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Thompson on Hollywood

Weekend Preview: Sucker Punch and Wimpy Kid vs. Indies

The weekend brings few mainstream releases -- just Sucker Punch and Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules (each mark 27% of Fandango's pre-sales, as of Thursday). If you are seeking something new, you may want to check out indie offerings from well-reviewed doc My Perestroika to Francois Ozon's delightful 70s feminist comedy Potiche starring Catherine Deneuve and Gerard Depardieu. Details, reviews and trailers are below.
  • By Anne Thompson and Sophia Savage
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  • March 25, 2011 1:52 AM
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Tribeca Films to Release Movies During Festival, Including Bang Bang Club

This year Tribeca Films is going forward with its long-term experiment to release some films day-and-date with the Tribeca Film Festival, in its 10th year (April 20-May 1). While some industry insiders question the wisdom of any filmmaker putting a movie on video-on-demand--much less streaming it-- before its theatrical options have been explored, Tribeca's Geoffrey Gilmore fervently believes that this sort of experimentation has to take place, while admitting that branding and marketing new films from less-known filmmakers, even with American Express advertising, is a continuing challenge. We spoke at a Tribeca party this week at the W in Hollywood that brought together L.A. filmmakers and indie execs to celebrate the upcoming fest, from David O. Russell and Gregg Araki to Roadside's Eric D'Arbeloff and Strand's Marcus Hu.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 24, 2011 8:44 AM
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Sucker Punch Early Reviews: Feminists, Choose Your Weapons

Sucker Punch Early Reviews: Feminists, Choose Your Weapons
Judging from early reviews (below), if Warner Bros. has any hopes of luring a female audience to Sucker Punch, they may be in trouble. It looks like plenty of red-blooded American males will soak up the latest hyper-stylized entry from writer-director Zack Snyder (300, The Watchmen) which critics are variously describing as "spastic," "humorless" and "psychosexual." TOH will weigh in tomorrow. (Check out the trailer below.) The film stars Emily Browning, Abbie Cornish, Jenna Malone, Vanessa Hudgens, Jamie Chung, and Carla Gugino.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • March 24, 2011 4:40 AM
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  • 11 Comments

Elizabeth Taylor: Obits, Video Clips, Photo Galleries, Memories

The Web lit up like a Christmas tree this morning with the sad but not unexpected news of Elizabeth Taylor's death of congestive heart failure in Los Angeles at age 79. Fifty-three years ago--almost to the day--Taylor escaped dying in a plane crash. The petite actress had been in failing health for many years. Taylor was fragile even back in 1993 when she attended Cannes to run the amfAR auction at the height of her AIDS activism. I'll never forget walking up the red carpet stairs of the Palais behind Sylvester Stallone as he advanced to meet Taylor, waiting for him at the top, wearing white and holding her beloved little white dog in her arms. As had always been the case throughout her 70-year career spanning 50 films, the media went wild around Taylor, who was so beautiful that folks tended not to remember what an accomplished actress she really was.
  • By Anne Thompson and Sophia Savage
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  • March 23, 2011 5:43 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Trailer Watch: Morgan Spurlock's Greatest Movie Ever Sold

After Morgan Spurlock's fast-food expose Super Size Me turned into an Oscar-nominated Sundance doc hit (and SnagFilms' best ever performer), he followed with Where in the World is Osama Bin Laden? His latest, product-placement investigation The Greatest Movie Ever Sold, was bought by Sony before it played well at both Sundance and SXSW. I'll catch up with it and Spurlock at the Ashland Film Festival on April 8 before Sony Pictures Classics releases it April 22. Check out the trailer below:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 22, 2011 4:22 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Keira Knightley Rides Motorcycle, Strips and Seduces in Joe Wright-Directed Chanel Ad

  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 21, 2011 7:34 AM
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Trailer Watch: Working Man's Comedy Larry Crowne Stars Hanks and Roberts

Tom Hanks directs himself and Julia Roberts in blue-collar romantic comedy Larry Crowne (July 1). The script by Hanks and Nia Vardalos starts off with him getting fired, then taking a public speaking class at a local college taught by an uninspired Roberts. Yes, somehow, he wins her over.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 19, 2011 8:02 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Weekend Preview: Limitless, Paul, Lincoln Lawyer For Men, Indies Win Win, Cracks, Winter in Wartime

This weekend, it's Matthew McConaughey and a car vs. Working Title's alien vs. Bradley Cooper on super-human drugs. According to Flixster Forecast: "The Lincoln Lawyer, the first adaptation of a Michael Connelly novel since Clint Eastwood’s Blood Work in 2002, surged in search activity leading into this weekend. Given that its Want-to-See interest is almost entirely centered with women-over-25, the film will probably have to build a strong case to beat out Britcom Paul, opening on more screens; or Bradley Cooper and Robert De Niro in Limitless, which is seeing intense Want-to-See interest that is closer to the middle."
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • March 18, 2011 5:35 AM
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SXSW: Greg Mottola Talks Paul's Pegg, Frost and Spielberg; Early Reviews

SXSW: Greg Mottola Talks Paul's Pegg, Frost and Spielberg; Early Reviews
Here's what you need to know about Paul (March 18): It's a Working Title movie, which means that it's smart, tailored to intelligent audiences, and has a British sensibility. Co-writers Simon Pegg and Nick Frost (Shaun of the Dead) dreamed up this light fan boy comedy, went on an American research road trip, and lacking their director of choice, Edgar Wright, they turned to Greg Mottola (Superbad and Adventureland), who has been earning mainstream cred as a director of sharp and funny comedies that do not suck.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 17, 2011 8:18 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Natural Selection: Details on Robbie Pickering, SXSW Narrative Feature Winner, Awards List

The big SXSW winner this year was Robbie Pickering's Natural Selection, which not only collected the Narrative Feature Competition grand jury prize, two breakthrough acting awards, special prizes for screenplay, cinematography and editing, but the Audience Award as well. Producer Paul Jensen said at the awards ceremony Tuesday night: “We all know how difficult this independent filmmaking is. Robbie never gave up, and he never wavered from his vision."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 16, 2011 7:34 AM
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  • 0 Comments

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