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Thompson on Hollywood

How Does Hans Zimmer Do It? Hack or Genius? "I am still an architect"

Hans Zimmer: "I am still an architect. Authorship seems to be more difficult for other people. My head runs over with ideas. I can't sleep at night, I get home and get another idea, I go back to studio and do it. I am surrounded by brilliant musicians. It's a give and take, constantly. The original concept is mine."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 2, 2014 6:38 AM
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Crafts Roundup: The Year of Immersive Sound in Survival Films

In the year of survival, sound has taken on supreme importance as an authentic, driving narrative force, and with the advent of Dolby Atmos, the theatrical experience has never been more immersive. "Gravity," "All Is Lost," "Captain Phillips," "Oblivion," "Rush," and "12 Years a Slave" are among the standouts in space, at sea, in a post-apocalyptic wasteland, on the dangerous Formula 1 track, and in physical/spiritual imprisonment.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • December 5, 2013 2:16 PM
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Crafts Roundup: The Year of Cinematographers Capturing Turmoil On Screen

It's been a great year for cinematography, with such an emphasis on survival, turmoil and trying to find beauty or redemption within the suffering. The cinematographers of "Gravity," "12 Years a Slave," "Captain Phillips," "Nebraska," "Inside Llewyn Davis," "The Grandmaster," and "Rush" talk striking that cruel-beautiful visual balance, below.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • November 26, 2013 2:15 PM
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  • 3 Comments

'Cloudy 2' Clear Winner Over Spotty Weekend, 'Instructions Not Included' Highest Spanish Grosser Ever

Four new wide releases split up the grosses, with a decent performing (though not spectacular) "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2" (Sony) leading the way, grossing more than the other three new films combined--Universal's expansion of "Rush," Fox comedy "Baggage Claim" and Relativity's "Don Jon." With the second weekend of "Prisoners" (Warner Bros.) down just under 50%, the combined under-performance across the board took its toll.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • September 29, 2013 1:55 PM
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'Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2' Outpaces 'Don Jon' and 'Baggage Claim'; 'Prisoners' Plummets

Sony's "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2" dominated Friday's grosses, an easy #1 for opening day, grossing $9.3 million. This places it in between the $8.1 million first day of the initial "Meatballs" and the $11.0 million of "Hotel Transylvania" (also Sony) on the same Friday a year ago. With weekend matinees ahead and little competition for kids' audiences, this animated feature will likely gross more than the #2-4 films combined.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • September 28, 2013 1:54 PM
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Arthouse Audit: 'Enough Said' Scores Big for Searchlight, 'Rush' Decent for Universal

The race to open films shown at the Telluride and Toronto film festivals began with two significant platform releases. This sets the pattern from now until the end of the year. Leading the way was Fox Searchlight's "Enough Said," with a surprisingly stellar gross, driven by rave reviews and curiosity about the late James Gandolfini's second to last film. It outpaced the other new limited opening, Universal's action biopic "Rush," which with top-end urban moviegoer appeal grabbed a decent sampling to go with its strong festival reaction and decent reviews.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • September 22, 2013 11:50 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Box Office Top Ten: 'Prisoners' Outpaces 'Argo,' 'Enough Said' Beats 'Rush' in Limited Release

The fall studio rush to release adult-oriented fare has begun, to continue through Christmas. Fall festival hits "Prisoners" went wide and "Enough Said" and "Rush" platformed before their expansions next week. Warner Bros.' "Prisoners" performed in the range of past serious fare released on the same weekend. But the surprise of the weekend: Fox Searchlight's James Gandolfini/Julia-Louis Dreyfus comedy "Enough Said," which is a specialized release with possible crossover potential, grossed significantly better than Ron Howard's European-set car race film "Rush," positioned as wide break next week. It may be that "Enough Said" has more Oscar potential than the Ron Howard film.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • September 22, 2013 12:51 PM
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Festival Hits 'Prisoners,' 'Enough Said' and 'Rush' Post Strong Openings

Three film festival hits, "Prisoners" (Warner Bros.), "'Enough Said" (Fox Searchlight) and "Rush" (Universal) launched the parade of awards contenders at the fall box office. All three showed solid initial results. Wide release "Prisoners" easily took the #1 slot on Friday. Among the two limited platform openers Nicole Holofcener's romantic comedy "Enough Said," starring the James Gandolfini and Julia-Louis Dreyfuss, scored an upset by having a slightly better per screen average than Ron Howard's Formula One biofilm "Rush" in their New York/Los Angeles debuts.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • September 21, 2013 3:32 PM
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Immersed in Movies: Cinematographer Dod Mantle Talks Ron Howard's 'Rush' and 'In the Heart of the Sea' (VIDEO)

Anthony Dod Mantle is in the race for his second Oscar for "Rush," and explains how he processed and integrated archival footage with live-action cinematography for a '70s painterly look.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • September 20, 2013 2:41 PM
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  • 1 Comment

This Weekend: Oscar Season Hits Theaters with Holofcener's Must-See 'Enough Said,' Howard's 'Rush,' Villeneuve's 'Prisoners' and More

Oscar season rolls into theaters this weekend with three well-reviewed titles that could see some awards play: Ron Howard's "Rush," Denis Villeneuve's "Prisoners" and Nicole Holofcener's "Enough Said."
  • By Anne Thompson and Beth Hanna
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  • September 19, 2013 4:27 PM
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  • 2 Comments

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