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    John Woo Talks Red Cliff

    John Woo's historic epic Red Cliff is one of the best films of the year. Already a huge hit in Asia, which financed the original two-part $80-million five-hour war film (the most expensive movie ever produced in China), the two-and-a half-hour western cut of Red Cliff launched stateside last week in...

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    Tree of Life Will Not Open in 2009

    Writer-director Terrence Malick's long-awaited family drama about grief, The Tree of Life, will not be released by year's end. Apparition had tentatively scheduled a December 25 release for River Road's 50s period film, which stars Sean Penn and Brad Pitt. But Apparition chief Bob Berney says that a...

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    Jews on Film: A Serious Man and An Education; Polanski, Sellers

    Jews are popping up all over. The Coens based A Serious Man, which is an affectionate yet scabrous portrait of Jewish suburban family life, on their 60s Minnesota upbringing. An Education's Nick Hornby relied on Lynn Barber's two-year old memoir and faithfully included the sleazy seducer played by Peter Sarsgaard, who is Jewish. Suffice it to say, he's a money-grubbing entrepreneur with less-than-impeccable values. Even Tim Blake Nelson includes the Jewish mafia in his midwestern comedy, Leaves of Grass, which recently played Toronto. And we must not leave out Quentin Tarantino's controversial contribution to Jewish cinema, the anti-Nazi Worl...

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    Toronto Day One: Creation, The Informant!, Jennifer's Body

    The reason why film festivals pick movies like Creation for opening night is that they have all the right credentials: respected producer (Jeremy Thomas) and director (Jon Amiel) and two major stars (Paul Bettany and Jennifer Connelly) willing to show up for the gala TIFF screenings and party. But C...

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    Weinsteins Pre-Buy The King's Speech, Starring Colin Firth

    Signaling that it is in the hunt and willing to pay for projects, The Weinstein Co. has pre-bought various international and North American rights to The King's Speech, Tom Hooper's biopic about King George VI (father of Queen Elizabeth II), who suffered from a severe stammer. Geoffrey Rush plays th...

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    Weekend B.O., District 9 No. One, Rise of Streep, Fall of G.I. Joe

    Sony marketing took rookie Neill Blomkamp's $30-million VFX thriller to a terrific estimated $37 million--it wasn't the stunning reviews alone. All the Comic-Con raves and critics and folks on twitter and facebook had a viral impact. The R-rated sci-fi thriller opened well to its largely male base....

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    Nine Goes to the Movies

    Nine is a popular number at the movies these days. Last week I saw Shane Acker's animated dystopian adventure 9, featuring the voice of Elijah Wood, which opens September 9, 2009. Wednesday night I see Neill Blomkamp's alien thriller District 9, produced by Peter Jackson. The German film Cloud 9 ope...

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    Inglourious Basterds Premiere: Jolie & Pitt

    Given that I'd already seen Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds twice, I blew off the L.A. premiere in favor of a family birthday dinner at El Cholo (Nora and Jake made red velvet cupcakes with white frosting). Luckily, there was plenty of other coverage. UPDATE: Here's Marc Malkin. And yes, An...

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    Young Victoria Goes to Apparition

    Over the weekend, Apparition closed a U.S. distribution deal for Toronto Film Festival closer The Young Victoria, starring Emily Blunt in what could be her breakout role carrying a movie as the youngest British monarch. As is typical these days, the new distrib run by Bob Berney and backer Bill Pohl...

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