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Thompson on Hollywood

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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  • 1 Comment

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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  • 0 Comments

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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  • 0 Comments

Documentary Features to be Considered for 84th Academy Awards Due Today, September 15

Oscar entries for consideration for the documentary feature film category for the 84th Academy Awards (to be announced on February 26), are due September 15. Nominees will be announced January 24. More information is here, and qualifying details are below. Last year's winner, Charles Ferguson's Inside Job, is pictured below.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 15, 2011 6:02 AM
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  • 0 Comments
More: Awards, Oscars

The Hunger Games Wraps First Installment; Months of Promoting Will Ensue Prior to March 2012 Release

That was fast. Lionsgate's The Hunger Games has wrapped 84 days of principal photography on the first installment of the intended series. Lionsgate's Joe Drake says: "What I observed on set was impressive on every level, and reinforced my confidence that we have assembled precisely the right team to bring Suzanne Collins’ brilliant novel to the big screen." The film won't feed its hungry teen fans until March 23, 2012. But plenty of first-look fodder (with more to come) are serving as catnip for what looks to be the next young adult female Twilight replacement franchise.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • September 15, 2011 5:52 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Character Actors Keep Hollywood Afloat: Manohla Dargis Foresees Vast Democracy of Talent

Actors, take note. NYT critic Manohla Dargis declares that it's a great time to be a character actor, who are responsible for the "ragged human details" that serve the richness of the upcoming TV season as well as the performances that "nibble on the corners of the screen."
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • September 15, 2011 4:44 AM
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  • 3 Comments

Toronto: 50/50 Debuts to Upbeat Reviews; Can It Beat the B.O. Odds or Land an Oscar Nod?

Toronto: 50/50 Debuts to Upbeat Reviews; Can It Beat the B.O. Odds or Land an Oscar Nod?
One of the big winners out of Toronto is Jonathan Levine's 50/50 (September 30), which succeeds by hewing close to its true story. Joseph Gordon-Levitt gives an awards-worthy performance in Will Reiser's semi-autobiographical script about his battle with cancer (see video below), and less successfully, Seth Rogen, basically playing himself, tries to keep his best chum laughing as he undergoes chemo and an operation, losing his girlfriend (Bryce Dallas Howard) as well as his hair. Anjelica Huston is the mother he does not want to share his illness with, and Anna Kendrick his neophyte shrink. Applause all around.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 15, 2011 4:19 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Text M for Murder

This Funny or Die clip evokes the obvious but still mild wording of Facebook stalking and following someone's Tumblr in this comedy-horror short that pays homage to horror movie/ horror movie parodies:
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • September 14, 2011 12:10 PM
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  • 0 Comments

TIFF Deals: The Lady, Wuthering Heights, Last Day on Earth, Your Sister's Sister

The late Toronto fest deals are flying fast and furious. Now IFC has closed two deals, for North and Latin American rights to Lynn Shelton's well-reviewed relationship comedy Your Sister's Sister, starring Emily Blunt, Rosemarie DeWitt and Mark Duplass, and North American rights for Abel Ferrara's 4:44 Last Day on Earth. The New York-set film, starring Willem Dafoe, Shanyn Leigh, Paz de la Huerta, and Natasha Lyonne asks the questions, "how would we spend our final hours on Earth? And what does how we choose to die say about how we have chosen to live?" Next stop: The New York Film Festival. Here's more. UPDATED.
  • By Anne Thompson and Sophia Savage
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  • September 14, 2011 12:08 PM
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  • 0 Comments

DiCaprio and Eastwood Talk J. Edgar in GQ Cover Story

In the latest issue of GQ, the magazine pairs the actor and director combo from biopic J. Edgar, in which Leonardo DiCaprio suits up as the famed and defamed former head of the FBI under Clint Eastwood's direction. The film will kick off this year's AFI Film FEST on November 3 before opening wide November 11.
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • September 14, 2011 8:15 AM
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  • 2 Comments

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