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Thompson on Hollywood

ShoWest: Bullock vs. Reynolds in The Proposal

I'm a sucker for a good rom-com. Disney screened The Proposal, the latest rom-com from director Anne Fletcher (27 Dresses). From column A comes the uptight urban workaholic nightmare boss (Sandra Bullock) who is thrown into column B, a rural fish-out-of-water situation with the endearing family of her handsome, ambitious, super-competent assistant (Ryan Reynolds). Think Sweet Home Alabama meets the old Bullock/Bill Paxton Pullman chestnut While You Were Sleeping. In other words, we find out how sensitive the bitch boss really is (she lost her family years ago) while she falls in love with her assistant--and vice versa--and his family. It works. I've always liked Bullock, who looks great. I'm not sure how I feel about Reynolds; I've missed most of his movies so far. He's okay. This will do fine. Betty White as grammy is worth her weight.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 1, 2009 6:02 AM
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SXSW: Hill and Rogen Talk Observe and Report

Monday morning I interviewed Observe and Report writer-director Jody Hill (The Foot Fist Way) and star Seth Rogen. The movie played well on Monday night at the Paramount. It's a very dark reality-based comedy about fantasy and self-delusion, basically. The flipcam interview is broken into two parts:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 17, 2009 7:16 AM
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Trailer Watch: Inglourious Basterds

Here's the Inglourious Basterds trailer that debuted on E.T. Tuesday night--in all its glory. I have a feeling that we're just starting to see what Brad Pitt can do. This is where maturity pays off for male movie stars--who tend to come into their own in their 40s. Look at Pitt's year: Burn After Reading and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button were both home runs. And he looks great in this too:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 11, 2009 8:17 AM
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Trailer Preview: The Wrestler

Fox Searchlight will send out its first trailer for The Wrestler today. Their mission: to make filmgoers want to see a movie that looks very male--Mickey Rourke plays a down-on-his-luck, aging wrestler facing the end of his career who suddenly needs to reach out to his daughter, poignantly played by Evan Rachel Wood, and a stripper pal, Marisa Tomei. Communicating with women is not his strong suit.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 20, 2008 8:04 AM
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Cameron talks Avatar on CBC

"It's going to be interesting," Cameron said on CBC's The Hour back in October 2008. The director is talking about "Avatar," a movie that has already eaten up two years of his life, and has one more to go. "We finished with the actors," he says. "We're in CG hell. We're trying to create a world from scratch. It's like trench warfare. We're working with computer-generated characters that are photo-realistic. That's tough. We set the bar high. We're just now getting confidence that it's going to work."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 15, 2008 11:08 AM
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Emanuel Brothers do Charlie Rose

This fascinating Charlie Rose interview with the three amazing brothers Emanuel--doctor Ezekiel, who has written a radical book on healthcare, Democratic congressional powerhouse Rahm, and Ari, the hard-charging, politically-passionate head of Hollywood agency-on-the-rise Endeavor--reveals that Ari, who is the model for Ari Gold on HBO's Entourage, is sweet and respectful to his impressive siblings. The three were raised with high standards in Chicago by demanding Jewish parents, who asked them to argue their cases at the dinner table with bravado and authority, and sent them to Israel every summer. Our children should all do so well.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 24, 2008 3:04 AM
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More: Video

Knightley Starring in My Fair Lady Remake?

As far as I'm concerned, the 1938 Pygmalion starring Wendy Hiller and Leslie Howard is far better than the terrible 1964 My Fair Lady movie adaptation of the Lerner and Loewe Broadway smash musical. The movie got by on Rex Harrison and the great music, barely. It was one of those cases where Hollywood insisted on casting a star--Audrey Hepburn, who was voiced by Marnie Nixon--instead of Broadway sensation Julie Andrews, who went on to score in the blockbuster movie musicals Mary Poppins and The Sound of Music instead!
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 6, 2008 7:32 AM
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Sundance Video: Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson, Martin McDonagh

Here's the first of many Sundance video-interviews we're putting up during the fest, with the In Bruges gang:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 19, 2008 5:10 AM
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Terror's Advocate: Barbet Schroeder Talks

Barbet Schroeder is one of those brainiac filmmakers, like Werner Herzog, who moves effortlessly between docs (General Idi Amin Dada), features (Reversal of Fortune), studios (Murder by Numbers) and indies (Barfly), in whatever country (Maitresse) or language (Our Lady of the Assassins) that suits him. He's a global opportunist. And like Herzog he's not a bad actor; he does a memorable cameo in Darjeeling Limited as a bemused auto mechanic.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 7, 2007 7:39 AM
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Stardust Stirs Memories of Princess Bride

[Posted by Peter Debruge]Box office predictors are crying doom and gloom for Stardust (some suggest the weekend total will be as low as $15 million off 2,540 situations), and I’m inclined to believe them. Nobody seems to like the Stardust trailers — no argument here (judge for yourself). (The reviews are fine: 73 % fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.) It’s a shame, really, given how original the film is, but how do you sell it?
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 10, 2007 9:23 AM
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