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Thompson on Hollywood

Video: Spielberg Talks War Horse at New York Screening

Steven Spielberg and Mark Harris
DreamWorks put Steven Spielberg onstage in New York with moderator Mark Harris at an advance screening of "War Horse" on Sunday, which was simulcast live via satellite at preview screenings in nine other cities--Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Dallas, Boston, Washington, Seattle, Miami, Atlanta-- and streamed at MSN.com. Adapted by Lee Hall and Richard Curtis from Michael Morpurgo's bestselling children's novel and the hit London and New York stage play, "War Horse" opens in theatres on Christmas Day. Spielberg read the book first, which was told from the POV of the horse Joey and gave him the "spine of the narrative," he said, while the play had "spectacular puppetry" and made him see the material's "emotional potential." A script is a "living organism," he said, which  under his watch undergoes constant revisions before and during shooting.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 27, 2011 9:28 PM
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  • 3 Comments

Fox Sneaks We Bought A Zoo; Early Reviews

With theatrical box office more important than ever, the studios have gone back to a tried-and-true method of building word-of-mouth for movies they believe in--sneak previews. Disney has sneaked "War Horse" twice now, and Paramount threw "Young Adult" into key markets as well. Saturday, Twentieth Century Fox booked Cameron Crowe's bid to escape movie jail, "We Bought a Zoo," on 800 screens nationwide in advance of its December 23 release. I checked out the movie at L.A.'s Arclight.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 27, 2011 2:53 PM
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  • 5 Comments

Breaking Dawn Gobbles Thanksgiving Holiday Box Office, Muppets Leads Family Film Glut, Hugo Stumbles

The Thanksgiving holiday weekend offered a rich groaning board for mainstream and specialty audiences alike as more films pushed into the award season fray. Holdover "Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn- Part One" and new Disney musical "The Muppets" dominated the weekend, while "The Descendants" proved a powerful word-of-mouth hit for Fox Searchlight. On the downside, Martin Scorsese's $150-170 million 3-D period family film "Hugo" needed much bigger opening numbers to make back its production and marketing costs.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 27, 2011 1:15 PM
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  • 7 Comments

INTERVIEW: Cronenberg Talks Intellectual Menage a Trois A Dangerous Method, Knightley's Bondage

  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 26, 2011 9:58 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Have Yourself a Movie Little Christmas

With Thanksgiving behind us, check out Alonso Duralde's Christmas video compilation, which covers the waterfront on holiday movies from the sublime--Judy Garland and Bing Crosby singing Christmas classics, Alistair Sim as Scrooge, Jimmy Stewart in Bedford Falls, Santa telling Ralphie, "You'll shoot your eye out!"-- to the ridiculous, take your pick. (There's also a book.) There's even a brief snippet of "The Walking Dead" star Andrew Lincoln in "Love Actually," which over the years has become one of our family holiday faves.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 26, 2011 8:39 AM
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  • 0 Comments
More: Video, Video

Oscar Talk: Verdict on War Horse, Streep as Iron Lady, Theron as Young Adult, Animated Frontrunners

  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 25, 2011 8:45 PM
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  • 4 Comments

Media and Industry Get a Gander at Spielberg's War Horse and Streep as The Iron Lady

Sight unseen, many predicted that with Steven Speilberg at the helm, World War I drama "War Horse" was the film to beat for best picture and Meryl Streep the front runner for Best Actress in Phyllida Lloyd's Margaret Thatcher biopic "The Iron Lady." At last, in advance of the November 29 New York Film Critics voting, both films are being screened for media and industry alike. The verdict? Yes, they are in contention for awards. "War Horse" will win multiple nominations including best picture and director; it could win the big prize because it boasts the epic scale and scope missing in the race so far. And Streep will vie with Viola Davis for best actress, for channeling Thatcher in a weak biopic that is eerily similar to "J. Edgar," as an older public figure looks back on their rise to power.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 25, 2011 6:05 PM
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  • 6 Comments

Weekly Wrap: Box Office, Reviews, Interviews and Casting News

  • By TOH!
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  • November 25, 2011 4:22 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Thanksgiving Weekend Box Office Preview: Odes to Silents, Family Fun, Battling Shrinks and Dark Police

You can feast on an embarrassment of riches this holiday weekend. Many offerings are on the nostalgic side, from the delightful silent ode to film, "The Artist" to Martin Scorsese's 3-D cinematic adventure "Hugo." David Cronenberg's "A Dangerous Method" is wordily worthy, with the bonus of its easy-on-the-eyes trio: Keira Knightley, Michael Fassbender and Viggo Mortensen. Michelle Williams channels tragic magic in "My Week with Marilyn." Family-friendly entertainments "The Muppets" and "Arthur Christmas" are both earning raves. Odd man out is dark police drama "Rampart," but Woody Harrelson's performance is arguably the best of this entire holiday batch. Reviews, details and trailers below. Enjoy!
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • November 25, 2011 4:16 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Hugo: The 3-D Game-Changer

  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • November 25, 2011 12:44 PM
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  • 0 Comments

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