Blogroll

Thompson on Hollywood

Will Bradley Cooper and Joel Edgerton Board Soderbergh's Man From U.N.C.L.E.?

Despite the box office failure of his well-reviewed Warrior, which Lionsgate hopes critics will remember at the end of the year, Joel Edgerton continues to be courted as a leading man. Better than his offer to star in 300: Battle of Artemisia, is the chance to star in Steven Soderbergh's The Man from U.N.C.L.E.. Bradley Cooper is waiting to commit to the picture (as Napoleon Solo, which George Clooney turned down because of back problems) until it is clear who will be playing Russian agent Illya Kuryakin (possibly Edgerton).
  • By Anne Thompson and Sophia Savage
  • |
  • November 3, 2011 7:52 AM
  • |
  • 0 Comments

Peter Bart on Clint Eastwood and J. Edgar

Peter Bart on Clint Eastwood and J. Edgar
Clint Eastwood, the wily old coot, has long been adept at winning friends in influential places, and knows how to work the press better than anyone. His usual early-screening suspects include such critics as Scott Foundas and Todd McCarthy. Perhaps betraying his lack of awareness of how behind-the-pay-wall Variety is, Peter Bart was one of the hand-picked folks tipped to an advance Carmel Film Festival showing of J. Edgar, which opens the AFI Fest November 3 before hitting theaters November 9: At a moment when Hollywood is flailing about with tired remakes, Clint Eastwood, one of its more senior filmmakers, seems more determined than ever to stake new ground. His gripping new film "J. Edgar" is the polar opposite of contemporary studio product -- a searing biopic about a megalomaniacal right-wing ideologue. Under his four-decade reign, J. Edgar Hoover used the FBI to blackmail presidents and manipulate the media to mold his image as the nation's lone protector against gangsters and "Bolsheviks." Top politicians and reporters were scared to reveal that J. Edgar (superbly played by Leonardo DiCaprio) was a mama's boy with a gay lover. Eastwood's picture opens Nov. 9, so I am not going to review it here other than to say that it's consistent with Clint's legacy. His protagonists are a study in surprise -- who else would roam from Dirty Harry to Walt Kowalski (of "Gran Torino"), from Josie Wales to Nelson Mandela, from the troopers of Iwo Jima to a "Million Dollar Baby."
  • By Anne Thompson
  • |
  • October 24, 2011 9:40 AM
  • |
  • 0 Comments

Robert Downey Jr. Developing Perry Mason for the Big Screen; Listen & Watch Past Incarnations

Yet another TV brand heads to the movies. Will they never learn? But the casting is choice in this case: Robert Downey Jr. may bring Perry Mason to the big screen through Warner Bros. and Team Downey. Like the original Erle Stanley Gardner books--there are 82; Downey and producer David Gambino are looking for a writer to adapt their own original story based on the character--the film would be set in 1930s Los Angeles and would follow defense attorney Mason, his secretary Della Street, private investigator Paul Drake and courtroom adversary Hamilton Burger.
  • By Sophia Savage
  • |
  • October 5, 2011 5:17 AM
  • |
  • 3 Comments

Box Office Scandal: Circuit Dealing Pervades Small Towns, Flagship vs. Century Theatres

Box Office Scandal: Circuit Dealing Pervades Small Towns, Flagship vs. Century Theatres
In a David vs. Goliath face-off, indie-owned Flagship Theaters recently won an appeal in its crusade against Cinemark’s Century Theatres. Does the age-old practice of circuit dealing — an unethical way for chain exhibitors to muscle studios — still persist? Anthony D’Alessandro digs further into this taboo topic: What is circuit dealing, exactly? It’s a predatory film booking practice whereby multiplex chains strong-arm studios for product in a specific market. If a studio decides to book with the competition in a given community, usually a Mom-and-Pop venue, then the exhibitor will threaten to bar that film (or future films) from playing the entire chain.
  • By Anthony D'Alessandro
  • |
  • September 27, 2011 11:38 AM
  • |
  • 0 Comments

Descendants, Clooney, Streep Top Gurus 'O Gold Oscar Rankings

Descendants, Clooney, Streep Top Gurus 'O Gold Oscar Rankings
The Gurus have spoken. Post-festivals, Alexander Payne's The Descendants (1) has taken over the frontrunner spot from Steven Spielberg's unscreened period war adventure War Horse (2). Interestingly, Spielberg was considering submitting the film to Venice but decided not to do so. He usually likes to wait until the last possible minute to show his films. It's better NOT to be at the head of the pack, anyway. The Descendants' George Clooney (1) is also at the front of the Best Actor race.
  • By Anne Thompson
  • |
  • September 27, 2011 5:10 AM
  • |
  • 2 Comments

Box Office: Lion King Steals Home Run from Moneyball During Crowded Weekend

Box Office: Lion King Steals Home Run from Moneyball During Crowded Weekend
It was such a crowded weekend at the box office that Sunday estimates are unclear. Clearly, too many movies were aimed at men. Anthony D'Alessandro reports. If you asked distribution executives on Thursday what was going to be No. 1 at the weekend box office, they would have pointed at the other guy. Sony, Warner Bros. and Disney all had strong prospects, but knew they could easily lose to each other. And this had nothing to do with the usual fall award contenders.
  • By Anthony D'Alessandro
  • |
  • September 25, 2011 4:56 AM
  • |
  • 1 Comment

Contagion Holds Strong at Box Office; Burns Talks Script, Viral Power of Bloggers

Contagion Holds Strong at Box Office; Burns Talks Script, Viral Power of Bloggers
Steven Soderbergh has a solid commercial double in his disease thriller Contagion, which is holding strong at the box office in second place this weekend, with $44.2 million to date. Part of the credit goes to screenwriter Scott Z. Burns (The Bourne Ultimatum, The Informant) who helped to supply what Soderbergh calls "an ultra-realistic feel about a pandemic."
  • By Anne Thompson
  • |
  • September 19, 2011 2:37 AM
  • |
  • 0 Comments

The Late Great John Calley: Businessman with Soul of Artist, Life Saver

The Late Great John Calley: Businessman with Soul of Artist, Life Saver
Longtime Hollywood producer and studio executive John Calley has died after a long illness. He was 81. While at Warner Bros. in the 1970s (as production chief, president, and vice chairman), the controversial and groundbreaking movies Calley supervised included Alan Pakula's All the President's Men, Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange, William Friedkin's The Exorcist and Don Siegel's Dirty Hairy.
  • By Anne Thompson and Sophia Savage
  • |
  • September 13, 2011 9:47 AM
  • |
  • 0 Comments

Clint Eastwood's J. Edgar to Open 25th AFI FEST

Clint Eastwood's J. Edgar to Open 25th AFI FEST
Clint Eastwood's period biopic J. Edgar will open the 25th AFI FEST on November 3. The R-rated movie, which opens limited November 9 and wide November 11, was not ready for the fall festival circuit.
  • By Anne Thompson
  • |
  • September 7, 2011 7:59 AM
  • |
  • 4 Comments

Studios Rethink Big-Budget Producers and Their Pricey Tentpoles--and Westerns

Studios Rethink Big-Budget Producers and Their Pricey Tentpoles--and Westerns
Blame Cowboys & Aliens.
  • By Anne Thompson
  • |
  • August 19, 2011 3:14 AM
  • |
  • 2 Comments

Email Updates