Good Morning Hollywood, September 7: Winners & Losers

Even the biggest movie stars can’t measure up to a bunch of animators

In this morning’s roundup of movie news ‘n’ notes from around the web, even the biggest movie stars can’t measure up to a bunch of animators.

Noah Forrest asks, and answers, a question: “Who’s the biggest star in the world (right now)?” Last year, he says, the top dog was clearly James Cameron; considering this year’s contenders, he goes through the likes of George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio and Johnny Depp, dismisses them all for one reason or another, and then settles not on an actor or director, but a company: Pixar. “Name me another company, actor, director, etc. in the history of cinema that has never made a film that bombed either critically or commercially,” he says. “You can’t do it.” (Frenzy on the Wall)

Toy Story 3Brooks Barnes rounds up the summer box office, picking winners (“Inception,” Will Ferrell, Sony Pictures) and losers (Michael Cera, “Sex and the City”). He describes the summer as “tepid,” says studios are looking more closely at 3D rather than using it indiscriminately, and declares Fox had the worst summer of any major studio, Sony and Paramount the best. (The New York Times)

David Poland writes a “26 Weeks to Oscar” column in which he points out that there are no Best Picture locks at the moment, and that raves from the festival circuit (“VeniTelluRonto”) are only a beginning, not an Oscar guarantee. For some reason, producer Don Murphy (“Transformers”) then has a weird hissy fit in the comments section, bashing anybody who doesn’t bow to his assertion that Poland and other Oscar-watchers are irrelevant and don’t sway a single vote. Funny, I always thought Oscar-watching was much more about reading tea leaves than selling tea, which makes Murphy’s comments themselves irrelevant. (Movie City News)

At the Venice Film Festival, Guy Lodge sees Sofia Coppola’s “Somewhere” and breaks from what seems to be a general consensus that the film is nothing special: “With the wry, shimmery and thoroughly beguiling ‘Somewhere,’: he writes, “Coppola has perhaps made exactly the film she needed to at this point in her career: one that calmly takes stock of her abilities and interests rather than pushing them too severely.” (In Contention)  

Others aren’t nearly so enamored: Todd McCarthy, for instance, gripes, “This junior league Antonioniesque study of dislocation and aimlessness is attractive but parched in the manner of its dominant Los Angeles setting, and it’s a toss-up as to whether the film is about vacuity or is simply vacuous itself.” We usually have to turn to East Coast writers to get that kind of L.A.-is-empty attitude. (Todd McCarthy’s Deep Focus)