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Thompson on Hollywood

David Poland vs. TOH

Monday, The Hot Blog's David Poland took off after me without realizing at first that the story that so enraged him was written by ex-Variety box-office analyst Anthony D'Alessandro. And both stories he pops off about, my rather sober analysis of what went wrong with Tamara Drewe and D'Alessandro's take on the poor performance of Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, are among TOH's most popular, sparking healthy debate.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 20, 2010 7:46 AM
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  • 10 Comments

Mad Men's Jaw-Dropping Season Four Finale: "A pretty girl walks by and everything's out the window."

Tim Appelo recaps Mad Men's Season Four finale (packed with Spoilers, needless to say). I am not the only one drooping with disappointment that my fave series is going into hiatus. Sigh. “A secretary is not a pet, nor an erector set,” they sang in the 1961 Robert Morse musical How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying -- but try telling that to Don Draper. In Mad Men’s jawdropper fourth-season finale, he drop-kicks his brilliant, drop-dead gorgeous girlfriend Dr. Faye Miller and pops the question to his secretary du jour, Megan –better known as “Who the hell is that?” (as Roger Sterling blurted when Don announced the engagement). Draper secretaries come and go like Spinal Tap drummers, but Megan turned a one-night stand into a giant diamond.
  • By Tim Appelo
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  • October 20, 2010 6:50 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Nicholls Fellowship in Screenwriting Winners

The five winners of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences 25th annual Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting are listed below. Each will receive $30,000 (in installments) at a gala dinner on November 4. Of the 6,304 submissions, the Nicholls Committee (made up of chairperson and producer Gale Anne Hurd; writers Naomi Foner, Daniel Petrie, Jr., Tom Rickman and Dana Stevens; actor Eva Marie Saint; cinematographers John Bailey and Steven B. Poster; executive Bill Mechanic; producers Peter Samuelson and Robert W. Shapiro; and agent Ronald R. Mardigian) chose the five winners who will each complete a feature length script during their fellowship year.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • October 20, 2010 6:35 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Paranormal Activity 2 Spoof: Scarier Than A Demon? A Damon!

Thank Funny or Die for providing more entertainment (for free) in under three minutes than Paranormal Activity 2 will slow-drip into your system in over an hour. The first of their two trailers (below, here's the official trailer) warns of something worse than a demon - a Damon! Complete with complex math skills! The second just tries to tell the truth.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • October 20, 2010 4:55 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Names That Command the Moviesphere: Cameron Talks Avatar Sequels, True Lies, Cleopatra

If you run a movie site that seeks to service readers --and build traffic--then you don't have to be a rocket scientist to know what works. Certain names, stars, projects have heat. When you write about James Cameron, David Fincher, Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, franchises like Avatar, Inception, Spider-Man, Batman, Superman, Bourne, Twilight or The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Swedish or American), or hot films like The Social Network (or Mark Zuckerberg), they will come. And despite David Poland's sloppy rant about headlines with numbers in them, guess what? They pull more readers: folks love races, contests, drama, debates, polls, controversy, exclusives (which is why the word is so rampantly abused--there's a difference between a one-on-one interview and an exclusive) and yes, lists.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 20, 2010 4:19 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Oscar Talk Wrap-Up: Never Let Me Go Wanes, Foreign Contenders, Blue Valentine, Harry Potter

Oscar Talk Wrap-Up: Never Let Me Go Wanes, Foreign Contenders, Blue Valentine, Harry Potter
During this week's Oscar Talk podcast, Kris Tapley (InContention) and I were joined by indieWIRE's awards expert Peter Knegt and InContention's Guy Lodge, both in London covering the festival.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 20, 2010 1:42 AM
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  • 5 Comments

Chris Pine in Details: "I think I’ll be more like … the George Clooney.”

Chris Pine shows off his charisma in the November issue of Details. The rising star will appear across Denzel Washington in Unstoppable, out November 12th, and will return as the fourth iteration of Tom Clancy's beloved Jack Ryan (after Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford and Ben Affleck) in the rebooted franchise--not to mention a return as Captain James T. Kirk in the Star Trek sequel. Also coming up: McG's This Means War with Reese Witherspoon and Tom Hardy.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • October 19, 2010 9:19 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Roadside Picks Up Hemingway's Garden of Eden, Starring Suvari, Huston

A movie based on Ernest Hemingway's second posthumously published novel, The Garden of Eden, will hit theaters on December 10, via Roadside Attractions. Adapted by James Scott Linville from the controversial edit of the unfinished novel (published in 1986), Hemingway's Garden of Eden is directed by John Irvin and stars Mena Suvari (American Beauty) and Jack Huston (grandson of director John) as a jazz age couple on their honeymoon in Europe, as the increasingly restless new bride questions and tests her husband's love. Caterina Murino, Richard E. Grant, Matthew Modine and Carmen Maura also star in the 1920s romance.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • October 19, 2010 8:07 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Eisner's FameTown Will Be Huge

I am as guilty of wasting time playing Flixster movie games on Facebook as anyone else. And I am forecasting here and now that ex-Disney chief Michael Eisner's bet on the new social game FameTown (Napster's Shawn Fanning brought him into the start-up Diversion) will pay off big-time (as it did with Zynga's FarmVille and Mafia Wars). The FameTown game launches on Facebook November 1 and will reap income from selling virtual goods.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 19, 2010 7:16 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Oscar Watch: Palm Springs, Santa Barbara Fests Push Oscar Hopefuls Like Mulligan, Franco

Oscar Watch: Palm Springs, Santa Barbara Fests Push Oscar Hopefuls Like Mulligan, Franco
It isn't news that Oscar campaigners take advantage of fall film fests in L.A. and NY that are designed to draw awards attention. MCN's David Poland rants about con-man Carlos Abreu's bogus Hollywood Film Festival (which I refuse to take seriously) and IFP's Gotham Awards, which are far more legitimate in that they are designed to put the spotlight on indie films. Any fest that boosts Lena Dunham's Tiny Furniture or Let Me In is fine by me.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 19, 2010 7:10 AM
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  • 1 Comment

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