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  • The Playlist
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    John Travolta & Chuck Norris Among The Latest Old Dudes Rumored For 'The Expendables 2'

    Jet Li Apparently Has Better Things To DoWith a director now in place in the shape of Simon West, the man behind “Con Air” and a bunch of movies that offered greatly diminished returns, and with a release date now set for just over a year from now, "The Expendables 2" will presumably start casting up hard soon, but the rumors continue to fly.

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Kounelias Joins Academy as Chief Marketing Officer

    Academy CEO Dawn Hudson has hired veteran marketing executive Christina Kounelias to the new post of chief marketing officer for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Kounelias will assume her new role on August 1 and will report directly to Hudson, who is moving swiftly to bring in her own people, and will not rely strictly on the folks already there, many of them for some years. In this new position, Kounelias will oversee all planning, strategy and marketing execution of Academy initiatives including its signature Oscar telecast, the Governors Awards and year-round educational outreach and screening programs. The marketing, communications and online staff will report to her.Kounelias has been a member of the Academy for nine years.

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  • Shadow and Act
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    The Shadow & Act Filmmaker Diary Series (w/ Matthew Cherry) Episode 12: "Last Week Of Filming"

    Time sure flies... seems like it was just yesterday when we began this series, and we're already up to #11, which means we've been doing this for at least 11 weeks.

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Polanski's Carnage Will Open New York Film Festival, Hits Theaters in December

    Now we know what the 49th New York Film Festival opener on September 30 will be: Roman Polanski's Carnage. It's an odd choice, because needless to say, the director himself will not be able to attend, given his status as an exile. (That's what satellite feeds are for.) Based on Yasmina Reza's 2009 Tony-Award-winning Broadway play God of Carnage, the movie stars Kate Winslet, Jodie Foster, John C. Reilly and Christoph Waltz as two couples battling over their children, who had a fight on a playground, and the health of their respective marriages. (More photos here.)

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  • Spout
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    "The Smurfs" Gets Lost Inside the Biggest Product Placement Ever

    It is true, "The Smurfs" is one of the more tolerable movies to rape your childhood in a long time. The characters are cute and only minimally obnoxious. The scatological and pop culture references are at a minimum (though "Rango" proved that a lot of both doesn't have to be terrible). And it's self-aware in a respectful fashion more reminiscent of "Gremlins 2: The New Batch" than "The Brady Bunch Movie," so the adults who grew up on the little blue creatures have something to appreciate, and not in too campy a way. Sure, it's basically a rehash of "Enchanted," which was itself basically a rehash of "Splash," and I guess I was too hopeful in thinking some of the reflexivity would involve accusations of communism, but I found the movie to be a slight improvement on at least the more recent of those NYC-set fish-out-of-water fantasies. Probably because even watching Smurfs perform "Walk This Way" as Neil Patrick Harris -- wearing a sadly ironic CBGBs shirt to remind us of how NYC used to be cool and not kiddie -- accompanies on a faux guitar during an extended product placement of "Rock Band" is still better than any of the contradictorily self-parodying numbers sung by Amy Adams in a Manhattan that's portrayed even more Disney-fied than it unfortunately already is.

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  • The Playlist
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    More Photos From New York Film Festival Opener, Roman Polanski's 'Carnage'

    Also A Sneak Peek At Alexander Payne's 'The DescendantsAh, the sour taste of buttered popcorn is dissipating and the headier airs of the fall film festival circuit are upon us, as peeks at the films vying for awards are going to be coming in full force.

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  • Shadow and Act
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    Casting UPDATES For Sequel To "Gang Of Roses" Reportedly In The Works...

    UPDATE 7/29/11: You can thank me later for staying on top of this, because I know you all are heavily invested in this project, and I can't disappoint. So... adding to what I posted yesterday, the woman of the hour, Ms Amber Rose, teased us with another Tweet about the project (yes, I started following her on Twitter now, after she dropped yesterday's news. Somebody's gotta do the hard work, right). This time, she mentioned the name of the character she's playing, as well as who her co-stars are.

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  • The Playlist
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    David Fincher To Produce Biopic Of Great Depression-Era Photographer Dorothea Lange

    While David Fincher remains hard at work wrapping up one of the most promising remakes in recent years, he's also found the time to jump on board a biopic behind the scenes that will surely benefit from his guidance.

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  • The Playlist
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    'The Guard' Star Don Cheadle Says Funding Announcement For Miles Davis Biopic Could Come Very Soon

    Director John Michael McDonagh Says The Film Is A Reaction Against The Works Of Mike Leigh & Ken Loach & More From The FilmmakersUsually, when a film's biggest stars decide to do press interviews together, there's a collective groan among the writers since time its sometimes even more of a challenge to interview two actors at once then individually. But pairing the two actors in "The Guard" together reveals that Brendan Gleeson and Don Cheadle's killer chemistry isn't just limited to what we see in the movie. Gleeson stars as Sergeant Gerry Boyle, a crusty, crass cop bored by life in County Galway. When murder and drugs infiltrate the small town, he has to work with visiting FBI agent Wendell Everett (Cheadle) to solve the case. Luckily, working together seemed far easier for Gleeson and Cheadle than it was for their at-odds on-screen counterparts. We've already covered our exclusive interview with Gleeson, but we wanted to share what we learned from this writer's entertaining afternoon chat with Gleeson, Cheadle, and their director John Michael McDonagh.

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  • Shadow and Act
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    2011 Venice Film Fest Closing Night Film "Damsels In Distress" Co-Stars 3 Black Actors

    The closing night film of this year's Venice Film Festival, which runs from the end of August through September 10th, is a comedy/drama titled Damsels In Distress, directed by Oscar-nominated actor/writer/director Whit Stillman - his first film in 13 years.

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