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Thompson on Hollywood

Amazon Studios Offers Free and Licensed Library of 2,000 Songs

Amazon Studios -- which invites filmmakers and screenwriters to submit their works for discovery -- announces the release of 2000 free and licensed movie-production music tracks for any registered and signed-in member on their site. Amazon Studios says they added the feature: "in order to enhance the overall viewing experience of the movies they upload to the site. Amazon Studios also recognizes that it’s hard for filmmakers to get valid licenses to soundtrack music for their test movies. Sound and music are important parts of how test movies garner more engaged feedback from movie fans than just scripts alone. Every month, Amazon Studios offers a $100,000 award to the best test movie."
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • April 28, 2011 7:54 AM
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Hollywood Foreign Press Association Picks Date for Golden Globes 69: January 15, 2012

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association has chosen the date for the 69th Annual Golden Globe Awards, to be held Sunday, January 15, 2012. Full schedule and timetable are below:
  • By Sophia Savage and Anne Thompson
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  • April 28, 2011 7:49 AM
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Seattle International Film Festival 37: Galas, Tributes and Presentations

The 37th Seattle International Film Festival has finalized its galas, tributes and special presentations for its 25-day festival, running May 19 - June 12, among the lengthiest fest programme in the world. SIFF will screen films hailing from 74 countries; 257 features and 184 shorts, 96 of which are premieres.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • April 28, 2011 7:42 AM
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The Lone Ranger: Who Should Ride with Johnny Depp? Armie Hammer or Timothy Olyphant? (UPDATED)

Gore Verbinski's 2014 Disney reboot of The Lone Ranger may put Johnny Depp in the saddle with the Winklevi, a.k.a Armie Hammer.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • April 28, 2011 7:34 AM
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SFIFF 54 Day Six: The Mill on the Cross, Hot Coffee, Hahaha, The Sleeping Beauty, Leonard Cohen

Meredith Brody reports on the latest festival screenings from San Francisco:
  • By Meredith Brody
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  • April 28, 2011 5:35 AM
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Cannes 2011: Les Bien-aimés To Close Festival May 22; Tesson to Head Critics Week; Egypt Tribute

Cannes 2011's closing night film will be Les Bien-aimés (The Beloved), from director Christophe Honoré. The film will screen out of competition on May 22, following the awards ceremony. Les Bien-aimés stars Catherine Deneuve, Ludivine Sagnier, Chiara Mastroiani, Milos Forman, Louis Garrel, Michel Delpech and Paul Schneider as characters guiding us throughout decades in Prague, London, the "world of Sept. 11," and modern day Paris. Honoré's film Les chansons d’amour premiered at Cannes 2007 (Honoré pictured on set with his actors).
  • By Anne Thompson and Sophia Savage
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  • April 28, 2011 4:30 AM
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Fast Five Could Beat Last Installment's $70.95 Million Weekend

With Fast Five, Justin Lin, by all accounts, has delivered the best Fast and Furious installment so far--adding Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson to chase the original lead duo Vin Diesel and Paul Walker--and Universal is cautiously optimistic, saying that it is tracking as well in the same range as the fourth. Anthony D'Alessandro looks at the performance of the franchise to date--and predicts the coming weekend's performance. Gas-strapped Americans are expected to break their piggy banks this weekend to see Universal’s auto five-quel Fast Five, which has scored the first "fresh" reviews of the series. Should the gross rival the $70.95 million April record bow of the 2009 installment, it will not only herald a new entry for the month's annals, but finally move up the summer B.O. season start date – a bar that distributors have continually tried to reach, but consistently miss (2002's The Scorpion King--$36.1 million--and last year’s A Nightmare on Elm Street--$32.9 million scored less than tentpole numbers). Over the past decade, as filmmakers tinkered with the series' beefcake-and-babe dramatis personae –Vin Diesel stepped out of two installments while bad girl Michelle Rodriguez has been M.I.A. for three -- ticket sales have gassed out and revved up.
  • By Anthony D'Alessandro
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  • April 27, 2011 12:53 PM
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Cave of Forgotten Dreams' Herzog Likes All-Purpose Title for All His Films: Gazing into the Abyss

In this AV Club Cave of Forgotten Dreams Q & A, director Werner Herzog admits that the title Gazing into the Abyss would work for just about any of his films. It's true. Here's our exclusive clip from Cave.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 27, 2011 11:09 AM
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Doctor Who Season Six Premiere Review: A Monster-of-the-Week, Hide-in-a-Tunnel Adventure

Decades-long Doctor Who fan David Chute eagerly anticipated the Season Six premiere starring Matt Smith and Alex Kingston (trailer below), and made me and a pal watch it with him. I applaud his review, excerpted: Vastly shinier production values aside, this was a Monster of the Week, hide-in-a-tunnel adventure, a 1970s scarf and curls throwback. Monument Valley was little more than a handsome backdrop; no organic connection that I could see with the events that unfolded there. The aliens' trick of making you forget them the second you looked away mimicked without improving upon the Weeping Angels of the great Blink episode, which moved when you looked away. (Moffatt recycling Moffatt.)
  • By David Chute
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  • April 27, 2011 10:06 AM
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  • 4 Comments

Hollywood Waits for Brad Pitt

Hollywood Waits for Brad Pitt
In Hollywood, Kevin Kline is known as "Kevin Decline," because he's so picky about his parts. Robert Redford and Warren Beatty were notoriously indecisive about choosing projects to star in or direct. They could keep movies on hold for years. Today, the star that can freeze a movie in its tracks is Brad Pitt. While someone like James Franco is saying yes to every project in sight --"how long will this heat last?"--Pitt is very selective. And he's in demand: at 47 he's at the top of his game, still handsome, not too young and callow, not too old and grey. He carries a masculine, athletic authority. He can be serious (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button), funny (Burn After Reading), sexy (Mr. and Mrs. Smith) or dangerous (Inglourious Basterds). That's a deadly combo.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 27, 2011 9:58 AM
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  • 4 Comments

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