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Thompson on Hollywood

NBC/Universal on Roof, Downey Likely Harvey Star, Movie Sound Cliches

It looks like GE is in serious talks with Comcast to buy NBC Universal, reports Sharon Waxman. As Vivendi looks to sell its 20 % stake in the company, which has suffered a tough year, Comacast may step into the breach. UPDATE: Here's the LAT.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 30, 2009 12:17 PM
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Indie Fallout: Should Studio Specialty Units Change Focus?

Indie Fallout: Should Studio Specialty Units Change Focus?
Ever since the Indie Summit last week, something has been nagging at me.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 30, 2009 3:58 AM
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  • 14 Comments

Who Should Play Barbie?

Of course we don't even know what take Universal will have on its live-action movie based on Mattel's 50-year-old Barbie doll. Will it be a broad family comedy? What period? Tone? Mattel's sixteen animated videos sold 75 million units worldwide. Now they're gearing up a movie based on the universally recognized girl toy.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 26, 2009 5:37 AM
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  • 14 Comments

Toronto Day Two: The Coens Deliver with A Serious Man

Joel and Ethan Coen's Latest, A Serious Man, is a portrait of a period (1967) and place (Minnesota) and milieu (Jewish) that the brothers know very well. They cast it with excellent actors; Richard Kind as pathetic Uncle Arthur and Adam Arkin as a well-heeled lawyer are probably the only recognizable names. The writer-directors start the movie off in a wintry shtetl, evoking the dread spirit the dybbuk hovering over an uneasy marriage. This movie is utterly assured, personal, serious, sad and very funny.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 11, 2009 9:51 AM
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  • 0 Comments

TIFF Watch: A Serious Man Clips

TIFF Watch: A Serious Man Clips
I'm making a quick transition between Telluride and Toronto, trying to catch up and get prepped, knowing that I will feel under the gun and behind for the next ten days, no matter what. It's the nature of the beast, even in relatively calm Telluride. Wednesday, travel day, I will post the first draft of my Oscar Predicts chart, which I will adjust frequently going forward into awards season.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 8, 2009 7:37 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Festival Season: Feast and Famine, Ten Hot Toronto Pick-Ups

Festival Season: Feast and Famine, Ten Hot Toronto Pick-Ups
Going into the fall festival season in Venice, Telluride, Toronto and New York, we know the following:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 1, 2009 10:07 AM
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  • 3 Comments

Jolie Considering Wanted 2

Right now, Universal Pictures needs a few good tentpoles, like Wanted 2. And right now they are sitting on pins and needles waiting for word to come back from Angelina Jolie, who is reading the new Wanted 2 script. Russian director Timur Bekmambetov has figured out a way to bring her ruthless assassin back from certain death in a sequel. But Jolie has to buy it first. And Universal will have to pay Jolie. She got $15 million last time. In a period when most movie star salaries are going down, hers is moving up.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 26, 2009 5:55 AM
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  • 15 Comments

Hollywood Health Report

Hollywood Health Report
Each day brings more news of a troubled company needing debt restructuring or a management overhaul. The Weinstein Co. and MGM are just the latest examples. All the studios face pressure from their corporate parents in a grim recession amid declining ad and DVD revenues. Sales are down across the board, including classic rereleases, and less precipitously, specialty titles.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 18, 2009 7:43 AM
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Inglourious Basterds: Recut, Nine Clips

Inglourious Basterds: Recut, Nine Clips
Quentin Tarantino's recut of Inglourious Basterds is one minute longer than the Cannes version, and much improved. It's a gorgeous movie with a great eclectic soundtrack crammed with everything from Ennio Morricone to a brilliant use of David Bowie's "Putting Out the Fire." (Trivia question: what movie debuted that song?)
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 9, 2009 1:52 AM
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  • 6 Comments

Lee Revamps Ride with the Devil

In the stellar career of Ang Lee, one movie stands out like a sore thumb, not only as one of his few boxoffice clunkers, but as a film which he edited for a studio. "Of the 11 films I worked on with Ang, it's the only one that was not his cut," says Lee's longtime writer-collaborator James Schamus, who will appear with Lee onstage at the Walter Reade after the work-in-progress director's cut of Ride with the Devil screens August 10 during the Film Society at Lincoln Center's complete Lee retrospective.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 6, 2009 11:31 AM
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  • 3 Comments

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