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Thompson on Hollywood

Dueling Snow Whites: Relativity Shoots First with No Title, Universal's Huntsman Gets Rewrite

Relativity may be first out of the gate in the dueling Snow White competition, but they could also be the first to crash and burn.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • June 15, 2011 7:40 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Conan O'Brien's Brilliant Commencement Speech: "Disappointment Stings"

In case you missed it, Conan O'Brien shows what a masterful stand-up comedian with great writers can do to target a specific audience--the graduating class at Dartmouth College, whose black hats bob gratifyingly with every joke-- with viral video on the worldwide web in mind. (Video is below.) After all, O'Brien wants to build new viewers into his cable talk show.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 15, 2011 6:57 AM
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  • 5 Comments

Green Lantern Reviews: "Inert, Underwhelming," Reynolds "Little More than a Torso and a Smirk"

Green Lantern Reviews: "Inert, Underwhelming," Reynolds "Little More than a Torso and a Smirk"
Warner/DC's Green Lantern wants to blow your mind, starting June 17, one day after its premiere at the Los Angeles Film Festival. Even the more generous reviews below suggest that we shouldn't expect a mind-blowing quality film. (We see it Wednesday.) Best case scenario: the comics fanbase will jump into the bizarre universe they know so well. Worst case is topliner Ryan Reynolds, co-stars Blake Lively, Peter Sarsgaard, Mark Strong and Angela Bassett and director Martin Campbell will wish they hadn't gone green, and the movie's prohibitive estimated $300-million cost won't yield big enough returns. Tentpoles, after all, are supposed to deliver profits to support the studio.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • June 15, 2011 5:44 AM
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  • 5 Comments

Duke & Duchess of Cambridge Hit Hollywood for BAFTA's First Brits to Watch Event; Names Announced

UPDATE 7/1: The forty-two Brits have been named and are listed below.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • June 15, 2011 5:39 AM
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Criterion Releases Nic Roeg's Significant Insignificance

Criterion Releases Nic Roeg's Significant Insignificance
The new Criterion DVD of Insignificance prompts Simon Abrams to ruminate on director Nic Roeg:Essayist and film critic Chuck Stephens aptly calls British director Nicolas Roeg a “Cine-Cubist” in his new essay on Insignificance for the Criterion Collection, which just released Roeg’s hard-to-find 1985 film adaptation of Terry Johnson’s play.
  • By Simon Abrams
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  • June 15, 2011 5:34 AM
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  • 1 Comment

News Wrap: Abrams Opens Up on Super 8 Secrets, Apple Threatens Cable, Boondock Saints Web Sequel

During production on Super 8, director J. J. Abrams was notably secretive--as producer Steven Spielberg likes to be as well, preserving the mystery, hiding the alien. Now that the film has delivered a strong $35.5 million opening weekend, he is being less tight-lipped. [SPOILER ALERT] In an interview with MTV, Abrams was open about the many-limbed, mysterious monster in the film. He noted that Neville Page, the same man who created the monster in his 2008 film, Cloverfield, designed the creature for Super 8, but there was no “same-universe” connection. “They actually look very different,” he said, “but they both have two eyes, a nose and a mouth. So, in that regard, it also looks a lot like Laurence Olivier!" He said creating the creature was a balance; the alien needed to be scary, but also relatable, something that could be “full of rage and also could be emotional and nuanced.” (The bar for scary/relatable alien design was really set by District 9.)
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • June 15, 2011 3:58 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Academy Backs Off Ten Best Picture Nominations

Academy Backs Off Ten Best Picture Nominations
Departing Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences executive director Bruce Davis has said that it would take three years to test the Academy experiment to give voters --and more important--Oscar show viewers--a choice of ten best picture nominees. The idea was to broaden the choices, bring in The Dark Knight or District 9 on top of more arcane smart-film choices like No Country for Old Men, which did not necessarily lure TV viewers.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 15, 2011 2:51 AM
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  • 5 Comments
More: Awards, Oscars

Webby Awards Highlight: Dan Savage Acceptance Speech: "Tracy Morgan Can Suck My..."

Lisa Kudrow hosted the 2011 15th Annual Webby Awards at the Hammerstein Ballroom (here are the winners) and of the five word acceptance speeches here is the best, coming from journalist/activist (and Special Achievement Award winner) Dan Savage; "Tracy Morgan can suck my…" More five word speech highlights are below. Here's more on the It Gets Better movement, which Dan Savage started.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • June 14, 2011 8:29 AM
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  • 0 Comments
More: Web/Tech, Media

Scorsese Does George Harrison, Citizen Kane Goes Blu-Ray, Chastain's Tree of Life Secrets

Martin Scorsese will premiere his long-in-the-works George Harrison documentary later this year, says Harrison’s widow, Olivia: “I assume we’re going to announce it sometime soon… but it will be this year.” The documentary about the late Beatle, George Harrison: Living in the Material World was first announced in 2007. The doc will be one in a string of great music documentaries Scorsese has created, from 1976’s The Last Waltz, which featured a unforgettable farewell performance from The Band, and 2005’s No Direction Home, about Bob Dylan, to 2008’s Shine a Light featuring the Rolling Stones.
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • June 14, 2011 5:19 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Bale for Aronofsky's Noah, Cruise for One Shot, Gatsby, Dark Knight, 21 Jump Get New Cast Members

- Darren Aronofsky wants Christian Bale to board his ark in Noah. Should the director and actor's talks prove fruitful, the project should attract some significant studio interest from Paramount, Summit or Fox. Aronofsky wants $130 million, with New Regency already intending to co-finance.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • June 14, 2011 5:03 AM
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  • 2 Comments

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