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Thompson on Hollywood

Pixar Launches Legacy Start Up in Vancouver, Air Mater Short Takes Flight

It’s been a great week for Pixar, writes TOH columnist Bill Desowitz in this week’s Immersed in Movies.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • November 6, 2011 1:33 PM
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AFI Fest Confirms Steven Soderbergh’s Haywire as Secret Screening

While most of the films being shown for free thanks to Audi at the AFI FEST (November 3-10) have been screened at other festivals, the AFI FEST has managed to grab some movies that weren’t ready for earlier fall tests. They scored the world premiere of Clint Eastwood’s J. Edgar (November 9) for opening night, landed the closing night North American premiere of Steven Spielberg’s December stateside release The Adventures of Tintin, which is scoring enormous box office overseas, and will show (as we already reported) Steven Soderbergh’s Haywire (January 20) as its Secret Screening. That means it’s not an official world premiere—although in effect it is.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 6, 2011 1:25 PM
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Martin Scorsese Talks 3-D Cinephile Fantasy Hugo and Holograms with Paul Thomas Anderson

At a special Paramount preview screening of Martin Scorsese’s first 3-D film Hugo yesterday, a capacity crowd avidly responded to the film’s immersive effects and masterly visual style, writes Justin Lowe, who covered a Q & A with the director and his crew and surprise moderator Paul Thomas Anderson, below.
  • By Justin Lowe
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  • November 6, 2011 1:16 PM
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  • 1 Comment

AFM News: Worst Idea Ever, Charlie Chaplin in 3-D

Count on German schlockmeister Uwe Boll to endorse the worst idea ever for a movie. Check out the pitch to a major studio (the name is omitted) from his Kinostar colleague Michael Roesch below:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 6, 2011 1:04 PM
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Eastwood, DiCaprio, Hammer, Black Talk J. Edgar: DiCaprio Wanted to Gain Weight

The crowd at the Los Angeles County Museum screening of J. Edgar rose to their feet when three tall straight guys—Clint Eastwood, Leonardo DiCaprio and Armie Hammer—joined diminutive gay screenwriter Dustin Lance Black onstage at the Bing for a Q and A moderated by the NYT’s Charles McGrath. While Eastwood grew up with top cop J. Edgar Hoover, Black and his cast did not, and had to pore through reams of research to understand the restrictive mores of a time when to be openly gay was simply not allowed. DiCaprio and Black seemed more critical of Hoover—“he was a political dinosaur at the end of his career,” said DiCaprio, “he was a crockpot of eccentricity…didn’t adapt to civil rights…was obsessed with power”—while Eastwood seemed more admiring of Hoover starting thumbprints and his quest for law and order. That tension is in the movie, for better or worse.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 6, 2011 10:13 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Weekend Box Office: Holdover Puss in Boots Holds Off Challenger Tower Heist

Amazingly, 3-D animated family feature Puss In Boots held off challenger Tower Heist this weekend, reports Charles Lyons.
  • By Charles Lyons
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  • November 6, 2011 7:35 AM
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Weekly Wrap: Weekend Preview, News from AFM, Festivals, Awards Buzz, Media Watch & More

  • By TOH!
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  • November 5, 2011 6:27 PM
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Weekend Media Watch: Andy Rooney Dies at 92, Pandora Seeks More Ad Revenue, Facebook Adds Ads

The consistent thing about Facebook’s constant changes: the levels of frustration they cause. Today, TechCrunch reports that the social media site will begin placing advertisements in the real-time updates portion of the homepage. Events, ticker, and birthday announcements have been placed below these ads.
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • November 5, 2011 10:47 AM
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Clint Eastwood's J. Edgar: Review and Round-up

All eyes are on the last batch of major year-end movies to be factored into the Oscar zeitgeist. Clint Eastwood's J. Edgar, at least, will play better for the older Academy--many of whom lived through the decades depicted in this ambitious J. Edgar Hoover biopic dominated by Leonardo DiCaprio's moving performance in the title role--than the wider moviegoing public. Eastwood acknowledged this during his intro at Thursday's AFI FEST opening night unveiling at Mann's Chinese, thanking Warner Bros., his home for 41 years, for supporting so many offbeat projects that were not mainstream: "Sometimes they turned out pretty good," he said. Indeed, Eastwood has delivered a consistent string of quality films, even after his career peaks, the Oscar-winning Mystic River and Million Dollar Baby. Written by Milk's Dustin Lance Black, J. Edgar cross-cuts between the old Hoover, not willing to release his hold on the reins of power after 48 years and eight presidents (many of them afraid of his secret files), and flashbacks to his life from age 19 through his rise to power at the Bureau of Investigation (eventually the FBI). Hoover started out responding vigilantly to terrorist violence and wound up corrupt, paranoid and egomaniacal. More details and a round-up of early reviews are below.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 4, 2011 7:16 PM
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Why Berneys Left FilmDistrict; What’s Next?

As New York indie distributor Bob Berney leaves FilmDistrict, which is consolidating operations in Los Angeles, he and marketing chief Jeanne Berney will be able to do what they should have done all along. Go into business for themselves. Why manage egos, seek credit and deal with others’ production choices and cozy relationships when you should be your own boss? Let the Berneys run with their own taste and judgement.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 4, 2011 6:28 PM
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