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Thompson on Hollywood

Paramount Promotes Evans to Production President

Film fest workers, have hope.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 4, 2010 7:45 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Disney Negotiates with Tutor and Bergstein for Miramax, Gores Brothers Moving on Overture/Starz

Am I the only one who looks at what's going on in the movie industry with dismay? The LAT writes a story that New Line Cinema is making a comeback after the disastrous Sex and the City 2? (Patrick Goldstein, assuming the movie would score, was doing a solid for Toby Emmerich.) Now comes news that Warner Bros. is actually considering a third installment! I don't want to see any of the wide-release movies opening this weekend (including Marmaduke, Killers and Get Him to the Greek). I see more ads than ever for movies that I consider musts-to-avoid, and when I dutifully check them out (Hot Tub Time Machine, Clash of the Titans), I wish I hadn't.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 4, 2010 7:36 AM
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DreamWorks' Katzenberg Packs Animated Pics with Celebs

James Sims reviews Nicole LaPorte's new book The Men Who Would Be King: An almost epic tale of moguls, movies, and a company called DreamWorks and agrees with me that of the founding troica, Steven Spielberg, David Geffen and Jeffrey Katzenberg, LaPorte gives the latter the worst appraisal of the three. While Katzenberg came off great just five years ago in James Stewart's book Disney War and in this year's hagiographic insider-documentary Waking Sleeping Beauty which covers the Katzenberg golden Disney years that yielded his career peak, the $700-million-grossing The Lion King, LaPorte and Sims are both more critical. Here's Sims:
  • By James Sims
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  • June 4, 2010 6:41 AM
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First Universal Tour of Rebuilt New York Street; Spielberg Talks

First Universal Tour of Rebuilt New York Street; Spielberg Talks
On the morning of June 1, 2008, Steven Spielberg was sound asleep when the phone rang with horrible news: "The lot is burning down again." Spielberg jumped out of bed and drove 28 minutes to Universal City, waving his ID at roadblocks until he got to scene of the fire. "It was a wall of flame," he recalls. "At the height of the fire it was like watching special effects--the only problem was that it wasn't."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 3, 2010 8:27 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Must-See Winter's Bone: Granik Digs Deep with Breakout Lawrence

Must-See Winter's Bone: Granik Digs Deep with Breakout Lawrence
Indie filmmaker Debra Granik did it once with the 2004 low-budget drama Down to the Bone, which showed what Vera Farmiga could do (she won best actress from the LA Film Critics). This January at Sundance, the director did it again, showcasing Jennifer Lawrence in a star-making role as a smart young teen fighting to save her family from falling off the edge in hard-bitten Ozark country. (The film won both the screenwriting and dramatic grand jury prize.)
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 3, 2010 6:48 AM
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  • 1 Comment

I Love You Philip Morris is Blocked, Cameron Calls BP Morons, PR Bypasses Old Media, New Indies Rise

- Phillip Morris isn't feeling loved. After three changes to its US release date, the romantic comedy starring Jim Carrey and Ewan McGregor as gay lovers is now facing an injunction that could stop its release. THR Esq. reports that producer EuropaCorp and distributor Consolidated are battling over a contracted $3-million advance that was never paid in full, resulting in EuropaCorp's demand for return of marketing materials and a suit against Consolidated for breach of contract and copyright infringement. Although Consolidated claims that it still plans to distribute the film, Judge Dale Fischer says that EuropaCorp is likely to win. Consolidated's lawyer is still optimistic, but, heading into IFTA arbitration, the final ruling and release of I Love You Phillip Morris are still unknowns.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • June 3, 2010 6:11 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Cinematheque Francaise's Costa-Gavras and Toubiana Honor Hopper

The Cinematheque Francaise's Costa-Gavras and Serge Toubiana pay tribute to Dennis Hopper, who was the subject of a recent exhibition at the Cinematheque--which besides its archives and screening program, boasts a must-see cinema museum in Paris. DENNIS HOPPER, 1936-2010 News of Dennis Hopper’s death, at his home in Venice, California, reached us on Saturday, 29 May and deeply saddened us. He was 74. We had the immense good fortune to be his hosts at the Cinémathèque Française in October 2008, for the opening of an exhibition devoted entirely to him: “Dennis Hopper et le Nouvel Hollywood.” Dennis Hopper showed great courtesy to our staff and the many journalists who questioned him about his life and career, placing himself entirely at their disposal. He also took great pleasure in conversing with the Cinémathèque audience, which was delighted to be meeting an idol and icon of world cinema.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 3, 2010 5:01 AM
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  • 2 Comments
More: Obit

Comics News: Xerxes Found, Iron Man Missing, Captain America's New Clothes

The Hero Complex reports that Frank Miller has completed his 300 comic book prequel, Xerxes. The graphic novel will be released in six installments and follows Xerxes' search for deification. The film presupposes the existence of gods and magic... so expect more gold-pierced escapism. 300 director Zack Snyder has expressed interest in adapting the work to the screen. After the not-so-hot Spirit, this presents the perfect opportunity for Miller to reclaim 300's blockbuster success. In all likelihood, Iran will not be pleased.
  • By Cameron Carlson
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  • June 2, 2010 12:00 PM
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RIP: Cinematographer William Fraker

One of Hollywood's great cinematographers, William Fraker, succumbed to cancer Monday at age 86. While D.P.'s can be cranky, Fraker was known for his affability and exacting standards on sets, from Rosemary's Baby, Bullitt, 1941, Close Encounters and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest to Tombstone and Heaven Can Wait. A Naval veteran of World War II, Fraker attended USC's School of Cinema under the G.I. Bill. He grew into one of the defining film talents to emerge in the 60s and worked productively well into his 80s: his last film was 2002's Waking Up in Reno.
  • By Cameron Carlson
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  • June 2, 2010 8:52 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Cruise Reprises Tropic Thunder Grossman Role

Tom Cruise dons producer Les Grossman's hirsute fat suit once again for the MTV Movie Awards, which air on June 6. One video shows a hairy post-Scientology Cruise assaulting an older Cruise reenacting the young Risky Business Cruise. An unintentional meta-enactment of his entire career? He also dances around and yells at Twilight stars. Here are three videos:
  • By Cameron Carlson
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  • June 2, 2010 8:07 AM
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  • 0 Comments

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