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Thompson on Hollywood

Michael Feinstein's American Songbook Debuts This Fall on PBS

Classics crooner Michael Feinstein will make legions of music lovers happy this fall when he premieres a three-part series exploring the history of American popular music. The American Songbook will air October 6, 13 and 20 at 8 PM on PBS. This is my idea of heaven.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 17, 2010 8:01 AM
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This Means War Casting Saga, WGA vs. IMDb, Boyle directs Olympics, Fairy Tales are New Vampires

- McG can't make up his mind on casting vidgame-to-film This Means War. While Reese Witherspoon is set to play the femme at the center of a dispute between two spies--best friends turned enemies in this action-comedy--the two male leads are up in the air. In-demand Bradley Cooper has bailed on the role originally intended for Martin Lawrence, while Seth Rogen and Chris Pine were both reported as attached at some point. Now Vulture asserts that McG has offered his Terminator Salvation star Sam Worthington the lead. The Playlist, which has been tracking the This Means War casting saga, writes that Justin Timberlake was being considered for the film, and filmmakers may go to Colin Farrell if Worthington is a no-go.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • June 17, 2010 3:40 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Sony 3D Promos At-Home 3D: At Expense of Theater Experience?

"I refuse to say the sky is falling," declared Sony chairman Amy Pascal, when I asked her about the grim summer box office so far. She was observing the Sony 3D show-and-tell Wednesday on the Sony lot. Clearly, not only is the studio earmarking a number of 3D features for 2010 and beyond--including Resident Evil Afterlife in 2011 and Spider-Man 4 and Men in Black III for 2012 (Will Smith putting on his shades takes on a new meaning), but the entire corporation is moving aggressively into the 3D space both at home (PS3, 3D games, Bravia HD 3D televisions, Blu-Ray 3D devices) and in theaters (see videos below and Sony News).
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 10, 2010 2:10 AM
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Produced By: Focus on Diversity Demands Guts, Strategy, and a Subversive Spirit

Produced By:  Focus on Diversity Demands Guts, Strategy, and a Subversive Spirit
At Sunday's Produced By panel "New Voices," Precious director Lee Daniels and fellow panelists talked about fighting fear and resistance with guts and hustle, reports Amy Dawes:
  • By Amy Dawes
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  • June 8, 2010 4:43 AM
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What Went Wrong with Prince of Persia

What Went Wrong with Prince of Persia
I'd rather be watching HBO. That's my new T-shirt mantra. This holiday weekend I'll lay odds, sight unseen, that watching the third installment (HBO Saturday 9 PM) of writer Peter Morgan's Tony Blair trilogy, The Special Relationship, about the British ex-prime minister's relationship with then-president Bill Clinton (Dennis Quaid) will prove more satisfying than the miscast, over-wrought $200-million Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time or the shoddily written and executed Sex and the City 2, which hordes of women will flock to see, nasty reviews be damned.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 28, 2010 11:33 AM
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  • 4 Comments

Cannes Day One: Robin Hood Gets Off to a Slow Burn

Cannes Day One: Robin Hood Gets Off to a Slow Burn
With Ridley Scott recovering from knee surgery, that left Russell Crowe, Cate Blanchett and Imagine's Brian Grazer to field the press conference for the 63rd Cannes opener, Robin Hood.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 12, 2010 3:10 AM
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Life of Pi Seeks Fox Green Light with Ang Lee Directing in 3-D

Remember The Life of Pi? It's been seven years since Fox 2000's Elizabeth Gabler acquired the rights to Canadian Yann Martel's Booker prize-winning 2001 global bestseller about a boy adrift in a lifeboat in the Pacific with a Bengal tiger. What's taking so long? Well, this kind of lyrical literary material is tricky to get right. M. Night Shyamalan fell out. So did Alfonso Cuaron and Jean-Pierre Jeunet. Finally, it may get made thanks to Ang Lee--and 3-D.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 28, 2010 2:42 AM
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Indie Marketing Returns to Word of Mouth

Ex-Fine Line and Picturehouse marketing executive Marian Koltai-Levine founded Zipline Entertainment "to fill the much needed void between content creators and content providers," she says. After attending the recent SXSW Film Festival, Koltai-Levine sent me this essay about the new state of the indies: I am no longer a South By virgin. A couple of weeks later, I’m still jazzed by what I experienced in Austin. I was amazed at the infinite possibilities and the cross-section of media-- technology, music, film and television--being distributed on platforms today.
  • By Marian Koltai-Levine
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  • April 9, 2010 9:34 AM
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Star Twitpix: Hanks and Fonda

Jane Fonda and Tom Hanks know what it takes to maintain stardom and these days, it's about Twitter and Facebook. @janefonda blogged about her appearance on Larry King Live this week. While promoting a World Fitness Day concert (below), she admitted, "three's enough!" She won't be marrying boyfriend, music producer Richard Perry, who presumably grabbed this intimate photo of her blogging on her BlackBerry (hey, even I don't do that) in her bubble bath (wearing shades!).
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 6, 2010 7:02 AM
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  • 1 Comment

3-D Divide: Upfront vs. Retrofit

3-D Divide: Upfront vs. Retrofit
No one in Hollywood will listen now that Avatar and Alice in Wonderland have scored the mother-lode of grosses as 3-D movies. Could Alice have done as well in 2-D as a perfect match between name director, beloved children's book, and family-friendly studio? No, confirms Disney, because 70% of its grosses came from 3-D screens.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 31, 2010 1:29 AM
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  • 10 Comments

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