‘Contagion’ keeps you at arm’s length — by design

Posted by · 11:02 pm · September 2nd, 2011

Spinning off of comments made in the podcast this morning, I liked Steven Soderbergh’s “Contagion” quite a bit. It doesn’t reinvent the outbreak movie wheel per se, but it manifests a unique cross-section of characters and dissects them clinically, perhaps the film’s (and screenplay’s) biggest stroke of genius. There isn’t a lot of heart to […]

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INTERVIEW: ‘Contagion’ screenwriter Scott Z. Burns

Posted by · 9:08 am · August 31st, 2011

There’s a scene in 2009’s “The Informant!,” Steven Soderbergh’s tongue-in-cheek look at corporate malfeasance written by Scott Z. Burns, when Matt Damon’s pathological liar Mark Whitacre rants internally about the spread of a virus, spurred by a sneeze from co-star Scott Bakula. By the time the film was complete, Soderbergh had built a solid working […]

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‘Contagion’ character posters

Posted by · 3:57 am · August 10th, 2011

I’ve successfully dodged the trailer — and swiftly ducked out of any online discussion — for Steven Soderbergh’s “Contagion,” to I can honestly say that I haven’t the faintest idea what it’s about, and plan to stay cheerfully ignorant until the lights go down at its Venice press screening in a few weeks’ time. Fortunately, […]

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COMIC-CON: ‘Haywire’ trailer

Posted by · 4:00 pm · July 24th, 2011

I missed Relativity’s panel featuring Steven Soderbergh’s “Haywire” and the John-Cusack-as-Edgar-Allan-Poe flick “The Raven.” This was very much a bummer, seeing as “Haywire” star Gina Carano has been a personal crush ever since she suited up as, well, Crush, in the rebooted American Gladiators. So the trailer, released via Apple, is the first of the […]

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1/1 Oscarweb Round-up

Posted by · 9:04 am · January 1st, 2010

Happy New Year! • Jeffrey Wells wants a Best Actress nomination for “Avatar” star Zoe Saldana. [Hollywood Elsewhere] • David Poland calls for the same, amid a number of other history-making Oscar moments that could be in the cards this season. [Movie City News] • Steve Pond finds a nifty way of revealing his top […]

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INTERVIEW: ‘The Informant!’ writer Scott Z. Burns

Posted by · 1:26 pm · October 30th, 2009

For Scott Z. Burns, the best way to tell the story of a compulsive liar was to take some liberties with the truth himself. “I’ve always been fascinated by lies … we all are,” the cheerfully forthright screenwriter tells me of his attraction to the story behind “The Informant!,” Steven Soderbergh’s playfully comic biopic of […]

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10/26 Oscarweb Round-up

Posted by · 8:16 am · October 26th, 2009

• Steve Pond chimes in on the rarity of tandem Oscarcast producing teams. [The Odds] • Peter Knegt reports from a women-in-film panel at London fest. [indieWIRE] • David Poland sits down with Paul Schneider to talk “Bright Star.” [Movie City News]

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On acting

Posted by · 10:11 am · October 2nd, 2009

What constitutes a great performance?  What makes it something that puts it head and shoulders above the rest?  What does an artist do to go to that level of art and achieve something that is both extraordinary and rare? Does the Academy, or rather the branch that nominates the actors, look as closely at performance […]

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WEEKLY WRAP: Swayze passes, Venice wraps, Toronto runs

Posted by · 9:02 pm · September 18th, 2009

• Patrick Swayze left us this week, passing away of cancer at the age of 57. • The Venice Film Festival drew to a close, with Israeli war drama “Lebanon” taking top honors. • It was Colin Firth, however, who emerged with Oscar buzz for the Weinstein-acquired “A Single Man.” • Across the Atlantic, we […]

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INTERVIEW: Steven Soderbergh

Posted by · 10:14 am · September 18th, 2009

Toronto Film Festival Steven Soderbergh freely admits how much luck has played into his career, beginning with winning the coveted Palme d’Or at Cannes in 1989, the victory that launched his career and his first major work, “sex, lies and videotape.” “First of all the film was not supposed to be part of the competition […]

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THE LISTS: Top 10 Steven Soderbergh films

Posted by · 11:08 am · September 15th, 2009

This Friday sees the release in American theaters of “The Informant!,” the nimble Matt Damon-starring corporate caper which, depending on the format in which you saw last year’s “Che,” is either the 20th or the 21st feature from one Mr. Steven Soderbergh. (I say 21st, given that “Che” clearly comprises two films utterly distinct in […]

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TORONTO: ‘The Informant!,’ ‘Jennifer’s Body,’ ‘Up in the Air,’ ‘Hugh Hefner’

Posted by · 2:43 pm · September 12th, 2009

(Please note, as opposed to Kris and Guy, I tend to grade films on a 5-star scale.) Day two of the festival is always among the busiest because the major studios are here and they want you to see their films. Movies with buzz coming out of Toronto quite often end up in the Oscar […]

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Soderbergh’s shoes talk ‘The Informant!’

Posted by · 1:59 pm · September 12th, 2009

(Courtesy: The Hot Blog)

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SHORT TAKE: “The Informant!” (***)

Posted by · 5:00 am · September 7th, 2009

Venice Film Festival That jaunty exclamation mark handily sets the tone for Steven Soderbergh’s “The Informant!,” a flip, frisky entertainment that may well represent the year’s most audacious feat of adaptation. Of course, the trailer already (and unavoidably) pulled the covers from the film’s biggest trick: that writer Scott Z. Burns (“The Bourne Ultimatum”) has […]

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Hackford takes over as DGA president

Posted by · 11:08 am · July 27th, 2009

Congratulations to Taylor Hackford, who was elected this weekend as president of the Directors Guild of America. He takes over from Michael Apted, who has held the position since 2003. Hackford ran unopposed after being nominated by Steven Soderbergh — who in turn retains his vice-president position. Here’s Hackford’s statement, via Variety: This Guild has […]

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7/14 Web Round-up

Posted by · 6:46 am · July 14th, 2009

• Who dropped the “Moneyball?” [CNN] • Steven Soderbergh can see the end of his career. [The Guardian] • Michael Adams talks to filmmaker Mick Garris about the all-but-forgotten 1997 short film “Ghosts,” starring Michael Jackson. [Movieline] • Need a “Green Lantern” primer?  Here’s a good one. [Empire]

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Steven Soderbergh’s ‘The Informant!’ gets a trailer

Posted by · 7:28 pm · June 30th, 2009

Could be softball fun or could be an ace up WB’s sleeve. Matt Damon looks outstanding.  First time since “Moulin Rouge!” that a movie title features an exclamation point?:

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5/19 Web Round-up

Posted by · 10:54 am · May 19th, 2009

• Anthony Breznicaan reports on the big “Christmas Carol” to do at Cannes. [USA Today] • John Hiscock talks to Ron Howard about getting around the Vatican’s disapproval of “Angels & Demons” while filming on location. [Daily Telegraph] • David Cox, meanwhile, believes the film will indeed hurt the Catholic Church with its depiction of […]

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