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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Weekend Preview: X-Men Lands with Naked Mystique, Indies Beginners and Submarine Are Must-Sees

    It's a weekend of stellar and star-packed openings, with well-reviewed X-Men: First Class opening (finally fanboys get a glimpse at naked Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique, picture below), along with buzzing indies Beginners, Submarine and Beautiful Boy. While Christopher Plummer and Ewan McGregor shine in Mike Mills' Beginners, and in rookie Richard Ayoade's Submarine the "excruciating and the hilarious mingle nearly to perfection, Shawn Ku's Beautiful Boy throws a pity party. Stars Maria Bello and Michael Sheen give as much as they can, but their audience will be severely limited by this grief-stricken drama that labors more than it elevates.

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  • The Playlist
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    Wayne Kramer To Direct Futuristic 'Ecstasia'

    Wayne Kramer: overrated or underrated? Depends who you ask. He made a name for himself with the indie "The Cooler" and followed it up with post-Tarantino multi-strand Paul Walker thriller "Running Scared" which in this writer's opinion doesn't deserve the cult following the film has. After that, Kramer switched it up again with the political drama "Crossing Over" which found him battling with the Weinsteins who ultimately buried the film. Earlier this year, Kramer was tapped to direct the Sylvester Stallone vehicle "Headshots" but later bowed out over "creative differences" with word that he had his another project brewing that was close to getting financed. Well, it has.

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  • Leonard Maltin
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    movie review: Cameraman: The Life And Work Of Jack Cardiff

    After years of DVD special features, even dedicated buffs may be somewhat blasé about a film that takes us behind the scenes to explore one man’s career…but this is no ordinary documentary, and its subject is no ordinary filmmaker. Jack Cardiff was a remarkable artist who grew up with the British movie industry and carved a niche for himself through his pioneering use of Technicolor, notably in the Michael Powell-Emeric Pressburger classics A Matter of Life and Death, The Red Shoes and Black Narcissus. He was the first cinematographer ever presented with an honorary Academy Award, in 2001.

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  • The Playlist
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    In Theaters: 'X-Men: First Class' Bullies 'Submarine' & 'Beginners' At The Box Office

    What up, my mutants? It's time for another summer comic book tentpole! Matthew Vaughn's "X-Men: First Class" hits theaters with its stacked line up of stars. If 'splosions n' laser beams n' shape shifting aren't your thing, you are in luck, as not one but two charming indie dramas also start their roll out: "Submarine," the debut feature from Richard Ayoade, and Mike Mills' sophomore effort "Beginners." There's also a host of smaller projects on screens, so let's get started, shall we?

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  • The Playlist
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    'American Psycho' Director Mary Harron Gets 'Wicked Lovely'

    Mary Harron came into the film world in a blaze of glory. With a one-two punch of the colorful "I Shot Andy Warhol" followed up with the contemporary classic "American Psycho," it seemed that the director was a vibrant, exciting new voice, but her subsequent efforts failed to live up to that promise. "The Notorious Betty Page" was a sturdy, if not particularly memorable biopic and since then she's padded out her television directing CV and has a Canadian vampire flick, "The Moth Diaries," in post-production right now. But it looks like Harron is going to get her first taste of potential franchise fare.

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  • REVERSEBLOG: the reverse shot blog
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    Reverse Shot Talkies #29: Kyle Smith

    First-time filmmaker Kyle Smith and host Eric Hynes flee the madness of SXSW 2011 for the quieter comforts of the gridiron. Watch as they talk Bazin, Altman, and Turkey Bowl, Smith's terrific, unique debut feature. -----Turkey Bowl was easily one of the best films we caught at SXSW, and we're bummed we haven't had time to give it a full review yet. Brooklyn's ReRun Gastropub is giving it a week-long run starting today, so New Yorkers looking for a terrific 67 minutes of cinema should head on over. We're expecting great things from Kyle.

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  • Shadow and Act
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    Josephine Baker Was Born Today... Watch "The Josephine Baker Story" Starring Lynn Whitfield

    Today in history, June 3rd, 1906... dancer, singer and actress Freda Josephine McDonald (aka Josephine Baker), who gained fame in Paris, France, thanks to her "risque" cabaret and musical hall performances, was born in St. Louis, Missouri.

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  • The Playlist
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    Review: The Drug Kingpin As Academic In 'Mr. Nice'

    Movies, and society as a whole, have struggled with how to portray drug dealers. The default showcase is the bloodthirsty villain, the person who is so one-dimensional as to think he knows what he’s doing is wrong, but does so anyway. But the cinema isn’t afraid to glamorize the profession either, showcasing the supplier as paradigm-busting rock star -- the best cars, the best planes, the best fashion, with a sex partner on each arm. Few opportunities have been taken to redefine the drug dealer as someone with a job, someone who isn’t desperately obsessed with his rise and fall, or the media circus that may relate to his surroundings. Then again, the argument could be that there haven’t been any on-screen kingpins quite like Howard Marks, the renaissance man at the heart of “Mr. Nice.”

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  • Women and Hollywood
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    Interview with Liz Garbus, Director of Bobby Fischer Against the World

    Liz Garbus is a prolific documentarian. Her latest film, Bobby Fischer Against the World which premiered at Sundance is a fascinating look at chess champion Bobby Fischer and all his demons, will premiere on HBO this Monday evening kicking off the summer documentary series.

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  • Shadow and Act
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    2011 MTV Movie Awards Adds "Best African Movie" Category To Lineup; 4 Films Nominated

    The 2011 20th annual MTV Movie Awards airs live on the network this Sunday, June 5th, hosted by actor/comedian Jason Sudeikis at the Gibson Amphitheatre, in Universal City, California. And this year, for the very first time in the awards' history, African cinema will be recognized in its own separate category - Best African Movie.

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