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Thompson on Hollywood

Elvis Mitchell Ankles Movieline: Why?

Elvis Mitchell is such a fascinating, complicated character that he deserves a mini-series. I am not kidding. I could have predicted--would have placed bets--that he wouldn't last as film critic at Movieline, that it was a bad match--mainly because Mitchell is not internet savvy. To succeed online, you have to be able to interact with your readers on Twitter and Facebook, market yourself, have an instinct for building traffic for your stories. Mention Twitter to Mitchell and his eyes go blank. Why did he go there as co-chief film critic with ex-Salon scribe Stephanie Zacharek? For the money. Well, the trouble with making a hefty salary is that when you do not deliver, you make a convenient line-item deletion. And Movieline is in cost-cutting mode of late: they pared back the masthead and cut off all freelancers a few weeks ago, including Alonso Duralde.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 24, 2011 7:13 AM
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  • 28 Comments

Video Review Shows Go Young: Ebert Presents and ComingSoon's FilmPulse

Video Review Shows Go Young: Ebert Presents and ComingSoon's FilmPulse
Michael Phillips and Tony Scott, where art thou? Cheers went up among cinephiles when At the Movies dumped the two Bens (callow Lyons and less callow Mankiewicz), but unfortunately the damage was done, and Phillips and Scott were perhaps too intelligently polite to survive in TV land.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 19, 2011 12:24 PM
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  • 10 Comments

Roger Ebert's TED Talk 2011: Finding His Voice Through The Internet

This March, Roger Ebert presented at the TED 2011 Conference. Check out his Talk below, in which he tells the courageous story of finding his voice through the internet after battling cancer.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 13, 2011 4:59 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Movieline Hires Elvis Mitchell and Online Vets Jen Yamato, Alonso Duralde

Movieline Hires Elvis Mitchell and Online Vets Jen Yamato, Alonso Duralde
While we still don't know why ex-NYT critic Elvis Mitchell fell out of the new public television show Ebert Presents At the Movies (A.P.'s Christy Lemire and newcomer Ignatiy Vishnevetsky of Mubi.com are doing the honors), the NPR and KCRW radio personality has landed another staff gig at Movieline. The growing Jay Penske film site has also added popular online critics Jen Yamato (ex of Rotten Tomatoes) as West Coast Editor and Alonso Duralde (MSNBC.com) as DVD Editor.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 12, 2011 7:36 AM
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  • 0 Comments

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
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  • December 15, 2010 4:50 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Weekend Box Office: Animated "Megamind" Outsmarts R-rated Comedy "Due Date"

Marking a possible record-setting weekend at the box office, animated comedy Megamind lead a robust pack including raunchy comedy Due Date and yet another Tyler Perry hit, For Colored Girls, reports Anthony D'Alessandro. Among indie openers, Danny Boyle's 127 Hours soared in its limited debut.
  • By Anthony D'Alessandro
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  • November 7, 2010 5:07 AM
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  • 1 Comment

The Horror, The Horror: Seven Rules for Success at the Box Office

With Halloween upon us, TOH box office analyst Anthony D'Alessandro looks at what's working--and what isn't--among horror genre titles. He finds seven often counter-intuitive rules to follow for horror success.The Paranormal Activity franchise stands as a pillar of success for horror films over the last year, reviving the genre after a recent spate of bombs (i.e. Devil, Case 39, My Soul to Take, Let Me In). What makes a horror title live or die at the B.O.? Here's a primer for horror success: 1. Realism rules: “When you touch death or visceral things like the other world, it makes people feel more alive," says Scream exec producer Harvey Weinstein. "That’s the allure of something like horror.”  Paranormal Activity producer Oren Peli is agreeing all the way to the bank: “What made Paranormal a success is that it feels small and intimate and it was important to stay true to this with the sequel,” he says. “While there are different types of horror films out there, i.e. gore, slasher, the slow psychological build of Paranormal scares people in a different way than being slashed apart.”  
  • By Anthony D'Alessandro
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  • October 29, 2010 7:22 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Bonnie and Clyde Director Arthur Penn Dies at 88

Theatre and film director Arthur Penn died in his Manhattan apartment Tuesday night of congestive heart failure, reports A.P. Penn died a year after his brother, photographer Irving Penn.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 29, 2010 9:00 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Ebert Relaunches At the Movies on PBS with Lemire, Mitchell

Ebert Relaunches At the Movies on PBS with Lemire, Mitchell
Roger Ebert announced his relaunch of At the Movies, a month after the demise of his former show on Disney/ABC, in his blog, naturally, and on Twitter. Critics Christy Lemire (AP) and Elvis Mitchell (KCRW-FM), who were guest hosts on At the Movies with Richard Roeper after Ebert fell ill from cancer, will be the show's principal co-hosts. Bloggers Kim Morgan and Omar Moore will also contribute to the program, writes Ebert on his site:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 10, 2010 5:57 AM
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  • 10 Comments

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

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