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Thompson on Hollywood

Avatar May Debut at Knowles Butt-Numb-A-Thon

AICN's Harry Knowles has long cultivated close friendships with powerful filmmakers. Peter Jackson showed him The Lovely Bones before any one else, and now I hear that James Cameron, who often calls Knowles when he wants to promote something, is trying to override studio Twentieth Century Fox's antipathy toward the Austin-based webmaster (who likes to blast co-chairman Tom Rothman) by giving him Avatar to screen at his annual December 24-hour film marathon Butt-Numb-A-Thon. The BNAT shows classic films as well as such premieres as The Passion of the Christ, Jackson's The Lord of the Rings trilogy and King Kong, Dreamgirls, Chicago, Magnolia, Knocked Up, 300 and V for Vendetta.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 24, 2009 9:37 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Oscar Watch: The Big Four Are Screening

Oscar Watch: The Big Four Are Screening
I've seen Rob Marshall's Nine and Clint Eastwood's Invictus, but I am not allowed to write about them just yet. And I got my screening invite today for Peter Jackson's The Lovely Bones. They start at the end of the week. I've been reading the Alice Sebold novel, which is as cool as I had heard. So I didn't read Harry Knowles' early review too carefully. I want to make up my own mind. But clearly, he loves the movie.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 24, 2009 12:06 AM
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  • 7 Comments

Oscar Talk Episode Ten: Avatar, Tyson, Animation

In this week's podcast, In Contention's Kris Tapley and I talk animation (20 submissions), supporting actor and actress, 2012, Mike Tyson's LAX brawl and the four Oscar heavyweights yet to be screened, including likely last contender out of the gate, James Cameron's big-budget Avatar.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 14, 2009 2:27 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Oscar Watch: Waiting for The Big Four, Invictus, Lovely Bones, Avatar, Nine

Oscar Watch: Waiting for The Big Four, Invictus, Lovely Bones, Avatar, Nine
As the deadlines for the Hollywood Foreign Press and film critics voting loom, the studios are finally starting to screen the last four big guns. The HFPA is heading to New York this weekend for the Nine junket. And they're seeing The Lovely Bones and Invictus. Avatar will likely be the last to show--not before December 10, says Fox.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 11, 2009 9:13 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Summer Wraps, Michael Moore, Fest Clips, Brit Wit, Remakes

Summer Wraps, Michael Moore, Fest Clips, Brit Wit, Remakes
Catching up after the holiday weekend and travel to and from fall film fests:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 10, 2009 1:14 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Critics Faves: Arty or Artful?

Critics Faves: Arty or Artful?
In the fall season, as hundreds of movies are launched and weighed at film festivals, critics come into their own. They don't hold much sway with audiences in the summer. But in the fall, suddenly, what they think does matter.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 31, 2009 8:58 AM
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  • 12 Comments

District 9: Oscar Contender?

District 9: Oscar Contender?
District 9 is a great movie that deserves every kudo and by all accounts played great for the Academy the other night.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 20, 2009 3:45 AM
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  • 3 Comments

Weekend B.O., District 9 No. One, Rise of Streep, Fall of G.I. Joe

Sony marketing took rookie Neill Blomkamp's $30-million VFX thriller to a terrific estimated $37 million--it wasn't the stunning reviews alone. All the Comic-Con raves and critics and folks on twitter and facebook had a viral impact. The R-rated sci-fi thriller opened well to its largely male base. A sustained hold will require other audience segments to come in--and I just don't know how this plays for women. They went to see The Time Traveler's Wife this weekend, which nabbed lousy reviews and came in at a solid $19 million.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 17, 2009 8:54 AM
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  • 4 Comments

Woodstock Now & Then, Mad Men Ads, Journalism Online, Shah Rukh Khan

The U.S. treatment of Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan stirs up a ruckus back in India. Shalini Dore and Jon Brooks explain.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 17, 2009 8:16 AM
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  • 3 Comments

District 9 Must Do Well

District 9 Must Do Well
Root for District 9 to do well. The Comic-Con hit represents a lifeline to Hollywood. Commercial director Neill Blomkamp (with backing from Peter Jackson) has made an intense, unpredictable, edge-of-your-seat sci-fi thriller that throws you into the doc-like reality (think Cloverfield on steroids) of a battle between humans and insect-like aliens (“prawns”) in Jo’burg. The budget was lean ($30 million). No stars. Leading man Sharlto Copley had never acted in a feature before.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 13, 2009 4:02 AM
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  • 24 Comments

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