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Thompson on Hollywood

Oscar Watch: Documentary Branch Snubs Capitalism: A Love Story

Oscar Watch: Documentary Branch Snubs Capitalism: A Love Story
The Academy documentary branch has named their short list of fifteen films (full list on jump), which will be narrowed down to five on Oscar nominations morning February 2.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 19, 2009 12:14 AM
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  • 4 Comments

The Twilight Saga: New Moon Disappoints

The Twilight Saga: New Moon Disappoints
When new distributor Summit left behind Twilight director Catherine Hardwicke in its rush to push through the second film in their windfall franchise, they took a calculated risk. Abandoning a silly Twilight script that had been passed on by Paramount, Hardwicke and writer Melissa Rosenberg went back to the heart-pounding first-person intensity of the Stephenie Meyer original, which wound up selling 70 million copies worldwide. The dream that inspired Meyer--chapter thirteen in the first book--is a scene in a rain forest between a lovelorn young girl and a sparkling 109-year-old vampire who is restraining himself from biting and killing her. That tension is the heart and soul of the Twilight series.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 18, 2009 8:37 AM
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  • 26 Comments

Oscar Watch: Where Are The Hurt Locker Screeners?

Oscar Watch: Where Are The Hurt Locker Screeners?
At the start of the awards season, I had The Hurt Locker at the top of my top ten picks list. But right now quite a few other movies are getting more noise. That doesn't matter in the end. Finally, the Academy voters will dig back to all the films they saw this year, especially when they don't have time to see all the marginal indies in their DVD stack. It's more likely that they will remember the movies that the critics pick for their top ten lists at the end of the year, or that other awards groups like the Gothams, Critics Choice or Golden Globes anoint as must-sees.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 17, 2009 11:34 AM
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  • 11 Comments

Bonnie Fuller's HollywoodLife Debuts

For those of you who think I spend too much time on Twilight, check out Mail.com mogul Jay Penske's answer to TMZ and Perez Hilton: HollywoodLife.com. While Penske acquisitions Deadline Hollywood and Movieline aren't breaking any traffic records, count on tabloid queen Bonnie Fuller to score by appealing to the lowest common denominator. As they all cross-promote each other, she will wind up sending traffic back to them. Scanning Fuller's neon pink site hurts my eyes, but I know that she's nailing her audience. Count me out, however. This is my idea of hell.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 17, 2009 7:51 AM
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  • 1 Comment
More: Media

The Twilight Saga: New Moon Premiere

The hot ticket in Hollywood Monday night was the Twilight Saga: New Moon premiere in Westwood. While diehard fans camped out all weekend for the chance to win tickets to the event, Hollywood dads scored tickets to win points with their daughters. One father after another scratched his head over the movie, but their teenagers were all smiles. The Mann Village in Westwood was packed with young girls. Director Todd Field flew in from Maine with his daughter and a pal; also spotted with their kinder were Larry David, Jim Stern and Kevin Smith, who said, "Now I know how clueless my parents felt when they took me to see The Empire Strikes Back."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 17, 2009 7:11 AM
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  • 6 Comments

AMC Select Seeks Filmmakers

With a lack of available distributors to handle the spate of indie films seeking theatrical release, some filmmakers are taking matters into their own hands. Doc director Mary Mazzio went directly to a theater chain. Now her movie is playing in eight cities.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 16, 2009 7:26 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Oscar Watch: Tarantino and Almodovar to Present at Oscars

Oscar Watch: Tarantino and Almodovar to Present at Oscars
Quentin Tarantino's intro to Roger Corman was by far the high point of the Governors Awards, so I was delighted when Oscarcast producer Bill Mechanic told me that filmmakers Tarantino and Pedro Almodovar would be presenting on Oscar night. Sounds like the right direction to me.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 16, 2009 6:36 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Gibney Talks Casino Jack and Three More Docs for 2010

When documentarian Alex Gibney (who won an Oscar for Taxi to the Dark Side) learned via his Jack Abramoff "Google Alert" that director George Hickenlooper (Factory Girl) had decided to name his fiction film starring Kevin Spacey as corrupt Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff Casino Jack, Gibney had his lawyer send a legal letter (dated November 10) asking Hickenlooper not to use the title, to which Gibney states he had prior claim, citing "violations of federal and state unfair competition laws":
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 15, 2009 9:42 AM
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  • 13 Comments

Ten Things I Learned at the Governors Awards

Ten Things I Learned at the Governors Awards
1. The Governors Awards will not be televised. At the orange Grand Ballroom at Hollywood and Highland Saturday night, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences gave out four honorary Oscars at a new annual event on the awards calendar. Academy executive director Bruce Davis, president Tom Sherak, Oscar show producers Bill Mechanic and Adam Shankman, and Oscar-host-to-be Alec Baldwin all attended this relaxed, celebratory black-tie cocktail and dinner party. The ceremony awarding four honorary Oscars to actress Lauren Bacall, producers John Calley and Roger Corman and cinematographer Gordon Willis, punctuated by repeated standing ovations, lasted three hours and 18 minutes, to be exact.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 15, 2009 8:13 AM
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  • 5 Comments

South Park Skewers The Cove and Avatar

Bad news: the dolphin-killing expose The Cove did not land an International Documentary Association best feature nomination.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 14, 2009 8:54 AM
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  • 3 Comments

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