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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Venice Film Fest Review: Steve McQueen's Shame is Graphic, Transgressive, Full Frontal

    David Gritten reviews Steve McQueen's Shame from Venice; the film also screens at Telluride Sunday en route to Toronto, where it seeks a brave distributor willing to take on its NC-17 content.

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Telluride Day Two: From Nick James and German Silent Expressionism to Goodbye First Love and Clooney

    Meredith Brody continues her Telluride diary.The problem with writing about your day’s worth of movies and serendipitous festival sightings and conversations is that distance lends charms; yesterday I may have felt slightly cranky exiting Bela Tarr’s shaggy post-apocalyptical shaggy-horse-story The Turin Horse and running into people laughing and crying after seeing hot-off-the-presses The Descendants, or slightly jealous of the blissed-out audiences levitating down the hill from seeing Wim Wenders’ Pina, in the beloved Galaxy theater that is specially kitted out this year with a state-of-the-art sound system as well as 3-D with top-of-the-line glasses (one friend complains that they’re so heavy they wear a groove in her nose). I’ve wanted to see Pina since it premiered at the Berlinale in February and several people told me it was their favorite movie of the festival.

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Weekend Box Office: The Help and The Debt Throw Sharks, Apollo 18 Out of Orbit

    Adults are saving the Labor Day Weekend box office, reports Anthony D'Alessandro:Similar to last year's Labor Day box office when The American ruled, adults flocked to the holiday cinema once again with DreamWorks/Disney's The Help taking No. 1 with $14.2 million over three days and Focus Features' critically acclaimed The Debt paying off in second with $9.7 million.

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    More: Box Office
  • The Playlist
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    Weekend Box Office: Three Straight Weeks At #1 For 'The Help'

    There are all sorts of qualifiers to this summer becoming the most financially robust in box office history. Chief amongst them are both the inferior product, but also the illusion of 3D prices, which do an excellent job of covering up the consistently-dropping attendance numbers. In other words, money is money, inflated or otherwise, and not enough people balked at the enhanced prices, even though a number of 3D films loudly flopped this summer.

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  • The Playlist
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    Venice '11 Review: Al Pacino's 'Wilde Salome' An Oddity Dominated By Titanic Jessica Chastain Turn

    When did Alfredo James Pacino, Greatest Actor Of His Generation, turn into Shouty Al, Star Of "Righteous Kill" And "Jack and Jill"? The exact moment that the transformation took place is debatable, but it's hard to deny that, aside from some occasional good HBO work, Pacino has become a grotesque, bellowing inflation of former glories more often than not. But we live in hope that it's not a one way street, and that the star may find his way back to subtler movie work that he actually cares about. After all, he does, unlike many of his contemporaries, continue to return to the stage frequently, for much-praised performances, in the likes of "Orphans," "The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui" and, most recently, "The Merchant of Venice." And it's one of these stage turns that forms the center of Pacino's second film as director, "Wilde Salome," which like his debut "Looking For Richard," is a documentary examining one of his favorite plays, and the writer behind them.

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Torchwood: Miracle Day, Episode 9, The Gathering, Recap and Review: RTD Channels Ken Russell?

    Torchwood: Miracle Day, Episode 9, The Gathering, Recap and Review: RTD Channels Ken Russell?

    David Chute wishes he was in Shanghai.The plan was to spell out what I meant by that title, but on second thought it might be more fun to make a contest out of it. Readers who figure out the reference and its relevance to the next-to-the-last episode of Torchwood: Miracle Day will receive absolutely nothing for their pains except bragging tights. But when fans gather, isn't that what it's all about?

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    More: TV, Reviews
  • Shadow and Act
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    Weekend B.O. (Sept. 2-4) People Sure Love Themselves "The Help"

    You just knew it didn't you? That The Help was going to be No.1 again this weekend. It's like a freight train you can't stop. And there have to be black people who really like this film - though I'm guessing that most of them are those really old black folks on wheelchairs and walkers that I've been seeing lately at movie theaters.

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  • The Playlist
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    Review: Direct-To-DVD 'Blitz' Falls Somewhere In The Middle Of The Jason Statham Spectrum

    The world of “Blitz” is made up almost entirely of cops. On this cop planet, where the occasional child wanders into trouble and eventually is saved by said cops, these 9-to-5ers struggle to pay bills, worry about pensions, and operate from dingy, drab boardrooms. There’s a stark contrast between the ratty, dilapidated apartments where they live and the pristine, glassy office of a police psychologist. Most of these men and women are punching a clock, and seem too far down the food chain to change anything about this.

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  • The Playlist
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    Have Jean-Claude Van Damme & Chuck Norris Officially Joined 'Expendables 2'?

    Duo Listed In 'The Expendables 2' Cast On Millenium Films' WebsiteCasting rumors have long been circulating for "The Expendables 2," with names like John Travolta, Donnie Yen and Taylor Lautner among those being linked to the action sequel. While none of these have been confirmed, the website for Millennium Films has posted a cast list for the high testosterone actioner, slated for release next August, and in addition to the returning cast, the two new names are ones we've heard about several times already: Chuck Norris and Jean-Claude Van Damme.

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  • The Playlist
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    Telluride '11 Review: Glenn Close's Exquisite Performance Powers 'Albert Nobbs'

    The 19th century Ireland of director Rodrigo García's "Albert Nobbs" is rigid with insurmountable societal distinctions: every soul has his or her station firmly proscribed at birth, and escape is virtually unheard of. Against this stifling backdrop, García crafts an engaging, entertaining and enlightening piece of work that is richly dramatic and underscored by moments of wry, quiet humor. It doesn't hurt that, making good on all the pre-festival buzz, the film features Glenn Close in a performance that seems destined to earn her a sixth Oscar nomination and perhaps her first win (it would be well deserved).  She plays a woman who is passing as a man, the Albert Nobbs of the title. This she does in order to survive but also, perhaps, through careful planning, to find an unconventional way to fulfill closely held dreams and better her place in Irish society. As a butler in a Dublin hotel, The Morrison, Albert is precise, quiet, and as would be expected of one in that position, almost invisible. She’s frugal too; saving up money over the years with the goal of buying and running her own tobacco shop.

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