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Thompson on Hollywood

Black Swan Psychology Art vs. Science; Sex vs. Sexy: Which Sells Movies?

Black Swan Psychology Art vs. Science; Sex vs. Sexy: Which Sells Movies?
- Black Swan offers fuel for an Art vs. Science debate. Consider these professional-opinion-posturings on Black Swan ballerina Nina (Natalie Portman) and her mental state. Nadine Kaslow (Dept. of Psychiatry, Emory University) says: "It was intense and disturbing and fascinating and mysterious…What was a hallucination and what was real? When people are psychotic, it's difficult, even as a therapist, to know what's real and what's not."
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • December 21, 2010 4:42 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Pundits Predict Golden Globes Winners: The King's Speech and The Kids Are All Right

Pundits Predict Golden Globes Winners: The King's Speech and The Kids Are All Right
Both Gold Derby and the Gurus 'O Gold are predicting that The King's Speech and The Kids Are All Right will win their respective categories at the Golden Globes January 16. For what it's worth.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 15, 2010 8:00 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Weekend Box Office: Narnia Sequel Voyage of Dawn Treader, Jolie/Depp's Tourist Disappoint

Two big-budget studio confections, The The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (the third installment of The Chronicles of Narnia) and retro romantic thriller The Tourist, stumbled at the domestic box office. Both will look overseas to recoup their costs, reports Anthony D'Alessandro:
  • By Anthony D'Alessandro
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  • December 12, 2010 5:17 AM
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  • 7 Comments

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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  • 0 Comments

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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  • 0 Comments

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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  • 0 Comments

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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  • 0 Comments

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