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Thompson on Hollywood

NBC/Universal on Roof, Downey Likely Harvey Star, Movie Sound Cliches

It looks like GE is in serious talks with Comcast to buy NBC Universal, reports Sharon Waxman. As Vivendi looks to sell its 20 % stake in the company, which has suffered a tough year, Comacast may step into the breach. UPDATE: Here's the LAT.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 30, 2009 12:17 PM
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Vanity Fair New Establishment Favors Editor Cronies

The one year that I covered the Hollywood side of the Vanity Fair New Establishment List, I found that the final list reflected less accurate reporting than who was a possible cover subject or socialized with editor Graydon Carter. This year the nasty economy allowed VF to trim some familiar names while the Hall of Fame protects some Carter cronies.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 3, 2009 8:16 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

Who Should Star in Harvey?

Now that Tom Hanks is no longer in the running for Steven Spielberg's remake of the Universal classic Harvey--because he was understandably leery, I hear, of the inevitable comparisons with James Stewart in the original role--who could pull this off? Hanks is probably too close to Stewart on some level--people have been comparing them his entire career. The role should be played by a warm and likable man who can convince us that he is talking to a six-foot rabbit. That means a top-notch actor who can hold the screen and pull in audiences. Here's my list: vote! And write in anyone you think I've overlooked.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 17, 2009 11:28 AM
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  • 28 Comments

Dreamworks Ramps Up Production as it Closes First Round of Reliance Funding

It took a while.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 17, 2009 9:19 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Studios Play it Safe

Studios Play it Safe
Steven Spielberg is directing a remake of the Universal/Broadway classic Harvey; he's seeking a star like Tom Hanks or Will Smith to star. Fox is partnering with DreamWorks/Reliance to produce the movie about a six-foot, invisible rabbit.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 3, 2009 2:47 AM
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  • 10 Comments

Universal Troubles Started With DreamWorks Exit

Universal Troubles Started With DreamWorks Exit
Universal execs are heaving a huge sigh of relief with the $23.5 million estimated opening weekend for Judd Apatow's edgy comedy Funny People, starring Adam Sandler, Seth Rogen and Apatow's wife, Leslie Mann. The movie scored mixed reviews and played best for men. Women hated it . It's a pity that the studio wasn't able to help Apatow whip his sprawling two and half hour comedy into submission. The movie was ambitious, brilliant, dark and out of control, and I suspect the box office will fall steeply on word-of-mouth.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 2, 2009 7:25 AM
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  • 9 Comments

Transformers' LaBoeuf: Troubled Star

What a difference two years makes. The picture on left of Shia LaBeouf ran in Parade Magazine when Disturbia made him into a star. The photo on the right ran this week in Parade in advance of Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. (Here's http://www.variety.com/review/VE1117940483.html?categoryid=31&cs=1">Variety's review.) We all know that talent is only one component of a long and happy career. Stability is another. Or to put it another way, sometimes the sensitive tuning rod that is essential to a working actor's skill set isn't screwed on tight enough. LaBeouf speaks frankly about his demons. I wish him well in dealing with them.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 16, 2009 7:16 AM
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Produced By Conference: Are Boomers Abandoning Movies?

At the Produced By conference on the Sony lot last weekend, which was organized by Gale Ann Hurd and the Producers Guild, some of the best and brightest in the profession complained that nobody wants to fund movies for grown-ups these days. At Peter Bart's panel, Who Does What?, while producers Kathleen Kennedy and producing partners Lucy Fisher and Doug Wick talked about massaging tender egos, movies made to fill studio slots, fractious shoots turning out better movies than happy ones, and on-set disasters, they also complained that they can't make the films they'd like to make.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 10, 2009 6:20 AM
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ShoWest: Roger Ebert Honored

After a video montage in which directors Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, Clint Eastwood, and Oliver Stone paid tribute to Roger Ebert, Sony Pictures Classics co-president Michael Barker presented ShoWest's Career Achievement in Film Journalism Award to the Pulitzer-Prize winning critic of the Chicago Sun-Times. "Roger Ebert is the most popular, most respected, most honored, and most eclectic film critic in American history," Barker said, citing Ebert as "one of the few saviors of independent film--films of all shapes and sizes--American independent features, foreign films, documentaries, and animated films. Ask any independent filmmakers who Roger has championed. Errol Morris will tell you Roger gave him his career. Louis Malle used to tell everyone Roger Ebert saved My Dinner With Andre and Atlantic City from disaster, Robert Altman the same with several of his films. Pan's Labyrinth, Memento, Monster, Hoop Dreams, Roger and Me--we would not know these movies in the way we know them if it were not for Roger Ebert. This is fact."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 3, 2009 5:42 AM
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  • 0 Comments

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