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Thompson on Hollywood

Media Watch: AOL Buys Huffington Post, Huffington To Run Media Group

AOL has placed a big bet on content going forward. And now it's swallowed Blog Queen Arianna Huffington and her traffic magnet, six-year-old privately-held The Huffington Post, into its vast maw, paying $315 million. Here's Huffington and ATD's Kara Swisher, who interviewed Huffington and AOL CEO Tim Armstrong at the Super Bowl, where the deal was consummated just after midnight (video below). According to Variety:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 7, 2011 2:40 AM
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Super Bowl Movie Ads Go Viral Early On Web: Watch Videos UPDATED

Super Bowl Movie Ads Go Viral Early On Web: Watch Videos UPDATED
@JonFavreau knows what he is doing: he posted Universal's Cowboys & Aliens (July 29) Super Bowl XLV spot hours ahead of time on Twitter (and YouTube) in advance of the Super Bowl (below). Now you can see Harrison Ford and Daniel Craig fighting the aliens--they're like fighter planes. Paramount went all-out on five movie spots (which Fox sells at about $3 million for 30 seconds, or $100,000 a second): they're showing Marvel's Captain America and Thor, plus J.J. Abrams' Super 8 and the third Transformers, Dark of the Moon, as well as Rango (March 4) which reunites Pirate's Gore Verbinski and Johnny Depp.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 6, 2011 7:55 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Weekly Wrap: Sundance, SXSW, SBIFF, Oscar Watch, Kings Speech vs. Social Network, In Production

Weekly Wrap: Sundance, SXSW, SBIFF, Oscar Watch, Kings Speech vs. Social Network, In Production
FESTIVALS
  • By Anne Thompson & Sophia Savage
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  • February 5, 2011 11:18 AM
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Burton's Dark Shadows Gets Green, Winterbottom's Hardy Trishna Reinterpretation

- Tim Burton's reworking of 60s gothic soap opera Dark Shadows centers on vampire Barnabas Collins (to be played by Johnny Depp) and his escapades with witches, monsters, ghosts and the like. Eva Green will play the powerful witch Angelique, with whom Collins enjoys a love/hate relationship. Since her breakout role in Casino Royale, the French actress has gone somewhat unnoticed (she had a supporting role in 2007's The Golden Compass). Now, she has Perfect Sense (see trailer below), boarding school drama Cracks (March 18), a Maria Callas TV biopic and more to come. Vampire expert Seth Grahame-Smith adapted Dark Shadows; he also wrote Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (fitting, since he wrote the novel).
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • February 4, 2011 9:28 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Jamie Foxx Presents: Thunder Soul, A Tribute To Kashmere's Funk Powerhouse

Jamie Foxx Presents: Thunder Soul, A Tribute To Kashmere's Funk Powerhouse
Music doc Thunder Soul is a heartfelt celebration of Funk and the transformative powers of a great teacher. Mark Landsman's doc, which won an audience award at SXSW and Los Angeles Film Fest, among other fests last year, also earned an Indie Spirit nomination. It's about how in the 1970s one teacher turned Houston's Kashmere High School jazz band into a tight-grooving funk award-winner, years in a row. (Think Glee on Funk steroids.) Landsman follows the alumni from Kashmere, who after 35 years, travel home to play a tribute concert for 92-year-old Conrad Johnson.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 4, 2011 7:52 AM
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The Twilight Saga Soundtracks, Volume 1: Music Videos and Performances

Music Videos and Performances From The Twilight Saga Soundtracks: Volume 1, a compilation of 22 hit songs from each of the three films, is now available on Blu-Ray, DVD and digital download via iTunes. This visual soundtrack includes Paramore (video below), Metric, Muse, Death Cab for Cutie and more.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • February 3, 2011 9:05 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Sanctum: "Visually Arresting," "Paper-Thin Personalities"; Cameron Promos on Twitter

Sanctum: "Visually Arresting," "Paper-Thin Personalities"; Cameron Promos on Twitter
Sanctum opens February 4. James Cameron produced (along with a handful of others), and Aussie director Alistair Grierson helmed the 3-D project. Cameron joined Twitter on January 28 per Ryan Seacrest's suggestion. The filmmaker has already amassed 48,200 followers (he's following 38, mostly scientific orgs). Since joining, Cameron's focus has been mostly #Sanctum promos (see tweets below), for which he calls himself "such a ho":
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • February 2, 2011 7:50 AM
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Hammer & DiCaprio Join List of Hunks Who Kiss On Screen: See Videos

Armie Hammer says that Clint Eastwood's J. Edgar biopic with Leonardo DiCaprio will feature more than one lip-locking scene. "It's not a kissing scene—it's a ton of kissing scenes," he told E! at the SAG Awards. Hammer plays Clyde Tolson, the alleged secret lover of J. Edgar Hoover (played by DiCaprio). Shooting is set to begin this month, and in true Eastwood style, the boys will be getting down to business without much fussing around. Adds Hammer:"I'm so excited to work with Clint, and from what I hear, he's not the type of director who has a ton of rehearsals and takes. I think we're just sort of thrown in there and have to make it happen…I actually just met [Leo] for the first time Saturday at the DGA Awards. Sure, we talked business. He's a talented actor. I'm not nervous or afraid of it being awkward. The script is great. The scenes are in there for a reason. I'm really excited."
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • February 2, 2011 6:20 AM
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IBM Centennial Shorts: 100 x 100 vs. Errol Morris's They Were There

To celebrate their centennial anniversary, IBM has produced two videos (below). Compare and contrast 100x100, which tells IBM's history through the eyes of 100 different people, from a 100-year-old to a newborn baby, with Errol Morris’s 30-minute doc They Were There, scored by his frequent collaborator, Philip Glass.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 1, 2011 8:15 AM
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Trailer Music Live's Multi-Media Orchestra Performances in NYC and Moscow

The calling card of movies --the trailer--inspired Trailer Music Live, a multi-media concert experience featuring movie footage accompanied by live orchestral performances from over 100 musicians and singers, which is not used in the films themselves and does not appear on movie soundtracks. Here, they get reborn.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • February 1, 2011 7:45 AM
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  • 0 Comments

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