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Thompson on Hollywood

Weekly Wrap: Taylor/Burton Poll, Foxx is Tarantino's Django, Dennis Murren Talks Super 8 VFX, & More

Weekly Wrap: Taylor/Burton Poll, Foxx is Tarantino's Django, Dennis Murren Talks Super 8 VFX, & More
BOX OFFICE
  • By Sophia Savage and Anne Thompson
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  • June 24, 2011 6:50 AM
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Columbo Star Peter Falk is Dead: Wings of Desire, Husbands, Princess Bride Are Must-See Films

Tony-winning New Yorker Peter Falk, who has died at age 83 after suffering from Alzheimers, was beloved for his long-running Emmy-winning TV role as Columbo. But he also memorably starred in Wim Wenders' exquisite Wings of Desire, long-time collaborator John Cassavetes' 1970 drama Husbands and such comedies as The In-Laws, opposite Alan Arkin. He was Oscar-nominated for supporting roles in the 60s' Pocketful of Miracles and Murder, Inc.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 24, 2011 5:45 AM
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More: Obit

Weekend Preview: Bad Teacher, Cars 2, Leap Year's Graphic Sex, Conan O'Brien, Better Life & More

Weekend Preview: Bad Teacher, Cars 2, Leap Year's Graphic Sex, Conan O'Brien, Better Life & More
While Cars 2 trends rotten and Cameron Diaz gets dirty for Bad Teacher, several worthwhile indies are also in theaters this weekend. ThePlaylist calls Conan O'Brien Can't Stop a "winning, charming, you’ll-miss-stuff-because-you’re-still-laughing-too-hard concert documentary and a peek behind Conan’s psychological curtain." It's also indieWIRE's Pick of the Week. NYT's Stephen Holden says If A Tree Falls's "sobriety and carefully balanced arguments make it an exemplary piece of reporting, although its emotional heat rarely rises to a boil," while Manohla Dargis says Chris Weitz's scaling down for A Better Life has "done him good."
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • June 24, 2011 5:30 AM
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Winklevoss Twins Can't Stop

As THR film editor Gregg Kilday tweets: "Somebody should give them a copy of Bleak House." The Winklevoss twins, who earlier this week appeared to have given up their Quixotic quest to wrest justice from The Social Network subject Mark Zuckerberg, have not yet cut their losses. As they have failed to improve on their 2008 Facebook cash and stock settlement, now worth more than $100 million, they're just abandoning one approach to pursue another.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 24, 2011 5:02 AM
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More: News

Ten-Year-Old Cult Classic Wet Hot American Summer May See Sequel

On the endless list of sequels in the works you can add cult DVD fave Wet Hot American Summer, director and co-writer David Wain told Jeff Goldsmith. A decade after the film’s release, Wain says: “the prequel would be the same summer… so it would be 40 year olds playing 16 year olds. And yeah, we’re in the early stages of thinking about that.”
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • June 24, 2011 4:14 AM
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Media Watch: Gannett Cuts Jobs, Film Threat Returns as Magazine

Remember Chris Gore's 90s online film mag Film Threat? Well new publisher and editor-in-chief Mark Bell bought it in 2010 from Gore and now, bucking current trends, plans to turn it into a quarterly $4.99 glossy print publication, launching in September. According to Folio, FilmThreat.com gets about 250,000 page views a week.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 23, 2011 6:59 AM
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  • 1 Comment
More: Media

Conan O'Brien Adds Acting to His Sizzling Summer Sked

As Conan O’Brien promos his well-reviewed Can't Stop doc (and bathes in the glow of his widely viewed Dartmouth commencement address), the funny cable talk show host is set to add acting to his resume. Well, not exactly. He's going to play a lowly extra on comedy TV series How I Met Your Mother. Why? He won the walk-on role at a charity event. Rather than perform a showy celebrity cameo, O’Brien, who is 6' 4" says: “I think it's much funnier if I'm just in the bar, in the background."
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • June 23, 2011 6:25 AM
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Media Watch: Facebook Feedback Council, Hulu to Sell, Tablet Users Double by 2012, Salon Chief Out

-As Facebook looks to generate more ad revenues, the social networking hub is forming a twelve-member client council composed of leaders in the advertising world as well as Facebook’s largest clients, reports Ad Age. The group will rotate yearly, allowing a large mix of companies to participate. The first dozen include Nick Brien, CEO of McCann Worldgroup and Wendy Clark, Coca-Cola’s head of integrated marketing.
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • June 23, 2011 6:13 AM
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Oscar Watch: New Voting Method Hurts Marginal Academy Ballots

Oscar Watch: New Voting Method Hurts Marginal Academy Ballots
Steve Pond's mathematical appraisal of the change in Academy voting compares last year's method of voting for top ten best pictures and the new approach that forces each movie to meet a standard of popularity. (He's using a sample of critic votes to make his case.) Thus, if certain films don't grab a percentage of top-place votes, they won't make it into contention during one single elimination round. Pond is suggesting that with the new voting rules, Academy votes for movies such as Biutiful and even Oscar-contenders True Grit and The Kids Are All Right might not have even been considered last year. Departing Academy executive director Bruce Davis doesn't argue with him.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 23, 2011 6:04 AM
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More: Awards, Oscars

Shocker: Cars 2 Early Reviews Trend Rotten as Pixar's Magic Carpet Ride Touches Down

Shocker: Cars 2 Early Reviews Trend Rotten as Pixar's Magic Carpet Ride Touches Down
Well folks, the worm has turned. Disney Animation and Pixar chief John Lasseter--he who can do no wrong--has finally turned out a Pixar movie (a sequel) that is earning mixed reviews. No! Say it ain't so! Pixar's magic carpet ride has finally come to earth with a thudding 44% Rotten on the Tomatometer thus far. More reviews will change the tallies; Metacritic's rating of its top-grade reviewers is now a respectable 60--still the lowest ever for a Pixar movie.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 23, 2011 4:59 AM
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  • 10 Comments

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