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Avatar’s Cameron, Shutter Island’s Lehane and Transformers’ Murphy Talk, Mirren Wins Rome

Avatar's Cameron, Shutter Island's Lehane and Transformers' Murphy Talk, Mirren Wins Rome

All the hours James Cameron spent with The New Yorker’s Dana Goodyear did not yield the results the director must have hoped for. The 11,000-word profile takes the easy angle on the director–he’s an asshole control freak who eats his crew for breakfast. I am so tired of this cliche. The piece digs into many delicious details of the director’s career and hard work on Avatar. (And Fox is still trying to hold the media to a fake mid-200-million figure–it’s far more.) But while Cameron is certainly demanding and is putting Fox through the ringer yet again, he puts his ass on the line each time.

The way to see the new Avatar trailer is in theaters; the stuff online is shot off the screen. I think Fox showed too much of the blue aliens and avatars too soon. The movie introduces them gradually, pulling you into a strange exotic faraway world. There are fewer blue folks in this trailer. I agree with marketer Terry Press, who says that no matter what, curiosity will drag people in to check out Avatar on December 18. Whether there will be enough of them over the long haul worldwide to pay back this movie’s cost is another matter.

[Photo of James Cameron on the Avatar set courtesy of The New Yorker]

Helen Mirren added a notch to her belt with a best actress win for The Last Station at the Rome Film Festival. She’s on her way to joining Julie & Julia star Meryl Streep in this year’s best actress Oscar nomination circle; Streep accepted a lifetime achievement award at Rome.

Boston Phoenix critic Peter Keough interviews Shutter Island author Dennis Lehane.

Producer Don Murphy retraces his route to Transformers.

Mike Kaplan recalls Robert Altman’s Short Cuts.

[Helen Mirren photo courtesy AFP]

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