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Thompson on Hollywood

Scott Pilgrim vs. Universal and the Matrix

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World's bottom line comes down to the same problem that has faced a long line of Universal projects. It was an indie movie that cost too much to be successful inside the studio paradigm and should have been produced and released on a smaller less ambitious scale at the studio's specialty division Focus Features, which could have nurtured it and sent it into the world on a more limited basis and built on the film's strong word-of-mouth from its narrow base. To them a $12 million gross would have been fine. To Universal, it's less than the film's marketing budget. (A funny mash-up of Scott Pilgrim vs. The Matrix is below.)
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 23, 2010 11:37 AM
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  • 8 Comments

Clooney's The American: New Trailer, Pictures

The American, from director Anton Corbijn (Control), arrives in theaters on September 1st, opting out of the fall fest circuit. George Clooney, who followed his charmingly vulnerable role in Up in The Air with shaggy humor in the less impressive The Men Who Stare At Goats, now returns to his commercial bread-and-butter as the side-burned assassin whose "last job" isn't as cut-and-dried as he'd hope. It never is.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 19, 2010 5:30 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Promos: Frank Miller Does Gucci, Funny or Die Does Piranha 3D Oscar Ad

Graphic novelist-turned-filmmaker Frank Miller (Sin City) has directed a new Gucci advertisement for Guilt, a line of penance-pursuing perfume for the Italian luxury goods giant. The ad is so special that they've only released a teaser. The real, full-length commercial premieres at the MTV Movie Awards on September 12, when Miller fans will get to see Rachel Evan Wood drive a flaming car towards Chris Evans. The trailer showcases the iconic Miller/Rodriguez style. Not sure how this will effect the targeted demo, especially Miller fans...
  • By Cameron Carlson
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  • August 18, 2010 9:59 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Trailer and Awards Watch: Love and Other Drugs

Twentieth Century Fox is planning an awards-campaign for its R-rated sexy romance Love and Other Drugs, from writer-director-producer Edward Zwick (Glory, The Last Samurai, Blood Diamond). He is that rare studio director who is conversant in both the language of mainstream big-budget moviemaking and intimate drama. He and partner Marshall Herskovitz delivered the acutely-observed TV series Thirtysomething, Once and Again, Relativity and My So-Called Life. So much sweat and tears go into such long-running shows that Zwick can be forgiven for steering toward testosterone action in his movie work.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 15, 2010 6:36 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Trailer Watch: James Brooks' How Do You Know

This How Do You Know trailer looks promising. Closely observed relationship comedy is what writer-director James L. Brooks does best. He sweats years over these originals to make them come out looking effortless and funny, and only rarely does he miss (Spanglish). And each of the stars--Reese Witherspoon and her two swains, Owen Wilson and Paul Rudd, and Jack Nicholson as his father-- look sweetly comfortable inside their wheelhouse. I'm there. Sony opens the movie December 17--an award-season friendly position.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 14, 2010 1:15 AM
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  • 1 Comment

The Illusionist: Trailer and Early Reviews

The Illusionist: Trailer and Early Reviews
2-D lives! The Illusionist, the latest animated feature from the French animator behind The Triplets of Belleville, Sylvain Chomet, didn't make it to Cannes after it scored big in Berlin in February. Sony Pictures Classics scooped up the film, which is based on an unproduced screenplay by the late great writer-director-star Jacques Tati about a "dying breed of entertainer." Chomet drew a tall, gangly, elegant character much like Tati's 50s persona in such films as Les Vacances de Mr. Hulot.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 13, 2010 4:36 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Trailer Watch: Winners and Losers

For all the material that played great at Comic-Con, some trailers and footage did not go over well at all.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 10, 2010 9:18 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Super Hero Glut: Will Marvel and DC Projects Get Repetitive?

Super Hero Glut: Will Marvel and DC Projects Get Repetitive?
There are many many comics movies in our future. How many of them will moviegoers be able to ingest? How many will turn out to be any good? Will fatigue set in, as Matthew Vaughn, the director of X-Men: First Class, predicts?
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 10, 2010 4:54 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Trailer Watch: Burlesque Stars Cher, Tucci, Aguilera

Never underestimate Screen Gems topper Clint Culpepper. More than most studio execs, he gets to put together an eclectic range of projects under Sony's low-budget Screen Gems label because he's got that magic gut instinct for what audiences want and how to sell it to them. Since 1999, Culpepper has figured out which pictures to make without stepping on the toes of big Columbia and little Sony Pictures Classics: horror, urban and teen flicks like the Underworld, Hostel and Resident Evil franchises and Dear John.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 6, 2010 4:51 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Take Shyamalan's Name Off the Devil Trailer!

Take Shyamalan's Name Off the Devil Trailer!
M. Night's Shyamalan's The Last Airbender was slammed by critics: it earned an abysmal 8% on the Tomatometer. No question that since Shyamalan's strong breakout The Sixth Sense, followed by Unbreakable and Signs, his last features (The Village, Lady in the Water, and The Happening) are trending downward with both critics and more important, audiences. And movie sites have not hesitated to catalogue everything wrong with the director, and to offer constructive advice.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 4, 2010 5:01 AM
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  • 5 Comments

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