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Thompson on Hollywood

Movies in Limbo During Distribution Fall-Out: The Debt, Don't Be Afraid of the Dark, Haywire

Movies in Limbo During Distribution Fall-Out: The Debt, Don't Be Afraid of the Dark, Haywire
Miramax is no more. And I challenge you to name the specialty division's new owner. For $660 million, Disney sold the Tiffany label built and abandoned by the Weinsteins--that once represented class, style and Oscar contenders--to Filmyard Holdings, a consortium led by financeer Ron Tutor and partners including Colony Capitol and the beleaguered David Bergstein. And Disney decided finally not to release two Miramax films still on its schedule, John Madden's The Debt, a Mossad thriller starring Helen Mirren, and Guillermo del Toro's production of rookie Troy Nixey's R-rated scare-fest Don't Be Afraid of the Dark, starring Katie Holmes and Guy Pearce, which was well-reviewed by the LAT.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 13, 2010 4:59 AM
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  • 5 Comments

Trailer Watch: Will Voyage of the Dawn Treader Be the Best Narnia?

I am not a fan of the Chronicles of Narnia movies. Walden Media's $180 million The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe was a huge global hit ($748 million) while the $225 million Prince Caspian, based on the weakest book in the series, was a relative disappointment that did well enough overseas ($419.5 million worldwide) to warrant a sequel. From age nine, I reread the C.S. Lewis Narnia books avidly, none more often than The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, which is the best page-turning adventure tale of the lot, complete with seafaring travels, dragon, flamboyant talking mouse Reepicheep, the spirituality of the godly lion Aslan and of course a voyage to the end of the world. So there's faint hope that this one might turn out better than the past two. Faint.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 7, 2010 6:55 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Easy A Star Emma Stone Lands Spider-Man Lead as Gwen Stacy

If you don't know who Emma Stone is, get thee to a showing of Will Gluck's witty high school comedy Easy A (trailer below), one of those easy-to-digest teen flicks that's delectably smart and high concept enough to play across a wide demo. (That's hard to pull off.) The ingredient that makes it magic is Emma Stone, who popped opposite Jesse Eisenberg in Zombieland and now has landed the plum role as Gwen Stacy opposite Andrew Garfield as the new Peter Parker in Sony/Marvel's reboot of Spider-Man.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 5, 2010 10:40 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Trailer Watch: The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest, Rapace Interview

Music Box Films is opening the third installment of the Swedish global hit Millennium trilogy (based on the Stieg Larssen novels), The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest, stateside on October 29.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 4, 2010 10:11 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Be a Douchebag With Your iPhone

Drake Doremus' low-brow Sundance comedy Douchebag, which opened in New York over the weekend, is about two brothers, one on the verge of marriage, who go on a wild goose chase to find the other's fifth grade girlfriend. While some big studio films (Tron: Legacy comes to mind) have developed iPhone apps, this is one of the first little-known indies to try to build a following with a free iTunes iPhone app, available for free download at the Apple app store. (Let us know if there are others.)
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • October 4, 2010 6:36 AM
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Trailer Watch: True Grit Long Version

Paramount tacked the long True Grit trailer in front of The Social Network this weekend. Now I know more than I want to know, typically. Instead of wondering if Josh Brolin and Matt Damon are both bad guys, we see that Damon plays a Texas Ranger helping Bridges' U.S. Marshall Rooster Cogburn on a two-man job to track 14-year-old Mattie Ross's target: Tom Chaney (Brolin), the man who killed her father. And we get more glimpses of banter among the group tracking Brolin.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 4, 2010 5:21 AM
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  • 3 Comments

A Global Warming Campaign from Richard Curtis. Watch it. No Pressure.

This Richard Curtis 10:10 global warming spot will get your attention:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 1, 2010 1:02 AM
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  • 12 Comments

Bonnie and Clyde Director Arthur Penn Dies at 88

Theatre and film director Arthur Penn died in his Manhattan apartment Tuesday night of congestive heart failure, reports A.P. Penn died a year after his brother, photographer Irving Penn.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 29, 2010 9:00 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Del Toro Talks Hobbit, Mountains of Madness, Don't Be Afraid of the Dark, Julia's Eyes, Biutiful

Del Toro Talks Hobbit, Mountains of Madness, Don't Be Afraid of the Dark, Julia's Eyes, Biutiful
When Guillermo del Toro left New Zealand after two years prepping Peter Jackson's The Hobbit, he was escaping from a box (MGM's financial issues had frozen the project), but he also didn't know what he was going to do next. Since then, the director/producer has been making up for lost time, making deals all over town: Disney, where he's doing Haunted Mansion, and which is releasing his Miramax horror production Don't Be Afraid of the Dark; DreamWorks Animation; and Fox, where he's excited about returning to big-budget directing with James Cameron's Mountains of Madness. Del Toro talks about his productions Julia's Eyes and Biutiful, which played in Toronto, as well as his other projects, in three flip cam interviews posted below, along with the Julia's Eyes trailer.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 28, 2010 10:59 AM
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  • 0 Comments

As Moviegoers Cool on 3-D, Next Breakout Could Be Tron: Legacy

It's amazing how far the 3-D clock has turned in a short time. In classic Hollywood fashion, the industry seems to have cooked its own 3-D goose in just a few years. After talking theater owners across America into building some 5000 digital cinemas equipped with 3-D projectors, the studios have jumped eagerly onto the 3-D bandwagon, throwing one movie after the other into shoddy quickie retrofit post-production. While high-quality early efforts such as Avatar ($3 billion worldwide) and Alice in Wonderland ($116 million opening weekend) pulled in huge percentages of 3-D patrons, audiences swiftly got pickier about what they were going to pay for after getting burned on such B-efforts as Clash of the Titans and The Last Airbender. If you track opening weekend grosses on 3-D vs. 2-D, there's a precipitous drop from December 2009 to August 2010.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 27, 2010 12:37 PM
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  • 2 Comments

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