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Thompson on Hollywood

Conan O'Brien Adds Acting to His Sizzling Summer Sked

As Conan O’Brien promos his well-reviewed Can't Stop doc (and bathes in the glow of his widely viewed Dartmouth commencement address), the funny cable talk show host is set to add acting to his resume. Well, not exactly. He's going to play a lowly extra on comedy TV series How I Met Your Mother. Why? He won the walk-on role at a charity event. Rather than perform a showy celebrity cameo, O’Brien, who is 6' 4" says: “I think it's much funnier if I'm just in the bar, in the background."
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • June 23, 2011 6:25 AM
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Media Watch: Facebook Feedback Council, Hulu to Sell, Tablet Users Double by 2012, Salon Chief Out

-As Facebook looks to generate more ad revenues, the social networking hub is forming a twelve-member client council composed of leaders in the advertising world as well as Facebook’s largest clients, reports Ad Age. The group will rotate yearly, allowing a large mix of companies to participate. The first dozen include Nick Brien, CEO of McCann Worldgroup and Wendy Clark, Coca-Cola’s head of integrated marketing.
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • June 23, 2011 6:13 AM
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Oscar Watch: New Voting Method Hurts Marginal Academy Ballots

Steve Pond's mathematical appraisal of the change in Academy voting compares last year's method of voting for top ten best pictures and the new approach that forces each movie to meet a standard of popularity. (He's using a sample of critic votes to make his case.) Thus, if certain films don't grab a percentage of top-place votes, they won't make it into contention during one single elimination round. Pond is suggesting that with the new voting rules, Academy votes for movies such as Biutiful and even Oscar-contenders True Grit and The Kids Are All Right might not have even been considered last year. Departing Academy executive director Bruce Davis doesn't argue with him.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 23, 2011 6:04 AM
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More: Awards, Oscars

Shocker: Cars 2 Early Reviews Trend Rotten as Pixar's Magic Carpet Ride Touches Down

Shocker: Cars 2 Early Reviews Trend Rotten as Pixar's Magic Carpet Ride Touches Down
Well folks, the worm has turned. Disney Animation and Pixar chief John Lasseter--he who can do no wrong--has finally turned out a Pixar movie (a sequel) that is earning mixed reviews. No! Say it ain't so! Pixar's magic carpet ride has finally come to earth with a thudding 44% Rotten on the Tomatometer thus far. More reviews will change the tallies; Metacritic's rating of its top-grade reviewers is now a respectable 60--still the lowest ever for a Pixar movie.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 23, 2011 4:59 AM
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  • 10 Comments

Could Spielberg's Jurassic 4 Save 3-D?

Could Spielberg's Jurassic 4 Save 3-D?
As 3-D proselytizers James Cameron and Jeffrey Katzenberg fret about the future of their favorite movie delivery system--and the next Avatar is a long way off, in 2014--some studio execs are harboring second thoughts about which films actually demand the extra time and money, and will lure premium ticket buyers. Already this summer the majority of moviegoers chose to see Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Kung Fu Panda 2 and even Green Lantern in 2-D, even though the DC Comics movie was playing on 2711 3-D screens.
  • By Anne Thompson and Sophia Savage
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  • June 22, 2011 12:07 PM
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  • 4 Comments

Ebert's Tweet Was Right: Crashed Jackass Star's Blood Level More Than Twice Legal Limit

Given that Jackass Ryan Dunn tweeted a picture of himself and pals drinking hours before he crashed to his fiery death early Monday, killing his passenger, it was not a huge stretch for Roger Ebert to tweet that afternoon: "Friends don't let jackasses drink and drive." It seems uncontroversial to me. The pushback was immediate, and a hot topic was born.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 22, 2011 9:23 AM
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  • 4 Comments

Wild Ducks Review: Davis Guggenheim’s IBM Short Reveals Genius

From Davis Guggenheim, the director of Waiting for Superman and the Oscar-winning doc An Inconvenient Truth, comes the fifteen-minute documentary Wild Ducks, which debuted last week on IBM's YouTube channel. The latest IBM Centennial doc focuses on four IBM clients who defied conventional thinking to develop innovative solutions to intimidating problems. Each of the four slices boasts strong visuals that emphasize the particular genius and creativity of the four profiled clients.
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • June 22, 2011 8:37 AM
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Life in a Day Doc Follows On-Demand Marketing Model: Hometown Screenings, Marketing SWAT Teams

The trend in marketing these days is the on-demand model launched by Paramount's Paranormal Activity. The idea is to engage fans and get them to market the movie.
  • By Anne Thompson and Sophia Savage
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  • June 22, 2011 8:16 AM
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Romeo and Juliet: Steinfeld's Romeo is Douglas Booth; Holding a Candle to Zeffirelli & Luhrmann

The latest adaptation of Romeo and Juliet, from Italian director Carlo Carlei (1993's Flight of the Innocent), now has a Romeo for its Juliet. Hailee Steinfeld will be joined by 19-year old Brit Douglas Booth, who is prettier than she is. Clearly this movie is targeted to a young girl demo.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • June 22, 2011 8:04 AM
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Elba's Star Rises with Pacific Rim; Del Toro Wants To Direct Jolie in Maleficent

Idris Elba may not be playing Django in Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained (he did, however, win our casting poll), but after TV hits The Wire, The Office and Luther and numerous co-star and supporting film roles (including 28 Weeks Later, American Gangster, RocknRolla, Obsessed, The Losers, Taken, Thor) and the upcoming Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance and Prometheus (alongside Michael Fassbender, Noomi Rapace and Charlize Theron), the actor is anything but desperate for work.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • June 22, 2011 7:14 AM
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  • 0 Comments

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