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J.J. Abrams

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    CASTING WATCH: Brit Go-To-Guy Benedict Cumberbatch Rides into Star Trek

    Benedict Cumberbatch can ride that "War Horse" all the way into production on J. J. Abrams' "Star Trek" sequel. The actor ("Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy," "Atonement," voices in the upcoming "The Hobbit") has boarded the Paramount franchise, and rumor has it it's to play to play the villain...

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    Brand New Spy and Cult Classic Alias Play Spy Game--by Different Rules

    In this week’s “Now and Then” column, Matt Brennan takes a look at two players in the small-screen spy game, the new Sky 1/Hulu comedy Spy and J.J. Abrams breakout cult hit, Alias.

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    Oscar Talk Mid-Summer Outlook: New Rules, Midnight in Paris, Streep vs. Close

    Kris Tapley and I reconvened over Skype for a mid-summer Oscar Talk (below). We covered quite a bit of ground. New Academy rules affect the top ten best picture ballot, VFX, documentaries and animation, but not foreign eligibility. New members may tip the scale as well on a more mainstream selection...

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    Super 8 ILM VFX Master Dennis Muren Talks Spielberg, Going Back to 70s

    Dennis Muren is the godfather of visual effects artists. Hired by George Lucas in 1976 to work on Star Wars and help launch Industrial Light & Magic (ILM), he went on to make the key breakthroughs that led to where VFX are today. Muren has won nine Oscars, including Visual Effects awards for Jurassi...

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    News Wrap: Abrams Opens Up on Super 8 Secrets, Apple Threatens Cable, Boondock Saints Web Sequel

    During production on Super 8, director J. J. Abrams was notably secretive--as producer Steven Spielberg likes to be as well, preserving the mystery, hiding the alien. Now that the film has delivered a strong $35.5 million opening weekend, he is being less tight-lipped. [SPOILER ALERT] In an interview with MTV, Abrams was open about the many-limbed, mysterious monster in the film. He noted that Neville Page, the same man who created the monster in his 2008 film, Cloverfield, designed the creature for Super 8, but there was no “same-universe” connection. “They actually look very different,” he said, “but they both have two eyes, a nose and a mo...

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    Weekend Box Office: Super 8 Pulls $38 Million, Beats X-Men: First Class for Number One Slot

    As Paramount labored to both downplay expectations and build up word-of-mouth via advance sneaks, Super 8 exceeded box office predictions and got off to a strong start. Anthony D'Alessandro reports:Super 8’s projector bulbs burned brighter than expected as Paramount’s sci-fi drama bested its lowest ...

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    Weekend Preview: Can the Fab Super 8 Beat Holdovers X-Men & The Hangover?

    First, check out J.J. Abrams' Spielberg homage, Super 8: you'll have fun discussing it afterwards.

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    Super 8 Inspires Cinephile Debate

    Super 8 reviews are by no means uniformly positive. It is in fact inspiring considerable cinephile debate. While I am convinced that the movie will 1) please most fans 2) be a huge hit and 3) inspire a Spielberg lovefest at this point in his career, the issues raised by the film's detractors are wor...

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    Spielberg & Abrams: Working Together On Super 8 Was "Crazy Good," What's Next

    How was it working with Steven Spielberg on Super 8? "Crazy good," says director J.J. Abrams. "Working with Steven Spielberg was a dream, and I was kind of nervous about it because he was like a hero of mine since I was a kid." Will they work together again? Given how successful Super 8 should prove...

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    Super 8 Reviews: "Early Spielberg Classic," Spielberg & Abrams "Spiritually Clash On-Screen" UPDATED

    I went in to see Super 8 with modest expectations. I kept waiting for the movie to derail and lose its footing at some point. That never happened. I was instantly caught up with this group of kids trying to shoot a movie (the final result unspools over the closing credits, so stick around) and then ...

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