Showing posts with label Charlize Theron. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Charlize Theron. Show all posts

Saturday, May 18, 2024

Negromancer News Bits and Bites from May 12th to 18th, 2024 - UPDATE #15

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

You can support Leroy via Paypal or on Patreon:

Amazon wants me to inform/remind you that any affiliate links found on this page are PAID ADS, but I technically only get paid (eventually) if you click on affiliate links like this, MOVIES PAGE, and BUY something(s).

ENTERTAINMENT AND CULTURE NEWS:

MOVIES - From ScreenRant:  Will Smith confirms that production is ongoing for "I Am Legend 2," and that he has had a "productive" meeting with Michael B. Jordan, his co-star.

MOVIES - From THRUniversal has made a number of changes to and announcements concerning its 2025 horror movie slate.  That includes the following:  "Five Nights at Freddy’s 2" has received an official release date in theaters. Dec. 5, 2025. "M3GAN 2.0" moves from May 16, 2025 to June 27, 2025.  "The Black Phone 2" moves from June 27, 2025 to Oct. 17, 2025.

MOVIES - From Variety:  "Mortal Kombat 2" is set for an October 24, 2025 release date.

TELEVISION - From Deadline:  Junior broadcast network, "The CW," is looking to expand its reach into live sports. While that can't compete for the NFL or NBA rights, they are considering partnerships with entities like ESPN.

BUSINESS - From CBSNewsMcDonald's is considering a $5 meal deal.

From CBSNews:  Americans are choking on surging fast food prices.

MOVIES - From Variety:  Director George Miller said that there was "no excuse" for the feud between Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron, the stars of his 2015 hit film, "Mad Max: Fury Road."

SCANDAL - From DeadlineSteve Buscemi is the latest celebrity to be attacked on the streets of New York City.  An unknown man walked up and struck the 66-year-old actor while he was walking in a neighborhood on Manhattan's East side. Buscemi's publicist said the actor is doing ok.

CANNES - From DeadlineFrancis Ford Coppola's much-talked about film, "Megalopolis," has buyers that will distribute the film in key European markets.  Constantin Film has bought the film for distribution in Germany and all German-speaking territories, including Switzerland and Austria.  Eagle Pictures bought it for Ital.  Tripictures has the film for Spain.  Entertainment Film Distributors Limited purchased the film for the U.K.  As announced last week, Le Pacte will distribute the film in France.

BOX OFFICE - From BoxOfficePro:  The winner of the 5/10 to 5/12/2024 Mother's Day weekend box office is 20th Century's "Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes" with an estimated take of 56.5 million dollars.

MOVIES - From VarietyWarner Bros. is set to release a new "Lord of the Rings" movie.  Entitled "The Hunt for Gollum", the film will focus on the tragic character, "Gollum," to be played again, by Andy Serkis.  "Lord of the Rings" trilogy and "The Hobbit" trilogy director, Peter Jackson, and his partners, Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens, will produce the film and will be involved every step of the way.  Andy Serkis will direct the feature which is scheduled for 2026.

From Deadline:  Peter Jackson, Andy Serkins, and Philippa Boyens talk about their return to "Middle-Earth" for more "Lord of the Rings" films.  They also talk about how the Cannes 2001 saved the original films.

OBITS:

From Deadline:  American film and television actor, Dabney Coleman, has died at the age of 92, Thursday, May 16, 2024.  Best known as a character actor, Coleman's best known work was in such films as "9 to 5" (1980), "On Golden Pond" (1981), "Tootsie" (1982), and "WarGames" (1983), to name a few.  He was also the lead in several short-lived TV series:  "Buffalo Bill" (NBC, 1983-84), "The Slap Maxwell Stoy" (ABC, 1987-88), "Drexell's Class" (Fox, 1991-92), and "Madman of the People" (NBC, 1994-95).  Coleman was nominated for six Primetime Emmy Awards and won once, "Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or Special," for his performance in the ABC made-for-TV movie, "Sworn to Silence" (1987).

From Deadline:  American alto saxophone player, jazz musician, and composer, David Sanborn, has died at the age of 78, Sunday, May 12, 2024.  According to "Discogs," Sanborn had over 800 recorded music credits, including 33 albums releases.  Sanborn also won six Grammy Awards.  He also composed the score for several films, including "Lethal Weapon 2," "Lethal Weapon 3," and "Lethal Weapon 4."

From Variety:  American film producer and director, Roger Corman, has died at the age of 98, Thursday, May 9, 2024.  According to his IMDb stats, Corman directed 55 films and produced 385 between 1954 and 2008.  With his brother, Gene Corman, Roger founded New World Pictures, a small film production and distribution company.  Corman mentored and gave starts to a number of directors who would go on to fame, including Francis Ford Coppola, Ron Howard, John Sayles, and James Cameron, to name a few.  Future acting legend who got a start with Corman, including Peter Fonda, Jack Nicholson, and Dennis Hopper, to name a few.  In 2009, Corman received an honorary Academy Award.  Among Corman's most famous films are "The Big Doll House" (1971), "The Little Shop of Horrors" (1960), and "The Masque of the Red Death" (1964), to name a few.

From Deadline:  Hollywood remembers Roger Corman, including quotes from Gale Anne Hurd, William Shatner, Ron Howard, John Carpenter, and Joe Russo.

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GAZA:

5/7/2024 - From NewYorkTimes:  The actions of police officers and counterprotesters at campus demonstrations came under further scrutiny on Tuesday, with the University of California system saying it would investigate the law enforcement response to a violent attack on pro-Palestinian protesters at its Los Angeles campus, while the White House condemned the taunting of a Black student captured in a video at the University of Mississippi.

5/4/2024 - From TheGuardian:  On the police crackdown on campus Gaza ceasefire protests: "the police are sending a message" says Dartmouth labor historian.

5/3/24 - From NBCNews:  In an interview with Kristin Welker on NBC's "Meet the Press," Cindy McCain, the executive director of the World Food Programme, said she believes there is a "full-blown famine" in northern Gaza.


Friday, May 19, 2023

Review: "FAST X" is Too Fast, Too Furious For One Movie

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 22 of 2023 (No. 1911) by Leroy Douresseaux

Fast X (2023)
Running time: 141 minutes (2 hours, 21 minutes)
MPA – PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, language and some suggestive material
DIRECTOR: Louis Leterrier
WRITERS: Justin Lin and Dan Mazeau; from a story by Justin Lin & Dan Mazeau and Zach Dean (based on the characters created by Gary Scott Thompson)
PRODUCERS: Vin Diesel, Neal H. Moritz, Justin Lin, Jeffrey Kirschenbaum, and Samantha Vincent
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Stephen F. Windon (D.o.P.)
EDITORS: Dylan Highsmith and Kelly Matsumoto
COMPOSER: Brian Tyler

ACTION/CRIME/DRAMA

Starring:  Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Nathalie Emmanuel, Sung Kang, Leo Abelo Perry, Jason Statham, Jordana Brewster, Charlize Theron, Jon Cena, Brie Larson, Scot Eastwood, Alan Ritchson, Daniela Melchior, Pete Davidson, Joaquim de Almeida, Rita Moreno, Dwayne Johnson, Gal Gadot, and Helen Mirren

Fast X is a 2023 action movie that is directed by Louis Leterrier and is produced by Universal Pictures.  It is the tenth installment in the Fast & Furious movie franchise (now also called the “Fast Saga”).  A direct sequel to 2021's F9, Fast X finds Dom Toretto and his family targeted by the vengeful son of a drug kingpin they defeated over a decade ago.

Fast X begins in 2011 in Rio de Janeiro and recounts events, some of which were depicted in Fast Five (2011).  That time, professional criminals, Dominic “Dom” Toretto (Vin Diesel) and Brian O'Connor, led their crew/family in a heist against drug lord, Hernan Reyes (Joaquim de Almeida).  It is revealed that Reyes' son, Dante Reyes (Jason Momoa), failed in his bid to stop the heist.

In present day Los Angeles, Dom is living a quiet life with his wife, Letitia “Letty” Ortiz (Michelle Rodriguez), and his son, Brian “Little B” Marcos (Leo Abelo Perry).  Dom holds a family reunion that gathers the current incarnation of his crew-family:  Roman Pearce (Tyrese Gibson), Tej Parker (Chris “Ludacris” Bridges), Han Lue (Sung Kang), and Ramsey (Nathalie Emmanuel), as well as Dom's grandmother, Abuelita Torreto (Rita Moreno).

Roman, Tej, Han, and Ramsey are about to embark on a mission in Rome, Italy – with Roman leading – for Little Nobody (Scott Eastwood), the current head of “the Agency.”  However, what Dom and his family will discover is an elaborate trap laid for them by Dante Reyes, returned after over a decade and looking to avenge himself and his late father, Hernan.  Dante promise to kill Dom, but not before he makes him suffer by targeting his family and everyone connected to them or who helped them.  Now, a ragtag friends, enemies, and frenemies must gather together to stop Dante, who is always one step ahead of Dom and his family.  And Dante is enjoying every minute of the chaos and violence he causes.

When the first film, The Fast and the Furious, arrived in movie theaters in June of 2001, I ignored it, although I recognized the film's two stars, Vin Diesel and Paul Walker (1973-2013).  However, a few years later, I wanted to see 2 Fast 2 Furious (2003) because it was directed by the late John Singleton (1968-2019) and because I was a fan of actor Tyrese and rapper/actor Chris “Ludacris” Bridges.  Three years later, I was in a local theater to see The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (2006), but I called it quits after that, refusing to see Fast & Furious (2009).  I eventually did see it because I wanted to see the fifth film in the series.

That would be 2011's Fast Five.  I found it hugely entertaining, and it was the film that made me a consistent fan of the “Fast & Furious” film series.  I think that Fast Five was the first film in the series in which the action was more fantasy or fantastic than realistic.  Beginning with Dom and company's adventures in Rio, the series became some hybrid of science fiction-action, quasi-superhero fantasy, and James Bond-type super spy adventure.  After Fast Five, the series was never the same.

I won't say that Fast X epitomizes that any more than the previous four films:  Fast & Furious 6 (2013), Furious 7 (2015), The Fate of the Furious (2017), and F9 (2021).  There may be more crashes and collisions of automobiles, military vehicles, aircraft, etc, but it is all familiar, solidly entertaining, but familiar.  Fast X does seem to have the highest body count of any of the films, which I did find off-putting.  The characters shoot to kill and injury as if they are players in a video game and not characters in a narrative film.

Jason Momoa and Charlize Theron really give stand out performances in the film.  Momoa's Dante Reyes seems to be the first series villain that can really destroy Dominic Toretto, and Theron's Cipher is simply, majorly cool.

Fast X is also surprisingly funny, with more wit and humor than I think the series has delivered since 2 Fast 2 Furious.  The action is non-stop, but it is also apparently too big for a single film, as you will discover when you watch it, dear readers.  Fast X isn't a great work of cinema, but it is a superb entry in this crazy series.

[Fast X has one mid-credit scene.]

7 of 10
B+
★★★½ out of 4 stars

Friday, May 19, 2023


The text is copyright © 2023 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this blog or site for reprint and syndication rights and fees.

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Sunday, July 31, 2022

Negromancer News Bits and Bites from July 24th to 31st, 2022 - Update #18

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

You can support Leroy via Paypal or on Patreon:

ENTERTAINMENT AND CULTURE NEWS:

BOX OFFICE - From BoxOfficePro:  The winner of the 7/29 to 7/31/2022 weekend box office is "DC League of Super-Pets" with an estimated domestic take of 23 million dollars.

SCANDAL - From Deadline:  Oscar-winner Will Smith releases new video in which he apologizes to Chris Rock for slapping him during this year's Oscars telecast.

STREAMING - From DeadlineHBO Max is pulling back on live-action kids and family programming.  Thus, it will not review the 1980's coming-of-age comedy, "The Gordita Chronicles" for a second season.

AMAZON - From Deadline:  Oscar winners Charlize Theron and Alfonso Cuaron are among the people behind "Jane," a film about the family life of the one of the 20th century's greatest and most influential authors, Philip K. Dick, who works inspired the "Blade Runner" films.

MOVIES - From Deadline:  MGM is developing "Drago," a spin-off of the "Creed" film series.  Robert Lawton is writing.

NETFLIX - From Deadline:  Netflix, Anthony & Joe Russo, and star Ryan Gosling are already plotting a sequel to "The Gray Man," the recently released streaming film that may have set some streaming records.

TELEVISION - From Deadline:  Writer, producer, and comic book creator, Rodney Barnes, has extended his overall deal with HBO for another three years and will continue to develop, write and produce under his "Rodney Barnes Productions" banner.  Barnes most recently co-wrote 9 of the 10 episodes of HBO'S prestige miniseries, "Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty," and executive produced it.

BOX OFFICE - From BoxOfficePro:  The winner of the 7/22 to 7/24/2022 weekend box office is director Jordan Peele's "Nope" with an estimated take of 44 million dollars.

From Here:  Negromancer's review of "Nope."

SDCC/MARVEL STUDIOS - From Variety:  Finally, there is a trailer for and some details about Disney/Marvel Studios' "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever," which is due in theaters, November 11, 2022.

From IGN:  This article has "everything announced at the Marvel Studios San Diego Comic-Con 2022 Panel."

OBITS:

From NYTimes:  Former professional basketball player and NBA legend, Bill Russell, has died at the age of 88, Sunday, July 31, 2022.  He played for the Boston Celtics from 1956-69, the team that drafted him.  Russell was an 11-time NBA champion (including 2 when he was a player-coach), 5-time league MVP, 2-time NCAA champ (University of San Francisco), Olympic gold medalist (1956 Melbourne Games).  He was the first Black head coach of any North American pro sports team (Celtics, 1966-69), and he received Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2011

From Variety:  Actress, singer, dancer, icon, and role model, Nichelle Nichols, has died at the age of 89, Saturday night, July 30, 2022.  Nichols was best known for playing communications officer, "Uhura," on the original "Star Trek" (1966-69) television series.  Uhura was a groundbreaking role for African-American actresses.  From 1977 until 2015, Nichols volunteered her time to promote NASA's programs, and to recruit diverse astronauts, including women and ethnic minorities.

From Deadline:  Stage, film, and television actress, Mary Alice, has died Wednesday, July 27, 2022.  Her age has been reported as being from 80 to 86, depending upon her actual date of birth.  Her best known film roles were as "Effie" in the 1976 film, "Sparkle," and as "The Oracle" in 2003's "The Matrix Revolutions."  She won a Tony Award for playing "Rose" in the play, "Fences" (1987-88).  Among her best known television roles were on the former NBC TV series, "A Different World" and on NBC's "I'll Fly Away," for which she won a Primetime Emmy Award.

From Deadline:  Former child star and television actor and director, Tony Dow, has died at the age of 77, Wednesday, July 27, 2022, following a battle with cancer.  Dow was best known for the role of "Wally Cleaver," the older brother of "Theodore 'Beaver' Cleaver," in the former CBS/ABC series, "Leave it to Beaver" (1957-63).  He reprised the role in the series "The New Leave it to Beaver" (The Disney Channel, 1984-85; Superstation WTBS, 1986-89).

From Deadline:  Film and television actor, Paul Sorvino, has died at the age of 83, Monday, July 25, 2022.  The prolific Sorvino appeared in many notable films, including "Reds" (1981), "Goodfellas" (1990), "The Rocketeer" (1991), and "Nixon" (1995), to name a few.  He also appeared in the early seasons of NBC's "Law & Order" and had a role on "Star Trek: The Next Generation."  Sorvino was the father of a son, Michael Sorvino, and of an Oscar-winning actress, Mira Sorvino.

From BBC:  English film, television, and theatre actor, David Warner, has died at the age of 80, Sunday, July 24, 2022.  He appeared in two "Star Trek" films and in the TV series, "Star Trek: The Next Generation."  A prolific actor, he appeared in many notable and popular films, including "Straw Dogs" (1971), "The Omen" (1976), "Titanic" (1987), and "Mary Poppins Returns" (2018).  An English Jew, Warner was Emmy-nominated for his role in the 1978 NBC miniseries, "Holocaust" and won an Emmy for his role in the 1981 ABC miniseries, "Masada."

From THR:  Film director, writer, and producer, Bob Rafelson, has died at the age of 89, Saturday, July 23, 2022.  He is best known for his work with actor, Jack Nicholson, having collaborated with him on seven films.  He directed Nicholson on "Head" (1968) and "Five Easy Pieces" (1970) and produced "Easy Rider," in which Nicholson was a supporting actor.  Rafelson was also one of the creators of the pop group, "The Monkees" and of the TV series that featured them.  He won a Primetime Emmy for his work on "The Monkees" (1966-68) TV series, and was nominated for two Oscars for his work on "Five Easy Pieces."

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BRITTNEY GRINER:

From ESPN:  The Biden administration has offered a deal to Russia aimed at bringing home WNBA star Brittney Griner and another jailed American, Paul Whelan, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Wednesday.

From RSN:  "Will Support From LeBron James, Joe Rogan, Kim Kardashian, and Other Celebrities Help Free Brittney Griner From a Russian Prison?" by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar via Substack

From ESPN:  Detained WNBA star Brittney Griner pleaded guilty on Thursday to bringing hashish oil into Russia, telling a judge that she had done so "inadvertently" while asking the court for mercy.

From CBSSports:  The Brittney Griner situation explained.

From RSN:  According to The Washington Post Editorial Board: "Brittney Griner is a hostage, plain and simple.

UVALDE, TEXAS MASS SHOOTING:

From YahooAP:  An 18-year-old gunman slaughtered 19 children and two teachers on Tues., May 24th, 2022 in Uvalde, Texas.  All 21 victims were in the same 4th grade classroom at Robb Elementary.

From TexasTribune:  The Texas House of Representatives has released its "Robb Elementary Investigative Committee Report," concerning the massacre of 19 children at two teachers at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. They found that the "systematic failures" went far beyond the local police.

From RSN:  At a school board meeting, parents in Uvalde Texas demanded better school security and also demanded that Uvalde schools police Chief Pete Arredondo be fired.

From TheDailyBeast:  Texas's top law enforcement official, Department of Public Safety Director Steve McGraw, has said that the school shooter in Uvalde, Texas could have been taken down in three minutes.

From TheDailyBeast:  Police officers responding to last month’s mass shooting at an Uvalde, Texas, elementary school never even tried to open the door to the classroom where young children were trapped with the gunman, according to a new report. 

From Jacobin:  "The Uvalde Massacre has exposed the lies that once justified police militarization" by Branko Marcetic

From Truthout:  We don’t need more evidence that police can’t be trusted.

From Truthout:   44 percent of GOP voters view mass shootings as part of living in “Free Society”

From ABCNews:  Arnulfo Reyes, a teacher who survived the school massacre in Uvalde, Texas, calls the local police "cowards" because of slow response to an active shooter at his school, Robb Elementary.  All of 11 students in his class were killed.

From DallasNews:  Joe Garcia, the husband of Irma Garcia, one of the two teachers killed at Robb Elementary in Uvalde, Texas, has died of a heart attack two days after the murder of his wife.  They had been married for 24 years and had been high school sweethearts.

From Axios:  Texas gubernatorial candidate, Beto O'Rourke, interrupted Texas Gov. Greg Abbott's gaslighting press conference on the Uvalde elementary school mass shooting.

From USAToday:  Beto O'Rourke's outburst at Gov. Greg Abbott's Uvalde news conference shows the spine Democrats need.

From BostonGlobe:  Steve Kerr, head coach of the NBA's Golden State Warriors, asks "When are we going to do something?"

From NBCNews:  A Robb Elementary teacher describes "the longest 35 minutes of my life" and the terror she now feels.

From NBCNews:  The Uvalde school district had an extensive safety plan, but 19 children were killed at Robb Elementary anyway.  Even security plans that appear to be up to the latest research-based standards may have gaps and fall short of preventing the worst-case scenario, experts said.

From MSN:  Angeli Rose Gomez, the mother who was handcuffed outside Robb Elementary in Uvalde, Texas, was able to get inside the school and rescue her two children.

From YahooNews:   Daniel Defense, the maker of the rifles used by the Uvalde massacre killer, has used "incendiary ads" in the past, including one in which a toddler holds one of its rifles.

From TheIntercept:  The police aren't obligated to protect anyone NOT in their custody, as the Supreme Court has ruled twice.

From RollingStone:  Right wing lies about the Second Amendment and why they tell them are killing America's childrne.

From Vice:  The law enforcement personnel in Texas that arrived at Robb Elementary in Uvalde, Texas on Tues., May 24th did the opposite of what their own training documentary videos show.

From Vox:  Uvalde police keep changing their story.

From TheDailyBeast:  The families in Uvalde, Texas who lost loved one in the Robb Elementary massacre say that the cops there are "Nothing more than cowards" and that they need to pay for doing nothing while a gunman rampaged through the school last Tues, May 24th.

From TheNewYorker:  Thoughts and prayers, Uvalde, Texas. This is the America that Republicans and the right wing have being thinking about and praying for all these decades.

From ABC:  Sources say that Uvalde police and school district no longer cooperating with Texas probe of shooting of the May 24th massacre of 19 children and two teachers at Robb Elementary in Uvalde, Texas.

From GuardianUK:  Canada plans to freeze all handgun ownership.

From RSNWashPost:  Is it time to show the true horror of mass shooting - in pictures?

From MSN:  Angeli Gomez, the Uvalde mother who rescued her two children from the Robb Elementary shooting massacre, says that a police officer threatened to arrest her if she did not stop telling her story.

From RSNTheAtlantic:  The Uvalde police chose dishonor. Where was there courage?

From RSNWashPost:  Brenda Bell:  I hid from the Texas Tower sniper (Charles Joseph Whitman) in 1966. His successors have found us all.

From RSNTheIntercept:  "AR-15s Were Made to Explode Human Bodies. In Uvalde, the Bodies Belonged to Children" by Murtaza Hussain

From RSNNPR:  The tragic history of police responding too late to active shooters.

From VICE:  There is likely bodycam footage of the school shooting in Uvalde, TX, but the public may never see it.


Friday, May 6, 2022

Review: "DOCTOR STRANGE" Sequel is Pure Sam Raimi Goodness

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 28 of 2022 (No. 1840) by Leroy Douresseaux

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022)
Running time:  126 minutes (2 hours, six minutes)
MPA – PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, frightening images and some language
DIRECTOR:  Sam Raimi
WRITER:  Michael Waldron (based on the Marvel Comics)
PRODUCER:  Kevin Feige
CINEMATOGRAPHER:  John Mathieson
EDITORS:  Bob Murawski and Tia Nolan
COMPOSER:  Danny Elfman

SUPERHERO/FANTASY/HORROR/ACTION

Starring:  Benedict Cumberbatch, Elizabeth Olsen, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Benedict Wong, Xochitl Gomez; Rachel McAdams, Michael Stuhlbarg, Julian Hilliard, Jett Klyne, Sheila Atim; Ako Mitchll, John Krasinski, Anson Mount, Hayley Atwell, Lashana Lynch, Charlize Theron, and Patrick Stewart

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is a 2022 superhero, action, and horror-fantasy film directed by Sam Raimi and produced by Marvel Studios.  It is the 28th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) and is also a sequel to the 2016 superhero movie, Doctor Strange.  Both films focus on the Marvel Comics character, Doctor Strange, who first appeared in the comic book, Strange Tales #10 (cover dated: July 1963), and who was created by Steve Ditko and Stan Lee.  In the new film, Doctor Strange battles to protect the Multiverse and a young woman who can travel through it.

As Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness opens, Dr. Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) is plagued by dreams in which he finds himself involved with a mysterious young woman.  But life goes on.  Wong (Benedict Wong), Strange's friend and mentor, is now Earth's Sorcerer Supreme.  Also, Stephen's former lover, Dr. Christine Palmer (Rachel McAdams), is getting married, and he is attending the wedding.

During the wedding, an octopus demon wreaks havoc in the neighborhood, and Stephen meets the young woman again.  Her name is America Chavez (Xochitl Gomez), and she can travel through the Multiverse by punching doorways through dimensions.  Demonic forces are tracking her, and Strange believes that only the Book of Vishanti can stop these demons.  Dr. Strange turns to an expert for help, the former Avenger, Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen).  However, the mastermind behind the attacks on America is quite powerful, and the identity of this attacker is quite surprising.

And things only get worse.  Dr. Strange must face his old adversary, Karl Mordo (Chiwetel Ejiofor) … something called “the Illuminati” … and multiple versions of himself.

I have come across complaints that Marvel Studios' films are formulaic and complaints that the studios' films are not “director-driven” (whatever that means).  Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is not like other Marvel films, and at least to me, it seems “director-driven.”

The director of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is Sam Raimi, who is best known for directing Sony/Columbia Picture's first trilogy of Spider-Man films (2002-07).  Before then, Raimi's best known work was the “Evil Dead” trilogy, comprised of Evil Dead (1981), Evil Dead II (1987), and Army of Darkness (1993).  And Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness seems like a superhero film built on the aesthetic or, at least, the sensibilities of the “Evil Dead” trilogy.  In fact, this Doctor Strange film is like an Evil Dead movie with the budget of a … well, Marvel Studios movie.  Even more than his Spider-Man films, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is the truest Sam Raimi superhero movie to date.

I don't want to spoil much more than I already have, but I can say that the VFX in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is not only superb, but also inventive and imaginative.  Of course, the productions values are quite good; once again, I must say that everything looks like it would in a Raimi Evil Dead movie with mega-event, tent-pole film's budget.  Also, Benedict Cumberbatch and Elizabeth Olsen give superb performances, especially Olsen.

In spite of what Marvel Studios and Disney may say, however, I am not sure what the impact of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness actually is.  I really like this movie because it really IS a Sam Raimi movie, and I love his movies.  But, is this Doctor Strange film as consequential to the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Spider-Man: No Way Home seems to be...?

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness seems most important because of what it promises – new tomorrows, new worlds, new heroes, new movies … and hopefully more Sam Raimi Marvel movies.  I am thankful that Marvel Studios allowed him to make this movie.  Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is better than the original film, and it is Marvel's weirdest movie to date – a thrill ride of delightful and inspired wackiness.  Plus, it gives some of us what we hoped that the original would – a true dark fantasy/horror Doctor Strange movie.

[Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness has one mid-credit scene and one end-credit scene.]

8 of 10
A
★★★★ out of 4 stars


Friday, May 6, 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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Friday, February 25, 2022

Review: "THE ADDAMS FAMILY 2" is a Truly Disappointing Sequel

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 9 of 2022 (No. 1821) by Leroy Douresseaux

The Addams Family 2 (2021)
Running time:  93 minutes (1 hour, 33 minutes)
MPAA – PG for macabre and rude humor, violence and language
DIRECTORS:  Greg Tiernan and Conrad Vernon
WRITERS:  Dan Hernandez, Benji Samit, Ben Queen, and Susanna Fogel; from a story by Dan Hernandez and Benji Samit (based on the characters created by Charles Addams)
PRODUCERS:  Gail Berman, Alison O'Brien, Danielle Sterling, and Conrad Vernon
EDITOR:  Ryan Folsey
COMPOSERS: Jeff Danna and Mychael Danna

ANIMATION/FANTASY/COMEDY/FAMILY

Starring:  (voices) Oscar Isaac, Charlize Theron, Chloe Grace Moretz, Javon “Wanna” Walton, Nick Kroll, Snoop Dogg, Bette Midler, Conrad Vernon, Bill Hader, Wallace Shawn, Brian Sommer, Cherami Leigh, and Ted Evans

The Addams Family 2 is a 2021 computer-animated supernatural comedy from directors Conrad Vernon and Greg Tiernan.  The film is a sequel to the 2019 animated film, The Addams Family.  Both films are based on the characters created by The New Yorker cartoonist, the late Charles Addams (1912-1988).  The Addams Family 2 focuses on the Addams Family as take a road trip, during which a scientist pursues Wednesday.

The Addams Family 2 opens at a school science fair.  There, Wednesday Addams (Chloe Grace Moretz) presents her experiment, in which she uses DNA from her pet squid, Socrates, on her Uncle Fester (Nick Kroll) to show how humans can be improved.  Wednesday is somewhat put off that her family:  father, Gomez Addams (Oscar Isaac); mother, Morticia (Charlize Theron); and her brother, Pugsley (Javon “Wanna” Walton) have decided to attend the science fair, which is sponsored by the Cyrus Strange FoundationCyrus Strange (Bill Hader) himself appears at the fair as a 3D hologram, and he is instantly drawn to Wednesday experiment and hopes to recruit her to work for him.

Back at home, Gomez Addams worries that the children are drifting apart from him and Morticia.  He decides that a family vacation is just what is needed to keep the family together, so he declares that they are going on a road trip across the United States.  Uncle Fester, Thing (the sentient hand), and Lurch (the butler) join them on the vacation, with everyone packing into an huge, odd-looking camper.  Gomez even takes the family to Miami where he hopes Cousin Itt (Snoop Dogg) can help with the family dilemma.

There is a complication in these vacation plans, however.  Cyrus Strange is determined to have Wednesday, and sends a shady lawyer, Mr. Mustela (Wallace Shawn), and a brutish henchman, Pongo (Ted Evans) to trick Gomez and Morticia into believing that Wednesday might be Cyrus' child.  Wednesday is already having doubts about her connections to the Addams Family, so which family will she decide to choose, the Addams or Cyrus Strange?

Charles Addams' macabre cartoon characters first became “The Addams Family” in the former ABC television series, “The Addams Family” (1964-66).  I have been a fan of that series since I was a child.  As a child, I was also a fan of NBC's former Saturday morning cartoon series, “The Addams Family” (Hanna-Barbera, 1973).  That series depicts the Addams Family on a cross-country road trip, exploring the United States in their “Creepy Camper” that resembles their Victorian-style mansion home.  The Addams Family 2 is not a remake of that old cartoon series, but it does borrow a few elements from it.

The Addams Family 2019 was enough of a hit that producing a sequel probably seemed obvious to MGM, which holds the rights to produce Addams Family film and television series.  The end result is something that looks and feels like a sequel that was rushed into production.  The idea of Wednesday not being an Addams is a ridiculous plot.  I can certainly accept the notion of a precocious child wondering about her parentage and lineage.  However, if she is different from the rest of her family, it is because each member of the Addams Family is different from all others.  That is the point this film makes at end of the story, but we didn't need an entire mediocre movie to tell us that.  Raising questions about Wednesday's family is just a lame plot line.

So, it goes without saying that I did not like this film.  The Addams Family 2 ends up being the latest in a long line of pitiful Hollywood road trip movies.  I will say that the last 17 minutes of the film – before the end credits – are actually good.  It is the only time that the film has any real conflict, melodrama, or action, and what happens in these seventeen minutes is actually consequential to the both the Addams Family and a few other supporting characters.

The Addams Family 2019 is my favorite media adaptation of “The Addams Family” characters outside of the 1960s and 1970s.  It manages to be sweet, charming, heartwarming, and, of course, macabre – the way it should be.  I gave it a B+, but The Addams Family 2 bored the hell outta me until the last seventeen minutes.  I'm being generous giving it a C.

4 of 10
C

Wednesday, February 23, 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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Friday, June 25, 2021

Review: "F9" is for the "Fast & Furious" Family of Fans

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 43 of 2021 (No. 1781) by Leroy Douresseaux

F9 (2021)
Running time: 145 minutes (2 hours, 25 minutes)
MPAA – PG-13 for sequences of violence and action, and language
DIRECTOR: Justin Lin
WRITER: Justin Lin and Daniel Casey; from a story by Justin Lin, Daniel Casey, and Alfredo Botello (based on the characters created by Gary Scott Thompson)
PRODUCERS: Vin Diesel, Neal H. Moritz, Justin Lin, Jeffrey Kirschenbaum, Joe Roth, Clatyon Townsend, and Samantha Vincent
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Stephen F. Windon (D.o.P.)
EDITORS: Greg D'Auria, Dylan Highsmith, and Kelly Matsumoto
COMPOSER: Brian Tyler

ACTION/CRIME/DRAMA

Starring:  Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Jordana Brewster, Tyrese Gibson, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Nathalie Emmanuel, Sung Kang, Charlize Theron, Jon Cena, Kurt Russell, Anna Sawai, Don Omar, Shea Whigham, Vinnie Bennett, Finn Cole, JD Pardo, Michael Rooker, Lucas Black, Shad Moss, Jason Tobin, Thue Ersted Rasmussen, Isaac and Immanuel Holtane, Cardi B, and Helen Mirren

F9 is a 2021 action movie from director Justin Lin and is produced by Universal Pictures.  It is the ninth installment in the Fast & Furious movie franchise (now also called the “Fast Saga”).  A direct sequel to 2017's The Fate of the Furious, F9 finds Dom and his racing family facing a powerful figure from Dom's birth family.

As F9 begins, Dominic “Dom” Toretto (Vin Diesel) has retired from his previous life.  He is living in seclusion with his wife, Letitia “Letty” Ortiz (Michelle Rodriguez), and his son, Brian (Isaac and Immanuel Holtane), the child he conceived with his former girlfriend, the late Elena Neves.  Dom and Letty get a surprise visit from his team/family:  Roman Pearce (Tyrese Gibson), Tej Parker (Chris “Ludacris” Bridges), and Ramsey (Nathalie Emmanuel).  Their sometime compatriot, covert operative Frank Petty (Kurt Russell), a.k.a. “Mr Nobody,” apparently captured cyberterrorist, Cipher (Charlize Theron).  The plane in which Mr. Nobody was transporting Cipher was attacked by rogue agents, but Mr. Nobody was able to send a coded distress signal meant for Dom and his team.

The leaders behind this attack are Otto (Thue Ersted Rasmussen), the mysterious son of a very wealthy and politically powerful man, and Jakob (Jon Cena), a man who has close ties to Dom.  Soon, Dom's sister, Mia (Jordana Brewster), a former member of Dom's team, returns to join the hunt for Jakob.  They must stop Jakob and Otto before they can obtain and activate a device called “Aries,” which can hack into any computer system in the world.  Before this mission is over, however, Dom will have to reveal his past and his past mistakes, and he will need help from a few figures from his past – including one thought to be dead.

As I write this, it is the morning after I saw F9 at a Thursday night preview show.  I can say the same thing about F9 that I wrote about The Fate of the Furious in a review I wrote a few days ago.  I love F9.  It is the latest installment of a film franchise that has seen its over-the-top action become so … over-the-top that it is practically a kind of superhero and car chase movie series.  However,  F9 sends this franchise higher – literally – than it has ever gone before.  The ludicrous and ridiculous, but oh-so-fun set pieces are a hallmark of this franchise, but F9 actually takes two characters into space.  Gravity and physics are totally subverted, but “Fast & Furious” fans won't give a damn while watching F9 anymore than they did watching the last 12 years of this franchise.

I will give F9 credit, however, for inserting some dark and edgy family drama into the story, melodrama even darker and edgier than what The Fate of the Furious gave audiences.  And, as in that film, Vin Diesel gets to show his dramatic chops, and he reveals that Dom isn't right all the time, and that sometimes his errors really cost the people close to him.  I don't think F9 is quite as good as The Fate of the Furious because the new film's villains are not quite as diabolical as Fate's super-villain (the aforementioned Cipher).  Still, I like how F9 puts the family in the fast and the furious.

7 of 10
B+

Friday, June 25, 2021


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Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Review: THE FATE OF THE FURIOUS is Perfectly 2 Fast 2 Furious

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 42 of 2021 (No. 1780) by Leroy Douresseaux

The Fate of the Furious (2017)
Running time: 136 minutes (2 hours, 16 minutes)
MPAA – PG-13 for prolonged sequences of violence and destruction, suggestive content, and language
DIRECTOR: F. Gary Gray
WRITER: Chris Morgan (based on the characters created by Gary Scott Thompson)
PRODUCERS: Vin Diesel, Neal H. Moritz, Chris Morgan and Michael Fottrell
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Stephen F. Windon (D.o.P.)
EDITORS: Christian Wagner and Paul Rubell
COMPOSER: Brian Tyler

ACTION/CRIME/DRAMA

Starring:  Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Charlize Theron, Kurt Russell, Nathalie Emmanuel, Scott Eastwood, Elsa Pataky, Kristopher Hivju, Patrick St. Esprit, Luke Evans, and Helen Mirren

The Fate of the Furious is a 2017 action movie from director F. Gary Gray and was released by Universal Pictures.  It is the eighth installment in The Fast and the Furious movie franchise (now called the “Fast Saga”).  A direct sequel to 2015's Furious 7, The Fate of the Furious introduces a mysterious woman who has the power to turn Dominic Toretto into a terrorist.

As The Fate of the Furious begins, Dominic “Dom” Toretto (Vin Diesel) and Letitia “Letty” Ortiz (Michelle Rodriguez) are on their honeymoon in Havana, Cuba.  While there, Dom meets a mysterious woman who turns out to be the elusive cyberterrorist, Cipher (Charlize Theron).  She has obtained something that she uses to coerce Dom into working for her.  Soon afterwards, Diplomatic Security Service (DSS) agent, Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson), recruits Dom and his team – his family:  Roman Pearce (Tyrese Gibson), Tej Parker (Chris “Ludacris” Bridges), and Ramsey (Nathalie Emmanuel) to retrieve an EMP device from a military outpost in Berlin.  However, Dom betrays them all and steals the device for Cipher, and Hobbs and Dom's family, including Letty, are branded criminals.

Intelligence operative and leader of a covert ops team, Frank Petty (Kurt Russell), a.k.a. “Mr Nobody,” arrives with his protege, Eric Reisner (Scott Eastwood), and he has an offer.  Mr. Nobody wants Hobbs and Dom's family to help him find Dom and capture the highly elusive Cipher.  Mr. Nobody also has a surprise for Hobbs and company.  He has recruited Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham), the rogue British Special Forces assassin who was hunting Dom and his family until they defeated him and Hobbs and the DSS imprisoned him.  But will even Shaw be enough?  Cipher can disappear at will and with Dom at her side, she seems unbeatable.  Cipher's threat to the world and Dom's betrayal will test the family as never before.

When The Fate of the Furious was initially released to theaters in April 2017, I was too mired in family troubles to bother going to a movie theater to see it.  And quite frankly, after what I considered to be a barely average installment in Furious 7, I thought I was done with the franchise.  In fact, I didn't even watch The Fate of the Furious when it started playing on basic cable.  Recently, I saw a clip from the soon-to-be-released F9 (2021), and I was shocked to see Dominic Toretto playing with a baby.  A friend informed me of the events in The Fate of the Furious, and because he and I talked about seeing F9, I decided to rent The Fate of the Furious via Netflix.

Well, I will never doubt you again, Fast & Furious / Fast Saga.  I loved The Fate of the Furious.  This film franchise's over-the-top action has become so … over-the-top that it is practically a kind of superhero and car chase movie series.  These movies are fun, but I thought that the series had reached narrative exhaustion with Furious 7.  The Fate of the Furious was the hot-shot injection of jet fuel that the series needed, as far as I'm concerned.  And Vin Diesel may have given his best performance of the series in The Fate of the Furious.  He really seemed like an evil terrorist, but, at the same time, his grit and determination to manage the evil in order to protect his family feels genuine.

I also want to credit Universal Pictures and The Fate of the Furious in using Havana, Cuba as the setting for the film's opening scenes.  It is a love letter to a place that looks beautiful on film.  And The Fate of the Furious is also a crazy, mad, insane, and beautiful action movie.

8 of 10
A

Wednesday, June 23, 2021


The text is copyright © 2021 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this blog or site for reprint and syndication rights and fees.

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Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Review: "The Addams Family" Gives the Middle Finger to Assimilation

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 1 of 2021 (No. 1739) by Leroy Douresseaux

[This review was originally posted on Patreon.]

The Addams Family (2019)
Running time:  86 minutes (1 hour, 26 minutes)
MPAA – PG for macabre and suggestive humor, and some action.
DIRECTORS:  Greg Tiernan and Conrad Vernon
WRITERS:  Matt Lieberman; from a story by Matt Lieberman, Erica Rivinoja, and Conrad Vernon (based on the characters created by Charles Addams)
PRODUCERS:  Gail Berman, Alison O'Brien, Alex Schwartz, and Conrad Vernon
EDITORS:  Kevin Pavlovic and David Ian Salter
COMPOSERS: Jeff Danna and Mychael Danna


ANIMATION/FANTASY/COMEDY/FAMILY

Starring:  (voices) Oscar Isaac, Charlize Theron, Chloe Grace Moretz, Finn Wolfhard, Nick Kroll, Snoop Dogg, Bette Midler, Allison Janney, Martin Short, Catherine O'Hara, Tituss Burgess, Jenifer Lewis, Elsie Fisher, Conrad Vernon, and Pom Klementieff

The Addams Family is a 2019 computer-animated comedy from directors Conrad Vernon and Greg Tiernan.  The film is based on the characters created by The New Yorker cartoonist, the late Charles Addams (1912-1988).  The Addams Family the movie focuses on an eccentrically macabre family and their interactions with the denizens of a colorful, but bland suburb.

The Addams Family opens as Gomez (Oscar Isaac) and Morticia (Charlize Theron) prepare to marry in front of their eccentric, odd, and weird family members.  However, the people of the local town despise the macabre nature of the happy couple and their family, and chase them away.  Luckily, the newlywed Morticia and Gomez and their companion, Thing (sentient hand), escape to New Jersey.  There, the trio finds two things.  The first is a home in an abandoned and decaying manor-style building that was once an asylum, and the second is a butler in the hulking Lurch (Conrad Vernon).

Thirteen years later, Morticia and Gomez have two children – a precocious and mordacious, Wednesday (Chloe Grace Moretz); and an explosives-loving son, Pugsley (Finn Wolfhard).  The family is in kind of a state of crisis.  Gomez struggles as he prepares Pugsley for his upcoming “Sabre Mazurka,” a rite of passage that every male Addams family member must pass.  Morticia struggles to keep Wednesday from wanting to experience the world outside the mansion, which includes the girl's desire to go to school.

Elsewhere, reality TV host, Margaux Needler (Allison Janney), is in the middle of building a perfect planned community that she is calling, “Assimilation.”  This is supposed to be the highlight of her television series' season finale.  However, when she discovers that the Addams' dilapidated home overlooks Assimilation, Margaux is determined to give their home an extreme makeover, whether they like it or not.  Meanwhile, many members of the Addams clan are gradually arriving in order to celebrate Pulley's big day.

I have been a fan of ABC's 1960s television series, “The Addams Family” (1964-66), since I was a child.  As a child, I was also a fan of NBC's Saturday morning cartoon series, “The Addams Family” (1973).  I have mixed feelings about Orion Pictures' two 1990s live-action films, The Addams Family (1991) and Addams Family Values (1993).  As an adult, I became a huge fan of the work of Charles Addams, especially of his delightfully macabre cartoons that featured the characters that would become known as “The Addams Family.”

The latest media iteration of these characters, the computer-animated The Addams Family, borrows elements from the Addams Family media that has come before it.  Here, the illustrative and graphic design of the characters and their world recall both Addams cartoons and the 1973 TV series, although I find the way this film's Morticia and Gomez look to be a little off-putting.  Overall, however, I find the look of this film visually appealing, and I think the Addams family's relatives are an interesting lot of inventively designed characters.

One thing that I think The Addams Family 2019 has over The Addams Family 1990s film franchise is that this animated film gets it right in the way it contrasts the Addams family against the outside world.  Charles Addams' best cartoons juxtaposed his creepy characters and their playfully insidious actions with the normal human world.  Much about the 1990s films was insular and did not send the family out into the normal world.  The second film did, at least, send Wednesday and Pugsley to summer camp, which is why I think the second film is much better than the first.

By sending the Addams down the mountain to meet their neighbors in this film, the filmmakers get to play with themes and ideas of individuality, conformity, acceptance, change, and family, which makes this movie more than just another cartoon romp featuring a bunch of strange characters.  Ultimately, The Addams Family 2019 emphasizes that a family can be made up of both different people and of people who live and act differently from the rest of the family.

This film's standout voice actor/character pairs are Chloe Grace Moretz as Wednesday and Allison Janney as Margaux Needler.  Nick Kroll delivers a killer turn as Uncle Fester, and Bette Midler takes what is a small role in Grandmama Addams and makes it feel like a major part.  Jenifer Lewis, with her commanding voice and delivery, turns Great Auntie Loom into a character that steals scenes.

The Addams Family 2019 is my favorite media adaptation of “The Addams Family” characters outside of the 1960s and 1970s.  I highly recommend this film to fans of the characters.  It does take a while for the film to get going – about 20 minutes into the story, but it manages to be sweet, charming, heartwarming, and, of course, macabre – the way it should be.

7 of 10
B+

Sunday, November 8, 2020


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

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Friday, September 13, 2019

"The Addams Family" Soundtrack to Feature New Music from Top Recording Artists

MGM’S ANIMATED COMEDY ‘THE ADDAMS FAMILY’ WILL FEATURE ORIGINAL MUSIC FROM CHRISTINA AGUILERA, MIGOS, KAROL G, ROCK MAFIA & SNOOP DOGG

The Addams Family Will Be Released in Theaters on October 11, 2019

LOS ANGELES – Metro Goldwyn Mayer (MGM) announced its upcoming animated comedy, The Addams Family, will feature original songs from global music superstars Christina Aguilera, Migos, Karol G, Rock Mafia and Snoop Dogg, among others. Based on the famous New Yorker creations of Charles Addams, the kookiest family on the block is back on the big screen with an all-star voice cast led by Oscar Isaac, Charlize Theron, ChloĆ« Grace Moretz, Finn Wolfhard, Nick Kroll, Bette Midler, Allison Janney, Elsie Fisher and Snoop Dogg playing IT. Directed by Conrad Vernon (Shrek 2, Monsters vs. Aliens) and Greg Tiernan (Thomas & Friends, Day of the Diesels), The Addams Family will be released in theaters on October 11, 2019.

“Christina Aguilera, Migos, Karol G, Rock Mafia and Snoop Dogg are all powerhouse talents. We could not have asked for a better lineup of global superstars to help audiences embrace the weird and celebrate the absurd with two brand-new songs that perfectly compliment this fresh fun take on MGM’s beloved franchise, just in time for Halloween,” said MGM’s Motion Picture Group President, Jonathan Glickman.

The first Addams Family track to be released "My Family," is performed by Migos, Karol G, Rock Mafia and Snoop Dogg and will drop this Friday, September 13,2019. The song was written by Antonina Armato, Quavious Keyate Marshall, Carolina Giraldo, Danny Parra, Tim James, Calvin Cordozar Broadus, Jr. and Vic Mizzy and was produced by Rock Mafia. The track is being released by MGM Records and distributed by 12 Tone Music. "Haunted Heart," performed by Christina Aguilera, was written by Antonina Armato, Aguilera and Tim James and was also produced by Rock Mafia. “Haunted Heart” will be released later this month by RCA Records ahead of the film’s debut. Both songs will be available for streaming and \or download at all major music retail digital platforms.


About Metro Goldwyn Mayer
Metro Goldwyn Mayer (MGM) is a leading entertainment company focused on the production and global distribution of film and television content across all platforms. The company owns one of the world’s deepest libraries of premium film and television content as well as the premium pay television network EPIX, which is available throughout the U.S. via cable, satellite, telco and digital distributors.  In addition, MGM has investments in numerous other television channels, digital platforms and interactive ventures and is producing premium short-form content for distribution. For more information, visit www.mgm.com.

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Saturday, August 24, 2019

Negromancer News Bits and Bites from August 18th to 24th, 2019 - Update #20

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COMICS-ANIMATION - From Deadline:  At Disney's D23 Expo, Marvel Animation & Family Entertainment announces a new animated series, "Marvel's Spidey and His Amazing Friends."  The series is set to debut in 2021 on Disney Junior.

From THR:  Marvel Animation & Family Entertainment's "Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur" animated series is headed to Disney Channel in 2020.  Laurence Fishburne's Cinema Gypsy Productions is partnering with Disney Television Animation and Marvel Animation to produce the new series.

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DISNEY - From Deadline:  Now that Sony Pictures and Disney/Marvel have split up on the "Spider-Man" films, they will fight over director Jon Watts, who has directed the two Marvel Spider-Man films, who is not contracted to do anything right now.

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SPORTS - From ESPN:  The inside story behind the funniest baseball card ever made.

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TELEVISION - From TheWrap:  Nielsen, the primary TV ratings company since the 1950s, is prepping networks for the significant changes to the way it reports "overnight" ratings.

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CELEBRITY - From TheWrap:  Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson tops "Forbes" Magazine's 2019 highest-paid actor's list.

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MOVIES - From YahooEntertainment:  For Jay Roach's upcoming film about the Fox News/Roger Ailes controversies, "Bombshell," two actress undergo extreme makeovers.  There is Charlize Theron as Megyn Kelly and then there is Nicole Kidman as Gretchen Carlson.

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MOVIES - From Deadline:  Warner Bros. is set to produce a fourth film in "The Matrix" film series.  Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss will return as Neo and Trinity.  One of The Matrix's co-creators, Lana Wachowski (formerly Larry Wachowski), will return to direct and co-write the film.

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DISNEY - From Variety:  Disney is moving its live-action "Cruella" movie (from the animated classic, "101 Dalmatians") to May 28, 2021 from Dec. 23, 2020.  "Woman in the Window," one of the films it inherited from the Fox purchase, is moved to October 4, 2019 from May 15, 2020.

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JAMES BOND - From Variety:  Bond25, the twenty-fifth James Bond film, now has an official title, "No Time to Die."

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ANIMATION-STREAMING - From ShadowandAct:  Tommy Davison says "The Proud Family," the beloved Disney animated TV series in which he starred, is being revived - likely for one of Disney's streaming services.

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CELEBRITY - From YahooEntertainment:   Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson marries Lauren Hashian in Hawaii.

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MOVIES - From Deadline:  It seems as if Larry Ellison has been able to make a deal to save his daughter, Megan Ellison's film production/distribution compnay, Annapurna.  The company has defaulted on loans totaling as much as $200 million, if not more.  Annapurna has produced or co-produced such films as "Zero Dark Thirty," "Her," and "If Beale Street Could Talk."

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BOX OFFICE - From BoxOfficeMojo:  The winner of the 8/16 to 8/18/2019 weekend box office is "Good Boys" with an estimated take of 21 million dollars.

From Variety:  Quentin Tarantino's "Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood" leads the international box office with an estimate total of 53.7 million dollars in 46 international markets.

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#1619PROJECT - From TMN:   "The Morning News" takes a look today's special issue of the New York Times Magazine, "the 1619 Project," which observes the 400th anniversary of American slavery, when the first enslaved Africans arrived at Point Comfort in the British colony of Virginia in August 1619.

From PBS:  A PBS interview about the 1619 Project.

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STREAMING - From TheWrap:  Kevin Smith said that he will be executive producer and showrunner on a limited “Masters of the Universe” series that Netflix will develop.  Entitled, “Masters of the Universe: Revelations,” the series will focus on the unresolved story lines of the original 1982 TV series, picking up many of the characters’ journeys where they left off decades ago.

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MOVIES - From Deadline:  Kerry Washington and Sterling K. Brown are set to star in and produce "Shadow Force," a hot property.  Bidding for rights have just started on what is described as a fresh take on "Mr. and Mrs. Smith.

OBITS:

From YahooNews:  Former governor of Louisiana, Kathleen Babineaux Blanco, has died at the age of 76, Sunday, August 18, 2019.  Blanco was elected the 54th Governor of Louisiana in 2003 and held office from 2004 to 2008.  Blanco is best known for being Louisiana's first female governor and for having her political career derailed by Hurricane Katrina.

From Deadline:  The comedian Kip Addotta died at the age of 75, Tuesday, August 13, 2019.  Addotta.  He began his career in the early 1970s and by the mid-1970s, he was making appearances on "The Tonight Show" (21) and "The Mike Douglas Show" (14), to name a few.  He also made a few film appearances, and in addition to his comedy album releases, he wrote humorous songs.

From Deadline:  The screenwriter, Patricia Louisiana Knop, died at the age of 78, Wednesday, August 7, 2019.  She was known for her work with her late husband, Zalman King, whose films incorporated sexuality.  She co-wrote King's "Wild Orchid" and was a writer on King's Showtime TV series, "Red Shoe Diaries."  Knop and King were one of three credited writers on director Adrian Lyne's film, 9 1/2 Weeks (1986).  She was also an acclaimed and popular painter and sculptor.


Friday, February 22, 2019

Academy Announces First Round of Presenters for 91st Oscars

ROUND ONE: STARS LINE UP FOR THE OSCARS

Awkwafina, Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, Tina Fey, Whoopi Goldberg, Brie Larson, Jennifer Lopez, Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph, Amandla Stenberg, Charlize Theron, Tessa Thompson, Constance Wu

Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic to Perform During the “In Memoriam” Segment

Oscar® producer Donna Gigliotti, and co-producer and director Glenn Weiss, announced the first round of presenters for the 91st Academy Awards®. The show will honor the incredible slate of nominees – from blockbusters to independent films – and embrace the diversity of the global movie-going audience. The Oscars® airs live on the ABC Television Network, February 24, 2019 and will be broadcast in more than 225 countries and territories.

“The Oscar nominees have generated tremendous worldwide attention through their captivating stories, achievements and performances,” said Gigliotti and Weiss. “We want to give the public an opportunity to once again experience the moments that have moved us all. It is a celebration of our universal love of movies.”

The producers will continue to announce talent joining the show in the coming weeks, and, as previously announced, the show will feature musical performances of the five Original Song nominees.

“From blockbuster hits to intimate tales of the human spirit, the movies we celebrate at the Oscars connect us in a way that is both moving and powerful,” said Karey Burke, President, ABC Entertainment. “Donna and Glenn will deliver a tribute worthy of the talent that will present and receive Oscar gold, and I’m so proud that ABC is home to this monumental night.”

“The Oscars is the most-watched live entertainment event of the year,” said Academy president John Bailey. “The show connects us with the power and history of the movies as it reconnects home audiences with their favorite films and stars.”

“This is an important moment in Oscar history,” said Academy CEO Dawn Hudson. “This year’s show maintains Oscar traditions, and is also evolving to reflect our global audience.”

The 91st Oscars® will be held on Sunday, February 24, 2019, at the Dolby Theatre® at Hollywood & Highland Center® in Hollywood, and will be televised live on the ABC Television Network at 8:00 p.m. EST/5:00 p.m. PST.

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Saturday, July 15, 2017

Negromancer News Bits and Bites from July 9th to 15th, 2017 - Update #31

Support Leroy on Patreon.

PIXAR - From YahooMovies:  At the D23 Expo, Pixar surprises with details on "The Incredibles 2," including that the story focuses on "Elasti-Girl."

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OBIT - From Variety:  Veteran film producer Evzen Kolar has died at the age of 67, Tuesday, July 11, 2017.  He produced a number of film including Sean Connery's rogue James Bond film, "Never Say Never Again," and "Street Smart," the film for which Morgan Freeman earned his first Oscar nomination.

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MOVIES-TV - From ShadowandAct:  Tyler Perry has signed an exclusive film.TV/short form video deal with Viacom that runs through 2024.  The film portion of the deal begins immediately, while the TV/short form video begins in 2019 after Perry deal with OWN ends.

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MUSIC - From THR:  Beyonce reveals first image of her recently born twin children (a boy and a girl).

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TELEVISION - From YahooTV:  A stuntman on AMC's "The Walking Dead" television series has died after an on-set accident.

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MUPPETS - From TheWrap:  Steve Whitmire, the puppeteer who has given voice to Kermit the Frog since Kermit creator Jim Henson's death in 1990 has been fired by Disney.

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TELEVISION - From YahooTV:  Here are your 2016-17 Emmy nominations.  NBC's "Saturday Night Live" and HBO's "Westworld" lead with 22 nominations each.

From YahooTV:  Emmy nominations are out today.

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COMICS-FILM - From TheWrap:  Director Matt Reeves has scrapped the script Ben Affleck and Geoff Johns wrote for "The Batman," and is starting again on a completely new take.

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CELEBRITY:  From YahooStyle:  See Meryl Streep's "Obamas" bag.

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LGBTQ - From YahooCelebrity:  Yes, Neil, James Woods is "utterly ignorant and classless."

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MOVIES - From THR:   Blake Lively is set to star in a spy thriller, "The Rhythm Section," from the James Bond producers, Eon Productions.

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MOVIES - From THR:  David Ayer has left Universal's reboot of the film "Scarface" as director.

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MOVIES - From THR:  Quentin Tarantino's next project is reportedly a movie about the infamous Charles Manson/Manson Family murders.

From IndieWire:  Tarantino wants Brad Pitt and Jennifer Lawrence for his Manson Family murders film.

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MOVIES - From Variety:  Clint Eastwood has cast three soldiers to play themselves in his film, "The 15:17 to Paris," based on their real-life story.

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MOVIES - From ThePlaylist:  Charlize Theron says that the script for the "Mad Max: Fury Road" prequel, "Furiosa," is ready to go.

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TELEVISION - From Deadline:  Twisty the Clown, a character from American Horror Story: Freak Show will return for "American Horror Story" Season 7.

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OBIT - From THR:  The actor Ji-Tu Cumbuka died at the age of 77, Tuesday, July 4th, 2017.  He was known for his appearances in the epic TV miniseries, "Roots."  He also appeared in such films as "Harlem Nights," "Mandingo," and "Brewster's Millions."  You may not know his name, but when you see the picture of him posted with the article, you will recognize him this fine actor.

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COMICS-FILM - From ShadowandAct:  Disney's cable network, Freeform, is already preparing Marvel Comics' "Cloak and Dagger" for television.  Now, they are also prepping Marvel's "New Warriors."  Jeremy Tardyand Kate Comer have been cast in the show.

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TELEVISION - From Variety:  George R.R. Martin, whose novels became the Emmy-winning HBO series, "Game of Thrones," is the executive producer of a new HBO series based on the novel, "Who Fears Death," by Nnedi Okorafor.

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MOVIES - From Variety:  Barry Jenkins first film since "Best Picture" Oscar winner, "Moonlight," will be "If Beale Street Could Talk" from Annapurna Pictures.

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TELEVISION - From THR:  HBO unveils a trailer for Season 9 of Larry David's beloved sitcom, "Curb Your Enthusiasm."  Season 8 ended in 2011.

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TELEVISION - From Variety:  Bill Skarsgard is playing "Pennywise" in the upcoming film adaptation of Stephen King's novel, "It."  He is also going to be a series regular in Hulu's Stephen King series, "Castle Rock."

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MOVIES - From EntertainmentWeekly:  The "Jurassic World" sequel, "Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom," has recently finished filming, and EW talks about what it knows about the film.

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BOX OFFICE - From BoxOfficeMojo:  The winner of the 7/7 to 7/9/2017 weekend box office is "Spider-Man: Homecoming" with an estimated take of $117 million.

From TheWrap:  Four reasons why "Spider-Man: Homecoming" is another Marvel Cinematic Universe hit.

From YahooMovies:  "Spider-Man: Homecoming" as a $117 million opening weekend.

From Deadline:  "A Ghost Story" scares strong at specialty box office.

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BOND - From ScreenRant:  Daniel Craig has reportedly agreed to a deal to return to play James Bond for a fifth time in what would be the 25th EON Bond movie.

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OBIT - From YahooNews:  The actor Nelsan Ellis has died at the age of 39, Saturday, July 8, 2017.  Ellis was best known for the role of Lafayette Reynolds on the HBO series, "True Blood."

TRAILERS:

From EW:  The first teaser for Disney and Ava DuVernay's "A Wrinkle in Time."


Saturday, April 9, 2016

Negromancer News Bits and Bites from April 1st to 9th, 2016 - Updated #48

Support Leroy on Patreon.

MOVIES/TV - From Deadline:  The new president of the actors' union, SAG-AFTRA, is Gabrielle Carteris, a longtime union activist.

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POLITICS - From THR:  Spike Lee interviews Democratic presidential candidate, Senator Bernie Sanders.

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TELEVISION - From ScreenRant:  Finn Jones, the actor who will portray Iron Fist/Danny Rand in the Marvel/Netflix series, "Iron Fist," talks about his training regimen.

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TELEVISION - From HitFix:  Melissa McCarthy will appear in Netflix's revival of "The Gilmore Girls."

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MOVIES - From Deadline:  Some ugly dude will play the lead villain in "Wolverine 3."

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MOVIES - From Moviefone:  According to Marvel Studio's Kevin Feige, other Marvel characters will appear in Sony's 2017 Spider-Man reboot film.

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MOVIES - From Variety:  There will be an "Edge of Tomorrow 2," and the two screenwriters who wrote the script for the Jesse Owens biopic, "Race," will pen this sequel.

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COMICS - From HitFix:  Comic book publisher, BOOM! Studios, is publishing a comic book prequel to Universal's upcoming film, "Kong of Skull Island."

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MOVIES - From Deadline:  Charlize Theron has finalized a deal to appear in "Fast 8," the next installment of "The Fast and the Furious" franchise.

MOVIES - From HitFix:  Kristofer Hivju of "Game of Thrones" also headed to "Fast 8."

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COMICS - From SlashFilm:  AMC is bring comic book writer, Garth Ennis' "Preacher" to television.  Now, the team behind that series is bringing another Ennis comic book, "The Boys," to Cinemax.

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STAR WARS - From YouTube:  First trailer for "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story."

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MOVIES - From ScreenRant:  First set photo from "The Mummy" reboot with Tom Cruise.

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MOVIES - From HitFix:  Ryan Reynolds to return for "Deadpool 2."

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MOVIES - From TheWrap:  Warner Bros. moves the release date of "Wonder Woman" up two weeks to June 2017 and moves Andy Serkis' "Jungle Book: Origins" to 2018.

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MOVIES - From TheWrap:  Sony has revived its notorious "Cleopatra" film project.

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BREAKING: ATasteofCountry;  Country music singer and legend, Merle Haggard, has reportedly died at the age of 79, today, Wednesday, April 6, 2016 - which is also his birthday.

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MUSIC - From YahooMusic:  Beyonce addresses "Formation" controversy.

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TELEVISION - From Variety:  For the first time, a woman (Richard Talalay) will direct episodes of "Sherlock" starring Benedict Cumberbatch.

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COMICS - From PRNewswire:  Online media publisher, Valnet, Inc., has purchased Comic Book Resources (CBR), the comic book news site.  CBR often seemed like nothing more than a PR arm of Marvel and DC Comics, but it had its good moments.  The sale is apparently in the 8 figures.

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COMICS - From CinemaBlend:  Common talks about Jared Leto's method acting approach to playing the Joker in "Suicide Squad."

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OBITS - From Variety:  The screenwriter, Barbara Turner, has died at the age of 79, Tuesday, April 5, 2016.  She wrote such films as "George" and "Pollock."  Turner is also the mother of Oscar-nominated actress, Jennifer Jason Leigh.

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MOVIES - From WeGotItCovered:  Denzel Washington's film adaptation of August Wilson's Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winning play, Fences, is scheduled to start film in July.

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BLACK LIVES MATTER - From ABCNews: Laquan McDonald's killer has a new job... with the Chicago Fraternal Order of Police (KKK).

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CRIME - From ThinkProgress:  Louisiana man faces 20 years to life for stealing $31 worth of candy from a Dollar General.

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ECO - From EcoWatch:  Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlfie kills a family of wolves, although Oregon was so afraid to shot a bigger problem - the Bundy clan and their cabal.

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COMICS - From BleedingCool:  Sony Pictures has registered a domain name from its 2017 Spider-Man movie.

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COMICS - From ScreenRant:  Here is a first look at Mads Mikkelsen as the villain in Marvel's "Doctor Strange."

From IGN:  "Doctor Strange" director, Scott Derrickson, tweets a photo of leaders, Benedict Cumberbatch and Chiwetel Ejiofor.

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TELEVISION - From TheWrap:  The cast of "Class," a "Doctor Who" spin-off, has been revealed.

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BOX OFFICE - From BoxOfficeMojo: The winner of the 4/1 to 4/3/2016 weekend box office is "Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice" with an estimated take of $52.3 million dollars.

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THEATER - From TheWrap:  Judi Dench won her 8th Olivier Award, the British equivalent of the Tony Awards.

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COMICS - From CBR:  See a 12-minute sneak peek at "Batman: The Killing Joke," an upcoming original animated film from the DC Comics Universe.

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COMICS - From BleedingCool:  Zack Snyder on why he had to show Bruce Wayne's parents dying again in "Batman v Supeman."

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POLITICS - From BRAdvocate:  The improbably journey of new Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards.

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MOVIES - From ThePlaylist:  Dave Bautista of "Guardians of the Galaxy" joins "Blade Runner 2."

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POLITICS - From RSN:  Rosario Dawson's open letter to Dolores Huerta.

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CRIME - From TheDailyBeast:  Scandal involving San Francisco cops sending racist and homophobic texts continues to grow.

POLITICS - From RSN:  Response to Barbra Streisand's "Sexism in Politics" essay, regarding Hillary Clinton.

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MOVIES - From CBR:  Marvel's "Doctor Strange" was recently shooting in New York City, and the result was lots of photos of Benedict Cumberbatch and Chiwetel Ejiofor in costume as Doctor Strange and Baron Mordo, respectively.

From YahooMovies:  There is smart phone video taken by bystanders of filming.

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MOVIES - From ScreenRant:  There will be a sequel to "Sicario" with the original cast returning, Emily Blunt, Josh Brolin, and Benecio del Toro.

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COMICS - From Polygon:  There is more casting news from Marvel/Netflix's "Iron Fist" television series.

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COMICS - From LatinoReview:  There has been a bit of chatter about FOX's X-Men spin-off, "New Mutants," but FOX is saying that some of the casting rumors are untrue.

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MOVIES - From TheWrap:  John Carpenter's 1984 film, Starman, is being remade by Shawn Levy, director of "Night at the Museum."

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MOVIES - From NYTimes:  Whoopi Goldberg enters the dope game launching marijuana products for women.

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POLITICS - From RSN:  Oscar-winning director Oliver Stone announces his support for Bernie Sanders as the Democratic nominee for President of the United States.

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ECO - From Grist:  The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation gave $1 million to help the Seychelles islands protect their ocean territory.

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MOVIES - From WeGotThisCovered:  Robin Wright to star opposite Harrison Ford in "Blade Runner 2."

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MOVIES - From TheWrap:  Kevin Bacon joins Mark Wahlberg in "Patriots Day."

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CRIME - From BuzzFlash:  Another horror story about law enforcement and justice in Louisiana - Two Texas moms jailed over allegedly stealing two hot dogs.

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From YouTube:  "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" Blu-ray clip, "Casting Rey."

From YouTube:  "Everybody Wants Some" clip, "Rappers Driving"