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Thompson on Hollywood

FilmDistrict Will Launch with Toronto Hit Insidious on April 1; Early Reviews

FilmDistrict Will Launch with Toronto Hit Insidious on April 1; Early Reviews
New distributor FilmDistrict is launching its 2011 slate April 1 with horror-flick Insidious (trailer below), a seven-figure Toronto Fest Midnight Madness pick-up from Sony Worldwide Acquisitions Group that many expected to be a Sony genre label Screen Gems release. Sure, Sony is making nice to new distribution partner--and ex-Sony exec--Peter Schlessel. UPDATE: But, it turns out, SWAG doesn't acquire films for Clint Culpepper's Screen Gems; District 9 and 88 Minutes went through Sony's Tri-Star. SWAG knew in Toronto that FilmDistrict was eager to release Insidious.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 30, 2010 5:23 AM
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Beauty of Pixar Reel, Stamps

Beauty of Pixar Reel, Stamps
Leandro Copperfield cuts together some 500 scenes from Pixar movies--he sampled one a day for eleven days. The splendid result, The Beauty of Pixar, is below. I was taken aback when a critic I respect, LA Weekly's Karina Longworth, dissed Pixar recently on Twitter. When asked why she voted for Tron: Legacy over Toy Story 3 as best animated movie in the Village Voice/LA Weekly poll, she responded: "Tron is animated in the same sense that Mary Poppins is. And fuck Pixar, basically."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 29, 2010 8:41 AM
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  • 2 Comments

E Film Critics' Top Ten Quote Whores

E Film Critics' Top Ten Quote Whores
E Film Critic's Erik Childress continues to wage war against critics who he deems "whores." They consistently deliver the film quotes that the studios love to include in their ads. Finally, I don't know who most of these people are.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 23, 2010 1:44 AM
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The Social Network Tops Village Voice/LA Weekly Critics Poll

The Social Network Tops Village Voice/LA Weekly Critics Poll
Lo and behold, The Social Network tops yet another critics list--the Village Voice/LA Weekly Year-End Poll--by a good margin, followed by Carlos, Winter's Bone and The Ghost Writer. Olivier Assayas won best director for Carlos, followed by The Social Network's David Fincher, Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan) and Roman Polanski (The Ghost Writer). The Social Network's Aaron Sorkin won for best screenplay, followed by Maren Ade (Everyone Else), Robert Harris and Roman Polanski (The Ghost Writer) and Todd Solondz (Life During Wartime).
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 22, 2010 2:02 AM
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  • 0 Comments

The Social Network Leads IndieWIRE Critics, Gold Derby Polls

The Social Network Leads IndieWIRE Critics, Gold Derby Polls
Yet again, The Social Network is proving itself to be a consensus title among critics. It tops indieWIRE's critics poll. Many also loved Winter's Bone or Black Swan, but they all love The Social Network. It may not be number one on every critic's list, but it's in just about every top five. 71 of the 124 voters in the poll mentioned it on their list. The next most popular film among IW's polled critics was Olivier Assayas’ biopic mini-series Carlos--Assayas led the 2009 list with Summer Hours.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 20, 2010 8:41 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Cameron Mitchell and Lindsay-Abaire Talk Rabbit Hole

Cameron Mitchell and Lindsay-Abaire Talk Rabbit Hole
There are so many ways for a movie to go wrong, especially a grief-stricken family drama like Rabbit Hole. It could easily have become emotionally overwrought, too sincere or depressing, or been-there predictable.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 17, 2010 10:56 AM
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Weekly Wrap: Awards Season Heats Up, Mirren Speaks, The Breathtaking Tree of Life, Miramax Sequels

Weekly Wrap: Awards Season Heats Up, Mirren Speaks, The Breathtaking Tree of Life, Miramax Sequels
AWARDS
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • December 17, 2010 10:11 AM
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How Do You Know Early Reviews: "Disappointment," "Separation From Real Life," "Purged of Charisma"

How Do You Know Early Reviews: "Disappointment," "Separation From Real Life," "Purged of Charisma"
What went wrong with James L. Brooks' latest, How Do You Know? The 70-year-old writer-director has been painstakingly crafting one brilliant confection after another ever since his film debut in 1983 with Larry McMurtry's tragicomedy Terms of Endearment, starring the great Shirley MacLaine, Debra Winger and Jack Nicholson, which won five Oscars including best picture. Brooks went on to score audience and critical hits with 1987's Broadcast News (seven Oscar nominations) and 1997's As Good As It Gets (two more wins). But he did stumble with the one-time musical I'll Do Anything (he took out all the songs), and his last costly dud, Spanglish, starring Adam Sandler as a chef. And now How Do You Know is just about unwatchable. (Check out early reviews below; the movie opens Friday.)
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 15, 2010 9:51 AM
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  • 6 Comments

IndieWIRE Blog Network Launches James on ScreenS

Please welcome a new addition to the indieWIRE Blog Network. Ex-New York Times critic Caryn James launches her first blog, James on screenS, which is plural because she will be reviewing not only new films but smart TV as well. She starts off with a review of Ricky Gervais's HBO comedy special; here's her precis of what she has planned:I’ll be covering film, television, the web, whatever is most interesting on any screen. After all, that’s how we watch. I’ll have new pieces every day, usually more than once. Of course I’ll review, everything from popcorn movies to foreign films, cable series to smart network sitcoms. But I’ll also be a guide through the huge swamp of stuff we’re all surrounded by, offering tips about that overlooked film now arriving on DVD, the best show on TV tonight, what movies to catch this weekend at a theater or on VOD. I’ll include links to amusing videos, and comment on what’s happening in the film and television worlds (just in time for movie awards season). No bloggy cliches –I hardly care what I ate for lunch, why should you? But I sometimes meet and interview fascinating actors and directors, and you’ll find that here too.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 15, 2010 7:45 AM
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  • 1 Comment

2010 Best Performances: Stand-Outs, Ensemble, Symbiotic

Here are Sophia Savage's Ten Stand-Out Performances, Five Best Ensemble Performances, and Best Symbiotic Performance of 2010 (in aphabetical order).
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • December 15, 2010 7:26 AM
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  • 1 Comment

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