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Thompson on Hollywood

Box Office: Lion King Steals Home Run from Moneyball During Crowded Weekend

Box Office: Lion King Steals Home Run from Moneyball During Crowded Weekend
It was such a crowded weekend at the box office that Sunday estimates are unclear. Clearly, too many movies were aimed at men. Anthony D'Alessandro reports. If you asked distribution executives on Thursday what was going to be No. 1 at the weekend box office, they would have pointed at the other guy. Sony, Warner Bros. and Disney all had strong prospects, but knew they could easily lose to each other. And this had nothing to do with the usual fall award contenders.
  • By Anthony D'Alessandro
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  • September 25, 2011 4:56 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Orgiastic Odyssey: Mark Cousins' The Story of Film

On the last days of the Toronto Film Festival, Meredith Brody settles into a fifteen-hour orgy of film history. If I wasn’t already a rabid cinephile, exposure to Mark Cousins' orgiastic The Story of Film: An Odyssey would turn me into one. I’d been looking forward to seeing the two-day screenings, eight hours on Saturday and seven on Sunday, since I caught a scant hour of it in Telluride, shown on an ordinary flat screen in a back room of an art gallery. But, over two days immersed in its entirety, I’m overwhelmed by its richness, depth, and philosophy. Cousins’ pleasing Irish brogue seduces as he narrates the entire 15 hours, a personal take on film history that will dazzle the neophyte but also holds surprises for the most devoted film geek. I already know I have a weakness for clip shows, but this is no mere clip show: it’s wittily written and the new footage shot all over the world (hence the “odyssey”) is meditative and cinematic in its own right.
  • By Meredith Brody
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  • September 24, 2011 9:16 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Dragon Tattoo Trilogy Extended Edition Released November 22

Music Box will be releasing the Swedish The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Trilogy: Extended Edition on November 22.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 24, 2011 8:22 AM
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  • 5 Comments

Direct from Broadway: Four Filmed Musicals Heading to Cinemas in Europe and North America

A common lament in the New York theater world is that the business has become increasing Hollywood-ized. Especially on Broadway, the prevailing trend for some time has been toward spectacles with big name stars (often from the film world) and elaborate feats of technical theater, both of which may or may not spell success—witness the not-so-stellar reception afforded 2010's The Addams Family or last year's spectacular hit/failure Spiderman: Turn Off the Dark.
  • By Jacob Combs
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  • September 24, 2011 8:16 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Millennium Acquires Moverman's Rampart, Starring Harrelson

Avi Lerner's Millennium Entertainment is not known for giving its films an aggressive theatrical release. That's because CEO Avi Lerner believes, conservatively, in the numbers. Less spending on theatrical is more. He prefers VOD and DVD. And who's to say he's wrong, unless you are dealing with a movie that needs careful handling, and with the right nurturing could thrive in art houses around the country? That Millennium will not do, unless they radically change their current M.O. New Millennium player Mark Gill is capable of orchestrating an effective release strategy for Oren Moverman's 90s period Rampart, starring Woody Harrelson as an out-of-control L.A. cop who think that he is in control.. If Lerner lets him.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 24, 2011 2:06 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Weekly Wrap: Oscar Talk, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Moneyball, Gordon-Levitt Interviewed on 50/50

WEEKEND PREVIEW:
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • September 23, 2011 10:29 AM
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China Selects Zhang Yimou's Flowers of War, Starring Christian Bale, as Oscar Entry

The backers of Zhang Yimou's The Flowers of War, a tough period drama set during the horrific 1937 Nanking Massacre, are heaving sighs of relief. China has chosen the film as its official Oscar entry. It is due for December 16 release in Asia and was for sale at the recent Toronto Film Festival, where I saw a stunning 20 minutes of footage. This means that a buyer is now more likely to step up to qualify the film at year's end for a Christian Bale Oscar campaign, knowing that The Flowers of War may wind up a foreign Oscar nominee. (There's just enough Chinese in the English/Mandarin dialogue to qualify.)
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 23, 2011 8:34 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Review Round-Up: Roger Ebert's Life Itself: "The best thing Mr. Ebert has ever written"

Roger Ebert, the owner of arguably the most powerful thumbs in America, has published a memoir documenting his 69 years. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the only film critic to garner a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Ebert writes in Life Itself how he helped to change the way movies were reviewed. Especially in light of his recent struggles with cancer, film and book critics alike are lauding Ebert's introspective portrayal of his past, with some saying that Life Itself is the best writing the Ebert has ever penned. Read the reviews below.
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • September 23, 2011 8:27 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Media Watch: Dish Network Unveils Blockbuster Movie Pass, Facebook's Push to the Past

Today, the Dish Network revealed Blockbuster Movie Pass, its competitor to Netflix. Blockbuster Movie Pass will resemble the previous Netflix model, bundling DVD-by-mail rentals as well as online video streaming. However, its customers must sign up for the satellite provider for access to streaming. The new program, which will be available Oct. 1 and costs $10 a month, will offer 100,000 movies and TV programs to rent by mail, with another 4,000 movies available streaming. Read more at the Wrap.
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • September 23, 2011 8:24 AM
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  • 3 Comments

Taylor Lautner: What Happens If Abduction Fails?

Taylor Lautner, the Twilight teen idol, has been poised for movie stardom. But what if his first solo attempt, the upcoming action film Abduction, fails? Lautner's agents at William Morris have posed the ripped 19-year old at a big star, lining up multi-million dollar roles (he will receive $5 million for Abduction), but what if he can't move past Twilight? (Neither Kristen Stewart nor Rob Pattinson has scored in a big way on their own outside the Twilight franchise.)
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • September 23, 2011 8:19 AM
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  • 6 Comments

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