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  • Spout
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    Spout About: "Resident Evil: Afterlife" -- Still Following Alice in Zombieland?

    Taking in almost $28 million, "Resident Evil: Afterlife" ruled the box office over the weekend. It's the biggest opening yet for the franchise, though the 3D surcharges were obviously a factor. In fact, adjusted for the fee, attendance seems to be down compared to 2007's "Resident Evil: Extinction." Still, it's a relatively successful series and it's no surprise there's already a fifth installment in the works. If you saw "Afterlife," you're already expecting another sequel anyway, because consistent with the franchise it ended with a bit of a cliffhanger.

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Daily Show vs. America, Reality TV Wins, HBO Subscriber Drama

    - Has Jon Stewart's career benefited from the fall of America? New York Magazine points out that America's decade of domestic decline has provided The Daily Show with plenty of material, and "unfortunately things are getting even funnier." Stewart says he likes to figure out "where the media is trying to build the narrative and where the story lines are going to go,” in order to position his political satire a bit higher on the joke spectrum than a kick in the groin. Since the beginning of the new century, with politicians increasingly appearing as mouthpieces for cable producers and the media transforming the way it is delivered and processed, Stewart has built longevity via counter-culture-political-comedy: "As truth has been overrun by truthiness and facts trampled by lies, he and The Daily Show have become an invaluable corrective—he’s Cronkite, the most trusted man in America."

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  • The Lost Boys
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    "Mildred Pierce" Trailer!

    A quick break from TIFF-ness to share the trailer for my most anticipated "television event" since, well, ever: Todd Haynes' 5-hour Kate Winslet-already-has-that-Emmy-o'-thon "Mildred Pierce." It's not debuting until 2011, but the pedigree associated with this thing is a force to be reckoned with. Enjoy.

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  • Leonard Maltin
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    maltin on movies: Bran Nue Dae

    Bran Nue Dae | Leonard Maltin | Maltin on Movies | Movie Trailer

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    TIFF: Affleck Talks The Town

    TIFF: Affleck Talks The Town

    After playing Venice and Toronto, Ben Affleck's sophomore directing effort The Town, in which he stars himself this time, opens Friday. It's a straightforward entertaining character-driven genre piece set in Boston based on a novel by Chuck Hogan about a Charlestown gang of bank robbers who are under avid pursuit by the FBI. Affleck is trying to make a movie that's both smart and mainstream; he gives himself a juicy role as a wily robber who falls in love with a bank staffer (Rebecca Hall) and then looks to get out. Jeremy Renner is charismatic and dangerous as his trigger-happy partner in crime, while Jon Hamm is wasted in a dull role as an FBI agent. Blake Lively is believably sexy and pathetic as Affleck's angry, drug-addicted ex-girlfriend scorned.

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  • "Boredom at Its Boredest" by Michael ...
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    First Assembly Viewing (aka, The Roughest One Of Them All)

    Tomorrow morning at 11am, alongside editor extraordinaire Marc Vives and cinematographer extraordinairer Jeremy Saulnier, I will be sitting down to watch the assembly of my latest motion picture endeavor (right now, we're sticking with the shooting title of Septien). While that very first view-through is never a pleasant process, combined with my request that the film be edited without any music in this early stage (more on that later), this one promises to be especially excruciating. (*Note to self: pad armpits with sponges.)

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    More: Indie Film
  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    TIFF: Weinstein's Dirty Girl Pick-Up Talk of CAA Party

    The Weinsteins' acquisition of Abe Sylvia's 80s period Dirty Girl for $3 million was the talk of the jammed CAA party Sunday night. $3 million (for rights in the U.S., France, United Kingdom, Australia/New Zealand and South Africa) is a big number in today's contracted indie marketplace. A high school bad girl comedy, Dirty Girl stars Juno Temple, Dwight Yoakam, Milla Jovovich, and Willam H. Macy. And Harvey Weinstein is in good spirits because Tom Hooper's The King's Speech --which Weinstein hastens to remind he bought into at the script stage--is the hit of the festival.

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  • SydneysBuzz
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    Meet the Mogul at Toronto FF

    I was honored to be asked to conduct the one-on-one interview with Bob Berney in the Meet the Mogul session in the new Filmmaker's Lounge. We had a great audience and it was so informative to hear Bob explain how he sees films, the importance of their audiences which for his films have often been underserved, and how he sees the business transitioning today. More available theaters, more available films, difficulty in recouping production budgets, and yet, after all, an optimism of what can be done building communities who love films.Bob Berney

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    TIFF: IFC Picks Up Super-Hero Spoof Super, Starring Rainn Wilson

    IFC has acquired U.S. rights to writer-director James Gunn's super-hero spoof Super, starring Rainn Wilson, Ellen Page, Liv Tyler and Kevin Bacon. I saw footage from this at Comic-Con; it looked like a comedic version of Kick-Ass (which topped out at $48 million in wide release). But then IFC has a different economic model. After the movie premiered Friday night, IFC nailed the deal Sunday morning after a grueling all-night auction. UPDATE: And paid $1 million for it, which is a lot for them.

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    TIFF Diary: Legend of the Fist: The Return of Chen Zhen, Biutiful, The Edge

    TIFF Diary: Legend of the Fist: The Return of Chen Zhen, Biutiful, The Edge

    The indefatigable Meredith Brody shifts gears from Telluride to Toronto without missing a beat.Even though journalists now get inundated with cascading press releases from Toronto -- carefully calibrated and beautifully orchestrated to arouse excitement (in both us and our eventual readers) -- that let us know everything that’s going to be shown over the 11 days of the Toronto International Film Festival (aka TIFF), there’s still that ineffable moment when you sit down with the 448-page catalogue and read through each page as though it’s an especially engrossing, well-plotted novel.

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