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Thompson on Hollywood

Trailer Watch: George Lucas's World War II Aerial Ballet Red Tails Debuts January 20

We've been waiting a while for producer George Lucas's take on the World War II Tuskegee airmen, now set for release by Twentieth Century Fox on January 20, 2012. Anthony Hemingway (Treme, The Wire, Battlestar Galactica) directs a script by John Ridley (Three Kings) and a sprawling ensemble led by Cuba Gooding Jr. (Jerry Maguire), Terrence Howard (Iron Man), Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad), David Oyelowo (Rise of the Planet of the Apes) and Andre Royo (The Wire). Produced by Rick McCallum and Charles Floyd Johnson, the film boasts a score by frequent Spike Lee composer Terence Blanchard.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 30, 2011 8:29 AM
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Rotten Tomatoes Founder Launches Movies with Butter

Four years after leaving Rotten Tomatoes, founder Senh Duong is launching yet another movie site called MoviesWithButter.com. (He also founded newspaper rack site Wopular.) The website allows movie enthusiasts to track the latest developments of upcoming movies by title, director, actor or development stage.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 29, 2011 12:00 PM
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Sundance Institute Pushes Deeper Into Digital Distribution Alternatives--Analysis

Sundance Institute Pushes Deeper Into Digital Distribution Alternatives--Analysis
Two things pop from this week's announcement from Robert Redford's Sundance Institute about their "Artists Services Initiative." First, who it's for--Sundance Institute filmmakers only--and second, how it contrasts with Robert De Niro's for-profit New York-based Tribeca Films, which picks up films to release, some of them from its own festival.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 29, 2011 8:51 AM
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Kounelias Joins Academy as Chief Marketing Officer

Academy CEO Dawn Hudson has hired veteran marketing executive Christina Kounelias to the new post of chief marketing officer for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Kounelias will assume her new role on August 1 and will report directly to Hudson, who is moving swiftly to bring in her own people, and will not rely strictly on the folks already there, many of them for some years. In this new position, Kounelias will oversee all planning, strategy and marketing execution of Academy initiatives including its signature Oscar telecast, the Governors Awards and year-round educational outreach and screening programs. The marketing, communications and online staff will report to her.Kounelias has been a member of the Academy for nine years.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 29, 2011 8:16 AM
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Polanski's Carnage Will Open New York Film Festival, Hits Theaters in December

Now we know what the 49th New York Film Festival opener on September 30 will be: Roman Polanski's Carnage. It's an odd choice, because needless to say, the director himself will not be able to attend, given his status as an exile. (That's what satellite feeds are for.) Based on Yasmina Reza's 2009 Tony-Award-winning Broadway play God of Carnage, the movie stars Kate Winslet, Jodie Foster, John C. Reilly and Christoph Waltz as two couples battling over their children, who had a fight on a playground, and the health of their respective marriages. (More photos here.)
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 29, 2011 8:05 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Marion Cotillard: Boobs on the Brain

Did you know that lab tests prove that Forehead Tittaes actually redirect the male gaze from the chest to the brain?
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • July 29, 2011 6:12 AM
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  • 3 Comments

Media Watch: Amazon Streaming Goes Universal, Netflix vs. Hulu User Behavior, Fighting Piracy

Amazon is teaming up with NBC Universal to stream movies to subscribers, continuing its direct competition with Netflix. THR reports that Amazon now offers 9,000 movies and TV shows to its subscribers—Prime customers who pay $79.00 a year (compared to Netflix’s annual $96, for many more options). This after Amazon struck a similar deal with CBS last week. Movies and TV shows to stream include Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Fletch, Cheers, Frasier, and Star Trek.
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • July 29, 2011 5:42 AM
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Dark Knight Rises Filming in Pittsburgh, Two New Biopics, Development Arrested

The Dark Knights Rises moved locations this week to start filming in the latest Gotham City stand-in: Pittsburgh, PA. “When you're making a large-scale action film that has to showcase the vitality and size of a large American city," director Christopher Nolan told The Pittsburgh Business Times, "it also involves a certain amount of disruption to that city in order to make the action credible on screen.” The film will pay homage to some Steel City landmarks with a Heinz Field crowd scene at a football game, where mass destruction will likely take place.
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • July 29, 2011 5:31 AM
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Trailer Watch: Ratner Might Have a Populist Hit with Robbery Flick Tower Heist

Tower Heist (November 4) is going to be a huge hit for Universal, for several reasons. First, it's about getting back at The Man: Bernie Madoff, basically, played by Alan Alda. The American moviegoer is ready for some payback about now. The trailer below spells it out: a Madoff-type rip-off artist is subject to house arrest in his fancy skyscraper penthouse. Even the building employees got rooked, and they're looking to get their own back. But they need a robbery expert: Ben Stiller knew Eddie Murphy back in the old neighborhood.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 29, 2011 3:42 AM
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Toronto Sees Double: Two Films Each for Busy Clooney, Gosling, Fassbender, Mulligan and Butler

Toronto Sees Double: Two Films Each for Busy Clooney, Gosling, Fassbender, Mulligan and Butler
These five stars are working double time at the Toronto Film Festival this year: George Clooney (The Ides of March, The Descendants), Michael Fassbender (Shame, A Dangerous Method), Ryan Gosling (The Ides of March, Drive), Carey Mulligan (Shame, Drive) and Gerard Butler (Machine Gun Preacher, Coriolanus) are keeping busy, each with two films, at the September 8-18 fest. Which one will come out on top with some Oscar buzz? Easier said than done. Consider their Toronto track records:
  • By Anne Thompson and Sophia Savage
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  • July 29, 2011 2:47 AM
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  • 2 Comments

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