Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Celebrating 17 Years of Film.Biz.Fans.

the Blogs

recent Posts

  • REVERSEBLOG: the reverse shot blog
    0 comments

    I Was a Teenage Frankenstein: Joe Wright's "Hanna"

    “A perfect soldier” is how a military bigwig approvingly describes a headless column of masculine muscle in Robert Minor’s notorious 1916 antiwar cartoon for The Masses. The same phrase appears late in Joe Wright’s Hanna, in the obligatory spell-it-out speech that explains the illicit genetics behind the eponymous heroine’s ability to cut bloody swaths through hordes of armed men. The difference here, of course, is that the killing machine is played by dainty, willowy Saoirse Ronan, whose uncanny appearance—a spectral paleness that seems to blur the boundaries separating her porcelain skin, blanched tresses, and ashen eyes—suggests a pubescent Tilda Swinton in makeup for a Village of the Damned remake. That might have been a nifty visual joke were the film able to register the absurdity and wild humor inherent in its sparrow-sized protagonist’s rampages. As it is, the tomboy-fu on display aims to goose the audience as much as Hit-Girl’s slice ‘n’ dice massacres in Kick-Ass while cloaking its questionable jollies with a veneer of art-house respectability. The resulting superficies often jangle and tingle, but the film’s vision of adolescence as fairy-tale espionage remains tastefully hollow, with its young heroine’s storms of violence increasingly becoming as calculated as any of Shirley Temple’s tap dances of pouting and sniffling. Read Fernando F. Croce's review of Hanna.

    Read More »
  • Women and Hollywood
    0 comments

    Good News: A.J. Cook and Paget Brewster Might be Heading Back to Criminal Minds

    Less than a year after making the bone headed decision to cut A.J. Cook and then Paget Brewster from Criminal Minds it looks like they might be heading back into the BAU. The show did a really good arc (one of the most interesting on the show) to say farewell to Brewster and also brought in a newbie agent played by Rachel Nichols to shore up the female factor on the show.

    Read More »
  • Thompson on Hollywood
    0 comments

    MGM Pacts with Twentieth Century Fox for Homevideo

    It feels like things are on the up-and-up at MGM, as the studio renews its home entertainment deal with Fox. Wednesday, MGM announced its five-year co-financing deal with Sony, which plans to theatrically release worldwide and help fund the next two James Bond films. Peter Jackson has finally started production on MGM/New Line/Warner Bros. co-production the Hobbit in Wellywood, New Zealand, which will be released in two parts by Warner Bros. in 2012 and 2013.

    Read More »
  • Peter Bogdanovich
    0 comments

    Sidney Lumet

    Early in 1958, Sidney Lumet directed me in a live TV production of Hemingway’s short story, Fifty Grand, starring Ralph Meeker; I was still 18, and it was a bit part: in the boxing sequences, I was the kid who walked around the edge of the ring, holding up a sign of which round it was. As a director, I noticed, Sidney moved fast, in complete control of the set. Everybody—cast or crew alike---were all “darling,” “sweetheart,” “honey,” “baby” to Sidney. He was very New York theatrical---having made his stage debut at age four---acting on Broadway and at the Yiddish Theatre, he learned on his feet what actors go through, what they need and what they don’t need. Sidney was also very precise; he knew exactly how the scene would cut together, and therefore shot only what he needed, without covering himself with alternate cutting possibilities. (All those hundreds of hours of live television he directed didn’t hurt for experience in quick decision-making and urgency.) In the business, it’s called “cutting in the camera”, and it's practically unheard of today. Sidney was perhaps the last survivor of the classic techniques that were common to most directors in the studio system: John Ford and Alfred Hitchcock ---antipodes as artists---both cut in the camera. So did Howard Hawks and Orson Welles.

    Read More »
  • Thompson on Hollywood
    0 comments

    Weekend Boxoffice Looks Up as Family Toon Rio Faces Horror Comedy Scream 4

    Studios keep insisting that spring doldrums will give way to summer-level box office when the right product hits the marketplace. Well, that might be this weekend, reports Anthony D'Alessandro:Looking to buck the box office blues, 20th Century Fox is banking that families will cha-cha into theatres for their 3-D toon Rio, while Dimension Films is planning to scare both old fans and new into its horror four-quel Scream 4. Per Box Office Mojo, the annual box office through yesterday is at $2.4 billion, off 22% from the January – mid April frame a year ago.

    Read More »
  • Jared Moshé's Blog
    0 comments
  • The Playlist
    0 comments

    'Daydream Nation' Soundtrack Includes Metric's Emily Haines, Stars, Devendra Banhart, Sebadoh & More

    Canadian indie-pic "Daydream Nation" starring Kat Dennings, Reece Thompson ("Ceremony"), Andie MacDowell and Josh Lucas looks... well, OK. It looks "Juno"-esque for lack of a better way to put it and that's either a plus or a minus, depending on who you are. The film debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival last year, and we suppose we're curious to see how it actually turned out as we missed it during the festival.

    Read More »
  • The Playlist
    0 comments

    'The Tree Of Life,' 'Drive' & 'Melancholia' Head Up Mouth-Watering 2011 Cannes Line-Up

    Almodovar, Paolo Sorrentino, Takashi Miike, The Dardenne Brothers & Lynne Ramsay; Also In Line-Up; 'Pirates 4,' 'Kung Fu Panda 2' & 'The Beaver' To Play Out Of CompetitionThis morning brought one of the moments on the calendar that every serious film lover awaits with bated breath: the announcement of the line-up for this year's Cannes Film Festival, still the most prestigious on the circuit. Year after year, some of the world's best directors hold off to debut their new films on the Croisette, and virtually every year brings at least one stone-cold classic -- along, of course, with the famous Cannes bombs. With last year's selection generally deemed to be the weakest in a while, has this year's batch (the 64th!) turned things around? We've heard the rumors for months now, and we knew that Woody Allen's latest, "Midnight in Paris," would be opening the festival on May 11th, but little solid fact otherwise. So -- how's it looking?

    Read More »
  • The Playlist
    0 comments

    Cannes Preview: First Official Look At Sean Penn In 'This Must Be The Place'; Clip From 'Miss Bala'

    Based on that pic alone, via InContention, we'd already be lining up for "This Must Be the Place," but with the great cast and talent behind the film on top of it, it's yet another exciting entry in what is shaping up to be one helluva year on the Croisette. Starring Sean Penn, Frances McDormand, Harry Dean Stanton, Kerry Condon, Judd Hirsch and Bono’s daughter Eve Hewson, the film, directed by Paolo Sorrentino ("Il Divo"), centers on Penn's character, an aging rock star, who becomes obsessed in tracking down the Nazi criminal who tortured his father. Sounds pretty great, right? Well, if that's not enough, David Byrne is collaborating with Will Oldham on the soundtrack. Game, set, match. The film will premiere In Competition at Cannes; bigger pic of Penn and that hair below.

    Read More »
  • The Playlist
    0 comments

    Michael C. Hall & Vera Farmiga To Share 'Love, Scotch And Death'

    Michael C. Hall has had no problem being a TV star. He broke out in "Six Feet Under" and currently leads the popular "Dexter," but his moves into film have been less successful. "Gamer" was terrible and "Peep World" never lived up to the promise it had on paper. But he's hoping that James Manos Jr., the man who adapted Jeff Lindsay's "Dexter," will have the key to break him into something worthwhile.

    Read More »