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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Dennis Lehane Talks Shutter Island

    Dennis Lehane Talks Shutter Island

    The thing to remember about Shutter Island is that it's closely based on the novel by Dennis Lehane. James Cameron collaborator Laeta Kalogridis wrote the adaptation that lured Leonardo DiCaprio and Martin Scorsese. Read the book and you will see how closely she hewed to the original. Whatever the movie's strengths or weaknesses--and it has both--they come from the book. I'd argue that as cinematic as this paranoid thriller is, it works better as a book than a movie. That's because Scorsese faced the challenge of making this high-wire reality vs. fiction puzzle into a plausible, believable narrative that didn't throw the audience for a complete loop. Some buy it, some don't.

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  • REVERSEBLOG: the reverse shot blog
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    Twists and Shouts: Kimberly Reed's "Prodigal Sons"

    In the first twenty or so minutes of Kimberly Reed’s marvelous documentary Prodigal Sons, the film’s director, who is also one of its main subjects, returns to her small Montana hometown to attend a high-school reunion. En route, she is reunited with her adopted older brother, Marc, with whom she casually mentions she has been estranged for over a decade. Soon, the first bombshell, uttered by Marc from the backseat of a car: his sister Kim, our narrator, used to be his brother, Paul. A third child, Todd, will waft in and out of conversation and the movie itself. Shot in perfunctory home video style with the occasional Big Sky Country visual interlude, these early scenes would seem to establish the film in predictable personal-diary doc territory—and though the structure and aesthetics of the film will not necessarily come to refute this impression, Prodigal Sons turns out to be so much more. Read Michael Koresky's review of Prodigal Sons.

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  • The Lost Boys
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    James Cameron's "Greatest Oscar Speech Ever" Revealed

    Vanity Fair has one hell of a parody up on its Oscar blog in which it fantasizes about James Cameron's Oscar speech. It's one of the funniest Oscar-related things I've ever read, truly...

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  • iW NOW
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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Berlinale 60 Day Nine: En Familie, The Killer Inside Me, Rock Hudson, Making the Boys

    Berlinale 60 Day Nine: En Familie, The Killer Inside Me, Rock Hudson, Making the Boys

    Our Berlin correspondent Meredith Brody experiences highs and lows as the festival winds down, from the skillfully-made documentary Making the Boys to the huge yet hugely disappointing Nine:

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  • Leonard Maltin
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    dvd review: Bad Girls of Film Noir

    (Volumes 1 and 2)

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  • The Lost Boys
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  • REVERSEBLOG: the reverse shot blog
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    It Was a Dark and Stormy Night . . . : Scorsese's "Shutter Island"

    Once upon a time, Martin Scorsese’s occasional dabbling in genre filmmaking would come packaged with a twist. Indeed, looking back over his oeuvre, one can spot the musical, the sports picture, the comedy, the horror film, (and, yes, the gangster film). Yet the final product was so far afield from such strictly designated categories that one would never dare reduce them. New York, New York (perhaps the film that most baldly evokes common movie tropes) transcends imitation in its raw performances and abnormal scene duration, in the chilling brutality of its palpable, almost Cassavetes-like marital spats; Raging Bull, of course, never was your grandfather’s boxing picture, an intensely personal and nearly ethnographic dissection of a lone brute; The King of Comedy’s thin veneer of slapstick barely conceals some of the most terrifying pathologies put onscreen in the Eighties; Cape Fear’s monster slices through the screen with agonizing, suspenseful precision, yet it’s that rare depiction of a family’s dysfunction that truly frightens, wrenching ideas of good and evil out of their comfort zones. To praise these films is not to instantly assume that such genres necessarily need to be scrutinized or eviscerated, but to acknowledge Scorsese’s imbuing of common narrative fallbacks with his seeking, passionate artistry, which often has manifested not merely as technical bravura but as part of a individualistic journey, both through film and his own tenable life philosophies.

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  • Matt Dentler's Blog
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    The Wal-Mart and Vudu deal is almost done

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  • Matt Dentler's Blog
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    Five New Albums Worth Your Dime

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