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Thompson on Hollywood

Media Watch: Wikipedia Love Button, Hearst Umbrella Campaign, Mind the Spending Gap

So much for liking things: Wikipedia is adding a Love Button.
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • June 27, 2011 4:41 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Oscar Watch: Skin I Live In Gets October Date; Carnage Goes to November, Holiday Sked Shapes Up

Oscar Watch: Skin I Live In Gets October Date; Carnage Goes to November, Holiday Sked Shapes Up
The earlier a high-prestige art house movie opens in the fall, the less likely that its distributor harbors serious Oscar hopes for it. In other words, if Sony Pictures Classics moves Pedro Almodovar's retitled Skin I Live In from November to October, and slates Roman Polanski's Carnage on November 18, it means the latter is being given the Oscar advantage. Almodovar's kinky thriller starring Antonio Banderas met a mixed reception in Cannes. "This is not a move," asserts SPC co-president Michael Barker. "We never set the date until now. We were always going in the Fall. It is a great date."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 27, 2011 1:50 AM
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Hollywood Chases Bin Laden Capture

Hollywood is always responsive to trending hot topics--like the death of Osama bin Laden. Who will get close to the secretive Navy SEALS to dramatize this pivotal moment in American history? First at bat is Hurt Locker director Kathryn Bigelow and producer/writing partner Mark Boal, who are ramping up a SEALs bin Laden movie for Sony. The film will focus on the black ops mission that ended with bin Laden’s death in May 2011. Producer James Jacks is also developing a SEALS Afghan war movie, Hindu Kush, that is picking up steam.
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • June 27, 2011 1:46 AM
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  • 0 Comments
More: Books

Robert Rodriguez and the 4th Dimension: Aromascope

Didn't they used to call it Smell-O-Vision? Dimension Films plans to add a revolutionary dimension to Spy Kids: All the Time in the World: smell. Calling the addition of olfactory senses 4-D, director Robert Rodriguez wants audiences to rub special cards they'll get with their tickets. They can rub corresponding numbers to release whatever action-related odor at the right moment. Rodriguez gets credit for helping to revive 3-D and now, might bring back an extra dimension to the filmgoing.
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • June 26, 2011 12:38 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Next Coen Brothers' Feature Goes Folk, Moverman Writes Brian Wilson Biopic

The Coen brothers will focus their next feature on the folk music scene in mid-20th century New York via the story of legendary musician Dave Van Ronk. Nicknamed the “Mayor of MacDougal Street,” Van Ronk was known for his musical prowess and captivating storytelling. He presided over Village coffeehouse culture and helped to discover and cultivate such talents as Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, and Phil Ochs. Last month, at a talk at Lincoln Center, the Coens said their upcoming film would have a heavy music focus and lean toward naturalism.
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • June 26, 2011 5:36 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Weekend Box Office: Cars 2 Beats Critic Brickbats and Cars with $68 Million; Diaz Opens Bad Teacher

Weekend Box Office: Cars 2 Beats Critic Brickbats and Cars with $68 Million; Diaz Opens Bad Teacher
While Disney/Pixar's Cars 2 suffered the worst reviews of any of Pixar's past 11 blockbusters, the John Lasseter-helmed sequel still scored with mainstream audiences, reports Anthony D'Alessandro.Disney/Pixar’s Cars 2 popped the clutch into fifth and ran over its muddy estimates and critical reviews with an estimated weekend of $68 million at 4,115 theaters; 61% were equipped in 3-D. No doubt Disney executives are overjoyed, but no one can be happier than box office rebound girl Cameron Diaz, whose sex pot comedy Bad Teacher collected $31 million. Even more mouth-dropping than Diaz’s raunchy hijinks in the film was that it was made for the same price as her Charlie’s Angels 2 paycheck -- $20 million.
  • By Anthony D'Alessandro
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  • June 26, 2011 5:11 AM
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  • 5 Comments

First Look at The Raven: Cusack Frighteningly Passable as Edgar Allen Poe

Until this first-look photo, it was difficult to imagine John Cusack, likeable and attractive, as the mysterious and macabre Edgar Allen Poe. But in the upcoming The Raven (Relativity, March 12, 2012), loosely inspired by Poe's life, Cusack looks craggy-faced and alarming as the American gothic literary genius. The film is shooting in Serbia for Baltimore circa 1846; Luke Evans (Tamara Drewe), Alice Eve (She's Out of My League and Brendan Gleeson (In Bruges) co-star.
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • June 26, 2011 1:23 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Screenwriters Talk A Better Life: From Capracorn and Social Realism to Weitz and Bichir

Screenwriters Talk A Better Life: From Capracorn and Social Realism to Weitz and Bichir
Indie dramas are the toughest movies to make. 'Twas ever thus. And so it took 22 years for A Better Life to hit screens--and Twilight: New Moon. Off that hit, director Chris Weitz was able to parlay some good will at Summit into backing a modest low key $10 million L.A. drama about a laconic, hard-working single father (Demian Bichir), an illegal immigrant gardener who wants the best for his son (Jose Julian). Sounds like Capracorn? Well, that's how Manito screenwriter Eric Eason described Roger Simon's original screenplay at our Landmark Cinema Q & A Thursday Night. The writer of Enemies, a Love Story was given the germ of an idea--a gardener's truck is stolen--and inspired a bit by Italian classic The Bicycle Thief, the story was born.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 25, 2011 2:08 AM
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YouTube Commercial Kings Rhett and Link Talk New TV Show

Rhett & Link: Commercial Kings, a new television show premiering tonight on IFC, plots two best friends as they journey across the United States to understand the country--via advertising.
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • June 24, 2011 10:23 AM
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Academy Moves Around Governors List, Adds Hurd, Bening, Mazursky

Academy Moves Around Governors List, Adds Hurd, Bening, Mazursky
The board of governors are the real bosses at the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences. They call the shots. They elect the president, who is now Tom Sherak, who oversees the actual Oscar show by hiring the producers and approving the hosts. They approved Sherak's choice of AMPAS's new co-chairmen, Dawn Hudson and Ric Robertson, to replace outgoing executive director Bruce Davis, as well as all new members and voting rules.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 24, 2011 7:13 AM
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  • 0 Comments
More: Awards, Oscars

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