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Thompson on Hollywood

Avatar Featurette Hypes Hardware

This Avatar international featurette invites viewers to engage with the exotic planet Pandora and the human hardware that James Cameron and Co. designed for this movie. We see Sam Worthington arriving on the hostile planet where scientist Sigourney Weaver and pilot Michelle Rodriguez do their rounds, under the watchful eye of tough-talking macho-security chief Stephen Lang.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 20, 2009 2:49 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Ten Things I Learned at the Governors Awards

Ten Things I Learned at the Governors Awards
1. The Governors Awards will not be televised. At the orange Grand Ballroom at Hollywood and Highland Saturday night, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences gave out four honorary Oscars at a new annual event on the awards calendar. Academy executive director Bruce Davis, president Tom Sherak, Oscar show producers Bill Mechanic and Adam Shankman, and Oscar-host-to-be Alec Baldwin all attended this relaxed, celebratory black-tie cocktail and dinner party. The ceremony awarding four honorary Oscars to actress Lauren Bacall, producers John Calley and Roger Corman and cinematographer Gordon Willis, punctuated by repeated standing ovations, lasted three hours and 18 minutes, to be exact.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 15, 2009 8:13 AM
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  • 5 Comments

South Park Skewers The Cove and Avatar

Bad news: the dolphin-killing expose The Cove did not land an International Documentary Association best feature nomination.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 14, 2009 8:54 AM
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  • 3 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

Avatar Budget, Up in the Air Tweet Chart, Pattinson vs. Kidman, Finke Attacks, Indie Bloodbath Redux

James Cameron's Avatar did not cost $500 million. First of all, the thing was in R & D for years. The negative cost is $300 to 400 million, but no one knows for sure. If you add worldwide marketing to it, maybe it creeps up to $500 million, because it's a huge movie that Fox has already spent a lot to flog, with World Series spots, Avatar Day, Comic-Con and Tokyo Film Fest footage etc. Online folks went nuts over this Michael Cieply NYT story which threw out an "approaching $500 million" figure. Loved this response from @ColeAbaius: "Not what I heard. insider claims that AVATAR will end up at $29 Trillion. And it was actually shot in space."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 10, 2009 1:26 AM
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  • 3 Comments

Avatar Behind-the-Scenes Featurette

As more finished footage becomes available for James Cameron's Avatar---which is about 75% CG--Fox is releasing more material in advance of the December 18 release.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 29, 2009 7:20 AM
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  • 0 Comments

New Avatar Trailer is Up

I know there are a lot of Avatar naysayers out there but when the hairs rise on the back of my neck I know there's something real going on. I felt it with Twilight and I feel it with this latest Avatar trailer which went up on Yahoo at 10 am PST (video on jump).
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 29, 2009 5:18 AM
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  • 5 Comments

Avatar Watch: Action Figures, Concept Art, Novel

While James Cameron and the VFX wizards at Weta Digital in Wellywood are trying to finish the last big effects sequences in Avatar--which is set for December 18 release--Cameron is also working on many of the ancillary marketing and licensing sidelines that will help sell this pricey 3-D movie. (The official sticker price is $237 million, but we can safely assume that that figure is 1) low and 2) counting.)
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 6, 2009 6:52 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

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