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Thompson on Hollywood

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

Director Watch: Eastwood's Hoover without Phoenix, Julianne Moore Likes Her Helmers Silent

Hoover producer Rob Lorenz has already denied that Joaquin Phoenix would co-star with Leonardo DiCaprio in the biopic; now Clint Eastwood says it too. In fact, Eastwood didn't even realize he was an option. "Didn't he become a rapper?" was his response when addressing the rumor. (Not a good sign as WME's Patrick Whitesell tries to rehabilitate Phoenix's career.)
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • October 13, 2010 2:05 AM
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  • 0 Comments

The Great Gatsby: Pitt vs. Pitt, Mulligan vs. Portman, Casting Poll

- The rumored Great Gatsby remake isn't that far along, it seems. While Deadline sets the record straight on the project's future--the remake might be Baz Luhrmann's next picture, but so might an original musical at Media Rights Capital--the movie does inspire juicy casting ideas.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • October 4, 2010 8:20 AM
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  • 9 Comments

GQ Remembers Goodfellas, Affleck Defends I'm Still Here

- Celebrating Goodfellas' twentieth birthday (September 19, 1990), GQ interviews nearly sixty of the film's cast, crew and "noteworthy admirers." GQ calls it "one of the most endlessly rewatchable American movies ever made," and dubs it the "greatest gangster film of all time." Here's a taste from their interviews: Ray Liotta (Henry Hill): For twenty years now, there's not a day that goes by that I don't hear somebody mention GoodFellas. Unless I stay home all night. It's defined who I am, in a sense.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • September 22, 2010 5:00 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Manly Movie Stars: Rodrigue Talks the Evolution of Masculinity in Film

Manly Movie Stars: Rodrigue Talks the Evolution of Masculinity in Film
Almost two years ago, Anne Thompson asked "Where have the manly movie stars gone?," and investigated the entertainment industry's ongoing search for traditional male leads that aren't borrowed from the UK, Australia or Europe to commandeer Hollywood's most testosterone-needy films. While America lays claim to the boy-men niche with the likes of Johnny Depp, Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Brad Pitt, Keanu Reeves, Jake Gyllenhaal and any male in a Judd Apatow film, Hollywood's most- masculine male leads are more often than not played by foreigners; Christian Bale (a Brit) and Heath Ledger (an Aussie) were case-in-point as the stars of 2008's highest grossing film, The Dark Knight.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • August 12, 2010 8:28 AM
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  • 21 Comments

Mid-Summer Box Office Wrap: Top Ten Chart, Studio Report Card

At mid-summer, the box office is lagging just behind last year's pace and ticket sales are flat, reports Anthony D'Alessandro, who charts the season's winners, losers and studio market shares so far (as of last weekend). Will red-hot Inception take the number one box office crown from Toy Story 3? Stay tuned, as numbers and rankings will change by Labor Day.
  • By Anthony D'Allessandro
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  • August 5, 2010 5:37 AM
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  • 5 Comments

Inception is Mad Men: Dom is Don

Pop Watch's Jeff Jensen argues that Mad Men's Don (Draper [Jon Hamm]) is in fact the same "heroic anti-hero" as Inception's Dom (Cobb [Leonardo DiCaprio]) - and not just because of the varying consonant. He insists that the TV show and film are very much the same thing, with only a few differences ("period setting" and "Lionel Richie-inspired dancing-on-the-ceiling special effects").
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • August 4, 2010 5:22 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Unraveling Inception: Zimmer's Piaf Riff, Clothing Clues, Nolan's Anxiety

One of the great pastimes of summer 2010 is unravelling, explaining and debating Inception. Which is the main reason it is such a big hit: repeat business. (The movie's so good that the Chinese government is allowing it to play there, a rare honor for a Hollywood picture.) Here are some recent popular memes:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 3, 2010 5:27 AM
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  • 6 Comments

Weekend Box Office: Inception Beats Dinner for Schmucks, Charlie St. Cloud

In its third go-round, Inception, buoyed by repeat business, continued to stave off all challengers, including the comedy Dinner for Schmucks, which scored a robust $23.3 million, and the Zac Efron weepy Charlie St. Cloud and animated sequel Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore, which were both DOA. Anthony D'Alessandro does the numbers.
  • By Anthony D'Alessandro
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  • August 1, 2010 4:08 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Box Office: Inception Beats Out Salt on Boffo Summer Weekend

Having already passed the $100-million mark, Inception and Leonardo DiCaprio beat out box office challenger Salt and Angelina Jolie this weekend, reports Anthony D'Alessandro. It was an embarrassment of riches at the weekend box office, as two films led by stars, Leonardo DiCaprio’s Inception and Angelina Jolie’s Salt, racked up $43.5 million and $36.5 million respectively.  Clearly both original pictures leaned on serious star power to launch their franchises, during a time when box office analysts have been questioning whether stars mean much these days. Inception had a remarkably small slip for a tentpole film of just 31%.  Typically an actioner will halve its ticket sales in its second frame, but Inception's complex plot inspires moviegoer debate--and lots of repeat business.
  • By Anthony D'Alessandro
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  • July 25, 2010 4:26 AM
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  • 2 Comments

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