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Thompson on Hollywood

Arthur Early Reviews: "Dispiritingly Witless," "Crude instead of Whimsical"

Arthur Early Reviews: "Dispiritingly Witless," "Crude instead of Whimsical"
In this remake of the 1981 classic, Arthur, Russell Brand takes on Dudley Moore's comic drunk, joined by Helen Mirren (in John Gielgud's butler role) and rival girlfriends Greta Gerwig and Jennifer Garner. Directed by Jason Winer (TV's Modern Family) from Peter Baynham's revamp of Steve Gordon's original script, this ensemble relationship comedy is failing to find critical validation. Early reviews, photos and the trailer are below.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 6, 2011 3:51 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Your Highness Early Reviews: "Utterly Batshit Insane, Misguided, Chaotic, Teenage Titillation"

Your Highness Early Reviews: "Utterly Batshit Insane, Misguided, Chaotic, Teenage Titillation"
Your Highness opens April 8 with Danny McBride, James Franco, Natalie Portman and Zooey Deschanel (trailer below). Pineapple Express's David Gordon Green directs. The script comes from McBride and his Eastbound & Down co-writer Ben Best.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 5, 2011 7:37 AM
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  • 4 Comments

Weekend Box Office: Hop Best Opener of Year, Followed by Solid Thrillers Source Code and Insidious

Weekend box office was up 6 percent over last weekend, led by Russell Brand family pic Hop, which exceeded expectations with the best opening of the year so far, followed by strong ticket sales for indie thrillers Source Code and Insidious. Anthony D'Alessandro reports:Universal’s live-action toon Hop leaped past its industry projections this weekend and bore a litter of cash with $38.1 million – the best bow to date, inching past Rango’s first frame which grossed a few thousand less. Although the frame also served up a number of competitors to Hop--Summit Entertainment’s Source Code earned $15 million in second, FilmDistrict’s horror film Insidious stabbed $13.5 million in third and the PG-13 re-release of Weinstein Co.’s The King’s Speech fell outside the top 10 with $1.19 million--the Easter Bunny comedy had a lock on families.
  • By Anthony D'Alessandro
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  • April 3, 2011 4:30 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Hanna Earns Early Raves: "Futuristic Fairy Tale, Arthouse Action Movie, Chase Thriller"

Director Joe Wright delivers a tour-de-force E-ride thriller with Focus Features's Hanna, starring an athletic Saoirse Ronan, who able carries the movie, supported by Cate Blanchett and Eric Bana. But don't expect much depth--or dialogue for that matter-- from the director of Atonement and Pride & Prejudice. The movie sets up its premise: Hanna has been raised in isolation by protective parent Bana, and enters the world prepared to defend herself from Blanchett and her agents who are out to kill her. Then a masterfully executed chase ensues. Look out for one of Wright's signature long takes.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 31, 2011 7:00 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Weekend Box Office: Wimpy Kid Steals Sucker Punch's Lunch

Weekend Box Office: Wimpy Kid Steals Sucker Punch's Lunch
The weekend started out strong for Zack Snyder's much-anticipated Sucker Punch, but ended better for family sequel Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Roderick Rules, reports Anthony D'Alessandro:Talk about the boys stealing the girls’ lunch: Fox’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules was the big man at the box office bullying the No. 1 spot away with $24.4 million from Warner Bros.’ kewpie dolls action flick Sucker Punch, which fell wounded in second with $19 million. Although Sucker Punch ruled Friday with $8 million, fanboys turned their backs on the film Saturday with a day-to-day drop of 17%.  Meanwhile, Rodrick Rules rallied a 39% spike Saturday thanks to family matinees. The weekend box office illustrates that a robust film campaign for an original title (Warners' Sucker Punch) is no match for a pre-sold brand (Fox's kid lit franchise Diary of a Wimpy Kid.  See Box Office Chart, film details, review links and trailers below.
  • By Anthony D'Alessandro
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  • March 27, 2011 4:54 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Weekend Preview: Sucker Punch and Wimpy Kid vs. Indies

The weekend brings few mainstream releases -- just Sucker Punch and Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules (each mark 27% of Fandango's pre-sales, as of Thursday). If you are seeking something new, you may want to check out indie offerings from well-reviewed doc My Perestroika to Francois Ozon's delightful 70s feminist comedy Potiche starring Catherine Deneuve and Gerard Depardieu. Details, reviews and trailers are below.
  • By Anne Thompson and Sophia Savage
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  • March 25, 2011 1:52 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Sucker Punch Early Reviews: Feminists, Choose Your Weapons

Sucker Punch Early Reviews: Feminists, Choose Your Weapons
Judging from early reviews (below), if Warner Bros. has any hopes of luring a female audience to Sucker Punch, they may be in trouble. It looks like plenty of red-blooded American males will soak up the latest hyper-stylized entry from writer-director Zack Snyder (300, The Watchmen) which critics are variously describing as "spastic," "humorless" and "psychosexual." TOH will weigh in tomorrow. (Check out the trailer below.) The film stars Emily Browning, Abbie Cornish, Jenna Malone, Vanessa Hudgens, Jamie Chung, and Carla Gugino.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • March 24, 2011 4:40 AM
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  • 11 Comments

Weekly Wrap: Hunger Games, SXSW Interviews, Actresses Directing & Producing, Japan, Taxi Driver

Weekly Wrap: Hunger Games, SXSW Interviews, Actresses Directing & Producing, Japan, Taxi Driver
PRODUCTION & DEVELOPMENT
  • By Anne Thompson and Sophia Savage
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  • March 18, 2011 9:26 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Weekend Preview: Limitless, Paul, Lincoln Lawyer For Men, Indies Win Win, Cracks, Winter in Wartime

This weekend, it's Matthew McConaughey and a car vs. Working Title's alien vs. Bradley Cooper on super-human drugs. According to Flixster Forecast: "The Lincoln Lawyer, the first adaptation of a Michael Connelly novel since Clint Eastwood’s Blood Work in 2002, surged in search activity leading into this weekend. Given that its Want-to-See interest is almost entirely centered with women-over-25, the film will probably have to build a strong case to beat out Britcom Paul, opening on more screens; or Bradley Cooper and Robert De Niro in Limitless, which is seeing intense Want-to-See interest that is closer to the middle."
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • March 18, 2011 5:35 AM
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  • 0 Comments

SXSW: Greg Mottola Talks Paul's Pegg, Frost and Spielberg; Early Reviews

SXSW: Greg Mottola Talks Paul's Pegg, Frost and Spielberg; Early Reviews
Here's what you need to know about Paul (March 18): It's a Working Title movie, which means that it's smart, tailored to intelligent audiences, and has a British sensibility. Co-writers Simon Pegg and Nick Frost (Shaun of the Dead) dreamed up this light fan boy comedy, went on an American research road trip, and lacking their director of choice, Edgar Wright, they turned to Greg Mottola (Superbad and Adventureland), who has been earning mainstream cred as a director of sharp and funny comedies that do not suck.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 17, 2011 8:18 AM
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  • 1 Comment

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