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Thompson on Hollywood

Master of Horror John Carpenter Answers Your Tweets

Yesterday Barack Obama, now John Carpenter (the director whose iconic horror films have likely scared you witless) will answer your questions live on Twitter, Friday from 2:00 to 3:30 PST.
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • July 8, 2011 7:07 AM
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Disney and Time Warner Chase AMC, Soap’s Second Life on Internet, Google+ Brand Pages

After AMC Network spun off from Cablevision last week, such buyers as Time Warner and Walt Disney Co. have made a run at purchasing the network, reports AdAge. One fund manager at GAMCO, who oversees some four million AMC shares, says that the network would benefit from a sale because of its current popularity due to acclaimed shows Mad Men, The Walking Dead, and Breaking Bad (pictured). In addition to AMC, AMC Networks also controls IFC, WE TV and the Sundance Channel.
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • July 8, 2011 6:43 AM
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In Memory of Robert Sklar, NYU Cinema Studies Scholar

NYU Cinema Studies professor and one-time department chairman Robert Sklar died June 26 in a bicycling accident at age 74. While I earned my degree in Cinema Studies from NYU and respected Sklar, I never took one of his classes. Here's his NYT obit; current Cinema Studies chair Richard Allen's tribute is below. IN MEMORY OF ROBERT SKLAR 1936-2011It is with great sadness that I must report to you the death of our beloved colleague, Robert Sklar. On Sunday, June 26, Bob had an accident while bicycling in Barcelona with his wife, Adrienne Harris. He lost control of his bike, fell and hit his head. He was removed to a Barcelona hospital with head injuries. At the hospital he was diagnosed as having extensive bleeding of the brain. He underwent brain surgery, but the injuries were too severe for recovery. On Saturday, July 2, he expired from his injuries. He will be cremated and the ashes brought back to New York. Our thoughts go out to Adrienne and to Bob’s entire family at this time.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 8, 2011 6:17 AM
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  • 1 Comment
More: Obit

Fox Ape App Could Deflate Your Ego

To promote prequel Rise of the Planet of the Apes’s simian-vs-man premise, Twentieth Century Fox has released an application that will test whether iPhones and iPads users are more intelligent than monkeys.
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • July 8, 2011 6:06 AM
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Oscar Talk Mid-Summer Outlook: New Rules, Midnight in Paris, Streep vs. Close

Oscar Talk Mid-Summer Outlook: New Rules, Midnight in Paris, Streep vs. Close
Kris Tapley and I reconvened over Skype for a mid-summer Oscar Talk (below). We covered quite a bit of ground. New Academy rules affect the top ten best picture ballot, VFX, documentaries and animation, but not foreign eligibility. New members may tip the scale as well on a more mainstream selection.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 8, 2011 5:08 AM
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  • 4 Comments

Sci-Fi Series Torchwood: Miracle Day Plunges Planet Into Chaos

Sci-Fi Series Torchwood: Miracle Day Plunges Planet Into Chaos
David Chute reviews Torchwood: Miracle Day, the new Starz/BBC limited series, which launches Friday.Torchwood: Miracle Day signals its take-no-prisoners seriousness right off the bat. The premise is daring, almost too cosmic to ever be paid off satisfactorily. At the same moment all over the world, human beings stop dying. Illnesses that would have killed us in the past simply don’t, any longer, no matter how gruesome the damage inflicted on our hapless flesh. The SFX work, here, by Greg Nicotero and his crew, sometimes rises to Walking Dead levels of grisliness. A man trapped in a burning building is reduced to little more than a head and shoulders and a few trailing scraps of jerky-- yet he still manages to squirm and whimper on a mortuary table. (Trailer below.)
  • By David Chute
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  • July 8, 2011 4:05 AM
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  • 3 Comments

Favreau Teases Stories from Cowboys & Aliens Producers Spielberg, Howard and Grazer

Cowboys & Aliens director Jon Favreau interviews his producers, Steven Spielberg, Ron Howard and Brian Grazer. Below, Spielberg recalls meeting John Ford. Here are more videos of the conversation.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • July 8, 2011 1:15 AM
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Amy Winehouse Still Tops Bond Composer David Arnold’s 007 Wishlist

Amy  Winehouse Still Tops Bond Composer David Arnold’s 007 Wishlist
David Arnold, who’s scored every James Bond movie since 1997’s Tomorrow Never Dies, spoke to Matt Mueller shortly before a Memorial Concert in honour of legendary franchise composer John Barry at London’s Royal Albert Hall:David Arnold knows who he’d love to sing the next 007 theme tune: Amy Winehouse. The British composer is a massive fan of her jazzy vocals and spent two days with the singer when she was being courted to sing the title track to Quantum Of Solace. Winehouse’s personal problems prevented her from taking the gig but, although recent headlines suggest the substance-abuse demons haven’t gone away, Arnold feels she’d make the perfect Bond chanteuse. “She’s absolutely the real deal and the problems she has are part of that genius,” he says. “Of course, until you read the script it’s impossible to say who would be right and you’d consider any of the current great female vocalists, like Adele, Beyonce, Lady Gaga… But if Amy was in a position to be back to full fighting strength, she would be fantastic.” UPDATE: Alas, Arnold's wishes will never be. Winehouse succumbed to her demons on July 24, found dead at her London home at age 27.
  • By Matt Mueller
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  • July 8, 2011 1:11 AM
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  • 3 Comments

Guillermo del Toro's Pacific Rim Cast Shaping Up: Day, Hunnam, Elba and Kikuchi

Babel Oscar nominee Rinko Kikuchi joins Horrible Bosses breakout Charlie Day, Idris Elba and Charlie Hunnam on Guillermo del Toro's Pacific Rim, the director's return to the helm for the first time since his Oscar-nominated Pan's Labyrinth.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • July 7, 2011 11:54 AM
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Relativity Beefs Up Fall Slate with Forster's Machine Gun Preacher, Banks on Genre for 2011/2012

Relativity Beefs Up Fall Slate with Forster's Machine Gun Preacher, Banks on Genre for 2011/2012
Neophyte distributor Relativity's future is banked on its 2011/2012 schedule, which is packed with genre fare (see full line-up below). Much production coin and P & A is invested in this slate. Relativity has now beefed up its fall lineup by taking back North American rights from Lionsgate of its own production of Marc Forster's Machine Gun Preacher, starring Gerard Butler as real-life reformed criminal Sam Childers.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 7, 2011 8:20 AM
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  • 1 Comment

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