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Thompson on Hollywood

Oscar Talk: Toronto's Impact on Race, Who's Up, Who's Down

In Contention's Kris Tapley and I had plenty to discuss this week as we compared notes on how various awards hopefuls fared at the Toronto Film Festival, which wraps up this weekend. We agree that The Artist and The Descendants came out way ahead.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 16, 2011 4:21 AM
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Denzel for Secret in Their Eyes Remake, Kevin Costner Out of Upcoming Tarantino, Source Code to TV

Kevin Costner was forced to back out of Quentin Taratino's Django Unchained due to scheduling conflicts and will no longer play Ace Woody, a "sadistic asshole who trains slaves to fight" in Tarantino's coming film. Meanwhile, as expected, Samuel L. Jackson has been confirmed to join the cast as a head house slave. The movie will star Jamie Foxx as Django, a slave who escapes from his vicious owner, played by Leonardo DiCaprio and joins forces with a German bounty hunter, played by Christoph Waltz. The film will begin production this November and has a planned release date of December 25, 2012.
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • September 16, 2011 4:05 AM
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Media Watch: Netflix Takes a Tumble, Google's Propeller, Viki to 10M International Users

Google has a social and news reader in its works, according to sources close to the project. Now called The Propeller, the reader doesn't have a launch date planned yet. [Via Media Bistro]
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • September 16, 2011 3:59 AM
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Puppet Watch: The Girl with the Muppet Tattoo; Kanye West, Kim Kardashian and Jim Henson

The Muppets, an upcoming revamp of the puppet ensemble starring Jason Segel, Amy Adams, Neil Patrick Harris, Rashida Jones, and Mila Kunis, has re-spliced their trailer into a parody of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo trailer. Some may find it aggressively adorable, if not a little misguided. Both trailers posted below--see if you can spot the differences!
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • September 16, 2011 3:55 AM
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Trailer Watch: Joseph Gordon-Levitt Shows Off Bikes Moves in Premium Rush

Check out the trailer for writer-director David Koepp's Premium Rush, starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt. The film arrives in theater January 13, 2012.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • September 16, 2011 3:24 AM
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Fall/Holiday Preview: Five Glorious VFX Films to Watch, None Set in Present

Bill Desowitz lists five VFX films to watch this fall and winter season, and the reasons why:With all due respect to the highly-anticipated The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn-- Part 1 and Mission: Impossible-- Ghost Protocol, in which Edward and Bella and Tom Cruise's Ethan Hunt spiritually go to hell and back, the real VFXy films to look out for this fall/holiday season are Hugo, Real Steel, Immortals, Anonymous, and Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows. They possess the necessary CG eye candy and potential Oscar prestige, plus there's not a contemporary story among them.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • September 16, 2011 2:04 AM
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Emily Watson Talks True Horror Story Oranges and Sunshine, Trailer Exclusive

Check out the new trailer for Oranges and Sunshine (below), the first film from director Jim Loach--son of Ken Loach. Cohen Media will release the film, which has already opened in the UK, from producers Camilla Bray, Iain Canning and Emile Sherman of The King's Speech, into the award season fray in October (reviews here). Emily Watson (Breaking the Waves) stars in this true story, adapted by Rona Munro from the memoir Empty Cradles by Nottingham social worker Margaret Humphreys. In the 80s she discovered that in the 50s and 60s the UK deported thousands of abandoned children, as young as four, to abusive work homes in Australia. She challenged the authorities in order to expose this miscarriage of justice and reunite thousands of families.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 15, 2011 12:20 PM
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Weinstein Co. Sits On Reign of Assassins Starring Michelle Yeoh, Early Reviews

Weinstein Co. Sits On Reign of Assassins Starring Michelle Yeoh, Early Reviews
Talking to The Lady star Michelle Yeoh in Toronto reminded me. Where is Reign of Assassins, which I saw at the Venice Film Festival in August, 2010? Weinstein Co. has been sitting on the elaborate martial arts fantasy from directors Su Chao-Pin and John Woo, which is a well-executed period action flick. The romance between Yeoh and my fave Korean star Jung Woo-Sung (The Good, The Bad and the Weird) works well—Yeoh’s playing the role of the veteran gunfighter (or sword-flying assassin) trying to go straight who falls in love with a regular guy. The overall film is not at the Woo level--he basically produced it. But the movie has elements of a Hong Kong Mr and Mrs. Smith. What are they waiting for? These two early reviews are mixed:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 15, 2011 12:20 PM
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TIFF Deals: Sundance Selects Takes Winterbottom's Trishna; Hot Sales on Gosling-Cooper's Pines

Michael Winterbottom's Tess of the D'Urbervilles adaptation, Trishna, has gone to Sundance Selects for North American distribution. They call it his "most beautiful and sensual" film. Starring Freida Pinto and Riz Ahmed, it is a modern take on the classic. Synopsis is below. Winterbottom wrote and directed the film, and previously worked with Sundance Selects on his films The Killer Inside Me and The Trip.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • September 15, 2011 9:34 AM
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TIFF 36 Day Seven: Solondz's Dark Horse, Killer Joe Impress; Moth Diaries, Himuzu, Twiggy Disappoint

TIFF 36 Day Seven: Solondz's Dark Horse, Killer Joe Impress; Moth Diaries, Himuzu, Twiggy Disappoint
Meredith Brody reports:
  • By Meredith Brody
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  • September 15, 2011 7:01 AM
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