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Thompson on Hollywood

Rise of the Planet of the Apes Delivers: Jaw-Dropping Weta Effects, Strong Reviews

Rise of the Planet of the Apes Delivers: Jaw-Dropping Weta Effects, Strong Reviews
It is a mystery why Twentieth Century Fox took so long to unveil Rise of the Planet of the Apes, which is such a strong summer entry that it might have built up some loud advance buzz. The filmmakers were likely so anxious about the quality of the VFX that they waited until the last minute for improvements. They needn't have worried. This is not another cynical cookie-cutter sequel or remake.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 3, 2011 5:44 AM
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Spurlock Takes Comic-Con Episode Four: A Fan's Hope to Toronto, Starts Hulu Day in the Life Series

Spurlock Takes Comic-Con Episode Four: A Fan's Hope to Toronto, Starts Hulu Day in the Life Series
It's a good day in the eventful life of Morgan Spurlock (Super Size Me). In July he promoed his latest book and documentary Comic-Con Episode Four: A Fan's Hope (2012), starring such fan-friendly fanaticals as Kevin Smith, Harry Knowles, Eli Roth, Seth Rogen, Stan Lee and Joss Whedon at Comic-Con's Hall H. Now he's taking the film to the Toronto Film Festival, and announces the first-ever long form original series on Hulu, A Day in the Life.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 3, 2011 5:33 AM
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Casting Watch: Witherspoon Goes Fluffy, Fishburne is Superman's Perry White, Foster Plays Gotti Jr.

Reese Witherspoon's next project is a Disney fluff piece called Wish List, about a girl whose wishes do not come true because the coin she throws into the well never reaches its bottom. Twenty-five years later, Witherspoon enters as that girl's older self, a careerist who has lost the imagination of her childhood. The coin finally drops, and she is left to deal with the fallout from ten 25-year old wishes being fulfilled en masse.
  • By Jacob Combs
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  • August 3, 2011 4:54 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Academy Announces Honorary Oscars and Hersholt Award-Winner; Sherak Re-Elected to Third Term

Academy Announces Honorary Oscars and Hersholt Award-Winner; Sherak Re-Elected to Third Term
The Academy Board of Governors met Tuesday night and re-elected president Tom Sherak for a third consecutive one-year term, and chose the recipients of this year's Honorary Oscar statuettes to be given out at the third annual Governor's Awards. Veteran actor James Earl Jones and famed make-up artist Dick Smith will get Honorary Awards for “extraordinary distinction in lifetime achievement, exceptional contributions to the state of motion picture arts and sciences, or for outstanding service to the Academy.”
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 3, 2011 4:49 AM
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Summit To Shoot Step Up 4 with Model Ryan Guzman and So You Think You Can Dance's Kathryn McCormick

What's the biggest dance movie franchise in Hollywood history? It's Summit Entertainment's Step Up movies, which Disney launched on August 11, 2006. The first two grossed $265 million worldwide, and the third went 3-D in August 2010 and delivered another $165 million for a total $430 million worldwide.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 2, 2011 11:31 AM
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The Change-Up Premieres in Westwood: Bateman, Reynolds, Bullock; Early Reviews

The Change-Up Premieres in Westwood: Bateman, Reynolds, Bullock; Early Reviews
The studios get freaked when a movie destined to be commercially mainstream plays better for adults. That's because it's in their interest to play better to dumb young males than to, say, smart older females who can't be counted on to show up on an opening weekend. That's why so many awful movies get made that leave me out of their target demo. This was one topic at Monday night's Universal premiere of The Change-Up (August 5, trailer below), which was better than I was expecting. Universal is nervous because the movie is tracking older and female. (Early reviews are trending rotten; here's Metacritic.)
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 2, 2011 10:57 AM
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Toronto Sees More Doubles: Two Films Each for Weisz, Hoffman, Olsen, Rogen, Shannon, Chastain

Toronto Sees More Doubles: Two Films Each for Weisz, Hoffman, Olsen, Rogen, Shannon, Chastain
Six more actors (here are the first five) are working double time at the Toronto Film Festival this year: Rachel Weisz (360, The Deep Blue Sea), Philip Seymour Hoffman (The Ides of March, Moneyball), Elizabeth Olsen (Martha Marcy May Marlene, Peace, Love & Misunderstanding), Seth Rogen (50/50, Take This Waltz), Michael Shannon (Take Shelter, Machine Gun Preacher) and Jessica Chastain (Coriolanus, Take Shelter). Consider their Toronto track records below. Who will come out on top?
  • By Anne Thompson and Sophia Savage
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  • August 2, 2011 8:29 AM
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  • 7 Comments

Weinsteins' Escape from Planet Earth in Production with Parker, Fraser, Alba, Gandolfini

The Weinstein Co. has lined up Brendan Fraser, Sarah Jessica Parker, Jessica Alba, Rob Corddry, James Gandolfini and Craig Robinson to voice characters for Escape from Planet Earth, a 3-D animated "alien comedy."
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • August 2, 2011 8:29 AM
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Lionsgate Acquires The Big Wedding: Big Cast Includes De Niro, Keaton, Sarandon, Seyfried

One of safe thing to greenlight is a wedding movie. Lionsgate has acquired US and UK distribution rights to The Big Wedding, currently shooting in Greenwich, CT, with Robert De Niro, Susan Sarandon, Diane Keaton, Katherine Heigl, Amanda Seyfried, Robin Williams, Ben Barnes and Topher Grace. The film, from writer-director Justin Zackham (The Bucket List) forces a long-divorced couple (De Niro and Keaton) to pretend they are happily married at their son's wedding. The plan goes awry, resulting in a "charming, rollicking movie that promises to be an instant intergenerational family comedy classic,” gushes Lionsgate president Joe Drake.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • August 2, 2011 8:25 AM
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This is What Money Looks Like II: Hollywood's Best-Paid Actors; DiCaprio King of World

This is What Money Looks Like II: Hollywood's Best-Paid Actors; DiCaprio King of World
In the last year (May 2010 through May 2011) the top-earning actors (and sometime producers) were Leonardo DiCaprio ($77 million), Johnny Depp ($50 million), Adam Sandler ($40 million), Will Smith ($36 Million), Tom Hanks ($35 million), Ben Stiller ($34 Million), Robert Downey Jr. ($31 million), Mark Wahlberg ($28 million), Tim Allen ($22 million), Tom Cruise ($22 million), Jim Carrey ($20 million), Daniel Craig ($20 million), Robert Pattinson ($20 million), Brad Pitt ($20 million) and Matt Damon ($18 million).
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • August 2, 2011 7:13 AM
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  • 0 Comments

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