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Thompson on Hollywood

Avatar Featurette Hypes Hardware

This Avatar international featurette invites viewers to engage with the exotic planet Pandora and the human hardware that James Cameron and Co. designed for this movie. We see Sam Worthington arriving on the hostile planet where scientist Sigourney Weaver and pilot Michelle Rodriguez do their rounds, under the watchful eye of tough-talking macho-security chief Stephen Lang.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 20, 2009 2:49 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Hillcoat Talks The Road

It's been a long haul for the film adaptation of the 2006 Cormac McCarthy bestseller The Road, which producer Nick Wechsler acquired before it was published. With backing from 2929 Entertainment and distributor The Weinstein Co., he approached Australian director John Hillcoat after he had made the much-admired 2005 western The Proposition, a stylishly gritty take on the genre written by Nick Cave and starring Guy Pearce and Danny Huston as estranged brothers.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 19, 2009 9:23 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Kevin Smith vs. Bruce Willis: "A Lion in Winter"

Kevin Smith has been open about his difficulties directing Bruce Willis on the set of his new comedy co-starring Tracy Morgan, A Couple of Cops. "He's undirectable," he said. At the New Moon premiere Smith kidded producer James Jacks, saying, "Dude, why didn't you tell me!" The movie may have turned out okay (here's an early AICN review), but point is, Smith and I agreed, the glory days for stars are over.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 19, 2009 7:44 AM
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  • 5 Comments

The Twilight Saga: New Moon Premiere

The hot ticket in Hollywood Monday night was the Twilight Saga: New Moon premiere in Westwood. While diehard fans camped out all weekend for the chance to win tickets to the event, Hollywood dads scored tickets to win points with their daughters. One father after another scratched his head over the movie, but their teenagers were all smiles. The Mann Village in Westwood was packed with young girls. Director Todd Field flew in from Maine with his daughter and a pal; also spotted with their kinder were Larry David, Jim Stern and Kevin Smith, who said, "Now I know how clueless my parents felt when they took me to see The Empire Strikes Back."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 17, 2009 7:11 AM
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  • 6 Comments

Ten Things I Learned at the Governors Awards

Ten Things I Learned at the Governors Awards
1. The Governors Awards will not be televised. At the orange Grand Ballroom at Hollywood and Highland Saturday night, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences gave out four honorary Oscars at a new annual event on the awards calendar. Academy executive director Bruce Davis, president Tom Sherak, Oscar show producers Bill Mechanic and Adam Shankman, and Oscar-host-to-be Alec Baldwin all attended this relaxed, celebratory black-tie cocktail and dinner party. The ceremony awarding four honorary Oscars to actress Lauren Bacall, producers John Calley and Roger Corman and cinematographer Gordon Willis, punctuated by repeated standing ovations, lasted three hours and 18 minutes, to be exact.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 15, 2009 8:13 AM
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  • 5 Comments

South Park Skewers The Cove and Avatar

Bad news: the dolphin-killing expose The Cove did not land an International Documentary Association best feature nomination.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 14, 2009 8:54 AM
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  • 3 Comments

A Serious Man's Michael Stuhlbarg Talks Coens

A Serious Man's Michael Stuhlbarg Talks Coens
In this three-part flipcam interview on the pool terrace of the Sunset Plaza Hotel, A Serious Man star Michael Stuhlbarg talks about how he came to be cast in the period dramedy, working with the Coen brothers, and how he is handling his serious good fortune. The fall release is likely to earn kudos with critics' groups at year's end and could be a factor with the Oscars as well. Will the Academy actors recognize this theater star, or is he too unknown? Well, he has now arrived. Next up: a major HBO series, Martin Scorsese's Boardwalk Empire.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 13, 2009 4:29 AM
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  • 4 Comments

Up in the Air TV Spot

Here's the TV spot of Jason Reitman's adaptation of Walter Kirn's Up in the Air, starring George Clooney as an air-mile-obsessed executive, that was shown on the season finale Mad Men.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 12, 2009 11:38 AM
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  • 3 Comments

Trailer Watch: Kick-Ass Hits Web

While the Kick-Ass footage at Comic-Con played well enough for Lionsgate to pick up the movie for release, I've heard the Matthew Vaughn movie is only sporadically brilliant. (I will check it out for myself; I missed an early Arclight screening.) After pirate trailers were posted on the web, the distrib has released the real thing (on the jump).
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 12, 2009 1:18 AM
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  • 2 Comments
More: Video, Trailers

The Pacific: Hanks, Spielberg talk WW II HBO Action

The Pacific: Hanks, Spielberg talk WW II HBO Action
The ten-part HBO mini-series The Pacific is a follow-up to Band of Brothers from World War II-obsessed exec producers Tom Hanks, Gary Goetzman and Steven Spielberg. It follows a similar m.o.: hire excellent unknown actors to inhabit the characters we follow (Damian Lewis broke out from Band of Brothers). In this featurette, Spielberg describes how the soldiers not only faced a formidable enemy playing by unfamiliar rules, but a hostile natural environment. The series--which boasts a pricetag of more than $200 million, more than double that of 12-parter Rome--is the most expensive in HBO's history. It launches March 2010.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 10, 2009 7:14 AM
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  • 2 Comments

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