Ask Roger Smith, George W. Bush, Charlton Heston and the heath care industry. If there’s one person you don’t want to screw over, it’s Michael Moore. Whether you agree with his politics or not, Moore is well-known for being extremely vocal and diligent. So when he audited his $200 million, 2004 hit film Fahrenheit 9/11 and found “substantial irregularities in the accounting,” he went to the men responsible: Bob and Harvey Weinstein. After several months discussing the matter, Moore filed a lawsuit against the Weinsteins in Los Angeles County Court Monday for “breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty and constructive fraud claims.” He claims the Weinsteins used “Hollywood accounting tricks” and “financial deception” to cheat the him out of almost $3 million. Read more after the break. Read More »

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Hey, remember when Harvey Weinstein was all incensed last year about the R-rating given to The King’s Speech? It was at the same time as he was campaigning to appeal the NC-17 given to Blue Valentine, so you might have missed the much more minor controversy about Tom Hooper’s film. The rating for Blue Valentine was successfully appealed, but the R given to The King’s Speech was not. (The rating was given for a string of curses, including a many f-bombs, uttered by Colin Firth as King George VI as he tries to break through his stutter.) A lawyer for The Weinstein Company invoked the First Amendment when talking about the R rating, saying “it should strike fear in the heart of every director and producer.”

Now, with twelve Oscar nominations, Harvey Weinstein has basically said ‘fuck it’ with respect to the rating and integrity of the film. He wants to cut the movie to score a lower rating and, hopefully, bring kids into the audience. Read More »

MPAA Overturns NC-17 Rating for ‘Blue Valentine’

In a rare case of a successful appeal before the MPAA, the NC-17 rating initially slapped on Derek Cianfrance‘s Blue Valentine has been overturned. Harvey Weinstein personally appeared before the appeals board to plead on behalf of the film. The film will go out to theaters with an R rating. Read More »

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It’s been a big Toronto Film Festival for Harvey Weinstein, as The Weinstein Company picked up films like Dirty Girl, Sarah’s Key and the surprise hit of the fest, Submarine. But there’s another Harvey-related buy that might not make him as happy: IFC has picked up Unauthorized: The Harvey Weinstein Project, a documentary about the industry titan.

The Barry Avrich-directed and produced film is said by IFC to be “a powerful, uncensored, no-holds-barred account that traces Weinstein’s path from concert promoter on the cold streets of Buffalo to his first trip to the Cannes Film Festival, where he arrived with one pair of pants and closed his first movie deal, to winning an Oscar, and breaking the bank with his first $100 million film.” Avrich previously claimed the film would be balanced, rather than a hatchet job.

The film isn’t yet finished, and a release date hasn’t been reported.[Deadline]

After the break, sales deals for John Cameron Mitchell’s Rabbit Hole, the Korean thriller I Saw the Devil, and pre-sales for Almodovar’s next and Dredd. Read More »

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If you were following the Disney sale of Miramax earlier this spring, there was the point where it seemed almost a foregone conclusion that Bob and Harvey Weinstein — the guys who started Miramax in the first place, and named it after their parents — had successfully wrangled a deal to regain control of the company name and film library (despite Disney’s insistence to the contrary). In conjunction with supermarket mogul Ron Burkle, i.e. the guy providing the money, the Weinsteins supposedly had Miramax sewn up and would be announcing their triumph at Cannes.

Now, what’s being announced is that the deal has fallen apart. Read More »

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We have the intersection between famous people and crazy people to thank for no small amount of entertainment. Take the lawsuit filed by Dannez Hunter, who claims that in 1999 he submitted a story treatment to Miramax about a character named Ren. Hunter claims that Ren became O-Ren Ishii in Kill Bill, and that Quentin Tarantino stole elements of his treatment, including the specific manner of murder of Ren’s mother.

But it gets better, because Hunter also applied for a job at Miramax, and was, ahem, “never given a return phone call, as numerous similar situated less qualified Jewish and White people were bestowed job after job after job.” He wants a bag full of money, in part because whites and jews got all the royalties from Kill Bill. Good luck with this one, buddy. [TMZ]

After the break something slightly more substantive but less amusing: Tarantino reportedly may make a Harvey Weinstein documentary. Read More »

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Some of the most entertaining moments in the movie business come about when one overbearing personality gets a chance not just to be a total dick to another, but to be relatively justified in doing so. Harvey Weinstein is a master of these moments. When thinking about talking crap about the responsibilities of Mr. Weinstein, you should be prepared for a scathing response.

In 1988, Errol Morris got a taste of Weinstein’s ability to dress down filmmakers in his employ when Morris complained about Miramax’s efforts to promote his film The Thin Blue Line. The movie’s place in history is well-known by now (as the subject of the film, convicted killer Randall Adams, was exonerated after its release) but at the time Morris thought Harvey needed to do more to sell the film. As it turns out, Harvey thought exactly the same thing about Morris, as a letter sent to the director demonstrates.

How’d you like to receive a missive that begins with the following? “Heard your NPR interview and you were boring. You couldn’t have dragged me to see THE THIN BLUE LINE if my life depended on it.” Check out the full letter after the break. It is glorious, even if you’re a devoted Morris fan.[via Gordon and the Whale] Read More »

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Sometimes a trade headline catches my eye and I can do nothing but stare at it for a few moments in disbelief. This is one of those times. Peter Biskind, the rabble-rousing chronicler of Hollywood, spilled a lot of secrets about the 1990s American indie film scene in Down and Dirty Pictures: Miramax, Sundance and the Rise of Independent Film. (‘Chronicler’ is being generous, according to some who claim that Biskind fabricates or selectively reports facts and events.)

Now the book is, improbably, becoming the basis for a film called Down and Dirty, for which Vincent D’onofrio has been tapped to star as Miramax co-founder Harvey Weinstein. What I’d give to hear any phone call between the mogul and actor discussing this project. Read More »

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