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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Fassbender/McQueen Reunite, Studio Critique, Love And Other Drugs, Mulligan Talks Never Let Me Go

    - The Guardian calls Hollywood's summer box office victory - approximately a 2.4% lead on 2009 - a hollow one; "the abiding memory of summer 2010 will be of a decline in standards" (the standards of storytelling, not technical effects). The arguments behind this hollow victory include the decline in actual people in theatre seats (lowest since 1997) and the rise in revenue (thanks, 3-D), the root of which conflicts with studios' growing challenge to stay relevant amongst growing sources of alternative entertainment (if they're only making movies for profit, they're undermining the argument for preserving the relevance of film). The Guardian also disses too many studio-approved screenplays that "too often settle for tired storylines, hackneyed dialogue and vacuous characters hiding behind music video sensibilities and loud explosions." The Guardian does see hope in the next year (including Never Let Me Go, but warns another "creatively impoverished" season of films will descend upon us sooner or later.

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  • Spout
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    Now You See It: "MacGruber" - Necessary Spoof or Deserved Flop?

    There is a sort of outcry I keep noticing regarding certain movies that aren't doing well at the box office. Movies that are very popular with the blog critics out there, like "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World" and "Kick-Ass." Those kinds of movies that are enthusiastically supported at Comic-Con only to be dismissed by the mainstream come theatrical release time. This year the phrase has also been used in relation to the disappointment of "MacGruber," which was well-received by the Austin crowd at its SXSW premiere only to be ignored at the multiplex two months later (it made even less than both the much-hated "Jonah Hex" and the science documentary "Hubble 3D," to give an idea of how little people cared about it). The phrase has variations, but the gist of the outcry involves telling readers that they'll be sorry after they discover such and such movie on video and then wish that they had seen it on the big screen.

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    More: Home Video
  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Summer Box Office Wrap: Winners and Losers, from Karate Kid to Cats and Dogs

    In the final analysis the summer box office doesn't look so bad, writes TOH numbers cruncher Anthony D'Alessandro, who insists that weighing cost vs. return is more important than tallying the grosses or admissions.

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  • iW NOW
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    TIFF Makes "Reitman Square" Official

    Piers Handling, Director and CEO of TIFF and Ward 20 Councillor Adam Vaughan today officially named Reitman Square, the footprint that will house TIFF Bell Lightbox, the year-round home for TIFF. Mr. Handling and Councillor Vaughan were joined by renowned director and producer Ivan Reitman, Agi Mandel and Susan Michaels, who in partnership with The Daniels Corporation donated the land. Director and producer Jason Reitman, a member of TIFF’s Artists’ Committee, joined the family to celebrate this exciting occasion. Situated on King Street, between John and Widmer in the heart of the Entertainment District, the square is named in honour of Leslie and Clara Reitman, the parents of Mr. Reitman, Ms. Mandel and Ms. Michaels. “Leslie and Clara persevered through hardships to bring their family to Canada and create a life for them,” said Handling in a statement. “Ivan, Agi and Susan’s recognition of their parents’ commitment and vision has played a vital role in the realization of this dream, building a home for film at TIFF Bell Lightbox. On behalf of the Board of Directors, the staff and film lovers from around the world, we are delighted to dedicate Reitman Square to Leslie and Clara.”

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Barney's Version in Sony's Hands

    Before its launch in Venice and Toronto Fest, Sony Pictures Classics has scooped up Barney's Version. Based on Mordecai Richler's acclaimed comic novel and directed by Richard J. Lewis, the film's stellar cast is led by Paul Giamatti, Minnie Driver, Dustin Hoffman and Rosamund Pike. The story spans three decades of Barney's extraordinary life (although he is an ordinary man), running through three wives, an absurd father and an indulgent best friend.

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  • Jared Moshé's Blog
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    Three Points - Your Texas State Fighting Armadillos

    Three Points - Your Texas State Fighting Armadillos

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    London Film Festival Announces Lineup

    From October 13 through 28 the 54th London Film Festival will screen 197 features and 112 shorts hailing from over 67 countries. Mark Romanek's Never Let Me Go will open the fest, and he will be the subject of one of the Screen Talks, along with Darren Aronofsky, whose Black Swan will also screen. Among the seventy American features playing are Derek Cianfrance's Sundance/Cannes holdover Blue Valentine [pictured], Tony Goldwyn's Conviction, Kelly Reichardt's Meek's Cutoff, Aaron Katz's Cold Weather and Danny Boyle's 127 Hours (which will close the festival). The festival is broken into several programs; Gala Screenings (The King's Speech), Film On The Square (Jean-Luc Godard's Film Socialisme and Chad's A Screaming Man), New British Cinema (Gilian Wearing's debut Self Made), French Revolutions (Guillaume Canet's Little White Lies with Marion Cotillard and Lola Doillon's In Your Hands with Kristin Scott Thomas), Cinema Europa (Eva Green in Womb), World Cinema (Michael Rowe's Cannes Camera d'Or winner Leap Year), Treasures From The Archive (Edward Yang's [Scorsese's World Cinema Foundation] A Brighter Summer Day), and Experimenta (Sharon Lockhart's feature Double Tide). On September 28, the fest will announce the award shortlist.

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  • The Playlist
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    Review: Francois Ozon's 'Hideaway' Features a Raw Performance from Isabelle Carré

    François Ozon has two modes: quietly restrained ("5x2," "Time to Leave") and gleefully unhinged ("8 Women," "Criminal Lovers"). Like most of his more recent work, his latest film, "Hideaway" (more appropriately titled "Le refuge" in French), lies sadly in the former category, focusing on a drug-addicted woman and her pregnancy in the wake of the baby's father's death. He's better (and far more interesting) when there's crime involved or other outrageous acts ("Swimming Pool" and "Sitcom"), but when he dwells in the mundane, his films veer toward boring. He remains a gifted filmmaker, but not as essential as he was in his youth.

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  • THE BACK ROW MANIFESTO by Tom Hall
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    Toronto 2010 | En Route

    Toronto 2010 | En Route

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  • REVERSEBLOG: the reverse shot blog
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    A Safe Place: François Ozon's "Le Refuge"

    At this point, it’s safe to say François Ozon is clearly neither the rabble-rousing enfant terrible he first seemed nor the stealth subversive mainstream filmmaker he might have evolved into. After grabbing the attention of a late-Nineties film world starved for a formidable European art cinema with such haute shockers as See the Sea (which offered a toxic equation of murder and motherhood), Sitcom (incest, leather, and erections, oh my!), and Criminal Lovers (a bondage-and-gay-rape Hansel and Gretel), not to mention the rigorous Fassbinder adaptation Water Drops on Burning Rocks (a seeming announcement of intentions if there ever was one), Ozon subtly shifted to middlebrow art-house mode. The transition was at first elegant, as 2001’s Under the Sand, though an accessible character study of a middle-class professor rebuilding her life after her husband’s inexplicable disappearance, seemed a provocative extension of See the Sea’s profoundly unsettling social rupture. Read Michael Koresky's review of Le Refuge.

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