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  • Press Play
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    OSCARS DEATH RACE: FOOTNOTE

    In the press notes I received at the screening of "Footnote," writer/director Joseph Cedar comments that his film "qualifies as a tragedy, as most father-son stories do." It's a big statement; what's interesting about "Footnote" -- if not entirely successful -- is how Cedar presents that tragedy.

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    TWC's Radius Snaps up Sundance Comedy 'Bachelorette' and Thriller 'Pusher' -- Remake of 'Drive' Director Refn's Original

    In its second pick-up this week, following acquisition of writer-director Leslye Headland’s “Bachelorette,” The Weinstein Company’s new Radius-TWC shingle has grabbed US and Caribbean-basin rights to the English-language film “Pusher,” a remake of “Drive” director Nicolas Winding Refn’s 1996 original...

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  • SydneysBuzz
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    Canada Revisited

    A year ago in Sundance we interviewed Telefilm Canada’s Carolle Brabant who had taken the reins of Telefilm the previous March. While often the Canadian films are waiting to premiere at Cannes or Toronto. This year the number of upcoming greats which might make it to Cannes include Xavier Dolan’s latest Laurence Anyways (ISA: MK2), and Deepa Mehta’s Midnight's Children, based on a 1981 book by Salman Rushdie that deals with India's transition from British colonialism to independence and the partition of India. It won both the Booker Prize and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize in 1981 and was awarded the "Booker of Bookers" Prize and the best all-time prize winners in 1993 and 2008 to celebrate the Booker Prize 25th and 40th anniversary. It was also added to the list of Great Books of the 20th Century, published by Penguin Books.

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  • Press Play
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    OSCARS DEATH RACE: DRIVE

    OSCARS DEATH RACE: DRIVE

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  • Press Play
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    MATT ZOLLER SEITZ: Why, After 500 Episodes, Slagging The Simpsons Is Unfair

    At some point, a show stops being a show and becomes a utility: gas, electricity, water, "The Simpsons." That’s not my line; it’s cribbed from a quote about "60 Minutes" by its creator, the late Don Hewitt. But it seems appropriate to recycle a point about one long-running program in an article about another when it’s as self-consciously self-cannibalizing as "The Simpsons."

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  • Press Play
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    VIDEO ESSAY: An Open Source Epic - Nina Paley's SITA SINGS THE BLUES

    Adaptation and appropriation are important subtexts to Nina Paley’s award-winning animated epic, Sita Sings the Blues. Paley herself became a cause celebre among Fair Use activists seeking reforms to copyright law during her struggle to secure rights to jazz vocalist Annette Harshaw’s recordings. With this video essay, I look at how Paley took inspiration from both the tragic story of Sita in the Ramayana and Annette Harshaw’s bittersweet torch songs to deal with her own breakup, combining them to transform her personal suffering into art. In visualizing the legend of Sita, Paley incorporates traditional Indian and South Asian art forms that were themselves creative innovations on the source material at one point in history. In doing so, Paley plugs her work squarely into a cultural history too rich to be contained by digital rights restrictions, illustrating that true art is open to all.

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  • Leonard Maltin
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    The Vow—movie review

    'The Vow' was inspired by a news item that one of the producers read twelve years ago about a woman who, after an accident, had no memory of her husband. What a shame that the finished product—which comes after numerous attempts to create an effective screenplay over the past decade—is so lackluster. Whatever appeal it may have as a romantic drama derives from the casting of its stars; at least Rachel McAdams and Channing Tatum make an attractive and believable couple.

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  • Leonard Maltin
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    Journey 2: The Mysterious Island plus Daffy's Rhapsody

    Four years after a family-friendly 3-D version of Jules Verne’s Journey to the Center of the Earth, the same studio (but different filmmakers—and an entirely different cast, except for Josh Hutcherson) have come up with another PG-rated adventure yarn aimed at the same demographic. The good news is, it isn’t bad. Even the use of 3-D is pretty good.

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  • Leonard Maltin
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    Rampart—movie review

    When a movie about Los Angeles cops is co-written by noir specialist James Ellroy, you know it’s not going to paint a pretty picture. In Rampart, we learn all we need to know about the protagonist, Dave Brown (Woody Harrelson) in the first five minutes, and things go downhill from there.

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Crazy Brilliant? DreamWorks and Working Title To Remake Hitchcock Classic 'Rebecca'

    Is it total hubris or a stroke of genius to attempt a remake of Alfred Hitchcock’s masterfully intense psychological thriller "Rebecca"? Either way, DreamWorks and Working Title are planning to pull it off, setting Steven Knight ("Eastern Promises") to write the screenplay.

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