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Thompson on Hollywood

Amazon Greenlights Two New Pilots, Including Whit Stillman's 'The Cosmopolitans' Starring Chloe Sevigny

Amazon Studios has two exciting new pilots in the works that will appeal to both cinephiles and TV fans alike. Just like the last go-round, which yielded four series orders, viewers will provide feedback and decide the fate of the series when the pilots hit Amazon Instant Video later this year.
  • By Ryan Lattanzio
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  • April 9, 2014 12:01 PM
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Immersed in Movies: How VFX Supervisor Farrar Fixed the Zombies in 'World War Z' (CLIP)

So much for decrying the "fix it post" mentality that plagues so many big budget movies. It evidently saved the trouble-plagued, $200 million-plus zombie thriller, "World War Z." After production snafus, cost-overruns, and a significant reshoot to streamline the third act, VFX supervisor Scott Farrar ("The Transformers" franchise) was loaned out from Industrial Light & Magic to salvage the zombies.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • June 21, 2013 2:22 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Review and Roundup: Stakes are High on Brad Pitt's 'World War Z' UPDATE

The stakes have never been higher for the Hollywood studios as Paramount finally releases Brad Pitt and Marc Forster's beleaguered $200 million zombiepocalypse epic "World War Z" (June 21). Critics are divided (see below). Yes, "World War Z" is a zombie movie. And we have no idea if Paramount will make back its considerable investment. But at least "World War Z" is not based on a comic book, but a thoughtful novel by Max Brooks. The movie is efficient, even at two and a half hours, expertly manipulative, throwing jolts and blurry flesh-biting zombies in your face in 3-D. Forster & Co. alternate noisy chaos and calm silence, frenetic action and solace, family and danger. Forster ("The Kite Runner") knows how to elegantly stage large-scale crowd scenes in exotic locations--the sequence in Israel is as well-wrought as anything in recent movies.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 19, 2013 2:34 PM
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'World War Z' Zombies Reflect Pool of National Anxieties

Vampires have always represented rather specific sources of fear -- sex, blood (especially post-AIDS) and, of course, the loss of one’s immortal soul. Zombies, on the other hand, are a blank canvas -- whatever you’re afraid of, be it immigration, disease, terrorists or the Tea Party, zombies are ready to serve as metaphors.
  • By John Anderson
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  • June 11, 2013 11:54 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Paramount, Pitt Reach Out to Fans and Celebs to Build Buzz for 'World War Z' (VIDEO) UPDATED

Paramount has now taken Brad Pitt on the road to Atlanta, Philadelphia, Chicago and Austin, in addition to New York's Museum of Modern Art, for early sneak peaks at Marc Forster's long-delayed "World War Z," in order to build some early buzz. Austin's Harry Knowles got to introduce Pitt on June 6 to a room full of screaming, smartphone-filming fans; Pitt said, "Mr. Knowles, let's kick some zombie ass." Watch below.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 7, 2013 2:14 PM
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'World War Z' Composer Marco Beltrami Had to Pull Back "Aggressive" Score, Featuring Skulls, Emergency Sirens

The term 'family movie' might not be the first thing that comes to mind to describe "World War Z," the upcoming Brad Pitt-driven zombiepocalypse flick that pits a group of government workers against a pandemic of the undead. But that's exactly how composer Marco Beltrami--who has worked on the score for "World War Z for more than two year--thinks of the film. (Early review round-up is here.)
  • By Jacob Combs
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  • June 4, 2013 4:28 PM
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Watch First Footage of Pitt & Enos in Forster's 'World War Z'

"World War Z" might eat itself before the zombiepocalypse film arrives in theaters in June 2013. There's been a slew of problems, from reshoots to rewrites and beyond (ThePlaylist recounts Paramount's production woes). With director Marc Forster (whose latest, "Machine Gun Preacher," completely tanked, and whose Bond film, "Quantum of Solace," is about to get slapped by Sam Mendes' "Skyfall") and stars Brad Pitt (who stopped speaking to the director) and Mireille Enos (AMC's "The Killing"), it's hard to know exactly what to expect.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • November 6, 2012 2:56 PM
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  • 0 Comments

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