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Lionsgate and Summit Finally Merge Marketing Operations

4 hours ago

Inevitably, the long-planned merger of Lionsgate and Summit's marketing operations is finally coming to pass. It's remarkable, actually, how much the Summit label has endured since Lionsgate acquired Summit and its co-chiefs, Rob Friedman and Patrick Wachsberger, who run the Lionsgate motion picture group and brought in Erik Feig to run production. They also kept going a parallel Summit marketing division headed by studio veteran Nancy Kirkpatrick, who worked with Friedman at Warner Bros. and Paramount, to handle that label's films, including the hugely successful final "Twilight" film and would-be franchises "Ender's Game," which disappointed, and $85-million "Divergent," which did modestly ($127 million domestic) but already has three sequels in the pipeline. With marketing costs factored in, that's not a great number.  Sometimes it serves corporate executives well to sacrifice a marketing exec when a venture disappoints. With $50 million in the foreign till so far, a $177 »


- Anne Thompson

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Fledgling Director Gillian Greene's 'Murder of a Cat' Is One to Watch at Tribeca

5 hours ago

Gillian Greene's TV star father had an adage about career arcs that was applicable to any actor: "Who's Lorne Greene?" "Get me Lorne Greene!" "Get me the next Lorne Greene!" "Who's the next Lorne Greene?" At the moment, the next Gillian Greene is Gillian Greene, whose first feature, "Murder of a Cat" premieres next week at the Tribeca Film Festival. The off-beat comedy stars Fran Kranz (Joss Whedon's "Much Ado About Nothing" and "The Cabin in the Woods") as a manchild with a proto-Bieber haircut, various delusions, and who lives at home with his mother (Blythe Danner). Just coincidentally, all of Greene's children, ages 7 to 20, live with their mother. "Yeah, people are surprised I have so many kids, but I started kind of young," said the fledgling director, whose father was a star of the longtime NBC western "Bonanza" and, later, the original "Battlestar Galactica" TV series. She met her husband, »


- John Anderson

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This Weekend in Theaters, Johnny Depp Transcends and John Turturro Is 'Fading'

5 hours ago

Though "Transcendence" is the box office hopeful this weekend, a number of offbeat indies and festival favorites also hit theaters, from director/star John Turturro's "Fading Gigolo" to the visually splendid Nepalese doc "Manakamana," and more. Critics have not been too kind to cinematographer-turned-director Wally Pfister's "Transcendence," starring Johnny Depp as a scientist whose efforts to create the ultimate artificial intelligence machine land him square in the middle of an ideological war. But some of us at Toh! like the film, an auspicious directorial debut that's not only a smart sci-fi cautionary tale for our time, but also proof that Depp can effectively dial down the eccentricity with chilling restraint. In his latest, “Fading Gigolo,” John Turturro exercises what amounts to the urban auteur’s droit de seigneur, casting himself as a member of New York's studliest, directing himself into a three-way with Sharon Stone and Sofia Vergara, »


- TOH!

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Kevin Spacey Q & A: 'House of Cards' Wouldn't Exist Without Richard III, Focus of Self-Released Tribeca Doc (Video)

5 hours ago

It's easy to assume that a documentary financed and self-released by Kevin Spacey will be a vanity project. Especially Monday's Tribeca Film Festival world premiere "Now in the Wings on a World Stage," which follows the head of the Old Vic around the world as he stars in 200 performances of Sam Mendes' Bridge Project production of Shakespeare's "Richard III."   But the documentary, which Spacey and rookie director Jeremy Whelehan (his former associate producer on "Beyond the Sea" and Old Vic assistant director) have been tinkering with for two years, is worth waiting for. Sure, Spacey comes off well as the tireless star boss who takes his company on a scenic yacht trip off the coast of Australia during their Sydney tour. Would he have done that if he wasn't filming for posterity? Well, it makes for a great scene.  The doc takes a behind-the-scenes look at how a unique company of 20 actors, »


- Anne Thompson

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Watch: It's All Hitting the Fan in New Trailer for 'Orange Is the New Black' Season Two

7 hours ago

For those of you who were big fans of Netflix's rollicking women-behind-bars dramedy "Orange Is the New Black," a new full-length trailer is here for the second season, which arrives with all episodes on June 6. As the trailer song cries, the ladies in orange (or beige) are going "into the jungle," i.e. the tension is heating up and boiling over, though it's hard to say from this spot exactly what that entails. Whatever. Piper (Taylor Schilling), Tastee (Danielle Brooks), Crazy Eyes (Uzo Aduba), Red (Kate Mulgrew), Nicky (Natasha Lyonne) and more are back  -- even Piper's turbulent ex, Alex (Laura Prepon), who will reportedly only be in a couple episodes this time around -- and apparently raging against the prison machine, while making the best of things Oitnb-style. We'll be watching it. »


- Beth Hanna

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Academy Reveals Key Dates for the Oscars

7 hours ago

It's back to business as usual at the Oscars. The last awards season, which ended on March 2, was elongated by the Winter Olympics. This time the timetable for the 87th Academy Awards is determined by the already announced Oscar show date of February 22. Every year the Academy and ABC worry about how to stay ahead of the plethora of award shows that lead up to the Oscars--causing awards fatigue--but every time the Oscars move back, so does everyone else.  The real issue is how to give the more than 6000 Academy members enough time to view all the movies they need to see. In recent years the Academy has moved toward supplying more films (adding foreign, documentaries and shorts) to voters on screeners.  Key dates for the Awards season are: Saturday, November 8, 2014 The Governors Awards Wednesday, December 3, 2014 Official Screen Credits and music submissions due Monday, December 29, 2014 Nominations voting begins 8 a.m. »

- Anne Thompson

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Rob Pattinson Stars in Two Cannes Entries: 'Map to the Stars' and 'The Rover' (New Trailer, Posters)

8 hours ago

Maybe Cannes topper Thierry Fremaux didn't want two Rob Pattinson movies in his competition lineup. Pattinson rejoins venerable Cannes auteur David Cronenberg for "Map to the Stars," a follow-up to "Cosmopolis," which earned the "Twilight" star his best reviews to date.  Written by Hollywood satirist Bruce Wagner ("Scenes from the Class Struggle in Beverly Hills"), "Map to the Stars" stars Pattinson as a limo driver who flirts with both anxious movie star Julianne Moore and her pyromaniac assistant Mia Wasikowska; John Cusack and Olivia Williams star as Hollywood players. Here's the official synopsis (trailer below):  The Weiss family is the archetypical Hollywood dynasty: father Sanford is an analyst and coach, who has made a fortune with his self-help manuals; mother Christina mostly looks after the career of their son Benjie, 13, a child star. One of Sanford's clients, Havana, is an actress who dreams of shooting a remake of the movie that made her mother, »


- Anne Thompson and Beth Hanna

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Cannes First Look: Mike Leigh's 'Mr. Turner' Biopic, Starring Timothy Spall

8 hours ago

A first image has arrived for Mike Leigh's much anticipated and long in-the-works J.M.W. Turner biopic -- simply titled "Mr. Turner" -- with Timothy Spall in the lead role as the famed Brit Romantic landscape painter. The film was announced this morning as part of the Cannes competition lineup. Check out the new still, below. While no official synopsis has been released for the film, we know that Marion Bailey, Dorothy Atkinson and Paul Jesson co-star in Leigh's first period piece since 1999's brilliant behind-the-scenes Mikado tale "Topsy-Turvy." Cinematographer Dick Pope ("Another Year") was in charge of lensing, while the National Gallery, the Tate Britain and Royal Academy granted special access to some of Turner's paintings for the project.Here’s what Leigh has had to say in the past about his interest in the artist, for hints about the direction of the film:"I want to explore the man, »


- Beth Hanna

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Cannes Watch: First Trailer for Dardenne Brothers' 'Two Days, One Night,' Starring Marion Cotillard

9 hours ago

With the Cannes lineup dropping early this morning, a first trailer has arrived for the Dardenne brothers' latest, "Two Days, One Night," starring Marion Cotillard as a woman who has a single weekend to convince her colleagues to forgo their bonuses so she can keep her job. The title's playing in competition, natch. Fabrizio Rongione and Olivier Gourmet also star. Sundance Selects has already scooped up Us rights, but no word yet on a release date. The French trailer is unsubtitled, but check it out nonetheless to get a sense of the look and feel of the film -- and Cotillard's performance, which looks superb. And for those of you French speakers, well, pas de problème. »


- Beth Hanna

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Cannes Lineup: Veteran Auteurs, Newcomers and Awards Hopefuls; Who Missed the Cut?

12 hours ago

Speculation about what would play at the 67th Cannes Film Festival (May 14-25) has been rampant. Well, now we know. Some movies that weren't finished or didn't make the cut will wind up in Venice or the fall film festivals. What we will see in the Official Selection of 49 titles (out of 1800 submissions) announced Thursday by Thierry Fremaux is a mix of established auteur perennials who keep coming back to the Competition, year after year, like Canadians David Cronenberg ("Map to the Stars," starring Rob Pattinson), marking his fifth film in Competition, and Atom Egoyan ("The Captive") with his sixth.  This is the first time that Canada has three films in the race for the Palme d'Or: now 25-year-old Xavier Dolan has made the climb from Director's Fortnight ("I Killed My Mother") to Un Certain Regard ("Heartbeats" and "Laurence Anyways") and now "Mommy." Other familiar returning Cannes faces include Olivier Assayas »


- Anne Thompson

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Yah, That's a Good One: 'Fargo' Premiere Lands More Than Four Million Viewers Updated

16 April 2014 1:52 PM, PDT

Update: The premiere of "Fargo," FX's new take on the Coens' 1996 classic (the brothers are exec producing the series), landed good ratings on its April 15 debut, averaging 2.65 million viewers in its initial airing, with 4.15 million tuning in throughout the two repeat airings.Now that Toh! is caught up with the show's first episode, we can report that it was quite close in tone to the neo-noir original, an interesting example of introducing the characters, setting and mood from the Coens' film, and then expanding on them. Unclear whether they're going to give the Frances McDormand character (aka Marrrrge Gunderson) her due -- it's a tough act to follow, not to mention an Oscar-winning one. But Freeman and Thornton are definitely delivering the goods. Earlier: It's the type of thing that could easily be a botched operation. But while FX's "Fargo" has intimidatingly big shoes to fill -- in the form of the Coen brothers, »


- Anne Thompson and Beth Hanna

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As Tribeca Kicks Off, 'A Brony Tale' Leads Some Must-See Docs

16 April 2014 1:46 PM, PDT

“The business of the business is so crazy and complicated that we forget why we’re doing what we’re doing,” said veteran producer and Hollywood refugee Paula Weinstein at a kickoff lunch for the Tribeca Film Festival Tuesday. “Now, I’m reminded everyday why we’re doing what we’re doing.” The veteran producer of “Analyze This,” “The Perfect Storm,” and “The Company Men" is enjoying in her third month as a VP at Tribeca Enterprises. Youth has a lot to do with it, Weinstein said. After all, the Tribeca Film Festival is only 13, so there were matzohs and macaroons on hand and a glancing nod at Passover, as well as acknowledgement by Tribeca founder Jane Rosenthal that the festival planned mostly to do what it had done before -- just better. Weinstein, who recently relocated from La to Manhattan, couldn’t be happier about it. She said the »


- John Anderson

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Warner's Tsujihara Taps Dee Dee Myers as Highpowered Head of Corporate PR

16 April 2014 1:12 PM, PDT

Political analyst, former White House Press Secretary and author Dee Dee Myers ("Why Woman Should Rule the World") is Warner Bros.' new head of corporate communications.  Myers, who was press secretary (the first woman and one of the youngest ever) during the first two years of the Clinton administration (1993 to 1994), is now a political media pundit on politics, contributor at Vanity Fair (where her husband is national editor) and lecture circuit star, will relocate to La from Washington DC. In September, she will succeed Susan Fleishman, who is leaving the studio after a tumultuous nine years which saw Kevin Tsujihara ascend to studio head over departing rivals Bruce Rosenblum (TV) and Jeff Robinov (Motion Pictures), who left behind some strong projects for the studio, including Oscar-winner "Gravity" and "The Lego Movie." Now, clearly, Tsujihara wants a his own high-profile corporate PR leader, who will oversee the studio's corporate communications strategies. »


- Anne Thompson and Ryan Lattanzio

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Watch: Stars Collide in First Trailer for Paul Haggis's 'Third Person'

16 April 2014 12:34 PM, PDT

A trailer has landed for the most recent effort from writer-director Paul Haggis (Oscar winner "Crash"). "Third Person," which bowed at last year's Cannes, is finally eyeing a limited stateside release on June 20. Like the multiple-narrative-heavy "Crash," this new drama also follows an array of characters -- in the forms of Liam Neeson, James Franco, Mila Kunis, Olivia Wilde, Adrien Brody and Moran Atias. Spread over the global metropolises of Paris, Rome and New York, the film looks at a writer (Neeson) who's manuscript has been turned down, so he takes his miseries to Paris, where he starts up a May-December romance with Wilde; a man (Brody) exploring Rome, who forms a relationship with a Romanian woman (Atias); and another man (Franco) living in New York with his new girlfriend and son from his apparently acrimonious previous marriage (to Kunis). Of course, Haggis's world is one of interconnectivity, and as secrets come to the fore, »


- Beth Hanna

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Watch: Martin Scorsese Talks Hitchcock, 'Taxi Driver' and Story vs. Plot with Jon Favreau

16 April 2014 11:19 AM, PDT

Check out this vintage clip from Jon Favreau's IFC show "Dinner for Five" where guest Martin Scorsese talks about approaching story and character, his favorite Hitchcock films and more. Favreau's full 30-minute conversation with Scorsese, from 2004, is below as well. The man has good taste -- and for that matter, so does Jon Favreau. Scorsese loves Hitch's unsung 1956 noir "The Wrong Man," starring Henry Fonda, which he says he screened for writer Paul Schrader when they were working on their masterful "Taxi Driver," another film with noirish elements about man's evolution from innocence to criminality.  Writer/director Favreau has SXSW comedy/food porn hit "Chef" coming up. Also, revisit our "Wolf of Wall Street" interview with Scorsese here, and our ranking of his best dozen films here.  »


- Ryan Lattanzio

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Hollywood Stars Michelle Williams, James Franco and Zach Braff Walk the Broadway Boards (Videos)

16 April 2014 11:16 AM, PDT

Why is Sam Mendes back in New York with "Cabaret?" Michelle Williams. She's the talk of the town as she makes her Broadway debut as song-and-dance ingenue Sally Bowles opposite Alan Cumming in Roundabout's revival of the dark musical "Cabaret," directed by Mendes, a prolific stage director before foraying into film with his Oscar-winning debut "American Beauty" in 1999. (Watch a clip from "Cabaret" below.) While many Hollywood stars are packing up their bags and moving to television, Williams is not the only young A-lister heading to a new arena: Broadway. Scarlett Johansson won a Featured Actress Tony for her debut role in "A View from the Bridge" in 2010. And this Tony season, an unprecedented number of movie and Hollywood stars under 40 are hitting Broadway for the first time," writes the La Times in a feature on Broadway rookies Williams, Zach Braff and James Franco, as well as a few familiar faces from TV including Chris. »


- Anne Thompson and Ryan Lattanzio

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Talking Tech and 'Transcendence' with Johnny Depp and Wally Pfister (Video)

16 April 2014 10:37 AM, PDT

You can always bet on a lively press conference with Johnny Depp, but a recent Los Angeles tech talk about "Transcendence" and the inevitability of uploading human consciousness into a super computer brought out his more vulnerable side. Depp admitted, among other things, that he's too clumsy when it comes to texting and that his role as an AI scientist-turned megalomaniac was difficult without a flamboyant mask to hide behind. "Things go wrong all the time, especially between me and technology," Depp quipped. "I'm not familiar enough with it and I'm too old school to be able to figure it out. But anything that I have to attack with my thumbs for any period of time makes me feel stupid. So I try to avoid it as much as possible, to protect my thumbs, of course." Joining Depp at the Four Seasons in Beverly Hills were Wally Pfister, the Oscar-winning »


- Bill Desowitz

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Watch: Louis C.K. Takes a Swan Dive in New 'Louie' Season 4 Teaser

16 April 2014 10:25 AM, PDT

Everyone's favorite lovable curmudgeon Louis C.K. returns in the fourth season of his dark comedy "Louie," premiering May 5 on FX. To get you ramped up, check out this nifty little black-and-white teaser, in which Louie dives off the Brooklyn Bridge and into the East River. Until then, might we suggest you check out -- or revisit -- his side-splitting 2013 special "Oh My God"? It's streaming on HBO Go. »


- Ryan Lattanzio

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'Transcendence' Review Roundup: Mind-Blowing, or Just Brain-Dead?

16 April 2014 9:56 AM, PDT

Reviews are in for Wally Pfister's directorial debut "Transcendence," the ambitious sci-fi film starring Johnny Depp as a scientist whose efforts to create the ultimate artificial intelligence machine land him square in the middle of an ideological war. Hopes were high for this one because Pfister, though a first-time director, has worked as cinematographer on all of Christopher Nolan's films (and he won an Oscar in 2011 for "Inception"). Consensus is far off, but with 12 reviews and 25% on the Tomatometer -- and a Metacritic score of 40 with seven reviews -- in general, critics haven't been too kind to the costly film. Costarring Rebecca Hall, Paul Bettany, Cillian Murphy, Kate Mara and Morgan Freeman, "Transcendence" hits theaters this Friday, April 18 via Warner Bros. Here are a few snippets from the reviews so far. (Trailer below.) Indiewire's Eric Kohn admires the film, but with reservations: At its worst, "Transcendence" is a messy, »


- Ryan Lattanzio

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Trailers from Hell Dares to Enter 'The Black Pit of Dr. M'

16 April 2014 8:34 AM, PDT

Today on Trailers from Hell, horror writer/director Darren Bousman talks about Mexican filmmaker Fernando Mendez's Spanish-language fantasy thriller "The Black Pit of Dr. M," a buried treasure from 1959. Directed by Fernando Mendez, 1959's "The Black Pit of Dr. M" (Aka "Mysteries from the Beyond") is several steps above the usual monster movie fare spilling out of Mexico in the late fifties and early sixties. "Dr. M"'s predictable parade of pedestrian horror movie tropes, including mad scientists, zombies and mediums all staged inside an insane asylum is given unexpected beauty by Mendez's imaginative direction and cinematographer Victor Herrera's luminous black and white imagery. This outrageous trailer keeps blacking out the image because it's too horrible to show! »


- Trailers From Hell

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