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Thompson on Hollywood

Weekly Wrap: Transformers Good News for 3-D, Oscar Lineup Shaping Up, Original Content in the Works

BOX OFFICE
  • By Sophia Savage and Anne Thompson
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  • July 1, 2011 7:42 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Transformers 3 Set to Slaughter 2-D Field; Plus Terri, Aurora, Perfect Host, Uninspired Larry Crowne

Transformers 3 Set to Slaughter 2-D Field; Plus Terri, Aurora, Perfect Host, Uninspired Larry Crowne
Michael Bay's Transformers: Dark of the Moon, in all its 3-D glory, is going to score huge and remind us that good acting doesn't always accompany box office success. The visual payoff, especially in IMAX 3-D, is worth the ticket price, and reinstates 3-D as a positive cinematic achievement after months of disappointments. One critic speculates: “One gets the feeling that if [director Michael] Bay could stop including people in his films altogether we’d all have a much better time with this franchise.” Tom Hanks' adult-targeted counterprogrammer Larry Crowne, despite having America's Sweetheart (Julia Roberts) and America's Other Sweetheart (Hanks himself), is having a hard time convincing anyone it's worthwhile. The WSJ's John Anderson says: "You wonder who thought any of this was funny."
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • July 1, 2011 5:35 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Trailer Watch: Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy Stars Oldman, Firth, Hardy, Strong

Trailer Watch: Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy Stars Oldman, Firth, Hardy, Strong
Take one of John Le Carre's best Cold War international espionage thrillers--1974's Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy--adapt it with strong writers (the late Bridget O’Connor and her husband and writing partner Peter Straughan) and cast a strong Brit ensemble (Colin Firth, Tom Hardy, Mark Strong, Benedict Cumberbatch) led by Gary Oldman as George Smiley, the one spy you can trust. Add Let the Right One In director Tomas Alfredson and you may have a winner. See the new trailer below.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 30, 2011 5:14 AM
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  • 3 Comments

Trailer Watch: Steven Spielberg's War Horse Looks Like Oscar Bait

Trailer Watch: Steven Spielberg's War Horse Looks Like Oscar Bait
It's going to be Spielberg vs. Spielberg at the Oscars this year. That is, assuming that both his December openers, wide-release The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn and platformed drama War Horse, wind up inside the Oscar wheelhouse. The most popular filmmaker of our time, Spielberg has won some and lost some where the Oscars are concerned--best picture winner Schindler's List is the exception that proves the rule.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 29, 2011 8:29 AM
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  • 6 Comments

Trailer Watch: Outer Space Horror in APOLLO 18, In Theaters September 2

While some of the most spectacularly glitzy effects in Michael Bay's third Transformers take place on the moon--where the Apollo 13 mission is actually motivated by exploration of an abandoned Autobot space ship--we can assume that Dimension Films' similarly-themed APOLLO 18, which hits theaters September 2, is taking the polar opposite approach: think low-tech Blair Witch/Cloverfield. Gonzalo Lopez-Gallego directs a script by Brian Miller.
  • By Anne Thompson and Sophia Savage
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  • June 29, 2011 8:13 AM
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Johansson Sings, Cranston for Affleck's Argo, Denzel Washington for Katrina Drama, Patel for Sorkin

- Scarlett Johansson will star in Judd Apatow's Can A Song Save Your Life?, written and to be directed by John Carney (Once). The musically themed story will pair a young songstress with "a washed up A&R man." They form a bond and sing, putting Johansson's singing talent to use. Carney confirms to The Sunday Business Post: "‘I went out to Los Angeles to meet Scarlett a couple of months ago. She was everything you could imagine – very hot, elegant and she’s really smart." Mark Ruffalo and Jim Carrey are rumored as possible co-stars. ThePlaylist has more.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • June 29, 2011 5:24 AM
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  • 1 Comment

AFI-Discovery Channel's Silverdocs Fest Announces Audience Award Winners: Donor Unknown, Mr. Happy

AFI-Discovery Channel Silverdocs Fest's Audience Award winners for 2011 are Jerry Rothwell's Donor Unknown, which won the Feature Audience Award, and Matt Morris's Mr. Happy Man, which won in the Shorts category. Award-winning and Festival favorites will play at the AFI Silver Theater and Cultural Center this week along with Guggenheim Retrospective screenings.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • June 27, 2011 5:10 AM
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  • 0 Comments

YouTube Commercial Kings Rhett and Link Talk New TV Show

Rhett & Link: Commercial Kings, a new television show premiering tonight on IFC, plots two best friends as they journey across the United States to understand the country--via advertising.
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • June 24, 2011 10:23 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Weekly Wrap: Taylor/Burton Poll, Foxx is Tarantino's Django, Dennis Murren Talks Super 8 VFX, & More

BOX OFFICE
  • By Sophia Savage and Anne Thompson
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  • June 24, 2011 6:50 AM
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Weekend Preview: Bad Teacher, Cars 2, Leap Year's Graphic Sex, Conan O'Brien, Better Life & More

While Cars 2 trends rotten and Cameron Diaz gets dirty for Bad Teacher, several worthwhile indies are also in theaters this weekend. ThePlaylist calls Conan O'Brien Can't Stop a "winning, charming, you’ll-miss-stuff-because-you’re-still-laughing-too-hard concert documentary and a peek behind Conan’s psychological curtain." It's also indieWIRE's Pick of the Week. NYT's Stephen Holden says If A Tree Falls's "sobriety and carefully balanced arguments make it an exemplary piece of reporting, although its emotional heat rarely rises to a boil," while Manohla Dargis says Chris Weitz's scaling down for A Better Life has "done him good."
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • June 24, 2011 5:30 AM
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  • 0 Comments

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