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Thompson on Hollywood

Weekend Box Office: Animation Rules as Rango Wins Opening Duel with Adjustment Bureau

Weekend Box Office: Animation Rules as Rango Wins Opening Duel with Adjustment Bureau
As the studios chase branded entertainment, the one genre open to original thinking is animation. Who can blame Gore Verbinski, after three Pirate movies, for heading back to the old West with a John Logan homage to westerns, top-of-the-line Industrial Light and Magic animation, and Johnny Depp leading a cast of great character actors? After a slow winter lacking an Avatar or Alice in Wonderland to perk up attendance, audiences returned to multiplexes to check out Rango, the winter's second hit western (after True Grit) and a slew of other new entrants.
  • By Anthony D'Alessandro
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  • March 6, 2011 5:45 AM
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Rango, Adjustment Bureau, Beastly, Take Me Home Tonight, I Saw the Devil: Blockbuster Weekend?

Rango, Adjustment Bureau, Beastly, Take Me Home Tonight, I Saw the Devil: Blockbuster Weekend?
2011 is due for its first blockbuster weekend. From Johnny Depp's animated Rango and Matt Damon and Emily Blunt's The Adjustment Bureau to teen flick Beastly, 80s throwback Take Me Home Tonight and Korean horror film I Saw the Devil, all the demographic bases are covered. We recommend Damon and Blunt's effortless on-screen chemistry, the wondrously imaginative Rango, and indie festival favorites Abel and Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives. Film details, reviews and trailers are below.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • March 4, 2011 8:30 AM
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Potiche Early Reviews: Delicious French Feminist Comedy

A fest favorite at Venice, François Ozon's feminist comedy Potiche (New York and LA, March 24, followed by a national release), stars a comedic Catherine Deneuve as a 70s trophy wife who takes over her husband’s umbrella factory while he is away and loves it so much that she tries to take it back from him. She has been flirting with an old lover, Gerard Depardieu, for decades. Even though the vet French star is as big as a house, their scenes together are delicious. This comedy is commercial enough to score with a stateside art-house boomer audience. A round-up of early reviews, the poster and trailer are below:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 4, 2011 8:30 AM
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Weinstein Co. & Branagh Team for Rowing Tale Boys in the Boat

Kenneth Branagh, who just wrapped Paramount's Thor (which has a bad-ass new poster), will next take charge of The Boys in the Boat, a 1930s story about the University of Washington's rowing team, based on a non-fiction book to be written by Daniel James Brown. Film rights have gone to The Weinstein Co., whose production chief Donna Gigliotti will serve as producer.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • March 4, 2011 7:58 AM
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Weekly Wrap: Awards Season Climax, Oscar Parties & Video, Box Office, Oscar Contenders at Work

Weekly Wrap: Awards Season Climax, Oscar Parties & Video, Box Office, Oscar Contenders at Work
- Oscar Talk: Final Edition, Oscar Wrap.
  • By Anne Thompson and Sophia Savage
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  • March 4, 2011 7:20 AM
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Weekend Box Office: Gnomeo & Juliet Elves Bash Cage's Drive Angry 3D and Farrelly's Hall Pass

Animated holdover Gnomeo & Juliet surged ahead of yet another set of weak openers as the box office continues in the doldrums.(Here's our six reasons why.) See weekend trailers and Top Ten Box Office Chart below. Anthony D'Alessandro has the numbers:A band of CGI elves had the last laugh as Disney’s Gnomeo & Juliet stole the box office with $14.2 million, kicking former marquee champs, the Farrelly Brothers and Nicolas Cage, in the groin. The Farrelly’s Hall Pass, distributed by Warner Bros./New Line, slid to second with a $13.4 million three-day after showing signs of a No. 1 win on Friday with $4.6 million.  Summit Entertainment’s Cage headliner Drive Angry 3D from Nu Image Pictures crashed and burned in ninth with $5.1 million – the lowest opening for a 3D live-action feature after Gulliver’s Travels ($6.3 million bow) and another sign in Nicolas Cage’s apocalyptic career. The success of Gnomeo proves that when there’s crap at the box office, family titles flourish, a pattern seen last April when the fourth frame of How to Train Your Dragon bested the bows of Jennifer Lopez’s The Back-up Plan and DC comics also-ran The Losers.  After filing fourth on Friday with $3.16 million, Gnomeo climbed 101% yesterday to $6.3 million. 
  • By Anthony D'Alessandro
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  • February 27, 2011 5:48 AM
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Indie Spirits Preview: Back to Beach with Host McHale; Oscar Nominees Favored to Win; Hudson Talks

Indie Spirits Preview: Back to Beach with Host McHale; Oscar Nominees Favored to Win; Hudson Talks
It's back to the beach in Santa Monica (amid threats of rain) for the 26th edition of the Independent Spirit Awards, which are voted on by some 5000 members of Film Independent, and take place the Saturday before the Oscars. It won't be hard for first-time host Joel McHale (The Soup, Spy Kids 4, see video below) to improve on last year's Eddie Izzard, who phoned in his duties without seeming to have much sense of the smart indies in the room during 2010's one-off move downtown to LA Live. Former R-rated hosts John Waters, Sarah Silverman and Rainn Wilson honed in on the right vibe for this crowd. Here's the list of presenters.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 26, 2011 2:42 AM
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The Adjustment Bureau Early Reviews: Damon & Blunt Own It With Heart-Fluttering Chemistry

The Adjustment Bureau Early Reviews: Damon & Blunt Own It With Heart-Fluttering Chemistry
Hollywood has a good track record when it comes to adapting California sci-fi writer Philip K. Dick, who was praised by Adam Gopnik for his "mixture of mordant comedy and wild metaphysics."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 25, 2011 9:00 AM
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Weekend Preview: Drive Angry 3D, Hall Pass, Of Gods and Men, Heartbeats

Weekend Preview: Drive Angry 3D, Hall Pass, Of Gods and Men, Heartbeats
Of this weekend's new entries, the one I want to see most is French Oscar entry Of Gods and Men, which earned raves around the world but was unaccountably shut out by the foreign language committee. UPDATE: It also won the Cesar award for Best Film.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 25, 2011 8:00 AM
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The Oscar-Winning Boston Movie: Trailer of Cliches

Just what you've all been waiting for: All of the Boston Oscar movie cliches in one super Bostony trailer:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 25, 2011 7:56 AM
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  • 1 Comment

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