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Thompson on Hollywood

Trailer Watch: Men Who Stare at Goats

Trailer Watch: Men Who Stare at Goats
Grant Heslov's comedy The Men Who Stare at Goats looks pretty funny, I must say. I love George Clooney in full-on dimwit mode (see: O Brother, Where Art Thou?). The film is based on non-fiction writer Jon Ronson's book of the same name about a special paranormal military unit.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 28, 2009 4:28 AM
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  • 1 Comment

#TIFF: 30 Must-See Movies

#TIFF: 30 Must-See Movies
It's hard to narrow down the must-see Toronto Film Fest list to 30. After all there are 335 films at TIFF09. (I'm including movies that I've already screened in L.A., Sundance or Cannes.) Some fall openers are launching at TIFF, 100 pictures are available for acquisition, and a select few will emerge with their Oscar hopes intact. Reaction from media and audiences will determine which films earn a full-on Oscar push. And I'm listing the pictures in alphabetical order.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 27, 2009 8:12 AM
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  • 7 Comments

Up in the Air Heads to Toronto

Up in the Air Heads to Toronto
Jason Reitman's Up in the Air, starring George Clooney, will launch at the Toronto Film Fest (where loyal Canadian Reitman debuted Thank You for Smoking and Juno). This is classic pre-Oscar positioning.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 19, 2009 5:40 AM
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  • 1 Comment

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

Clooney Wants to Play Clancy's Jack Ryan

Buried in this Kim Masters story about Sony bringing over George Clooney's production deal is a juicy nugget: Clooney wants to take over playing Jack Ryan in the Tom Clancy franchise. That is, if Paramount ever gets its act together and puts the next movie back on the front burner. It's been years since Ben Affleck took over from Harrison Ford as a younger Ryan, and acquitted himself well in The Sum of All Fears, which grossed $193 million worldwide in 2002.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 7, 2009 4:16 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Clancy Update: Untitled Script Due Soon

Are Tom Clancy movies out of date? Too 80s? Am I the only one who still adores The Hunt for Red October? (It boasts a dreamy cast: Sean Connery, Scott Glenn, Sam Neill, Stellan Sarsgaard, and the young Alec Baldwin.) Well, it turns out Paramount and producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura are awaiting the first draft of an original screenplay currently called the "Untitled Tom Clancy Project" from screenwriter Hossein Amini (Jude, Killshot). Yes, Clooney has been discussed for Jack Ryan. But he would have to see script, director, etc. And the studio could choose to go with an older, or a younger Ryan.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 7, 2009 1:49 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Clooney Turns 47; Bello Grabs SFIFF Acting Award

Happy Birthday, George! Clooney turns 47 today, and Marc Malkin reports on the birthday party attended by girlfriend Sarah Larson, David Beckham and others --complete with two birthday cakes--Monday night.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 6, 2008 5:31 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Leatherheads: Clooney Goes Retro

George Clooney is the sort of movie star who gets to do what he wants, especially if he's willing to direct himself. In this case the period football comedy Leatherheads had been languishing on the shelf at Universal for decades, and was going to be directed by Steven Soderbergh at one time. Clooney's version is a sweetly daffy valentine to classic Hollywood screwball comedies, Coen brothers comedies and romantic comedies. Clooney stars as a handsome over-the-hill football player who's pretty smart but gets beat up on the playing field and takes plenty of pratfalls and romances a wise-cracking reporter (Renee Zellweger).
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 1, 2008 4:45 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Coens' Burn After Reading, Starring Pitt and Clooney, Goes Wide

While speculation runs rampant on whether or not the Coens will take their next movie, the CIA pic Burn After Reading, starring Brad Pitt and George Clooney, to Cannes--obviously Thierry Fremaux will want it, but he hasn't screened it yet; UPDATE: Working Title says it probably won't be finished in time--in the meantime Focus Features has booked the Working Title movie to go wide on September 12. This suggests that after the Oscar-winning No Country for Old Men (which soared 67% this weekend) the Coens have jumped out of art-film territory and boast more commercial appeal; this pic's stars are certainly big enough to warrant a wide opening.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 3, 2008 7:50 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Oscar Watch: Predicts

At long last, the Oscar ballots are in and it is the week before the Oscar kudocast! It's time to make your fearless forecasts and plunk your money down in your office pool. (I can tell you one thing--it's not easy to come out on top here at Variety, where everyone is an Oscar expert.)
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 19, 2008 7:20 AM
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  • 0 Comments

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