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Thompson on Hollywood

And the Nobel Prize for Film Goes To...

And the Nobel Prize for Film Goes To...
Seeing that the Nobel Prize for Literature was awarded last week, to Swedish poet Tomas Tranströmer, Matt Brennan got to thinking: What if there were a Nobel Prize for Film? This week’s “Now and Then” column revels in some of the possibilities. Check out the trailers and post your own picks in the comments section below:
  • By Matt Brennan
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  • October 10, 2011 5:07 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Weekly Wrap: TIFF: Moneyball, Descendants, Deep Blue Sea; Reviews Kevin, The Lady; Media Watch

Box Office:
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • September 16, 2011 5:20 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Denzel for Secret in Their Eyes Remake, Kevin Costner Out of Upcoming Tarantino, Source Code to TV

Kevin Costner was forced to back out of Quentin Taratino's Django Unchained due to scheduling conflicts and will no longer play Ace Woody, a "sadistic asshole who trains slaves to fight" in Tarantino's coming film. Meanwhile, as expected, Samuel L. Jackson has been confirmed to join the cast as a head house slave. The movie will star Jamie Foxx as Django, a slave who escapes from his vicious owner, played by Leonardo DiCaprio and joins forces with a German bounty hunter, played by Christoph Waltz. The film will begin production this November and has a planned release date of December 25, 2012.
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • September 16, 2011 4:05 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Weinstein Co. Sits On Reign of Assassins Starring Michelle Yeoh, Early Reviews

Weinstein Co. Sits On Reign of Assassins Starring Michelle Yeoh, Early Reviews
Talking to The Lady star Michelle Yeoh in Toronto reminded me. Where is Reign of Assassins, which I saw at the Venice Film Festival in August, 2010? Weinstein Co. has been sitting on the elaborate martial arts fantasy from directors Su Chao-Pin and John Woo, which is a well-executed period action flick. The romance between Yeoh and my fave Korean star Jung Woo-Sung (The Good, The Bad and the Weird) works well—Yeoh’s playing the role of the veteran gunfighter (or sword-flying assassin) trying to go straight who falls in love with a regular guy. The overall film is not at the Woo level--he basically produced it. But the movie has elements of a Hong Kong Mr and Mrs. Smith. What are they waiting for? These two early reviews are mixed:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 15, 2011 12:20 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Film in the Decade Since 9/11: From Superheroes to Westerns, What Came After

This week's “Now and Then” column started out comparing and contrasting two movies about assassins — Hanna (Joe Wright, 2011) and Léon: the Professional (Luc Besson, 1994)—and ended up ruminating on 9/11. Trailers below:Life and culture are too messy to be divided into easy categories like “Before” and “After,” but for all the continuities in the way films are made and viewed, a long view of the last decade reveals some important, if subtle, shifts. Watching the network news coverage of September 11 to prepare for this column, I was reminded of how much we didn’t know that day, how much our fear stemmed from no longer being able to control the course of events.
  • By Matt Brennan
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  • September 12, 2011 11:36 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Ridley Scott Revisiting Blade Runner, Yes; Tony Scott Remaking Sam Peckinpah's Wild Bunch, No!

It's one thing for Ridley Scott to revisit Blade Runner from the ground up--he hasn't even started a script yet. Even if Scott didn't write the original Philip K. Dick story or the brilliant script by David Peoples (who also wrote Clint Eastwood's Unforgiven), his vision is all over that movie. I can't wait to see what he does with it.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 19, 2011 4:57 AM
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  • 2 Comments

TV Watch: Parker Posey on ‘The Good Wife,’ NBC Lands Sarah Silverman Show, Western Wanted

After a bidding war with multiple networks, NBC acquired the pilot for Sarah Silverman’s latest comedic single-camera comedy from Imagine TV and 20th Century Fox Television, according to THR. Silverman, Ron Howard, Brian Grazer, and Francie Calfo have signed on as exec producers. The semi-autobiographical show will star Silverman as a newly single woman emerging from a long-term live-in relationship.
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • August 19, 2011 4:24 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Studios Rethink Big-Budget Producers and Their Pricey Tentpoles--and Westerns

Studios Rethink Big-Budget Producers and Their Pricey Tentpoles--and Westerns
Blame Cowboys & Aliens.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 19, 2011 3:14 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Bogart: Unconventional Star, Sex Symbol in TCM's Summer Under the Stars Retrospective

Matt Brennan takes a different tack in his “Now and Then” column this week, reviewing not two movies but one star. It just so happens that Turner Classic Movies did the work of combining current and classic for him. On Wednesday, the network’s essential series “Summer Under the Stars” gives us 24 hours of Humphrey Bogart. Swoon. Trailer and clip below: They say sex sells, but it never flew off the shelves quite like it did in the heyday of the studio system. Back then a guy didn’t need a six-pack to get us melting, though it didn’t hurt — just try to resist the swaggering muscularity of Brando, busting out of that white T-shirt in A Streetcar Named Desire (1951). What the stars had then was energy, suavity, glamour. Clark Gable drove us mad with the glint in his eye. Errol Flynn swashbuckled his way into our hearts, while Cary Grant smooth-talked his way into our dreams.
  • By Matt Brennan
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  • August 15, 2011 2:00 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Johnny Depp and Pirates Crew Reinvent Western Lone Ranger, Tonto

Now that Cowboys & Aliens can be viewed as a too-pricey western tentpole wannabe, how does Disney feel about Jerry Bruckheimer's Lone Ranger going into pre-production? They've ditched "the," and buttressed themselves from criticism by staffing up with their tried-and-true --but pricey-- Pirates gang, now that #4 yielded a satisfactory $1.03 billion worldwide and Johnny Depp is considered a major movie star. Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio penned the script, rewritten by Justin Haythe. Gore Verbinski has worked with Depp four times, including the modestly successful but costly animated western Rango ($242.8 million worldwide to date). And what marquee loyalty does Depp command when he's not Jack Sparrow? Neither Sweeney Todd nor The Tourist was a slamdunk, topping out at $153.3 million and $278.7 million (mostly foreign) worldwide, respectively.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 8, 2011 10:15 AM
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  • 2 Comments

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