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Thompson on Hollywood

The Three Gifts of Andy Serkis: Hobbit Teaser, Caesar and Captain Haddock

Among the many things to be thankful for at this time of year, such as compelling art house films fighting for your box office dollar after a summer of mindless tent-poles ("Shame" beats "Green Lantern" any day), let us acknowledge Three Gifts from Andy Serkis for the year 2011. The first two may never get the credit they deserve, but "Hobbit" fans will be excited for the third:
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • November 15, 2011 4:45 PM
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Remembering Steve Jobs, VES Summit and Bill of Rights, Geeking out with John Gaeta

Remembering Steve Jobs, VES Summit and Bill of Rights, Geeking out with John Gaeta
In this week's Immersed in Movies column, Bill Desowitz remembers meeting Steve Jobs, recaps the Visual Effects Society Summit and geeks out with John Gaeta at the Palo Alto International Film Festival. The passing of Steve Jobs on Wednesday underscores, more than anything else, the crucial importance of technological innovation, creative freedom, and entrepreneurial spirit. Jobs was the leading visionary of our time, and we need those attributes now more than ever.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • October 7, 2011 8:15 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Dangerous Method's S&M, Jolie's Blood & Honey, Soderbergh Killing Oscar Winners & More from EW

We culled the best soundbites from EW's Fall Movie Preview for your pleasure below, from Brad Pitt's struggle to get Moneyball made and Steven Soderbergh killing off Oscar-winners in Contagion to what Mickey Rourke has in common with the animals in Cameron Crowe's We Bought a Zoo.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • August 15, 2011 8:10 AM
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Who Gets Credit for Rise of the Planet of the Apes?

Who Gets Credit for Rise of the Planet of the Apes?
Now that word-of-mouth has caught up with Rise of the Planet of the Apes, which is well on its way to being a huge global hit, folks will be lining up to take credit for the picture. Who deserves the credit for how well this turned out?
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 8, 2011 5:41 AM
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  • 5 Comments

Weekend Box Office: Good Word Propels Rise of the Planet of the Apes to $54 Million, Change-Up Soft

Weekend Box Office: Good Word Propels Rise of the Planet of the Apes to $54 Million, Change-Up Soft
Truth is, Fox did not know what a powerful box office contender it had in prequel Rise of the Planet of the Apes, waiting to screen the film until the last minute when the film's astonishing VFX were final. Then the good word exploded, and the movie scored a rousing $54 million opening weekend. Anthony D'Alessandro digs into the numbers. Fox executives had every reason to beat their chests this morning as Rise of the Planet of the Apes greatly exceeded expectations with $54 million. Meanwhile Universal suits saw yet another summer entry disappoint, as R-rated guy comedy The Change-Up followed last weekend's Cowboys & Aliens with a dispiriting $13.5 million opening.
  • By Anthony D'Alessandro
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  • August 7, 2011 4:35 AM
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  • 4 Comments

Oscar Watch: How Weta Gives Rise to the Planet of the Apes; Andy Serkis as Lon Chaney

Oscar Watch: How Weta Gives Rise to the Planet of the Apes; Andy Serkis as Lon Chaney
One of the debates on Twitter Friday morning was which movie will be the one to the beat for this year's VFX Oscar? Michael Bay's 3-D Transformers: Dark of the Moon, which set out to challenge James Cameron's 3-D Avatar, or Terrence Malick's spacey The Tree of Life? Now a new summer movie has entered the Oscar fray: Rise of the Planet of the Apes. Bill Desowitz reports:Hail Caesar!
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • August 5, 2011 5:43 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Weekend Preview: Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Bellflower & The Medusa, Whistleblower, Magic Trip

Weekend Preview: Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Bellflower & The Medusa, Whistleblower, Magic Trip
Rise of the Planet of the Apes has finally landed with jaw-dropping effects and strong reviews. Apes should knock either The Smurfs or Cowboys & Aliens off their top two positioning.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • August 4, 2011 5:40 AM
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Rise of the Planet of the Apes Delivers: Jaw-Dropping Weta Effects, Strong Reviews

Rise of the Planet of the Apes Delivers: Jaw-Dropping Weta Effects, Strong Reviews
It is a mystery why Twentieth Century Fox took so long to unveil Rise of the Planet of the Apes, which is such a strong summer entry that it might have built up some loud advance buzz. The filmmakers were likely so anxious about the quality of the VFX that they waited until the last minute for improvements. They needn't have worried. This is not another cynical cookie-cutter sequel or remake.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 3, 2011 5:44 AM
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Andy Serkis Talks Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Tintin, Hobbit

Andy Serkis Talks Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Tintin, Hobbit
The king of performance capture actors pretended to be a fan in Hall H at Comic-Con Friday, asking Steven Spielberg a question about Daniel Craig meeting Clint Eastwood on the set of The Adventures of Tintin wearing just a leotard. (Here's a full report on Spielberg and Jackson talking Tintin.) Bill Desowitz (Immersed in Movies) talked to Andy Serkis afterward:Few in Hall H recognized Serkis because film fans don't know what the Brit actor looks like--the man who performed not only The Lord of the Rings' Gollum, but King Kong. Serkis is pivotal in the evolution of performance capture.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • July 25, 2011 1:14 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Trailer Watch: Rise of the Planet of the Apes

The trailer for Rupert Wyatt's prequel Rise of the Planet of the Apes, starring James Franco as a scientist run amuck and Andy Serkis (Gollum, King Kong) as a smart primate, looks pretty creepy. Here's more on WETA's VFX. Fox releases the pic on August 5. Freida Pinto, John Lithgow, Brian Cox, Tom Felton and David Oyelow also star.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 3, 2011 12:33 PM
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  • 4 Comments

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