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Thompson on Hollywood

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

Half-Eaten Poster Battle: Iron Lady vs. Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

The most recent poster for The Iron Lady, a biopic about Margaret Thatcher, shows Meryl Streep's face fading into the buildings of Parliament, under the tagline "Never Compromise." This poster coincidentally resembles recent art from an upcoming feature about another iron-willed lady, Lizbeth Salander (Rooney Mara) in David Fincher's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. In this poster, Mara's profile silhouette makes a sort of ying-yang design with a handsome mugshot of Daniel Craig. (Both posted on their own below).
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • September 23, 2011 6:22 AM
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Oscar Talk: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Melancholia, Moneyball, Ides of March, New Oscar Rules

In this week's Oscar Talk podcast, Kris Tapley and I engage on several pressing Oscar fronts. We debate the impact of the Academy's new constraints on parties and Q & As and whether or not the Oscars should move up their date. We dig into several new films, Brad Pitt-starrer Moneyball and Cameron Crowe's Pearl Jam Twenty, which open this weekend, plus the upcoming Melancholia, starring Kirsten Dunst, Tinker Tailer Soldier Spy, starring the great Gary Oldman, and George Clooney's The Ides of March, starring the director opposite Ryan Gosling.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 23, 2011 5:47 AM
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Geeking Out with Cameron at the 3D Summit: Titanic, Avatar, Theme Parks

This week, in his Immersed in Movies column, Bill Desowitz talks to James Cameron at the 3D Summit. Don't try to convince James Cameron that 3-D is faltering. He's still a true believer, despite some recent 3-D blowback. He laughed if off as growing pains and negative media spin at the 3D Entertainment Summit this week at the Hollywood & Highland Center, but said it's nothing that can't be fixed with a change of perception and better 3-D authoring and presentation.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • September 23, 2011 5:14 AM
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First Look: Depp, Pfeiffer, Bonham Carter in Burton's Unearthly Dark Shadows Ensemble

With Johnny Depp background and center as a centuries-old vampire, this "family photo" from the upcoming Dark Shadows film, directed by Tim Burton, reveals an unearthly ensemble. Dark Shadows will revamp the ABC 1966-1971 soap opera, which focused on the lives of supernatural siblings and their extended family, including witches, ghosts, and all manners of gothic horrors.
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • September 23, 2011 3:16 AM
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  • 2 Comments

First Look: REM Remix The End of TV As We Know It

This YouTube REM Remix captures the frenetic pace of obsessive screen-watchers. Like me.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 22, 2011 12:09 PM
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Gordon-Levitt and Rogen Talk 50/50: "It's Honest, That's Why It's Funny"

Gordon-Levitt and Rogen Talk 50/50: "It's Honest, That's Why It's Funny"
Screenwriter Will Reiser labored for six years at the behest of producer Seth Rogen to turn the fictional story based on Reiser's own cancer experience at age 24 into the funny coming-of-age film 50/50. Rogen and partner Evan Goldberg held onto control (and final cut) of the $8-million movie, which was calibrated to be just inexpensive enough for them to retain creative control, and got backing from Mandate Pictures (Summit releases the film September 30). They eventually hired Jonathan Levine (The Wackness) because "we spoke the same movie language," Rogen said after a packed SAG screening this week. Rogen is effectively playing himself; James McAvoy was supposed to play the lead but dropped out at the last minute due to a family emergency. One reason that Joseph Gordon-Levitt took the film with just one week to prepare, he says, is that Rogen was in control of the production.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 22, 2011 10:51 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Footnote is Israel's Official Oscar Entry, Wins Ophir

Israel has a sensible approach to picking its official Oscar submission every year. The film that wins the best picture Ophir, their own Academy Award, is submitted. That means that it's not some group representing the country that decides what is appropriate. Government cultural bodies often make the wrong choice, for political, economic or even personal reasons. Why would Belgium, for example, not submit the popular, well-received, Cannes award-winning film from the Dardenne brothers, The Kid with a Bike (IFC)? Well, they submitted Bullhead, a crime thriller about cattle farmers, instead. The Film Experience keeps a running chart of the foreign Oscar submissions, complete with U.S. distributors.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 22, 2011 8:56 AM
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Weekend Preview: Testosterone Rules Box Office with Moneyball, Killer Elite, Machine Gun Preacher

There's a lot of testosterone at the box office this weekend. The subtle kind: Brad Pitt's heartfelt sports drama Moneyball. The less subtle kind: Killer Elite and The Badass Gerard Butler Show (aka Machine Gun Preacher). The subversive kind: Andrew Haigh's exceptionally reviewed gay romance Weekend. Add to that list Chris Evans' I-Can-Be-Edgy-Like-Ryan-Gosling-Too Puncture, in which he plays a drug addict lawyer amidst a true-story pharmaceutical conspiracy, and Cameron Crowe's love letter to rock stars, Pearl Jam Twenty. Details, reviews and trailers on these films and more below:
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • September 22, 2011 8:22 AM
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Werner Herzog Delivers Keynote at Film Independent Forum, Panelists Announced

Forget the same old indie exec giving the annual Film Independent Forum keynote speech. This year the keynote speaker won't be Mark Gill, Ted Hope or Joe Drake (who gave great keynotes) but wily German filmmaker Werner Herzog (Cave of Forgotten Dreams), who tells filmmakers to read a book a day if they want to make great films.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 22, 2011 7:43 AM
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  • 0 Comments

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