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Thompson on Hollywood

Prince of Persia Clips Show Glossy Action and Non-Stars Gyllenhaal and Arterton

Mega-producer Jerry Bruckheimer's M.O. is to throw gazillions of dollars at multiple high-price screenwriters, superb production values, and eye-popping visual effects. That's how an unprepossessing videogame that means nothing outside the male gamer demo winds up as a politically incorrect $200-million summer movie like Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. This movie may not deliver the summer tentpole goods (despite Disney's saturation marketing blitz) when it opens this Friday--judging from its mild $18-million opening last weekend in 19 countries overseas. Anthony D'Alessandro will file his hard look at Memorial Weekend expectations Wednesday.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 25, 2010 10:22 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Tamara Drewe Breakout Isn't Arterton: It's Luke Evans

Stephen Frears' bucolic romantic romp Tamara Drewe stars fetching Clash of the Titans star Emma Arterton in short-shorts, but with Frears' leading lady stuck in America promoting Prince of Persia, the breakout star from the film at Cannes was hunky Welsh newcomer Luke Evans. He's made eight movies in the last year, including Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll, Clash of the Titans, Robin Hood and the upcoming Jason Statham actioner Blitz. Now he's set to play Aramis in Summit's The Three Musketeers as well as the title role of Vivaldi.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 24, 2010 11:46 AM
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Trailer Watch: Cannes Palme d'Or Winner Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives

Trailer Watch: Cannes Palme d'Or Winner Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives
For you who want to know more about the Thai film that won the Palme d'Or, Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives, here's THR's Q & A with the director, known by most as "Joe" Weerasethakul. This was his fifth film in the Cannes official selection. Time Out London also profiles the director. And Salon's Andrew O'Hehir offers a rave review.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 23, 2010 11:39 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Nike Football Spot Directed by Gonzalez Inarritu

For those of you who have not seen this much-lauded Nike soccer spot directed by Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (amores perros, Babel, Biutiful at Cannes) here is is, in all its glory. (And it cost a small fortune.)
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 23, 2010 4:19 AM
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  • 0 Comments
More: Video

Ari Folman's Waltz with Bashir Follow-Up is The Congress, Starring Robin Wright

Ever since Ari Folman told me about adapting Stanislaw Lem's 1971 sci-fi novel The Futurological Congress, I've been excited by his central premise--which is not that of the novel-- of a gorgeous American actress on the cusp of losing her movie star luster who sells her likeness to Hollywood and can never work again. The Israeli/Polish/French co-production will mix present-day live action with an animated future, and take the character forward 20 years. He wanted to cast an actress who was willing to play herself in the role; he considered Nicole Kidman, Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Jason Leigh and others. Robin Wright is a great choice.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 23, 2010 4:09 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Jagger Hits Cannes with Stones in Exile Doc

Mick Jagger gave a Q & A for the new Rolling Stones doc, Stones in Exile, about the recording of the 1972 double LP Exile on Main Street. In exile from Britain for tax evasion, the Stones holed up in a Riviera villa not far from Cannes, where they reveled, noodled, created and recorded one of the great all-time albums. "We were young, handsome and stupid," Jagger, 67, told the Palais Stephanie crowd in both French and English. "Now we're just stupid."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 21, 2010 11:16 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Godard Must-See: Breathless Trailer

Run don't walk to see New Wave critic-turned-filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard's 1960 Breathless, starring Jean-Paul Belmondo and Jean Seberg. I screened this movie for my USC Film Criticism students and they scarfed it up. This black-and-white Godard film, at least, which introduced the disjunctive jump-cut editing that inspired Arthur Penn and Dede Allen's Bonnie and Clyde, is still a breath of fresh air, even 50 years later. (See the trailer below.) On May 28 Rialto is releasing a pristine 35 mm print with new subtitles struck from a restored negative supervised by Godard's director of photography, Raoul Coutard, who used a held-held camera with mostly natural light.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 20, 2010 1:14 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Biutiful Stars Bardem, Inspires Polarized Reaction, Seeks Distrib

Biutiful Stars Bardem, Inspires Polarized Reaction, Seeks Distrib
Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu is nothing if not consistent. Over his career--until now, working closely with non-linear novelist/scenarist Guillermo Arriaga--he has crafted a series of films (Amores perros, 21 Grams, Babel) about people in trouble who behave badly, who are in terrible pain. His camera (in this case, wielded by frequent collaborator Rodrigo Prieto) moves freely, swirling around his characters and boring in on their inner thoughts, seeking emotion, emotion, emotion. That's Gonzalez Inarritu's great passion.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 17, 2010 4:10 AM
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  • 4 Comments

Stone Talks Wall Street Dysfunction and South of the Border Tour

Stone Talks Wall Street Dysfunction and South of the Border Tour
Fox conducted Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps interviews at the Hotel du Cap cabanas by the Mediterranean on a grey day with drizzle in the air. I have always enjoyed talking to Oliver Stone. An unashamed liberal, he's a well-informed, gifted visual storyteller who, like Clint Eastwood, keeps hungrily filling his head with knowledge and churning out movies. Saturday Stone sat with a group of international press and expounded on his fave obsession, the dysfunctional world financial system--and he also excoriates the International Monetary Fund.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 16, 2010 10:40 AM
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  • 4 Comments

Julie Taymor Talks The Tempest, Spider-Man

Julie Taymor Talks The Tempest, Spider-Man
Writer-director Julie Taymor is in Cannes promoting her film take on Shakespeare's The Tempest, which Icon International is selling in the market. "Isn't it Disney?" I asked Lionsgate UK's Nick Manzi. He responded: "Yes, but not all over the world."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 15, 2010 7:22 AM
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  • 5 Comments

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