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Thompson on Hollywood

Mission: Impossible Goes Facebook

Brad Bird Talks Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol: IMAX vs. 3-D, Animation vs. Live Action, Trailer
In advance of the release of "Mission: Impossible-- Ghost Protocol," the first new M:I movie in five years, Paramount is drumming up stateside fan interest by making the previous three "Mission: Impossible" features available to rent and stream on Facebook, via Facebook credits.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 22, 2011 1:04 PM
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  • 1 Comment

New York Film Critics Circle Move to Vote Early Backfires

When I reported--accurately, it turns out--that the members of the New York FIlm Critics Circle were having a tough time seeing all the films they needed to see in time for their pushed-up voting date of November 28, the NYFCC head John Anderson bit my head off: "We're going to see everything we need to see," he insisted. Monday he gave as a reason for postponing the vote the need to give the group time to see all the eligible films, but that is impossible. Why not admit that this was not a good idea?
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 21, 2011 9:13 PM
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  • 4 Comments

Fassbender Talks Six Films in 20 Months: Exposing Shame, Healing Jung and Rochester, Ridley Scott's Android, Giving 110%

Michael Fassbender has been so busy that it's tough for him to keep up with all the talking that goes with movie openings. He's up for awards consideration for all the performances he gave in the 2011--from "X-Men: First Class" and "Jane Eyre" to "A Dangerous Method" and "Shame." But it's the latter, a Fox Searchlight acquisition from Telluride, that is most likely to yield awards attention during Oscar season. The Academy steakeaters may not catch up with a romantic women's picture like "Jane Eyre"; voters tend to look down their noses at a big-budget genre prequel like "X-Men"; and Fassbender's performance as the uptight analyst Carl Jung--who winds up spanking one of his patients because he loves her--is not as literally exposed and vulnerable as his conflicted sex-addict in the NC-17-rated "Shame." 
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 21, 2011 8:23 PM
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  • 6 Comments

Bogdanovich, Shepherd, Bottoms, Leachman and Brennan Talk The Last Picture Show, Forty Years Later

  • By Beth Hanna
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  • November 21, 2011 2:17 PM
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  • 2 Comments

CASTING WATCH: Game of Thrones' Harington and The Killing's Kinnaman Are Arthur & Lancelot

Thanks to Steven Soderbergh, who pitched Brit Kit Harington (Jon Snow in "Game of Thrones") and Swede Joel Kinnaman (AMC's "The Killing," "The Darkest Hour," "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo") for his soon-to-be-aborted "The Man from U.N.C.L.E."), Warner Bros. has cast both rising actors in "Arthur & Lancelot," slated for a March 2013 release. Harington landed King Arthur, while Kinnaman is playing Lancelot. The studio has made an odd choice of director for this project, David Dobkin ("The Change Up," "Fred Claus," "Wedding Crashers") who is writing the script. Check out soundbites from Harington at Comic-Con, where we covered the "Game of Thrones" panel and witnessed proof that Harington is already a scream-inducing heartthrob. How does he feel about the thousands of 15-year old girls putting posters of him on their walls? "It scares the crap out of me."
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • November 21, 2011 1:52 PM
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Trailer Watch: Harrelson in Rampart; the Most Corrupt Cop You've Ever Seen

Woody Harrelson may play the most corrupt cop you've ever seen in "Rampart," the second feature from "The Messenger" director Oren Moverman.  (TOH interview here.) But that's not why you should see the film when it broadens January 27 (after an Oscar-qualifying run). Harrelson brings an unexpected vulnerability to his character, and is earning Oscar buzz. But that's clearly no way to sell a film:
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • November 21, 2011 12:24 PM
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Lumet's 12 Angry Men a Classic, Beyond a Reasonable Doubt

They’re talking about a switchblade. If the murder weapon in question is one of a kind, linking the young defendant to his father’s death, they can return a guilty sentence — and the mandatory capital punishment — in mere minutes. "But what if it isn’t?" Juror 8 asks. He pulls an identical knife from his pocket and sticks it into the table. Still incredulous, the eleven angry men now on their feet leer at him. "It’s just a trick, a stunt," they say, the story he’s telling so unlikely — another person bought a knife identical to the one the boy owned and murdered the father with it while the boy was out — that “the odds are a million to one.”
  • By Matt Brennan
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  • November 21, 2011 12:20 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Weekend Box Office: Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Ignites Moviegoers Worldwide, The Descendants Delivers

Christmas arrived early this year at the box office as Summit’s “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part One” racked up the fifth biggest opening weekend in boxoffice history with an estimated $139.5 million. On Friday alone the total was some $72 million, marking the third biggest single-day gross of all-time, after Warner Bros.’ “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2” ($91.1 million) and “The Twilight Saga: New Moon” ($72.7 million).
  • By Brian Fuson
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  • November 20, 2011 1:15 PM
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  • 3 Comments

Soderbergh Hits Promo Circuit for Contagion, Talks Man From U.N.C.L.E. and New Film

Steven Soderbergh has been around the industry long enough to know the signs of a project that isn't firing on all cylinders. And he knows that once you go down the road of making too many compromises, the chances of turning out a movie you can be proud of are pretty slim. Better, he told me Friday night at an Academy-invited screening and cocktail promo party for "Contagion," his best-received movie in a while, to let "The Man from U.N.C.L.E." go before it really was too late. He doesn't regret losing out on "Moneyball" either, he says. If he hadn't been fired from the baseball picture, he says he wouldn't have gotten to make "Haywire" (January) with Channing Tatum, which led to stripper movie "Magic Mike." But not to "The Man from U.N.C.L.E."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 20, 2011 3:27 AM
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Cameron Says Hugo "is the best 3-D photography I've seen," Corliss Raves in Time, Scorsese Talks to NPR

It's no secret that James Cameron is an advocate--even missionary--of 3-D. And as the number of 3-D screens in the U.S. starts to take over the number of 35 mm screens, some of us are looking back to the good old days with some nostalgia. The NYT's A.O. Scott assesses the changes brought not only by digital cinema but the kinds of movies being made today. On my rounds lately I keep meeting more filmmakers who are struggling to get quality films made or heading straight for the door to HBO.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 19, 2011 11:34 PM
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  • 1 Comment

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