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  • REVERSEBLOG: the reverse shot blog
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    Simply the Worst: Otto Preminger's "Skidoo"

    The best thing that can be said of Skidoo is that it deserves its cult status. Among Preminger’s worst-received films, it’s in a class of its own. Forever Amber may be ugly, but it’s still romantic; Hurry Sundown offers comic relief in the performance of the Muppet-faced Madeline Sherwood; and Rosebud is impossible to concentrate on, but harmless, consisting mostly of people getting in and out of vans. Skidoo is a point in Preminger’s career his partisans would rather not think about (nobody can blame New York’s Film Forum for omitting it from its sprawling retrospective in 2008), but the inconvenient truth is that Skidoo is at least as “Premingerian” as any of his other projects. It is not the result of drunkenness, absenteeism, distractedness, or apathy, but instead the disturbing consequence of Otto Preminger left too much to his own devices. Nowhere in his oeuvre are the brushstrokes more visible. In addition to producing and directing, he was heavily involved in the writing as well. It is one of his only features not based on popular novel or play. He bought the original screenplay from William Canon (who's credited as the writer), tossed out all but the barest plot, and started free-associating. Unusual for a Preminger picture, it has the stamp of his personality all over it, right down to his direct-address voiceover entreaty, which kicks off the end credits: “Wait! Before you skidoo, let us introduce our cast and crew!”

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    More: new issue
  • Shadow and Act
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    Chris Tucker Loads Up With 2 New Studio Projects

    Recall my post from mid-August on Chris Tucker's frustrations with the industry, given the lack of *interesting* roles being offered to him which he used to explain his absence from theater screens since 2007...

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    More: casting
  • Spout
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    5 Reasons I'm Okay with a "Beetlejuice" Sequel

    Coming out of left field today is the new possibility of a "Beetlejuice" sequel/reboot. You can read all about where this idea sprang from over at Deadline, which reports of a new development deal at Warner Bros for producers/writers David Katzenberg and Seth Grahame-Smith. The latter has worked with Tim Burton as screenwriter on "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter" (adapted from his own novel) and the "Dark Shadows" movie, so they've got an in there. Not that the WB necessarily needs Burton's approval, I'm sure, but it would be a good idea to have him involved at least as a producer.

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    More: Sequels
  • Shadow and Act
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    First Black Heathcliff Gives "Wuthering Heights" Adaptation A New Twist, 1st Reviews From Venice

    Andrea Arnold's Wuthering Heights premiered at the Venice Film Festival yesterday and was received with critical acclaim. The Emily Brontë classic torrid novel's newest adaptation stars its first black Heathcliff, portrayed by newcomer James Howson.

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Andrew Haigh Talks Weekend, A Perfectly Swell Gay Romance

    One of the breakout films from this year's SXSW (audience award) was Brit editor-writer-director Andrew Haigh's Weekend, a Nottingham love story that could reach out beyond gay audiences. It's about a closeted gay man (Tom Cullen) passing for straight with everyone in his life except his best friend.

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  • The Playlist
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    Guys Who Wrote 'Ed Wood' & 'People Vs. Larry Flynt' To Pen 'Monopoly' For Ridley Scott

    So even though Universal has pretty much dropped every Hasbro game they had in development except for "Battleship" -- perhaps realizing that spending $200 million on a board game movie wasn't the best idea -- the game maker is still pushing ahead trying to show their movies can be successful and respectable. Believe it or not, Ridley Scott is still attached to direct "Monopoly," and while we'll go along and pretend that he'll eventually direct this (yeah right, our guess is he'll wind up "executive producing" with some protegé taking the director's chair), Hasbro has made a pretty surprising move which should at least keep the helmer interested.

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  • The Playlist
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    Forget Eddie Murphy, Chris Tucker Plots Roles In 'Silver Linings Playbook' & 'Neighborhood Watch'

    While everyone getting excited about a possible Eddie Murphy comeback now that he has "Tower Heist" and the Oscar hosting gig coming up (jeez, people, have we already forgotten about “Hong Kong Phooey”?) it looks like another Brett Ratner buddy is making some even bolder steps back into the spotlight.

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Tsui Hark Talks Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame, Goes 3-D

    Tsui Hark Talks Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame, Goes 3-D

    Detective Dee and Mystery of the Phantom Flame is yet another magical adventure from Hong Kong action maestro Tsui Hark (Peking Opera Blues, Seven Swords). The $20-million film was funded entirely in China--as opposed to his old friend John Woo's $80 million Red Cliff, which was backed by a pool of investors from several Asian countries. This entertaining big-scale epic is packed with extravagant action and visual effects, including a towering hollow statue that is central to the mystery in the movie.

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  • Shadow and Act
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    PMFF Returns in October With Film & Entertainment Awards

    The Pocono Mountains Film Festival has announced the honorees for The 9th Annual PMFF Awards, benefiting The Utopia House for Battered Women. The awards will be held on Saturday, October 22 at East Stroudsburg University.

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Media Watch: Couric's Soft ABC Debut, LA Times Layoffs, Nicole Miller's Ads Move 100% Online

    Katie Couric will make her debut on ABC News by interviewing Sarah P… Sarah Jessica Parker, that is, which THR calls a soft launch for the news anchor, who made a heavily scrutinized move from to ABC from CBS last June. This position with ABC News will allow her time to develop her daytime talk show, Katie, which will air sometime in September.

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