Blogroll

Thompson on Hollywood

Universal Troubles Started With DreamWorks Exit

Universal Troubles Started With DreamWorks Exit
Universal execs are heaving a huge sigh of relief with the $23.5 million estimated opening weekend for Judd Apatow's edgy comedy Funny People, starring Adam Sandler, Seth Rogen and Apatow's wife, Leslie Mann. The movie scored mixed reviews and played best for men. Women hated it . It's a pity that the studio wasn't able to help Apatow whip his sprawling two and half hour comedy into submission. The movie was ambitious, brilliant, dark and out of control, and I suspect the box office will fall steeply on word-of-mouth.
  • By Anne Thompson
  • |
  • August 2, 2009 7:25 AM
  • |
  • 9 Comments

Transformers' LaBoeuf: Troubled Star

What a difference two years makes. The picture on left of Shia LaBeouf ran in Parade Magazine when Disturbia made him into a star. The photo on the right ran this week in Parade in advance of Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. (Here's http://www.variety.com/review/VE1117940483.html?categoryid=31&cs=1">Variety's review.) We all know that talent is only one component of a long and happy career. Stability is another. Or to put it another way, sometimes the sensitive tuning rod that is essential to a working actor's skill set isn't screwed on tight enough. LaBeouf speaks frankly about his demons. I wish him well in dealing with them.
  • By Anne Thompson
  • |
  • June 16, 2009 7:16 AM
  • |
  • 0 Comments

Produced By Conference: Are Boomers Abandoning Movies?

At the Produced By conference on the Sony lot last weekend, which was organized by Gale Ann Hurd and the Producers Guild, some of the best and brightest in the profession complained that nobody wants to fund movies for grown-ups these days. At Peter Bart's panel, Who Does What?, while producers Kathleen Kennedy and producing partners Lucy Fisher and Doug Wick talked about massaging tender egos, movies made to fill studio slots, fractious shoots turning out better movies than happy ones, and on-set disasters, they also complained that they can't make the films they'd like to make.
  • By Anne Thompson
  • |
  • June 10, 2009 6:20 AM
  • |
  • 0 Comments

ShoWest: Roger Ebert Honored

After a video montage in which directors Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, Clint Eastwood, and Oliver Stone paid tribute to Roger Ebert, Sony Pictures Classics co-president Michael Barker presented ShoWest's Career Achievement in Film Journalism Award to the Pulitzer-Prize winning critic of the Chicago Sun-Times. "Roger Ebert is the most popular, most respected, most honored, and most eclectic film critic in American history," Barker said, citing Ebert as "one of the few saviors of independent film--films of all shapes and sizes--American independent features, foreign films, documentaries, and animated films. Ask any independent filmmakers who Roger has championed. Errol Morris will tell you Roger gave him his career. Louis Malle used to tell everyone Roger Ebert saved My Dinner With Andre and Atlantic City from disaster, Robert Altman the same with several of his films. Pan's Labyrinth, Memento, Monster, Hoop Dreams, Roger and Me--we would not know these movies in the way we know them if it were not for Roger Ebert. This is fact."
  • By Anne Thompson
  • |
  • April 3, 2009 5:42 AM
  • |
  • 0 Comments

Monsters vs. Aliens Brings 3-D Invasion

One of the surprises of the year so far is how well Henry Selick’s 3-D animated gothic fairy tale Coraline lasted at the b.o.; this weekend brings DreamWorks Animation's Monsters vs. Aliens and a spate of 3-D offerings are on the way. Even the venerable Cannes Film Festival, which has made an annual tradition of unveiling the latest animated fare, will for the first time open the 62nd fest on May 13 with not only an animated movie but Disney/Pixar’s 3-D balloon adventure Up, which opens May 29.
  • By Anne Thompson
  • |
  • March 24, 2009 7:11 AM
  • |
  • 0 Comments

Top 25 Active Directors: Did EW Get it Right?

EW loves lists like this one, the top 25 active directors, designed to inspire healthy debate. Did they get it right? And what do they mean by active, exactly? "Most talented, in-demand directors behind the camera today?" They're trying to have it both ways--it's a power list measuring fame, heat, influence and at the same time, a qualitative measure of talent.
  • By Anne Thompson
  • |
  • February 19, 2009 7:00 AM
  • |
  • 0 Comments

Truth or Dare: Madonna Not in New Moon, Pattinson, Efron on Oscars, Watchmen, Spielberg's Lincoln

Let's play a game of true or false.
  • By Anne Thompson
  • |
  • February 17, 2009 8:21 AM
  • |
  • 0 Comments

Paging Dr. Jones; Ford Wants to play Indy and Jack Ryan Again

Lucasfilm has launched an unusual promo for today's DVD release of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Here's the Lucasfilm marketing memo:
  • By Anne Thompson
  • |
  • October 14, 2008 12:58 PM
  • |
  • 0 Comments

Paramount's Future and DreamWorks' Split

The details of the Paramount/DreamWorks separation are getting nailed down. Paramount sent out a release Sunday that outlines terms of the split and ongoing joint projects. Clearly, the two groups will be partnering on many upcoming pictures. Here's Tatiana Siegel.
  • By Anne Thompson
  • |
  • October 5, 2008 8:49 AM
  • |
  • 0 Comments

Reliance Deal is Done at Last

The Wall Street Journal, as usual, got the early call on the culmination, finally, of the long-in-the-works DreamWorks/Reliance deal:
  • By Anne Thompson
  • |
  • September 19, 2008 8:17 AM
  • |
  • 0 Comments

Email Updates