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Thompson on Hollywood

The Tourist Reviews: "Retro," "Ludicrous Fairy Tale," Jolie "Sexy As Hell"

The Tourist is one of the oddest star vehicles to come out of the Hollywood dream factory in some time. It's determinedly retro, and as directed by The Lives of Others' Florian Henckel Von Donnersmarck--in a bid for big-studio acceptance--it's sincere in a way that few American directors would have managed. It's not hip at all. Von Donnersmarck is trying to make an old Hollywood fantasy surrounding two gorgeous movie stars. I can't imagine any men going to see this movie, which mainly offers romantic escape. The reviews are execrable: The Tomatometer is 17% rotten.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 10, 2010 7:18 AM
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Interview Watch: The Tourist's Material Beauty, Gosling and the New Hollywood Male Prototype

Interview Watch: The Tourist's Material Beauty, Gosling and the New Hollywood Male Prototype
Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck tells the NYTimes that "I live outside my comfort zone always," which helps to explain why the German director-writer chose to follow up best-foreign-language Oscar winner The Lives of Others with Sony's lavish guilty-pleasure film The Tourist starring high-wattage Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp. Foreign directors rarely have successful crossovers into big-budget studio fare, admits Sony co-president Michael Barker, "other than Roman Polanski with Chinatown and Milos Forman with One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest."
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • December 9, 2010 5:04 AM
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Star Watch: Pitt, Penn in Tree of Life Trailer, Winslet on Mendes' Bond, Depp On Jolie and Paradis

- Stay calm, Terrence Malick fans. The LAT says there's truth to the hype. They provide a sneak peak at the film's trailer (which Fox Searchlight is attaching to Black Swan Friday) and debuted several stills. The trailer suggests a "mystical, rich and satisfying film…a big-canvas movie in the best sense, one with both cosmic significance and intimate drama," writes Steven Zeitchik. The shots in the trailer include "visual poetry --  shots of vast landscapes and religious half-light and spinning planets," and declares a resulting "sense of excitement about what Malick has just shown you and a sense of curiosity about what lies behind it."
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • December 3, 2010 7:47 AM
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In Production: New Bond Secrets, Damon's Zoo Co-Star, Singh Directs One of Three Snow Whites

- Writer Jeffery Deaver's The Bone Collector was made into a film back in 1999 starring Angelina Jolie and Denzel Washington. Now Ian Fleming Publications Ltd. has enlisted him to reinvent James Bond. Project X will be published in May and plot details are hush-hush, but Deaver did reveal to USA Today that the story "is set in the present day, in 2011. Bond is a young agent for the British secret service. He's 29 or 30 years old, and he's an Afghan war vet." Deaver is picking up the story from where Fleming's fourteen novels left off, not from the cinematic adaptations, he says: "I want to stay true to the original James Bond, who many people don't know much about." He acknowledges that while Sean Connery, Roger Moore, Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig have contributed to the Bond legacy, "the original Bond was [actually] a very dark, edgy character." The first Bond, Connery, came closest to incarnating Fleming's Cold War British spy.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • November 2, 2010 7:23 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Casting Watch: Nicholson & Cruise Reunite; Bigelow Woos Depp and Hanks; Handler Goes to War

-Jack "You can't handle the truth!" Nicholson and Tom Cruise may reunite for El Presidente, an action comedy about a secret service agent (Cruise) and a former US President (Nicholson) - both on the same side - after a threat is made on his life. While it's hard to imagine the pair being as entertaining playing pals as they were playing enemies shoved into a courtroom face-off in A Few Good Men, this one will still get plenty of attention if it goes ahead (Cruise is attached, an offer is out to Nicholson).
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • October 6, 2010 11:42 AM
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  • 1 Comment

King, Schlessel, Berney Talk FilmDistrict, Plan to Release Depp's Rum Diary, London Boulevard

When a market contracts, it offers opportunities to fill the void. As expected, having imported Sony heavyweight Peter Schlessel as president, producer Graham King of GK Films, backed by his financing partner Tim Headington, is pushing forward to fill the current distribution gap with FilmDistrict.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 27, 2010 12:19 PM
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  • 5 Comments

LaBeouf is Forbes' Best Deal; Americans Still Like Gibson; Lohan Talks to Vanity Fair

- Shia LaBeouf, for a second year running, tops Forbes' list of Best Actors for the Buck. As an investment, LaBeouf is very attractive: "he offers a great return…For every $1 studios spend on the 24-year-old actor his films return an average $81 of profit." LaBeouf's paychecks will continue to grow; this won't hurt his agent's requests for a raise. Forbes' top 36 earners each had to have three movies open in over 500 theaters in the past five years, and meet a myriad of other criteria including their Celebrity 100 status. LaBeouf is king and Anne Hathaway is queen at #2, earning studios $64 for each dollar they pay her. Harry Potter boy Daniel Radcliffe is #3 ($61 for them, $1 for him), Robert Downey Jr. took fourth ($33), and can-do-no-wrong Cate Blanchett took fifth ($27). And before we all dig Aniston's box-office grave, lets give her credit for landing the #6 spot on this list (and for sharing it with Meryl Streep); $21 to their studios for each dollar they earn. Johnny Depp ($18), Nic Cage ($17) and Sarah Jessica Parker ($17) round out the top ten. Basically the list rewards mid-level stars who aren't at the top of the pay heap, which suggests that the more you get paid, the less you return..
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • August 31, 2010 3:36 AM
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Miss Universe vs. Men in Lipstick, Cassavetes' Blonde Cast, Mackie for Mission: Impossible 4

Inspired by Louis Bayard of Salon, who argues the death of the beauty pageant, we have a treat for you after the jump. "Even as a gay man," writes Bayard, "I couldn't find joy or fun in last night's monument to wax figurines and Donald Trump." He's referring to the Miss Universe Pageant, which has remained about skin and double-sided tape despite (for-appearances-only?) attempts to refocus the criteria on some kind of merit. Bayard argues that this "carnal philosophy has reaped its reward. Miss Universe is in the pink: stinking with ad revenue, sprawling across a two-hour expanse of network television. The whole enterprise should be neon with triumph, and yet it's every bit as gray as an annual report. For that's exactly what it is. A celebration of a company and the man behind it."
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • August 25, 2010 5:30 AM
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Manly Movie Stars: Rodrigue Talks the Evolution of Masculinity in Film

Manly Movie Stars: Rodrigue Talks the Evolution of Masculinity in Film
Almost two years ago, Anne Thompson asked "Where have the manly movie stars gone?," and investigated the entertainment industry's ongoing search for traditional male leads that aren't borrowed from the UK, Australia or Europe to commandeer Hollywood's most testosterone-needy films. While America lays claim to the boy-men niche with the likes of Johnny Depp, Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Brad Pitt, Keanu Reeves, Jake Gyllenhaal and any male in a Judd Apatow film, Hollywood's most- masculine male leads are more often than not played by foreigners; Christian Bale (a Brit) and Heath Ledger (an Aussie) were case-in-point as the stars of 2008's highest grossing film, The Dark Knight.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • August 12, 2010 8:28 AM
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  • 21 Comments

Comic-Con: Video and Art Round Up, Del Toro's Don't Be Afraid of the Dark

Check out some of new trailers and teaser clips revealed at the Con. Here's a compilation of visuals for Tron: Legacy, Megamind, RED, Haunted Mansion, and Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. Johnnie Depp made an amusing video appearance at the Disney panel Thursday, promoing the 3-D pursuit of the Fountain of Youth.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 23, 2010 9:08 AM
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