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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Oscar Talk: Frontrunners King's Speech vs. The Social Network, Why The Fighter Isn't A Shoo-In

    Oscar Talk: Frontrunners King's Speech vs. The Social Network, Why The Fighter Isn't A Shoo-In

    It's only September, which means that Kris Tapley and I are declaring The King's Speech and The Social Network frontrunners---for now. Which films could possibly supplant them? Toy Story 3 is an animated sequel. I argue that The Fighter is directed by the one and only David O. Russell, while Kris points out that All the President's Men was beaten by Rocky. The Beaver's Mel Gibson makes another problematic award-season figure. Ben Affleck's The Town needs to accumulate success and gravitas. And then there's the Coen brothers' True Grit.

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Review: Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps is Stone in Mainstream Studio Mode

    Review: Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps is Stone in Mainstream Studio Mode

    Like the 1987 film, this Wall Street installment is Oliver Stone in mainstream studio mode. Sure, his political slant on the financial crisis comes through loud and clear--the son of a Wall Street broker is preaching to the choir at this point--and he uses cigar-chomping alpha male Josh Brolin, who played George W. Bush in W., as this film's embodiment of Wall Street greed and villainy, Master of the Universe Bretton James. But James, who is part of a sprawling ensemble, is less fleshed-out and articulate than Douglas's Gordon Gekko in the first film. He's a caricature.

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Trailer Watch: Bollywood Robot Stars Rai, Rajni

    Screenwriter Damon Lindelof (Lost) just tweeted that he was going to India, possibly to see this movie, Shankar's Robot, due out September 24, starring Aishwarya Rai and Rajnikanth, plus a lot of visual effects and music by A. R. Rahman. Looks like Hollywood remake fodder to me.

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Howl Review: Doc/Drama Hybrid Misfires, Franco Soars

    Howl is an ambitious and admirable film from documentarians Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman (The Times of Harvey Milk). The filmmakers started out trying to make a documentary, but wanted to be able to show poet Allen Ginsberg as a young man, delivering the searing, profane classic poem “Howl” in 1955. They workshopped the movie at various Sundance labs, but the transition from doc to dramatic feature is an awkward one. The documentarians fell into the trap of trying to make everything based on real life, including the “Howl” obscenity trial that made Ginsberg famous—but putting well-known actors Bob Balaban, David Straithairn and Jon Hamm, skilled as they are, into the courtroom just serves to underscore its inauthenticity.

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  • REVERSEBLOG: the reverse shot blog
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    NYFF: Poetry

    What if the words won’t come? This is a problem that Mija, the 66-year-old protagonist of Lee Chang-dong’s Poetry must wrestle with. The question ends up taking multiple meanings as the film progresses. Mija, long a widow, who lives in a small apartment with just a grandson, has enrolled, in a fit of inspiration, in a poetry class—she has the proper spontaneous nature to be an artist, but not, as it turns out, the chops. Unable to let the writing flow out naturally from her personal experience of the everyday world, she overthinks every attempt, distrusts every impulse. However, words also fail Mija in a more functional sense—right from the beginning, when she visits a doctor to have diagnosed a prickling sensation in her right arm that she suspects is arthritis or neuralgia, she admits to finding that she increasingly forgets the names for things. The doctor is clearly concerned more about her memory than her tingling appendage, and though there is no talk of it for a long while of screen time, the moment hangs over the film ominously. Eventually, a diagnosis comes, expectedly to us, if not Mija: that seemingly unstoppable, barely treatable worldwide plague known as Alzheimer’s. Read Michael Koresky's review.

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  • Jared Moshé's Blog
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    Worst Netflix synopsis ever?

    The Netflix synopsis for the film Hackers:

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  • eugonline
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    they call him 'joe'

    While Peter was up the street at Lincoln Center to file a first day dispatch on the New York Film Festival's opening night film, "The Social Network," this morning I was over at the Hudson Hotel for a chat with Apichatpong Weerasethakul. It's a rare trip to New York City for the forty year old Thai filmmaker that many people conveniently refer to as "Joe" (because his name is too tough for some to pronounce).

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    More: movies
  • THE BACK ROW MANIFESTO by Tom Hall
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    The 2010 New York Film Festival | Opening Night: THE SOCIAL NETWORK

    The 2010 New York Film Festival | Opening Night: THE SOCIAL NETWORK

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  • Eric Kohn
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    Auteurs in Exhile.

    Auteurs in Exhile.

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Kasdan Talks Return to Directing with Darling Companion, Wiest, Duplass, Shepard Join Keaton, Kline

    Kasdan Talks Return to Directing with Darling Companion, Wiest, Duplass, Shepard Join Keaton, Kline

    No director better represents the sorry state of the current moviemaking scene than Lawrence Kasdan. For most of his career, the studios supplied him with steady work as a screenwriter (Raiders of the Lost Ark, Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back, The Bodyguard) and writer-director (The Big Chill, Body Heat, The Accidental Tourist, Grand Canyon). The writing has continued--he's still a well-paid fixer-for-hire--but Kasdan has had a tough time getting arrested as a director. He is now one of many senior players who are no longer in demand at the studios, which chase young whiz kids with VFX skills who can deliver them what they want without demanding final cut. And it takes a while for once top-tier directors to admit that with the studio jobs gone, the only way to get a smart non-tentpole non-genre movie made now is to raise the money independently.

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