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Thompson on Hollywood

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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AFM News: Howard Pumps Rush, Weinsteins Chase Song for Marion, Europa Shoots in New York

One of the signs of changing times is seeing an A-list director like Ron Howard pushing a project at the American Film Market. The co-head of Imagine Entertainment went to Santa Monica to push Rush, his Formula 1 racing film, with foreign buyers. Nigel Sinclair and Guy East’s Exclusive Media Group (The Way Back) is co-producing and co-financing the picture with Brian Oliver’s Cross Creek Pictures, Imagine, Revolution Films and Working Title, which produced Formula 1 fan Eric Fellner’s racing doc Senna, which shows how cinematic this kind of movie can be. The film’s screenwriter Peter Morgan (Frost/Nixon) is also a producer on Rush, along with Andrew Eaton. Universal Pictures will release the film, which is currently filming with stars Chris Hemsworth (Thor) and Daniel Bruhl (Inglourious Basterds), stateside in 2012.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 4, 2011 11:30 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Media Watch: New Nook Debuts, Glamourous “Likes” to Advertisers, Couric on A Very Gaga Thanksgiving

On Thanksgiving Day, ABC will host a spectacle that will surely rival the wildness of any turkeys or family drama: A Very Gaga Thanksgiving. The show will feature performances from the singer, a one-on-one interview with Katie Couric, appearances from Tony Bennett and chef Art Smith. - By connecting their Facebook and 2D barcodes, Glamour magazine helped its advertisers to gain over 50,000 likes on the social network. Over 100,000 of their readers responded to this innovating integration of print and web by activating the “Social SnapTags,” which involved scanning the code with an app, signing up for deals and sweepstakes, or sharing the offer. - Barnes and Noble will launch its latest rival to Amazon’s Kindle Fire: a new Nook Tablet. TechCrunch reports that while the new Nook looks similar to the old Nook Color, the new version is speedier, with more memory, a WiFi radio, and will be available on November 16 for a cool price of $249, $50 more than the Kindle Fire. [Via MediaBistro]
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • November 4, 2011 11:00 AM
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Oscar Talk: DiCaprio vs. Clooney, J. Edgar, Muppet Movie, Young Adult’s Theron, War Horse

  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 4, 2011 10:06 AM
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  • 1 Comment

AFM News: Drafthouse Films Expands, Acquires Foreign Titles Bullhead and Clown, Pacts with Image

Indie player Drafthouse Films, led by Austin-based exhibitor Tim League, is in expansion mode. The company has announced a number of international acquisitions, an exclusive U.S. distribution deal with the licensing and distribution company, Image Entertainment, Inc., and appointed a new COO.
  • By Liza Foreman
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  • November 4, 2011 9:00 AM
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Lincoln Center, TCM to Present Exhibition of Mike Kaplan's Personal Poster Collection

As a lead up to next April's TCM Classic Film Festival in Hollywood, Turner Classic Movies and the Film Society of Lincoln Center are teaming up to present "Style and Motion: The Art of the Movie Poster," an exhibit to highlight the personal collection of poster designer and producer Mike Kaplan.
  • By Jacob Combs
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  • November 3, 2011 12:37 PM
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Laemmle Passes Sunset 5 to Sundance Cinemas

Say good-bye to the Sunset 5 Theaters in West Hollywood. As venerable Laemmle Theatres is preparing to open a new seven-plex in North Hollywood, after almost two decades, it will close the now-shabby Sunset 5 on December 1. Competition from new complexes took films and moviegoers away from the Sunset. Sundance Cinemas will renovate the space and reopen in late spring 2012.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 3, 2011 11:10 AM
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Bond Expert Deciphers Skyfall Intelligence, Craig's Development as 007

So what have we learned after Thursday's press conference in London about Bond 23? Bill Desowitz, who is writing a book about the Bond films, parses the available 007 intelligence.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • November 3, 2011 11:01 AM
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Killing II Starts in the UK

Tired of waiting for season two of AMC's The Killing? Well, the second season of Danish Forbrydelsen starts on BBC Four on November 19th, if you can get to it.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 3, 2011 9:42 AM
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