Showing posts with label Ellen Page. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ellen Page. Show all posts

Saturday, December 5, 2020

Negromancer News Bits and Bites from December 1st to 5th, 2020 - Update #24

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

Support Leroy on Patreon:


BLM - From TheNation:  51 years ago today (Dec. 4th, 1969), the police, the FBI, and the pigs murdered Black Panther leader, Fred Hampton. 

CELEBRITY - From ShadowandAct:   How did the late Chadwick Boseman ("Black Panther") and his wife-now-widow, Taylor Simone Ledward, meet?

MOVIES - From Collider:   Alex Winter talks about his Frank Zappa documentary and the possibility of he and Keanu Reeves returning for "Bill & Ted 4."

STREAMING - From Variety: Hollywood and movie theater owners sound off on Warner Bros.’ bold HBO Max move: "They’re Playing With Fire."

MOVIES - From ScreenRant:   The site has a list of every Warner Bros. movie that is scheduled to be released on HBO Max in 2021.

TELEVISION - From Deadline:  In the Season 11 debut episode of CBS' long-running cop drama, "Blue Bloods," Oscar-winning actress Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as "City Council Speaker."

TELEVISION - From THR:  HBO gets "Nice White Parents" from producers Issa Rae and Oscar-winner Adam McKay.

MOVIES - From THR:  Oscar Isaac to star as "Solid Snake" in Sony Picture's film adaptation of the "Metal Gear Solid" movie.

CULTURE - From YahooNYT:  A Kamikaze pilot tells his story 70 years later.

CELEBRITY - From People:   John Boyega ("Star Wars") and Letitia Wright ("Black Panther") talk about their decade-long friendship and about breaking barriers in Hollywood.

POLITICS - From CookPolitical:   The popular vote count is President-Elect Joe Biden: 81,264,673; President Donald: 74,210,838.  The lead is over 7 million votes.

STREAMING - From Deadline:   Lenny Henry, Peter Mullan, and Cynthia Addai-Robinson are among 20 cast members added to Amazon's "The Lord of the Rings" TV series.

MOVIES - From Deadline:   WarnerMedia is sending its entire 2021 theatrical slate to its streaming service, HBO Max.  Each film will be released on HBO Max and to the international markets concurrently.  After a month, each film will leave HBO Max and move to U.S. theaters...

MOVIES - From Deadline:   Gal Gadot ("Wonder Woman 1984") will headline "Heart of Stone," a spy thriller in the mold of "James Bond 007" and "Mission: Impossible."

CELEBRITY - From YahooPeople:   Tyrese Gibson says his feud with Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson has ended.

MOVIES - From WeGotThisCovered:  Horror fiction legend Clive Barker has won the legal battle to retrieve the film rights to the story and characters from his beloved 1987 film, "Hellraiser," which was based on one of his short stories.

CELEBRITY - From Deadline:   Oscar-nominated actress Taraji P. Henson has signed with M88 to represent.

MOVIES - From Collider:  Universal Pictures will apparently reboot its 2004 film, "Van Helsing" (starring Hugh Jackman), with director Julius Avery ("Overlord")

DISNEY+ - From Collider:  Disney+ has announced new cast members of its TV series sequel to the 1988 fantasy film, "Willow."  Among the new cast is Erin Kellyman, the British actress who appeared in "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story."

ANIMATION - From SmallScreen:   Disney XD has reportedly cancelled "DuckTales" the 2017 revival of the popular 1987-90 original series.  The current series reportedly ends after the third season.

LGBTQ - From Deadline:  The actress formerly known as Ellen Page has announced that he is now know as "Elliot Page," a non-binary, transgender person.

MOVIES - From Deadline:   Emmy Award-winning actor, Peter Dinklage ("Game of Thrones") will star in the reboot of the cult superhero comedy, "The Toxic Avenger" (1984).

MOVIES - From TheAtlantic:  In the new horror movie, "The Nest," wealth is the demon.


From Deadline:   The English-Australian actor, Hugh Keays-Byrne, has died at the age of 73, Tuesday, December 1, 2020.  Keays-Byrne was best known for the role of "Immortan Joe" in Oscar-winning film, "Mad Max: Fury Road" (2015).  He also appeared in the original 1979 "Mad Max" film and in the Sci-Fi TV series, "Farscape."

From Variety:  The American television actress, Abby Dalton, has died at the age of 88, Monday, November 23, 2020.  She was best known for her role as "Julia Cumson" from 1981 to 1986 on the CBS evening soap opera, "Falcon Crest."  In 1961, Dalton received a Primetime Emmy nomination for her work on the CBS sitcom, "Hennesey" (1959-62).


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.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Review: European Actors Shine in Woody Allen's "To Rome with Love"

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 34 (of 2014) by Leroy Douresseaux

To Rome with Love (2012)
Running time:  112 minutes (1 hour, 52 minutes)
MPAA – R for some sexual references
PRODUCERS:  Letty Aronson, Stephen Tenenbaum, Faruk Alatan, and Giampaolo Letta
EDITOR:  Alisa Lepselter

ROMANCE/COMEDY with elements of fantasy

Starring:  Woody Allen, Judy Davis, Flavio Parenti, Alison Pill, Fabio Armiliato, Alessandro Tiberi, Alessandra Mastronardi, Penelope Cruz, Antonio Albanese, Jesse Eisenberg, Greta Gerwig, Ellen Page, Alec Baldwin, and Roberto Benigni

To Rome with Love is a 2012 romantic comedy written and directed by Woody Allen.  Like other Allen films, To Rome with Love has magical realist elements.  To Rome with Love follows a small group of visitors and residents of Rome and focuses on their romances and adventures and the predicaments into which they get themselves.

To Rome with Love tells four unrelated stories.  Hayley (Alison Pill), an American tourist, falls in love with Italian pro bono lawyer and Rome resident, Michelangelo (Flavio Parenti), and they become engaged.  Hayley’s parents, Jerry and Phyllis (Woody Allen and Judy Davis), arrive in Rome to meet Michelangelo and his parents.  Jerry, a retired opera director, discovers that Michelangelo’s father, Giancarlo (Fabio Armiliato), has a wonderful operatic voice, so Jerry decides to make Giancarlo an opera star in spite of everyone’s protests against that.

Newlyweds Antonio (Alessandro Tiberi) and Milly (Alessandra Mastronardi) arrive in Rome from their rustic hometown.  They are supposed to meet Antonio’s well-connected and posh uncles who have lined up a fantastic job interview for him.  However, Antonio and Milly get separated.  Antonio is accidentally forced into an encounter with a gorgeous prostitute named Anna (Penelope Cruz).  Milly meets her favorite actor, Luchino “Luca” Salta (Antonio Albanese), who immediately begins to plot to have sex with the young wife.

John Foy (Alec Baldwin) is visiting Rome and meets Jack (Jesse Eisenberg), a young architecture student.  Jack lives with his girlfriend, Sally (Greta Gerwig).  Sally’s friend, Monica (Ellen Page), a pretentious young actress, arrives in Rome to visit them.  John warns Jack about falling in love with Monica…  Finally, ordinary business man, Leopold Pisanello (Roberto Benigni), suddenly gains an extraordinary life.

To Rome with Love is a romantic, comic, and romantic comedy romp through Rome.  It is not by any means a great film, but this movie does have a kind a charm that I cannot explain.  The American actors are mostly stiff, but Allen does not give them particularly flexible characters.  There is, however, this one great moment when Alec Baldwin’s John gives Ellen Page’s Monica a fantastic death stare.  There is something potent, electric, and maybe even dangerous in this one stare that I wish the rest of the John-Jack-Sally-Monica storyline had.

On the opposite side, the European actors sparkle.  Allen gives them the best characters and also better subplots than he gives the Americans.  The Europeans get inside the shallow characters Allen gives them and make them less shallow and more attractive. One example of this is Antonio Albanese.  Bald at the top of his head and somewhat pudgy, Albanese makes Luca Salta an alluring, sexy man, which in turn makes the idea of Salta as a movie star convincing.

Penelope Cruz, who won a supporting actress Oscar for her performance in an earlier Woody Allen film (Vicky Cristina Barcelona), gives To Rome with Love’s best performance.  She deserved another supporting actor Oscar nomination (at least) for her work here.  When her Anna is onscreen, this film seems to sparkle with new energy because that is what Cruz does – enliven things.  She is an excellent actress and is also quite the spitfire.

I will recommend To Rome with Love to fans of both Woody Allen and Penelope Cruz.  It is not great, but it is worth seeing.

6 of 10

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

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

Monday, June 6, 2011

Twilight Eclipses 2011 MTV Movie Awards

The MTV Movie Awards began in 1992.  Hosted by Jason Sudeikis, the 20th annual MTV Movie Awards aired live on Sunday, June 5, at 9 p.m. ET, from the Gibson Amphitheatre in Universal City, California.

Twilight Saga: Eclipse, the third film in the Twilight movie franchise, dominated the ceremony by winning 5 of the 13 categories.  Rising star Chloë Grace Moretz won two categories.

20th Annual MTV Movie Award WINNERS:

Best Movie Winner
The Twilight Saga: Eclipse
Directed by David Slade

Best Female Performance Winner
Kristen Stewart
The Twilight Saga: Eclipse
Directed by David Slade

Best Male Performance Winner
Robert Pattinson
The Twilight Saga: Eclipse
Directed by David Slade

Best Comedic Performance Winner
Emma Stone
Easy A
Directed by Will Gluck

Best Scared-As-S**t Performance Winner
Ellen Page
Directed by Christopher Nolan

Best Line From A Movie Winner
"I want to get chocolate wasted!"
Alexys Nycole Sanchez
Grown Ups
Directed by Dennis Dugan

MTV Generation Award Winner
Reese Witherspoon

Best Kiss Winner
Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson
The Twilight Saga: Eclipse
Directed by David Slade

Best Fight Winner
Robert Pattinson vs. Bryce Dallas Howard and Xavier Samuel
The Twilight Saga: Eclipse
Directed by David Slade

Best Breakout Star Winner
Chloë Grace Moretz
Directed by Matthew Vaughn

Biggest Badass Star Winner
Chloë Grace Moretz

Best Jaw Dropping Moment Winner
Justin Bieber
Justin Bieber: Never Say Never
Directed by Jon M. Chu

Best Villain Winner
Tom Felton
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1
Directed by David Yates

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Review: "Inception" is Fantastic but Hollow

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 53 (of 2010) by Leroy Douresseaux

Inception (2010)
Running time: 148 minutes (2 hours, 28 minutes)
MPAA – PG-13 for sequences of violence and action throughout
WRITER/DIRECTOR: Christopher Nolan
PRODUCERS: Christopher Nolan and Emma Thomas
EDITOR: Lee Smith
COMPOSER: Hans Zimmer


Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ellen Page, Tom Hardy, Ken Watanabe, Dileep Rao, Cillian Murphy, Tom Berenger, Marion Cotillard, Pete Postlethwaite, and Michael Caine

Christopher Nolan, the director of The Dark Knight, has unleashed a stunning new film – a visionary spectacle of spectacular visuals called Inception. Filled with mind-blowing visual effects, Inception is a mind-bending journey through the dreams and the subconscious. It will take your breath away; even dazzle you as long as you don’t pay attention to the shallow, clumsily built framework of a story.

Inception follows a thief named Dom Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) who has mastered a rather unusual craft called “extraction.” As an “extractor”, Cobb has the power the enter people’s dreams by thrusting himself into their subconscious, which gives him access to ideas and information that would be impossible to get otherwise. Cobb’s rare talent, ability, and technological know-how have made him a coveted player in this new frontier of corporate espionage, but this is a treacherous field that has also made him an international fugitive and keeps him from his family.

Now, Saito (Ken Watanabe), a Japanese businessman has offered Cobb a chance to clear his name. Saito wants Cobb to pull off the difficult (and thought to be impossible) job of inception – using a dream to plant an idea within a person’s mind. Their target is Robert Fischer, Jr. (Cillian Murphy), the heir to mega-corporation. Cobb and his team, including his point man, Arthur (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and the newest member, college graduate student Ariadne (Ellen Page), think they’re about to pull off the perfect heist, until a dangerous enemy begins to track their every move. And this enemy is someone Cobb should have seen coming.

Far all its razzle dazzle, Inception is a heist movie. It’s like blending The Matrix with Ocean’s Eleven. Imagine Neo and his friends going into the Matrix not to fight the machine, but to steal people’s stuff. Inception may be a trippy trip like The Matrix, but as a heist movie, Cobb and company aren’t as cool as Danny Ocean’s crew.

But it is difficult to feel for the characters when nothing in this movie feels real, and other than the impressive imagery and effects, nothing else is powerful in this story. The characters are shallow, although they all have potential, and the female characters, Marion Cotillard’s Mallorie and (the ridiculously skinny) Ellen Page’s Ariadne, are especially wasted on the flimsy character drama. In fact, it is only Leonardo DiCaprio’s usually intense performance that makes the Dom Cobb character interesting, even at times alluring. The movie is so visually overwhelming, yet the story is about nothing. As a movie, Inception is merely an ingenious game.

Perhaps, Christopher Nolan has stolen into our dreams and implanted the idea that this is a great movie, and it is indeed an exceptional movie. Thanks to composer Hans Zimmer’s pounding score, Inception is even invigorating. However, this is a riff on The Matrix, and while its ending may leave a smile on your face (as it did to me), the lack of story makes Inception more a great experience than a great movie or story.

7 of 10

Sunday, July 18, 2010


Friday, February 26, 2010

Review: "X-Men: The Last Stand" is a Mixed Bag of Good and Bad

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 115 (of 2006) by Leroy Douresseaux

X-Men: The Last Stand (2006)
Running time: 105 minutes (1 hour, 45 minutes)
MPAA – PG-13 for intense sequences of action violence, some sexual content, and language
DIRECTOR: Brett Ratner
WRITERS: Simon Kinberg and Zak Penn
PRODUCERS: Avi Arad, Lauren Shuler Donner, and Ralph Winter
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Dante Spinotti (with Philippe Rousselot)
EDITORS: Mark Goldblatt, Mark Helfrich, and Julia Wong


Starring: Hugh Jackman, Halle Berry, Ian McKellen, Famke Janssen, Anna Paquin, Kelsey Grammar, Rebecca Romijn, James Marsden, Shawn Ashmore, Aaron Stanford, Vinnie Jones, Patrick Stewart, Ben Foster, Dania Ramirez, Michael Murphy, Shohreh Aghdashloo, Ellen Page, Josef Sommer, Bill Duke, and Daniel Cudmore

Warren Worthington III (Ben Foster) is a mutant; a pair of large, white angelic wings grows out of his back. His father, Warren Worthington II (Michael Murphy), through his pharmaceutical company, has created a “cure” for mutancy, one that will suppress the gene that makes them unique, take away their powers and make them normal humans. Worthington wants to use it on his son...

Meanwhile, the X-Men are in a state of flux. Ororo Munroe/Storm (Halle Berry) is now the X-Men’s leader, while Scott Summers/Cyclops (James Marsden) mourns the loss of the love of his life, Jean Grey (Famke Janssen), who was apparently killed in X2: X-Men United. Now, Professor Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart), founder of the X-Men and a school for mutants on his palatial estate, wants Storm to take leadership of the X-Men. Logan/Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) finds himself caught in the middle, counseling Storm, the Professor, and a teen mutant love triangle: Rogue (Anna Paquin), Bobby Drake/Iceman (Shawn Ashmore), and Kitty Pryde (Ellen Page). With all that drama, they find the issue of Worthington’s cure brought to their doorstep when an old colleague, the blue-furred Dr. Hank McCoy/Beast (Kelsey Grammar), visits to inform the X-Men of the cure’s existence.

A “cure” for mutancy threatens not only the status quo, but also threatens to alter history. For the first time, mutants have a choice. They can retain the thing that makes them unique and gives them their powers, although that also isolates them, alienates them from normal humanity, and marks them as targets for humans afraid of mutants. Or they can take the cure, give up their powers, and become humans. Magneto (Ian McKellen), the mutant mastermind and powerful adversary of the X-Men, believes that taking the cure won’t always be voluntary, and that one day mutants will be in internment camps where the government will force them to take the cure. Magneto gathers a mutant army, a brotherhood of mutants, including X-Men turncoat Pyro (Aaron Stanford) and such new faces as Juggernaut (Vinnie Jones) and Callisto (Dania Ramirez), to wage war against humanity and any mutants that stand in his way. However, a powerful new ally, one even more powerful than Magneto, joins the brotherhood – a mutant with power to trigger the war to end all wars. Known as Phoenix, this mutant’s arrival also causes deep turmoil within the X-Men.

X-Men: The Last Stand is a very well made film. Brett Ratner (the Rush Hour franchise) directed a movie that doesn’t have many dry or dull moments. This is a graphic film in terms of violence, but it is also visceral and purposefully driven. Ratner visually captures the script’s rough interplay of ideas about bigotry, conformity, self-defense, and zealotry. It’s all about an “eye for an eye” and “get you before you get me.” The film also has especially high production values. In terms of cinematography, this is the best looking film in the X-Men franchise. It has a gritty futuristic look when necessary, but can also come across as a lifelike, moody drama and character piece when needed. The sets, costumes, and art direction are as good as those in any superhero film (except for maybe the Spider-Man films).

The acting is good, quite good in fact. The script and director allow Hugh Jackman to show a more dramatic and human side of Wolverine, he’s more a character than he is the cool, killing machine (as he was in the second X-Men film, X2), and Jackman, a fine actor, is more than up to the task of being a somber, stern, and sober actor. Halle Berry, who’d long demanded more screen time and more meat in her role as Storm, gets it here. Her Storm makes an effective leader, and though some of Storm’s dialogue sounds clumsy coming out of her mouth, Berry takes on her larger part with brazen confidence. Ian McKellen is masterful as Magneto; his words carry the force of a born leader, a king, and a master strategist. Proud and bold, he has his eyes on the prize, and he doesn’t waver even when his troops falter. The younger cast members, new mutants like Ashmore, Paquin, Stanford, and others add freshness to this dire third film.

However, for all that this flick is so well made, X-Men: The Last Stand is too dark and downbeat, and (considering that children are a big part of its intended audience) a bit too spicy with language and one almost-love-scene. Some of the action sequences are overdone, over the top, and some seem embarrassingly desperate, such as the one at the Golden Gate Bridge. The surprise new character seems like a fifth wheel/third leg – overdone, unnecessary, and maybe even misused and underutilized. At the end of the day, X-Men: The Last Stand just manages to outdo its gloom and doom with good acting and some surprisingly adroit wit and many clever asides. It’s sad to see this trilogy put forth such a dark final(?) piece, but this mosaic does have enough shiny pieces that I can at least give it a “B” with reservations.

6 of 10

Saturday, May 27, 2006