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Thompson on Hollywood

Risky Business: Comic-Con Comes of Age

Post-Twilight, Comic-Con comes of age. And yet, it can be risky to chase after that fan buzz. Memorable duds in Hall H include The Spirit and Zathura. When a movie isn't working, the fans sniff it out. But when it does--300 and Superman Returns are vivid examples--they turn up to see the movie in droves. How it plays in theaters is another matter. Watchmen was a hit in Hall H last year--but the good buzz didn't guarantee a wide appeal commercial movie.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 21, 2009 6:45 AM
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Inglourious Basterds: Tarantino Adds One Minute, Thinks Prequel

Quentin Tarantino comes back to Michael Fleming with details on his final cut of Inglourious Basterds--one minute longer, or 2:32 including end credits--reminds that he had final cut up to 2:48, admits he listened to Universal's David Linde and TWC's Harvey Weinstein, who are both under pressure to deliver hits, but took his own course. As he told me in Cannes, he added a scene with the Brit soldiers played by Michael Fassbender and Mike Myers before the sequence at La Louisiane. He's not worried about adult films pulling audiences, and cites Public Enemies' strong opening as a positive sign. (Let's see the second weekend drop.) And Tarantino is seriously considering doing a Basterds prequel, with support from Brad Pitt. (That will require that audiences do show up to see the World War II flick, which has an unusual promo partner for a smart-house movie, Ultimate Fighting Championship.)
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 9, 2009 8:07 AM
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Tarantino Tweaking Basterds, Says Weinstein

My initial story was correct: Quentin Tarantino is not cutting the shit out of Inglourious Basterds. GQ grills Harvey Weinstein about the final cut:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 24, 2009 6:29 AM
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Swedish Trilogy on Tarantino/Pitt Wish-List?

So far, with the exception of Jackie Brown (based on an Elmore Leonard novel) Quentin Tarantino has preferred to direct and write originals. While he has exec-produced a few things and been tempted by the odd Speed Racer or James Bond, he has never rarely succumbed to adaptation temptation.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 8, 2009 7:20 AM
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Weinstein Co. Up Against the Wall

The real problem with The Weinstein Co. isn't the economy or debt restructuring issues, although that does not help. The Weinsteins are running out of time, because since they launched TWC in 2005 with plans for investor Goldman Sachs & Co. to raise $500 million in equity and $500 million in debt, they've been following an out-of-date business model. When Harvey says "we invented it," he's right. But that doesn't mean that the old Miramax model still works.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 8, 2009 7:10 AM
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Cannes: Winners and Losers

Who came out ahead and behind on their Cannes jaunt this year?
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 31, 2009 3:02 AM
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Tarantino Update

In my interview with Quentin Tarantino, he admits that he plans to go back to the editing room with Inglourious Basterds this June. He rushed the movie, getting it done in less than a year to make Cannes, and delivered a cinephile's fantasy:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 25, 2009 8:25 AM
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Inglourious Basterds: Tarantino Talks

As Cannes wound down, writer-director Quentin Tarantino sat down for an interview about his long-awaited World War II opus, Inglourious Basterds. We talked about issues of structure, length and purpose:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 23, 2009 7:37 AM
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Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds Plays Cannes

Nowhere but Cannes would 2500 media urgently assemble in one place to see a movie at 8:30 AM. As Quentin Tarantino himself said at the jam-packed Inglourious Basterds press conference, "There's no place like Cannes for filmmakers on the face of the earth. It's Cinema Nirvana during this time here on the Riviera. Cinema matters. It's important. Even when people boo --out of passion--it's not just images glazing over you. All the world film press on the planet earth, America, Finland, Iceland, Greenland, even Canada--that's a country--something about them all being here, you drop the movie--bam!--at once everyone weighs in at the same time...I'm not an American filmmaker, I make movies for the planet earth and Cannes represents that."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 20, 2009 9:29 AM
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Cannes Watch: Rocky Indie Terrain

There's considerable uncertainty heading toward Cannes this year. While the global theatrical market is strong, the indie sector is still fragile--and shrinking. With DVDs sinking and piracy on the rise, financeers and foreign sales agents don't know what's safe anymore. Many companies had coasted on funds they had already raised, but now reality is sinking in: new money is hard to find.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 30, 2009 6:28 AM
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