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Cameron talks Avatar

When I talked to James Cameron at Comic-Con (below), he admitted that he and producer Jon Landau know that they have a lot of heavy lifting to do before the 3D sci-fi epic Avatar hits screens on December 18. 24 minutes of footage played great at the Con, where Cameron announced that Fox will screen 15 minutes in IMAX on August 21 for free on 35 screens around the country. But the VFX-packed fantasy lacks major stars and is not based on anything (god forbid, it's an original), so the movie will need a major marketing push from Fox. Which is what the Con was all about.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 30, 2009 2:58 AM
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Direct to VOD: Cinetic's Film Buff Launches with New Orleans Mon Amour

More and more, movies that ordinarily would get a theatrical release are taking the direct train to VOD. In this instance, writer-director Michael Almereyda's New Orleans Mon Amour, which was filmed in post-Katrina New Orleans with real folks as well as a few good actors, played the 2008 fest circuit, including SXSW. Now the hurricane recovery drama (which conjures up the post-atomic classic Hiroshima Mon Amour) will make its debut July 15 on Cable VOD via the new channel Cinetic Film Buff, followed by portals iTunes and Amazon VOD.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 6, 2009 2:20 AM
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More: Video

Trailer Watch: Jennifer's Body

The mighty combo of producer Jason Reitman, director Karyn Kusama, writer Diablo Cody and Transformers hotty Megan Fox (whether or not she can act) should add up to a very commercial Jennifer's Body. This angry-at-men demonic horror flick reminds me for some reason of Attack of the 50-Foot Woman. This is one of several pics (also including The Rocker and the upcoming I Love You, Beth Cooper) developed by Fox Searchlight's one-time sibling Fox Atomic to be released, not by Searchlight, but by Big Fox, which is sticking a trailer --not the red band trailer below-- in front of Bruno this Friday.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 6, 2009 1:15 AM
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Trailer Watch: St. Trinians

BODY:Oliver Parker's teen girls run amuck comedy St. Trinian's, an indie hit in the UK, is opening stateside August 28. Much as I admire the always brave and forthright Colin Firth, the wackily playful Russell Brand and Rupert Everett in drag, this could go either way:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 30, 2009 12:55 PM
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More: Video, Trailers

Hurt Locker, Other Award Pics Directed by Women

The reviews Kathryn Bigelow has nabbed for The Hurt Locker (91 on Metacritic) are noteworthy. That doesn't mean that the movie will score at the boxoffice for Summit, but it's off to the second-strongest start for an indie this year. The movie has a shot at one of ten slots in the wide open Oscar best picture race. Even the NYT's tough-minded Manohla Dargis, who has long shared with me a sense of dismay at the thin ranks of gifted women directors, was moved to step out of the reviewer's box to praise Bigelow here.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 28, 2009 2:36 AM
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Trailer Watch: 50 Best Trailers

Some folks at IFC.com scoured YouTube for the best trailers so you wouldn't have to. They picked the best 50. Or did they? Here are my faves:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 25, 2009 6:17 AM
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More: Video, Trailers

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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Family Films: Disney's Ponyo Works, Indie Hachiko Remake Doesn't

One's Japanese, the other isn't. And there's the rub.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 18, 2009 3:15 AM
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Trailer Watch: Scorsese and DiCaprio's Shutter Island

So far, so good on movies made from the mystery novels of Boston-based Dennis Lehane: Clint Eastwood's Mystic River and Ben Affleck's Gone Baby Gone. Up next: Shutter Island, Martin Scorsese's latest reteaming with Leonardo DiCaprio, who plays a U.S. Marshall tracking an inmate who has escaped from an insane asylum on a remote Massachusetts island. It looks like Escape from Alcatraz meets The Shining. Paramount releases the film October 2. Check it out:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 10, 2009 6:35 AM
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Summer Movies: Drag Me to Hell, Away We Go

Every once in a while I am reminded that my taste is not the same as the mass audience. I can usually call a blockbuster like 300 or Star Trek--in other words, I ignore the tracking and opening weekend predictions to insist--THIS MOVIE IS SO GOOD IT WILL DO BUSINESS. Sometimes, thank God, word-of-mouth counts for something, so that a movie becomes A MUST-SEE.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 5, 2009 8:16 AM
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