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Cusack as Poe, Cameron Decries "Bottom of the Barrel" 3-D, SNL Newbies

Thompson on Hollywood By Sophia Savage | Thompson on Hollywood August 30, 2010 at 6:04AM

- John Cusack will be channeling Edgar Allen Poe in director James McTeigue's iteration of The Raven, not rivals Jeremy Renner or Ewan McGregor. Based on a fictional script from Hannah Shakespeare and Ben Livingston, The Raven follows Poe's final five days, when a serial killer uses Poe's stories as inspiration for his killing spree. Last year, McTeigue said the movie would be a cross between the incantatory 1845 poem ("The Raven") and Se7en.
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Thompson on Hollywood

- John Cusack will be channeling Edgar Allen Poe in director James McTeigue's iteration of The Raven, not rivals Jeremy Renner or Ewan McGregor. Based on a fictional script from Hannah Shakespeare and Ben Livingston, The Raven follows Poe's final five days, when a serial killer uses Poe's stories as inspiration for his killing spree. Last year, McTeigue said the movie would be a cross between the incantatory 1845 poem ("The Raven") and Se7en.

Here's a taste of the poem:

And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon’s that is dreaming,    
And the lamp-light o’er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
    Shall be lifted—nevermore!


Thompson on Hollywood

- Much like God looking down on Adam and Eve's bad behavior and saying: "I created them, but I am not responsible for what they do," similarly, James Cameron continues to argue that he may have led the 3-D revolution but he is not responsible for what other people do. He told Vanity Fair that the overuse of 3-D isn't his fault. He considers Alice in Wonderland and How To Train Your Dragon worthy-- films that took their time with 3-D, as he did with Avatar-- but "after Avatar, people tried to cash in. They weren’t cashing in, they were just coming out. You’re going to see the whole market kind of stabilize and redefine itself over the next couple of years…The consumer needs to be aware that just because a movie is in 3-D doesn’t mean that it’s good." As for a specific example of "what we should not be doing in 3-D," Cameron (who made his directing debut with Piranha II: The Spawning) offers Piranha 3D. "It just cheapens the medium…When movies got to the bottom of the barrel of their creativity and at the last gasp of their financial lifespan, they did a 3-D version to get the last few drops of blood out of the turnip. And that’s not what’s happening now with 3-D. It is a renaissance—right now the biggest and the best films are being made in 3-D. Martin Scorsese is making a film in 3-D. Disney’s biggest film of the year—Tron: Legacy—is coming out in 3-D. So it’s a whole new ballgame."

- With Will Forte out of the picture at Saturday Night Live and the fate of his former costars still unknown, Vulture features the three new stars of SNL, with videos of each. Enter Taran Killam (Scrubs) and stand-up comedians Paul Brittain and Vanessa Bayer (check her out below). The 36th season may prove a challenge with so many newbies. But remember, they were all newbies once.


This article is related to: Directors, Video, Daily Read, TV, James Cameron


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.