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Thompson on Hollywood

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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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

Trailer Watch: Coens Western True Grit Stars Bridges, Brolin, Damon

True Grit is the 2010 movie I cannot wait to see--and the big unknown for Oscar watchers. We'll all have to wait until Joel and Ethan Coen finish the movie in time for a December 25 release. But the trailer hit today (below).
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 27, 2010 11:33 AM
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  • 3 Comments

Trailer Watch: Client 9: Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer, Inside Job

Two excellent Wall Street exposes, Alex Gibney's Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer (on demand October 1, theaters November 4) and Charles Ferguson's Inside Job (NYFF October 1, NY October 8, LA October 15) serve as brainy fact-packed companion pieces to Oliver Stone's commercial sequel Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, which opened at number one this weekend. Here are trailers for both Oscar-worthy docs:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 26, 2010 5:43 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Trailer Watch: Bollywood Robot Stars Rai, Rajni

Screenwriter Damon Lindelof (Lost) just tweeted that he was going to India, possibly to see this movie, Shankar's Robot, due out September 24, starring Aishwarya Rai and Rajnikanth, plus a lot of visual effects and music by A. R. Rahman. Looks like Hollywood remake fodder to me.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 24, 2010 11:56 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Magnolia/Magnet Add Fest Fave 13 Assassins to Asian Roster

Continuing to show their ownership of Asian action fare, Magnolia's genre label Magnet Releasing scooped up U.S. rights to Takashi Miike’s 19th century samurai action flick 13 Assassins, which recently played the Venice and Toronto fests, will screen at the London fest and closes Fantastic Fest in Austin.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 23, 2010 6:01 AM
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Trailer Watch: Kate Winslet as Mildred Pierce

One of the great, satisfying page-turners is James M. Cain's 1941 Mildred Pierce, which was turned into an excellent 1945 movie starring Joan Crawford. (Several of Cain's hardboiled novels worked as films, including The Postman Always Rings Twice and Double Indemnity). Well, the Killer team of Christine Vachon and Todd Haynes have adapted the novel into a five-part HBO mini-series. The trailer ran before HBO's debut of Boardwalk Empire Sunday night.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 20, 2010 3:25 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Clip Watch: Mirren, Willis Play CIA Seniors in Red

Summit introduced their grown-up thriller Red at Comic-Con, where star Helen Mirren wore an American Splendor t-shirt in solidarity with the late great Harvey Pekar.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 17, 2010 9:46 AM
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Lionsgate Goes for Oscar Gold on Rabbit Hole, Starring Kidman

Lionsgate is diving back into the Oscar race--this is the studio that delivered the Oscar-winning Precious--by acquiring North American rights to John Cameron Mitchell's Rabbit Hole, starring Nicole Kidman, Aaron Eckhart and Dianne Wiest, which debuted in Toronto September 13. The movie, adapted by playwright David Lindsay-Abaire’s from his Pulitzer-prize-winning play, went over well with critics here. Kidman’s Blossom Films developed and produced the film, which tells the story of two parents grieving the loss of their four-year-old boy in an accident. It's a tour-de-force role for Kidman, who won the best actress Oscar for The Hours. An Oscar campaign was part of the deal negotiation.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 16, 2010 10:23 AM
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Fest Review Round-Up: Never Let Me Go, Tabloid, Somewhere

Fest Review Round-Up: Never Let Me Go, Tabloid, Somewhere
While the Venice Fest is on its fourth day, Telluride got under way Friday night with screenings of Mark Romanek's Never Let Me Go, Errol Morris's latest doc Tabloid and Peter Weir's prisoner-of-war drama The Way Back, which fewer people instantly reviewed. @EugeneNovikov tweeted: "THE WAY BACK (B) I was rapt for the first half- Weir at his hypnotic best - then becomes a bit repetitive and mechanical (if still powerful)." UPDATE: Here's the NYT's A.O. Scott.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 3, 2010 8:30 AM
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  • 11 Comments

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