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  • Leonard Maltin
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    District 9

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  • Leonard Maltin
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  • Leonard Maltin
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    Surrogates

    The way the folks at Disney are treating this film you’d think it was a turkey; it’s anything but. It may not be as hard-hitting or provocative as District 9, but it’s still science-fiction with some real thought behind it. The setting is the near future; people have grown lazy and now send sophisticated, good-looking robots out into the world to live their lives for them. As a result, crime has been virtually wiped out—until now. A renegade has gotten hold of a high-tech weapon that’s not only...

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  • iW NOW
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  • iW NOW
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  • iW NOW
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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Washington D.C. Film Critics Go For Up in the Air, Clooney, and Mulligan

    Washington D.C. Film Critics Go For Up in the Air, Clooney, and Mulligan

    Yes, we are starting to see a pattern. George Clooney and Carey Mulligan notched more wins today as the Washington D.C. Area Film Critics announced their annual awards. So did Mo'Nique and Christoph Waltz, while Kathryn Bigelow won best director.

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Huffington Tweets Andy and Lana Wachowski

    It isn't news inside Hollywood that Andy is the butch Wachowski, while his brother Larry has become Lana, and has been getting more and more girly over the past few years. The Wachowskis don't do much publicity and rarely have their photos taken, so it's delightful that one of the most outgoing sharers of information on the planet, Arianna Huffington, tweeted--with tweetpics---her recent experience shooting a screen test for the sibling Wachowskis' upcoming dystopian documentary set 90 years in the future. “On plane to Chicago to take part in the Wachowskis’ movie on Iraq from the perspective of the future," tweets Huffington.

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  • REVERSEBLOG: the reverse shot blog
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    Best of the Decade #19

    Children of Men didn't really have a "best of the decade" pedigree. An unusually large team of five writers was credited with adapting P.D. James's dystopic novel for the screen, and the ouevre of director Alfonso Cuarón hardly suggested his potential for greatness, despite the reputation for technical inventiveness he had earned with respectable middlebrow fare like Y tu mama tambien, A Little Princess, and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Universal Pictures didn't do any favors to this already inauspicious project, releasing it at the tail end of 2006 without investing in the kind of publicity—a blitz of long-lead press screenings, a vigorous Oscar push—that might have led to major awards or even a modicum of buzz. And the studio saddled it with a truly awful trailer, which started with a leaden voiceover from Clive Owen's Theo, "I can't really remember when I last had any hope. And I certainly can't remember when anyone else did, either. Because really, since women stopped being able to have babies, what's left to hope for?" After that glib marketing campaign, Children of Men felt like a real discovery—and a punch in the gut. It seemed to come out of nowhere. Read Chris Wisniewski on Children of Men.

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  • REVERSEBLOG: the reverse shot blog
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    Ready, Set, Heal: Clint Eastwood's "Invictus"

    Clint Eastwood, who deals in a variety of subjects yet often gives his films recognizable authorial stamps, would seem to be prime evidence of the strength of auteurism: the dulcet-toned romantic weepie The Bridges of Madison County feels as much like an “Eastwood film” as the shadowy political thriller Absolute Power or the boxing tragedy Million Dollar Baby. Yet in recent years, Eastwood’s films have begun to seem like they were made by committee, even the almost parodically self-mythologizing Gran Torino, which appeared as though it might have plausibly been half-directed by a second unit crew (anytime the Hmong kids were onscreen sans Clint, the visual quality and the charisma level of the amateur performers plummeted to shocking depths). Changeling, on the other hand, came across as an overblown, unpleasant B-picture that, despite its Eastwood hallmarks—a handful of simple descending chords as its main musical score; somber, envelopingly grim atmosphere; themes of profound systemic corruption—felt alarmingly like a director-for-hire project.

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