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Thompson on Hollywood

Which Stars Need a Comeback?

Everybody loves a comeback. Ben Affleck redeemed himself from "Jersey Girl" and Gigli" with "The Town" and "Argo," while President Obama gave Democrats hope by deciding to show up for his second debate against Mitt Romney after a frustratingly muted first round. So with the fall movie season upon us, HitFix names ten likely comebacks of the fall season, among them Robert De Niro, Jamie Foxx, Barbra Streisand, Helen Hunt and Robert Zemeckis. We also name a few of our own stars needing a comeback below.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • October 18, 2012 4:25 PM
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  • 3 Comments

Trailer Watch: Anne Hathaway Sings Us Through the First Trailer of Tom Hooper's "Les Miserables"

The first trailer for Tom Hooper's "Les Miserables" adaptation premiered Wednesday morning, giving us a first look and listen to a slew of movie stars in the 19th-century period musical. Although it's just Anne Hathaway singing in this first trailer, we see glimpses of Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Amanda Seyfried, and Eddie Redmayne.
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • May 30, 2012 11:43 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Now and Then: On Film, America's Culture of Violence

The most terrifying 80 minutes I've spent in my career as a film critic were those spent watching "Elephant," in which even the rhythmic click-click-click of photographic negatives being shaken in chemicals brought me the edge of what I can bear.
  • By Matt Brennan
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  • May 1, 2012 6:14 AM
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  • 0 Comments

CASTING WATCH: Hooper's Les Miserables Adds Redmayne to All Star Cast of Jackman, Crowe, Hathaway

Tom Hooper's The King's Speech follow-up, the screen adaptation of the global hit musical Les Miserables, just added Eddie Redmayne (My Week With Marilyn, The Good Shepherd) to its all-star cast. As Marius, Redmayne will join Hugh Jackman (Jean Valjean), Russell Crowe (Inspector Javert) and Anna Hathaway (Fantine).
  • By Anne Thompson and Sophia Savage
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  • November 1, 2011 8:13 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Film in the Decade Since 9/11: From Superheroes to Westerns, What Came After

Film in the Decade Since 9/11: From Superheroes to Westerns, What Came After
This week's “Now and Then” column started out comparing and contrasting two movies about assassins — Hanna (Joe Wright, 2011) and Léon: the Professional (Luc Besson, 1994)—and ended up ruminating on 9/11. Trailers below:Life and culture are too messy to be divided into easy categories like “Before” and “After,” but for all the continuities in the way films are made and viewed, a long view of the last decade reveals some important, if subtle, shifts. Watching the network news coverage of September 11 to prepare for this column, I was reminded of how much we didn’t know that day, how much our fear stemmed from no longer being able to control the course of events.
  • By Matt Brennan
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  • September 12, 2011 11:36 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Portman & Butler Win Elizabeth Taylor/Richard Burton Poll for Scorsese's Furious Love

Portman & Butler Win Elizabeth Taylor/Richard Burton Poll for Scorsese's Furious Love
It will be no easy task to cast legends Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. Last week we invited you to play dreamcast with us, voting for the actors to play Taylor and Burton in Martin Scorsese's adaptation of their tempestuous love affair and chronicled in Furious Love. The results are in, and despite being completely out of the running until June 24, Natalie Portman surged to the top to join Gerard Butler. We initially paired the two together, stating: "If anyone can raise Portman’s temperature, it would be Butler. He’d have to step up and bring some depth to the rugged masculinity he so easily depicts. Portman probably has this in her, but it won’t come naturally." Second and third place winners, our picks and the complete poll results are below:
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • June 27, 2011 5:37 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Brando vs. Crowe as Superman Franchise's Jor-El

Brando vs. Crowe as Superman Franchise's Jor-El
I find disturbing the idea of Russell Crowe playing the role originated by Marlon Brando at age 54 in 1978's Superman. Crowe, 47, is in talks to play opposite Superman Henry Cavill as his beloved father Jor-El in Man of Steel, reports Variety. Of course this will give Crowe a handsome payday. Maybe it's the similarities between the troubled Brando and Crowe that worry me. Both are fine actors with inflated egos and a weight problem who have walked dangerously close to identifying with their leading roles. Keeping track of who you are as a human being and who you are as a movie star is half the battle in maintaining career longevity.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 15, 2011 9:18 AM
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  • 4 Comments

Year-End Box Office Wrap 2010: Winners and Losers Chart, Warners Leads Domestic Market Share

Year-End Box Office Wrap 2010: Winners and Losers Chart, Warners Leads Domestic Market Share
It was feast or famine at the 2010 domestic box office. The studios spent too much on too many uber-flops, but thanks to holdover Avatar and premium 3-D ticket prices, they enjoyed their second-best year at the domestic box office with $10.46 billion, off less than 2% from 2009’s all-time haul of $10.6 billion. The theatrical buoyancy of 3-D inflated the average stub from $7.46 in 2009 to $7.85 in the third quarter (per the National Association of Theater Owners). But the real trend is worrisome: higher ticket prices plus static turnstiles equals fewer butts in seats. Admissions fell 6% from 1.42 billion in 2009 to 1.33 billion last year. 
  • By Anne Thompson and Anthony D'Alessandro
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  • January 7, 2011 9:10 AM
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  • 3 Comments

Haggis and Crowe's The Next Three Days Yields Mixed Early Reviews

Haggis and Crowe's The Next Three Days Yields Mixed Early Reviews
The remake of French thriller Pour Elle, The Next Three Days, Paul Haggis's third feature as a director, screened last night at the Directors Guild of America. A round-up of early reviews and the trailer are after the jump.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • November 17, 2010 8:36 AM
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  • 4 Comments

Scott Pilgrim vs. Universal and the Matrix

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World's bottom line comes down to the same problem that has faced a long line of Universal projects. It was an indie movie that cost too much to be successful inside the studio paradigm and should have been produced and released on a smaller less ambitious scale at the studio's specialty division Focus Features, which could have nurtured it and sent it into the world on a more limited basis and built on the film's strong word-of-mouth from its narrow base. To them a $12 million gross would have been fine. To Universal, it's less than the film's marketing budget. (A funny mash-up of Scott Pilgrim vs. The Matrix is below.)
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 23, 2010 11:37 AM
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  • 8 Comments

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