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Thompson on Hollywood

Variety Cuts Its Life's Blood: Critics McCarthy and Rooney

Variety Cuts Its Life's Blood: Critics McCarthy and Rooney
At Saturday's HBO Oscar party, I enjoyed dishing about the upcoming Cannes line-up with Todd McCarthy, Variety's film critic for three decades, who is the paper's biggest star and the main reason readers all over the world read the august trade. His reviews post first, and are the best-read thing in Variety, bar none. The day after the Oscars, publisher Neil Stiles confirmed that as a cost-cutting measure, film critics Todd McCarthy and Derek Elley and theater critic David Rooney are out, set loose as possible freelance contributors. (No talks on such deals have yet taken place.)
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 8, 2010 9:17 AM
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  • 12 Comments

Alice in Wonderland: Early Reviews

Alice in Wonderland: Early Reviews
Post-London premiere, the early review floodgates have opened on Tim Burton and Linda Woolverton's reimagining of Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland in 3-D, which is poised to be a box office monster when it opens wide on March 5. (I will report back after I see the movie next Tuesday.)
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 25, 2010 10:38 AM
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  • 5 Comments

Berlinale 60 Day Ten: Bibliotheque Pascal, Awards Ceremony, The Lights of Asakusa

As she wraps up the 60th Berlinale, Meredith Brody sits down to three squares in one day and remembers her mantra: "We must really love movies."
  • By Meredith Brody
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  • February 24, 2010 11:16 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Dennis Lehane Talks Shutter Island

Dennis Lehane Talks Shutter Island
The thing to remember about Shutter Island is that it's closely based on the novel by Dennis Lehane. James Cameron collaborator Laeta Kalogridis wrote the adaptation that lured Leonardo DiCaprio and Martin Scorsese. Read the book and you will see how closely she hewed to the original. Whatever the movie's strengths or weaknesses--and it has both--they come from the book. I'd argue that as cinematic as this paranoid thriller is, it works better as a book than a movie. That's because Scorsese faced the challenge of making this high-wire reality vs. fiction puzzle into a plausible, believable narrative that didn't throw the audience for a complete loop. Some buy it, some don't.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 24, 2010 1:34 AM
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  • 4 Comments

Berlinale 60 Day Nine: En Familie, The Killer Inside Me, Rock Hudson, Making the Boys

Berlinale 60 Day Nine: En Familie, The Killer Inside Me, Rock Hudson, Making the Boys
Our Berlin correspondent Meredith Brody experiences highs and lows as the festival winds down, from the skillfully-made documentary Making the Boys to the huge yet hugely disappointing Nine:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 23, 2010 8:13 AM
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  • 4 Comments

Review: Oscar Animated and Live-Action Shorts

Review: Oscar Animated and Live-Action Shorts
Seattle critic Tim Appelo reviews the Oscar Nominated Short Films 2010; Shorts International and Magnolia Pictures will release the five animated and five live-action shorts in selected theaters Friday and more on March 5. (I'll lay out my Oscar-short picks later on.)
  • By Tim Appelo
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  • February 19, 2010 3:01 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Berlinale 60 Day Six: Welcome to the Rileys, Besouro, Bal, Please Give

Berlinale 60 Day Six: Welcome to the Rileys, Besouro, Bal, Please Give
Our Berlin correspondent Meredith Brody finds she has to pick and choose: and live with the results.
  • By Meredith Brody
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  • February 18, 2010 8:18 AM
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  • 1 Comment

What the Flick?! Online Video Talk Show Goes Live February 19

What the Flick?! Online Video Talk Show Goes Live February 19
I was as unhappy as anyone with the last iteration of At the Movies--the disastrous match-up of celeb-hugger Ben Lyons and Hollywood scion Ben Mankiewicz. But the latter, at least, had some potential as a professional cinephile, if not a serious film critic (I am blissfully happy with the current hosts, evenly-matched alpha males Michael Phillips and Tony Scott).
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 18, 2010 12:22 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Esquire Profiles Roger Ebert

Esquire Profiles Roger Ebert
Post-cancer surgery, jawless Chicago film critic Roger Ebert has found his voice: on-line. He's movingly profiled by Chris Jones in Esquire. The irony is that even though Ebert's not on Disney/ABC's At the Movies anymore, he is still the most powerful critic in America. Yes, his reviews are published in old-media newspaper The Chicago Sun-Times and syndicated around the country, but Ebert also tirelessly blogs and tweets. He's the new model film critic, and all others should take notice.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 17, 2010 9:13 AM
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  • 3 Comments

Berlinale 60 Day Five: Greenberg, Le Cinema en Partage, Exit Through the Gift Shop, Michel Ciment

Weary foreign correspondent Meredith Brody only saw three films and a museum exhibit in far-flung locations for her fifth Berlinale report. Simply shocking.
  • By Meredith Brody
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  • February 17, 2010 8:18 AM
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  • 0 Comments

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