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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Oscar Update: Gurus 'O Gold Final Vote, Last-Ditch Campaign Craziness

    As the final phase of Oscar campaigning winds down--many of the Academy's 5700 voters have already mailed in their ballots, which are due on March 2--it's striking that while most categories have settled into clear-cut front-runners (except for foreign and some tech categories like editing) the best picture race is still on. (Check the Gurus 'O Gold final vote.) That's because the preferential balloting on the top ten makes that race tough to call with certainty. I've talked to a number of perfectly intelligent Academy voters who have no clue what's going on. They are planning to vote for their number one choice, like they always do, which is tantamount to throwing their vote away. (For what it's worth, I'm hearing a lot of love for Up.)

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Jolie Passes on Wanted Sequel, Universal Bails

    The deal on The Wanted sequel: Universal wanted Angelina Jolie to star. That meant that she had to approve the script--which had to persuasively bring her back from certain death. Once she turned the movie down, Universal killed the sequel--what could have been a valuable franchise for the studio--and Jolie is moving on to space thriller Gravity, for Warners, reports New York Vulture.

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Sherlock Holmes Music Video: Discombobulate Features Zimmer, Downey

    Sherlock Holmes Music Video: Discombobulate Features Zimmer, Downey

    As the Oscar voting heads toward the final days (ballots are due March 2), Oscar campaigners are still throwing new things into the mix: here's a music video for Hans Zimmer's score for Sherlock Holmes, with Robert Downey Jr. on piano. It's fun--they basically got the musicians to send in video from all over the world. One guy's riding an elephant.

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Alice in Wonderland: Early Reviews

    Alice in Wonderland: Early Reviews

    Post-London premiere, the early review floodgates have opened on Tim Burton and Linda Woolverton's reimagining of Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland in 3-D, which is poised to be a box office monster when it opens wide on March 5. (I will report back after I see the movie next Tuesday.)

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  • Leonard Maltin
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    film review - A Prophet (Un Prophète)

    I like movies that take me on an emotional journey. The central character of A Prophet is Malik, a 19-year-old petty criminal (Tahar Rahim) who’s being sent to prison. We don’t know what he’s done, or very much else about him; he’s quiet and keeps to himself. Then he is targeted by one of the prison kingpins, a tough, Corsican mobster named Cesar (played with quiet intensity by Niels Arestrup), who forces him to commit an unthinkable act. This is the turning point in his life, and it leads him to experiences he never could have planned or predicted.

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  • iW NOW
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    Area 23A To Release the "Best Worst Movie"

    Area 23A To Release the "Best Worst Movie"

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Superman Reboot is Goyer's Man of Steel

    Warners/D.C./Legendary have hired David Goyer to write the new Superman reboot. Goyer's working with Jonathan Nolan (Batman Begins) on an idea from his brother Christopher Nolan. There had been speculation--denied by DC--that Christopher Nolan would be supervising the new Superman iteration. In fact, Goyer reinvented Batman with Nolan. And his story for Nolan's The Dark Knight went on to earn $1 billion. He also wrote Marvel's X-Men Origins: Magneto. Warner Bros. was cautiously making sure it had the right approach to its next Superman picture before losing the rights to the character in 2013. Here's Variety (which credits Latino Review with breaking the story):

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  • iW NOW
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    "Hurt Locker" Producer Aims Dig at "Avatar"

    "Hurt Locker" Producer Aims Dig at "Avatar"

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  • REVERSEBLOG: the reverse shot blog
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    Babelgum Partners with Reverse Shot

    Reverse Shot has announced a partnership that brings their curated video interview series to a global audience via Babelgum’s online platform and its free applications for Apple’s iPhone & iPod Touch and Google’s Android devices. Babelgum will be the new home of Reverse Shot’s “Talkies” and “Direct Address” videos, which feature candid, off-the-cuff interviews with celebrated and emergent figures in film. When we decided to branch out from printed criticism into video we wanted to set a new standard for web-based interview content. We couldn’t imagine a better home for the Talkies and Direct Address than Babelgum, which has proven itself a leader in publishing and promoting innovative online video content. So bookmark it now!

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  • REVERSEBLOG: the reverse shot blog
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    Need You Closer: Kyle Patrick Alvarez's "Easier with Practice"

    We needed another delicate, comedy-tinged American independent drama about a socially awkward, emotionally stunted creative guy who has a hard time communicating with girls like a hole in the head. At the very least, what immediately sets the new film Easier with Practice apart from many recent installments in this ever-ready subgenre is that first-time director Kyle Patrick Alvarez knows where to point a camera. As overly self-aware and photo-album-ready as much of the film’s shots are, especially in its opening moments, it’s clear that we’re in the hands of a genuine moviemaker. Unfortunately it takes a little digging to get past the received indie mannerisms (disaffected people in frozen tableaux of American nowheresville) to find approximations of recognizable human behavior in the film, an adaptation of a fact-based short story about a passive young writer, Davey (Brian Geraghty), who begins a phone-sex relationship with a woman who one night randomly calls his motel room while he’s on a book-reading tour of the American Southwest. Read Michael Koresky's review of Easier with Practice.

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