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Thompson on Hollywood

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    Arthouse Audit: New Specialized Openings Hit Low-Point; Subtitled 'Gloria' and 'Great Beauty' Hold Well

    This weekend looks to be one of the weakest in years for new specialized films.

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    Box Office Top Ten: Audiences Still Love 'Lego' and Kevin Hart, Snub Colin Farrell

    Looking at the Box Office Top Ten this week, you'd think we were still in the 1980s. Four new openers include three remakes of '80s hits, and another adapts a major novel from the decade. Another familiar pop culture artifact from the period -- Legos -- returned as the top film this weekend, as Warn...

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    Anatomy of a Scene: Dissecting the Bravura 'Gravity' Opening

    The extraordinary 13-minute opening of Alfonso Cuaron's "Gravity" is like a mini-movie, setting up the zero-gravity world in space, the two astronauts played by Sandra Bullock and George Clooney, the mood, the tension, the crisis, and the metaphor. I break it down with Oscar-nominated cinematographe...

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    'Gravity,' 'Frozen' Big VES Awards Winners

    As expected, Alfonso Cuaron's "Gravity" dominated the 12th annual VES Awards, grabbing six trophies at the Beverly Hilton Wednesday night, including outstanding visual effects-driven feature, while Disney's "Frozen" went four for four, including outstanding animated feature (a first for the studio).

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    David O. Russell and Oscar-Nominated Crew Talk the Craft of 'American Hustle'

    David O. Russell's on a roll with his Oscar-contending "American Hustle," his most personal and popular movie yet. It's smart and funny, and has obviously touched a nerve with its story of survival and reinvention during the cultural and political upheaval of the late '70s. "I don't care about pure ...

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    Talking Johnny Depp's Oscar-Nominated Makeup and Hair in 'The Lone Ranger'

    When it came to Johnny Depp's trippy Tonto in "The Lone Ranger," there were two makeup and hair challenges: the middle-aged Native American as well as the old man (a tribute to legendary Dick Smith's Jack Crabb from "Little Big Man"). We get the lowdown from Oscar-nominees Joel Harlow, who's become ...

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    Crafts Roundup: Talking Production Design with the Five Oscar Nominees

    The five Oscar nominees for production design ("American Hustle," "Gravity," "The Great Gatsby," "Her," and "12 Years a Slave") certainly capture the zeitgeist of the season in a variety of creative ways. They're about survival, self-invention, reinvention, and rebirth, and we reflect on this with a...

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    My New Book 'The $11 Billion Year' Is Out

    I've written a book about the year 2012, "The $11 Billion Year: From Sundance to the Oscars, an Inside Look at the Changing Hollywood System," which will hit bookstores March 4.

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    Talking Benedict Cumberbatch, Dragon Secrets and More with the Oscar-Nominated Sound Editors of 'Smaug'

    In returning to Middle-Earth for the second "Hobbit" adventure, "The Desolation of Smaug," Oscar-nominated sound editors Brent Burge and Chris Ward were given a gift with the very hot Benedict Cumberbatch. But when he was first announced, they were apprehensive that his overexposure on "Sherlock" an...

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    Disney's 'Frozen' Tops Annies with Five Awards, Including Best Feature

    The Disney "Frozen" juggernaut continued Saturday night at the 41st Annie Awards, grabbing five trophies at UCLA's Royce Hall, including best feature, directing (Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee), music, production design, and voice acting kudos for Josh Gad's Olaf snowman. The ASIFA-Hollywood honor should ...

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