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‘No Good Deed’ tops N. American box office

Idris Elba

Thriller “No Good Deed” leap straight in at the top of the North American box office this weekend, pulling in $24.5 million on its debut, industry estimates showed Sunday.

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PH docu competes in Taiwan

Joel Torrre delivers a crackerjack portrayal in “Kabisera.”

Filipino filmmaker Anna Isabelle Matutina’s “Magdalena” is competing in the Asian Vision section of the Taiwan International Film Festival, which will be held from Oct. 9 to 19. The docu, shown at the Wiesbaden (Germany) film fest last year, focuses on a traditional midwife who struggles to make ends meet and care for a pregnant daughter who’s afflicted with leukemia.

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Sweden’s Andersson wins Golden Lion at Venice fest

Roy Andersson

Swedish director Roy Andersson won the Venice Film Festival’s Golden Lion on Saturday for his absurdist drama “A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence.” That counts as a feel-good ending to a contest whose fare often grappled with war, death and depression, both emotional and economic.

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Simmons, Carell, Gyllenhaal stand out in Toronto entries

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JK SIMMONS is an Oscar front-runner as a mercurial, cantankerous college jazz band instructor in “Whiplash.”

JK Simmons is one of the actors who should be dusting off his tux for the awards season, based on the entries we saw ahead of the Toronto International Film Festival, which opened yesterday. In director Damien Chazelle’s “Whiplash,” one of the best films we’ve seen so far this year, JK is terrific as a “terror” college jazz band instructor.

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Digesting ‘Life After Beth’

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You would definitely expect a zombie-centric film to be dark, full of thrill, or plainly just about running for your life. But the Jeff Baena-directed “rom-com-zom-dram” (romance, comedy, zombie, drama) movie “Life After Beth” entails much more than that, if not something entirely different.

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