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Thompson on Hollywood

The Eagle Early Reviews: Tatum and Bell Are "Junior League Versions of Snyder's 300 Macho-Erotica"

Scottish filmmaker Kevin Macdonald is as gifted a documentarian as he is a feature filmmaker--he just premiered the brilliant YouTube/Ridley Scott doc Life in a Day at Sundance, and has been given the helm on the first authorized Bob Marley documentary. Macdonald also directed the great Touching the Void and The Last King of Scotland, for which Forrest Whitaker won the Oscar. State of Play is his weakest effort to date.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 9, 2011 9:28 AM
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Weekly Wrap: Sundance, SXSW, SBIFF, Oscar Watch, Kings Speech vs. Social Network, In Production

FESTIVALS
  • By Anne Thompson & Sophia Savage
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  • February 5, 2011 11:18 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Sundance Trailer: Tom McCarthy's Win Win Earns Rave Reviews

Actor-turned-writer-director Tom McCarthy showed his gift for character with The Station Agent (2003) and The Visitor (2007). Check out the trailer and rave reviews below for Win Win, which he co-wrote with Joe Tiboni. Fox Searchlight took the film, starring Paul Giamatti and Amy Ryan, to Sundance in advance of hitting theaters March 18. (Here's our Giamatti interview.)
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • February 3, 2011 9:15 AM
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Sanctum: "Visually Arresting," "Paper-Thin Personalities"; Cameron Promos on Twitter

Sanctum opens February 4. James Cameron produced (along with a handful of others), and Aussie director Alistair Grierson helmed the 3-D project. Cameron joined Twitter on January 28 per Ryan Seacrest's suggestion. The filmmaker has already amassed 48,200 followers (he's following 38, mostly scientific orgs). Since joining, Cameron's focus has been mostly #Sanctum promos (see tweets below), for which he calls himself "such a ho":
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • February 2, 2011 7:50 AM
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Sundance Video: Alex Gibney Talks Ken Kesey and Neal Cassady on Magic Trip

With Magic Trip, Oscar-winning documentarian Alex Gibney (Taxi to the Dark Side) and his longtime editor Alison Ellwood have cut together a rich piece of 60s history using archive video and audio of the iconic literary figures on the famous cross-country Magic Bus trip recounted by Tom Wolfe in The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test. Gibney talks (our video interview is below) about how Ken Kesey created the original footage that he uses in Magic Trip. "It's archival cinema verite," Gibney says. "I wanted more of an immersion experience... it's like the origin story of the 60s."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 1, 2011 7:20 AM
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Sundance Video: Miranda July Talks Roadside Acquisition The Future

Sundance Video: Miranda July Talks Roadside Acquisition The Future
The best film that I saw at Sundance was triple threat Miranda July's The Future, an accessibly entertaining wild ride of a sci-fi relationship movie, in which she casts herself as the bad guy and you know that she is likely to leave her lunky boyfriend, played by Hamish Linklater--one of the talent discoveries of the festival (who is not, thankfully, an it-girl). A New Yorker writer, video artist and performer, July's voice comes through loud and clear. After winning kudos for 2005 Sundance entry Me You and Everyone We Know (which first broke out John Hawkes, this year's Winter's Bone Oscar-nominee), she went on to complete a book of short stories and a performance piece which she then used as the starting point for The Future. Breaking up with boyfriend Miguel Arteta also contributed to this narrative.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 28, 2011 7:06 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Sundance Watch: Margin Call Ignites Buyer Interest

Sundance Watch: Margin Call Ignites Buyer Interest
So they're off! On a bright sunny Friday morning, the usual gang of buyers assembled at Park City' Utah's Holiday Cinema III for one of the more promising commercial titles, Margin Call, featuring an attractive ensemble of wily character actors led by Kevin Spacey, Paul Bettany and Zachary Quinto--with ace support from Demi Moore, Simon Baker and Jeremy Irons. Buyers Harvey Weinstein, Focus's James Schamus, Sony Pictures Classics' Tom Bernard, Fox Searchlight's Tony Safford, IFC's Jonathan Seyring, and others packed the press and industry screening. UPDATE: Three companies are bidding on the film so far.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 22, 2011 2:29 AM
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  • 3 Comments

No Strings Attached Reviews: "Shockingly Good," "Zero Charisma," "Reversal of Gender Roles"

No Strings Attached Reviews: "Shockingly Good," "Zero Charisma," "Reversal of Gender Roles"
Who can blame moviegoers for being wary of any studio romantic comedy? While Fox Searchlight successfully subverted the genre with 500 Days of Summer and Disney's The Proposal proved that it is still possible to deliver the goods with smart filmmakers and stars, they are the exception that prove the rule: rom-coms usually suck.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 19, 2011 5:50 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Weekly Wrap: Awards Weekend; Guild Nominations, Bond 23 Proceeds; Mara's Salander

AWARDS:
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • January 14, 2011 7:00 AM
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Ron Howard Goes Lowbrow with The Dilemma; Early Reviews

What was Ron Howard thinking? Did this popular A-list Oscar-winning director really want to make a lowbrow comedy that could be summed up in the following tweet from @giteshpandya:9:24pm via WebDilemma: Low on laughs but should sell to fans of formulaic buddy & relationship comedies. Could use some trimming. #mtrv
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 13, 2011 4:02 AM
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  • 0 Comments

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