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Thompson on Hollywood

Weekend Box Office Showdown: Cowboys & Aliens Edges Out Smurfs; Crazy, Stupid, Love Scores UPDATED

Weekend Box Office Showdown: Cowboys & Aliens Edges Out Smurfs; Crazy, Stupid, Love Scores UPDATED
Star-studded sci-fi western Cowboys & Aliens was expected to handily win the weekend box office, but had to scuffle with family-friendly The Smurfs for the top spot. Anthony D'Alessandro reports:In a shootout at the cinema corral, Sony’s The Smurfs ambushed Universal’s co-production Cowboys & Aliens for the No. 1 spot, with both studios splitting their gold nuggets at an estimated $36.2 million apiece. Family films kicking fanboys in the pants is nothing new: back in March, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules pulled the rug out from under Sucker Punch.
  • By Anthony D'Alessandro
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  • July 31, 2011 4:47 AM
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  • 6 Comments

Cowboys & Aliens, Crazy, Stupid, Love & Indies The Future, The Guard, Interrupters, Life in a Day

Cowboys & Aliens, Crazy, Stupid, Love & Indies The Future, The Guard, Interrupters, Life in a Day
Cowboys & Aliens gets the prize for most literal title, if nothing else. While Andrew O'Hehir writes: "The movie never makes much of a case for its own existence; it's a mediocre western clumsily welded to a mediocre alien shoot-'em-up," and Roger Moore concludes: "A perfectly serviceable B-movie in the modern mold -- lots of money, lots of stars, lots of explosions and lots of credited screenwriters," TOH!'s review was somewhere in the middle, considering both the good (Harrison Ford and Daniel Craig), the bad (Olivia Wilde) and the ugly (the aliens).
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • July 28, 2011 4:48 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Cowboys & Aliens Early Review Roundup: Favreau, Writers Talk Genre Clash

Cowboys & Aliens Early Review Roundup: Favreau, Writers Talk Genre Clash
In the days leading up to the Cowboys & Aliens world premiere July 23 at Comic-Con in San Diego, director Jon Favreau was anxious. He was telling anyone who would listen just how brave this mash-up of the sci-fi and western genres really is. In his Thursday Q & A with Guillermo Del Toro in Hall H, Favreau said, "Everyone agrees it's either going to be terrible or awesome... This movie was not the safe move. I was in a position to do something different. As movie budgets get higher they all become the same. If you take risks, when it pays off it's wonderful. If you can take failure it's ok." Favreau also refused to make the movie in 3-D, thankfully.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 27, 2011 6:29 AM
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  • 4 Comments

EW Cover Sells When Bond Met Indy, Not Cowboys & Aliens

"When Bond Met Indy" is a headline to woo any fan of movies, Hollywood icons, or handsome men. That's what EW's cover story sells with a joint profile of Harrison Ford and Daniel Craig.
  • By Anne Thompson and Maggie Lange
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  • July 21, 2011 7:20 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Five Things We Learn from Esquire on Daniel Craig: Dragon Tattoo Violence, Tintin Leotard

Esquire learned many things from Daniel Craig, much more than his favorite word being "fuck" and his blue eyes being money-makers. The British star has several anticipated movies due in theaters and in the works and plenty to talk about: Cowboys & Aliens (trailer below, July 29), Dream House (September 30), The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (teaser below, December 21), The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn (December 23) and Bond 23 (2012). (At the time of the interview, Craig's Dream House co-star Rachel Weisz was his girlfriend, not yet his wife.)
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • July 7, 2011 5:18 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Franco Nero Talks Meeting Quentin Tarantino, Django Unchained

Franco Nero was in London recently for the three-day cult film festival Cine-Excess. Matt Mueller reports:While in town, Franco Nero headed over to the Italian Cultural Institute to be bestowed along with wife Vanessa Redgrave with honorary degrees from Brunel University. Decked out in graduation gowns and caps, Nero answered a few questions about his career and, in particular, the enduring popularity of Sergio Corbucci’s spaghetti western Django and his title role as the coffin-dragging gunslinger. “It never dies,” said Nero. “I just got back from shooting a movie in Brazil and everybody was, ‘Django! Django!’ the whole time.”
  • By Matt Mueller
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  • June 29, 2011 3:56 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained: Casting is Key; DiCaprio In, Smith Out? Who Will Play Django?

Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained: Casting is Key; DiCaprio In, Smith Out? Who Will Play Django?
Quentin Tarantino is known for his unorthodox, out-of-the-box casting choices, from John Travolta, Robert Forster and Pam Grier to Brad Pitt, Kurt Russell, and David Carradine. Now Leonardo DiCaprio (who Tarantino chased for the role of Hans Landa in Inglourious Basterds) is in talks to play the villain in spaghetti western Django Unchained. He would play evil Mississippi Candyland plantation owner Calvin Candie, who also runs the Cleopatra Club that features sexually abused female slaves and mandingos forced to fight in death matches.
  • By Anne Thompson and Sophia Savage
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  • June 8, 2011 4:55 AM
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  • 23 Comments

Jon Favreau Talks Genre-Mash Cowboys & Aliens: The Science of Sincerity

In an interview with TOH's Anthony D'Alessandro last week at the National Italian American Federation Gala, where Jon Favreau was lauded with the org’s Special Entertainment Achievement Award, the actor-director gave up some nuggets of intel on his upcoming summer genre-mash Cowboys & Aliens, starring Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford.Kitschy high-concept vehicles can be a turnoff on their title alone. Before moviegoers even approached the ticket booth, they could smell the stench of the ridiculous in polyester pics such as 1996’s Mars Attacks! ($37.8 million), 2006’s Snakes on a Plane ($34 million) or 2007’s Grindhouse ($25 million) – all of which crashed at the domestic B.O., despite having credible talent attached. However, with Cowboys & Aliens, Favreau and Universal are hoping to best such Z-movie stigma by selling the summer tentpole as a straight-up, serious X-Files western, evident in the first trailer (see below) they released back in November.
  • By Anthony D'Alessandro
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  • May 27, 2011 12:18 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Polish Posters for American Westerns, from Winchester 73 to 3:10 to Yuma

Culture Clash alert: here's a selection of 22 Polish posters for American westerns. Winchester 73 is my fave. Check out the range here.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 11, 2011 12:13 PM
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  • 3 Comments

Tarantino Wants Will Smith to Star in Django Unchained

If Quentin Tarantino lands Will Smith for his Django Unchained, it will have a huge impact on the movie. I'm not sure how I feel about it, truth to tell. Imagine that the film is The Good the Bad and the Ugly meets Mandingo or Manderlay. It's what Tarantino said he wanted to do: an entertaining spaghetti western--or southern in this case--but it's set in a very ugly place in our history, the racist south in all its abusive plantation glory.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 7, 2011 3:27 AM
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  • 10 Comments

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