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    Disney to Acquire Marvel Entertainment for $4 Billion

    Marvel Entertainment was so successful as an independent studio that it's a surprise to see it gobbled up by the Mouse House. Disney announced early Monday that it plans to acquire the comics company that spawned Spider-Man, Iron Man, X-Men and The Hulk, among some 5,000 Marvel characters. “We belie...

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    Five or Six Things I Learned at the Extract Premiere

    1. Mike Judge is a terrific writer and not such a terrific movie director. Extract is one of those comedies that reads hilarious on the page and flattens on execution. Judge makes Kevin Smith and John Waters, who are also snappier writers than they are directors, look like geniuses. (And I love King...

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    Awards buzz, Indie News, Disney Confab

    In Indie news, despite Inglourious Basterds' rousing start, the Weinsteins aren't out of the woods. They weren't taking any chances. They upped their media spend by several millions in the week before the opening, targeting their weakest link, women. It worked. The WSJ explains why the Weinsteins fa...

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    John Carter of Mars Adds Morton, Walker, West

    I was brought up in Manhattan by a single Dad. His best pal Jerry Rubenstein's idea of a birthday present for an eight-year-old, girl or boy, was Tarzan of the Apes, by Edgar Rice Burroughs. I scarfed it up and read every single book ever written by Burroughs, especially his Barsoom Martian novels. I read The Chessmen of Mars over and over. Burroughs took you into an exotic world, much as Burroughs fan James Cameron does in Avatar, or Wall-E writer-director Andrew Stanton will do in his first live-action feature, a film take on John Carter of Mars. In both stories, an American visits a faraway planet inhabited by strange creatures. In John Ca...

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    Hollywood Goes Yellow

    Hollywood is in a mellow yellow mood.

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    Hollywood Health Report

    Each day brings more news of a troubled company needing debt restructuring or a management overhaul. The Weinstein Co. and MGM are just the latest examples. All the studios face pressure from their corporate parents in a grim recession amid declining ad and DVD revenues. Sales are down across the bo...

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    Lasseter Talks Miyazaki and Ponyo

    I've been spending a lot of time with John Lasseter lately. In May, the Disney/Pixar animation chief brought Up to open the Cannes Film Fest, where animator Pete Docter got the full auteur treatment. Then Lasseter brought Japanese master Hayao Miyazaki, who he says had a huge influence on Up, to do ...

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    Hollywood Confronts New Austerity

    Patrick Goldstein calls around to nail down the new austerity hitting Hollywood. And Kim Masters details pay cuts for Denzel Washington and Tom Cruise, as well as how cost-cutter Disney is trying to deal with spendthrift producer Jerry Bruckheimer, the exemplar of Hollywood's old ways.

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    Cannes: Winners and Losers

    Who came out ahead and behind on their Cannes jaunt this year?

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