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Thompson on Hollywood

Venice Opens with Aronofsky's Black Swan: Too Intense?

Venice Opens with Aronofsky's Black Swan: Too Intense?
The opening night selection of the sexy R-rated violent thriller Black Swan was something of a gamble for Fox Searchlight and the Venice Fest, which landed loyal fan Darren Aronofsky--after rousing Venice receptions for both The Fountain and The Wrestler, which won the Golden Lion. He talked Searchlight into accepting the opening night invite--and now has to work Telluride and Toronto as well.Why the risk? Well, Searchlight covered their bets by making sure some stateside critics timed their early reviews--which were largely positive--with Venice.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 2, 2010 9:18 AM
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  • 5 Comments

Venice Day One: Black Swan Early Reviews, Machete

As a Venice newbie, I got off the speed train from Rome, exited the station to a canal and grabbed a 40-minute ferry to the island the Lido. It's an adjustment. Basically a subway is a ferry here, a taxi is a motor boat or gondola, and houses have water in their basements with a garage for their boat (below). Trucks are boats too; Venice is under constant construction, like New Orleans. The Lido is a lovely resort (a bit like Fire Island or Catalina); I figured out that I needed to rent a bike to get around (I get a silly kick out of passing slow riders on the left). The casino location of the film festival (this is the 67th) is a maze of corridors, high-ceilinged halls, wide stairways and long lines for multiple screenings.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 1, 2010 1:25 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Critic vs. Critic: The Changing Landscape of Movie Coverage

Critic vs. Critic: The Changing Landscape of Movie Coverage
Moviefone's Jack Mathews and I are squabbling again, this time in a new column we're calling Critic vs. Critic, in which we debate the latest trends and topics in movies. This week, Mathews and I take on the changing face of movie coverage, now dominated by the Internet.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 31, 2010 1:40 AM
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  • 11 Comments

A Social Network Starts Too-Early Oscar Buzz

David Fincher, Scott Rudin and the Sony marketing team are all smiles over a very early rave review from Film Comment of The Social Network, followed by a tweet from Rolling Stone critic Peter Travers (proffering an ad quote after A Social Network lost its Hot Issue cover to Barack Obama): "David Fincher’s Social Network is the 1st film I've given **** in 2010. It’s the movie of the year that also brilliantly defines the decade." The NYT weighs in with a fact vs. fiction debate.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 20, 2010 12:18 PM
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  • 3 Comments

The Illusionist: Trailer and Early Reviews

The Illusionist: Trailer and Early Reviews
2-D lives! The Illusionist, the latest animated feature from the French animator behind The Triplets of Belleville, Sylvain Chomet, didn't make it to Cannes after it scored big in Berlin in February. Sony Pictures Classics scooped up the film, which is based on an unproduced screenplay by the late great writer-director-star Jacques Tati about a "dying breed of entertainer." Chomet drew a tall, gangly, elegant character much like Tati's 50s persona in such films as Les Vacances de Mr. Hulot.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 13, 2010 4:36 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World Reviews Are Middling; Wright Talks

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World Reviews Are Middling; Wright Talks
Most of the time, when I look at a movie--whether or not I'm inside the target demo-- I know what I'm looking at, I can understand its language, which tends to be fairly universal. Rarely have I felt more in a world that I do not comprehend, than at Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. But I knew when watching it that I was in the hands of a authoritative filmmaker who knew exactly what he was trying to achieve.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 11, 2010 10:58 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Eat Pray Love Early Review: A Shallow Guilty Pleasure

Eat Pray Love Early Review: A Shallow Guilty Pleasure
Ryan Murphy's film adaptation of Eat Pray Love, Elizabeth Gilbert’s bestseller about the divorced New Yorker's lone odyssey to Italy, India and Bali in search of meaning in her life, delivers an escapist Julia Roberts romance and exotic travelogue. But its pleasures are guilty and skin-deep.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 11, 2010 7:23 AM
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  • 9 Comments

Early Reviews: The Expendables

Early Reviews: The Expendables
The two trades are split on the new action flick The Expendables, which I have been avoiding like the plague--clearly I am not in the target male demo. Interestingly, THR's Sheri Linden finds the testosterone fest worthwhile, while Variety's Peter Debruge does not. UPDATE: Time Out London does not mince words:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 4, 2010 7:57 AM
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  • 4 Comments

AMC’s Rubicon: Pattern Recognition, Left-Wing 24?

AMC’s Rubicon: Pattern Recognition, Left-Wing 24?
The cable series Rubicon debuts Sunday night. Reviewer David Chute recommends it: "After the two excellent back-to-back episodes that comprise its Sunday night 'premiere event,' Rubicon promises to be a worthy stable-mate for the channel’s Emmy-dominating Mad Men and Breaking Bad."
  • By David Chute
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  • July 31, 2010 12:00 PM
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  • 6 Comments
More: Reviews, TV

Charlie St. Cloud: Early Film Reviews

Charlie St. Cloud: Early Film Reviews
Charlie St. Cloud opens Friday; early reviews are ice cold on Zac Efron's return to pretty-boy form. The PG-13 weepy is "Lovely Bones Lite," reviewers write, a too-sentimental fantasy.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 29, 2010 8:12 AM
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  • 3 Comments

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