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Thompson on Hollywood

Names That Command the Moviesphere: Cameron Talks Avatar Sequels, True Lies, Cleopatra

If you run a movie site that seeks to service readers --and build traffic--then you don't have to be a rocket scientist to know what works. Certain names, stars, projects have heat. When you write about James Cameron, David Fincher, Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, franchises like Avatar, Inception, Spider-Man, Batman, Superman, Bourne, Twilight or The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Swedish or American), or hot films like The Social Network (or Mark Zuckerberg), they will come. And despite David Poland's sloppy rant about headlines with numbers in them, guess what? They pull more readers: folks love races, contests, drama, debates, polls, controversy, exclusives (which is why the word is so rampantly abused--there's a difference between a one-on-one interview and an exclusive) and yes, lists.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 20, 2010 4:19 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Oscar Talk Wrap-Up: Never Let Me Go Wanes, Foreign Contenders, Blue Valentine, Harry Potter

Oscar Talk Wrap-Up: Never Let Me Go Wanes, Foreign Contenders, Blue Valentine, Harry Potter
During this week's Oscar Talk podcast, Kris Tapley (InContention) and I were joined by indieWIRE's awards expert Peter Knegt and InContention's Guy Lodge, both in London covering the festival.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 20, 2010 1:42 AM
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  • 5 Comments

Chris Pine in Details: "I think I’ll be more like … the George Clooney.”

Chris Pine shows off his charisma in the November issue of Details. The rising star will appear across Denzel Washington in Unstoppable, out November 12th, and will return as the fourth iteration of Tom Clancy's beloved Jack Ryan (after Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford and Ben Affleck) in the rebooted franchise--not to mention a return as Captain James T. Kirk in the Star Trek sequel. Also coming up: McG's This Means War with Reese Witherspoon and Tom Hardy.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • October 19, 2010 9:19 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Roadside Picks Up Hemingway's Garden of Eden, Starring Suvari, Huston

A movie based on Ernest Hemingway's second posthumously published novel, The Garden of Eden, will hit theaters on December 10, via Roadside Attractions. Adapted by James Scott Linville from the controversial edit of the unfinished novel (published in 1986), Hemingway's Garden of Eden is directed by John Irvin and stars Mena Suvari (American Beauty) and Jack Huston (grandson of director John) as a jazz age couple on their honeymoon in Europe, as the increasingly restless new bride questions and tests her husband's love. Caterina Murino, Richard E. Grant, Matthew Modine and Carmen Maura also star in the 1920s romance.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • October 19, 2010 8:07 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Eisner's FameTown Will Be Huge

I am as guilty of wasting time playing Flixster movie games on Facebook as anyone else. And I am forecasting here and now that ex-Disney chief Michael Eisner's bet on the new social game FameTown (Napster's Shawn Fanning brought him into the start-up Diversion) will pay off big-time (as it did with Zynga's FarmVille and Mafia Wars). The FameTown game launches on Facebook November 1 and will reap income from selling virtual goods.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 19, 2010 7:16 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Oscar Watch: Palm Springs, Santa Barbara Fests Push Oscar Hopefuls Like Mulligan, Franco

Oscar Watch: Palm Springs, Santa Barbara Fests Push Oscar Hopefuls Like Mulligan, Franco
It isn't news that Oscar campaigners take advantage of fall film fests in L.A. and NY that are designed to draw awards attention. MCN's David Poland rants about con-man Carlos Abreu's bogus Hollywood Film Festival (which I refuse to take seriously) and IFP's Gotham Awards, which are far more legitimate in that they are designed to put the spotlight on indie films. Any fest that boosts Lena Dunham's Tiny Furniture or Let Me In is fine by me.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 19, 2010 7:10 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Recycling at the Cinema: True Grit, The Great Gatsby and RED

We all know recycling is good for the planet, but is it good for cinema? Consider three old-is-new retreads: a western remake, a 1920s period piece and a contemporary action flick. True Grit is a remake of a 1969 John Wayne film which was adapted from a novelization of a Charles Portis 1968 serial which first appeared in The Saturday Evening Post. The Great Gatsby started as a lauded 1925 F. Scott Fitzgerald novel which became a film in 1926 and again in 1949 and 1974. Even comedy hit RED, although it is not based on a book or an old movie, still exists--argues Movie City News--due to recycling of the DC graphic novel's plot and characters. There's nothing new here: movies have been adapting popular fiction for as long as they've been around. What's horrifying is Hollywood's current aversion to anything original.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • October 19, 2010 6:12 AM
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  • 4 Comments

The Playlist Joins IndieWIRE Blog Network

I am delighted to welcome one of my favorite movie blogs, ThePlaylist, to the indieWIRE Blog Network, where it will go live Tuesday morning.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 19, 2010 4:29 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Zuckerberg Denies Social Network Frame is Accurate

In a "Startup School" conference at Sanford University, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg talks about how he dropped out of Harvard and how the The Social Network's framing device is the thing that's most wrong with the movie.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 18, 2010 11:19 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Five Things that Went Wrong with Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps

Five Things that Went Wrong with Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps
As a reminder that a strong opening does not always a winning movie make, Twentieth Century Fox is looking at some red ink on the fall sequel Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps. This is not necessarily good news for the future of studio adult dramas. Anthony D'Alessandro reports: While Oliver Stone scored his biggest opening ever at $19 million, glossy sequel Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps wound up being more of a bear than a bull at the domestic box office with $47.9 million, coming out slightly ahead of the 1987 original's $43.8 million gross. Inside the average range for a Stone title, it's Shia LaBeouf’s lowest-grossing live-action wide release since his christening as a marquee draw with 2007’s Disturbia. The biggest hurdle for Wall Street 2: it was a sequel to a 23-year old adult drama, not a mass-audience franchise such as Rocky or Star Wars. Even if it was timely, its B.O. prospects were limited from the start. Here are five reasons why Wall Street 2’s stock fell:
  • By Anthony D'Alessandro
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  • October 18, 2010 10:15 AM
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  • 17 Comments

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