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Thompson on Hollywood

What Went Wrong with Prince of Persia

What Went Wrong with Prince of Persia
I'd rather be watching HBO. That's my new T-shirt mantra. This holiday weekend I'll lay odds, sight unseen, that watching the third installment (HBO Saturday 9 PM) of writer Peter Morgan's Tony Blair trilogy, The Special Relationship, about the British ex-prime minister's relationship with then-president Bill Clinton (Dennis Quaid) will prove more satisfying than the miscast, over-wrought $200-million Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time or the shoddily written and executed Sex and the City 2, which hordes of women will flock to see, nasty reviews be damned.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 28, 2010 11:33 AM
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  • 4 Comments

Cannes Day One: Robin Hood Gets Off to a Slow Burn

Cannes Day One: Robin Hood Gets Off to a Slow Burn
With Ridley Scott recovering from knee surgery, that left Russell Crowe, Cate Blanchett and Imagine's Brian Grazer to field the press conference for the 63rd Cannes opener, Robin Hood.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 12, 2010 3:10 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Life of Pi Seeks Fox Green Light with Ang Lee Directing in 3-D

Remember The Life of Pi? It's been seven years since Fox 2000's Elizabeth Gabler acquired the rights to Canadian Yann Martel's Booker prize-winning 2001 global bestseller about a boy adrift in a lifeboat in the Pacific with a Bengal tiger. What's taking so long? Well, this kind of lyrical literary material is tricky to get right. M. Night Shyamalan fell out. So did Alfonso Cuaron and Jean-Pierre Jeunet. Finally, it may get made thanks to Ang Lee--and 3-D.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 28, 2010 2:42 AM
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  • 2 Comments

3-D Divide: Upfront vs. Retrofit

3-D Divide: Upfront vs. Retrofit
No one in Hollywood will listen now that Avatar and Alice in Wonderland have scored the mother-lode of grosses as 3-D movies. Could Alice have done as well in 2-D as a perfect match between name director, beloved children's book, and family-friendly studio? No, confirms Disney, because 70% of its grosses came from 3-D screens.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 31, 2010 1:29 AM
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  • 10 Comments

First Look: Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland

USA Today presents a first look at Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland, starring Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham-Carter and Anne Hathaway, pictured here as the Mad Hatter and the white and red queens, respectively. The on-line story allows you to explore cool large photos via zooms.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 21, 2009 6:45 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Avatar: Cameron's New Frontier

The irony is that while the latest Star Trek invokes the old promise to take you where no man has gone before, the movie itself, while giving you a very good time, takes you back to a familiar and pleasant sci-fi universe, and does so using existing cinematic technology.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 27, 2009 7:28 AM
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  • 0 Comments

3-D Conquers NAB

I'm out of my element in Vegas for my first-ever National Association of Broadcasters convention. Monday I did a Q & A with stop-motion auteur Henry Selick, who ran some nifty clips from Nightmare Before Christmas, James and the Giant Peach and the surprise $74-million hit Coraline, which is starting to open in Europe. View this photo.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 21, 2009 8:41 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Avatar's James Cameron Talks 3D

Variety tech wonk David S. Cohen conducts an in-depth interview with James Cameron about something he knows a little bit about: 3D. An early believer and innovator in the technology that looks to revolutionize the way many movies are made, Cameron expounds at length. (He reveals some tech details on his next 3D effort, the long-awaited Avatar, due in 2009.) Here's a sampling of their email exchange:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 11, 2008 6:05 AM
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  • 0 Comments

The Digital Future: Are These the Good Old Days?

David Cohen here, while Anne Thompson is away for the week. Had lunch recently with tech legend Ray Feeney to talk about what's going on with visual effects, digital production and 3-D. Ray has been saying for a while now that the industry is undergoing it's biggest transformation since the advent of sound. Bigger than color, certainly. But the question is, what is the industry being transformed into? Ray's argument is that an all-digital pipeline -- everything from cameras to post to digital projectors to mobile video -- isn't just a different way of making movies, it's a new medium. But when every new medium is introduced, people start by doing what they already know how to do. In early movies, they tried filming stage plays. ("The Cocoanuts," anyone?) In early television, they did soaps (borrowed from radio), long-form dramas (like the movies) and variety shows (like vaudeville) until "I Love Lucy" pointed the way to the mega-hit sitcom. That's where we are now with digital moviemaking: using the new tools to make the same kind of thing. We're still waiting for the "I Love Lucy" of the digital age. Ray says:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 24, 2008 5:00 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Oscar Watch: Bay Hosts Transformers Tech Show

Transformers director Michael Bay returned to the scene of the crime Thursday night at the Cary Grant mixing stage at the Sony lot to revisit the Oscar-nominated achievements in VFX and sound. The place was packed with filmmaking geeks eager to hear and see the behind-the-scenes machinations that go into a formidable FX epic like Transformers.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 8, 2008 7:42 AM
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  • 0 Comments

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