Blogroll

Thompson on Hollywood

Harry Shearer Talks Expose The Big Uneasy, Media Coverage of Katrina, Spike Lee's "Canards"

Harry Shearer Talks Expose The Big Uneasy, Media Coverage of Katrina, Spike Lee's "Canards"
The tagline for Harry Shearer's The Big Uneasy, a Katrina doc that digs into the Army Corps of Engineers' role in the post-hurricane New Orleans flood, reads "Natural Disaster? You Don't Know the Half Of It." Shearer is well-known to public radio listeners for his weekly Sunday talkfest Le Show; the Renaissance man is not only a sharp and funny writer-actor-producer-director and mockumentarian (This is Spinal Tap, For Your Consideration, The Simpsons) but a well-versed media commentator and blogger for The Huffington Post. The half-time New Orleans resident is dead-serious when covering the Katrina debacle. On the eve of the hurricane's fifth anniversary, he decided that putting his own more deeply reported documentary into the conversation might help bring the mainstream media up to speed.
  • By Anne Thompson
  • |
  • April 13, 2011 11:27 AM
  • |
  • 1 Comment

Headline In Search of a Story: Franco's Oscar Night Did Not Hurt Your Highness Box Office

Headline In Search of a Story: Franco's Oscar Night Did Not Hurt Your Highness Box Office
Some online headline-mongering makes me crazy. Basically, the idea is to take a celebrity name and fashion a question around it. In this case, did James Franco's lousy Oscar hosting lead to last weekend's weak opening of Your Highness?
  • By Anne Thompson
  • |
  • April 12, 2011 8:12 AM
  • |
  • 1 Comment

Cannes Adds Kung Fu Panda 2, Pirates 4; Allen Controls Opener, Adds Baldwin to Rome Film

Cannes Adds Kung Fu Panda 2, Pirates 4; Allen Controls Opener, Adds Baldwin to Rome Film
No reviews of Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris, which does for the City of Light what Manhattan did for New York, will run ahead of its unveiling opening night at Cannes (6 PM Croisette time) on May 11. That means there will be no advance press screening that day. Much like the last Indiana Jones installment, Cannes critics will leap from their chairs to file ASAP. The press conference will take place the following day.
  • By Anne Thompson
  • |
  • April 12, 2011 5:41 AM
  • |
  • 1 Comment

Live from Wellywood: WETA Digital Hosts Rise of the Planet of the Apes Livestream

Peter Jackson has long been ahead of the curve where doling out info directly to fans is concerned. Thus, live from Wellywood, New Zealand, Jackson's VFX house WETA Digital (The Lord of the Rings, Avatar, District 9, Tintin) will reveal cool stuff from Rise of the Planet of the Apes via Fox's Facebook fan page for James Cameron's Avatar, which has 14.2 million followers. This is basically a maneuver to grab those fans and lure them to also follow this movie via a five-second preview of Rise of the Planet of the Apes (August 5, 2011) on its official Facebook page. What will they see on April 13 at 2:30 PM Pacific time (player is below)? WETA's VFX masters Joe Letteri and Dan Lemmon will give a behind-the-scenes look at how they created photo-real intelligently emotive CG ape Caesar (although their last ape, Jackson's King Kong, also acted by Gollum's Andy Serkis, will be hard to top). Jackson's King Kong earned WETA the coveted Avatar gig, which won them the VFX Oscar.
  • By Anne Thompson
  • |
  • April 11, 2011 6:44 AM
  • |
  • 1 Comment

True Story Oranges & Sunshine Goes to Cohen Media Group; Stars Emily Watson & Hugo Weaving

Rights for Jim Loach's Oranges and Sunshine, from the producers of The King's Speech, have gone to Cohen Media Group from Icon International. The film stars Emily Watson, Hugo Weaving and David Wendham and tells the true story (from a screenplay by Rona Munro) of social worker Margaret Humphreys, who, after uncovering the organized deportation of children who were sent from the UK to Australia, fought to reunite thousands of families and bring worldwide attention to the scandal.
  • By Sophia Savage
  • |
  • April 11, 2011 5:31 AM
  • |
  • 0 Comments

Appreciating Sidney Lumet; Obits, Spike Lee Tweets, Photos and Clips UPDATED

Appreciating Sidney Lumet; Obits, Spike Lee Tweets, Photos and Clips UPDATED
We raised a toast to Sidney Lumet at dinner Saturday night at the Ashland Independent Film Festival--filmmaker Morgan Spurlock, Ashland Independent Film Festival director Joanne Feinberg, film critic Shawn Levy and fellow Oregonian Terri Mintz, and DC Shorts Festival director Jon Gann. We talked about how many great films Lumet made, crammed with strong performances, how he was a New York independent, his and Paddy Chayefsky's amazingly prophetic TV critique Network (see clip) and Lumet's must-read book, Making Movies, a primer for any aspiring filmmaker: "While the goal of all movies is to entertain, the kind of film in which I believe goes one step further. It compels the spectator to examine one facet or another of his own conscience. It stimulates thought."
  • By Anne Thompson
  • |
  • April 10, 2011 7:58 AM
  • |
  • 2 Comments

Weekend Box Office: Hop Tops Arthur and Hanna; Your Highness in Sixth Place

Weekend Box Office: Hop Tops Arthur and Hanna; Your Highness in Sixth Place
It was Russell Brand weekend at the box office, as the Brit comic starred in top-ranked holdover Hop as well as remake Arthur, which went toe-to-toe with smart-house actioner Hanna, starring Saoirse Ronan. Ensemble period spoof Your Highness trailed in sixth place, despite a cast led by James Franco and Natalie Portman.
  • By Anthony D'Alessandro
  • |
  • April 10, 2011 5:12 AM
  • |
  • 3 Comments

EXCLUSIVE: Barbara Kopple Talks HBO Gun Control Doc, Gun Fight: "Reason is Lost"

EXCLUSIVE: Barbara Kopple Talks HBO Gun Control Doc, Gun Fight: "Reason is Lost"
Academy Award-winning filmmaker Barbara Kopple (Harlan County, U.S.A., American Dreams, Shut Up and Sing) is premiering her latest, HBO Documentary's Gun Fight, on HBO April 13, three days before the fourth anniversary of the Virginia Tech shooting (33 people killed) and a week before the 12 year anniversary of the Columbine Massacre (12 people killed).
  • By Sophia Savage
  • |
  • April 8, 2011 8:29 AM
  • |
  • 0 Comments

Weekend Preview: Tough Girls vs. Male Juveniles, Must-Sees Hanna & Meek's Cutoff

Comedies Your Highness and Arthur present mainstream escapist fun and antics (from the likes of Danny McBride, James Franco and Russell Brand), as well as thankless supporting females (Natalie Portman, Zooey Deschanel, Greta Gerwig, Jennifer Garner) while Focus's Hanna leads the line of strong female leads (Saoirse Ronan and Cate Blanchett), followed by Meek's Cutoff's Michelle Williams and Soul Surfer's Annasophia Robb and Helen Hunt. Vera Farmiga steals the show in well-reviewed indie release Henry's Crime; Uma Thurman adds star power to Ceremony. The Flixster forecast puts must-see Hanna on top. Details, reviews, pictures and trailers for this weekend's offerings are below.
  • By Sophia Savage
  • |
  • April 8, 2011 5:23 AM
  • |
  • 1 Comment

Trailer Watch: Lars Von Trier's Psychological Disaster Movie Melancholia Starring Dunst & Gainsbourg

Check out the trailer for Danish director Lars von Trier's (Antichrist) latest, psychological disaster movie Melancholia, with Kirsten Dunst, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Keifer Sutherland, Charlotte Rampling, John Hurt, Alexander Skarsgård and Stellan Skarsgård. The film releases in Denmark May 26. Magnolia Pictures will release in the US, but no date has been announced. While it does have its own (and much darker) tone, it also echoes The Tree of Life's trailer. Synopsis is also below.Melancholia from Zentropa on Vimeo.
  • By Sophia Savage
  • |
  • April 8, 2011 3:18 AM
  • |
  • 0 Comments

Email Updates