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Thompson on Hollywood

Cinema Eye Honors Paradise Lost Filmmakers for Role in Freeing West Memphis Three: Hell Yeah Award

Cinema Eye Honors Paradise Lost Filmmakers for Role in Freeing West Memphis Three: Hell Yeah Award
Cinema Eye has named Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky the first recipients of their new Hell Yeah Prize, an award that celebrates "the Intersection of Great Nonfiction Filmmaking Art and Measurable Real World Impact." Berlinger and Sinofsky are getting the award for their HBO Films Paradise Lost trilogy, which has followed for 18 years the wrongly convicted West Memphis Three, who were released from prison on August 19, 2011, in part thanks to the films. Berlinger says that to be singled out for this film is "truly inspiring."
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • November 3, 2011 8:26 AM
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VIDEO: Tree of Life Featurettes with Pitt & Chastain Commentary

Hungry for more of Terrence Malick's The Tree of Life? Here are two Fox Searchlight featurettes, now that the film is available on Blu-ray/DVD. The Story and The Cast include commentary from Brad Pitt, Jessica Chastain, producer Dede Gardner and others. No Malick, natch.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • November 3, 2011 8:19 AM
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Will Bradley Cooper and Joel Edgerton Board Soderbergh's Man From U.N.C.L.E.?

Despite the box office failure of his well-reviewed Warrior, which Lionsgate hopes critics will remember at the end of the year, Joel Edgerton continues to be courted as a leading man. Better than his offer to star in 300: Battle of Artemisia, is the chance to star in Steven Soderbergh's The Man from U.N.C.L.E.. Bradley Cooper is waiting to commit to the picture (as Napoleon Solo, which George Clooney turned down because of back problems) until it is clear who will be playing Russian agent Illya Kuryakin (possibly Edgerton).
  • By Anne Thompson and Sophia Savage
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  • November 3, 2011 7:52 AM
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Five Star Day Premieres on Facebook and Theaters Day-and-Date

As indie filmmakers continue to try new ways to get their films out--with or without conventional distribution-- Five Star Day, an astrology-themed feature that overemphasizes the significance of place and time, premiered Wednesday November 2 day-and-date in movie theaters and Facebook. Gravitas Ventures and Breaking Glass Pictures claim that it's the first film to open simultaneously on both silver and laptop screens. At the same time that the film is available on Facebook -- $7 gets you access to the film for 48 hours--it will continue to roll out in theaters across the country.
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • November 3, 2011 7:30 AM
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Trailer Watch: Safe House Stars Badass Denzel Washington, Ryan Reynolds, Vera Farmiga

Check out Universal's Safe House, from Swedish born director Daniel Espinosa. The plot sounds familiar, but we'll pay to see Denzel Washington in just about anything. Ryan Reynolds appears suitably second fiddle to Washington, and Vera Farmiga plays the tough CIA woman who balances out the requisite underwear-clad hot girlfriend. The film hits theaters February 2012.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • November 3, 2011 7:17 AM
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AFM News: Endgame Launches P & A Venture to Fill Service Deal Gap

L.A.-based indie producer and financier Endgame Entertainment is launching new marketing venture Endgame Releasing, which is backed by a $150-million revolving fund for P & A (prints and ads) financing for films distributed through an established studio or independent. Endgame Releasing will partner with equity investors, producers and studios to provide distribution funds for wide-release films. Endgame Releasing will provide P&A of $20–plus million for four to six films a year opening on a minimum of 1800 screens. That means Endgame would put up from $400 to $500 million over the next four years.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 3, 2011 7:12 AM
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WEEKEND PREVIEW: Ratner's Tower Heist Set to Topple Indie Docs & Dramas

Brett Ratner's timely Tower Heist taps into anti-Wall Street sentiment and is just what you'd expect: competent, breezy, escapist entertainment. The well-cast Madoff-inspired comedy--which stars Ben Stiller, Matthew Broderick, Tea Leoni, Alan Alda and Eddie Murphy in a supporting comeback bid-- is expected to take in $29 million this weekend, while A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas 3D could score $15.5 million.
  • By Anne Thompson and Sophia Savage
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  • November 3, 2011 6:34 AM
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James Bond 23: Mendes' Skyfall Starts Shooting, Craig Joined by Finney, Bardem, Fiennes UPDATED

At a press conference in London’s Whitehall district Thursday, director Sam Mendes confirmed the swirls of rumors surrounding Bond 23, from the new title to casting. Matt Mueller was there.
  • By Matt Mueller
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  • November 3, 2011 5:11 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Media Watch: Justin Timberlake Tackles Myspace, Kindle's Lending Library, News Corp. Profit Dip

Life imitates art: musician/actor Justin Timberlake, who played a media mogul in Aaron Sorkin's The Social Network, is set to revive the hulking mess of MySpace. He purchased an ownership share in the social media site in June of 2011 and just recently acquired an office and a staff of six to help him with the revamp. Timberlake wants to turn the website into a hub for musicians, entertainers, and fans to explore new content and connect over their favorite music.
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • November 3, 2011 4:37 AM
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AFM News: Freestyle Digital Media to Focus on Digital, Cable, VOD Distribution

In case you were wondering, VOD distribution is here to stay. Look at JC Chandor's $3.5 million Margin Call, which lured a strong ensemble of name actors led by Kevin Spacey, Jeremy Irons and Zachary Quinto, and has passed the $1.5 million mark theatrically in limited release, as it was also available day-and-date on VOD. More and more people are learning, as Netflix had hoped, to download and stream movies from their cable companies or through Roku, iTunes, PS3 or TiVo. Several folks I know picked up on the publicity and ad noise surrounding Margin Call and watched it on its second weekend in theaters, at home. It's significant, too, that theater owners are lowering ticket prices for a change.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 3, 2011 2:26 AM
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  • 1 Comment

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