Tuesday, September 30, 2014

"Magic Mike" Sequel Begins Production; Due July 1st, 2015

“Magic Mike XXL” Takes Center Stage

Production on Sequel Begins September 29 with Returning Cast, Plus New Stars, for Director Gregory Jacobs

BURBANK, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--“Magic Mike” stars Channing Tatum, Matt Bomer, Joe Manganiello, Kevin Nash, Adam Rodriguez and Gabriel Iglesias are reuniting for the hotly anticipated sequel “Magic Mike XXL,” beginning production on September 29th, for director Gregory Jacobs. The announcement was made today by Greg Silverman, President of Creative Development and Worldwide Production, and Sue Kroll, President of Worldwide Marketing and International Distribution, Warner Bros. Pictures.

    “‘Magic Mike’ was a tremendous crowd-pleaser, scoring with critics and audiences across the board. We look forward to continuing the magic with so many of the talented individuals who made that film such a success—both in front of and behind the camera—and welcome these wonderful additions to the cast.”

Joining the returning cast, in brand new roles, will be Elizabeth Banks (“The Hunger Games” franchise), Donald Glover (“Community”), Amber Heard (“The Rum Diary”), Andie MacDowell (“Footloose”), Jada Pinkett Smith (“Gotham”) and Michael Strahan (“Live with Kelly and Michael”).

“Magic Mike XXL” is set for release on Wednesday, July 1, 2015.

The new film will be directed and produced by Emmy Award winner Gregory Jacobs (“Behind the Candelabra”), who served as a producer on “Magic Mike,” as well as numerous features in a long-running collaboration with Steven Soderbergh. “Magic Mike XXL” also reunites “Magic Mike” producers Nick Wechsler, Channing Tatum and Reid Carolin, with a screenplay by Carolin. Steven Soderbergh, who directed the first film, will executive produce.

Picking up the story three years after Mike bowed out of the stripper life at the top of his game, “Magic Mike XXL” finds the remaining Kings of Tampa likewise ready to throw in the towel. But they want to do it their way: burning down the house in one last blow-out performance in Myrtle Beach, and with legendary headliner Magic Mike sharing the spotlight with them. On the road to their final show, with whistle stops in Jacksonville and Savannah to renew old acquaintances and make new friends, Mike and the guys learn some new moves and shake off the past in surprising ways.

In making the announcement, Silverman said, “‘Magic Mike’ was a tremendous crowd-pleaser, scoring with critics and audiences across the board. We look forward to continuing the magic with so many of the talented individuals who made that film such a success—both in front of and behind the camera—and welcome these wonderful additions to the cast.”

Stated Kroll, “‘Magic Mike’ delighted audiences everywhere with a fun and fascinating glimpse into a world few people ever see, becoming both a critical and commercial triumph. We’re thrilled to bring these memorable characters back to the big screen, along with some exciting new ones, in a story that will take them even further.”


Monday, September 29, 2014

Emma Watson's United Nations Speech "We Want to End Gender Inequality..."

(photographic image is courtesy of UN Women.)

From The Huffington Post and Reader Supported News:

The following is an unedited version of the speech delivered by Emma Watson, the British actor and UN Women Global Goodwill Ambassador, at the launch of the UN Women's "HeForShe" Campaign on Saturday, September 20, 2014, at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City.

'We Want to End Gender Inequality - And to Do That We Need Everyone to Be Involved'
By Emma Watson, Reader Supported News

Today we are launching a campaign called HeForShe.

I am reaching out to you because I need your help. We want to end gender inequality - and to do that we need everyone to be involved.

This is the first campaign of its kind at the UN: we want to try and galvanise as many men and boys as possible to be advocates for gender equality. And we don't just want to talk about it, but make sure it is tangible.

I was appointed six months ago and the more I have spoken about feminism the more I have realised that fighting for women's rights has too often become synonymous with man-hating. If there is one thing I know for certain, it is that this has to stop.

For the record, feminism by definition is: "The belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities. It is the theory of the political, economic and social equality of the sexes."

I started questioning gender-based assumptions when at eight I was confused at being called "bossy," because I wanted to direct the plays we would put on for our parents - but the boys were not.

When at 14 I started being sexualised by certain elements of the press.

When at 15 my girlfriends started dropping out of their sports teams because they didn't want to appear "muscly."

When at 18 my male friends were unable to express their feelings.

I decided I was a feminist and this seemed uncomplicated to me. But my recent research has shown me that feminism has become an unpopular word.

Apparently I am among the ranks of women whose expressions are seen as too strong, too aggressive, isolating, anti-men and, unattractive.

Why is the word such an uncomfortable one?

I am from Britain and think it is right that as a woman I am paid the same as my male counterparts. I think it is right that I should be able to make decisions about my own body. I think it is right that women be involved on my behalf in the policies and decision-making of my country. I think it is right that socially I am afforded the same respect as men. But sadly I can say that there is no one country in the world where all women can expect to receive these rights.

No country in the world can yet say they have achieved gender equality.

These rights I consider to be human rights but I am one of the lucky ones. My life is a sheer privilege because my parents didn't love me less because I was born a daughter. My school did not limit me because I was a girl. My mentors didn't assume I would go less far because I might give birth to a child one day. These influencers were the gender equality ambassadors that made who I am today. They may not know it, but they are the inadvertent feminists who are. And we need more of those. And if you still hate the word - it is not the word that is important but the idea and the ambition behind it. Because not all women have been afforded the same rights that I have. In fact, statistically, very few have been.

In 1997, Hilary Clinton made a famous speech in Beijing about women's rights. Sadly many of the things she wanted to change are still a reality today.

But what stood out for me the most was that only 30 per cent of her audience were male. How can we affect change in the world when only half of it is invited or feel welcome to participate in the conversation?

Men - I would like to take this opportunity to extend your formal invitation. Gender equality is your issue too.

Because to date, I've seen my father's role as a parent being valued less by society despite my needing his presence as a child as much as my mother's.

I've seen young men suffering from mental illness unable to ask for help for fear it would make them look less "macho" - in fact in the UK suicide is the biggest killer of men between 20-49; eclipsing road accidents, cancer and coronary heart disease. I've seen men made fragile and insecure by a distorted sense of what constitutes male success. Men don't have the benefits of equality either.

We don't often talk about men being imprisoned by gender stereotypes but I can see that that they are and that when they are free, things will change for women as a natural consequence.

If men don't have to be aggressive in order to be accepted women won't feel compelled to be submissive. If men don't have to control, women won't have to be controlled.

Both men and women should feel free to be sensitive. Both men and women should feel free to be strong... It is time that we all perceive gender on a spectrum not as two opposing sets of ideals.

If we stop defining each other by what we are not and start defining ourselves by what we are - can all be freer and this is what HeForShe is about. It's about freedom.

I want men to take up this mantle. So their daughters, sisters and mothers can be free from prejudice but also so that their sons have permission to be vulnerable and human too - reclaim those parts of themselves they abandoned and in doing so be a more true and complete version of themselves.

You might be thinking who is this Harry Potter girl? And what is she doing up on stage at the UN. It's a good question and trust me I have been asking myself the same thing. I don't know if I am qualified to be here. All I know is that I care about this problem. And I want to make it better.

And having seen what I've seen - and given the chance - I feel it is my duty to say something. English statesman Edmund Burke said: "All that is needed for the forces of evil to triumph is for enough good men and women to do nothing."

In my nervousness for this speech and in my moments of doubt I've told myself firmly - if not me, who, if not now, when. If you have similar doubts when opportunities are presented to you I hope those words might be helpful.

Because the reality is that if we do nothing it will take 75 years, or for me to be nearly a hundred before women can expect to be paid the same as men for the same work. 15.5million girls will be married in the next 16 years as children. And at current rates it won't be until 2086 before all rural African girls will be able to receive a secondary education.

If you believe in equality, you might be one of those inadvertent feminists I spoke of earlier. And for this I applaud you.

We are struggling for a uniting word but the good news is we have a uniting movement. It is called HeForShe. I am inviting you to step forward, to be seen to speak up, To be the he for she. And to ask yourself if not me, who, if not now when.

Thank you.


Saturday, September 27, 2014

Review: "The Act of Killing" Delves into Mass Murder and Mass Murderers

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 44 (of 2014) by Leroy Douresseaux

The Act of Killing (2012)
Running time:  122 minutes (2 hours, 2 minutes)
DIRECTOR:  Joshua Oppenheimer with Christine Cynn and Anonymous
PRODUCERS:  Christine Cynn, Anne Kohncke,Signe Byrge Sorense, Joram ten Brink, Michael Uwemedimo, and Anonymous
CINEMATOGRAPHERS:  Carlos Arango De Montis, Lars Skree, and Anonymous
EDITORS:  Niels Pagh Andersen, Erik Andersson, Charlotte Munch Bengtsen, Ariadna Fatjo-Vilas Mestre, Janus Billeskov Jansen, and Mariko Montpetit
Academy Award nominee


Starring:  Anwar Congo, Herman Koto, Ibrahim Sinik, Yapto Soerjosomarno, Adi Zulkadry, Soaduon Siregar, and Sakhyan Asmara

The Act of Killing is a 2012 documentary film from director Joshua Oppenheimer.  A co-production of Denmark, Norway, and the United Kingdom, the film concerns the Indonesian killings of 1965-66.  In The Act of Killing,  former Indonesian death-squad leaders reenact the mass-killings in which they participated by imitating their favorite Hollywood films.  Acclaimed filmmakers, Werner Herzog and Oscar-winner Errol Morris, are executive producers of this film.

The genesis of the story told by The Act of Killing began in Indonesia in October 1965.  There is an intra-military dispute that leads to a failed coup.  The army overthrows the government.  It then uses paramilitaries and gangsters to form death squads to lead an anti-communist purge of Indonesia.  Anyone opposed to the new government could be accused of being a communist, and that included union members, landless farmers, intellectuals, and ethnic Chinese (according the the film's foreword).

From 1965 to 1966, death squads killed people, numbering in the hundreds of thousands.  The Act of Killing's director, Joshua Oppenheimer, places the number of deaths between one to three million people.  An accurate count of the actual number of deaths may never be known.

Oppenheimer and Christine Cynn began researching the Indonesian killings of 1965-66 over a decade ago.  Eventually, interviews Oppenheimer conducted led him to Anwar Congo, who had been a “movie theater gangster,” selling black market movie theater tickets to popular Hollywood films showing in Indonesia.  Congo and his partner, Adi Zulkadry, were promoted from gangsters to leaders of one of the most powerful death squads in the North Sumatra region of Indonesia.

Invited by Oppenheimer, Congo and his friends, especially a man named Herman Koto, recount and reenact their experiences killing people for the cameras.  The idea is to turn their memories into a movie in which scenes of torture and murder mimic their favorite Hollywood films.  However, the more he recollects his murderous deeds, the more Anwar is haunted by nightmares and guilt.

The word “shocking” is overused, but The Act of Killing is shocking.  The matter-of-fact and nonchalant way in which the death squad killers recall their murderous work can be off-putting.  The film takes the concept of the banality of evil and makes it mind-numbing.  The Hollywood-style reenactments of interrogation, torture, and murder are a collision of the absurd and the god-awful that could lead the audience to eye-rolling... that is when they aren't being repulsed and infuriated.

The problem for The Act of Killing is that after an hour of watching, all these recollections of the acts of killing become tedious.  At just over two hours in length, The Act of Killing is about a half-hour too long.  Honestly, I can see why some people think of this as a great film.  I think it tells a hugely important story, and the result is harrowing and intense.  I think it is an exceptional film and an important document (as far as documentaries go), but is it truly great? ... not quite.

8 of 10

Friday, September 26, 2014

The text is copyright © 2014 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this site for syndication rights and fees.

2014 Academy Awards, USA:  1 nomination: “Best Documentary, Features” (Joshua Oppenheimer and Signe Byrge Sørensen)

2014 BAFTA Awards:  1 win: “Best Documentary” (Joshua Oppenheimer); 1 nomination: “Best Film not in the English Language” (Joshua Oppenheimer and Signe Byrge Sørensen)

Negromancer News Bits and Bites for the Week of September 21st to September 27th, 2014 - Update #16


From YahooTV:  Information about some of the characters in the still-in-development Walking Dead spinoff.

From YahooCelebrity: George Clooney married Amal Alamuddin today, Saturday, September 27, 2014, in Italy.  The marriage will be made official in a civil ceremony on Monday.

From YahooTV:  "Gilligan's Island" is 50-years-old today.

From YahooScreen:  Apparently, there will be a third installment of Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure.  I don't like this movie, but strangely, I really loved Evan Dorkin's comic book adaptation of the film for Marvel Comics.

From InsideMovies:  Famously (infamously) reclusive writer, Thomas Pynchon, may make a cameo in Paul Thomas Anderson's film adaptation of his novel, Inherent Vice.

From CinemaBlend:  "Taken 3" gets a new title, Tak3n... seriously.

From CinemaBlend:  A story about Kenan Thompson of "Saturday Night Live" and "What Up With That?"

From YahooNews:  Will Smith posts cute birthday pic of he and and wife, Jada.

From UPI:  Oscar-nominated actress, Kate Hudson, claims that she and mother, Oscar-winning legend, Goldie Hawn, can see ghosts.

From YahooCelebrityEmma Watson, of Harry Potter fame, delivers a stirring speech on gender equality before the United Nations on Saturday, September 20, 2014.

From TheHollywoodReporter:  New release, The Maze Runner, wins the September 19th to 21st, 2014 weekend box office with an estimated take of $32.5 million.

From the HuffingtonPostIdris Elba's tale of the vampire Nic Cage.

COMICS BOOKS - Books and Films:

From TheMotleyFool:  Five things you might not know about "Batman Vs. Superman."

From Inquisitr:  "Batman vs. Superman" cast member, Henry Lennix, says that fans of Frank Miller's seminal Batman graphic novel, Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, will be pleased about the 2016 film.

From VultureBryan Singer will direct "X-Men: Apocalypse" and an update on his legal trouble.

From CinemaBlend:  If he is in "Batman Vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice," what will Aquaman look like.

From YahooTVTV Guide on what works and doesn't work in "Gotham" (FOX affiliates - 8 Eastern/7Central, but check your local listings).


From InquisitrEpisode 7 concept art reveals a light sabre duel in a snowy forest

From CinemaBlend:  Storm Troopers may have a new look in Episode 7.

From IBTimes:  Five villains who may be in Episode 7.

From /FilmRoger Moore, James Bond and The Saint, talks about his Star Wars Episode 7 set visit.


From The Hollywood Reporter via YahooMoviesRichard Gere talks about playing a homeless man in "Time Out of Mind.

From YahooTV:  A review of Episode 1 of Marvel Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 22

From TheVillageVoice:  An interview of Terry Gilliam for the release of his new film, Zero Theorem.


From 20th Century Fox:  New trailer for Kingsman: The Secret Service.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

"Hercules" Starring Dwayne Johnson on DVD and Blu-ray November 4th, 2014

Dwayne Johnson Stars in the Rollicking, Action-Packed Epic HERCULES, Debuting on Blu-Ray™ & Blu-Ray 3D™ Combo Pack November 4, 2014 with Theatrical and Extended Cut

“Dwayne Johnson was born for this role.” —Scott Bowles, USA Today

HOLLYWOOD--(BUSINESS WIRE)--“Fast-paced and packed with eye-popping action” (Elizabeth Weitzman, New York Daily News), Paramount Pictures’ and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures’ wildly entertaining epic adventure HERCULES debuts on Blu-ray Combo Pack, Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack and DVD November 4, 2014 from Paramount Home Media Distribution. The film arrives two weeks early on Digital HD October 21. Global superstar Dwayne Johnson delivers an unforgettable performance as the mighty Hercules in this thrilling story of strength, courage and heroism. When a terrifying new enemy threatens the innocent, Hercules and his fearless team of warriors must lead their army in a battle against overwhelming odds. HERCULES boasts a sensational cast of acclaimed actors including Ian McShane (Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides), Joseph Fiennes (TV’s “American Horror Story”), Rufus Sewell (The Illusionist), and John Hurt (Immortals).

The HERCULES Blu-ray 3D and Blu-ray Combo Packs with Digital HD include both the theatrical version of the film, as well as an extended cut (in 2D only) with exciting new action not seen in theaters. The sets also boast over an hour of in-depth, behind-the-scenes special features including 15 deleted and extended scenes, interviews with the cast and crew, a look at the weapons employed by Hercules and his team, commentary featuring director Brett Ratner and more.

HERCULES Blu-ray Combo Pack
The theatrical version of HERCULES on Blu-ray is presented in 1080p high definition with English Dolby Atmos (7.1 Dolby TrueHD compatible), French 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital and English Audio Description and English, English SDH, French and Spanish subtitles. The DVD in the combo pack is presented in widescreen enhanced for 16:9 TVs with English 5.1 Dolby Digital, French 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital and English Audio Description and English, French and Spanish subtitles. The combo pack includes access to a Digital HD copy of the film as well as the following:

Theatrical version in high definition
     Commentary by director Brett Ratner and producer Beau Flynn
    Extended cut in high definition
    Brett Ratner and Dwayne Johnson: An Introduction
    Hercules and his Mercenaries—Delve into the story behind the team assembled by Hercules for his perilous missions and the skills required of them.
    Weapons!—Exploration of the weapons created for the spectacular action scenes, including training with the actors.
    The Bessi Battle—Discover how one of the major action sequences of the film was created with the filmmakers, actors, stunt team, make-up effects and more.
    The Effects of Hercules—A behind-the-scenes look at the film’s spectacular visual effects.
    15 Deleted/Extended Scenes

Theatrical version in standard definition

HERCULES Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack
The Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack includes all of the above, as well as a Blu-ray 3D with the theatrical version of the film presented in 1080p high definition with English Dolby Atmos (7.1 Dolby TrueHD compatible), French 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital and English Audio Description and English, English SDH, French and Spanish subtitles.

The Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack and Blu-ray Combo Pack available for purchase include a Digital Version of the film that can be accessed through UltraViolet™, a way to collect, access and enjoy movies. With UltraViolet, consumers can add movies to their digital collection in the cloud, and then stream or download them—reliably and securely—to a variety of devices.

The single-disc DVD is presented in widescreen enhanced for 16:9 TVs with English 5.1 Dolby Digital, French 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital and English Audio Description and English, French and Spanish subtitles. The disc includes the theatrical version of the feature film in standard definition.

Twitter: https://Twitter.com/HerculesMovie
Facebook: https://www.Facebook.com/Hercules
Tumblr: http://Hercules.Tumblr.com/
YouTube: https://www.YouTube.com/HerculesMovie
iTunes: http://j.mp/iTunesHerculesMovie
Amazon: http://j.mp/BuyHercules

Paramount Pictures and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures present a Flynn Picture Company production in association with Radical Studios a Brett Ratner film: “Hercules.” Executive produced by Ross Fanger, Jesse Berger, Peter Berg and Sarah Aubrey. Produced by Beau Flynn, Barry Levine and Brett Ratner. Based on Radical Comics' 'Hercules' by Steve Moore. Screenplay by Ryan J. Condal and Evan Spiliotopoulos. Directed by Brett Ratner.

About Paramount Home Media Distribution
Paramount Home Media Distribution (PHMD) is part of Paramount Pictures Corporation (PPC), a global producer and distributor of filmed entertainment. PPC is a unit of Viacom (NASDAQ: VIAB, VIA), a leading content company with prominent and respected film, television and digital entertainment brands. The PHMD division oversees PPC’s home entertainment, digital and television distribution activities worldwide. The division is responsible for the sales, marketing and distribution of home entertainment content on behalf of Paramount Pictures, Paramount Animation, Paramount Vantage, Paramount Classics, Insurge Pictures, MTV, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central and CBS and applicable licensing and servicing of certain DreamWorks Animation titles. PHMD additionally manages global licensing of studio content and distribution across worldwide digital and television distribution platforms including online, mobile and portable devices and emerging technologies.

Street Date:
November 4, 2014 (Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray, DVD and VOD)
October 21, 2014 (Digital)

$49.99 U.S. (Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack)
$39.99 U.S. (Blu-ray Combo Pack)
$29.99 U.S. (DVD)

98 minutes (theatrical version)
101 minutes (extended version)

U.S. Rating:  PG-13 for epic battle sequences, violence, suggestive comments, brief strong language and partial nudity

Canadian Rating:  14A for violence; not recommended for children


Robin Williams Dead at 63 - Breaking... Update #10

Robin Williams, the stand-up comic, television actor, and acclaimed hit-making big screen actor, has died at the age of 63.  He was found in his home and apparently had been battling depression lately.

Williams was known for his comedic and dramatic turns in film - performing in films as diverse as Walt Disney's Aladdin and Mrs. Doubtfire to Awakenings and What Dreams My Come.  He received best actor Oscar nominations:  Good Morning, Vietnam, Dead Poets Society, and The Fisher King.  He won the best supporting actor Oscar for Good Will Hunting (1997).

Williams was a writer and performer on "The Richard Pryor Show" (1977).  His breakout role was as the alien "Mork" for four seasons on the ABC sitcom, "Mork & Mindy," for which he earned an Emmy nomination.

In addition to his Oscar, Williams won two Emmy Awards and several Golden Globe and Grammy Awards.

Williams is survived by a wife and three children.  Negromancer sends condolences to Mr. Williams' family and friends.  R.I.P. Robin Williams.


From YahooNews:  Matt Damon:  Ben and I owe everything to him (Robin Williams)...

From UPI:  PBS is broadcasting a Robin Williams tribute special.  Williams' "Mork & Mindy" costar, Pam Dawber, will guest star on that special.

From YahooNews:  Actress Mila Kunis shares advice Robin Williams gave her.

From The Washington Post via RSN:  Frenetic, Often Fearless

From YahooMovies:  Other "Genie" voice actor has a tribute to Williams.

From YahooGames:  Nintendo responds to petition to include Robin Williams tribute in Zelda game

From FOXNews:  "Mork and Mindy" star Pam Dawber, other celebs react to the news of Robin Williams' death

From Entertainment Weekly's InsideMovies:  Robin Williams: sober and battling Parkinson's, according to wife

From TodayMichael J. Fox "stunned" to learn Robin Williams had Parkinson's

From Today:  Robin Williams was struggling with early Parkinson's, wife say.

From Variety:  Police: Robin Williams' Death Due to Hanging

From YahooFinance:  Robin Williams Set Up a 3-Part Trust Fund for His Kids Amid Money Troubles

From YahooSports:  Robin Williams was the first male Denver Broncos cheerleader

From YahooCelebrity:  The Children of Robin Williams Remember Dad

From InContention:  We might have Robin Williams to thank for Jessica Chastain.

From YahooTV:  Billy Crystal and Whoopi Goldberg give the most eloquent reaction to Robin Williams' death.

From Collider:  R.I.P. Robins Williams, Legendary Comic and Actor at 63

From Deadline:  Singular Talent Robin Williams Commits Suicide at Age 63

From EW InsideMovies:  Robin Williams Dead at 63

From The Hollywood Reporter via Yahoo: Robin Williams Died of Suspected Suicide

From Variety:  Robin Williams Found Dead in Possible Suicide

Robin Williams' Wikipedia page is here.
Robin Williams' IMDb page is here.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

EPIX Documentary, "To Russia with Love," Explores World of LGBT Athletes

EPIX Original Documentary To Russia with Love Explores LGBT Human Rights Journey as Seen Through Athletes’ Experience -- Premieres October 29 at 8PM ET

Featuring Johnny Weir, Billie Jean King, Greg Louganis, Jason Collins and Olympic Gold Medalist Mark Tewksbury

Golden Globe & Emmy Award Winner Jane Lynch Narrates

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Premium entertainment network EPIX announced today that Golden Globe and Emmy Award winner Jane Lynch (“Glee”) will lend her voice to the EPIX Original Documentary, To Russia With Love, that will make its World Premiere Wednesday, October 29 at 8PM ET. To Russia with Love explores human rights through the lens of LGBT athletes, with iconoclastic athlete and commentator Johnny Weir serving as the viewers’ guide into this world. The 90 minute film examines the experiences of Olympic legends Billie Jean King and Greg Louganis as well as the next generation of LGBT athletes who participated in the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia. Shooting worldwide in locations as diverse as Sochi, New York City, Calgary, Toronto, St. Petersburg and Moscow, the film follows these athletes from the ice to the slopes as they bear the brunt of constant media questioning about Russia's anti-gay laws.

In addition to Olympic sports legends, 2014 Olympians and Olympic hopefuls included in the film are snowboarders Belle Brockhoff and Simona Meiler, speed skaters Anastasia Bucsis and Blake Skjellerup, four-time gold medal winning hockey player Charline Labonté, as well as notable sports personalities such as Calgary Flames President of Hockey Operations and USA Hockey personnel director Brian Burke, Olympic gold medalist swimmer Mark Tewksbury and Russian Open Games’ Konstantin Yablotskiy and Elvina Yuvakaeva. To Russia With Love also features interviews and commentary from David Remnick, editor-in-chief of The New Yorker, Golden Globe-nominated actor and activist Stephen Fry and the Brooklyn Nets’ Jason Collins.

To Russia With Love is an EPIX Original Documentary, produced by Sundance Productions. Noam Gonick is director; Howard Gertler (Oscar®nominee, How to Survive a Plague) and Elle Flanders are producers and Emmy® winner Jennifer P. Honn is editor. Laura Michalchyshyn and Johnny Weir are executive producers and Laina Cohn is co-producer. Ross Bernard and Jill Burkhart are executive producers for EPIX.

Join the conversation about #ToRussiaWithLove on Twitter http://Twitter.com/EpixHD, on Facebook http://Facebook.com/EPIX and on the EPIX webpage http://www.epix.com/to-russia-with-love.

About EPIX
EPIX is a premium movie and original programming entertainment service delivering the latest movie releases, classic film franchises, original documentaries, comedy and music events on TV, on demand, online and on devices. Launched in October 2009, EPIX has pioneered the development and proliferation of “TV Everywhere.” It was the first premium network to provide multi-platform access to its content online at EPIX.com and was the first premium network to launch on Xbox, PlayStation®, Android tablets and phones, Windows 8.1 and Roku® players. EPIX is available to authenticated subscribers on hundreds of devices including Apple® iPads® and iPhones® and is the only premium service providing all its programming on all platforms, delivering more movies than any other premium network, with thousands of titles available for streaming.

EPIX is a joint venture between Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIA and VIA.B), its Paramount Pictures unit, Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF) and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. (MGM). Through relationships with cable, satellite and telco partners, EPIX is available to over 50 million homes nationwide. For more information about EPIX, go to www.EPIX.com. Follow EPIX on Twitter @EpixHD (http://www.twitter.com/EpixHD) and on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/EPIX), YouTube (http://youtube.com/EPIX), Instagram (http://instagram.com/EPIX), Google+ (http://plus.google.com/+EPIX) and Pinterest (http://pinterest.com/EPIX).


Disney Launches "Star Wars Rebels" Merchandise and Product Lines

Disney Consumer Products Extends Epic Storytelling with the Launch of Star Wars Rebels Product Assortment

GLENDALE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Disney Consumer Products has unveiled an intergalactic assortment of products celebrating the release of Star Wars Rebels, the new Disney XD animated television series which debuts October 3rd on Disney Channel and continues on Disney XD starting October 13th. With all new exciting adventures and memorable new characters, Star Wars Rebels will introduce a new generation of fans to the Star Wars galaxy, inspiring new lines of figures, spaceships and lightsabers, apparel and accessories, home décor, books and more from best-in-class licensees including Hasbro, LEGO, Mad Engine, Rubies and Jay Franco.

    “Star Wars Rebels extends the franchise’s legendary storytelling while refreshing nostalgic play patterns with a new audience”

“Star Wars Rebels extends the franchise’s legendary storytelling while refreshing nostalgic play patterns with a new audience,” said Josh Silverman, executive vice president of global licensing, Disney Consumer Products. "With updated classics like multi-functional lightsabers and buildable spacecraft, kids will be able to recreate the epic galactic space fantasy that has been shared by multiple generations.”

Star Wars Rebels is also supported by Disney Publishing Worldwide with a new book program and series of interactive mobile apps from Disney Lucasfilm Press which expand upon the Star Wars Rebels series. The first wave of Star Wars Rebels books includes Star Wars Rebels: A New Hero by Pablo Hidalgo, an action-packed picture book that uses dynamic concept art from the show, and Star Wars Rebels: Servants of the Empire, an original chapter book series written by Jason Fry. Star Wars Journeys, an episodic series of apps from Disney Publishing, will be updated this October to include the stories that lead up to the action-packed adventures in Star Wars Rebels. In early 2015, Star Wars Scene Maker: Rebels will launch to feature the locations and characters from the series, giving fans an unrivaled user-generated storytelling experience that allows them to re-imagine and re-create scenes from Star Wars Rebels.

In addition to the collection of Star Wars Rebels products available at Disney Store locations nationwide, DisneyStore.com will feature a “Create Your Own” tab that allows fans to personalize a variety of items from tech accessories and school supplies to apparel and party invitations that feature their favorite characters from Star Wars Rebels.

Star Wars Rebels is set between the events of Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith and Star Wars Episode VI: A New Hope. It is a dark time in the galaxy. The evil Galactic Empire has tightened its grip on the star systems and the noble Jedi Knights are nearly extinct. Star Wars Rebels follows the brave and clever ragtag crew of the starship Ghost -- street-smart hero Ezra, cowboy Jedi Kanan, ace pilot Hera, Zeb, the muscle, explosives artist Sabine, and Chopper, the grumpy astromech droid – who embark on thrilling adventures and become heroes with the power to ignite a rebellion.

Highlights from the product line include:

Action Figures & Role-Play:

    Star Wars Rebels Action Figures by Hasbro (MSRP: $5.99-9.99): Team up characters or pit them against each other with these awesome action figures, featuring heroes and villains from the new animated series, Star Wars Rebels.

    Star Wars Rebels Inquisitor Lightsaber by Hasbro (MSRP: $29.99): The signature weapon of the fearsome new villain from Star Wars Rebels – the Inquisitor -- comes to life in toy form. Start the battle with a single blade, and then attach the second blade to the special hilt for three feet of double-bladed power. And, for the first time ever, launch the Force Disc for a long distance strike!

    Star Wars Rebels The Ghost by LEGO (MSRP: $89.99): Get ready to battle the Empire with the rebel heroes’ awesome starship – the Ghost! The ship has plenty of weaponry on board with 2 spring-loaded shooters, storage for a spare missile and a lightsaber.


    Star Wars Rebels Costumes by Rubies (MSRP: $21.99-29.99): Show your support for the Empire or rebels this Halloween season with costumes inspired by the Star Wars Rebels characters.

    Star Wars Rebels Tees by Mad Engine (MSRP: $12.95): Demonstrate your allegiance to the rebel cause with character-inspired tees that feature a graffiti-inspired motif.

    Star Wars Rebels PJ Pals by Disney Store ($16.95): He'll be sleeping under the stars every night wearing this comfy cotton PJ Pal set featuring favorite characters from the Star Wars Rebels animated series.


    Star Wars Rebels Defeat The Empire Bedding Set by Jay Franco (MSRP: $14.99-32.99): Head for bed with the coolest group of heroes in the galaxy! The set of sheets, pillowcases and comforter will inspire out-of-this-world dreams, while the Chopper decorated Pillowtime Pal adds extra comfort.

    Star Wars Rebels Wall Decal by York Wallcoverings (MSRP: $15.99): Turn your bedroom into the rebels’ starship Ghost with removable wall decals of your favorite characters.

    Star Wars Rebels Posters by Trends (MSRP: $5.00-8.00): Show your support for the Empire or rebels with these awesome propaganda posters that are inspired by the epic rivalry.


    Star Wars Rebels Lunchbox & FUNtainer Bottle by Thermos (MSRP: $9.99-16.99): Carry around your lunch in style with the insulated Stormtrooper themed lunchbox and stainless steel FUNtainer hydration bottle.

    Star Wars Rebels Vinyl Binder by Disney Store ($18.95): Create eye-catching Avery Custom Signature Binders for home or office, featuring the characters from Star Wars Rebels.

    Star Wars Rebels Hera iPhone Case by Disney Store ($39.95): Protect your iPhone 4 or 5/5S with a customizable Barely There Case-Mate case. This form-fitting case covers the back and corners of your iPhone with an impact resistant, flexible plastic shell, while still providing access to all ports and buttons.

    Star Wars Rebels Watch by MZB (MSRP: $19.99): Help your Jedi-in-training learn to tell time with this Stormtrooper themed stainless steel watch that features labeled hour and minute hands!

    Star Wars Rebels Scooter by Huffy (MSRP: $39.99-89.99): Race to your next adventure in a Star Wars Rebels branded scooter! The orange aluminum scooter deck is fully wrapped with grip tape and printed with a scene from the new animated series!

About Disney Consumer Products
Disney Consumer Products (DCP) is the business segment of The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) that delivers innovative and engaging product experiences across thousands of categories from toys and apparel to books and fine art. As the world's largest licensor, DCP inspires the imaginations of people around the world by bringing the magic of Disney into consumers' homes with products they can enjoy year-round. DCP is comprised of three business units: Licensing, Publishing and Disney Store. The Licensing business is aligned around five strategic brand priorities: Disney Media, Classics & Entertainment, Disney & Pixar Animation Studios, Disney Princess & Disney Fairies, Lucasfilm and Marvel. Disney Publishing Worldwide (DPW) is the world's largest publisher of children's books, magazines, and digital products and also includes an English language learning business, consisting of over 40 Disney English learning centers across China and a supplemental learning book program. DPW's growing library of digital products includes best-selling eBook titles and original apps that leverage Disney content in innovative ways. The Disney Store retail chain operates across North America, Europe and Japan with more than 350 stores worldwide and is known for providing consumers with high-quality, unique products. Disney's official shopping portals online are www.DisneyStore.com and www.DisneyStore.co.uk. For more information, please visit Disney Consumer Products www.DisneyConsumerProducts.com or follow us at www.YouTube.com/DisneyLiving, www.Facebook.com/DisneyLiving, www.Twitter.com/DisneyLiving and www.Pinterest.com/DisneyLiving and www.Instagram.com/DisneyLiving.

About Lucasfilm Ltd.
Lucasfilm Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company, is a global leader in film, television and digital entertainment production. In addition to its motion-picture and television production, the company's activities include visual effects and audio post-production, cutting-edge digital animation, interactive entertainment software, and the management of the global merchandising activities for its entertainment properties including the legendary STAR WARS and INDIANA JONES franchises. Lucasfilm Ltd. is headquartered in northern California.

Lucasfilm, the Lucasfilm logo, STAR WARS and related properties are trademarks and/or copyrights, in the United States and other countries, of Lucasfilm Ltd. and/or its affiliates. © & TM Lucasfilm Ltd. 


Monday, September 22, 2014

William Shatner to Appear at Wizard World Nashville Comic Con, Friday, September 26th, 2014

William Shatner, Lauren Cohan, Evan Peters, WWE® Superstar Kane® Headline Celebrity Guests At Wizard World Nashville Comic Con, September 26-28

'Star Trek: TNG' Cast Reunion, Alan Tudyk, Eliza Dushku, WWE® Divas The Bella Twins™, Sean Astin, Jamie Bamber, Michael Rooker, Top Comics Creators Also Among Top Stars At Pop Culture Festival At Music City Center

William Shatner (Star Trek, “T.J. Hooker”), Lauren Cohan (“The Walking Dead,” “The Vampire Diaries”), WWE® Superstar Kane®, WWE® Divas The Bella Twins™, Evan Peters (X-Men: Days of Future Past, American Horror Story), Eliza Dushku (“Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “Angel”), Shannen Doherty, Holly Marie Combs and Brian Krause (“Charmed”) and Alan Tudyk (“Firefly,” 42) are among the celebrities scheduled to attend Wizard World Nashville Comic Con, September 26-28 at the Music City Center. It is the 12th of 16 events in the 2014 series produced by Wizard World, Inc. (OTCBB: WIZD) and will also feature a top-drawer collection of well-known comics artists and writers and a variety of activities, exhibitors and special attractions.

Shatner will appear on Friday, Sept. 26, only; The WWE stars will attend on Saturday, Sept. 27, only. Krause will appear all three days. The others are scheduled for Saturday and Sunday.

Wizard World Nashville Comic Con will also be the scene of a reunion of six cast members from “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” as Jonathan Frakes (“Commander William T. Riker”), Levar Burton (“Lt. Commander Geordi La Forge”), Michael Dorn (“Lieutenant Worf”), Marina Sirtis (“Counselor Deanna Troi”), Brent Spiner (“Lt. Commander Data”), and Gates McFadden (“Dr. Beverly Crusher”) relive the memories of the program's seven-year run.

Superstar comics creators scheduled to attend include Neal Adams (“Batman,” “Green Lantern”), Ron Garney (“Thor,” “Uncanny X-Force”), Ethan Van Sciver (“Green Lantern,” “Flash”), Phil Ortiz (“The Simpsons,” “Muppet Babies”), Arthur Suydam (“Marvel Zombies,” “Army of Darkness”), Michael Golden (“Spider-Man,” “Hulk”), Greg Horn (“Walt Disney,” “Guardians of the Galaxy”), and many others.

Other notable celebrities on the Wizard World Nashville Comic Con roster include Manu Bennett (The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, “Arrow”), Sean Astin (The Lord of the Rings, Rudy), Jamie Bamber and Michael Trucco (“Battlestar Galactica,”), Jon Bernthal and Michael Rooker of “The Walking Dead,” Lou Ferrigno (“The Incredible Hulk,” “King of Queens,”), Jason David Frank (“Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers”) and Jenna Busch (“Cocktails With Stan).

Wizard World Comic Con events bring together thousands of fans of all ages to celebrate the best in pop-fi, pop culture, movies, graphic novels, comics, toys, video gaming, television, sci-fi, gaming, original art, collectibles, contests and more. Wizard World Nashville Comic Con show hours are Friday, September 26, 3-8 p.m.; Saturday, September 27, 10 a.m.-7 p.m., Sunday, September 28, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

A first-class lineup of topical programming takes place all three days at the event, with celebrity Q&A's, the Wizard World Film Festival, comics-themed sessions, costume contest, movie screenings, evening parties and more. Sunday is also Kids Day, with an array of activities and programming specially designed for the younger Wizard World fans.

Wizard World Nashville Comic Con is also the place for cosplay, with fans young and old showing off their best costumes throughout the event. Fans dressed as every imaginable character – and some never before dreamed – will roam the convention floor, often stopping by the Show Stage, the ideal place to see and be seen.

For more on the 2014 Wizard World Nashville Comic Con, visit http://www.wizd.me/NashvillePR.

About Wizard World:
Wizard World (OTCBB: WIZD) produces Comic Cons and pop culture conventions across North America that celebrate graphic novels, comic books, movies, TV shows, gaming, technology, toys and social networking. The events often feature celebrities from movies and TV, artists and writers, and events such as premieres, gaming tournaments, panels, and costume contests.

The full event schedule can be found at www.wizardworld.com.

Wizard World 2014 Schedule
January 24-26 – Wizard World Portland Comic Con
February 7-9 – Wizard World New Orleans Comic Con
March 7-9 – Wizard World Sacramento Comic Con
March 28-30 – Wizard World Louisville Comic Con
April 4-6 – Wizard World St. Louis Comic Con
May 2-4 – Wizard World Minneapolis Comic Con
May 30-June 1 – Wizard World Atlanta Comic Con
June 19-22 – Wizard World Philadelphia Comic Con
August 1-3 – Wizard World San Antonio Comic Con
August 21-24 – Wizard World Chicago Comic Con
September 12-14 – Wizard World Richmond Comic Con
September 26-28 – Wizard World Nashville Comic Con
October 2-4 – Wizard World Austin Comic Con
October 31-November 2 – Wizard World Ohio Comic Con
November 7-9 – Wizard World Tulsa Comic Con
November 21-23 – Wizard World Reno Comic Con


Sunday, September 21, 2014

Eminem Track, "Guts Over Fear," Featured in "The Equalizer"


"Guts Over Fear," the new single from Eminem featuring Sia, has just launched to great success as a digital download, with near universal acclaim and over 247,000 downloads worldwide. Moviegoers will hear the song in the upcoming film The Equalizer, starring Denzel Washington, in theaters September 26.

"By the end of The Equalizer, Denzel’s character of Robert McCall will have to embrace who he really is, but also transform himself into a man on a tireless and continuing pursuit of justice. Like the title of Eminem’s song, that’s ultimately a story of guts over fear – for this character, the driving force of his life becomes using his skills to help the truly powerless," says Antoine Fuqua, director of The Equalizer. "It’s the perfect song to end the film. It’s powerful, a great song, but more importantly, it captures the themes of the movie and the choices that Robert McCall has made, and it leaves the audience feeling elated."

The song is also the first release from the upcoming ShadyXV, a two-CD compilation marking the 15th anniversary of Eminem’s Shady Records imprint. The collection is comprised of an album of the label’s greatest hits -- including classics such as 50 Cent’s "In Da Club" and Eminem’s "Lose Yourself" – plus an album of new material from Eminem, Slaughterhouse, Bad Meets Evil, D-12 and Yelawolf as well as special guest-artist collaborations. ShadyXV (Shady Records/Interscope Records) is set for release November 24, 2014.

In The Equalizer, Denzel Washington plays McCall, a man who believes he has put his mysterious past behind him and dedicated himself to beginning a new, quiet life. But when McCall meets Teri (Chloë Grace Moretz), a young girl under the control of ultra-violent Russian gangsters, he can’t stand idly by – he has to help her. Armed with hidden skills that allow him to serve vengeance against anyone who would brutalize the helpless, McCall comes out of his self-imposed retirement and finds his desire for justice reawakened. If someone has a problem, if the odds are stacked against them, if they have nowhere else to turn, McCall will help. He is The Equalizer. Directed by Antoine Fuqua. Written by Richard Wenk. Based on the Television Series Created by Michael Sloan and Richard Lindheim. Produced by Todd Black, Jason Blumenthal, Denzel Washington, Alex Siskin, Steve Tisch, Mace Neufeld, Tony Eldridge, and Michael Sloan. Executive producers are Ezra Swerdlow, David Bloomfield, and Ben Waisbren. The film is a Columbia Pictures presentation in association with LStar Capital and Village Roadshow Pictures.

About Sony Pictures Entertainment
Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) is a subsidiary of Sony Entertainment Inc., a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Sony Corporation. SPE's global operations encompass motion picture production, acquisition and distribution; television production, acquisition and distribution; television networks; digital content creation and distribution; operation of studio facilities; and development of new entertainment products, services and technologies. For additional information, go to http://www.sonypictures.com.


Saturday, September 20, 2014

Negromancer News Bits and Bites for the Week of September 14th to September 20th, 2014 - Update #16


From CinemaBlend:  Some "news" about Star Trek 3.

From SpinoffCBR:  Sony releases the first clip from the upcoming Popeye animated film, directed by Genndy Tartakovsky ("Dexter's Lab," "Samurai Jack").  The film may be released in 2016.  Tartakovsky previously directed the hit film, Hotel Transylvania (2012), for Sony Pictures Animation.

From YahooMoviesJack Huston, the grandson of legendary director, John Huston, has been cast in the lead role in the upcoming remake of the 1959 best picture Oscar winner, Ben-Hur.  He is also the the nephew of Oscar-winning actress Anjelica Huston and Danny Huston.  Morgan Freeman has also been cast in the film.

From YahooMoviesTNT locked down the rights to broadcast five Marvel movies, beginning with "Avengers: Age of Ultron."  The movies will debut two years after their theatrical release.

From HuffingtonPost:  Disney hopes to exploit Frozen better than it did The Little Mermaid.

From Gawker:  More on actress Daniele Watts run-in with the LAPD after kissing her white husband.

From Variety:  The new film, No Good Deed," debuts at #1 for the September 12th - 14th, 2014 weekend box office, with an estimagted $24.5 million haul.  The film stars Taraji P. Henson and Idris Elba.  Meanwhile, Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy becomes the first film released in 2014 to cross the $300 million mark in domestic box office.  It has crossed $600 million in worldwide box office, and still has not been released in China.

From TheHollywoodReporterDjango Unchained actress, Daniele Watts (who is black), was arrested by two Los Angeles police officers on Thursday, September 11, 2014.  She claims they thought she was a prostitute.  Watts also appears as Martin Lawrence's daughter on the FX comedy series, "Partners."

From CNN:  Bill Murray seems to have cause a stir with his suggestion of an all-female Ghostbusters reboot.

COMIC BOOKS - Books and Movies:

From Inquisitr:  Rumors about the plot and cast of "Thor 3."

From Mashable:  Aquaman apparently had a part in Man of Steel; details to be revealed in "Batman Vs. Superman."

From SpinoffCBR:  FOX sets "Deadpool" movie for February 12, 2016, and moves "Fantastic Four" reboot to from June 2016 to August 2016.

From YahooMovies:  Disney/Marvel releases the synopsis for Avengers: Age of Ultron.

From CinemaBlend:  Speculation about a fourth Iron Man film.

From TheVox:  The business of killing Wolverine in the comic books.


From YahooMovies:  Rian Johnson, writer-director of Episode 8, talks about Lucasfilm's one big demand.

From SpinoffCBR:  JJ Abrams reveals the Millennium Falcon in a video... with some humor.

From EW's InsideMovies:  A question and answer session with C-P3O, Anthony Daniels.

From YahooMovies:  An article about EW's Anthony Daniels interview.

From Inquisitr:  Possible set photos from Episode 7.

From InternationalBusinessTimes:  Supposed info about Luke Skywalker as he pertains to Episode 7.

From InternationalBusinessTimes:  Supposedly, current James Bond, Daniel Craig, has a cameo in Episode 7.

From CinemaBlend:  What Daisy Ridley could look like in Episode 7.


From BuzzFeed:  See the Columbian Women Team's cycling uniforms.  They look nasty from a distance; the shadow cast at the crotch looks like pubic hair.  Close-up, the uniforms look like no big deal.

From TheConcourse:  Rob Harvilla on U2's new album.

From BuzzFlash:  More fun with the Palin Klan...err... I mean clan.

Sony Pictures Classics Acquires "Still Alice" with Julianne Moore and Kristen Stewart


Sony Pictures Classics announced that they acquired North American rights to STILL ALICE, starring Julianne Moore, Kristen Stewart, Alec Baldwin, Kate Bosworth and Hunter Parrish. The film reunites Co-Directors and Co-Writers Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland (THE LAST OF ROBIN HOOD) with Sony Pictures Classics, who worked together on QUINCEANERA. STILL ALICE, a BSM Studio Presentation, is produced by Lex Lutzus, James Brown and Pamela Koffler and executive produced by Marie Savare, Christine Vachon of Killer Films, Maria Shriver, Emilie Georges, Nicholas Shumaker, Celine Rattray and Trudie Styler. This also marks a homecoming for Julianne Moore, who worked with the company on VANYA ON 42ND STREET, SAFE and THE MYTH OF FINGERPRINTS.

The film has received much acclaim while debuting at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival. It had its world premiere on Thursday.

Alice Howland, happily married with three grown children, is a renowned linguistics professor who starts to forget words. When she receives a devastating diagnosis, Alice and her family find their bonds tested in STILL ALICE.

"Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland have made a seamless powerfully moving film. The cast is simply phenomenal. Julianne Moore, one of the world's truly great film actresses, gives here her finest performance to date. It is a privilege to welcome Wash and Richard, Julianne, Alec and the producers back into the Sony Pictures Classics family with a film about family that promises to pack an emotional punch on audiences throughout the country," said Sony Pictures Classics.

"To have unveiled the movie on Monday and have Sony Pictures Classics picking up it up by Friday is a filmmaker's dream. We know STILL ALICE is in the best possible hands with Michael Barker, Tom Bernard and the entire team at SPC and look forward to a great release," added Filmmakers Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland.

The deal was negotiated with CAA.

Michael Barker and Tom Bernard serve as co-presidents of Sony Pictures Classics—an autonomous division of Sony Pictures Entertainment they founded with Marcie Bloom in January 1992, which distributes, produces, and acquires independent films from around the world.

Barker and Bernard have released prestigious films that have won 32 Academy Awards® (28 of those at Sony Pictures Classics) and have garnered 140 Academy Award® nominations (114 at Sony Pictures Classics) including Best Picture nominations for AMOUR, MIDNIGHT IN PARIS, AN EDUCATION, CAPOTE, HOWARDS END, AND CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON.

Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) is a subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America, a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Sony Corporation. SPE's global operations encompass motion picture production and distribution; television production and distribution; home entertainment acquisition and distribution; a global channel network; digital content creation and distribution; operation of studio facilities; development of new entertainment products, services and technologies; and distribution of entertainment in more than 142 countries. For additional information, go to http://www.sonypictures.com.


2014 Austin Film Festival Announces Programming

Austin Film Festival Announces 2014 Slate

Selections include Wild, Escobar: Paradise Lost, The Imitation Game, The Homesman, Big Hero 6, and a robust slate of World Premieres

AUSTIN, Texas--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Austin Film Festival & Screenwriters Conference (AFF), the premier film festival recognizing writers’ and filmmakers’ contributions to film, television, and new media, announced today their full slate of programming for the 21st Annual Festival, this October 23-30.

Marquee selections will feature Wild, Escobar: Paradise Lost, The Imitation Game, The Sound and the Fury, The Homesman, Black and White, Big Hero 6, Red Army, and the World Premieres of Gravitas Venture’s 21 Years: Richard Linklater, Bravo’s upcoming series A Girlfriend’s Guide to Divorce, and Amplify’s Dawn Patrol – a script discovered out of AFF’s Screenplay Competition by Enderby Entertainment’s Daniel Petrie, Jr. and Rick Dugdale.

AFF’s Film Competition Program boasts 15 World Premieres, with titles hailing from more than 20 countries. Film talent confirmed to attend includes Jay Duplass (Jeff, Who Lives at Home), Rita Wilson (Sleepless in Seattle), Scott Eastwood (Fury), W. Earl Brown (Deadwood), Jason Ritter (Parenthood), Austin Nichols (One Tree Hill), Leven Rambin (The Hunger Games), Matthew Letscher (Her), Alex Anfanger (The Secret Life of Walter Mitty), Sebastian Roché (Beowulf), Luke Kleintank (Bones), Lindsay Pulsipher (Hatfields & McCoys), Glenn Morshower (Friday Night Lights), Lindsay Burdge (A Teacher), comedian Maz Jobrani, members from the band Morphine, and more.

The Screenwriters Conference, held the first four days of the Festival (October 23-26), will play host to writers behind some of the last year’s biggest blockbusters and indie gems: Guardians of the Galaxy, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, 12 Years a Slave, American Hustle, Dallas Buyers Club, Saving Mr. Banks, and The Fault In Our Stars; as well as highly-anticipated projects: Unbroken, Fifty Shades of Grey, The Jungle Book, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, and Top Gun 2. Television creators, writers, directors, and producers will be represented from Mad Men, True Detective, Breaking Bad, Fargo, Masters of Sex, Bob’s Burgers, Justified, and Orange is the New Black.

Guest programmers for AFF’s annual retrospective series include Matthew Weiner presenting episodes from The Twilight Zone; Jim Sheridan and Terry George presenting In the Name of the Father; Jenny Lumet, daughter of Sidney Lumet, presenting Network; and Randall Wallace presenting Braveheart.

Badges and passes are available for purchase online at www.austinfilmfestival.com or by phone at 1-800-310-FEST.

Attendance is subject to change and based on permitting schedules.

Austin Film Festival is supported in part by a grant from the Texas Commission on the Arts, City of Austin Economic Growth & Redevelopment Services Office/Cultural Arts Division believing an investment in the Arts is an investment in Austin’s future.

Trailblazing Comedian, Joan Rivers, Dead at 81 - Update #8

Heart is breaking.  Can't write much now.  Joan Rivers is dead.


Born on June 8th, 1933, Joan Rivers was an American comedian, also known for her work as an actress and as a television host.  Rivers also authored numerous books and recorded several comedy albums.

She first came to prominence in 1965 when she appeared on "The Tonight Show," a program with which she would be closely associated for the next two decades.  In 1986, Rivers became the first woman to host her own late night talk show with "The Late Show with Joan Rivers," which was short-lived.  From 1989 to 1993, she hosted a successful daytime show, "The Joan Rivers Show," which earned her a Daytime Emmy.

For the past two decades, most of Rivers' work has centered on covering celebrities and celebrity events.  Beginning in 2010, Joan Rivers was the host of the television series, "Fashion Police," aired on the cable network, E!

Rivers died Thursday, September 4th, 2014.  Negromancer sends condolences to Rivers' family, friends, and fans.  R.I.P. Joan Rivers.

From YahooCelebrity:  President Obama send handwritten note of condolences to Melissa Rivers.

From YahooCelebrity:  Rivers' personal doctor took a selfie while Rivers was under anesthesia before he performed unauthorized biopsy.

From YahooCelebrity:  Read the eulogy letter Melissa Rivers read at her mother's funeral.

From YahooTV:  Details on Joan Rivers' death - air supply cut off

From YahooCelebrity:  Joan Rivers' funeral is somber, bawdy, and star-studded.

From CNN:  Rivers' funeral set for Sunday in New York City.

From YahooCelebrity:  Rivers' funeral to have a red carpet.

From YahooCelebrity:  Joan Rivers, trailblazing comic, red carpet fixture, dead at 81

From Variety:  Joan Rivers, Comedian and TV Host, Dies at 81

From Variety:  Hollywood pays tribute to Joan Rivers

From YahooTV:  Revisiting the Johnny Carson-Joan Rivers feud.

From YahooTV:  Joan River's most outrageous celebrity insults.  Of note, most of these have to do with recent celebs.  I'm sure there is a better list that focuses on former headliners and A-listers.

From the HuffingtonPost:  Melissa Rivers' brave decision

From TheWrap:  Rivers' cause of death still unknown.

From YahooCelebrity:  More of Rivers' celebrity feuds.

Related Joan Rivers sites:

Official website is here.

Wikipedia page is here.

IMDb page is here.

Friday, September 19, 2014

New Trailer and Poster for Jason Reitman's "Men, Women, and Children"

Watch the new trailer for Jason Reitman's MEN, WOMEN & CHILDREN:

Share your thoughts and reactions to the trailer with the Whisper App using #MWC

Synopsis:  MEN, WOMEN & CHILDREN follows the story of a group of high school teenagers and their parents as they attempt to navigate the many ways the internet has changed their relationships, their communication, their self-image, and their love lives. The film attempts to stare down social issues such as video game culture, anorexia, infidelity, fame hunting, and the proliferation of illicit material on the internet. As each character and each relationship is tested, we are shown the variety of roads people choose - some tragic, some hopeful - as it becomes clear that no one is immune to this enormous social change that has come through our phones, our tablets, and our computers.

Official site: http://www.menwomenchildrenmovie.com
Facebook: Facebook.com/MWCmovie
Twitter: Twitter.com/MWCmovie
Instagram: Instagram.com/MWCmovie



Thursday, September 18, 2014

New "Interstellar" Poster - September 17th, 2014

The end of Earth will not be the end of us.

Official YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/interstellarmovie
Official Twitter: https://twitter.com/Interstellar
Official Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/InterstellarMovie


Opens November 7th, 2014

Review: "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" Entangled in Too Many Angles

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 43 by Leroy Douresseaux

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014)
Running time: 142 minutes (2 hours, 22 minutes)
MPAA – PG-13 for sequences of sci-fi/action and violence
WRITERS: Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci, and James Pinkner; from a story by Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci, James Pinkner, and James Vanderbilt (based upon the Marvel comic book by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko)
PRODUCERS: Avi Arad and Matthew Tolmach
EDITOR: Pietro Scalia
COMPOSERS: Hans Zimmer, The Magnificent Six, Johnny Marr, and Pharrell Williams


Starring: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Jamie Foxx, Sally Field, Dane DeHaan, Felicity Jones, Paul Giamatti, Campbell Scott, Embeth Davidtz, Marton Csokas, Max Charles, B.J. Novak, Kari Coleman, Michael Massee, and Stan Lee with Chris Cooper and Denis Leary

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is a 2014 superhero film and drama from director Marc Webb and stars Andrew Garfield in the title role. It is the sequel to The Amazing Spider-Man, the 2012 film that was a reboot of Columbia Pictures' Spider-Man film franchise, and this movie is also the fifth Spider-Man film in the series.  The Amazing Spider-Man 2 finds Spider-Man facing a former admirer turned super-villain, while Peter Parker worries that being Spider-Man will endanger his loved ones.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 begins as Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) and his girlfriend, Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone), are about to graduate from high school.  Peter is also loving his life as the costumed, crime-fighting superhero, Spider-Man.  Peter, however, is currently haunted by the specter of police Captain George Stacy (Denis Leary), Gwen's deceased father.  As Capt. Stacy lay dying (in the previous film), Peter promised him to keep Gwen out of his life because of Spider-Man.  Peter reluctantly tries to break up with Gwen, but the two teenagers deeply love each other.  Peter's attempts simply sow confusion.

Meanwhile, at OsCorp Industries, Peter's former friend, Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan), returns to New York City in time to take over the business of his recently deceased father, Norman Osborn (Chris Cooper).  OsCorp's past as a company on the cutting edge of controversial genetic research, however, threatens both Harry and Peter.  Also, a new villain, Electro (Jamie Foxx), appears.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 lacks focus, and I think that there are two reasons for that.  First, the screenplay wants to be a story of young romance, but the romance and character drama are overwrought.   Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone give good performances, but Peter and Gwen's relationship is like a car stuck in mud and pointlessly spinning its wheel.  The car isn't going anywhere, and until the end, neither is Peter and Gwen's relationship, and then, that is only for tragic affect.

I think the second reason that The Amazing Spider-Man 2 seems muddled is because it is more than just a superhero movie; it is the birth of an expanded universe.  Sony, Columbia Pictures' parent, wants to take some of the characters that belong to Marvel Comics' line of Spider-Man comic books and use them to expand their Spider-Man film franchise into a Spider-Man universe.  They want something like Marvel Studios' “Marvel Cinematic Universe.”  Why have just Spider-Man movies when you can have movies starring Spider-Man adversaries like Venom and the Sinister Six.

Marvel essentially used the 2010 film, Iron Man 2, to expand its universe, and that movie tended to drift and lack focus, but in the end, Iron Man 2 was a good movie.   The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is meant to expand the Spider-Man universe, but in the end, it is not really a good movie.  The character melodrama is at odds with the showy action-fantasy violence that is the Spider-Man vs. Electro subplot.  Electro is probably the worse villain yet in the Spider-Man films.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 has an engaging visual style, and it is probably at its best when it depicts Spider-Man swinging over New York City, through its canyons and around its buildings and skyscrapers.  Even the fight scenes, which seem tacked on to the story, look good, when they focus on Spider-Man.  Nothing about Electro looks good.  Hopefully, the third installment of The Amazing Spider-Man can be itself, a stand-alone movie that does not have to carry the hopes of Sony's corporate board and accountants.

4 of 10

Monday, September 15, 2014

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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

"Vacation" Remake/Reboot/Sequel/Contiunation Begins Filming in Georgia

Cameras Roll on “Vacation”

Principal photography begins on New Line Cinema’s “Vacation,” Starring Ed Helms and Christina Applegate

BURBANK, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The next generation of Griswolds is at it again. Shooting has begun in Georgia on New Line Cinema’s “Vacation,” starring Ed Helms (“The Hangover” films) and Christina Applegate (the “Anchorman” films) on the road for another ill-fated adventure. The film marks Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley’s directorial debut.

Following in his father’s footsteps and hoping for some much-needed family bonding, a grown-up Rusty Griswold (Helms) surprises his wife, Debbie (Applegate), and their two sons with a cross-country trip back to America’s “favorite family fun park,” Walley World.

Rounding out the cast are Chris Hemsworth (the “Thor” films) in the role of Stone Crandall, Rusty’s irritatingly successful brother-in-law; Charlie Day (the “Horrible Bosses” films), who plays a river rafting guide; and Skyler Gisondo (“Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb,” “Hard Sell”) and Steele Stebbins (“A Haunted House 2”), who play Rusty’s sons, James and Kevin. Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo reprise their roles as Clark and Ellen Griswold from the classic “Vacation” comedies.

Goldstein & Daley (“Horrible Bosses,” “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2”) wrote the script, based on characters created by John Hughes. David Dobkin (upcoming “The Judge,” “Wedding Crashers”) and Chris Bender (“We’re the Millers,” upcoming “Horrible Bosses 2”) are producing, with Marc S. Fischer serving as executive producer.

The directors’ behind-the-scenes creative team also includes director of photography Barry Peterson (the “Jump Street” films, “We’re the Millers”), production designer Barry Robison (“Wedding Crashers,” “Pitch Perfect”), and costume designer Debra McGuire (“Ted”).

“Vacation” is a New Line Cinema presentation and will be distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment company.


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Disney and Marvel Studios Release "Avengers: Age of Ultron" Synopsis

Disney/Marvel has released the official synopsis of Avengers: Age of Ultron, the sequel to its blockbuster film, Marvel's The Avengers.

The synopsis is as follows:

Marvel Studios presents “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” the epic follow-up to the biggest Super Hero movie of all time. When Tony Stark tries to jumpstart a dormant peacekeeping program, things go awry and Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, including Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, The Incredible Hulk, Black Widow and Hawkeye, are put to the ultimate test as the fate of the planet hangs in the balance. As the villainous Ultron emerges, it is up to The Avengers to stop him from enacting his terrible plans, and soon uneasy alliances and unexpected action pave the way for an epic and unique global adventure.

Marvel’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron” stars Robert Downey Jr., who returns as Iron Man, along with Chris Evans as Captain America, Chris Hemsworth as Thor and Mark Ruffalo as The Hulk.  Together with Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow and Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye, and with the additional support of Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury and Cobie Smulders as Agent Maria Hill, the team must reassemble to defeat James Spader as Ultron, a terrifying technological villain hell-bent on human extinction. Along the way, they confront two mysterious and powerful newcomers, Wanda Maximoff, played by Elizabeth Olsen, and Pietro Maximoff, played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson, and meet an old friend in a new form when Paul Bettany becomes Vision. Written and directed by Joss Whedon and produced by Kevin Feige, Marvel’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron” is based on the ever-popular Marvel comic book series “The Avengers,” first published in 1963. Get set for an action-packed thrill ride when The Avengers return in Marvel’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron” on May 1, 2015.

End of synopsis.

Monday, September 15, 2014

The 15th Annual Grammy Award Nominations to Be Announced Online

The Latin Recording Academy® Will Announce Nominees for the 15th Annual Latin GRAMMY Awards® on LatinGRAMMY.com and via Twitter on Wednesday, Sept. 24


MIAMI--(BUSINESS WIRE)--For the first time in Latin GRAMMY® history, The Latin Recording Academy® will announce nominees for the 15th Annual Latin GRAMMY Award® online featuring various celebrities and incorporating music fans on a global scale and will utilize social networking platform Twitter. The nominations will be revealed Wednesday, Sept. 24, at 4 a.m. PT/7 a.m. ET with the launch of a video, which will allow Latin music fans around the world an opportunity to participate in the announcement, followed by a daylong promotion of social interaction during which the public is welcome to tweet exclusive congratulatory messages to nominated artists by using the official Latin GRAMMY hashtag #LatinGRAMMY. The video, press release and full list of nominations will be available simultaneously on www.latingrammy.com. For breaking news and updates, please visit The Latin Academy's social networks on Twitter and Facebook.

    “In this era, news is immediate and everyone wants to be the first to share it”

"In this era, news is immediate and everyone wants to be the first to share it," said Gabriel Abaroa Jr., President/CEO of The Latin Recording Academy. "By engaging nominees and fans at the same time, not only will the artists be notified of their good news directly, but music fans will also be a part of this special announcement and have the ability to participate through social platforms."

As previously announced, the 15th Annual Latin GRAMMY Awards will be broadcast from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on Thursday, Nov. 20, and will air in the United States on the Univision Network from 8–11 p.m. ET/PT (7 p.m. Central). This year marks the seventh time Latin music's most prestigious awards telecast will take place in Las Vegas and the first time from MGM Grand.

Since the annual Latin GRAMMY Awards debuted entirely in Spanish on Univision in 2005, the telecast has consistently earned significant ratings each year in the United States and is now seen in more than 100 countries around the world. The Latin GRAMMYs have become Univision's most watched and highest-rated show while delivering outstanding social media results and engagement. With nearly 2 million followers on Twitter, @LatinGRAMMYs has more followers than any other awards show.

Additionally, the Road To The Latin GRAMMYTMs — a monthlong series of cultural events culminating with The Biggest Night in Latin Music® — begins with the Latin GRAMMY Acoustic Sessions and Latin GRAMMY Street Parties (taking place in several cities across the United States), as well as the Special Awards Presentation and The Latin Recording Academy Person of the Year tribute gala.

The Latin Recording Academy is an international, membership-based organization comprised of Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking recording artists, musicians, songwriters, producers and other creative and technical recording professionals. The organization is dedicated to improving the quality of life and cultural condition for Latin music and its makers. In addition to producing the Latin GRAMMY Awards to honor excellence in the recorded arts and sciences, The Latin Recording Academy provides educational and outreach programs for the Latin music community either directly or through its Latin GRAMMY Cultural FoundationTM. For more information about The Latin Recording Academy, please visit LatinGRAMMY.com. For breaking news and exclusive content, follow @LatinGRAMMYs on Twitter, like "Latin GRAMMYs" on Facebook , and join the Latin GRAMMYs' social communities on Foursquare, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, and YouTube.