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Thompson on Hollywood

Dark Knight Ripple Effect: Dark Summer Movies

It's not like the Terminator franchise was ever light, exactly. But in the post-Dark Knight era, summer action movies--even Star Trek--are trending dark and edgy, and Terminator Salvation, Angels & Demons, and Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen certainly fit the bill. Word on Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is that's darker than any of its predecessors.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 7, 2009 5:43 AM
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Angels & Demons: Guilty Pleasure

Most studio movies aim at your pleasure center; they're not trying to challenge your brain. But Ron Howard, like Steven Spielberg, is that rare studio hybrid--the quality/commercial filmmaker who likes to turn out both mass-audience blockbusters and Oscar contenders.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 5, 2009 6:03 AM
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Fox Fires Friedman for Reviewing Pirated Wolverine

What was Fox News 411 columnist Roger Friedman thinking? It's hard to fathom what was going on in his mind when he downloaded the pirated early edit of Fox's Wolverine and reviewed it. He was out of line on several fronts, along with being just plain self-destructive. Yes, he was showing how easy it was to view a bootleg movie online. But you don't go ahead and review an early version of a movie that is a big-budget summer tentpole--from his employer. Well, not surprisingly, Fox has let the freelancer go, reports Nikki Finke. UPDATE: Over the weekend, Friedman told Variety he was still employed, but the separation was official after a Monday confab. The studio has been one of the most ardently anti-piratical of all the majors.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 5, 2009 5:36 AM
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ShoWest: Strong Sony Summer Preview

I flew into Vegas Wednesday morning to catch day three of the annual ShoWest exhibitors' confab. I was spoiled by my last plane trip: American Airlines boasted wifi (I couldn't blog on Typepad, though) on both coastal flights for $12.95 each way. No such luck on Southwest today.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 1, 2009 6:15 AM
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Mamma Mia! Review: Escapist Musical for Dark Times

As a fan of movie musicals, Meryl Streep and the hunky stars playing her trio of ex-lovers, Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth and Stellan Skarsgard, I was eagerly looking forward to Mamma Mia! The Movie.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 8, 2008 7:39 AM
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Dark Knight Review: Nolan Talks Sequel Inflation

Finally, I would have preferred to see The Dark Knight in 35 mm, not IMAX. (I will go see it again when it opens July 18.) While the sequences that were shot with giant cameras were stunning at the IMAX venue--especially the deep detailed helicopter shots over Gotham and the amazing car/truck chase filmed in Chicago's freeway tunnels--I found the movie overwhelming. My brain starts to shut down when it gets over-pixillated, and this film goes on for two and a half hours. (Here's Justin Chang's review.)
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 6, 2008 7:35 AM
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Wanted Leads Off LAFF

The LA Film Fest opened with the premiere Thursday night of Universal's Wanted, followed by a Westwood block party. Spirits were high, because the smart director's showcase played.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 20, 2008 6:16 AM
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Summer Begins: Iron Man, Speed Racer, and Superheroes

Let the summer games begin. The LAT's Ken Turan takes on summer blockbuster syndrome, while The Huffington Post addresses summer superheroes.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 1, 2008 5:48 AM
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Iron Man: Downey and Favreau Rock

I managed to convince Paramount to show me Iron Man earlier this week, and grabbed director Jon Favreau for a phone interview from the European leg of his round-the-world press tour, from Paris to Rome to the London Premiere. Here's my Iron Man column, which even explains why Samuel Jackson and Hilary Swank aren't in the movie.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 25, 2008 5:57 AM
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Iron Man: Why it Will be Huge

Those of us who saw Paramount's first Iron Man materials at Comic-Con--and witnessed the hordes lining up just to see the damned costume unveiled--don't need to be convinced that this picture will be a summer boxoffice juggernaut. It should easily pass $200 million. Will it get to $300 million is another question.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 10, 2008 4:23 AM
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