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Thompson on Hollywood

The Change-Up Premieres in Westwood: Bateman, Reynolds, Bullock; Early Reviews

The studios get freaked when a movie destined to be commercially mainstream plays better for adults. That's because it's in their interest to play better to dumb young males than to, say, smart older females who can't be counted on to show up on an opening weekend. That's why so many awful movies get made that leave me out of their target demo. This was one topic at Monday night's Universal premiere of The Change-Up (August 5, trailer below), which was better than I was expecting. Universal is nervous because the movie is tracking older and female. (Early reviews are trending rotten; here's Metacritic.)
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 2, 2011 10:57 AM
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ITVS Free Doc Festival in Celebration of 20 Years of Independence

The Independent Television Service (ITVS) will honor documentarians for their outstanding contributions by granting anyone on the Internet access to these films. In celebration of their 20 years of funding for independent filmmakers, ITVS will stream 20 of its award-winning documentaries online for free. The festival starts Monday July 25 and continues until Friday September 23; find a complete listing of films here and watch ITVS’s trailer for its festival below.
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • July 25, 2011 7:49 AM
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EW Cover Sells When Bond Met Indy, Not Cowboys & Aliens

"When Bond Met Indy" is a headline to woo any fan of movies, Hollywood icons, or handsome men. That's what EW's cover story sells with a joint profile of Harrison Ford and Daniel Craig.
  • By Anne Thompson and Maggie Lange
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  • July 21, 2011 7:20 AM
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Winding Down Harry Potter's Visual Effects

Winding Down Harry Potter's Visual Effects
One of the mysteries of the Harry Potter series is how much Hollywood--and the Academy--have underappreciated the high-level craftsmanship on display throughout. Immersed in Movies' Bill Desowitz looks at the impact the end of the series will have on its visual effects artists.There's more at stake than the most successful film franchise in history coming to a halt with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2. There's also a cottage visual effects industry in London that now has to get weaned off the wizard of Hogwarts.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • July 18, 2011 2:07 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Academy Silents Series Draws Crowds

What works in theater programming is creating events, whether it's talent Q & As (Errol Morris and Tabloid subject Joyce McKinney have been drawing crowds) or rarely-screened classics at LACMA, which drew good numbers for its French films The Earrings of Madame De last weekend followed by Saturday's double feature of Robert Bresson's Pickpocket and Jacques Demy's Bay of Angels starring a dazzling Jeanne Moreau as a bad girl gambling her way around the French Riviera. Even dusty silents can be a a draw, reports Cari Beauchamp:"The Summer of Silents," currently mid-way through its eight weeks series at the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, has been an incredible success. The public programs at the Academy are always impeccably curated, but screening the Photoplay Best Film award-winners from 1920 to 1928 was risky during a summer of 3-D Transformers and the last Harry Potter. Yet every Monday, around 1,000 people have filled the Goldwyn auditorium on Wilshire to be entranced by classics accompanied by music, usually live and always elevating. (A trove of music for silents was recently unearthed.)
  • By Cari Beauchamp
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  • July 17, 2011 8:44 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Master of Horror John Carpenter Answers Your Tweets

Yesterday Barack Obama, now John Carpenter (the director whose iconic horror films have likely scared you witless) will answer your questions live on Twitter, Friday from 2:00 to 3:30 PST.
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • July 8, 2011 7:07 AM
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Micro-Indie Myth of the American Sleepover Intros New Director, Actress

At last year's Cannes, I was completely engaged by rookie David Robert Mitchell’s micro-budget indie The Myth of the American Sleepover (Critics’ Week), which is a deceptively simple reworking of the American Graffiti trope: a bunch of high school kids at summer’s end seek connection.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 5, 2011 5:30 AM
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Shocker: Cars 2 Early Reviews Trend Rotten as Pixar's Magic Carpet Ride Touches Down

Shocker: Cars 2 Early Reviews Trend Rotten as Pixar's Magic Carpet Ride Touches Down
Well folks, the worm has turned. Disney Animation and Pixar chief John Lasseter--he who can do no wrong--has finally turned out a Pixar movie (a sequel) that is earning mixed reviews. No! Say it ain't so! Pixar's magic carpet ride has finally come to earth with a thudding 44% Rotten on the Tomatometer thus far. More reviews will change the tallies; Metacritic's rating of its top-grade reviewers is now a respectable 60--still the lowest ever for a Pixar movie.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 23, 2011 4:59 AM
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  • 10 Comments

Hero Complex Fest: Captain America, Favreau, Downey, Iron Man, Cowboys & Aliens, Avengers, Comic-Con

Hero Complex Fest: Captain America, Favreau, Downey, Iron Man, Cowboys & Aliens, Avengers, Comic-Con
Geoff Boucher has a good gig. His Hero Complex print/blog combo gets first crack--along with EW and MTV Movies--at the best access to the top genre movies, including set visits and early interviews. The guy's a strong reporter--he's been at the LAT for some 20 years--and his enthusiasm for the Comic-Con universe is genuine. The LAT has been promoing his second annual Hero Complex Film Festival, which took place last weekend.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 13, 2011 11:01 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Summer's Nine Worst Movie Trailers: Green Lantern, Three Musketeers, Change-Up, Mr. Popper

Summer's Nine Worst Movie Trailers: Green Lantern, Three Musketeers, Change-Up, Mr. Popper
The trailers that played in front of X-Men: First Class -- a disappointment in itself after so many strong early reviews -- were about as inspiring as January Jones' line delivery. We were, however, inspired to compile this list of trailers that have turned their films into musts-to-avoid. We can't decide which looks worse, Green Lantern (June 17) or The Three Musketeers (October 14) (you can vote in our poll below). The former is a reportedly $300 million movie that should guarantee Ryan Reynolds is never taken seriously again, with co-star/man-candy Blake Lively's over-exposure far more entertaining than the sub-par CGI aliens. As for Musketeers, the new trailer now playing at a theater new you (the old one is below) plays like soft-core porn for 15-year old girls.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • June 13, 2011 9:00 AM
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  • 16 Comments

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