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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Freeman To Get AFI Life Achievement Award; Fincher's Rendezvous with Rama in Works

    Morgan Freeman, 73, is having quite a year. He started off 2010 with his fifth Oscar nomination, for playing Nelson Mandela in Clint Eastwood's Invictus; his latest movie, the well-reviewed comedy thriller Red opens on Friday; and he may actually land David Fincher as the director of his 15 years-in-development outer-space epic Rendezvous with Rama. (See MTV video below.) The reason this is now close to being possible: Fincher and James Cameron's advances with performance capture and 3-D.

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  • Spout
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    That Really Was Aaron Sorkin Defending "The Social Network" in a Blog Comment

    I stand corrected. For the past 24 hours the film blog water cooler has been populated with chatter about Aaron Sorkin's response to the sexism criticisms against "The Social Network." But I was very skeptical, for a few reasons. Even after I was told the blog belonged to a fellow TV writer it still didn't make sense to me. Sorkin hates the Internet. He writes "final clubs" instead of "finals clubs." And, most importantly, why would anyone feel the need to defend his work, let alone actually do so, on a relatively random Blogspot blog, to another commenter on that blog? Especially when every other outlet on the web has had some commentary about the film's supposed misogyny problem (here's Spout's)?

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    FilmDistrict's Bob Berney Names Theatrical Team; Jeanne Berney Heads Marketing

    The shape and structure of producer Graham King and Tim Headington's new acquisitions, distribution, production and financing company FilmDistrict, run out of L.A. by ex-Sony exec Peter Schlessel, is coming into focus.

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  • Eric Kohn
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    Brief, Belated Thoughts on "The Town."

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  • Spout
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    Video: Eric Stoltz as Marty McFly in "Back to the Future"

    Any true "Back to the Future" fan is aware that the role of Marty McFly originally went to and was initially performed by Eric Stoltz. The actor was let go, however, after five weeks of shooting because his "comedy sensibilities were very different" from what Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale intended when they wrote the character. So Marty was recast with original choice Michael J. Fox in the part, film history was made, and Stoltz at least had his supporting part in Peter Bogdanovich's "Mask" (filmed prior to and somewhat the reason for him being cast in "BTTF"), for which he earned his only Golden Globe nomination -- meanwhile, Fox also got a nod for his leading comic performance in "BTTF" the same year, something Stoltz might not have achieved, and Fox was also nominated simultaneously for his role on "Family Ties".

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Oscar Watch: Vitagraph to Release Spanish Oscar Entry Even The Rain, Starring Garcia Bernal

    Vitagrah Films has acquired North American rights to Spain's Oscar submission for best foreign language film, Tambien La Lluvia (Even The Rain), which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival.

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Five Things We Learned from Romantic Comedies

    HuffPost's The Frenemy shares 14 Things We Learned From Romantic Comedies. Our five favorites are below. Check out their complete list with photos for each point.

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  • Spout
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    "Secretariat" - Horse Race War?

    I'm pretty disappointed that "Secretariat" doesn't open with long, rotating shots of Ancient Greek horse statues, one of which would transform into a real thoroughbred via camera dissolve, as if to imply the titular 1973 Triple Crown-winning stallion was born of marble and god-like perfection. I expected something akin to "Olympia" -- more than "Triumph of the Will" -- after reading Andrew O'Hehir's review at Salon, with its well-circulated and well-criticized pull-quote saying thus: "in its totality 'Secretariat' is a work of creepy, half-hilarious master-race propaganda almost worthy of Leni Riefenstahl." But there really aren't enough slow motion shots or any nostalgic references to the lost, cruel sport of horse diving to know what he was getting at if he meant the documentary of the 1936 Summer Olympics. For a "Triumph" comparison, though, there is an odd moment (dream sequence?) depicting Secretariat (aka "Big Red") running through storm clouds that reminded me of Hitler's descent from the heavens. But still, the statement is way too much of a reach.

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Looking Back: Top Ten of 2010 So Far

    While many moviegoers are at sea as they read about supposed Oscar contenders they still haven't seen, the LAT has the temerity to look back at the best of the what the year has had to offer so far. We will open up our Netflix queue for the ones we've missed:Animal Kingdom: "manages to be both laconic and operatic. Faultlessly acted by top Australian talent, including Guy Pearce, Ben Mendelsohn and Jacki Weaver…marries heightened emotionality with cool contemporary style to illustrate one of the oldest of genre truths: "Crooks always come undone, always, one way or another."

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  • Matt Dentler's Blog
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    Bang Bang Bang

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