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Thompson on Hollywood

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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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

SXSW: Jodie Foster Intros The Beaver, Starring "Beloved" Mel Gibson, to Upbeat Response; See Clips

Jodie Foster took Austin's Paramount stage for the Wednesday night premiere of The Beaver, a dark, moving family drama centered on Mel Gibson, who is well-cast as a tortured man in crisis. (See indieWIRE's review; here's Hollywood Wiretap's round-up).
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 17, 2011 4:24 AM
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SXSW: Early Reviews of Bridesmaids, Starring Kristin Wiig, Jon Hamm, Maya Rudolph

SXSW: Early Reviews of Bridesmaids, Starring Kristin Wiig, Jon Hamm, Maya Rudolph
Universal tried to bring Office director Paul Feig and writer-actress Kristin Wiig's dumb-female comedy Bridesmaids (May 13) to SXSW as a work-in-progress, but as soon as the director admitted that it was a final cut from the Paramount stage Sunday night, Variety critic Joe Leydon whipped out his timer, took notes and went straight home to file his review. It was savage. Apres Joe, le deluge. (Excerpts and more below).
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 15, 2011 10:05 AM
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  • 7 Comments

Errol Morris Talks Tabloid and Other Strange Topics

Errol Morris's Tabloid was one of my fave films at the Toronto Film Festival, from which Sundance Selects eventually acquired the truth-is-stranger than-fiction doc. It's screening at SXSW. Morris discovered the nugget of this story, about Joyce McKinney and her obsessive love with a man she tries to save from a cult, buried in the jump of a Boston Globe article. Only Morris would see the potential in it.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 14, 2011 7:55 AM
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SXSW Day One: Early Buzz, Opener Source Code Plays Well

SXSW Day One: Early Buzz, Opener Source Code Plays Well
People keep telling me to see Ti West's horror flick The Innkeepers. So I'll check it out Saturday night. That's what film festivals do. They start buzz on a movie that few have seen or know anything about, and suddenly a career is born--or not.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 12, 2011 10:49 AM
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Weekly Wrap: Jane Eyre Interviews, Western Revivals, Guide to Fairy Tales, Miral, Fandor, Finke

- Deadline Update: Why HBO Turned Down Keaton’s Tilda, Finke vs. Academy and The Wrap.
  • By Anne Thompson and Sophia Savage
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  • March 11, 2011 8:40 AM
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Battle: Los Angeles, Jane Eyre, Red Riding Hood, Certified Copy, Mars Needs Moms, Black Death

[Pictured: Red Riding Hood, Battle: Los Angeles, Jane Eyre]There is something for everyone this weekend. If you are somehow still in the mood for mass destruction, despite the tragedy that has befallen Japan, check out Battle: Los Angeles. More interested in classic love stories? Jane Eyre is Sin Nombre director Cary Fukunaga's smart retelling of Charlotte Bronte's gothic novel; Abbas Kiarostami's Certified Copy offers a complex investigation of originality, value and love ripe for post-screening debate. Red Riding Hood and Mars Needs Moms should keep younger audiences entertained for a few hours. Indies Black Death and Kill the Irishman provide ample violence and machismo. Film details, reviews and trailers are below.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • March 11, 2011 8:30 AM
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Red Riding Hood Reviews: "Snoozy Lulluby," "Hokum at Best," "Generic," "Moon-faced and Dumb"

Red Riding Hood Reviews: "Snoozy Lulluby," "Hokum at Best," "Generic," "Moon-faced and Dumb"
IndieWIRE's Caryn James says that Red Riding Hood makes Twilight look good. You've been warned. Below, a round-up of reviews on Catherine Hardwicke's reinterpretation of the classic fairy tale, which has been told in various forms since the 14th century. This latest retelling didn't get the Disney PG treatment, nor does it have a male-friendly gothic-horror edge. It sits somewhere in-between: the femme teen zone. Check back Saturday for TOH's SXSW interview with Hardwicke. In the meantime, see what the critics are saying:
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • March 10, 2011 7:12 AM
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  • 4 Comments

Weekend Box Office: Animation Rules as Rango Wins Opening Duel with Adjustment Bureau

As the studios chase branded entertainment, the one genre open to original thinking is animation. Who can blame Gore Verbinski, after three Pirate movies, for heading back to the old West with a John Logan homage to westerns, top-of-the-line Industrial Light and Magic animation, and Johnny Depp leading a cast of great character actors? After a slow winter lacking an Avatar or Alice in Wonderland to perk up attendance, audiences returned to multiplexes to check out Rango, the winter's second hit western (after True Grit) and a slew of other new entrants.
  • By Anthony D'Alessandro
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  • March 6, 2011 5:45 AM
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  • 0 Comments

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