last year, Lake Bell’s wonderful “In a World” stuck to the conventional tenets of a romantic comedy while featuring the feminist theme of a woman trying to make it in the sexist industry of trailer voiceovers. This year, Gillian Robespierre’s equally winning “Obvious Child,” screening as part of SXSW's Festival Favorites program, similarly sticks to the rom-com arc while throwing in a gutsy curveball: The film’s main woman and man fall in love while getting an abortion.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • March 10, 2014 1:30 AM
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Mark Duplass & Jason Blum Talk 'Creep,' SXSW Review and Roundup (EXCLUSIVE VIDEO)

Jason Blum and producer-writer-star Mark Duplass talk indie found footage SXSW thriller 'Creep.'
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 9, 2014 7:16 PM
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SXSW Opener, Jon Favreau's 'Chef,' is Scruffy Indie Crowdpleaser

Jon Favreau took a break from tentpole movies to direct a scruffy family comedy that wears its insecurities on its sleeve. "I shoot food like Michael Bay shoots babes in bikinis," he told me at the rooftop after party.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 8, 2014 4:48 PM
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SXSW Review: Can We Cure Aging? Absorbing Doc 'The Immortalists' Wants to Know

At an early point in David Alvarado and Jason Sussberg’s absorbing documentary and SXSW premiere “The Immortalists,” theoretical biologist Aubrey de Grey, who sports a beard of wizardly proportions, says, “I don’t want to end up here.” The “here” he speaks of so dismissively is a graveyard.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • March 8, 2014 3:46 PM
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  • 2 Comments

Review: Wes Anderson's 'Grand Budapest Hotel' Is Delightful, Delicious and Delovely (CLIP)

Wes Anderson's "Grand Budapest Hotel" world premiered at the Berlinale and hits theaters Friday, March 7. Here's Anne Thompson's review.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 7, 2014 3:27 PM
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  • 0 Comments

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