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Thompson on Hollywood

Ebert Calls Hiatus on Movie Review Show: Let It Go, Roger

Roger Ebert is a superman. I am currently buried in his must-read memoir, "Life Itself," which is a pleasure to go back to every night. The man can write. And he is trying to hang on, bless him, to his new TV review show, "Ebert Presents At The Movies." He and wife/producer Chaz Ebert have been financing their show themselves, with help from the Kanbar Charitable Trust. In his most recent blog post on the subject, Ebert is checking out a Kickstarter campaign as he takes the show on hiatus.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 1, 2011 1:25 PM
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  • 42 Comments

IN THE WORKS: Butterfield for Ender's Game, Arterton & Ronan Vampires for Jordan, Soderbergh's Pill & Hanks Slate

  • By Sophia Savage
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  • November 30, 2011 1:35 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Angelina Jolie Talks Blood & Honey on 60 Minutes: Afghanistan Set War Drama is Next, Punching Through Gender Stereotypes & Being Scared in a Good Way

  • By Sophia Savage
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  • November 28, 2011 1:45 PM
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  • 0 Comments

China Resolves Flowers of War Producers vs. Theaters Impasse

Tensions between theaters and studios are not only riding high in Hollywood. The Chinese government has intervened to resolve a conflict between the producers of "Flowers of War," the most expensive movie ever made in China, and exhibitors, who fought against a steep ticket price hike, reports Variety. 
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 28, 2011 12:25 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Breaking Dawn Gobbles Thanksgiving Holiday Box Office, Muppets Leads Family Film Glut, Hugo Stumbles

The Thanksgiving holiday weekend offered a rich groaning board for mainstream and specialty audiences alike as more films pushed into the award season fray. Holdover "Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn- Part One" and new Disney musical "The Muppets" dominated the weekend, while "The Descendants" proved a powerful word-of-mouth hit for Fox Searchlight. On the downside, Martin Scorsese's $150-170 million 3-D period family film "Hugo" needed much bigger opening numbers to make back its production and marketing costs.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 27, 2011 1:15 PM
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  • 7 Comments

Mendes Casts Whishaw as Bond Gadget-Meister Q in Skyfall

Clearly, director Sam Mendes is seeking to update the Bond franchise and pull in some younger viewers. While Daniel Craig and Judi Dench are returning as agent 007 and his boss, M, respectively, John Cleese will not come back as Q. That role will go to a younger-generation gadget-master to be played by Ben Whishaw, 31, a terrific actor who shined as Freddy Lyon in the Brit TV series "The Hour," Ariel in Julie Taymor's "The Tempest," one of several incarnations of Bob Dylan in Todd Haynes' "I'm Not There," and Jane Campion's "Bright Star," among other films. He co-starred with Craig in "Layer Cake" as well, and stars opposite Tom Hanks in the upcoming "Cloud Atlas."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 25, 2011 11:52 AM
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  • 3 Comments

First Look at Prometheus: Scott's Sci-Fi Thriller with Alien DNA, Fassbender, Theron, Rapace, Elba, Pearce & Wilson

Ridley Scott's 3-D sci-fi thriller "Prometheus" is shrouded in mystery. Now EW offers a first look at the "Aliens"-related VFX space epic set for June 2012 release starring Michael Fassbender, Charlize Theron, Noomi Rapace, Idris Elba, Patrick Wilson, Guy Pearce. Need we say more? We got our first peak at Comic-Con (the fest's prime asset). Fassbender told us that he plays an android based on the physicality of diver Greg Louganis.  "There’s definitely a link to 'Alien,' there’s creatures in it that you’ll recognize,” he said at Comic-Con. Theron added that "people should really let go of the idea that it’s an Alien film.” Want more images? Here. At Comic-Con, Fox and Scott downplayed the sci-fi space thriller's relationship to Scott's original film and the kick-ass James Cameron sequel "Aliens." But Scott admits that this movie is grown from the same DNA. The movie is a further exploration of that future world produced with the scale and scope that new technology makes possible. And its ultimate goal is "to scare the living shit out of you," Scott said via satellite from Iceland.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • November 23, 2011 4:30 PM
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  • 4 Comments

Dark Knight Rises: Christopher Nolan Drops News, Batman a Mess, Bane's Brutal Carnage

Go nuts, Batman fans, new details on "The Dark Knight Rises" have landed. Director Christopher Nolan confirms to Empire that the "first six, seven minutes of the film" will screen in select IMAX cinemas on December 21, and will give "an introduction to Bane [the villain, played by Tom Hardy], and a taste of the rest of the film." We'll have to wait until July 20, 2012, to see the complete film. More details below: What's the plot? Well, eight years have gone by since we left Bruce Wayne in "The Dark Knight": "It's really all about finishing Batman and Bruce Wayne's story. We left him in a very precarious place. Perhaps surprisingly for some people, our story picks up quite a bit later, eight years after 'The Dark Knight.' So he's an older Bruce Wayne; he's not in a great state." The challenges in this film are new for Batman, and Nolan says the choice of villain and the direction the story aim to test him "both physically as well as mentally."
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • November 22, 2011 3:06 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Interview Watch: Brutal Honesty from Jeremy Renner, Streep & Coen Talk Film in China, Knightley on Dangerous Method & Anna Karenina

Here's some brutal honesty from Jeremy Renner, whose "Mission: Impossible -- Ghost Protocol" comes out December 21, followed by "The Avengers" in May 2012. Career comes first: "Even now, any woman would take a No. 2 seat to my job.” No thanks, "Transformers": "Thank God I don’t have to do a monologue to a robot. I don’t know how Shia, God bless him, does that.” As for celebrity attention? “I don’t pay attention to that horseshit." And a touch of film wisdom, via his experience building houses:
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • November 22, 2011 1:08 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Mission: Impossible Goes Facebook

Brad Bird Talks Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol: IMAX vs. 3-D, Animation vs. Live Action, Trailer
In advance of the release of "Mission: Impossible-- Ghost Protocol," the first new M:I movie in five years, Paramount is drumming up stateside fan interest by making the previous three "Mission: Impossible" features available to rent and stream on Facebook, via Facebook credits.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 22, 2011 1:04 PM
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  • 1 Comment

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