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  • Shadow and Act
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    Melvin Van Peebles Supports The Occupy Wall Street Movement With His 1971 Song From "Watermelon Man"

    Famed director Melvin Van Peebles, who knows his share of controversy, decided to lend his support to the Occupy Wall Street Movement.  His 1971 song "Love That's America," from his first Hollywood film Watermelon Man, has been used with various OWS promotional videos circulating on the web now.  The latest one, below, is by Cypher Films.

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Oscar Watch: Which Indie Outsiders Have a Shot at Best Actress?

    Last night I watched Ellen Barkin act her heart out in Sam Levinson's Sundance screenplay-winner "Another Happy Day" (Phase 4, November 18), which is saddled with an unfortunate generic title. At 57, Barkin has been around the block a few times, and while the movie opens with her two younger sons debating whether or not she is hot, the actress shows wear and tear, which never hurts with the Academy. In the movie, Barkin and her sons return to her family home for her older son's wedding, where her parents (Ellen Burstyn and George Kennedy) seem to favor her ex-husband (Thomas Hayden Church) and his new wife (Demi Moore) over their own daughter. Her troubled teen is played by creepy Ezra Miller, who also tortures his mother Tilda Swinton in "We Need to Talk About Kevin." Passed-down generational neurosis and dysfunction is the story here, and Barkin wallows in it.

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  • Shadow and Act
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    Luke Cage Likely Coming To TV Screens Before Movie Theaters; Here's Why...

    In an interview with Hitfix, posted today, Melissa Rosenberg (Twilight screenwriter), who, as we've been following, is reportedly writing and executive producing the Jessica Jones TV series, has confirmed that not only will Luke Cage be "worked into the series" (which Marvel Head of Television Jeph Loeb revealed at Comic-Con earlier this year), but he'll in fact be a primary series character, and will be 1 of 3 central characters in the narrative - the other 2 being Jessica Jones (of course), and Carol Danvers (better known as Ms. Marvel, one of the most powerful members of The Avengers).

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  • The Playlist
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    'Shame' Soundtrack Features Blondie, John Coltrane, Chet Baker, Carey Mulligan's "New York New York" & More

    After seeing the searing, powerful "Shame," the first thing on your mind likely won't be to pick up the soundtrack to the movie. This isn't "Juno" or "(500) Days of Summer" we're talking about here. But that said, music does play a key part in establishing the very New York story that Steve McQueen conjures up here and the song selections are definitely well thought out, helping to set the tone and tempo of the film, so it's nice to see them put together on what is pretty nice little soundtrack release for the film.

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  • The Playlist
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    16 New Images From Alexander Payne's 'The Descendants' Starring George Clooney; Plus Roll-Out Expansion Plan Schedule

    Everyone seems to be talking to director Alexander Payne these days thanks to the festival success of his latest feature, "The Descendants." That is, except for The Playlist (*bitter tears*). Such is life. The director recently sat down with both the New York Times and L.A. Times for in-depth profiles, and while Payne hasn't made a feature-length film since 2004 ("Sideways"), both outlets remind us he's still been busy.

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Will Roth & Fincher Deliver Jolie's Cleopatra?

    Let us count the ways that Sony's "Cleopatra" could go wrong. But hiring Eric Roth to write the script for the Angelina Jolie epic (possibly with David Fincher at the helm) is a good sign. We can thank Roth for "Forrest Gump," "The Insider," "Munich," "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" and many other fine scripts including the upcoming "Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close." Based on Stacy Schiff's sprawling bestseller, this "Cleopatra" is rooted in a complex history and demands a seasoned writer who will not lose sight of the biography's authentic primary sources. Bringing Fincher on board would also set the project on the right course. Exuding the infamous intelligence, charisma and sexuality of Cleopatra will be easy for Jolie, who nonetheless needs a strong director to pull from her a layered and compelling performance. The Egyptian queen--arguably the most powerful woman of all time-- was a master political strategist who deftly manipulated her two life mates, Julius Caesar and Mark Antony.  (Picking the right two co-stars is also key.) If the movie gods align the elements, this could be Jolie's career-defining role--and her best shot at a Best Actress Oscar.

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  • The Playlist
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    Guillermo del Toro Confirms Ron Perlman for 'Pacific Rim,' Although, Surprisingly, Not As One Of The Giant Scary Monsters

    Few filmmakers seem to have as much on his plate as Guillermo del Toro. He always has a plethora of projects threatening to occupy his time, this is even though the director hasn't had a film in theaters since 2008's fantastical superhero tale "Hellboy II: The Golden Army." He recently spoke with Wired Magazine, ostensibly about the conclusion about his lackluster vampire trilogy "The Strain" (co-written with original "Town" author Chuck Hogan), and he talked about a number of things that he has coming down the pipeline, including acknowledging the involvement of a Guillermo del Toro regular in his new monster movie.

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  • Shadow and Act
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    On DVD/Blu-ray/VOD This Week - "The Weird World of Blowfly" (The Original Dirty Rapper)

    He's known as the original dirty rapper! Blowfly - the stage name for Clarence Reid, who wrote songs for several hit R&B groups in the 1960s and '70s. But he also recorded albums as Blowfly, his alter-ego usually seen in an ostentatious superhero costume, known especially for his x-rated raunchy raps, starting with a track called Rapp Dirty released in 1965.

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    TRAILER WATCH: Pixar's Brave Stars Athletic Feminist Princess

    The exciting trailer for Disney/Pixar's "Brave" -- featuring Kelly Macdonald ("Boardwalk Empire") as the voice of Princess Merida -- has arrived. Merida, complete with Scottish accent, is a free-spirited tomboy with fiery red hair. (Think of her as a young William Wallace in "Braveheart.") Bravo to male-dominated Pixar for finally introducing their first female lead. "Brave" premieres June 22, 2012.

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    HBO Teams with Sports Illustrated, Endgame & Playground for Sport in America: Our Defining Stories - Submit Yours

    HBO, Sports Illustrated and Endgame Entertainment, in association with Playground for Sport in America have teamed up for "Sport in America: Our Defining Stories," a documentary series set to air on HBO in 2013. Their goal: "a sweeping cross-platform examination of how the universal thread of sport has shaped America’s character." HBO Sports exec producer Rick Bernstein says: "This is one of the most ambitious sports projects that HBO has launched." Sports Illustrated editorial packages and content on HBO and SI's social media platforms will accompany the series.

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