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Thompson on Hollywood

Video Watch: Peter Jackson's "Hobbit" Production Diary, Teaser

Peter Jackson has been brilliantly nourishing our collective hobbit-mania with production diary videos from his latest shoot, and yesterday's newest installment doesn't disappoint. Jackson's Christmas Day present gives us a glimpse at one of the biggest stars in "The Hobbit:" New Zealand. The first teaser for the "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" (the first of a two-film set) dropped earlier this week, so Middle Earth-fans have plenty to to be excited about heading into 2012. Check out the production diary below, as well as the trailer (if it somehow didn't take over your Facebook when it was released last Wednesday).
  • By Jacob Combs
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  • December 26, 2011 8:47 PM
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Now and Then: Two Docs Test the Limits of What We Know About Those We Love

On July 26, 2009, Diane Schuler left the New York campground where she was vacationing and began her trip home to Long Island with her two children and three nieces in tow.
  • By Matt Brennan
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  • December 26, 2011 2:22 PM
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  • 2 Comments

Holiday Box Office Caps Disappointing Year; Only 'Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol' Scores

If Hollywood was hoping that the holiday box office during the highest-volume ticket-selling period of the year would turn around their fortunes they were mistaken. Only one of the big-ticket studio tentpoles scored really big over the four-day holiday weekend, Friday through Christmas Day, which fell on a Sunday this year. This means that Saturday night was indeed silent at the box office. Compared to last year's four-day holiday weekend, which included Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, this year's box office is up 8%. The box office should improve Monday.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 26, 2011 1:54 PM
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Weekly Wrap: Trailers, Interviews, Festival Updates, Oscar Watch, and a 2011 Trailer Mashup

Weekly Wrap: Trailers for "Prometheus" and "Dark Knight Rising," Reviews of Late December Releases, Festival Updates, Oscar Watch and updates on projects in the works.
  • By TOH!
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  • December 24, 2011 7:49 PM
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Video from the Archives: A Christmas Card from Terry Gilliam

This hilarious 1968 Monty Python-era Christmas Video by Terry Gilliam for the TV series "Do Not Adjust Your Set" holds up; it's roaming the web this season thanks to various postings. Gilliam comments on his Facebook page:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 24, 2011 5:01 PM
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John Knoll Talks 'Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol' and Brad Bird

For John Knoll, it didn't matter that "Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol" only required 700 VFX shots, and most of them invisible. It was the opportunity to work with director Brad Bird, whom he's known for years, on his first live-action film away from animation stardom at Pixar.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • December 23, 2011 6:35 PM
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Video: Max von Sydow Talks the Silence of The Renter

I first encountered Max von Sydow on the big screen playing chess with Death in Ingmar Bergman's "The Seventh Seal" at The New Yorker in Manhattan when I was a teenager. He's surprised that I've seen it. "You watched black and white films?" he asks, admitting that this is his first flipcam interview.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 23, 2011 1:39 AM
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Academy Names 97 Original Scores for Oscar Contention; Newman Lands Four Eligible Scores to Desplat's Three

Ninety-seven original scores are eligible to compete for the Oscar. Now the music branch will vote for the films that will make the top five to be announced nominations morning on January 24. The Academy deems eligible scores that are substantially original. Thomas Newman edged out Alexandre Desplat with four eligible films to three, while as expected, John Williams has two films, Spielberg's "War Horse" and "The Adventures of Tintin." Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross are likely to to earn a nomination for David Fincher's "Girl with the Dragon Tattoo." 
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 22, 2011 8:44 PM
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Trailer Watch: Ridley Scott's 'Prometheus' Seeks Origin Myth

Check out the new trailer for the unofficial Ridley Scott prequel "Prometheus"( June 8, 2012). The tagline: "They went looking for our beginning. What they found could be our end."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 22, 2011 6:38 PM
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First Look: Ari Folman's 'Bashir' Follow-Up 'The Congress,' Starring Robin Wright, Due in 2013

Ari Folman has given Israeli film blog Cinemascope an update on his "Waltz With Bashir" follow-up, "The Congress," his liberal reworking of the 1971 Stanislaw Lem sci-fi novel, "The Futurological Congress." In the animated film Robin Wright plays herself as an aging actress who has sold Hollywood digital rights to her younger likeness. (Trailer below.) The film mixes present-day live action with an animated future, and take the character forward 20 years. Folman wanted to cast an actress who was willing to play herself in the role; he considered Nicole Kidman, Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Jason Leigh and others. Folman is doing most of the work on this Israeli/Polish/French coproduction from his Jaffa studio, where he made "Bashir." Writes Folman:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 22, 2011 2:55 PM
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