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  • Press Play
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    AARON ARADILLAS: JAWS: the film and the director that changed everything

    It is often said that Steven Spielberg’s Jaws, his excitingly directed adaptation of Peter Benchley’s disposable beach read about a summer community being terrorized by a great white shark, ushered in what we now know as the modern blockbuster. It, along with George Lucas’ Star Wars, brought about what we now accept as the Summer Movie Season. Up until Jaws, studios had considered the summer a vast wasteland where they could offload their grade-z programmers. Just like the town of Amity in the film (really Martha’s Vineyard), where a successful summer tourist season could carry the town through the rest of the year, Hollywood studios would forever rely on summer blockbusters to carry them throughout the rest of the year. This is all true, but Jaws is something else. Look closely and you’ll see it is actually the last old-fashioned adventure, a kind of farewell to a rickety yet sturdy style of Hollywood film-making – and values.

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Variety Executive Editor Steve Gaydos' Protest on Road to Nowhere's LAFCA Shutout Was an Inside Joke

    It turns out that Variety Executive Editor Steve Gaydos' email protesting the Los Angeles Film Critics Association's ignoring Monte Hellman film "Road to Nowhere" in its 2011 awards voting, which was posted on Hellman's Facebook page, was an elaborate inside joke. UPDATED

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  • The Playlist
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    D.A Pennebaker's 'The War Room,' David Lean's Noel Coward Films & More Head To Criterion In March; 'Last Temptation Of Christ' Goes Blu

    It's the middle of the month, which means Criterion has unveiled their latest batch of titles and once again, it will test the strength of your wallet. But this March, the boutique label is also showing some savvier then usual marketing muscle as well.

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Oscar Watch: The Artist is the One to Beat

    Yes, "The Artist" is running away with the Oscar ball. It's has love from critics, dominated the SAG and Golden Globes nominations, and is strong with actors and craftspeople alike. As a nostalgic love letter to the movies--and a comic/tragic/romance--it has everything a Academy member could love, and will grab more Oscar nominations than any other film.

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  • The Playlist
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    Watch: Trailer For Dario Argento's 'Dracula 3D' Promises It Will Be Awesome Because Of That Giant Praying Mantis

    We kind of totally forgot/put it out of our minds because he hasn't made a halfway decent movie in years, but the legendary Dario Argento is nearing completion on "Dracula 3D" and now a sales trailer for the movie has arrived. The effects aren't done, but as expected, it looks fucking awful. On the other hand, however, there is a giant fucking praying mantis in this, so basically, now we're gonna have to watch this thing.

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  • The Playlist
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    Bret Easton Ellis Says 'American Psycho' Remake Will Be "Genuine"

    Of all the remakes to be announced in the last little while, Lionsgate's do-over of "American Psycho" has generated the most (outraged) chatter. Already deemed a contemporary classic starring a wickedly deranged Christian Bale and directed with finesse by Mary Harron, the film took the source novel's satircal edge to its logical ends. Anyway, the story is being updated to contemporary New York by commercials and music video director Noble Jones (who also helmed the Grammy nominated "10 Days Out: Blues From The Backroad"), and of all people, it's the author Bret Easton Ellis who has become a champion of sorts for the movie.

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  • The Playlist
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    Rewind: Orson Welles Was Victorious In Ad For Board Game 'Dark Tower'

    Orson Welles is essentially known for three things: 1) making The Greatest Movie Of All Time with "Citizen Kane" 2) forever being plagued by a variety of issues on pretty much every movie he made afterward (weep for the lost 30 minutes of "The Magnificent Ambersons") and 3) making a handful of bizarre ads in the latter stage of his career.

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  • The Playlist
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    Marrakech Film Festival '11: Sigourney Weaver Talks 'Avatar,' 'Prometheus' & Forgetting The Pain of 'Alien 3'

    It's said you should try to avoid meeting the people you admire, as they're bound to disappoint. Sigourney Weaver, however, put the lie on that entirely when we got to talk with her at the recent Marrakech International Film Festival, where she was serving as President of the short films jury. If her recent movie choices have been a bit mixed (for every "Rampart" there's an "Abduction") Weaver herself seems teflon-coated in that she can emerge from lesser films intact, and somehow any blame gets deflected onto the films themselves for not being able to capitalize properly on her particular brand of charisma. This erratic quality level has also, presumably, a lot to do with being an actress of a certain age who wants to work regularly, (and boy, does she work: 2011 saw her in 4 theatrical releases -- the aforementioned films plus "Paul" and "Cedar Rapids"); it's hardly controversial to suggest that Hollywood isn't exactly programmed for the sixtysomething actress, even someone as iconic as Weaver.

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  • The Playlist
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    Review: 'Carnage' Is Fun While It Lasts, But Insubstantial & Anonymous

    Compared to his last film, Roman Polanski's "Carnage" must have been a breeze. Not that the shoot for "The Ghost Writer" was "Fitzcarraldo" or anything, but, famously, the project hit a major speed bump in September 2009, while the film was in post-production, when the helmer was arrested in Zurich, and deportation proceedings were begun against him for the statutory rape case that has overshadowed the last thirty-odd years of his career. The Swiss authorities decided not to hand Polanski over, but he still spent months in prison, and was forced to complete post on his Robert Harris adaptation from there.

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  • Shadow and Act
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    Idris Elba Barely Appears In New "Ghost Rider" Trailer

    Don't blink, don't turn your head, don't even move or else you'll miss Idris Elba in this new trailer for Ghost Rider:Spirit of Vengeance movie, coming out in Februray. What you will get is a whole lot of incoherent noisy action and a shitload of CGI overkill for coke bottle glasses wearing nerdy fanboys.

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