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Thompson on Hollywood

L.A. Goes Noir with Film Fest, Academy's Oscar Noir

L.A. Goes Noir with Film Fest, Academy's Oscar Noir
Los Angeles is celebrating Film Noir, and I am not complaining. The American Cinematheque launched its 12th annual Film Noir Festival at L.A.'s Egyptian on Friday, and the LAT Magazine's Noir issue ran Sunday. UPDATE: Eric Kohn reviews Nash Edgerton's neo-noir, The Square.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 6, 2010 3:40 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Weekend B.O.: In Seventh Week, Avatar Beats Edge of Darkness

At the weekend box office, Avatar grossed another $30-million, beating all comers for the 7th weekend in a row, including Mel Gibson's return to the screen in thriller Edge of Darkness, which despite earning mixed reviews scored $17 million. Avatar only needs a little more than $6 million to overtake Titanic as top domestic b.o.-grosser, and should do so by mid-week. Patrick Goldstein puts Avatar's grosses in perspective, adjusting for inflation. Another question: does Avatar's rolling b.o. success help or hurt with Oscar voters?
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 31, 2010 6:52 AM
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  • 5 Comments

Must Sees: Fantastic Mr. Fox, The Messenger

Must Sees: Fantastic Mr. Fox, The Messenger
The movie most likely to succeed this weekend is Roland Emmerich's 2012, which I look forward to seeing with a crowd. The critic-proof doomsday movie is expected to do $40-50 million on over 3400 screens. I just want to see the VFX. That's what Emmerich is good at. Even in the trailer John Cusack looks embarrassed.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 14, 2009 1:12 AM
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  • 3 Comments

Trailer Watch: Damon Stars in Invictus and Green Zone

Trailer Watch: Damon Stars in Invictus and Green Zone
It is more likely that Matt Damon will score an Oscar nom for Clint Eastwood's Invictus, which slices into Nelson Mandela's 1995 pursuit of the rugby World Cup to unify South Africa, than Steven Soderbergh's offbeat The Informant! which has already faded from the scene. Damon plays the captain of the South African rugby team, Francois Pienaar, and Morgan Freeman inhabits Mandela. Invictus opens December 11.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 28, 2009 5:28 AM
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  • 4 Comments

Twilight Saga: New Moon Clip: Lautner Turns into Wolf

It's hard to resist the lure of a new Twilight Saga: New Moon clip. The marketing folks at Summit are trying to turn Taylor Lautner into the next Rob Pattinson. He's the new romantic interest for depressed Bella (Kristen Stewart) while her vampire lover has fled the scene (to save her life, natch). Well, while Lautner worked out like crazy to give himself some physical heft for his role as a werewolf, and has developed a following--he's no Pattinson. The sequel opens November 19.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 20, 2009 5:32 AM
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  • 8 Comments

Weekend Winners: Where the Wild Things Are, Law Abiding Citizen, Paranormal Activity

Weekend Box Office WinnersSpike Jonze's Where the Wild Things Are led the weekend box office. While an estimated $32.4 million was a studio record for October (the movie was on some 3700 screens), the number wasn't as big as some expected after its stellar Friday. The studio aimed the PG-rated film at a general, not family audience. But will the $90-million movie make its money back? Finally, Warners backed filmmakers working outside of the box, and that's a good thing.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 19, 2009 6:05 AM
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  • 10 Comments

Telluride: Red Riding, The Last Station

The first day of Telluride screenings kicked off Friday with IFC's North American debut of Brit TV's Red Riding trilogy, produced by Andrew Eaton and directed by Juian Jarrold, James Marsh and Anand Tucker. I screened Red Riding: 1974, the first installment of Tony Grisoni's adaptation of four novels by David Peace. Cocky young journalist/womanizer (Andrew Garfield) faces his own Chinatown in Yorkshire as he investigates a possible serial killer/rapist. Garfield (Boy A) is strong as a guy with a good heart who can't catch a break. The always impressive Rebecca Hall plays the femme fatale Faye Dunaway role and Sean Bean is the reporter's nemesis, a real estate thug. This noirish tale never lets up as it digs darker and deeper and nastier than you'd ever expect. I look forward to parts 2 and 3, as the Yorkshire story continues into 1980 and 1983. (Here's Todd McCarthy's rave review.) Red Riding is not playing Toronto.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 5, 2009 6:35 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Trailer Watch: Nolan's Inception Stars DiCaprio

The new website for Dark Knight director Christopher Nolan's Inception is up. Everything is genre these days. This looks like Matrix meets Shutter Island, which also stars DiCaprio. The scary thing about mind-movies--anything can happen, you don't know what the rules of reality are. Film Drunk has culled some plot points.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 24, 2009 3:33 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Paramount Pushes Shutter Island to February

Paramount Pushes Shutter Island to February
In a startling reveal of how dire studio financials have become in this recession, Paramount made a swift and surgical move to trim its year-end budget. Marketing meetings took place last week for Martin Scorsese's Shutter Island, based on the Dennis Lehane novel and starring Leonardo DiCaprio. Running a little over two hours, the period mystery looks thrilling and commercial as hell. But the studio looked at the cold hard millions the release would require --even in October, with a possible costly Academy campaign down the line--and pushed the picture back to February 19.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 21, 2009 9:41 AM
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  • 9 Comments

Nine Goes to the Movies

Nine Goes to the Movies
Nine is a popular number at the movies these days. Last week I saw Shane Acker's animated dystopian adventure 9, featuring the voice of Elijah Wood, which opens September 9, 2009. Wednesday night I see Neill Blomkamp's alien thriller District 9, produced by Peter Jackson. The German film Cloud 9 opens in New York this Friday and in LA on August 28. This fall I look forward to the Rob Marshall musical Nine. Earlier this year I missed the animated feature $9.99. I count four past movies named Nine, as well as such classics as Nine Months, The Whole Nine Yards, Nine Queens, Nine 1/2 Weeks and Nine to Five. Is any other number as frequently used in movie titles? I guess one and ten are just as common, finally. But why the plethora of nine titles in 2009?
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 11, 2009 7:51 AM
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  • 3 Comments

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