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Thompson on Hollywood

BAFTAs Go to King's Speech, Social Network, Inception, Black Swan, Alice, Dragon Tattoo UPDATED

BAFTAs Go to King's Speech, Social Network, Inception, Black Swan, Alice, Dragon Tattoo UPDATED
The BAFTA Awards are under way at the Royal Opera House in London. Safe to say The King's Speech is winning many awards but is not sweeping; Inception and Alice in Wonderland are grabbing many of the technical categories. I predict that the Oscars will follow this trend.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 13, 2011 7:48 AM
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  • 4 Comments

Oscar Watch: Tim Burton and VFX Master Ken Ralston Talk Alice in Wonderland

Oscar Watch: Tim Burton and VFX Master Ken Ralston Talk Alice in Wonderland
Alice in Wonderland presented a high degree of difficulty for veteran VFX master Ken Ralston and director Tim Burton, who tends to prefer live action FX to digital ones. He clearly wrestled with the huge volume of CG effects—the film used far more green screen than he’s ever dealt with. “It starts freaking you out after a while,” he said at Comic-Con, admitting that Alice in Wonderland was “the most difficult” movie he’s ever done. Burton insisted on avoiding motion-capture as much as possible (the effects team did mo-cap some actors, for reference). Burton wound up favoring “pure animation and using actors in mysterious ways,” he said.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 11, 2011 9:29 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Burton's Dark Shadows Gets Green, Winterbottom's Hardy Trishna Reinterpretation

- Tim Burton's reworking of 60s gothic soap opera Dark Shadows centers on vampire Barnabas Collins (to be played by Johnny Depp) and his escapades with witches, monsters, ghosts and the like. Eva Green will play the powerful witch Angelique, with whom Collins enjoys a love/hate relationship. Since her breakout role in Casino Royale, the French actress has gone somewhat unnoticed (she had a supporting role in 2007's The Golden Compass). Now, she has Perfect Sense (see trailer below), boarding school drama Cracks (March 18), a Maria Callas TV biopic and more to come. Vampire expert Seth Grahame-Smith adapted Dark Shadows; he also wrote Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (fitting, since he wrote the novel).
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • February 4, 2011 9:28 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Oscar Watch: The Makeup Final Seven

Seven films are competing for the final three nominations to be announced January 25 in the makeup category for the Oscars. The Academy’s makeup branch will vote on January 22 after seeing ten-minute excerpts from each of the seven shortlisted films. These prizes are about live-action makeup, often involving non-digitally enhanced wounds, aging and transformation. The final three in all likelihood will be Alice in Wonderland, The Fighter and The Wolfman.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 10, 2011 11:20 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Three Critics: Are Sequels Killing Hollywood?

Three Critics: Are Sequels Killing Hollywood?
In our latest column at Moviefone, indieWIRE critics Eric Kohn and Leonard Maltin and I take on Hollywood's bad case of sequelitis, from Saw to Harry Potter, which seems only to be getting worse each year.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 14, 2010 6:57 AM
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  • 18 Comments

Oscar Talk: Diane Lane vs. Annette Bening vs. Julianne Moore, Inception, Hereafter, The Way Back

Oscar Talk: Diane Lane vs. Annette Bening vs. Julianne Moore, Inception, Hereafter, The Way Back
There's still a long way to go in the Oscar race. Kris Tapley and I debate whether Secretariat is this year's mainstream Blind Side, Diane Lane is this year's Sandra Bullock, Julianne Moore and Annette Bening will both make it for The Kids Are All Right, and if Chris Nolan's Inception, John Cameron Mitchell's Rabbit Hole, Martin Scorsese's Shutter Island, Pixar's Toy Story 3, Peter Weir's The Way Back, and Clint Eastwood's Hereafter have a shot at the top ten.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 9, 2010 1:39 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Streep and Bridges, Burton and Kong, Damon at the Zoo, Mischer on Betty White as Oscar Host

- Meryl Streep and Jeff Bridges - yes, please! Production Weekly says the pair, a pinnacle of Oscar clout, are finalizing deals to star as a couple undergoing marriage counseling in dramedy Great Hope Springs. ThePlaylist also notes that Philip Seymour Hoffman was suggested to play the couple's doctor, but his schedule may exclude him from that possibility. I Am Sam director Jessie Nelson is lined up to direct from a script written by Vanessa Taylor, a TV writer and producer who worked on series Alias, Everwood and Tell Me You Love Me.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • June 24, 2010 5:29 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Reitman's Elliot Allagash, Lion King in 3-D and Disney Homes

- Jason Reitman's Right of Way Films has picked up Simon Rich's excesses-of-the-rich satire Elliot Allagash, reports THR. Current SNL writer Rich will adapt his book, which follows a picked-on private school student who is taken under the wing of another student, the villainous, drunken Allagash. While Reitman does intend to produce, he may not direct. The filmmaker is currently developing Bonzai Shadowhands with The Office's Rainn Wilson starring as a once-great ninja who is leading a dull life. Right of Way Films was co-created with Indian Paintbrush, backed by billionaire Steven Rales, who will produce and finance the project.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • June 23, 2010 5:29 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Raimi Goes to Oz, Jesus Henry Christ, Feds Approve Box Office Trading, Somewhere Trailer

- The acting power house duo of Michael Sheen (Frost/Nixon, the under-appreciated The Damned United) and Toni Collette (United States of Tara, Little Miss Sunshine) is joining Dennis Lee's Jesus Henry Christ, reports Variety. The comedy is based on Lee's 2003 Oscar-winning student film of the same name, but as The Playlist points out, its plot resembles Sundance hit The Kids are All Right, which boasts its own power house trio (Annette Bening, Julianne Moore and Mark Ruffalo): children search for biological truth. With Lee's lack of hits (his first feature Fireflies in the Garden hasn't been released, and Rotten Tomatoes 25% isn't a good sign), and The Kids are All Right's high profile, this feature needs Sheen and Collette to reinvent the wheel.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • June 15, 2010 3:53 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Bourne #4, Green Lantern Sequel, Monsterpocalypse and Inception Spot

In Development: - Bourne #4 is coming. Tony Gilroy is back in the saddle to write The Bourne Legacy as a sequel, not prequel, to the franchise starring Matt Damon as Jason Bourne, as well as a "Bourne Bible." The film is not based on the book The Bourne Legacy (written by Eric Van Lustbader, not original novelist Robert Ludlum, who died in 2001) and is set for release in 2012. Damon says he won't do it unless director Paul Greengrass returns (Greengrass directed Ultimatum and Supremacy, while Doug Liman directed the 2002 kick-off The Bourne Identity). [Anne Thompson: I'd like to see Gilroy--in many ways the series' true creator, and a crackerjack director himself (Michael Clayton, Duplicity)-- do the honors. Would Damon work with him? After he sees the script, maybe.]
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • June 10, 2010 9:20 AM
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  • 0 Comments

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