Showing posts with label Channing Tatum. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Channing Tatum. Show all posts

Saturday, December 16, 2023

Negromancer News Bits and Bites from Dec. 10th to 16th, 2023 - Update #18

by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"

You can support Leroy via Paypal or on Patreon:


TELEVISION - From Deadline:  The finale episode of the CBS/NBC's "Magnum P.I." reboot starring Jay Hernandez will air Jan. 3rd, 2024 with the final two episodes (19 and 20 of Season 5) airing as a two-hour event from 9 to 11 EST.

MOVIES - From DeadlineWarner Bros. has won an auction for "Calamity Hustle," an action-comedy from writer-directors Adam & Aaron Nee. The film is currently set to star Ryan Reynolds and Channing Tatum.

MOVIES - From Deadline:  The site has the screenplay for "Asteroid City" by Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola available for reading.

MOVIES - From Deadline:  Dwayne Johnson will play Mark Kerr, the legendary MMA fighter from the no-holds barred era of UFC, in A24‘s "The Smashing Machine." The film will be directed by Benny Safdie of Uncut Gems fame.

AMAZON - From DeadlineAmazon MGM Studios has won the "film pitch packet" for "Best of Enemies," a spy thriller set to star Bradley Cooper and Christian Bale.

MOVIES - From Deadine:  Actress Naomi Scott, who first gained fame as "Princess Jasmine" in Disney's live-action Aladdin (2019), will star in Paramount sequel to its 2022 horror hit, Smile.  The sequel is set to hit theaters Oct. 18th, 2024.

STREAMING - From Variety:  From 1993 to 2004 Tony Award-winning actor David Hyde Pierce played "Dr. Niles Crane" on the former NBC sitcom, "Frasier."  He received 11 Primetime Emmy Award nominations for the role and won four of them. The series was recently rebooted for Paramount+ with series star, Kelsey Grammer, returning, but Pierce says that he did not return because he never really wanted to go back.

POLITICS - From Deadline:  "Biden Victory Fund" campaign co-chair, Jeffrey Katzenberg (co-founder of DreamWorks), says that the fund raised a record 15 million dollars during President Joe Biden and First Lady Dr. Jill Biden's weekend visit to Los Angeles.

BOX OFFICE - From BoxOfficePro:  The winner of the 12/8 to 12/10/2023 weekend box office is GKIDS' "The Boy and the Heron" with an estimated take of 12.8 million dollars.

From Deadline:  "The Boy and the Heron" is now the first original anime production to finish at the top of the domestic (North American) box office.

AMAZON - From THRDavid Alan Grier says playing a black Santa Claus in the Prime Originals holiday movie, Candy Cane Lane, reminded him of Marvel's Black Panther.

From DeadlinePrime Video has released the first trailer for its upcoming series, "Mr. and Mrs. Smith," based on the the 2005 Jolie-Pitt film, Mr. and Mrs. Smith.  Premiere date is Feb. 2nd, 2024.


From Deadline:  Journalist, historian, and documentary filmmaker, Cari Beauchamp, has died at the age of 74, Thursday, December 14, 2023.  Her 1998 biography, "Without Lying Down: Frances Marion and The Powerful Women of Early Hollywood," became a documentary she wrote and co-produced.  It premiered on Turner Classic Movies (TCM).  Beauchamp frequently appeared on TCM programming and at the annual TCM Classic Film Festival.

From Variety:   Film and television actor, Andre Braugher, has died at the age of 61, Monday, December 11, 2023.  Braugher was best known for his TV work.  He was "Detective Frank Pembleton" on NBC's former cop drama, "Homicide: Life on the Streets" and "Captain Raymond Hoult" on the former Fox/NBC sitcom, "Brooklyn Nine-Nine."  Braugher was nominated for 11 Primetime Emmy Awards and won twice, once for his work on "Homicide."



From THR:   The winners at the 2023 / 49th annual Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards have been announced.  The Holocaust historical drama, "The Zone of Interest," wins four awards, including "Best Picture," "Best Director" (Jonathan Glazer), and "Best Actress" (Sandra Huller).

From Deadline:  The nominations for the 2024 / 29th annual Critics Choice Awards have been announced. "Barbie" leads with 18 nominations.

From Deadline:  The nominations for the 2024 / 81st annual Golden Globe Awards have been announced.  The winners will be announced Jan. 7th, 2024 on CBS and Paramount Plus.

From AwardsWatchThe Las Vegas Film Critics have announced their 2023 LVFC Awards nominations.  "Barbie" and "Oppenheimer" are the leading vote getters.  The winners will be announced Wed., Dec. 13th.

From THR:  The winners at the 2023 European Film Awards have been announced.  "Anatomy of a Fall" won five awards including for "Best Film," "Best Director" (Justine Triet), and "Best Actress" (Sandra Huller).

From AwardsWatch:  The 2023 National Board of Review film honors have been announced.  "Killers of the Flower Moon" won "Best Film," "Best Director" (Martin Scorsese), and "Best Actress" (Lily Gladstone).

From AwardsWatch:  The American Film Institute (AFI) names its top ten films: American Fiction, Barbie, The Holdovers, Killers of the Flower Moon, Maestro, May December, Oppenheimer, Past Lives, Poor Things, and Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse.  It also names its top ten television series: Abbott Elementary, The Bear, Beef, Jury Duty, The Last of Us, The Morning Show, Only Murders in the Building, Poker Face, Reservation Dogs, and Succession.

From AwardsWatch:  "Barbie" and "Oppenheimer" lead the nominations for "Astra Film & Creative Arts Awards," which are put on by the "Hollywood Creative Alliance" (formerly known as the Hollywood Critics Association).  The winners will be announced Jan. 6th, 2024 in Los Angeles.

From Deadline:  At the 2023 / 26th British Independent Film Awards, director Andrew Haigh's "All of Us Strangers" won seven awards, including "Best British Independent Film."

From Variety:  The winners at the 2023 / 89th New York Film Critics Circle Awards have been announced.  "Killers of the Flower Moon" (directed by Martin Scorsese) was named "Best Film of 2023."  Christopher Nolan won "Best Director" for his film, "Oppenheimer."

From Variety:  The winners at the 2023 / 33rd Annual Gotham Awards were announced Mon., Nov. 27th.  Writer-director Celine Song's South Korean romantic drama, "Past Lives" won the "Best Feature" award.


Saturday, October 29, 2022

Review: Wild, Uneven "BULLET TRAIN" Has a Killer Last Act

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 66 of 2022 (No. 1878) by Leroy Douresseaux

Bullet Train (2022)
Running time: 127 minutes (2 hours, 7 minutes)
MPA – R for strong and bloody violence, pervasive language, and brief sexuality
DIRECTOR:  David Leitch
WRITER:  Zak Olkewicz (based on the novel by Kotaro Isaka)
PRODUCERS:  Antoine Fuqua, David Leitch, and Kelly McCormick
CINEMATOGRAPHER:  Jonathan Sela (D.o.P.)
EDITORS:  Elisabet Ronaldsdottir
COMPOSER:  Dominic Lewis


Starring:  Brad Pitt, Joey King, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Brian Tyree Henry, Andrew Koji, Hiroyuki Sanada, Michael Shannon, Sandra Bullock, Benito A Martinez Ocasio (Bad Bunny), Logan Lerman, Zazie Beetz, Masi Oka, Kevin Akiyoshi Ching, Johanna White, and Karen Fukuhara with Channing Tatum and Ryan Reynolds

Bullet Train is a 2022 action movie from director David Leitch.  The film is based on the 2010 novel from author Kōtarō Isaka, Maria Beetle (which was titled Bullet Train for its U.S. and U.K. Editions).  Bullet Train the movie takes place aboard a swiftly-moving bullet train where five assassins gradually discover that they have several things in common.

Bullet Train opens in Japan and introduces “Ladybug” (Brad Pitt), an assassin turned “snatch-and-grab man.”  In Tokyo, he enters a bullet train bound for Kyoto.  He is initially wary of accepting this job from his handler, Maria (Sandra Bullock), which involves him retrieving a briefcase that contains ten million dollars.  Also on the train is a young woman known as “Prince” (Joey King); the assassin brothers, “Lemon” (Brian Tyree Henry) and “Tangerine” (Aaron Taylor-Johnson); and the revenge-seeking Yuichi Kimura (Andrew Koji).

They are all passengers on this particular bullet train, directly and indirectly, because of “The Son” (Logan Lerman), the kidnapped son of the Russian-born Yakuza boss known as the “White Death” (Michael Shannon).  Ladybug, who is begrudgingly working this job, believes that it is bringing out the worst of the bad luck that he believes plagues him.  Gradually, he finds himself fighting off an ever-growing gathering of killers and miscreants.  And waiting for everyone at their final stop in Kyoto – at least for those that survive – is an ultimate showdown with the White Death and his hired killers.

Directly or indirectly, Bullet Train is a movie influenced by the films of Oscar-winning filmmaker, Quentin Tarantino.  The dialogue – full of chatter, threats, and banter – is supposed to come across as cool, but it is merely blather from a third or fourth or fifth generation take on a Tarantino screenplay.  The characters are also Tarantino retreads, and so are their actions and inaction.  Still, I must admit that I like some of them, especially Brad Pitt's Ladybug.

So is Bullet Train any good, you might ask?

Well, two-thirds of it is uneven and moves in fits and starts of violence and murder.  I was mostly uninterested, but there are some surprising cameos that captured my interest.  For instance, Zazie Beetz is the assassin, “The Hornet,” and recording artist, Bad Bunny, is the Mexican assassin, “The Wolf.”  Both, however, are barely in the film.  I think they would have improved Bullet Train a good bit had their roles been enlarged.

However, the first 80 or so mediocre minutes of this movie are worth it for the last 40 minutes.  It is as if Bullet Train suddenly explodes in its last act to reveal a much better movie that had been hiding inside the fairly awful movie.  Everything is better, even Brad Pitt, who keeps this movie from being an absolute disaster.  Sometimes, it is worth having a genuine movie star, like a Brad Pitt, star in a genre movie.  The first two-thirds of this movie deserves a grade of “C-” at best, but the last third deserves an “A.”  So I'll average that out to a “B,” and I will recommend Bullet Train because of its last act.  It really is spectacular, and it is a pay off for your patience.

6 out of 10
★★★ out of 4 stars

Saturday, October 29, 2022

The text is copyright © 2022 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this blog or site for reprint and syndication rights and fees.





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Saturday, April 16, 2022

Negromancer News Bits and Bites from April 10th to 16th, 2022 - Update #26

by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"

You can support Leroy via Paypal or on Patreon:


STREAMING - From DeadlineTom Hanks and Gary Goetzman's production company, Playtone, has signed a multiyear development deal with Apple TV+.  The deal includes a sequel to Tom Hanks' 2020 World War II thriller, "Greyhound."

MOVIES - From NBC:  In the wake of multiple controversies, is the "Fantastic Beasts" franchise still magical, as the third installment, "Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore."

MOVIES - From VarietyWarner Bros. Discovery is planning an overhaul of DC Entertainment and they want "creative and strategic czar" similar to Kevin Feige at Marvel Studios.

MOVIES - From THR:  In a wide-ranging interview, Mads Mikkelsen, talks about the new "Fantastic Beasts" movie and replacing Johnny Depp and a little about "Indiana Jones 5."

STREAMING - From VarietySalma Hayek will replace Thandiwe Newton in HBO Max's "Magic Mike's Last Dance." Newton is reportedly stepping away in order to "deal with family issues."

FROM TheSun:  The UK newspaper "The Sun" is saying that Thandie/Thandiwe Newton is gone from "Magic Mike's Last Dance" because she got in a terrible "row" with producer/star Channing Tatum over the Will Smith/Chris Rock Oscars slap.

CANNES - From Variety:  A completely unexpected David Lynch film will appear at 75th Cannes Film Festival (May 17th to 28th).  David Cronenberg's new film, "Crimes of the Future" will also screen at the festival.

From DeadlineDavid Lynch says that he does not have a film for Cannes 2022, although he seems evasive as to whether he is currently working on a film.

DEPP V. HEARD - From LATimes:  The lawsuit explained:  Johnny Depp (58) is suing his ex-wife, Amber Heard (35), over a 2018 Washington Post piece she wrote that Depp believes falsely portrayed him as a domestic abuser.  Heard is counter-suing Depp accusing his lawyers of defaming her.

From Deadline:  Oscar-nominee Johnny Depp's 50 million dollar defamation law suit against his ex-wife, Amber Heard, has begun in Fairfax County Circuit Court, Virginia.

From PerezHiltonAmber Heard lawyer says that Heard's ex, the Oscar-nominated actor, Johnny Depp, held her hostage in Australia for three days. This is one of many claims made in Depp's defamation law suit that has gone from 50 million dollars to 100 million.

From Deadline:  James Franco, "WandaVision" star Paul Bettany, Elon Musk, and representatives of the Walt Disney Company, Warner Bros, and the LAPD could end up in the court in Johnny Depp's defamation case against his former wife, Amber Heard.

From WeGotThisCoveredJohnny Depp versus Amber Heard is in its first day and already there are allegations of sexual assualt.

MOVIES - From DeadlineWill Ferrell is the latest to join director Greta Gerwig's "Barbie" film for Warner Bros. and Mattel. Margot Robbie (Barbie) and Ryan Gosling (Ken) are the film's stars.

MOVIES - From THRAyo Edebiri and former Super Bowl champion, Marshawn Lynch (Seattle Seahawks), have joined the Orion Pictures high school sex comedy, "Bottoms."

DISNEY+ - From THRWalker Scobell will take the role of "Percy Jackson" in the Disney+ series, "Percy Jackson and the Olympians."

BOX OFFICE - From BoxOfficePro:  The winner of the 4/8 to 4/10/2022 weekend box office is "Sonic The Hedgehog 2" with an estimated take of 71 million dollars.

From CNN:  "Sonic the Hedgehog 2's" 71-million dollar opening is the largest ever for a video game film adaptation at the North American box office.

MOVIES - From BleedingCool:  "Fast Saga" star Vin Diesel says that Marvel Cinematic Universe star, Brie Larson, has joined "Fast & Furious 10,"which is due in theaters, May 19, 2023.

MOVIES - From TheGate:  In an interview about the iconic film, "The Godfather," which is celebrating its 50th anniversary, actor Robert Duvall says that he thinks Christian Bale has been cast in Francis Ford Coppola's upcoming film, "Megalopolis."


From USATodayDwayne Haskins, an NFL quarterback with the Pittsburgh Steelers, died after he was struck by a dump truck on Saturday morning, April 9th.  Haskins was 24 and would have made 25 in early May.

From SteelerWire:  Steelers wide receiver Chase Claypool shares an emotional moment over the passing of his teammate, Dwayne Haskins.

From TheWrap:  Former NFL executive Gil Brandt said some really shitty things about Dwayne Haskins after he died. Now, the old bastard is apologizing...


From Variety:  Stand-up comedian, actor, and voice performer, Gilbert Gottfried, has died at the age of 67, Tuesday, April 12, 2022.  Gottfried is best known for his exaggerated loud, screeching, shrill and obnoxious voice.  His best known roles may be that of "Iago" the parrot in Disney's "Aladdin" films and animated television series and of "Degit LeBoid" on the PBS animated series, "Cyberchase."

From NBC:  Comedian Gilbert Gottfried died at the age of 67 of a rare genetic muscle disorder, "type II myotonic dystrophy," that is often overlooked.

From DeadlineGilbert Gottfried's comedy career - a photo gallery.

From Deadline:  Veteran television actress, Liz Sheridan, has died at the age of 93, Sunday, April 10, 2022.  Sheridan was best known for her TV work, especially for playing Jerry Seinfeld's mother, "Helen Seinfeld" on the former NBC comedy, "Seinfield."  She was also the nosy neighbor, "Raquel Ochmonek" on the former NBC sitcom, "ALF."

From Deadline:  Actress Kathy Lamkin has died at the age of 74, Monday, April 4, 2022.  She was known for her scene-stealing turns in the Oscar-winning "No Country for Old Men" and the terrible 2003 remake, "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" and its sequel/prequel, "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning."



From DeadlineThe Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences has banned recent Oscar-winner Will Smith from attending its programs and events - virtually or in-person - including the Academy Awards ceremony for a period of 10 years.  This is his punishment for bitch-slapping Chris Rock during the 94th Academy Awards ceremony, Sun., March 27th.

From Variety:  Actor Harry Lennix comes off the porch to tell Will Smith that he should ... voluntarily give back his recent "Best Actor" Oscar in order to restore the awards honor ... saying this with a straight face.

From TMZ - Celebrities keep weighing in - Grammy Award-nominated rapper and recording artist, Fat Joe, says that Will Smith slapping Chris Rock at the 94th Academy awards "makes minorities look bad."

From Variety:  Netflix has slowed its development of a Will Smith action-thriller, "Fast and Loose," in the wake of the Oscar slap.

From Variety:   Will Smith has announced that he is withdrawing his membership from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS).

From VarietyWill Smith walks onstage at the 94th Academy Awards and slaps Chris Rock in the face for making a joke about his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith.

From Variety:  The Academy has said that Will Smith was asked to leave the 94th Academy Awards ceremony after slapping presenter Chris Rock, but he refused.  The Academy has started disciplinary proceedings against Smith.

From Deadline:  Oscar-winner Will Smith formally apologizes to comedian Chris Rock for slapping him during the 94th Academy Awards show.

From Variety:  Chris Rock says that he is "still kind of processing what happened."

From Variety:   "Harry Potter" star Daniel Radcliffe says that he is "dramatically bored" with hearing people's opinion about "THE SLAP."

From VarietyWill Smith won the "Best Actor" Oscar for portraying the father of tennis stars, Venus and Serena Willaims, Richard Williams, in the biopic, "King Richard."  In regards to Smith slapping Chris Rock onstage during the 94th Academy Awards, Richard says, "We don't condone anyone hitting anyone else."

From Variety:  The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) has confirmed that Chris Rock has declined to file a police report regarding Oscar-winner Will Smith slapping him during the 94th Academy Awards.

From THR:  The actors' union, SAG-AFTRA, calls Will Smith's slap of Chris Rock to be "unacceptable."

From People:  Of the Oscar slap, "Aquaman" Jason Momoa says that he is shocked that Will Smith slapped Chris Rock and that "There's a tipping point for everyone."

From Variety:  Celebrities react to the Oscar bitch slap heard around the world.

Thursday, April 14, 2022

Review: "KINGSMAN: The Golden Circle" Improves on the First Film

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 22 of 2022 (No. 1834) by Leroy Douresseaux

Kingsman: The Golden Circle (2017)
Running time: 141 minutes (2 hours, 21 minutes)
MPAA – R for sequences of strong violence, drug content, language throughout and some sexual content
DIRECTOR:  Matthew Vaughn
WRITERS:  Jane Goldman and Matthew Vaughn (based on on the comic book, The Secret Service, by Mark Millar and Dave Gibbons)
PRODUCERS:  Adam Bohling, David Reid, and Matthew Vaughn
CINEMATOGRAPHER:  George Richmond (D.o.P.)
EDITOR:  Eddie Hamilton
COMPOSERS:  Henry Jackman and Matthew Margeson


Starring:  Taron Egerton, Colin Firth, Julianne Moore, Mark Strong, Halle Berry, Pedro Pascal, Channing Tatum, Jeff Bridges, Edward Holcroft, Hanna Alström, Calvin Demba, Thomas Turgoose, Tobi Bakare, Bruce Greenwood, Emily Watson, Elton John, Sophie Cookson, and Michael Gambon

Kingsman: The Golden Circle is a 2017 spy movie and action-comedy from director Matthew Vaughn.  It is a direct sequel to the 2015 film, Kingsman: The Secret Service.  Both films are based on characters and elements from the 2012 comic book, The Secret Service, by Mark Millar and Dave Gibbons.  The Golden Circle focuses on two elite secret organizations that must band together to defeat a common enemy that is holding the world hostage.

Kingsman: The Golden Circle opens a year after Gary “Eggsy” Unwin (Taron Egerton) defeated and killed the diabolical Internet billionaire, Richmond Valentine.  Eggsy has officially joined the independent intelligence agency, Kingsman, and has taken his late mentor. Harry Hart's (Colin Firth) position as agent “Galahad.”  Eggsy is also dating Tilde (Hanna Alström), Crown Princess of Sweden, whom he saved from Valentine.

One night in London, Eggsy is ambushed by Charlie Hesketh (Edward Holcroft), a rejected Kingsman applicant.  Eggsy defeats Charlie, who escapes.  However, Charlie has a new employer, a mysterious organization known as “The Golden Circle.”  Its leader, Poppy Adams (Julianne Moore), the world's largest manufacturer and distributor of illegal drugs and narcotics, launches an attack against the Kingsman that leaves the agency devastated.  The survivors, Eggsy and Merlin (Mark Strong), make contact with “Statesman,” the American counterpart of Kingsman, which uses a Kentucky-based bourbon whiskey business as a front.  [The Kingsman's front is as a Savile Row tailor.]

With the help of the Statesman, Agent Whiskey (Pedro Pascal) and Ginger Ale (Halle Berry), Eggsy tries to stop Poppy Adams' plot to use a toxin in the drugs and narcotics she sells to hold the world for ransom.  She wants her demands met or she will withhold an antidote to the toxin, which means hundreds of millions of people will die.  In order to stop her, Eggsy will have to face many challenges … and a number of surprising reveals.

I enjoyed Kingsman: The Secret Service quite a bit, but it was mostly a substance-free past-time.  As much as I enjoyed the film, I had mostly forgotten about it a few hours after seeing it.  Kingsman: The Golden Circle isn't quite as substance-free as its predecessor.  The bonds and obligations of friendship and love weigh on the characters, especially Eggsy.  He can no longer just live for the job, not when there is a serious relationship commitment in front of him.

I found some of the Statesman characters to be either superfluous or simply boring, with the exception of Halle Berry's Ginger Ale.  I am a longtime fan of Berry's, and she makes the casually smart and calm Ginger an endearing character.  Elton John also makes a surprising and shocking turn as something of a fun and offbeat action hero.

The film also has a wacky-ass and fun soundtrack.  It uses John Denver's 1971 hit, “Take Me Home, Country Roads,” including a poignant version sung by Mark Strong's Merlin.  There are a few Elton John hits, of course, some performed in the film by Elton.  The best song on the soundtrack may be a funky, country rock version of Cameo's “Word Up” by the German musical act “The BossHoss.”

Taron Egerton as Eggsy has star appeal and leading man quality, which is a surprise to me.  I wish the film had given some of the narrative time devoted to the Statesman characters back to Eggsy.  Egerton takes the Kingsman film franchise to the next level.  Kingsman: The Golden Circle is an improvement over the original film, enough of an improvement that I hope to see another sequel.

7 of 10

Wednesday, February 16, 2022

The text is copyright © 2022 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this site for reprint and syndication rights and fees.



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Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Negromancer News Bits and Bites from November 21st to 30th, 2021 #15

by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"

You can support Leroy via Paypal or on Patreon:


MOVIES - From Deadline:  Star Channing Tatum and director Steven Soderbergh are returning for "Magic Mike's Last Dance," the third film in their "Magic Mike" series.  When the film is ready, it will stream exclusively on HBO Max.

BOX OFFICE - From BoxOfficePro:  The winner of the 11/26 to 11/28/2021 weekend box office is Disney's "Encanto" with an estimated take of 27 million dollars.

From Variety:  The Thanksgiving holiday weekend (11/24 to 11/28/2020=1) box office begins with a Disney's "Encanto" victory as the animated film grossed 7.5 million dollars Wed., Nov. 24th.

From Deadline:  Director Denis Villeneuve's "Dune: Part One" finally crosses the 100 million dollar mark at the domestic box office.

ANIMATION - From DeadlineHayao Miyzazki, the legendary Japanese director of animated films, is coming out of retirement again to direct an animated feature film adaptation of the "How Do You Live," a 1937 novel by Genzaburo Yoshino.

DISNEY - From DeadlinePeter Jackson talks about his four-year obsession that resulted on his "Beatles" documentary, "The Beatles: Get Back," which airs on Disney+ from Nov. 25th to Nov. 27th.

COVID-19 - From Deadline:  A new COVID-19 variant, "B.1.1.529," has been found in Africa.  Potentially more transmissible, it has been called "a big jump in evolution."

SCANDAL - From Variety:   An arbitrator has ordered Kevin Spacey and his companies to pay nearly $31 million to MRC, the production company behind Netflix's “House of Cards,” after finding that Spacey breached his contract by violating the company’s sexual harassment policy.

MOVIES - From Deadline:   One of the producers behind the movie Western, "Rust," is co-financing "Sam & Kate," a new film starring Oscar winners Dustin Hoffman and Sissy Spasek.  Actor Alec Baldwin accidentally killed cinematography Halyna Hutchinson on the set of "Rust" after pointing a gun in her direction.

BOX OFFICE - From BoxOfficePro:  The winner of the 11/19 to 11/21/2021 weekend box office is "Ghostbusters: Afterlife" with an estimated take of 44 million dollars.

From Negromancer:  My review of "Ghostbusters: Afterlife."

From Deadline:  The most recent James Bond movie, "No Time to Die," moves past the most recent "Fast & Furious" movie, "F9," to take the lead in worldwide box office.


From ESPN:  American professional golfer, Lee Elder, has died at the age of 87, Sunday, November 28, 2021.  In 1975, he became the first Black golfer to play The Masters Tournament.  He won four tournaments on the PGA Tour, including the 1974 Monsanto Open, which is what got him invited to the 1974 Masters.

From Variety:  American composer and lyricist and Broadway legend, Stephen Sondheim, has died at the age of 91, Friday, November 26, 2021.  He is praised for having reinvented the American musical and for incorporating complex and dissonant themes and structures from 20th century classical music into his works.  Sondheim is known for being the composer and lyricist for such musicals as "Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street" (1979) and "Sunday in the Park with George" (1984).  He wrote the lyrics for "West Side Story" (1957) and "Gypsy" (1959).  Sondheim's accolades include nine Tony Awards, an Oscar, eight Grammy Awards, a Pulitzer Prize, a Laurence Olivier Award, and a 2015 Presidential Medal of Freedom. 



From Deadline:  This link will take you to Deadline's Halyna Hutchins page, which articles related to everything about her shooting death on the set of the Western film, "Rust."

From THR:  A search warrant affidavit filed Tuesday for a prop shop sheds light on how alleged live ammunition ended up on the set of the Western film, "Rust," where cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was killed in October.

From Deadline:  A month after cinematographer, Halyna Hutchins, was shot and killed on the New Mexico set the movie Western, "Rust," by a prop gun “discharged” by Alec Baldwin, those closest to the cinematographer held a private ceremony and interred her ashes at an unknown location.

From Deadline:  Actor Daniel Baldwin defends his brother, Alec Baldwin, in the accidental shooting death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of the film, "Rust."  "Someone loaded that gun improperly," Daniel says.

From Deadline:  The newest lawsuit involving the tragic shooting on the set of the Western film, "Rust," has been filed by the film's script supervisor, Mamie Mitchell, against Alec Baldwin, the producers, the production company, armorer Hanna Gutierrez Reed, and others.

From DeadlineSerge Svetnoy, the gaffer on "Rust," has filed a lawsuit against several parties related to the film, including the production, the financiers, star Alec Baldwin, armorer Hannah Gutierrez Reed, and first Assistant Director David Halls.

From THR:   In the wake of the tragic accidental shooting on the set of his film, "Rust," Alec Baldwin on Monday took to social media to urge Hollywood to employ a police officer on every film and TV set that uses guns.

From THR:   The budget for "Rust" - Alec Baldwin was set to earn $150,000 as lead actor and $100,000 as producer, while $7,913 was earmarked for armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed and $17,500 was set aside for the rental of weapons and $5,000 for rounds.

From Deadline:  Attorneys for Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, the armorer on the set of the film, "Rust," said that they’re looking into whether a live bullet was placed in a box of dummy rounds with the intent of  “sabotaging the set.”

From THR:   Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, the armorer on the film, "Rust," released a statement through her lawyers.  She says she had “no idea where the live rounds came from” that were recovered by the Santa Fe County Sheriff's during the investigation of the accidental on-set shooting death of Halyna Hutchins.

From Jacobin:  An opinion piece says that cinematographer Halyna Hutchins' death on the set of the film, "Rust," was not a freak accident, but was about Alec Baldwin and his fellow producers' cost-cutting decisions.  Baldwin accidentally fired the gun that killed Hutchins.

From Deadline:   Two of executive producers on "Rust," Allen Cheney and Emily Salveson, disavow responsibility for the film's troubled production.

From THR:   Iconic "Ghostbusters" actor Ernie Hudson is reeling from the news of the death of Halyna Hutchins, like the rest of Hollywood. Hudson also appeared in the film, "The Crow," the film in which its star, Brandon Lee, was killed because of an on-set accidental shooting.  He also agrees with the call to ban real guns from movie sets.

From THR:  The Sheriff of Sante Fe County says that his office has recovered three guns and 500 rounds of ammunition from the set of the movie "Rust" where cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was killed.

From Deadline:  Regarding criminal charges in the death of Halyna Hutchins on the set of the film "Rust," District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altweis, "all options are on the table - no one has been ruled out."

From THR:  Does Hollywood Need Guns? Will new regulations lead to an overreactions to a tragedy.

From Deadline:   "Rust" producers have opened an internal investigation into the fatal shooting on the set of the Western film.  They have hired outside lawyers to conduct interviews with the film's production crew.

From Deadline:  "Rust's" AD (assistant director), Dave Halls, has come under scrutiny in the wake of the on-set shooting death of the film's cinematographer, Halyna Hutchins.

From Deadline:  The affidavit of Sante Fe Sheriff's Department Detective Joel Cano has been made public. It can be read at "Deadline."  The affidavit was for a search warrant from the property were the Western, "Rust," was being filmed.

From THR:  The production company behind "Rust" has shut the film down until the police investigation into the fatal, on-set shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins is through.  The Sante Fe County Sheriff's Office has also revealed a timeline of the shooting.

From Deadline:  The Santa Fe Sheriff’s Department confirmed Thursday night that Alec Baldwin “discharged” a prop gun on the New Mexico set of the movie, "Rust."  As a result, one crew member, director of photography Halyna Hutchins, was killed and director Joel Souza was injured and remains in a local hospital - his condition unknown.

From THR:  "Rust" director, Joel Souza, who was wounded in the accidental on-set shooting, says that he is "gutted" by the death of his cinematographer on the film, Halyna Hutchins.

From Deadline:  The fatal shooting on the set of "Rust" may have been "recorded" according to detective for Santa Fe Sheriff's Department.

From Deadline:  The production company behind the film, "Rust," will launch an internal safety review after the fatal accident that killed Halyna Hutchins; possible prior gun incidents; and a camera crew walkout.

From CNN:   Crew member yelled "cold gun" as he handed Alec Baldwin prop weapon, court document shows.

From Variety:  Actor Alec Baldwin releases statement on the death of Halyna Hutchins: "There are no words to convey my shock and sadness."

From Variety:  The prop gun that killed “Rust” cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and wounded director Joel Souza on during an on-set accident on Thursday contained a “live single round,” according to an email sent by IATSE Local 44 to its membership.

Saturday, June 19, 2021

Negromancer News Bits and Bites from June 13th to 19th, 2021 - Update #23

by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"

You can support Leroy via Paypal or on Patreon:


BLM - From Variety:   Ms. Opal Lee, the "Grandmother of Juneteenth," and Grammy Award-winning recording artist, Pharrell Williams, talk about their fight for the "Juneteenth" holiday.

NETFLIX - From Deadline:   Netflix has given a 10-episode straight-to-series order to a half-hour workplace comedy inspired by the front office of the NBA's Los Angeles Lakers. The project hails from Mindy Kaling, former star/executive producer of one of the all-time great workplace comedy series, "The Office;" "Modern Family" alumna Elaine Ko; Lakers’ President and Governor Jeanie Buss; and Warner Bros. TV.

MOVIES - From Deadline:   "Mortal Kombat" actor Hiroyuki Sanada has joined "John Wick: Chapter 4."

TELEVISION - From Deadline:  CBS latest "NCIS" installment, "NCIS: Hawaii," has begun production in Hawaii with a traditional Hawaii blessing.

MOVIES - From Deadline:  Warner Bros. will finance the biopic of music legend, Marvin Gaye, entitled "What's Going On."  At 80 million dollars, it will be the biggest budget for an American-African musical biopic.  Allen Hughes will direct with Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine among the producers.  The Gaye estate and Motown are also onboard the production.

CULTURE - From YahooNews:   President Joe Biden and Vice-President Kamala Harris have signed "Juneteenth" (June 19th) into a federal holiday - beginning immediately.

POLITICS - From APNews:   The U.S. Supreme Court upholds the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as "Obamacare," a third time.

LGBTQ - From Queerty:   In honor of Pride Month, actor and Grammy-nominated recording artist Adam Lambert declares, "I like dick."

STAR TREK - From YouTube:  Here is a new teaser trailer for "Star Trek: Picard" Season 2, which debuts next year. 

From TrekCore:  The site offers a breakdown of the new teaser trailer for "Star Trek: Picard" Season 2.

ANIMATION - From YahooNBC:   Last week a Warner Bros. representative announced that “Scooby-Doo” character, "Velma Dinkley," would be reprised as East Asian in Mindy Kaling’s new adult HBO Max show.  This article addresses the social media reaction (some of it racist) to the news.

MOVIES - From Deadline:   Zoe Kravitz will make her directorial debut with the film, "Pussy Island."  In this genre thriller, Channing Taturm will play a tech billionaire with a mysterious tropical island.

MUSIC - From RollingStone:   Roger Waters has said that Facebook approached him about using the 1979 Pink Floyd classic song, “Another Brick in the Wall, Part 2," which Waters wrote, in an upcoming advertisement for Instagram (which Facebook owns).  Despite the offer of a "huge, huge amount of money," Waters turned down the offer - saying "Fuck You. No fuckin' way."

NETFLIX - From Variety:   Jeb Stuart, who wrote such late 1980/early 1990s movies such as "Die Hard" (1988), "Another 48 Hours" (1990), and "The Fugitive" (1993), will write Netflix's "Assassin's Creed" TV series.

STAR TREK - From Deadline:   Paramount+ and Nickelodeon's animated "Star Trek: Prodigy" reveals its cast and unveils some first-look images.

MOVIES - From Deadline:  "Sideways" director Alexander Payne and star Paul Giamatti reunite for "poignant" comedy, "The Holdovers."

SCANDAL - From YahooNews:   Exclusive: Saudi assassins picked up illicit drugs in Cairo to kill "Washington Post" columnist, Jamal Khashoggi, in 2018 in the Saudi Arabian consulate in Turkey.

BOX OFFICE - From Variety:   The winner of the 6/11 to 3/13/2021 weekend box office is "In the Heights" with an estimated gross of 11.4 million dollars.

From Variety:  "A Quiet Place II" has become the first movie of the pandemic era to surpass $100 million in U.S. tickets sales.

NETFLIX - From Deadline:   Melissa McCarthy and Ben Falcone’s Netflix comedy series, God’s Favorite Idiot," has wrapped up production earlier than expected in Australia, and "Deadline" explains why.

TELEVISION - From Deadline:   The CW has rounded out the cast for its original made-for-TV movie "The Waltons’ Homecoming."  The Waltons’ Homecoming marks the 50th anniversary of "The Homecoming: A Christmas Story" television movie, which aired December 19, 1971, and launched the long-running series "The Waltons," created by Earl Hamner.


From THR:   The television actor and director, Frank Bonner, has died at the age of 79, Wednesday, June 16, 2021.  Bonner was best known for the role of "Herb Tarlek" on the former CBS sitcom, "WKRP in Cincinnati" (1978-82).  Bonner was also a prolific director of episodic TV and directed all 105 episodes of the former NBC Saturday morning TV series, "City Guys" (1997-2001).

From YahooEntertainment:   The stage, screen, and television actress, Lisa Banes, has died at the age of 35, Monday, June 14, 2021, a victim of a hit and run accident in New York City.  She was hospitalized June 4th after being struck by a scooter or motorcycle while crossing Amsterdam Avenue at 64th Street, in a crosswalk, on Manhattan's Upper West Side.  Her best known film work includes "Cocktail" (1988) and "Gone Girl" (2014).  She appeared in numerous TV series, including "L.A. Law," "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine," "Murder, She Wrote," "Son of the Beach," and "Nashville," to name a few.

From Deadline:   The prolific film actor, Ned Beatty, has died at the age of 83, Sunday, June 13, 2021.  Beatty had more than 160 screen credits, so his "best known for" list his long.  His most notorious role was probably as rape victim, Bobby Trippe, in 1972's Deliverance.  He also had memorable turns in "White Lightning" (1973), "Superman" (1972), "Rudy" (1993), "Shooter" (2007), "Toy Story 3" (2010), and the 1979 TV movie, "Friendly Fire."  Beatty was nominated for a "Best Supporting Actor" Oscar for "Network" (1976).  He was twice nominated for an Emmy Award, "Friendly Fire" and "Last Train Home" (1989).

Monday, November 30, 2020

Negromancer News Bits and Bites from November 22nd to 30th, 2020 - Update #31

by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"

Support Leroy on Patreon:


BOX OFFICE - From Deadline:   The winner of the 11/27 to 11/29/2020 weekend box office was DreamWorks Animation's "The Croods: A New Age" with an estimated take of 9.7 million dollars.

POLITICS - From GuardianUK:   Why Biden shouldn't extend an olive branch to Republicans

CULTURE - From YahooLife:  If it isn't the most unusual location for a McDonald's restaurant in America, it is one of the most.  See the Ace Hardward-McDonald's in Washington D.C.

MOVIES - From Time:   "Time Magazine" names the "Ten Best" acting performances in film for 2020.

SPORTS/CULTURE - From NPR:   Sarah Fuller of the Vanderbilt Commodores football team becomes the first woman in history to play in a "Power 5" conference football game.  Vanderbilt is a member of the Southeastern Conference (SEC) as is their opponent in the game played on Sat. Nov. 28th, 2020, the University of Missouri Tigers.

SPORTS/MUSIC - From ESPN:   Grammy-winning, Canadian recording artist, "The Weeknd," will be the headlining act at the Pepsi Super Bowl LV Halftime Show.

From CoS:  "The Weeknd" did not receive one 2021 Grammy nomination when they were recently announced, although he seemed to be a lock to receive several due to the smash success of his 2020 album, "After Hours."  Sources close to him believe that this lack of nominations is due to him performing at the Super Bowl LV halftime show.

STREAMING - From IndependentUK:   Acclaimed director David Lynch is apparently working on a series entitled "Wisteria" for Netflix.

OSCARS - From Variety:   Netflix could break an 85-year-old Oscar record.  That would be for the studio with the most "Best Picture" nominations in a year - held by MGM with five in 1937.

From Variety:  If you don't like the Academy Awards diversity standards, comedian and actor, Andy Samberg, says that you can f**k off.

CULTURE - From Yahoo/NYT:  A new generation of rich kids wants to tear down capitalism.

TELEVISION - From Deadline:   Actor Idris Elba will interview rock music legend and former Beatle, Sir Paul McCartney for a BBC One special, "Idris Elba Meets Paul McCartney."

MOVIES - From WeGotThisCovered:  Disney is apparently considering or developing a spinoff of 20th Century Fox's "Alien" franchise that involves a younger version of the beloved character "Ellen Ripley," made famous by Oscar-nominated actress, Sigourney Weaver.

STREAMING - From Deadline:   Netflix has removed Comedy Central's "Chappelle's Show" from its streaming service at the request of the series' star, Dave Chappelle.  Chappelle claims that ViacomCBS

POLITICS - From YahooNYT:  The things Donald Trump really liked about being President of the USA.

MOVIES - From Collider:  Writer-director Chris Columbus provides an update on "Gremlins 3," which would be the second sequel to "Gremlins," the beloved 1984 he wrote.

GRAMMYS - From THR:   Trevor Noah, the host of Comedy Central's "The Daily Show," will host the 2021 Grammy Awards.

From ETOnline:  South Korea's musical act, BTS, has become the first K-Pop (Korean pop) act to receive a Grammy Awards nomination in a major category - "Best Pop Duo/Group Performance" for their English-language single, "Dynamite."

TELEVISION - From Deadline:  Sports journalists, Jemele Hill, formerly of ESPN, and Kelley Carter, are  joining Gabriele Union and Sony Pictures TV to develop the half-hour comedy, "New Money," for Showtime.

MOVIES - From YahooEntertainment:   Cherokee American actor Wes Studi revisits the Oscar-winning film, "Dances With Wolves" (including winning "Best Picture"), in which he appeared and also talks about the changing depictions of Native Americans in film and television

TELEVISION - From YahooEntertainment:   "Saturday Night Live" writer reveals how Eddie Murphy saved the late-night show 40 years ago.

BOX OFFICE - From Deadline:   The winner of the 11/20 - 11/22/2020 weekend box office is "Freaky" with an estimated take of 1.2 million dollars.

CELEBRITY - From THR:   Tyler Perry's giveaway of food and gift cards at Tyler Perry Studios on Sunday, Nov. 22nd attracted thousands.  People started lining up in their cars on Saturday...

MOVIES - THR: Tyler Perry, Melanie Lynskey and Ron Perlman are the latest stars to join the all-star cast of Adam McKay’s satire, "Don’t Look Up."

MOVIES - From ShadowandAct:  Grammy-winning recording artist and actor, Nelly, will portray seminal rock 'n' roll musician, Chuck Berry, in "Clear Lake," an upcoming biographical film about the late Buddy Holly.

CELEBRITY - From ShadowandAct:   Taylor Simone Ledward, the widow of actor Chadwick Boseman ("Black Panther"), is the administrator of the late actor's estate.

POLITICS - From Truthout:  President Joe Biden should cancel student debt on "Day One" of his administration.

MOVIES - From THR:   Channing Tatum has reunited with his "21 Jump Street" collaborator, Phil Lord and Chris Miller, for a "tongue-in-cheek" thriller based on the "Universal Monsters" franchise.


From YahooHuffPost:   The British actor and weightlifter and bodybuilder, David Prowse, has died at the age of 85, Saturday, November 28, 2020.  Prowse was best known for playing "Darth Vader" in the original "Star Wars" trilogy, beginning with "Star Wars" in 1977.  Prowse wore Vader's costume, but actor James Earl Jones provided Vader's voice.

From ESPN:   Argentine professional football (soccer) player, Diego Maradona, has died at the age of 60, Wednesday, November 25, 2020.  Considered one of the greatest players of all time, Maradona captained Argentina to the 1986 World Cup championship.

From YahooEntertainment:   The brother of actors, Bill Murray and Brian Doyle-Murray, Ed Murray, has died at the age of 76, Monday, November 23, 2020.  Ed was one of the inspirations for the iconic sports movie, "Caddyshack" (1980), which Brian co-wrote and in which Bill starred.


From CDC:   The Centers for Disease Control has a "COVID Data Tracker."

From YahooNews:  Why does COVID-19 kill some people and hardly affects others?

From YahooNews:  Yahoo has a dedicated page of links updating news about COVID-19.

From Deadline:  The news site "Deadline" has a dedicated page for news about coronavirus and the film, TV, and entertainment industries.

From TheNewYorker:  The venerable magazine has a dedicate COVID-19 page free to all readers.

From YahooNews:  Re: the federal government's response to COVID-19: What if the most important election of our lifetime was the last one - 2016?

From YahooLife:  What is "happy hypoxia?"  And do you have this COVID-19 symptom?

From JuanCole:  Remember when President Donald went crazy and suggested that we ingest household cleaning supplies and UV light to fight COVID-19.  Here is the video and commentary from Juan Cole.

From TheIntercept:  The federal government has ramped up security and police-related spending in response to the COVID-19/coronavirus pandemic, including issuing contracts for riot gear, disclosures show. The purchase orders include requests for disposable cuffs, gas masks, ballistic helmets, and riot gloves...

From TheAtlanticThe Coronavirus Was an Emergency Until Trump Found Out Who Was Dying. The pandemic has exposed the bitter terms of our racial contract, which deems certain lives of greater value than others.

From ProPublica:  Hospital's Secret COVID-19 Policy Separated Native American Mothers From Their Newborns

From TheGuardian:  More than 20 million Americans could have contracted COVID-19, experts say.

From RSN/WashPost:  The COVID-19 mutation that has taken over the world.

7/13 - From YahooSports:  Maybe a pandemic means that there will not be college football this fall.

7/13- From YahooNews:  The CDC adds four new symptoms (including nausea and purple or blue lesions on feet and toes) to the list of COVID-19 symptoms.

7/19 - From YahooFinance:  Harvard Public Health professor Dr. Howard Koh says the U.S. "needs to regroup" to find COVID-19.

7/22 - From YahooNews:  A public health employee predicted Florida's coronavirus catastrophe — then she was fired.

7/22 - From YahooLifestyle:  Florida mom loses son, 20, to coronavirus, and then days later, her daughter.

7/23 - From TheWrap:  The site has a list of movie and TV stars, entertainment and sports figures who have tested positive for COVID-19

From Bloomberg:  Will the COVID-19 pandemic turn Millennials into socialists?

7/27 - From CNN:   Chief of critical care at Baltimore's Mercy Medical Center, Dr. Joseph Costa, passes away due to Covid-19 complications... after treating the hospital's sickest COVID-19 patients.  He was 56 and leaves behind family, including a husband of 28 years.

7/31 - From Slate:  COVID-19 is airborne - for reals!

8/9 - From YahooAFP:  According to the real-time tally kept by John Hopkins University, the United States has hit 5 million cases of COVID-19.

8/16 - From Truthout: COVID Deaths Continue to Surge in Countries Led by Far Right Authoritarians

9/19 - From WashPost:  U.S. coronavirus death toll reaches 200,000

9/23 - From CNBC:  Mark Cuban, who owns the NBA's Dallas Mavericks and star of ABC's "Shark Tank," suggests that every household in American get a $1000 check every two weeks for the next two months.

11/7 - From YahooNews:  "It's a slaughter," doctors say of new coronavirus wave.

11/13 - YahooNews:  "We blew it": U.S. reaches 'explosive' COVID-19 spread as virus is nearly impossible to control, experts say.

11/29 From LATimes:  California sets record with most COVID-19 hospitalizations since pandemic began


From RSN:   Judge's Blistering Opinion Says Courts Have Placed Police Beyond Accountability

From TheGuardian:  Yusef Salaam, one of the "Central Park Five," says in an interview, "Trump would have had me hanging from a tree in Central Park."

From NPR:  Prosecutors' plea deal required drug suspect to name Breonna Taylor a "co-defendant."

From ChicagoSunTimes:  Rev. Jesse Jackson: America has millions of people in poverty because Americans choose not to demand the policies that would lift them out of poverty.

From APNews:  No one will be held accountable for the killing of Louisville African-American resident, Breonna Taylor.

From Channel4:  Revealed: Trump campaign strategy to deter millions of Black Americans from voting in 2016

From GuardianUK:  California is going to consider paying reparations to the descendants of African slaves after adopting a landmark law to study and to develop proposals around the issue.

From TheRoot:   What to Do When Your Country Turns Into a Dumpster Fire

From Vox:  It's True: 1 in 1,000 Black Americans Have Died in the Covid-19 Pandemic

From CBS:  Breonna Taylor's boyfriend certain cops didn't identify themselves

From DonaldTrump:  Well, because it has been in the news a lot lately (via Ice Cube and Li'l Wayne), here is "The Platinum Plan."  It is impressive, but no Republican Congress would go along with even 10 percent of this plan which is basically a long list of promises to the Black Americans - individually and as a group.

From Truthout:   Yes, 55 Percent of White Women Voted for Trump. No, I’m Not Surprised.

Friday, July 17, 2020

Review: "The Hateful Eight" is Certainly Great

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 14 (of 2020) by Leroy Douresseaux

[This review was originally posted on Patreon.]

The Hateful Eight (2015)
Running time:  188 minutes (3 hours, 8 minutes)
MPAA – R for strong bloody violence, a scene of violent sexual content, language and some graphic nudity
WRITER/DIRECTOR:  Quentin Tarantino
PRODUCERS:  Richard N. Gladstein, Shannon McIntosh, and Stacey Sher
CINEMATOGRAPHER:  Robert Richardson
EDITOR:  Fred Raskin
COMPOSER:  Ennio Morricone
Academy Award winner


Starring:  Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Walton Goggins, Demian Bichir, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, Bruce Dern, James Parks, Dana Gourrier, Zoe Bell, Lee Horsley, Gene Jones, Keith Jefferson, Craig Strark, Belinda Owino, and Channing Tatum

The Hateful Eight is the 8th film from writer-director Quentin Tarantino.  A Western and mystery-thriller, The Hateful Eight focuses on two bounty hunters, a prisoner, and a new local sheriff who find themselves stranded in a cabin with a collection of nefarious strangers.  At least one of those strangers may be connected to the prisoner.

The Hateful Eight opens in the dead of a Wyoming winter some years after the Civil War.  O.B. Jackson (James Parks) drives a stagecoach through the snow-covered landscape.  Aboard his stagecoach is bounty hunter, John Ruth the Hangman (Kurt Russell), and his prisoner, Daisy Domergue (Jennifer Jason Leigh).  Ruth is taking Domergue to Red Rock, Wyoming where she is to be tried and hanged for her crimes.

The stagecoach comes across a second bounty hunter, Major Marquis Warren (Samuel L. Jackson), who was transporting three dead bounties to Red Rock when his horse died.  It takes some convincing, but Ruth allows Warren to board the stagecoach.  Shortly afterwards, former Confederate, Chris Mannix (Walton Goggins), who claims to be heading to Red Rock to assume the job of sheriff, hails the stagecoach.  It takes some talking, but Ruth also lets him aboard.

A sudden blizzard forces this quintet to seek shelter at the stagecoach stopover, Minnie's Haberdashery, but Minnie (Dana Gourrier) is nowhere to be found.  Instead, they are met by Bob (Demián Bichir), a Mexican who says that Minnie is visiting her mother and has left him in charge; Oswaldo Mobray (Tim Roth) who claims to be Red Rock's hangman; Joe Gage (Michael Madsen), a quiet cowboy; and General Sanford Smithers (Bruce Dern), a former Confederate officer.  John Ruth and Marquis Warren believe that at least one of the men they have found at Minnie's is in league with Daisy Domergue, but which one and when will he strike?

Although The Hateful Eight displays Quentin Tarantino's signature blend of wisecracking social commentary, action, humor, and over-the-top violence, this film is not like Tarantino's more popular films:  Pulp Fiction (1994), Inglourious Basterds (2009) and Django Unchained (2012).  These three films received best picture Oscar nominations, while The Hateful Eight did not.  The Hateful Eight is a parlor-room drama, but the parlor room is set up like a stage for live theater.

The other three films were wide-ranging epics full of hyper-kinetic violence.  They are flashy examples of Tarantino's bravura film making, while The Hateful Eight is quiet and edgy and brimming with malice, menace, and venom.  More than half the characters in The Hateful Eight really are fucking hateful, and that is a ratio that can be off-putting for the audience.

But not for me.  I would put The Hateful Eight in the top half of Tarantino's filmography.  This isn't Tarantino's best dialogue or screenplay for that matter, but his execution is impeccable, as usual.  The Hateful Eight is a riveting piece of work, three hours of glorious film narrative, and I enjoyed every minute of it.  I wanted more.

Besides Tarantino's stellar work, there are a number of good performances in this film.  Samuel L. Jackson, a Tarantino regular, gives his best performance in a lead role in years.  He gives the sly Marquis Warren layers, from vengeful former slave to death-dealing former P.O.W., but Jackson suggests that there is so much more to this man that it would take at least two movies to discover what is inside him.

Jennifer Jason Leigh also turns Daisy Domergue into so much more than what she seems.  Her performances is built on subtle changes in note; it is a bouquet of scents meant to keep the viewers on their heels when it comes to what her motivations are.  Joined at the hip with Kurt Russell, who also gives a spry, spicy turn, they make a good pair.  Walton Goggins also surprises, especially since his career, thus far, has been filled with oddballs who are odd for the sake of being an oddity in a film.

Ennio Morricone's score and the film's soundtrack offer a nice backdrop, heightening the sinister mood of the story.  The Hateful Eight might not be a Tarantino audience favorite; it is too slow for the kick-ass crowd.  However, I think that it is a masterpiece, a great modern Western that stands with the very few great Westerns of the previous four decades.

9 of 10

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Revised:  Thursday, July 16, 2020

2016 Academy Awards, USA:  1 win: “Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score” (Ennio Morricone); 2 nominations:  “Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role” (Jennifer Jason Leigh) and “Best Achievement in Cinematography” (Robert Richardson)

2016 Golden Globes, USA:  1 win: “Best Original Score - Motion Picture” (Ennio Morricone); 2 nomination:  “Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture” (Jennifer Jason Leigh) and “Best Screenplay - Motion Picture” (Quentin Tarantino)

2016 BAFTA Awards:  1 win: “Best Original Music” (Ennio Morricone); 2 nominations: “Best Supporting Actress” (Jennifer Jason Leigh) and “Best Original Screenplay” (Quentin Tarantino)

The text is copyright © 2020 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this blog or site for reprint or syndication rights and fees.


Friday, July 14, 2017

Amazon Studios Announces "Comrade Detective" for August 4th

Amazon Studios and A24 to Premiere New Half-Hour Series Comrade Detective August 4 on Amazon Prime Video

Romanian-filmed live action half hour action series features an all-star cast of unique voice over performances including Channing Tatum and Joseph Gordon-Levitt in the series’ leading roles

SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--(NASDAQ: AMZN)—Amazon Studios announced Comrade Detective, a new half-hour live action series that will premiere August 4, 2017 exclusively on Amazon Prime Video in the US, UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. A co-production with A24, Comrade Detective comes from creators and executive producers Brian Gatewood (The Sitter) and Alex Tanaka (The Sitter) with Rhys Thomas (Documentary Now!) directing and executive producing. Free Association’s Tatum, Reid Carolin (Logan Lucky), Peter Kiernan (Mad Love) and Andrew Schneider are executive producers along with A24’s Ravi Nandan (The Carmichael Show) and John Hodges (Safety Not Guaranteed).

    “As passionate fans of cinema and television, we have long heard about this genre defining show and are thrilled to work with Free Association and Amazon to bring it to audiences”

Comrade Detective is a one-of-a-kind cop show and comedy set in 1980’s Romania. True to its nostalgic inspiration, the series is presented in Romanian and dubbed in English—as a Romanian show of that time would have been. Channing Tatum (Logan Lucky) and Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Looper) provide voice over dubbing performances for the series’ two leading roles, Detectives Gregor Anghel and Iosef Baciu—both characters played on screen by leading Romanian actors, Florin Piersic Jr. (Killing Time) and Corneliu Ulici (The Devil Inside).

In addition to Tatum and Gordon-Levitt, the illustrious roster of talent dubbing other roles includes Jenny Slate (Obvious Child), Chloë Sevigny (Bloodline), Jake Johnson (New Girl), Jason Mantzoukas (The House), Nick Offerman (Parks and Recreation), Fred Armisen (Documentary Now!), Kim Basinger (LA Confidential), Mahershala Ali (Moonlight), Tracey Letts (The Lovers), Bobby Cannavale (Boardwalk Empire), Richard Jenkins (The Visitor), Debra Winger (The Lovers), Mark Duplass (Safety Not Guaranteed), Katie Aselton Duplass (Legion), Jerrod Carmichael (The Carmichael Show), Bo Burnham (The Big Sick) and John Early (Search Party).

“In a world of global television it was inevitable that the best comedy of the year would come from Romania. Well that day has come,“ said Joe Lewis, Head of Comedy, Drama and VR at Amazon Studios. “Comrade Detective is unbelievably compelling, visually brilliant, and Gregor and Iosef are the heroes we need. Thanks to A24, Channing Tatum, Rhys Thomas, Brian Gatewood, Alex Tanaka, as well as the incredibly creative team behind this wild new series.”

"As passionate fans of cinema and television, we have long heard about this genre defining show and are thrilled to work with Free Association and Amazon to bring it to audiences," said A24.

About Comrade Detective
In the thick of 1980's Cold War hysteria, the Romanian government created the country’s most popular and longest-running series, Comrade Detective, a sleek and gritty police show that not only entertained its citizens but also promoted Communist ideals and inspired a deep nationalism. The action-packed and blood-soaked first season finds Detectives Gregor Anghel (played by Piersic) and Iosef Baciu (played by Ulici) investigating the murder of fellow officer Nikita Ionesco and, in the process, unraveling a subversive plot to destroy their country that is fueled by—what else—but the greatest enemy: Capitalism. Though the beloved show was sadly forgotten about after the fall of the Berlin Wall, it has been rediscovered and digitally remastered now with its main heroes voiced by Tatum and Gordon-Levitt. Comrade Detective is a true portal into a time and place and a powerful reminder of what art can be—and it is now ready to be seen by the modern world on a larger scale than ever before.

About Amazon Video
Amazon Video is a premium on-demand entertainment service that offers customers the greatest choice in what to watch, and how to watch it. Amazon Video is the only service that provides all of the following:

    Prime Video: Thousands of movies and TV shows, including popular licensed content plus critically-acclaimed and award-winning Amazon Original Series and Movies from Amazon Studios like Transparent, The Man in the High Castle, Love & Friendship and kids series Tumble Leaf, available for unlimited streaming as part of an Amazon Prime membership. Prime Video is also now available to customers in more than 200 countries and territories around the globe at
  •     Amazon Channels: Over 100 channel subscriptions that Prime members can add to their membership, including HBO, SHOWTIME, STARZ, Cinemax, PBS KIDS, Acorn TV and more, plus Anime Strike – the first curated on-demand subscription by Amazon Channels. To view the full list of channels available, visit
  •     Rent or Own: Hundreds of thousands of titles, including new-release movies and current TV shows available for on-demand rental or purchase for all Amazon customers
  •     Instant Access: Instantly watch anytime, anywhere through the Amazon Video app on TVs, mobile devices, Amazon Fire TV, Fire TV Stick, and Fire tablets, or online. For a list of all compatible devices visit
  •     Premium Features: Top features like 4K Ultra HD, High Dynamic Range (HDR) and mobile downloads for offline viewing of select content

In addition to Prime Video, the Prime membership includes unlimited fast free shipping options across all categories available on Amazon, more than two million songs and thousands of playlists and stations with Prime Music, secure photo storage with Prime Photos, unlimited reading with Prime Reading, unlimited access to a digital audiobook catalogue with Audible Channels for Prime, a rotating selection of free digital games and in-game loot with Twitch Prime, early access to select Lightning Deals, exclusive access and discounts to select items, and more. To sign-up for Prime or to find out more visit:

About Amazon
Amazon is guided by four principles: customer obsession rather than competitor focus, passion for invention, commitment to operational excellence, and long-term thinking. Customer reviews, 1-Click shopping, personalized recommendations, Prime, Fulfillment by Amazon, AWS, Kindle Direct Publishing, Kindle, Fire tablets, Fire TV, Amazon Echo, and Alexa are some of the products and services pioneered by Amazon. For more information, visit and follow @AmazonNews.

About A24
Launched in the summer of 2012, A24 is a New York-based media company focused on the distribution, financing, development and production of feature films and television projects. Recent TV series include the wildly original buddy cop action-comedy Comrade Detective, produced with Channing Tatum’s Free Association; the critically acclaimed and culturally groundbreaking The Carmichael Show, currently in its third season on NBC; USA's Playing House, also in its third season; and the hilarious standup comedy special Jerrod Carmichael: 8, which premiered this past Spring on HBO.

On the film side, the company recently released Barry Jenkins’ Moonlight, which won 3 Academy Awards® at the 2017 Oscars - Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Supporting Actor. Other film releases include Yorgos Lanthimos' critical and commercial hit The Lobster, a 2017 Oscar® nominee for Best Original Screenplay starring Colin Farrell and Rachel Weisz; Robert Eggers’ horror smash The Witch; Room, winner of the 2016 Academy Award® for Best Actress for Brie Larson; Amy, Asif Kapadia’s Oscar® winning portrait of Amy Winehouse; Alex Garland’s sci-fi smash Ex Machina; Jonathan Glazer’s singular Scarlett Johansson sci-fi thriller Under the Skin; and Harmony Korine’s record-breaking Spring Breakers.

About Free Association
Free Association, with principals Channing Tatum, Reid Carolin and Peter Kiernan, is currently producing Magic Mike Live Las Vegas at the Hard Rock Hotel. The company also produced Steven Soderbergh's Logan Lucky which will be released by Bleecker Street on August 18, 2017. Free Association has produced films including 22 Jump Street and the Magic Mike franchise, among others. On the television side, Free Association is in production on Step Up, the series for YouTube Red.