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Thompson on Hollywood

Telluride Wrap: Larry Gross on Jenkins' Savages, Haynes' I'm Not There, Penn's Into the Wild

Well, I wasn't in Telluride this year. I was sidelined with my feet up recovering from a fractured metatarsal (that's what I get for hiking along a bike path in broad daylight), so here's brainy NYU grad and screenwriter Larry Gross (Geronimo), who writes even better than he talks. I agree with him on Tamara Jenkins' Savages. It's so well written, directed and acted (by Philip Seymour Hoffman, Laura Linney and Philip Bosco) that the Academy and adult audiences at large will inevitably respond well. Fox Searchlight will push hard for Oscars.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 4, 2007 8:41 AM
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Comic-Con Wrap: Iron Man, Marvel, Hulk, Watchmen, Narnia, Golden Compass, Shoot 'Em Up

While Comic-Cons past have heralded the advent of such future blockbusters as 300 and Superman Returns, this year only Jon Favreau’s new Marvel entry starring Robert Downey, Jr. as the mighty Iron Man roused the fan hordes in the 6000-seat Hall H to rise up and give a standing O. The crowds also responded well to Pixar's Wall-E, from Finding Nemo creator Andrew Stanton, about a robot trash compactor left behind on earth, who is being "voiced" by sound wizard Ben Burtt, who created the whistle-language for Star Wars' R2D2.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 31, 2007 4:34 AM
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Comic-Con: Jameson Wants Johansson to Star in Biopic

[Posted by Erin Maxwell]Not many folks in the adult industry can claim A-list status. Despite the fact that the adult film market is a billion-dollar one, its only recently that H'wood moguls and the beautiful people have begun to acknowledge its presence. Most of this is due to the diligent efforts of Ms. Jenna Jameson.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 30, 2007 4:50 AM
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LAFF: Bloggers Poolside Chat

I had fun moderating the blogging panel poolside at the W. From right, Sasha Stone of Awards Daily, Kate Coe of Fishbowl LA, Jeff Wells of Hollywood Elsewhere and I all agreed that we are obsessed; speed is of the essence, although, Stone said, one can always throw something up fast and tweak it later.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 29, 2007 6:21 AM
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Transformers: LAFF Premiere

Transformers took over Westwood last night, playing on multiple screens with crowds jamming Broxton Avenue will-call tables and an after-party on the street.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 28, 2007 6:26 AM
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Oceans Gang and Hollywood Salute Pacino at AFI

At the Oceans Thirteen premiere in Cannes, the movie's arch-villain, Al Pacino, was noticeably absent. The actor was back in L.A., producer Jerry Weintraub told the Cannes press corps, because he was prepping for his AFI Life Achievement Award. On the beach in Cannes, the Oceans gang taped a video tribute (in Cantonese) which played at the AFI ceremony on June 7, because most of them went to Vegas to promote the film. Andy Garcia did show up, however, and gave the best and most revealing tribute to his The Godfather: Part III costar of the long night at Hollywood & Highland's Kodak Theatre. (The show will air June 19th on USA Network.)
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 9, 2007 6:52 AM
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Oceans Gang Hits Croisette

Raucous laughter hit the Palais during the morning screening of Oceans Thirteen, which was followed by an equally entertaining press conference as Steven Soderbergh and his Oceans Thirteen gang goofed on themselves and the assembled press corps.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 24, 2007 7:15 AM
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Cannes Moments, Diving Bell and Butterfly, Parties

I was sure I wasn't going to make the 7:30 PM Palais screening of The Diving Bell and the Butterfly. I had about an hour to walk all the way from the Sofitel on the point to the Variety office behind the Grand to get my ticket and rush to my apartment behind the Carlton, put on my black tie duds and makeup and hustle down the crowded Croisette on high heels to the Lumiere. But I really wanted to see this film and wasn't going to give up. Luckily I had an orchestra ticket, which gives you more breathing room and lets you walk up the red steps. I scooted behind Sharon Stone as she posed for photogs and found my place and tried to cool off as we all watched the big-screen monitor showing the last arrivals--they string the cast in one long line as they make their way up the steps.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 23, 2007 7:26 AM
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DiCaprio Talks, Cannes Party Hopping

It was fun taking a breather at the Hotel du Cap Saturday to interview Leo DiCaprio. Warner Independent shuttled various journos from the Palais along the Mediterranean coast to the Cap d'Antibes. We walked through the sun-dappled woods to a series of cabanas by the water, where we hung out until Leo arrived. He was wearing Prada shades, a blue shirt and jeans, but eventually took the shades off; he was smart and charming. Here's the story I filed on the web. And here's Variety's review.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 20, 2007 7:31 AM
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Coens Movie and Sicko Debut; Waiting for Jessica Simpson

Last night's unveiling of No Country for Old Men lived up to all my expectations and more. It's one of the Coen brothers' most assured films, on a par with their Oscar-winning Fargo or Miller's Crossing, with a touch of the southwestern twang of Raising Arizona. The movie, which stars veterans Tommy Lee Jones and Javier Bardem at their best and break-out hunk Josh Brolin, belongs with the Coens' bleaker films, but adds their trademark comic tone to Cormac McCarthy's tragic book. It's a faithful adaptation, a lean and spare cinematic rendering of McCarthy's western of inexorably doomed characters. The movie also touches the zeitgeist as it expresses a loss of innocence in our culture, a turn to the dark side. The ending is heart-tugging. It's going to be hard to beat for the Palme d'Or. Unless Miramax messes up the movie's fall release (it will need delicate handling, although it will earn rave reviews, because it is not overtly commercial), I see a strong Oscar run. (Luckily 42West's Cynthia Swarz is on board.) Here's Variety's review.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 19, 2007 8:32 AM
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