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Thompson on Hollywood

Weekend Box Office Top Ten: Falling 'Fast & Furious' and Sleeper 'Now You See Me' Trounce Shyamalan/Smith Combo 'After Earth'

With the help of an unexpected sleeper success ("Now You See Me") and a continued decent showing for "Fast and Furious 6," the combined weekend gross for the top 10 again rose above last year's ($150 million, up from $133) even with the disappointing initial numbers from "After Earth," which was expected to be #1 this weekend.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • June 2, 2013 1:02 PM
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  • 2 Comments

Review Roundup: M. Night Shyamalan Makes a "Non-Happening" with 'After Earth,' Starring a Sparkless Jaden and Will Smith

Critics aren't impressed with either M. Night Shyamalan's directorial work or the Jaden and Will Smith pairing in new apocalyptic sci-fi entry "After Earth" (June 7). The venom towards Shyamalan is strong (Sony all but cut his name from the film's marketing), with Variety calling his film a "non-happening," and the Hollywood Reporter pointing out that the director does little to help 14-year-old Jaden Smith, obviously flailing in a role meant to carry the film. Roundup below.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • May 30, 2013 11:51 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Casting Watch: Quvenzhané Wallis for 'Annie,' Saoirse Ronan Joins Ryan Gosling's Directorial Debut, Jennifer Aniston in for Bogdanovich's Latest

Quvenzhané Wallis, the live-wire best actress nominee from "Beasts of the Southern Wild," is in contention to star in a remake of "Annie," directed by Will Gluck ("Easy A"), produced by Will Smith and Jay-Z.
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • February 11, 2013 2:58 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Post-Apocalyptic Trailer Watch: Tom Cruise's 'Oblivion' & Will Smith's 'After Earth' UPDATE

As Criticwire's Matt Singer humorously points out, the Hollywood pipeline currently holds two sci-fi films about lone survivors on post-apocalyptic Earths -- and both star Scientologists...
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • December 10, 2012 3:02 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Career Watch: Will Smith, Still on His Throne?

Music-TV-film superstar Will Smith did not mark his return to the box office (after a four year hiatus) with a bang, but it wasn't a crash either. "Men in Black III" knocked "The Avengers" off its top spot, and while it's no disaster, it finished the weekend short of expectations. It's better than expected, but only because the bar with "MIB2" had been set so low. While the landscape has changed and movie stardom doesn't mean what it once did, it's undeniable that Smith is one of our last remaining beloved stars, with a string of successful dramas, comedies, action movies and thrillers. He's been in the public eye for the majority of his life, and has yet to dance on Oprah's couch. Does anyone not love Will Smith?
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • May 29, 2012 4:22 PM
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  • 2 Comments

Immersed in Movies: Tripping Out on the Cartoon Reality of 'Men in Black 3'

The "Men in Black" franchise has always been a live-action "Looney Tunes" cartoon, a wacky mix of old school and new school. The "Alienbusters" premise is totally unique and practically imitation-proof, as director Barry Sonnenfeld reminds us...
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • May 24, 2012 3:49 PM
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  • 3 Comments

'Men In Black III' Reviews: Better Than The Second, But Still Irrelevant

The arrival of "Men in Black III" on May 25 is exciting mostly because Will Smith hasn't been on the big screen since 2008's "Seven Pounds." Bill Desowitz also finds it's 3-D a revelation for the comedy genre...
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • May 22, 2012 1:46 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Immersed in Movies: Talking 3-D with 'Men in Black 3' Director Barry Sonnenfeld

I recently sat down for a private 3-D demo of "Men in Black 3" with director Barry Sonnenfeld, and the first thing that dawned on me was that there haven't been any noteworthy 3-D comedies during this current renaissance. It's all been shock and awe so far.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • April 21, 2012 12:19 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Theron, Reitman, Cody Talk Young Adult: Go-for-Broke Screenwriting, Assholes Don't Change, C Word

After the sixth and final pop-up screening of Jason Reitman's Young Adult Tuesday night at Los Angeles' New Beverly, Reitman, writer Diablo Cody and stars Charlize Theron, Patton Oswalt and Elizabeth Reaser did a Q & A. TOH! guest blogger Beth Hanna reports highlights from the conversation. Paramount is releasing the film December 16.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • November 2, 2011 5:44 AM
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  • 4 Comments

IN THE WORKS: Independence Day Sequels Want To Take Your Money, Even if They Don't Pay for Smith

Fox will make not one but two Independence Day sequels, fifteen years (and counting) after the original Will Smith pic raked in $800 million across the globe. It's not a new idea -- the studio had wanted to green light a sequel for some time, but both Smith and director Roland Emmerich demanded huge paychecks. So Fox focused on developing scripts and declared that the franchise could proceed with or without them.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • October 27, 2011 6:09 AM
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  • 1 Comment

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