Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...

Blogroll

Thompson on Hollywood

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
  • |
  • December 15, 2010 9:51 AM
  • |
  • 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
  • |
  • December 15, 2010 7:45 AM
  • |
  • 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
  • |
  • December 15, 2010 7:26 AM
  • |
  • 1 Comment

Roger Ebert Launches New "At the Movies" on PBS January 21--Without Elvis Mitchell

Roger Ebert Launches New "At the Movies" on PBS January 21--Without Elvis Mitchell
Elvis Mitchell strikes again. The elusive film critic/interviewer has a long history of committing to jobs (and magazine deadlines, and dinner dates) without necessarily coming through. And he was supposed to cohost the new PBS Roger Ebert Presents At the Movies weekly TV series with AP critic Christy Lemire. But the dreadlocked ex-NYTimes critic and host of KCRW-FM's The Treatment has been dropped, though not for lack of chemistry, tweets Ebert, setting the record straight: "Elvis and Christy had great chemistry, as anyone could see who bothered to watch the pilot we posted." (Pilot and Ebert's own blog announcement are on the jump.)
  • By Anne Thompson
  • |
  • December 15, 2010 4:50 AM
  • |
  • 1 Comment

2010 Ten Best List

2010 Ten Best List
I've been feverishly catching up on screeners, knowing that I had to declare my ten best list on Friday's Oscar Talk. I filed my votes at the Village Voice and indieWIRE critics polls. And I filed my nominations for the Broadcast Film Critics Association, which announced Monday. It turns out that my number ten choice, Fish Tank, had a qualifying run in 2009. So I replaced it with The Ghost Writer. So here goes:
  • By Anne Thompson
  • |
  • December 13, 2010 11:33 AM
  • |
  • 7 Comments

Critics Choice Awards Nominations; Black Swan Leads With 12; Women Directors Snubbed

The largest film critic group (of which I am a member), the Broadcast Film Critics Association, provides a handy window into where the award season is heading. (The New York Film Critics vote Monday.) The full list of nominations, led by Black Swan (12), The King's Speech (11), True Grit (11), Inception (10) and The Social Network (9) is below. The awards will air live at 9 PM ET/PT on January 14.
  • By Anne Thompson
  • |
  • December 13, 2010 6:20 AM
  • |
  • 0 Comments

AFI Movies of the Year: The Town, Toy Story 3, 127 Hours, True Grit Make the Cut

AFI Movies of the Year: The Town, Toy Story 3, 127 Hours, True Grit Make the Cut
The American Film Institute voted their ten best AFI Movies and TV Programs of the Year Awards Sunday, proclaimed as the "only recognition that honors the community’s creative ensembles as a whole, acknowledging the collaborative nature of the art form." The AFI honors American films and series. Thus they chose British The King's Speech and Waiting for Superman as "Special Award" winners, having not met the AFI's standard criteria (posted below). Their Movies and TV Programs of the year, as chosen by film and television scholars, artists and critics, are as follows:
  • By Sophia Savage
  • |
  • December 13, 2010 4:47 AM
  • |
  • 1 Comment

Weekly Wrap: Interviews with Arndt, Bardem, Giamatti, Hammer, Renner, Steen, Sturgess

INTERVIEWS- Michael Arndt Digs Into Toy Story 3 and the Genius of the Pixar System.
  • By Sophia Savage
  • |
  • December 10, 2010 9:23 AM
  • |
  • 0 Comments

Oscar Talk: 2010 Ten Best Lists, from "Another Year" to "Winter's Bone"

Oscar Talk: 2010 Ten Best Lists, from "Another Year" to "Winter's Bone"
On Oscar Talk this week, as promised, Kris Tapley and I count down, defend and debate our rather diverse and distinctive top ten films of 2010. While we both include The Social Network and Toy Story 3, we agree to disagree on one of my faves, Lisa Cholodenko's The Kids Are All Right and Martin Scorsese's Shutter Island, which Kris admires. Notable omissions from both lists: 127 Hours, Rabbit Hole, Blue Valentine, Get Low, The Town, Inception, The Fighter and The Ghost Writer.
  • By Anne Thompson
  • |
  • December 10, 2010 8:14 AM
  • |
  • 3 Comments

The Tourist Reviews: "Retro," "Ludicrous Fairy Tale," Jolie "Sexy As Hell"

The Tourist is one of the oddest star vehicles to come out of the Hollywood dream factory in some time. It's determinedly retro, and as directed by The Lives of Others' Florian Henckel Von Donnersmarck--in a bid for big-studio acceptance--it's sincere in a way that few American directors would have managed. It's not hip at all. Von Donnersmarck is trying to make an old Hollywood fantasy surrounding two gorgeous movie stars. I can't imagine any men going to see this movie, which mainly offers romantic escape. The reviews are execrable: The Tomatometer is 17% rotten.
  • By Anne Thompson
  • |
  • December 10, 2010 7:18 AM
  • |
  • 0 Comments

Email Updates