'Tis supposed to be the season of peace and goodwill, but The New Yorker has picked a major fight with Scott Rudin by deciding to release their (presumably favorable) review of "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo" a whole week ahead of schedule -- and in this report, you can read the entire caustic exchange between Rudin and reviewer David Denby over who's to blame. Denby claims that the crush of awards-season films puts magazines in the unfair position of having to cram too many reviews into too little space; Rudin reminds him that waiting until December 13 was one of the primary conditions to which the magazine had agreed when the film was screened. Publicity wise, I suspect everyone wins -- except Denby, who Rudin intends to ban from future screenings.
Are you familiar with "Commentary Tracks of the Damned," in which the AVClub pithily critiques the very worst DVD audio commentaries? This time around it's "Conan the Barbarian" (which has clearly been fast-tracked to DVD after vanishing from theaters), featuring stars Rose McGowan and Jason Momoa. No matter what the result, it's at least nice to hear that Momoa found opportunities to deviate from the script and "put Robert E. Howard’s philosophies and code and some of the original dialogue in the movie."
Remember Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood's haunting score for "There Will Be Blood"? Greenwood will return to cinema in 2012, lending his distinctive style to P.T. Anderson's new film "The Master" (which may or may not be inspired by the Scientology religious movement). And we're still waiting anxiously for Greenwood's forthcoming soundtrack to the big-screen adaptation of Haruki Murakami's Norwegian Wood.
Jane Austen is just full of surprises this month. First a mystery novelist claims that the famous author may have been murdered, and now a new portrait of Austen has suddenly emerged. Since there are only two other officially recognized portraits in existence, this could be a major find. A documentary about the process of authenticating the portrait will be broadcast by BBC Two on Boxing Day (or in American parlance, Christmas Hangover Day).
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