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Thompson on Hollywood

Zombieland Builds Buzz: Five Clips

Zombieland Builds Buzz: Five Clips
Austin's Fantastic Fest is under way. The movie to fly out of there with the greatest buzz (besides Toy Story 3, which debuted a trailer) is Zombieland. Will this R-rated zombie parody starring Jesse Eisenberg and Woody Harrelson break the horror comedy curse?
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 27, 2009 5:39 AM
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  • 5 Comments

Bad B.O. Weekend: Surrogates, Fame Flop, Capitalism Scores

It was a nasty weekend for studio openers. Disney's $80-million robot thriller Surrogates, starring Bruce Willis, flopped with an estimated $15-million opening; MGM's sagging fortunes were not buttressed by the ill-conceived $18-million teen musical remake Fame, the only movie they've opened in months. They marketed the hell out of it. They just missed the mark with audiences.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 27, 2009 5:07 AM
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  • 4 Comments

MoMA Indie Summit Hashes Out Crisis

MoMA Indie Summit Hashes Out Crisis
I came to New York to help moderate a Friday afternoon Indie Summit organized by MoMA's Rajendra Roy, IndieWIRE and Marian Koltai-Levine of Zipline Entertainment, one of several new companies that have sprung up to help indie filmmakers release their movies. That's a sign of the "indie crisis" that has emerged over the last year or so, as indie distributors have cut back and the ones that survive are far from secure. (Harvey Weinstein and Miramax's Daniel Battsek were no-shows.) IndieWIRE's Eugene Hernandez and I sat on opposite sides of the Founder's Room, which looked like something out of the U.N., with a square of facing tables and floating mikes.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 27, 2009 4:58 AM
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  • 11 Comments

Polanski Arrested by Swiss Police at Behest of LA Prosecutors

A.P. reported Sunday morning from Zurich, Switzerland that Swiss police detained 76-year-old Paris-based filmmaker Roman Polanski. He was traveling to the country to accept a lifetime honorary award from the Zurich Film Festival, which meant the authorities knew he was coming.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 27, 2009 3:19 AM
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  • 3 Comments
More: Directors, News

To Have and Have Not: Carmichael and Bacall Sing Am I Blue?

The 1944 war-time romance To Have and Have Not marked Lauren "Betty" Bacall's first movie (she was 19). Discovered by director Howard Hawks' wife Slim on the cover of Harper's Bazaar, Bacall met Hawks and after she got the part (as "Slim"), her future husband, Humphrey Bogart, busting up his third marriage. Contrary to legend--that Andy Williams sang for her in the movie--Bacall did her own singing. Here she joins in with Hoagy Carmichael on Harry Akst and Grant Clarke's "Am I Blue?"
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 27, 2009 1:27 AM
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  • 1 Comment
More: Video

Israel Picks Ajami for Ophir and Oscar

In an upset at Israel's Ophir Awards, Ajami beat out Venice Golden Lion winner Lebanon today, tweets @Cinemascopian's Yair Raveh:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 26, 2009 8:32 AM
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  • 2 Comments
More: Awards, Oscars

2 or 3 Things I Learned at NYFF Opening Night

2 or 3 Things I Learned at NYFF Opening Night
During my 20s in Manhattan, I looked forward to the New York Film Festival every September, when there was a nip in the air; it brought the start of the fall season. Here's what I learned at the 47th NYFF opening night:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 26, 2009 8:10 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Who Should Play Barbie?

Of course we don't even know what take Universal will have on its live-action movie based on Mattel's 50-year-old Barbie doll. Will it be a broad family comedy? What period? Tone? Mattel's sixteen animated videos sold 75 million units worldwide. Now they're gearing up a movie based on the universally recognized girl toy.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 26, 2009 5:37 AM
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  • 14 Comments

Top Ten Trailers of the Week

Visible Measures tracks the most-watched online film trailers each week. They chart unreleased films that are within ten weeks of general release. More often than not, the most-watched trailers measure audience interest in movies most likely to succeed.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 26, 2009 4:24 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Penn and Teller Go to the Bees

Horrifying YouTube clip of Penn and Teller unleashing hordes of stinging, real bees. The cameraman is protected. They are not.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 26, 2009 4:15 AM
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  • 1 Comment

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