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Reviews

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    Star Trek: Early Reviews

    Early word on the J.J. Abrams, Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman's reinvention of Star Trek--beyond the early peak Paramount gave Fantastic Fest earlier this month and the footage screened for journos last November--has been strong. One exhib emailed me after an exhibitor's screening:

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    Star Trek Sneak Preview Reactions

    In keeping with the current trend of letting the fanboys review a sci-fi universe movie before the critics get a crack at it, Paramount mounted a surprise Fantastic Fest sneak preview of Star Trek in Austin (in place of the scheduled Wrath of Khan). Leonard Nimoy attended. (Pictures are here.) Early...

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    ShoWest: Roger Ebert Honored

    After a video montage in which directors Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, Clint Eastwood, and Oliver Stone paid tribute to Roger Ebert, Sony Pictures Classics co-president Michael Barker presented ShoWest's Career Achievement in Film Journalism Award to the Pulitzer-Prize winning critic of the Chicago Sun-Times. "Roger Ebert is the most popular, most respected, most honored, and most eclectic film critic in American history," Barker said, citing Ebert as "one of the few saviors of independent film--films of all shapes and sizes--American independent features, foreign films, documentaries, and animated films. Ask any independent filmmakers w...

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    Duplicity: What Happened?

    While a recession-fueled box office boom is lifting most boats, one notable exception is Tony Gilroy's Duplicity, which boasted the earmarks of a commercial Hollywood vehicle--big budget, exotic locations, thriller genre, two sexy movie stars--but may have been too costly for what was really a smart...

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    Knowing: Proyas/Cage Thriller Will Wow Audiences

    Knowing is an intense, smart sci-fi thriller that stops just short of being great. Australian director Alex Proyas, the mind behind The Crow, Dark City and I, Robot , makes several questionable choices--among them ominous Jim Jarmusch lookalike lurkers and and a derivative ending-- but they don't de...

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    Duplicity: Gilroy Directs Roberts and Owen

    While Duplicity isn't as good as Michael Clayton, you can tell that it comes from the mind of Tony Gilroy. According to his recent profile in The New Yorker, he's a man who likes to surprise. Gilroy reminds me of Steven Soderbergh: he's trying to outsmart audience expectations so much that he sometimes outsmarts himself. (It makes sense that he wrote the Bourne series.) Clayton was warmed up by the charisma of George Clooney, as well as the whip-cracking brilliance of British actor Tom Wilkinson, who goes up against the great Paul Giamatti in Duplicity. The plot of this gorgeous and sexy character-based heist thriller twists and turns--reveal...

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    Critics Vent on Film Criticism

    It hasn't been a good year for film criticism. Here's a round-table interview with established film critics. And here's David Poland's plaint about the LAT hiring former L.A Times entertainment editor Betsy Sharkey as film critic. With so many unemployed professional critics out there, it seems a sh...

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    Why Australia is a Dud

    Well, Australia's second-weekend drop indicates that it isn't doing well enough with adult audiences to ever make it into a success here.

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    The Curious Case of Benjamin Button: Review

    I saw The Curious Case of Benjamin Button on Saturday (following the aborted Thursday screening), and have been trying to sort it out ever since.

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    Oscar Watch: Revolutionary Road Review

    I saw Revolutionary Road over the weekend, and moderated a panel Saturday with director Sam Mendes, Leonardo DiCaprio (nominated three times), Kate Winslet (nominated five times), Oscar-winner Kathy Bates, theater actor Michael Shannon (W.), cinematographer Roger Deakins (nominated seven times) and ...

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