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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    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."

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  • Shadow and Act
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    Robert Townsend's "Diary Of A Single Mom" Coming To DVD

    Robert Townsend's web series Diary of a Single Mom, which was later shown as a feature on TV One, is coming to DVD through Image Entertainment on January 10, 2012.

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    More: New On DVD
  • The Playlist
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    Lily Collins Joins 'The English Teacher' With Julianne Moore

    If things go according to plan, you'll be hearing the name Lily Collins more in the future. The actress was hand picked by Tarsem to lead his forthcoming (and still annoyingly untitled) Snow White movie and the plethora of stills for that film thus far have shown her to certainly look the part with ease. Collins was luckily left out of the critical carnage hauled at the Taylor Lautner vehicle "Abduction" last month and while she's still attached to another gestating tentpole in "The Mortal Instruments," the actress is wisely choosing a small scale indie for her next film.

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  • The Playlist
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    Jason Sudeikis Joins 'Dog Fight' With Will Ferrell & Zach Galifianakis

    Sort of like the comedy world version of Jessica Chastain, the "Saturday Night Live" funnyman seemed to be everywhere this year. In addition to starring in "Hall Pass," "Horrible Bosses" and "A Good Old Fashioned Orgy" he also hosted the MTV Movie Awards this summer and will feature in the final season of "Eastbound & Down." And determined to make sure you see his face on the big screen at least once every few months in 2012, the actor has signed up for yet another project.

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  • Shadow and Act
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    Financing Underway for Steve McQueen's "12 Years A Slave", Brad Pitt Maybe Co-Starring

    According to ScreenDaily.com, River Pholad's River Road Entertainment will serve as producer and financer of Steve McQueen's upcoming project Twelve Years A Slave based on the life of Solomon Northrup.

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    More: casting, FYI
  • Caryn James
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    Watch Macbeth Lose His Head in New Spike Jonze Short

    In Spike Jonze’s inspired new stop-motion short, the felt figures on the covers of old books come to life after hours in Paris’s historic and beloved Shakespeare and Co. bookshop. In Mourir Aupres de Toi (To Die By Your Side) Macbeth’s skeleton falls for one of Dracula’s beautiful victims, but true love (or lust; very tough when you don’t have a body) has to overcome dangerous tumbles into Moby-Dick and Faulkner’s Sartoris.

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    More: Web Video
  • The Playlist
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    Metallica Plotting A 3D Movie

    Former metal giants, and now aging rock 'n roll dudes Metallica, have been on the wrong end of many decisions in the past while. If you're had the misfortune of hearing their forthcoming collaboration with Lou Reed, you'll know exactly what we mean. Or just look above at their ridiculous poses for the "Guitar Hero: Metallica," something these dudes wouldn't have even considered when their hair was longer and their tunes more badass. Or hell, even Lars Ulrich admitted recently he didn't get Quentin Tarantino's "Kill Bill" and never followed up with the director when he asked to use their music for fight scenes in the movie. Although, that probably worked out for the best.

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Walking Dead 2.2 - Wandering Aimlessly?

    Walking Dead 2.2 - Wandering Aimlessly?

    It's quiet out there, says David Chute. Too quiet."I'm starting to get a bad feeling about this" -- as characters are too often moved to suggest on genre shows less consistently well-written than The Walking Dead.

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Media Watch: Isaacson's Steve Jobs Biography, Reviews, 60 Minutes Profile

    Clearly, we can't learn enough about the late Steve Jobs, so his official biographer Walter Isaacson's new book Steve Jobs--over 600 pages--which is published today, two and half weeks after his death, should help to feed our hunger for more details about the fascinating co-founder of Apple. Here's an excerpt about Jobs and Gates.

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  • Shadow and Act
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    Nicole Beharie in CBS "The Good Wife": Are You Watching? (Stills + Video Clip)

    I announced a little while back that talented beauty and IT GIRL rising star Nicole Beharie would make her debut as Imani Stonehouse in CBS The Good Wife. Well, the 2nd episode since her debut aired last night. Beharie plays an Assistant U.S. Attorney serving as a prosecution observer to ensure plea deals aren't gender/race biased. She is paired up against Cary (Matt Czuchry) and their characters have a competitive and slightly flirtatious dynamic.

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