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  • iW NOW
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    New Audience Award for 2010 Gothams

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  • iW NOW
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  • REVERSEBLOG: the reverse shot blog
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    What's up with Luis the gardener in "The Kids Are All Right"?

    So, yeah, Lisa Cholodenko’s The Kids Are All Right is fine.  The massive buzz left us suspicious: could the creator of Laurel Canyon possibly have churned out something worthy of so much hyperbole?  Well, no, but in this dolorous summer of movie tedium (Inception . . . zzzzz), it stands out.  Even if it has a distinctly uncinematic aesthetic (read: just past sitcom-level visual acuity), The Kids Are All Right features a nicely assembled screenplay that generously provides room for all its major characters to shine and be shitty by turns, which Cholodenko’s cast of skilled performers clearly relishes.  She even manages the reclamation of Annette Bening from the pastures of hysterical overacting.  As anyone who’s seen American Beauty or In Dreams can attest, subtlety isn’t her strong suit, but Cholodenko ably compresses the actress’s usually explosive tics into a believably high-strung career woman.  In fact, perhaps what’s best about The Kids Are All Right is that everyone in it feels like a real person.  Contrast that with the romantic comedy of Nancy Meyers: The Kids Are All Right isn’t far from It’s Complicated in intended audience effect (warm, knowing laughs) and interest in the many permutations of family, but one film is concerned with people, the other, movie stars acting out gilded fantasies.

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Inception is Mad Men: Dom is Don

    Pop Watch's Jeff Jensen argues that Mad Men's Don (Draper [Jon Hamm]) is in fact the same "heroic anti-hero" as Inception's Dom (Cobb [Leonardo DiCaprio]) - and not just because of the varying consonant. He insists that the TV show and film are very much the same thing, with only a few differences ("period setting" and "Lionel Richie-inspired dancing-on-the-ceiling special effects").

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Women in Hollywood: Salander vs. Gilbert, Bullock Is Forbes #1, Rom-Com Actresses, Lady Gaga

    - Two literary characters--Lisbeth Salander and Elizabeth Gilbert--built huge fan bases of women book lovers well before the characters hit the big screen. Fans eagerly await the news of who David Fincher will cast as Salander in the English-language version of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (and subsequent sequels); the Swedish originals starred Noomi Rapace. And author Elizabeth Gilbert is days away from watching herself portrayed by Julia Roberts in Eat Pray Love.

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Take Shyamalan's Name Off the Devil Trailer!

    Take Shyamalan's Name Off the Devil Trailer!

    M. Night's Shyamalan's The Last Airbender was slammed by critics: it earned an abysmal 8% on the Tomatometer. No question that since Shyamalan's strong breakout The Sixth Sense, followed by Unbreakable and Signs, his last features (The Village, Lady in the Water, and The Happening) are trending downward with both critics and more important, audiences. And movie sites have not hesitated to catalogue everything wrong with the director, and to offer constructive advice.

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  • Leonard Maltin
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    book review: Three Chords For Beauty's Sake:

    The Life of Artie Shaw by Tom Nolan (Norton)

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  • Spout
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    On DVD: "The Living Wake"

    If you're not anywhere near a theater currently playing Aaron Schneider's acclaimed "Get Low," you can somewhat make due for now by renting the very slightly similar, less-known indie "The Living Wake," which is also about a man holding a kind of eulogy service for himself while still alive. Directed by Sol Tryon and originally released to the fest circuit in '07, the strange and dark comedy finally hit DVD yesterday courtesy of Breaking Glass Pictures. Having long seen and heard people like Stu VanAirsdale, Aaron Hillis and Cinematical's Erik Davis all rave about it, I figured I'd give it a try for this week's DVD spotlight. Especially since I haven't been able to make time for "Get Low" yet and thought this would tide me over.

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    More: Home Video
  • Women and Hollywood
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    If Women Like It, It Must Be Stupid

    That is the title of the accompanying piece that talks to best-selling author Elizabeth Gilbert in this week's Entertainment Weekly which has Julia Roberts and Eat Pray Love on the cover.

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    More: Sexism
  • The Playlist
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    Review: 'The Other Guys' Is Funny Enough To Give Your Copy Of 'Anchorman' A Break

    From its balls-out opening (narrated by Ice-T, of course), "The Other Guys" plays with testosterone-injected, action-movie tropes, speeding up the editing while slowing down the fight sequences. But as easily as director Adam McKay makes the transition to action, he never entirely leaves his comic roots behind. Filled with comedic heavyweights, "The Other Guys" is an even match for "The Expendables," going pound for pound with Sly Stallone's film in terms of star power. McKay sees you your Stallone, Willis, Li, Statham, et al., and he'll raise you Will Ferrell, Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Samuel L. Jackson, Michael Keaton, Eva Mendes, Steve Coogan, and enough recognizable stars to challenge the SAG awards for wattage. By the time "Human Giant"'s Rob Huebel makes an appearance in the second act, you'll be tired of explaining to your less-educated movie mate who "that guy" is.Detectives Allen Gamble (Ferrell) and Terry Hoitz (Wahlberg) live at their desks, fading into the shadows of rock star cops Highsmith (Jackson) and Danson (Johnson). While those two are out saving the city (and leaving destruction and paperwork in their wake), the less exciting cops at the precinct — the men of the title — are left to deal with the mundane details of police work. Terry bristles at his partner's every twitch and hum, and he longs to get back into the action while Allen is content to remain desk-bound. They're the butt of jokes by their fellow officers (Rob Riggle and Damon Wayans Jr.) and a source of embarrassment for their captain (Keaton). However, when Allen's background as an accountant helps him uncover evil — or at least an unfiled scaffolding permit — they may finally have their chance at solving crime on the streets of New York.

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