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Thompson on Hollywood

Hanna Earns Early Raves: "Futuristic Fairy Tale, Arthouse Action Movie, Chase Thriller"

Director Joe Wright delivers a tour-de-force E-ride thriller with Focus Features's Hanna, starring an athletic Saoirse Ronan, who able carries the movie, supported by Cate Blanchett and Eric Bana. But don't expect much depth--or dialogue for that matter-- from the director of Atonement and Pride & Prejudice. The movie sets up its premise: Hanna has been raised in isolation by protective parent Bana, and enters the world prepared to defend herself from Blanchett and her agents who are out to kill her. Then a masterfully executed chase ensues. Look out for one of Wright's signature long takes.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 31, 2011 7:00 AM
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Elizabeth Taylor Massed a Fortune Via Most Successful Perfume Line Ever

Was Elizabeth Taylor a billionaire? The Guardian reports that the movie star was worth about $1 billion at the time of her death last week at age 79, thanks to her perfume deals.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 31, 2011 6:48 AM
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  • 2 Comments

CinemaCon Video: Hugh Jackman & Shawn Levy Talk Real Steel, The Wolverine

CinemaCon Video: Hugh Jackman & Shawn Levy Talk Real Steel, The Wolverine
At CinemaCon, CinemaBlend chats up Real Steel's director Shawn Levy (Date Night) and star Hugh Jackman on the futuristic boxing sci-fi drama. Jackman also talks about his training for The Wolverine, a character he's prepared to play "for the rest of his life." Disney's Real Steel hits theatres October 7.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • March 31, 2011 6:14 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Mad Men vs. Advertising: Weiner, AdAge and the Greatest Movie Ever Sold

Mad Men has been all over the news, from showrunner Matthew Weiner's contract dispute with AMC to disputes about how advertising should be used on the show. Isn't Mad Men about advertising? Sure. But that doesn't mean Weiner should sacrifice his creative integrity.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • March 31, 2011 6:00 AM
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  • 1 Comment

CinemaCon Update: James Cameron, George Lucas, Jeff Katzenberg Talk Cinema's Digital Future

Stunts, legendary studio executives and name auteurs with an eye on the digital future were de rigueur during Wednesday’s CinemaCon. Anthony D'Alessandro digests the latest news from Las Vegas. In a CinemaCon 3-D powwow with directors George Lucas, James Cameron and DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg, the trio continued to tub-thump the visual format, while warning attendees that 3-D shouldn’t be used frivolously by the studios to pad grosses. Cameron soapboxed the same philosophy about wasteful 3-D pics that he has been vocalizing since last summer, when he attacked Weinstein Co.’s Piranha 3D. The Wrap reported Cameron's lament: “I’m concerned about things that erode the market. Bad 3-D is one of them.” Haste leads to waste, Katzenberg further pointed out, using Warner Bros.' last-minute transformation of Clash of the Titans as an example. Good 3-D transformations take from six to eight months, not weeks.
  • By Anthony D'Alessandro
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  • March 31, 2011 5:31 AM
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Animation Update: Sony Pictures Animation's Muncle Trogg; Animation $20 Million P & A Equity Fund

Marking Michelle Raimo-Kouyate’s first deal since becoming president of production for Sony Pictures Animation, the division has acquired motion picture rights to Janet Foxley's fairy tale novel Muncle Trogg, to be developed as an animated feature.
“Strong characters, relatable themes, a unique world and tons of inherent comedy: as soon as I read Muncke Trogg, I knew this would speak to the kinds of animated movies I want to make at Sony Pictures Animation,” said Raimo-Kouyate.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 31, 2011 4:53 AM
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Ridley Scott Takes on Follett's World Without End; Cast includes Nixon, Richardson, Chaplin, Firth

UPDATE 6/29: Principal photography will begin July 11 on World Without End, with actors Cynthia Nixon, Miranda Richardson, Ben Chaplin, Peter Firth, Charlotte Riley, Megan Follows and Sarah Gadon and more. The eight-hour series has a $44 million pricetag, and exec producer Rola Bauer says; "Our strategy has always been to bring cinematic values to television. In addition to having Michael Caton-Jones’ strong and experienced directorial vision on all eight hours of this epic thriller, we have assembled an exemplary cast who will make these great characters come alive on screen and attract audiences worldwide.”
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • March 30, 2011 8:42 AM
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  • 1 Comment

CinemaCon: DreamWorks and Disney/Pixar Previews, Fithian Pins B.O. Recovery Hopes on 3-D, Summer

Here's a quick overview of news coming out of CinemaCon, the annual theater owners' convention in Las Vegas, from Anthony D'Alessandro: Following new MPAA Chairman Christopher Dodd’s speech Tuesday, National Association of Theatre Owners President and CEO John Fithian gave his State of the Industry address to CinemaCon attendees, insisting that all exhibitors must convert to digital. He also presented stats about the ever-expanding moviegoing audience--despite 2011’s low admissions. An astonishing 34 3-D films will unspool this year versus 2010's 25, Fithian said:
  • By Anthony D'Alessandro
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  • March 30, 2011 8:09 AM
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Superhero Costumes Revealed: Revamping Wonder Woman; Jeremy Renner's Hawkeye

Check out Adrianne Palicki's Wonder Woman costume before (right) and after (left) its less than stellar reception from everyone including former Wonder Woman Lynda Carter.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 30, 2011 7:43 AM
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  • 4 Comments

Watch: Six Minutes of Zack Snyder's Sucker Punch

Plus: Check out Sucker Punch's reviews and performance at last weekend's box office.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 30, 2011 7:20 AM
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  • 0 Comments

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