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Thompson on Hollywood

First Look: Depp, Pfeiffer, Bonham Carter in Burton's Unearthly Dark Shadows Ensemble

With Johnny Depp background and center as a centuries-old vampire, this "family photo" from the upcoming Dark Shadows film, directed by Tim Burton, reveals an unearthly ensemble. Dark Shadows will revamp the ABC 1966-1971 soap opera, which focused on the lives of supernatural siblings and their extended family, including witches, ghosts, and all manners of gothic horrors.
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • September 23, 2011 3:16 AM
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  • 2 Comments

First Look: REM Remix The End of TV As We Know It

This YouTube REM Remix captures the frenetic pace of obsessive screen-watchers. Like me.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 22, 2011 12:09 PM
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Gordon-Levitt and Rogen Talk 50/50: "It's Honest, That's Why It's Funny"

Gordon-Levitt and Rogen Talk 50/50: "It's Honest, That's Why It's Funny"
Screenwriter Will Reiser labored for six years at the behest of producer Seth Rogen to turn the fictional story based on Reiser's own cancer experience at age 24 into the funny coming-of-age film 50/50. Rogen and partner Evan Goldberg held onto control (and final cut) of the $8-million movie, which was calibrated to be just inexpensive enough for them to retain creative control, and got backing from Mandate Pictures (Summit releases the film September 30). They eventually hired Jonathan Levine (The Wackness) because "we spoke the same movie language," Rogen said after a packed SAG screening this week. Rogen is effectively playing himself; James McAvoy was supposed to play the lead but dropped out at the last minute due to a family emergency. One reason that Joseph Gordon-Levitt took the film with just one week to prepare, he says, is that Rogen was in control of the production.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 22, 2011 10:51 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Footnote is Israel's Official Oscar Entry, Wins Ophir

Israel has a sensible approach to picking its official Oscar submission every year. The film that wins the best picture Ophir, their own Academy Award, is submitted. That means that it's not some group representing the country that decides what is appropriate. Government cultural bodies often make the wrong choice, for political, economic or even personal reasons. Why would Belgium, for example, not submit the popular, well-received, Cannes award-winning film from the Dardenne brothers, The Kid with a Bike (IFC)? Well, they submitted Bullhead, a crime thriller about cattle farmers, instead. The Film Experience keeps a running chart of the foreign Oscar submissions, complete with U.S. distributors.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 22, 2011 8:56 AM
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Weekend Preview: Testosterone Rules Box Office with Moneyball, Killer Elite, Machine Gun Preacher

Weekend Preview: Testosterone Rules Box Office with Moneyball, Killer Elite, Machine Gun Preacher
There's a lot of testosterone at the box office this weekend. The subtle kind: Brad Pitt's heartfelt sports drama Moneyball. The less subtle kind: Killer Elite and The Badass Gerard Butler Show (aka Machine Gun Preacher). The subversive kind: Andrew Haigh's exceptionally reviewed gay romance Weekend. Add to that list Chris Evans' I-Can-Be-Edgy-Like-Ryan-Gosling-Too Puncture, in which he plays a drug addict lawyer amidst a true-story pharmaceutical conspiracy, and Cameron Crowe's love letter to rock stars, Pearl Jam Twenty. Details, reviews and trailers on these films and more below:
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • September 22, 2011 8:22 AM
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Werner Herzog Delivers Keynote at Film Independent Forum, Panelists Announced

Forget the same old indie exec giving the annual Film Independent Forum keynote speech. This year the keynote speaker won't be Mark Gill, Ted Hope or Joe Drake (who gave great keynotes) but wily German filmmaker Werner Herzog (Cave of Forgotten Dreams), who tells filmmakers to read a book a day if they want to make great films.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 22, 2011 7:43 AM
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Before Moneyball Opens, Alec Baldwin, John Krasinski New Era Spots

My idea of a good time is watching a Boston Red Sox/New York Yankee game, especially as the Yanks keep winning (they cinched the Eastern playoff spot) and the Sox keep losing. Lo and behold if John Krasinski and Alec Baldwin don't pop up during a recent game with the hilarious spot below. Adweek has more details and more spots in the series here.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 22, 2011 7:21 AM
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Visual Effects Society Issues Bill of Rights to Combat Downward Spiral

Despite the fact that VFX and animated films rule the box office every year, the Visual Effects Society, representing 2,400 members in 23 countries, wants to foster change related to deteriorating quality of life issues for individuals, while leveling the playing field for facilities.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • September 22, 2011 5:11 AM
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Yes, Really: Universal Remaking a Non-remake of Scarface; Vulture on Unoriginality in Hollywood

Say it ain't so, but Universal is gearing up for a new version of Scarface. Writers are at work trying to find a way to make this story relevant again. Back in 1983, Brian De Palma and Oliver Stone's version starring Al Pacino was initially met with skepticism, as it was a remake of the 1932 film produced by Howard Hughes and directed by Howard Hawks and Richard Rosson. But the remake became a classic in its own right.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • September 22, 2011 4:28 AM
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Trailer Watch: Long-form Girl with the Dragon Tattoo: Looks Good, Lacks Edge

David Fincher's long form trailer for December 21's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is here, and it's a testament to just how good the teaser trailer is (also below). In this case, less is more, with emphasis on how instead of what. The new trailer reveals practically the entire plot (which many of us know well by now, anyway), as well as Rooney Mara's Swedish accent and her lack of Noomi Rapace intensity. Sure, she looks the part, but we're still on the fence. We aren't as impressed as ThePlaylist, but it does look significantly more polished than the Swedish version of the novel. We can't wait to experience this feel bad movie of Christmas 2011.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • September 22, 2011 4:19 AM
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  • 5 Comments

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