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    Festival Season: Feast and Famine, Ten Hot Toronto Pick-Ups

    Going into the fall festival season in Venice, Telluride, Toronto and New York, we know the following:

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    Jolie Considering Wanted 2

    Right now, Universal Pictures needs a few good tentpoles, like Wanted 2. And right now they are sitting on pins and needles waiting for word to come back from Angelina Jolie, who is reading the new Wanted 2 script. Russian director Timur Bekmambetov has figured out a way to bring her ruthless assass...

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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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    Inglourious Basterds: Recut, Nine Clips

    Quentin Tarantino's recut of Inglourious Basterds is one minute longer than the Cannes version, and much improved. It's a gorgeous movie with a great eclectic soundtrack crammed with everything from Ennio Morricone to a brilliant use of David Bowie's "Putting Out the Fire." (Trivia question: what mo...

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    Lee Revamps Ride with the Devil

    In the stellar career of Ang Lee, one movie stands out like a sore thumb, not only as one of his few boxoffice clunkers, but as a film which he edited for a studio. "Of the 11 films I worked on with Ang, it's the only one that was not his cut," says Lee's longtime writer-collaborator James Schamus, ...

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    Letter to the Studios: How Not to Market Adult Dramas

    Here's the first of a series of pieces (which do not necessarily reflect my POV) by guest bloggers on various aspects of the entertainment industry. Now based in Nampa, Idaho, Mike Kaplan is a veteran filmmaker (Never Apologize) and marketer who has managed campaigns for Stanley Kubrick (2001: A Space Odyssey) and Robert Altman (Short Cuts) among others. More recently, please note, Kaplan helped to introduce Clive Owen to American audiences with the sleeper hit Croupier and You'll Sleep When I'm Dead. Here's his argument for how the studios are killing adult dramas--through misguided marketing. Kaplan came up in a film industry that made pro...

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    Universal Troubles Started With DreamWorks Exit

    Universal execs are heaving a huge sigh of relief with the $23.5 million estimated opening weekend for Judd Apatow's edgy comedy Funny People, starring Adam Sandler, Seth Rogen and Apatow's wife, Leslie Mann. The movie scored mixed reviews and played best for men. Women hated it . It's a pity that t...

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    Public Enemies: Can Depp Save Mann's HD Biopic?

    Universal is counting on one thing to open Michael Mann's Public Enemies: Johnny Depp. According to The Ulmer Scale, he's the second most popular movie star in the world, after Will Smith. That's based on his hugely successful roles as broadly comedic, over-the-top Captain Jack Sparrow in the Pirate...

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    Cannes: Winners and Losers

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

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