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The small screen regularly attracts many big screen filmmakers to film 30 and 60 second television commercials, but the Super Bowl is the premiere for many of these new spots. So beyond the commercials for big screen movies and television shows, which of the commercials shown during the big game were directed by movie directors? Find out after the jump.

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Skyfall was a smash, and naturally EON Productions, MGM and Sony want to get a new James Bond film rolling with all due speed. All the companies involved want to get their money’s worth out of Daniel Craig while they’ve got him. The Bond machine doesn’t move quickly, however, and it’s no easy task to choose the path for the new installment of a franchise that is 50 years old and almost two dozen films along.

Since Sam Mendes won’t return to make the 24th Bond film (title TBD) who might do the job? EON is talking to a variety of people now, and some of the names are being reported. Ang Lee, Tom Hooper, David Yates, Nicolas Winding Refn, and Shane Black are all “in the mix” as possible directors. That doesn’t mean that any of them will be the person who next brings Bond to life, but it gives us something to think about.

Update: Everyone may have spoken too soon. Deadline reports that Sam Mendes is in talks to return to direct Bond 24. More below.

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With his first two features, Oscar-winning director Tom Hooper has shown a penchant towards historical dramatizations and music. Those films, of course, are The King’s Speech and Les Miserables. His third film might be a mix of the two, and the true story of a legendary musician. Hooper is currently circling the Freddie Mercury biopic with Sacha Baron Cohen attached to star. Read More »

Nominations for the Oscars will be announced later this week (on Thursday morning, to be precise) but for now we’ve got the five names nominated by the Director’s Guild of America for achievement in directing in 2012. The list features one newcomer to the DGA award slate, and four directors who have won in prior years.

In short, the names on the list are: Ben Affleck, Kathryn Bigelow, Tom Hooper, Ang Lee and Steven Spielberg. Everyone will likely have something to say about their favorite director who didn’t get the DGA nod this year, whether it is Quentin Tarantino, David O. Russell, or Paul Thomas Anderson.

Awards will be given out at the 65th Annual DGA Awards Dinner on Saturday, February 2, 2013. The full list of nominee info is below. Read More »

I was delighted to finally have the chance to catch Tom Hooper’s Les Misérables last night and despite a few significant missteps (e.g. Russell Crowe as Javert), I found it totally brilliant and engrossing. Nonetheless, I’ve been reading a bunch of criticism on the internet about Hooper’s directorial decisions, most pointedly regarding the look and sound of the film.

In Anthony Lane’s slam of the film in the New Yorker, Lane writes, “The actors were recorded live as they belted out the big numbers, and Hathaway, in particular, takes full advantage, turning in precisely the sort of performance, down to the last sniff, that she would be the first to lampoon on ‘Saturday Night Live.’” Over at The Atlantic, Christopher Orr writes, “The second or third time we watch a face fill the screen with notes tender or tragic, the effect is genuinely arresting. The 22nd or 23rd time…” Critics all over are having a ball blasting the unconventional directorial decisions made in the film. As someone who loved the movie, I thought I’d take a moment to reflect on some of these decisions.
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There’s a moment about 30 minutes into Tom Hooper‘s musical adaptation of Les Miserables where you’re either with it or not. Anne Hathaway, beaten and bruised, hair raggedly cropped short, sings the iconic song “I Dreamed a Dream.” She does so on her own, in a single long-take close-up that lasts at least three minutes. It’s Hooper’s way of telling the audience this film is going to be dark, it’s going to be dirty, it’s going to have emotions, and yes, it’s going to be these actors (who we know better as Wolverines, Catwomen, Gladiators or Mean Girls) singing — and only singing — their hearts out for almost three hours.

In this moment, Hathaway provides one of the most stirring and impressive emotional moments of 2012, perfect capturing the tone and wonder of Les Miserables. It’s mesmerizing, moving and magical. Read More »

Amongst even the most fervent Quentin Tarantino fans, the subject of Death Proof is touchy — is it a good film, or not? I love the movie, seeing it as precisely the sort of grindhouse movie that it hoped to replicate, with a layer of commentary thrown in for good measure. But Tarantino stirred up new conversation about the film today with comments in a long interview about the fact that he hopes Death Proof ends up judged as the least of his films.

The beginning of awards season each year sees THR assembling talent in one room for great roundtables, and this year the director roundtable features Ang Lee, Tom Hooper, Ben Affleck, David O. Russell, Gus Van Sant, and the dominating presence of Tarantino.

The comment about Death Proof may have been the most attention-getting thing Tarantino said, but he had a lot more to offer, from a breakdown of his own writing and directing process, to plans to write books (novels and film criticism) after he stops actively directing. And the end of his directorial career seems prompted by technological change, as the move to digital projection leaves him cold.

And there’s a lot more, too — while Tarantino tends to dominate the conversation, each of the participants has great stuff to add about the business of directing. It’s worth an hour of your time to watch the whole thing. Read More »

Tom Hooper follows up his Oscar-winning The King’s Speech with a film version of the stage musical classic Les Miserables, and the first public screenings of the film were met with great enthusiasm, first by a New York City audience, then by LA viewers. Sure, the deck was stacked in favor of Hooper and the film, given that the NYC audience was a particularly theater-friendly crowd, so the reaction might not be a pure gauge of how to expect the film will play elsewhere.

But with the cast (Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway, Russell Crowe, Amanda Seyfried, Eddie Redmayne, Samantha Barks, Helena Bonham Carter, and Sacha Baron Cohen) drawing raves and individual musical numbers earning huge applause, the film does sound like a great success. Reviews are embargoed at this point, but a selection of reactions is below. Read More »

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