Showing posts with label Chris Columbus. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Chris Columbus. Show all posts

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.

Thursday, August 20, 2020

"Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" Crosses One Billion in Global Box Office

The Magic Continues as “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” Crosses the Billion-dollar Mark at the Worldwide Box Office

The film’s hugely successful release in China pushes its global box office take past the billion-dollar milestone

BURBANK, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nearly two decades after first enchanting movie audiences, the first of the Harry Potter blockbusters, “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” has crossed $1 billion at the global box office. The announcement was made by Andrew Cripps, President, International Distribution, Warner Bros. Pictures.

    “We are thrilled to see ‘Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone’ delight a new generation of audiences. The popularity of the film with moviegoers in China, who are discovering it for the first time, proves that the appeal of these stories is truly timeless and universal.”

The 4K 3D restoration of the beloved Wizarding World film opened in China on August 14, 2020 and has taken in an estimated $1,001,260,000 worldwide to date and still climbing. It is now the second film in the film series to reach the billion-dollar milestone following “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2,” which was released in 2011 and has grossed $1.34 billion globally. It is another benchmark for the enduringly popular film franchise, which has now earned $7.74 billion.

Andrew Cripps stated, “We are thrilled to see ‘Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone’ delight a new generation of audiences. The popularity of the film with moviegoers in China, who are discovering it for the first time, proves that the appeal of these stories is truly timeless and universal.”

“Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” tells the story of a boy who, on his 11th birthday, learns that he is the orphaned son of two powerful wizards and possesses unique magical powers of his own. Invited to attend Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Harry embarks on the adventure of a lifetime. At Hogwarts, he finds the home and the family he has never had.

Warner Bros. Pictures presents a Heyday Films/1492 Pictures/Duncan Henderson Production of a Chris Columbus film, “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” starring Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, John Cleese, Robbie Coltrane, Warwick Davis, Richard Griffiths, Richard Harris, Ian Hart, John Hurt, Alan Rickman, Fiona Shaw, Maggie Smith and Julie Walters.

The film was directed by Chris Columbus from a screenplay by Steve Kloves, based on the beloved novel Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling. David Heyman produced the film, with Chris Columbus, Mark Radcliffe, Michael Barnathan and Duncan Henderson serving as executive producers.


Saturday, September 19, 2015

"Home Alone" Returns to Theaters for 25th Anniversary

The McCallister Family is Back on the Big Screen with ‘Home Alone 25th Anniversary’ in Select Cinemas This November

Fathom Events and Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment Present The Return of This Family Classic on November 8 and 11, 2015

DENVER--(BUSINESS WIRE)--To mark the anniversary of one of the best live-action comedies of all time, Fathom Events and Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment present Home Alone 25th Anniversary, coming to select cinemas for two dates on Sunday, November 8 and Wednesday, November 11, 2015. What better way to get into the holiday spirit than by enjoying this Christmas comedy blockbuster with the whole family on its original home of the big screen. In addition to the full-length feature, the event will also include a special introduction that will be exclusive to cinema audiences.

    “We’re proud to be partnering with Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment to give audiences this unique opportunity to re-experience a classic as it was meant to be seen.”

Tickets for Home Alone 25th Anniversary can be purchased online by visiting or at participating theater box offices. Fans throughout the U.S. will be able to enjoy the event in more than 600 movie theaters through Fathom’s Digital Broadcast Network. For a complete list of theater locations visit the Fathom Events website (theaters and participants are subject to change).

Featuring a superstar cast led by Macaulay Culkin in the role that made him an international household name, relive every pratfall and prank with Catherine O’Hara, John Heard, John Candy, Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern. The franchise, that spawned four sequels and three video games, begins as eight-year-old Kevin McCallister (Culkin) has become the man of the house, overnight! Accidentally left behind when his family rushes off on a Christmas vacation, Kevin gets busy decorating the house for the holidays. But he's not decking the halls with tinsel and holly. Two bumbling burglars are trying to break in, and Kevin's rigging a bewildering battery of booby traps to welcome them!

“Long-time fans and first-time viewers of ‘Home Alone’ will laugh together at their local cinema this November,” said Fathom Events CEO John Rubey. “We’re proud to be partnering with Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment to give audiences this unique opportunity to re-experience a classic as it was meant to be seen.”

The Home Alone: Anniversary Collection will be available in-stores everywhere October 6. The collection features all five HOME ALONE films on DVD along with a beautiful 4K restoration on Blu-ray™ and Digital HD™ of the first film along with HOME ALONE 2: LOST IN NEW YORK on Blu-ray™ and Digital HD™. HOME ALONE 3, HOME ALONE 4: TAKING BACK THE HOUSE and HOME ALONE 5: THE HOLIDAY HEIST will all be included on DVD.

About Fathom Events
Fathom Events is the recognized leader in the alternative entertainment industry, offering a variety of one-of-a-kind entertainment events in movie theaters nationwide that include live, high-definition performances of the Metropolitan Opera, the performing arts, major sporting events, music concerts, comedy series, Broadway shows, original programming featuring entertainment’s biggest stars, socially relevant documentaries with audience Q&A and much more. Fathom Events takes audiences behind-the-scenes and offers unique extras, creating the ultimate entertainment experience. It is owned by a consortium called AC JV, LLC., comprised of AMC Entertainment Inc. (NYSE: AMC), Cinemark Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: CNK) and Regal Entertainment Group (NYSE: RGC), the three largest movie theater circuits in the United States. In addition, Fathom Events’ live digital broadcast network (“DBN”) is the largest cinema broadcast network in North America, bringing live events to 820 locations in 177 Designated Market Areas® (including all of the top 50). For more information, visit

About Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment
Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, LLC (TCFHE) is the industry leading worldwide marketing, sales and distribution company for all Fox produced, acquired and third party partner film and television programing. Each year TCFHE expands its award-winning global product portfolio with the introduction of new entertainment content through established and emerging formats including DVD, Blu-ray™, Digital HD and VOD. Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment is a subsidiary of 20th Century Fox, a 21st Century Fox Company.


Thursday, September 25, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

From The Washington Post via RSN:  Frenetic, Often Fearless

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

From YahooCelebrity:  The Children of Robin Williams Remember Dad

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

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

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

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

From EW InsideMovies:  Robin Williams Dead at 63

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

From Variety:  Robin Williams Found Dead in Possible Suicide

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

Friday, April 11, 2014

Peter Dinklage Joins Chris Columbus' "Pixels"


Principal Photography Begins in June on Iconic Video Game Action Comedy Starring Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Michelle Monaghan, Peter Dinklage and Josh Gad, directed by Chris Columbus

Michelle Monaghan and Peter Dinklage have joined Adam Sandler, Kevin James, and Josh Gad in the cast of Sony Pictures Entertainment’s Pixels, which will be directed by Chris Columbus and released in the Summer of 2015. Principal photography will begin in June of this year on the Happy Madison/1492 Pictures production, which was written by Tim Herlihy and Timothy Dowling, based on the short film directed by Patrick Jean and produced by One More Production. Pixels will be produced by Happy Madison’s Adam Sandler and Allen Covert, and 1492 Pictures’ Chris Columbus, Michael Barnathan and Mark Radcliffe. Executive producers are Barry Bernardi, Jack Giarraputo, Tim Herlihy, Heather Parry and Seth Gordon.

In the film, when aliens misinterpret video-feeds of classic arcade games as a declaration of war against them, they attack the Earth, using the games as models for their various assaults. President Will Cooper has to call on his childhood best friend, ’80s video game champion Jules Brenner, now a home theater installer, to lead a team of old-school arcaders to defeat the aliens and save the planet.

Columbus and the studio are working with many of the 1980s’ most iconic videogame brands in an effort to bring together on the big screen the characters from the decade’s quintessential games. "By combining the visceral power of 80’s arcade games with state-of-the-art visual effects, Pixels will take the audience to a place they’ve never been before," stated Columbus.

Commenting on the announcement, Doug Belgrad, president of Columbia Pictures said, "Working together, Adam Sandler and Chris Columbus have created a story that will deliver truly unique action, comedy and special effects, and bring back beloved arcade game characters in a delightfully original manner. Pixels is the perfect showcase for Adam's brand of all-audience comedy."

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

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Indie Drama "Little Accidents" Begins Production


Elizabeth Banks, Boyd Holbrook, Chloë Sevigny, Jacob Lofland and Josh Lucas Join Indie Drama

Production is underway in West Virginia on the independent drama LITTLE ACCIDENTS, the first feature film from writer/director Sara Colangelo. The film, which was developed at both the Sundance Institute’s Screenwriters and Directors Labs, will star Elizabeth Banks, Boyd Holbrook, Chloë Sevigny, Jacob Lofland and Josh Lucas.

LITTLE ACCIDENTS follows the disappearance of JT, a 14 year-old boy in an American coal town which has already seen its share of tragedy after a mining accident. JT’s disappearance draws together three local residents from very different walks of life. Together they struggle to navigate the web of secrets surrounding the boy’s death, unaware of how connected they truly are.

Colangelo previously directed the award-winning short film by the same name, which debuted at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival and explored some of the same themes as her debut feature.

“Sara Colangelo's script for Little Accidents is one of the strongest first features with which I've been associated,” said Anne Carey, President of Production for Archer Gray.  “She is both a subtle and ambitious filmmaker. The strength of her script attracted a terrific cast of actors, an excellent crew and a great group of producers.  I am very excited that this film is one of the launching titles for Archer Gray Productions.”

“We had the pleasure of being introduced to Sara and the project through the Sundance Institute and WME,” said Jason Michael Berman and Thomas B. Fore, producing partners at TideRock Media.  “We fell in love with Sara's script, which paints the Appalachian coal-mining community in an authentic and heartfelt way that hasn’t often been portrayed in popular culture.”

“Little Accidents is an extraordinary film that takes the viewer on a complex and deeply emotional journey,” said Chris Columbus, partner at Maiden Voyage.  “Sara Colangelo is a visionary filmmaker.  Maiden Voyage Films is thrilled to be part of this exceptional project.”

The film is being produced by Anne Carey of Archer Gray Productions, Jason Michael Berman and Thomas B. Fore of TideRock Media, and Summer Shelton. Executive producers are Chris Columbus and Eleanor Columbus of Maiden Voyage, Amy Nauiokas of Archer Gray Productions, Ruth Mutch of Soaring Flight Productions, and Kwesi Collisson, Mike Feuer and Todd Feuer of Mindsmack Productions. The project’s DP is Rachel Morrison.

Elizabeth Banks is also shooting William Pohlad’s Love & Mercy, and can be seen this Fall in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire as Effie Trinket.  Boyd Holbrook had his on-screen debut in Milk, and can be seen in the upcoming films Walk Among the Tombstones, Untitled Terrence Malick Project, Jane Got a Gun and The Skeleton Twins.  Oscar nominee Chloë Sevigny (Boys Don’t Cry) is known for her recent roles on HBO’s “Big Love” and F/X’s “American Horror Story: Asylum.”  Jacob Lofland’s on-screen debut was in 2012’s Mud. Josh Lucas has recently been in films J. Edgar and The Lincoln Lawyer.

Colangelo is represented by WME, who packaged the project and will be representing the film for sales, as well as Victoria Cook at Frankfurt, Kurit, Klein and Slez PC.  Elizabeth Banks is represented by UTA, Untitled Entertainment and Ziffren Brittenham LLP; Boyd Holbrook is represented by CAA and Kanner Entertainment.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

"The Artist" Wins Best Picture Oscar

Best Motion Picture of the Year

WINNER - The Artist: Thomas Langmann

The Descendants: Jim Burke, Alexander Payne, Jim Taylor
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close: Scott Rudin
The Help: Brunson Green, Chris Columbus, Michael Barnathan
Hugo: Graham King, Martin Scorsese
Midnight in Paris: Letty Aronson, Stephen Tenenbaum
Moneyball: Michael De Luca, Rachael Horovitz, Brad Pitt
The Tree of Life: Sarah Green, Dede Gardner, Grant Hill, and William Pohlad
War Horse: Steven Spielberg, Kathleen Kennedy

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

"Harry Potter" Wins Big at 2012 Art Directors Guild Awards

The Art Directors Guild (ADG) is an American labor union and also a branch of the International Alliance of Theatrical and Stage Employees (IATSE) that represents motion picture and television professionals. Among the ADG’s sponsored activities are a film society and the Annual ADG Awards.

The ADG has announced the nominations for their 16th Annual Excellence in Production Design Awards. The winners were announced Saturday, February 4, 2012.

16th Annual (2012) Excellence in Production Design Awards winners:

Period Film:
HUGO Production Designer: Dante Ferretti

Fantasy Film

Contemporary Film
THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO Production Designer: Donald Graham Burt

In addition, the guild
• presented a lifetime achievement award to Tony Walton
• inducted Robert Boyle, William Darling and Alfred Junge into its hall of fame

This year's Art Directors Guild Cinematic Imagery Award will be presented to the principal team behind the Harry Potter films, including producers David Heyman and David Barron; directors Christopher Columbus, Alfonso Cuaron, Mike Newell, David Yates; creator and author J.K. Rowling; screenwriters Steve Klove and Michael Goldenberg; production designer Stuart Craig; art director Neil Lamont; and set decorator Stephenie McMillan.


One-Hour Single Camera Television Series
"Boardwalk Empire" (Episode: 21) Production Designer: Bill Groom

Television Movie or Miniseries
"Mildred Pierce" Production Designer: Mark Friedberg

Episode of a Half Hour Single-Camera Television Series
"Modern Family" (Episode: Express Christmas) Production Designer: Richard Berg

Episode of a Multi-Camera, Variety, or Unscripted Series
"Saturday NIght Live" (Episode: host Justin Timberlake) Production Designers: Keith Ian Raywood, Eugene Lee, Leo Yoshimura, N. Joseph De Tullio

Awards, Music, or Game Shows
83rd Annual Academy Awards Production Designer: Steve Bass

Commercials and Music Videos:
"Activision: Call of Duty" (Episode: Modern Warfare 3) Production Designer: Neil Spisak

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

2012 Academy Award Nominations: Best Motion Picture of the Year

Best Motion Picture of the Year Nominees:

(There are 9 best picture nominees this year.)

The Artist (2011): Thomas Langmann

The Descendants (2011): Jim Burke, Alexander Payne, Jim Taylor

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (2011): Scott Rudin

The Help (2011): Brunson Green, Chris Columbus, Michael Barnathan

Hugo (2011): Graham King, Martin Scorsese

Midnight in Paris (2011): Letty Aronson, Stephen Tenenbaum

Moneyball (2011): Michael De Luca, Rachael Horovitz, Brad Pitt

The Tree of Life (2011): Sarah Green, Bill Pohlad, Dede Gardner and Grant Hill

War Horse (2011): Steven Spielberg, Kathleen Kennedy

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Review: Can't Do Without "The Help" Movie

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 103 (of 2011) by Leroy Douresseaux

The Help (2011)
Running time: 146 minutes (2 hours, 26 minutes)
MPAA – PG-13 for thematic material
DIRECTOR: Tate Taylor
WRITER: Tate Taylor (based upon the novel by Kathryn Stockett)
PRODUCERS: Michael Barnathan, Chris Columbus, and Brunson Green
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Stephen Goldblatt (D.o.P.)
EDITOR: Hughes Winborne
COMPOSER: Thomas Newman

DRAMA with elements of comedy

Starring: Emma Stone, Viola Davis, Bryce Dallas Howard, Octavia Spencer, Jessica Chastain, Ahna O’Reilly, Allison Janney, Anna Camp, Eleanor and Emma Henry (twins), Chris Lowell, Cicely Tyson, Mike Vogel, Sissy Spacek, Brian Kerwin, Aunjanue Ellis, Leslie Jordan, Nelsan Ellis, and David Oyelowo

The Help is a 2011 historical drama that is based on the 2009 bestselling novel, The Help, from author Kathryn Stockett. Set in Mississippi during the 1960s, the film focuses on an aspiring author who decides to write a book detailing the experiences of the Black women who work as maids in the homes of White families.

After graduating from Ole Miss, Eugenia “Skeeter” Phelan (Emma Stone) returns to her hometown of Jackson, Mississippi. She takes a job at a local newspaper writing a “homemaker hints” advice column. However, Skeeter’s mother, Charlotte (Allison Janney), wants her daughter to (1) be a southern society girl and (2) find a husband. Skeeter reconnects with her vacuous childhood friends who are all now young mothers and form a clique led by the snooty Hilly Holbrook (Bryce Dallas Howard).

Two things change Skeeter’s life. She does not believe her mother’s story about why Constantine Bates (Cicely Tyson), the beloved black maid who raised Skeeter, left the family. Skeeter also becomes uncomfortable with the attitude of her friends towards “the help,” the African-American maids who cook and clean for white folks, as well as parent their bosses’ children. Hilly becomes obsessed with the notion that the help not use their bosses’ bathrooms, so she launches the “Home Help Sanitation Initiative” a law that would require that homes have separate bathrooms for the help.

In response, Skeeter approaches Aibileen Clark (Viola Davis), the maid of her friend, Elizabeth Leefolt (Ahna O’Reilly), and asks her if she would mind being interviewed about her life spent taking care of other people’s homes. Reluctant at first, Aibileen consents and is also able to convince another maid, the sassy Minny Jackson (Octavia Spencer), to contribute. As the women forge an unlikely friendship, they get caught in a turbulent time of change and the Civil Rights Movement.

Writer/director Tate Taylor often plays upon the proverbial “quiet dignity” of the Black maids, but his film comes on like a locomotive, because behind the quiet dignity is steely determination. This movie has such power to convey its messages and its ideas that I sometimes felt physically unprepared for the emotional toll it had on me – whether those emotions were happy or sad. I say that The Help is well-written and directed and has a number of exceptional performances because of its ability to convey with authenticity story, character, and setting.

As for the performances: Jessica Chastain is a scene-stealer as Celia Foote, the naïve young wife with child-bearing issues. Chastain crafts Celia as a struggle between the strength underneath and the soft-hearted nature that is the candy-coating. Bryce Dallas Howard is white-hot evil as the snotty racist, Hilly Holbrook, but she frequently and subtly reveals the character’s humanity at surprising moments.

Sadly, I see Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer’s bravura performances getting lost during the movie critics and film industry awards season. Emma Stone’s Skeeter is The Help’s bridge between the two separate worlds of Black and White, and she is a player on all sides of a class conflict. However, Viola Davis’ Aibileen Clark is this movie’s true anchor. Not only does Davis give a great performance, but she also embodies in Aibileen the toughness that makes an oppressed people both survive the evil ruling class and have the true grit to fight that evil.

Octavia Spencer’s Minny Jackson is simply one of those great supporting characters whose fight and spunk define the central conflict in a movie. At the end of the day, she’s not going to take anything from anyone that is the wrong thing, and The Help is about getting to what is the right thing. While Emma Stone gives a good performance, it is easy to see how she gets lost in a sea of superb performances, although Skeeter is the most important player – the central character that connects the disparate parts.

If I had to point to the one thing that makes The Help a grand film, it is that the emotions are genuine; they feel real. Writer/director Tate Taylor and his cast create a series of moments and scenes that come together to weave a narrative, one which comes to life with a sense of authenticity. When Aibileen talks about her son’s tragedy; when Minny fights her husband and employers; when Aibileen has to step to the side while grocery shopping; when Celia Foote yearns for a child; when Skeeter angrily explains to her mother the wrong done to Constantine, it all feels real. It is as if The Help were a true story. In a way, it is a true story, one told with fictional characters from a real time and place. That is why The Help is a bona fide standout in a field of fantasias and made-up stuff movies.

9 of 10

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

"The Help" Passes $200 Million in Worldwide Box Office

DreamWorks Pictures and Participant Media’s “The Help” Surpasses $200M Worldwide

BURBANK, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--DreamWorks Pictures announced Dec. 8 that its empowering film “The Help” has surpassed $200 million in worldwide ticket sales. “The Help,” directed and written for the screen by Tate Taylor, is based on the New York Times best-selling novel by Kathryn Stockett.

“The Help” has resonated with audiences around the globe, sparking conversation and comments across all media platforms from such notables as Oprah, Scott Fujita, Tyler Perry, Russell Simmons, Katy Perry, Diane Sawyer, Jason Whitlock, Jackie Jackson and others.

“The Help” stars Emma Stone (“Easy A”) as Skeeter, Academy Award®–nominated Viola Davis (“Doubt”) as Aibileen and Octavia Spencer as Minny—three very different, extraordinary women in Mississippi during the 1960s, who build an unlikely friendship around a secret writing project that breaks societal rules and puts them all at risk. Also starring Bryce Dallas Howard (“Hereafter”), Allison Janney (“Juno”), Academy Award®–winner Sissy Spacek (“In the Bedroom,” “Coal Miner’s Daughter”) and Jessica Chastain (“Tree of Life”), “The Help” is deeply moving, filled with poignancy, humor and hope—a timeless and universal story about the ability to create change.

Rounding out the cast are Ahna O’Reilly (“Forgetting Sarah Marshall”), Cicely Tyson (“Sounder,” “Fried Green Tomatoes”), Chris Lowell (“Up in the Air”), Mike Vogel (“Blue Valentine”), Aunjanue Ellis (“Ray”) and Mary Steenburgen (“Did You Hear About the Morgans?”).

From DreamWorks Pictures and Reliance Entertainment, in association with Participant Media and Imagenation Abu Dhabi, “The Help” was produced by Brunson Green, Chris Columbus and Michael Barnathan.

“The Help” is distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Viola Davis Justified! "The Help" Skips Past $100 Million Mark

“The Help” Surpasses $100M at Domestic Box Office

DreamWorks Pictures and Participant Media’s Empowering Film Engages Audiences Nationwide

BURBANK, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--DreamWorks Pictures announced today that its inspiring film “The Help” has surpassed the $100 million mark at the domestic box office. “The Help,” directed and written for the screen by Tate Taylor, is based on the New York Times best-selling novel by Kathryn Stockett.

Ever since opening in the U.S. on August 10th, “The Help” has been a strong contender for the top spot on the domestic box office chart and has resonated with audiences around the country, sparking conversation and comments across all media platforms from such notables as Oprah, Scott Fujita, Tyler Perry, Russell Simmons, Katy Perry, Diane Sawyer, Jason Whitlock, Jackie Jackson and others.

Commenting on the widespread popularity of the film, Director Tate Taylor says, “We never imagined this film, which began its journey inspired by the enthusiasm of a small group of Mississippi friends, would ever even get made. Now to have it seen and embraced by so many people is just beyond our wildest dreams.”

Adds Dave Hollis, Executive Vice President, Motion Picture Sales & Distribution, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, “This achievement is a testament to an amazing ensemble cast and a wonderfully told story that has played well to men and women, young and old, resonating in a cross-section of all theaters be they urban, upscale or heartland. The viral power of word-of-mouth has us hopeful that we’ll continue to see ‘The Help’ exposed to as broad an audience as possible in the coming months.”

“The Help” stars Emma Stone (“Easy A”) as Skeeter, Academy Award®–nominated Viola Davis (“Doubt”) as Aibileen and Octavia Spencer as Minny—three very different, extraordinary women in Mississippi during the 1960s, who build an unlikely friendship around a secret writing project that breaks societal rules and puts them all at risk. Also starring Bryce Dallas Howard (“Hereafter”), Allison Janney (“Juno”), Academy Award®–winner Sissy Spacek (“In the Bedroom,” “Coal Miner’s Daughter”) and Jessica Chastain (“Tree of Life”), “The Help” is deeply moving, filled with poignancy, humor and hope—a timeless and universal story about the ability to create change.

Rounding out the cast are Ahna O’Reilly (“Forgetting Sarah Marshall”), Cicely Tyson (“Sounder,” “Fried Green Tomatoes”), Chris Lowell (“Up in the Air”), Mike Vogel (“Blue Valentine”), Aunjanue Ellis (“Ray”) and Mary Steenburgen (“Did You Hear About the Morgans?).

From DreamWorks Pictures and Reliance Entertainment, in association with Participant Media and Imagenation Abu Dhabi, “The Help” was produced by Brunson Green, Chris Columbus and Michael Barnathan.

“The Help” is distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Mary J. Blige Pens and Records Song for "The Help"

Super-Star Mary J. Blige Records Original Song for DreamWorks Pictures and Participant Media’s “The Help”

BURBANK, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--DreamWorks Pictures and Geffen Records announced today that multiple Grammy® Award–winning recording artist Mary J. Blige wrote and recorded an original song for the soundtrack of DreamWorks Pictures and Participant Media’s THE HELP, a film based on the New York Times best-selling novel of the same name, opening in theaters August 12, 2011. “The Help” soundtrack - music from the Motion picture, will feature the original song from Mary J. Blige “The Living Proof.” The soundtrack, from Interscope Records, will be available Tuesday, July 26 at select Starbucks locations.

The song, “The Living Proof,” was written and recorded by Blige especially for THE HELP after she saw a screening of the film, which takes place in 1960s-era Mississippi and chronicles the journey of three very different women who come together and embark on a secret writing project that breaks societal rules and puts them all at risk. “The beautiful thing about these women is that they were very smart,” says Blige. “They chose to walk in love and forgiveness.”

The film really celebrates the courage to inspire change, “To speak to so many women with this song means a lot to me,” says Blige. “I wanted to be involved with this film, because I think we need to encourage each other more, we are here to tell a story.”

Blige has received 9 Grammy® Awards and four American Music Awards as well as recorded eight multi-platinum albums. Mary J. Blige has sold over 50 million albums worldwide and her next album "My Life Too....The Journey Continues" will be released Sept 20, 2011.

Based on one of the most talked about books in years and a #1 New York Times best-selling phenomenon, “The Help” stars Emma Stone (“Easy A”) as Skeeter, Academy Award®–nominated Viola Davis (“Doubt”) as Aibileen and Octavia Spencer as Minny—three very different, extraordinary women in Mississippi during the 1960s, who build an unlikely friendship around a secret writing project that breaks societal rules and puts them all at risk. From their improbable alliance a remarkable sisterhood emerges, instilling all of them with the courage to transcend the lines that define them, and the realization that sometimes those lines are made to be crossed—even if it means bringing everyone in town face-to-face with the changing times. Deeply moving, filled with poignancy, humor and hope, “The Help” is a timeless and universal story about the ability to create change.

From DreamWorks Pictures and Participant Media, “The Help” is directed by Tate Taylor and produced by Brunson Green, Chris Columbus and Michael Barnathan, based on the novel by Kathryn Stockett, with screenplay by Tate Taylor. “The Help” releases in theaters August 12, 2011.

THE HELP Mary J Blige VNR is also available at

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

"Review: The Lightning Thief" a Bad Start for Percy Jackson Films

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 60 (of 2010) by Leroy Douresseaux

Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief (2010)
Running time: 118 minutes (1 hour, 58 minutes)
MPAA – PG for action violence and peril, some scary images and suggestive material, and mild language
DIRECTOR: Chris Columbus
WRITER: Craig Titley (based upon the novel by Rick Riordan)
PRODUCERS: Michael Barnathan, Chris Columbus, Mark Morgan, Guy Oseary, Mark Radcliffe, and Karen Rosenfelt
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Stephen Goldblatt
EDITOR: Peter Honess
COMPOSER: Christophe Beck


Starring: Logan Lerman, Brandon T. Jackson, Alexandra Daddario, Jake Abel, Sean Bean, Pierce Brosnan, Steve Coogan, Rosario Dawson, Catherine Keener, Kevin McKidd, Joe Pantoliano, and Uma Thurman

Percy Jackson is a fictional character and the star of the book series, Percy Jackson & the Olympians from author Rick Riordan. Percy is a demigod, the child of a god and a human. Perseus “Percy” Jackson’s father is Poseidon, the Greek god of the sea, and his mother is Sally Jackson, a mortal. The movie Percy Jackson & and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief is based on the first novel in the series, The Lightning Thief (2005)

Seventeen-year-old Percy Jackson (Logan Lerman) lives with his mother Sally Jackson (Catherine Keener) and his obnoxious, smelly stepfather, Gabe Ugliano (Joe Pantoliano), but he is clueless about who he really is. That’s about to change, because a war is brewing among the gods of Olympus. The master bolt, the lightning bolt that Zeus (Sean Bean) uses to create other lightning, has been stolen. Zeus believes the lightning thief is the son of his brother, Poseidon (Kevin McKidd), none other than Percy Jackson.

Meanwhile, Percy has the truth about his origins forced upon him. He is a demigod and even his best friend, Grover Underwood (Brandon T. Jackson), is a satyr and his protector. Percy immediately leaves his old life behind to attend Camp Half-Blood, a training camp for demigods. There, he meets other children of the gods, including the furious fighter, Annabeth Chase (Alexandra Daddario), the daughter of the goddess Athena. When Hades (Steve Coogan), the brother of Zeus and Poseidon, kidnaps Sally in order to force Percy to give him the bolt, Percy, Gabe, and Annabeth begin a quest to Underworld to rescue Percy’s mother. But they must also find the lightning thief before a war of the gods destroys the world.

Obviously, Percy Jackson stands in the shadowy of that other star of children’s fantasy literature, Harry Potter. Although Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief is directed by Chris Columbus, the man who directed the first two Harry Potter films and produced the third, this is no Harry Potter movie.

Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief just doesn’t match the quality of a Harry Potter movie, and it doesn’t even offer a great villain like Potter’s enemy, You-Know-Who. Even if I didn’t compare this Percy Jackson movie to a Harry Potter movie, Percy would still be judged as a mediocre film. The action scenes are quite entertaining, but when the film isn’t offering action, for instance, when the story focuses on character drama, it is a disaster.

The acting is acceptable, but unspectacular, and Brandon T. Jackson as the satyr Grover certainly tries to bring some levity to this stiff special effects-heavy fantasy – with, at best, mixed results. A cool sequence with Uma Thurman, however, is this movie’s best moment and is worth seeing even if you avoid the rest of the movie. Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief isn’t bad. It’s just another passable fantasy film aimed at children and their parents.

5 of 10

Tuesday, August 03, 2010


Sunday, February 21, 2010

Review: "Night at the Museum" Proves that Mediocre Can Still Be Good

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 256 (of 2006) by Leroy Douresseaux

Night at the Museum (2006)
Running time: 109 minutes (1 hour, 49 minutes)
MPAA – PG for mild action, language, and brief rude humor
DIRECTOR: Shawn Levy
WRITERS: Robert Ben Garant & Thomas Lennon; from their screen story based upon the novel by Milan Trenc
PRODUCERS: Chris Columbus, Shawn Levy, and Michael Barnathan
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Guillermo Navarro
EDITOR: Don Zimmerman


Starring: Ben Stiller, Carla Gugino, Dick Van Dyke, Mickey Rooney, Bill Cobbs, Jake Cherry, Ricky Gervais, Robin Williams, Kim Raver, Steve Coogan, Mizuo Peck, Rami Malek, Charlie Murphy, Paul Rudd, Patrick Gallagher, and Owen Wilson

Larry Daley (Ben Stiller) is a good-hearted dreamer who thinks he’s destined for something big, but his lack of a steady job means he’s always being evicted from his apartment. He’s also a divorced father with a 10-year old son, Nick (Jake Cherry). His ex-wife, Erica (Kim Raver), delivers an ultimatum: Nick can’t stay with Larry until Larry has a stable living situation. Nick certainly has that with Erica, an attorney, and her new husband, Don (Paul Rudd), a bond trader, and Nick admires Don, which bothers Larry a little.

Larry eventually gets a job as a night watchman at the Museum of Natural History, where an extraordinary thing happens when the sun goes down. At night, all the exhibits come to life. Mayans, Roman Gladiators, and cowboys emerge from their dioramas to battle one another. African mammals, cavemen, and even Attila the Hun (Patrick Gallagher) roam the halls of the museum at night. The one exhibit Larry can turn to for advice is a wax statue of President Teddy Roosevelt (Robin Williams), that comes alive on his black stallion and helps Larry get the denizens of the museum under control.

The magical happenings at the museum come with one stipulation – nothing must enter or leave the museum at night. Still, something does go wrong. Larry has to stop a nefarious plot in order to save the museum and its inhabitants and maybe prove himself in his son’s eyes.

Night at the Museum is one of those films that work best during the feel good Christmas holidays. Warm and fuzzy, this family flick is chock full of magic and a sense of wonder. It also looks and acts like the mid-90’s CGI creature rampage movie, Jumanji, and some of the CGI and special effects look dated. The writers over-emphasize Larry’s quest to be a good dad, and some of the humor is forced. The writers make the women in the movie stock characters, and they’re little more than accessories to make male characters feel better about themselves.

Director Shawn Levy does give the film the same kind of frothy fun he did with the 2003 holiday hit, Cheaper by the Dozen. Night fairly hums with mystery and enchantment, thanks in no small part to Levy’s creative team. Cinematographer Guillermo Navarro, whose specialty is fantasy and supernatural films (From Dusk Till Dawn) and even family films (Stuart Little and Spy Kids) creates a look for the movie that is a sweet mix of charmed sepia and gooey warmth. Costume designer Renée April does work worthy of Oscar notice with a variety of costumes that span the history of human clothing, and Alan Silvestri’s score hits all the right notes in creating an atmosphere of action, adventure, magic, and mystery.

Ben Stiller tends to play characters that are edgy, smart-mouthed and sometimes annoying, but his Larry Daley is a good guy. He’s more genial than jerk, and Stiller has a nice way of making Daley’s smarty attitude always bubble under the surface without ever coming up. Jake Cherry makes a lovable son, and Robin Williams is subdued.

In spite of its faults and missteps, Night at the Museum is just that kind of movie that can turn an adult who isn’t too jaded into a kid wide-eyed at the wonder and magic of what is essentially an entertaining and amusing children’s movie.

5 of 10

Sunday, December 24, 2006