Showing posts with label Harrison Ford. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Harrison Ford. Show all posts

Monday, December 18, 2023

Marvel Studios Negromancer Link-o-Rama 2023 - Update #60

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

Support Leroy on Patreon:

NEWS:

KANG - From THR:  Marvel Studios has dropped actor Jonathan Majors from its roster of stars after the actor was convicted by a New York City jury of reckless assault in the third degree and also of harassment.  Majors had played "Kang the Conqueror" in two seasons of the Disney+ series, "Loki," and in the movie, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.

BLACK PANTHER - From ComicBookDisney+ has announced a new animated series, "Eyes of Wakanda," set in the world of his film, Black Panther.  It is scheduled to debut sometime in 2024.

THOR - From Variety:  Oscar-winner Taika Waititi said that he had not interest in directing "Thor: Ragnarok," but did so because he was poor and had a second child to feed.

AVENGERS - From Deadline:  According to the site, Michael Waldron, who created the Disney+ "Loki" series and served as its showrunner for Season 1, has been tapped to write the upcoming film, "Avengers: The Kang Dynasty." Waldron is already penning the sequel, '"Avengers: Secret Wars."

FANTASTIC FOUR - From Deadline:  Word is that actor Pedro Pascal will portray Reed Richards/Mr. Fantastic in Marvel Studios' planned "Fantastic Four" film.

AVENGERS - From DeadlineShang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings director, Destin Daniel Cretton, is stepping away from the directors chair of "Avengers: The Kang Chronicles."  He will continue to oversee the Disney+/Marvel Studios series, "Wonder Man," and will also continue to develop a "Shang-Chi" sequel.

THOR 5 - From Variety:  If there is really going to be a "Thor 5," Taika Waititi, who directed the previous two "Thor" films (Thor: Ragnarok and Thor: Love and Thunder), says that he won't be the film's director. He says he is working on other non-Marvel films and is still developing his "Star Wars" films.

THE MARVELS - From BoxOfficePro:  "The Marvels" tops the 11/10 to 11/12/2023 weekend box office.

From Here:  A review of "The Marvels" by Leroy Douresseaux.

RELEASE DATES - From Deadline:  Disney is changing the release dates for Marvel Studios films again.  "Deadpool 3" moves to July 26, 2024.  "Captain America: Brave New World" moves to February 14, 2025.  "Blade" is not scheduled for November 7, 2025.

BLADE - From Deadline:  In an interview about his short film, "Dammi," director Yann Demange says that his Marvel Studios' film, "Blade" (starring Mahershala Ali) will be rated "R."

OBIT - From Variety:  Movie stuntman, Taraja Ramsess, has died at the age of 41, Tuesday, October 31, 2023.  Ramsess and two of his daughters were killed in a car crash on Halloween night.  Among his 94 screen credits was stunt work on Avengers: Infinity War, Avengers: Endgame, and Black Panther.

FRANCHISE - From Variety:  Crisis at Marvel Studios? Inside the Jonathan Majors/"Kang" scandal and other things exciting the gossipy press.

DAREDEVIL BORN AGAIN - From THR:  Screenwriter Dario Scardapane will be the showrunner for Disney+.Marvel Studios' "Daredevil: Born Again."  Scardapane will write the remainder of the episodes that will comprise Season One of the series, as well as commit any other writing.  "Loki" Season 2 helmers, Justin Benson and Aaron Moorehead, will direct the remaining episodes.

From THR:  Marvel Studios is "retooling" its Disney+ series, "Daredevil: Born Again."  It is looking for new directors and writers after firing the current staff.

X-MEN - From Deadline:  In an exclusive story, "Deadline" is reporting that Marvel Studios will start meeting with writers later this Fall 2023 to hear pitches for the X-Men movie.

DAREDEVIL BORN AGAIN - From VarietySteven DeKnight, the showrunner for the first season of Netflix/Marvel's "Daredevil" says that Disney is running a scam by renaming the series "Daredevil: Born Again."  The scam is that Disney is slightly renaming the series to set contract terms back to the first season." Read to hear his explanation and complaints.

DISNEY+ - From VarietyDisney+ has shifted the release dates of some of its upcoming series due to the ongoing WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes.  Season 2 of "What If?..." has been delayed.  "Echo" and the animated "X-Men '97" have been moved from Nov. 29th to Jan. 2024.  The "WandaVision" spinoff, "Agatha," has been moved over year away to Fall 2024.

LABOR - From Variety:  A super-majority of Marvel Studios' more than 50-worker visual effects (VFX) crew has voted to unionize, the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) announced on Mon., Aug. 7th.

IRON MAN - From CBR:   In an interview, "Oppenheimer" director Christopher Nolan calls the casting of Robert Downey, Jr. (who stars in "Oppenheimer") one of the greatest casting decisions ever made.

THE MARVELS - From EW:  Marvel Studios' upcoming film, "The Marvels," is the "cover feature" at EW ("Entertainment Weekly), feature an exclusive behind-the-scenes look and new images from the film.

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY - From Deadline:  "Guardians of the Galaxy 3" will make its Disney+ debut on August 2nd, 2023.

MS MARVEL - From CBR:  The Disney+/Marvel Studios series, "Ms. Marvel," will be the first Marvel Studios series to make it to broadcast television.  The series will debut on ABC, Saturday, August 5th, 2023 with three episodes, and the remaining three will debut the following week, Sat. August 12th.

DEADPOOL - From THR:  The site is reporting that Jennifer Garner will once again play the role of anti-hero and Marvel Comics assassin, "Elektra," in the upcoming Marvel Studios' film, "Deadpool 3."  Garner originally played the role in 20th Century Fox's "Daredevil" (2003) and "Elektra" (2005).

SECRET INVASION - From Polygon:  The opening credits scenes for the new Marvel Studios' Disney+ series, "Secret Invasion," used art generated by an artificial intelligence.  Yes, AI art is here to stay, but Marvel's move has generated some ill will.

HULK - From Deadline:  The rights issues have cleared.  The second film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), 2008's "The Incredible Hulk," is now streaming on Disney+.

CAPTAIN AMERICA 4 - From Variety:  "Captain America: New World Order" is now "Captain America: Brave New World."  Plus, the film has dropped a first-look photo of Harrison Ford and Anthony Mackie ("Captain America") sharing a laugh on the set of the film.

THOR - From Deadline:  Irish actor Ray Stevenson, has died at the age of 58, May 22, 2023.  He played the character "Volstagg," in Marvel Studios' "Thor" (2011), "Thor: The Dark World" (2013), and "Thor: Ragnarok" (2017).  He also played "Frank Castle/The Punisher" in Lionsgate's 2008 Marvel Comics' film, "Punisher: War Zone."

DEADPOOL 3 - From Deadline:  Actresses Brianna Hildebrand will return as the character "Negasonic Teenage Warhead" and Shioli Kutsuna will return as Negasonic's girlfriend, Yukio, in Marvel Studios' "Deadpool 3."

LOKI - From Deadline:  Marvel Studios' Disney+ series, Loki Season 2, will arrive October 6th.  New episodes will arrive weekly.

ECHO - From Deadline:  Every episode of Marvel Studios' Disney+ series, "Echo," will drop on November 29th.  The series focuses on "Maya Lopez," a deaf Native American superhero.

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY - From Variety:  "Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 3" opens with a domestic box office gross estimated at 114 million dollars.  It added 168 million dollars in 52 international markets for an estimated worldwide total of 282 million dollars.

From GamesRadar:  Vin Diesel breaks his silence on his character, Groot's final line in the film. The reason why we (the audience) and new Gamorra could understand that line is that after spending so much time alongside Groot, we can understand him.

From THR:  This is an article about, among other things, how Chris Pratt and his "Guardians of the Galaxy" rescued their director James Gunn after his (unjust) firing by Disney.

From Deadline:  "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3" does 14 million dollars in Thursday night's preview shows.

From The AVClub:  What does "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3" mean for the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe?

DAREDEVIL - From CBR:  Actor Vincent D'Onofrio says that the Disney+/Marvel Studios series, "Daredevil: Born Again," will not be like Netflix's "Daredevil" series.  He says that all he can say is "we are not bored."

VICTORIA ALONSO - From Deadline:  Disney has settled with former Marvel Studios VFX chief Victoria Alonso after abruptly firing her in March.  The terms are confidential, but the settlement is said to be a multimillion dollar compensation package.

JEREMY RENNER - From People:  Actor Jeremy Renner said that during his recovery from serious injuries he sustained due to a Jan 1st snowplow accident, fellow actor Anthony Mackie was at his bedside.  Renner and Mackie both starred in the Oscar-winning "The Hurt Locker" (2009) and both are among the Marvel Cinematic Universes biggest stars.

ANT-MAN - From Forbes:  Disney reveals that its spent 193.2 million dollars on pre-production and filming of "Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania."

CAPTAIN AMERICA - From THRLiv Tyler, who played "Betty Ross" in Universal Pictures and Marvel Studios' "The Incredible Hulk" (2008), will return as the character in "Captain America: New World Order." Anthony Mackie will headline the film as Sam Wilson/Captain America.

From TheAVClub: Actor Carl Lumbly, who played the super-soldier, "Isaiah Bradley" in the Disney+ series "The Falcon and the Winter Soldier" will reprise the role in "Captain America 4," which is currently titled "Captain America: New World Order."

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY - From Deadline:  Director James Gunn talks about the runtime of "Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 3" (about two and a half hours) and says that not a second of the film is wasted.

EXECUTIVE SUITE - From THRVictoria Alonso, the president of physical and postproduction, visual effects and animation production at Marvel Studios, has reportedly left the company.

IRONHEART - From GameRant:  Iconic voice performer, Cree Summer, who has performed voice roles in numerous animated films and television series, has joined the Disney+/Marvel Studios' series, "Ironheart," in an undisclosed role.

WOLVERINE - From VarietyHugh Jackman is bulking up to play "Wolverine" again, this time, in the upcoming "Deadpool 3."  He is eating 8000 calories a day.

DAREDEVIL - From THR:  Actor John Bernthal will return to play Frank Castle/The Punisher in Disney+/Marvel Studios' "Daredevil: Born Again."  Bernthal played the character in Season 2 of Marvel/Netflix's "Daredevil" and in his own series, "The Punisher," for two seasons (2017-19).

WAKANDA FOREVER - From Deadline:  "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever" topped the U.S. streaming charts the week of its debut, 1/30 to 2/5/2023, with 2.3 billion viewing minutes.  That is also the third highest debut ever, behind Netflix "Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery" and Disney+'s "Hocus Pocus 2."

ANT-MAN/WASP - From Variety:  Actor Jonathan Majors, who played "Kang," and screenwriter Jeff Loveness confront the bad reviews that "Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania" in different ways.

From Deadline:  "Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania" star Evangeline Lilly says she once turned down Hugh Jackman's request that she appear in an "X-Men" film."

THE MARVELS - From THR:  "The Marvels" release date has been moved July 28th to Nov. 10th.  Disney's "Haunted Mansion" will take the July 28th release date.

KEVIN FEIGE - From EW:  Marvel Studios boss, Kevin Feige, gives a wide-ranging interview to "Entertainment Weekly" about Marvel's movies, including discussions on Phase 5, "Kang," and the future of the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe).

OSCARS - From Marvel:  "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever" has received 5 nominations at the 2023 / 95th Academy Awards.  The nominations came in the following categories: "Best Supporting Actress," "Best Costume Design," "Best Original Song," "Best Visual Effects," and "Best Makeup and Hairstyling."  The winners will be announced Sunday, March 12, 2023.

DAREDEVIL: BORN AGAIN - From DeadlineNikki M. James has joined the cast of the Disney+/Marvel Studios series, "Daredevil: Born Again."  Her role is unknown.

ANGELA BASSETT - From Variety:  “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” star Angela Bassett made superhero cinema history on Tuesday as the first woman, the first person of color, and the first Marvel Studios actor to be nominated for an Academy Award for their performance in a comic book adaptation

From Variety:  With her "Best Supporting Actress" win for her performance in "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever" (as "Queen Ramonda") at the 80th Golden Globes, Angela Bassett becomes the first actor in a Marvel Studios film to win a major acting award.  She was part of the cast that won "Best Ensemble" for "Black Panther" at the 2019 SAG Awards.

AGATHA - From DeadlineKathryn Hahn, the star of the Disney+ "WandaVision" spinoff, "Agatha: Coven of Chaos," hints that there may a song or two in the new series.  The series is apparently due this year.

BLACK PANTHER - From Deadline:  "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever" is among the ten nominees in the category of "Darryl F. Zanuck Award for Outstanding Producer of Theatrical Motion Pictures" at the 2023 / 34th Annual Producers Guild of America Awards.  Winners will be announced Sat., Feb. 25th, 2023.

DON CHEADLE - From Variety:  Oscar-nominated actor, Don Cheadle, says in an interview that Marvel Studios gave him two hours to decide if he wanted to join "Iron Man 2" and sign a six-movie contract with them.  Cheadle would go on to play James "Rhodey" Rhodes/War Machine in six films.

WAKANDA FOREVER - From THR:  "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever" cinematographer, Durald Arkapaw, reflects on “one of the most beautiful endings”

TEASERS & TRAILERS:

From Deadline:  This is second trailer for "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3," which made it debut during Super Bowl LVII (Feb. 12th).  The film debuts May 5th, 2023.

From YouTube:  This is the second trailer for "Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania," which was released Jan. 9th.  The film is due in theaters February 17, 2023.

From YouTube: This is the first trailer for "Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania," which is due in theaters February 17, 2023.

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MARVEL CINEMATIC UNIVERSE (MCU):

Review: Iron Man (2008)

Review: The Incredible Hulk (2008)

Review: Iron Man 2 (2010)

Review: Thor (2011)

Review:  Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)

Review:  Marvel's The Avengers (2012)

Review: Iron Man 3 (2013)

Review: Thor: The Dark World (2013)

Review: Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)

Review: Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

Review:  Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)

Review: Ant-Man (2015)

Review: Captain America: Civil War (2016)

Review: Doctor Strange (2016)

Review: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)

Review:  Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)

Review: Thor: Ragnarok (2017)

Review:  Black Panther (2018)

Review:  Avengers: Infinity War (2018)

Review: Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)

Review:  Captain Marvel (2019)

Review: Avengers: Endgame (2019)

Review:  Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019)

Review: Black Widow (2021)

Review: Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021)

Review: Eternals (2021)

Review: Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021)

Review: Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022)

Review: Thor: Love and Thunder (2022)

Review: Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (2022)

Review: Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (2023)

Review: Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 3 (2023)

Review: The Marvels (2023)

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Click here for the 2022 edition of "Marvel Studios Negromancer Link-o-Rama"

Click here for the 2021 edition of "Marvel Studios Negromancer Link-o-Rama."

Click here for the 2020 edition of "Marvel Studios Negromancer Link-o-Rama."

Click here for the 2019 edition of "Marvel Studios Negromancer Link-o-Rama."

Click here for the 2018 edition of "Marvel Studios Negromancer Link-o-Rama."

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Thursday, September 28, 2023

Review: "American Graffiti" is Still Crusin' to Rock 'n' Roll 50 Years On

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 45 of 2023 (No. 1934) by Leroy Douresseaux

American Graffiti (1973)
Running time:  110 minutes (1 hour, 50 minutes)
MPAA – PG
DIRECTOR:  George Lucas
WRITERS:  George Lucas and Gloria Katz & Willard Huyck
PRODUCERS:  Francis Ford Coppola and Gary Kurtz
CINEMATOGRAPHERS:  Jan D'Alquen (D.o.P.) and Ron Eveslage (D.o.P.)
EDITORS:  Verna Fields and Marcia Lucas
Academy Award nominee

DRAMA/HISTORICAL/MUSIC

Starring:  Richard Dreyfuss, Ron Howard, Paul Le Mat, Charles Martin Smith, Cindy Williams, Candy Clark, Mackenzie Phillips, Wolfman Jack, Bo Hopkins, Manuel Padilla Jr., Beau Gentry, and Harrison Ford

American Graffiti is a 1973 coming-of-age, music-driven, comedy and drama film directed by George Lucas.  Lucas, who co-wrote the screenplay with the husband and wife team of Willard Huyck and Gloria Katz, based the story on his experiences in the cruising, and street-racing, and rock 'n' roll cultures of his youth.  American Graffiti focuses on a group of teenagers and their adventures over the course of one summer night in 1962.

American Graffiti opens in the Summer 1962.  The location is California's central valley, apparently in and around the city of Modesto.  There, through a series of vignettes, we watch as a group of teenagers enjoy the last evening of their summer vacation.

For recent high school graduates and friends, Curtis “Curt” Henderson (Richard Dreyfuss) and Steve Bolander (Ronny Howard), this is their last night in town before they board a plane the next day and go “back east” for college.  Steve doesn't believe that he can achieve the goals his wants by staying home, even if leaving means parting from his girlfriend, Curt's sister, Laurie (Cindy Williams).  However, Curt, who has recently received scholarship money from a local business group, isn't sure that he wants to leave.  Besides, tonight, he wants to chase the mystery woman who has caught his eye, a blonde driving a white Ford Thunderbird.

Curt and Steve's two friends are also having a big night.  The first is John Milner (Paul Le Mat), the central valley drag-racing king.  He has just learned that someone wants to challenge him for his crown, a confident ladies' man named Bob Falfa (Harrison Ford).  Meanwhile, the second character is the unpopular, but well-meaning Terry “The Toad” Fields (Charlie Martin Smith), who has just come into possession of Steve's car.  He is supposed to protect it until Steve returns from “back east” for Christmas.  Tonight, however, Terry hopes the car will help him land a date.  Meanwhile, in the background, the popular disc jockey, Wolfman Jack (himself), plays an array of rock 'n' roll hits.

As “DVD Netflix” prepares to shutdown, I've been racing to catch up on certain films that I have never seen or have not seen in a long time.  I recently decided to sample some films in which 2023 is the fiftieth anniversary of their original theatrical releases.  That includes such films as Walt Disney's Robin Hood, (hopefully)Woody Allen's Sleeper, and the Bruce Lee classic, Enter the Dragon.

As a kid, I was aware of American Graffiti long before I ever saw it.  I was and still am a huge fan of American Graffiti director, George Lucas's most famous film, Star Wars (1977).  So, as a kid, I read every article I could find about Star Wars, and they often mentioned his two earlier feature-length films, THX-1138 (1971) and American Graffiti.  [I also vaguely remember the release of the sequel, More American Graffiti.]

I also knew that a few film and television stars that I liked had starred or appeared in American Graffiti, specifically Richard Dreyfuss, Ron Howard, and Harrison Ford.  Besides that fact that American Graffiti was a George Lucas movie, Ford was the other reason I most wanted to see the film.

I finally first saw American Graffiti on television, and though my memory is hazy on the facts, I'm sure I saw it at least a few years after the release of the sequel.  I remember liking it, enough that I planned on watching it again.  Decades later, this recent viewing is the first time that I've seen the film since that first viewing.

I still like it a lot.  I'm still a fan of Ford, Howard, and Dreyfuss, and along the way, I became a fan of some of its other young stars, including Charles Martin Smith, Cindy Williams, and the recently-deceased Bo Hopkins (1938-2022).  The truth is that I'm crazy about the Hollywood icon, Harrison Ford, and, as for as I'm concerned, any movie with Ron Howard and Charles Martin Smith as actors is cinematic porn.  [Both Howard and Smith are also film directors.]

Watching the film this time, I was initially annoyed by Lucas' method of telling this story in a series of vignettes that constantly moved from one character to the next.  The film essentially has four plots that revolve around one of four characters, Curt, Steve, John, or Terry.  It took me nearly half the film to realize that the vignettes allow Lucas to depict and to reveal each one of these four young men's goals, conflicts, and fears.  This depiction of their inner selves makes them more interesting to me.  Not only did I root for them, but I also wanted to know more about them.  I wanted to know what was going to happen to them, both in the immediate and far future.

American Graffiti apparently helped launch a wave of nostalgia for and interest in the culture and times of the 1950s and early 1960s or at least an idealized, trouble free, white-washed version of it.  The film apparently renewed the ABC network's interest in what would become one of its most popular sitcoms, “Happy Days” (1974-84).  That long-running and popular television series also presented an idealized, trouble free, white-washed version of the 1950s and early 1960s.

Thus, as much as I enjoyed this viewing of American Graffiti, and as much as I'm interested in its characters, I done with it.  I'm not done with its lovely soundtrack – played in the background so that both the characters and audiences can hear these early classics of rock 'n' roll.  These musical recordings make this special night in the summer of 1962 really special.  Still, American Graffiti is an ode to George Lucas' memories.  It is a cinematic dream he fashioned from the varied experiences of his privileged youth.  I don't really relate to it the way I do other films that are also far from my experiences – such as The Best Years of Our Lives (1946) or Licorice Pizza (2021).

I wouldn't call American Graffiti a great film, so much as I'd call it a unique and important American film.  Why is it important?  Well, American Graffiti is a prime example of the fantasies that the Hollywood dream factory can make of real moments in time.  It's George Lucas' story – his story – presented as a fairy tale about one unforgettable night that will never be repeated.

8 of 10
A
★★★★ out of 4 stars

Thursday, September 28, 2023

You can buy the American Graffiti film and soundtrack at AMAZON.

NOTES:
1974 Academy Awards, USA:  5 nominations: “Best Picture” (Francis Ford Coppola and Gary Kurtz), “Best Actress in a Supporting Role” (Candy Clark), “Best Director” (George Lucas), “Best Writing, Story and Screenplay Based on Factual Material or Material Not Previously Published or Produced” (George Lucas Gloria Katz, and Willard Huyck), and “Best Film Editing” (Verna Fields and Marcia Lucas)

1975 BAFTA Awards:  1 nomination: “Best Supporting Actress” (Cindy Williams)

1974 Golden Globes, USA:  2 wins:  “Best Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical” or “Most Promising Newcomer – Male” (Paul Le Mat); 2 nominations: “Best Actor in a Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical” (Richard Dreyfuss) and “Best Director - Motion Picture” (George Lucas)

1995 National Film Preservation Board, USA:  “National Film Registry”


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

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Saturday, August 19, 2023

Negromancer News Bits and Bites from August 13th to 19th, 2023 - Update #14

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

You can support Leroy via Paypal or on Patreon:

ENTERTAINMENT AND CULTURE NEWS:

MOVIES - From Variety:  Michael Cera talks about how he was cast in director Greta Gerwig's "Barbie."

STREAMING - From Deadline:  For the fourth week in a row, the former USA Network legal drama, "Suits" (2011-19), leads the streaming charts, according to tracking service, Nielsen.  The series, which also featured Meghan Markle a.k.a. Meghan, Duchess of Sussex on its first seven seasons, also continues to set Nielsen records and currently streams on both Netflix and Peacock.

TELEVISION - From Deadline:  "American Horror Story: Delicate" will launch Wednesday, Sept. 30th on FX.  It's spinoff, "American Horror Stories," will launch a four-episode event on Hulu, starting Oct. 26th.

MOVIES - From Variety:  Director Greta Gerwig's comedy, "Barbie," starring Margot Robbie, has now grossed 537.5 million dollars at the domestic box office. That makes it the highest-grossing domestic release in Warner Bros.'s history, surpassing the 536 million dollars "The Dark Knight" grossed in 2008.

From Variety:  Some people wonder why its so hard to hear some dialogue in "Oppenheimer."  Well, director Christopher Nolan refuses to "record ADR."

SCANDAL - From Variety:  Actor-producer Alec Baldwin may once again face manslaughter charges related to the 2021 shooting death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of the Western film, "Rust."

DISNEY - From Deadline:  Film financier, TSG, is suing Disney for what it claims are unpaid profits from films in which it co-financed with Disney.

MOVIES - From Variety:  Tom Hanks was so concerned for Austin Butler’s mental health after his starring role in "Elvis" that he offered Butler a next role (starring in Apple TV+'s "Masters of the Air") immediately to prevent "emotional whiplash."  Hanks co-starred in the 2022 Elvis Presley biopic with Butler as Elvis' manager, Col. Tom Parker.

NETFLIX - From Variety:  Netflix has released the first official trailer for "Maestro."  Bradley Cooper directs and stars in the film about late conductor Leonard Bernstein's 25-year marriage to Felicia Montealegre.

MOVIES - From VarietyMargot Robbie is the star and producer of Summer 2023's biggest hit, "Barbie."  Now, Robbie could make as much as 50 million dollars in salary and bonuses.

CELEBRITY/ECO - From THR:  A new species of snake discovered in Peru, South America has been named in honor of Hollywood icon, Harrison Ford.  The snake is called "Tachymenoides harrisonfordi."

SPORTS/MOVIES - From ESPN:  Former NFL player, Michael Oher, was the subject of the 2009 Oscar-winning film, "The Blind Side." Now, he's suing the real-life couple, Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy, because they lied to him and stole from him.

BOX OFFICE - From BoxOfficePro:  The winner of the 8/11 to 8/13/2023 weekend box office is Warner Bros.'s "Barbie" with an estimated take of 33.7 million dollars.

NETFLIX - From VarietyAdam Sandler's daughters, Sunny and Sadie, have joined their father in the Netflix film, "You Are So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah." Netflix has released a trailer for the film, which is due August 25th.

OBITS:

From THR:  American music executive, business, and film producer, Clarence Avant, has died at the age of 92, Sunday, August 13, 2023.  Nicknamed "the Godfather of Black Music," he was a manager, advisor, mentor, and behind-the-scenes force in so many music deals.  He was the manager of jazz legend, Sarah Vaugh.  Avant brokered the sale of Stax Records and co-promoted the late Michael Jackson's first solo world tour, "Bad."  Avant advised countless music producers, executives, and recording artists, including Quincy Jones, David Geffen, Irving Azoff, Jay Z, Pharrell Williams, and Queen Latifah, to name a few.

From Deadline:  The American rapper and recording artist, Melvin "Magoo" Barcliff, has died at the age of 50, Sunday, August 13, 2023.  He was best known for his collaboration with rapper/producer, Timothy "Timbaland" Mosley.  The two formed the rap duo, "Timbaland & Magoo," which released three albums, including the platinum certified, "Welcome to Our World" (1997).  Magoo also made guest appearances and collaborated with several other recording artists, including Bubba Sparxxx, Ginuwine, and Missy Elliot.  He also recorded on Timbaland's solo projects.

WRITERS/ACTORS STRIKE:

From Deadline:  Writers Guild (WGA) and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) will resume strike talks today, Fri., Aug. 11th.

From Deadline:  Meeting for the first time in more than three months, the Writers Guild and the AMPTP on Friday failed to reach an agreement to resume contract negotiations. The Writers Strike will go on indefinitely.

From Deadline:  Hollywood’s superstars are answering the call from the SAG-AFTRA Foundation, donating $1 million or more each to help their fellow performers during the ongoing actors and writers strikes.  Among the big donors are Leonardo DiCaprioMeryl StreepOprah Winfrey, and Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively.

From Deadline:  If you are interested, here is a list of the film and TV productions SAG-AFTRA has granted waivers to continue filming.

From Variety:  International superstar, Dwayne Johnson, makes a seven-figure contribution to the "SAG-AFTRA Foundation Relief Fund." Foundation president, actor Courtney B. Vance, says the amount will remain confidential.

From Variety:  Why haven't A-list stars joined the SAG-AFTRA picket line?, asks "Variety."

From Deadline:  Author George R.R. Martin, whose works were the basis for HBO's "Game of Thrones," says the strikes will be long and bitter.

From THR:  Production works at Warner Bros. Animation (66) and at Cartoon Network (22) have gone public with their attempt to unionize via The Animation Guild.

From Variety:  Halted film productions due to the writers and actors strikes are costing each Hollywood studio at least 600,000 dollars per week.

From Variety:  Said at a strike meeting: “Without a transformative change in SAG-AFTRA’s current contract with the AMPTP, the acting profession will no longer be an option for future generations of performers, and actors already working in the industry will need to pursue other careers in order to survive.”

From Deadline:  If you are a "social media influencer" who is NOT  a member of SAG-AFTRA, you can be barred from future membership for promoting a film or television series during the actors' strike.

From Variety:  The SAG/AFTRA strike begins in New York and Los Angeles.  Hollywood actors began striking today, Fri., July 14th.

From Deadline:  The site has the video of the powerful strike speech given by SAG-AFTRA president, Fran Drescher, the actress best known for CBS' former sitcom, "The Nanny."

From Deadline:  Concerning the Hollywood writers strike (via the WGA), the Hollywood Studios (as represented by the AMPTP) is to let the writers go broke before resuming talks deep into the Fall.

From Deadline: SAG-AFTRA is already preparing strike picket signs in case the actors' strike begins next week.

From Deadline:  WGA is picketing the New York City filming location of the 12th series of FX's "American Horror Story" (entitled "Delicate") after series co-creator Ryan Murphy threaten litigation against an east coast strike captain.

From THR:  TV super-producer, Ryan Murphy, in a letter from his attorney to the leadership of the Writers Guild of America, threatened litigation against Warren Leight, an East Coast strike captain and Strike Rules Compliance Committee member who has subsequently forfeited those positions.

From Deadline:  The Hollywood studios via the AMPTP has given Canadian actors a new contract, including a 5 percent raise.

From Deadline:  Writers Strike puts the spotlight back on the challenge from writers for animation productions to be covered by the WGA.

From THR:  Studios won't give writers better pay, and now, are laying off janitors.

From Deadline:  The Directors Guild of America (DGA) has reached a tentative new three-year deal with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP). So what does the Writers Guild (WGA), currently on strike and negotiating with the AMPTP, think of that deal.

From Deadline:  Netflix shareholders declined to support the 2023 pay packages of top executives during a non-binding vote at the company’s annual shareholder meeting on Thursday.  The vote won't prevent these execs from getting their loot (an total of $166 million), but this is a rare public rebuke.  The Writers Guild of America (WGA) has urged shareholders to vote "No" because the pay was "inappropriate" at this time.

From Deadline:  Warner Bros Discovery chief David Zaslav gave the commencement address at Boston University. There he was met with jeers and also chants of "pay your writers" from picketers and from some in the audience.

From Deadline:   President Joe Biden speaks on the Writers Guild of America strike.

From Deadline:  Retaliation! The studios have starting informing writer-producers who have "overall" and "first-look" deals that such deals are being suspended.

From Deadline:  Retaliation!  Prolific HBO creator, David Simon, who is best known for "The Wire," is one of the many writers who have had their overall deals suspended the studios due to the WGA strike.  Simon has been with HBO for 25 years.

From Deadline:  The Writers Guild of America (WGA) is on strike.

From Deadline:  Disney, HBO/HBO Max, and CBS have sent letters to showrunners (the TV equivalent of film directors) instructing them to return to work, inspite of the writer's strike.

From Deadline:  The WGA's chief negotiator, Ellen Stutzman, talks about the state of the writers' strike, including the lack of engagement on the part of the strike's other party, AMPTP.

From Deadline:  What went wrong between the WGA and AMPTP? What could they not agree on that led to a strike?

From Deadline:  The site explains the WGA strike: the issues, the stakes, movies and TV shows affected, and how long it might last.

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Friday, June 30, 2023

Review: "INDIANA JONES and the Dial of Destiny" is a Wonderful Final Adventure

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 29 of 2023 (No. 1918) by Leroy Douresseaux

Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny (1989)
Running time:  154 minutes (2 hours, 34 minutes)
MPA – PG-13 for sequences of violence and action, language and smoking
DIRECTOR:  James Mangold
WRITERS:  Jez Butterworth & John-Henry Butterworth and David Koepp & James Mangold (based on characters created by George Lucas and Philip Kaufman)
PRODUCERS:  Kathleen Kennedy, Frank Marshall, and Simon Emanuel
CINEMATOGRAPHER:  Phedon Papamichael (D.o.P.)
EDITORS:  Andrew Buckland, Michael McCusker, and Dick Westervelt
COMPOSER:  John Williams

ADVENTURE/ACTION/FANTASY

Starring:  Harrison Ford, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Mads Mikkelsen, Antonino Banderas, Shaunette Renée Wilson, Thomas Kretschmann, Toby Jones, Boyd Holbrook, Olivier Richters, Ethann Isidore, Nasser Memarzia, Karen Allen, and John Rhys-Davies, 

Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny is a 2023 action-adventure film directed by James Mangold.  It is the fifth entry in the “Indiana Jones” film franchise that began with the 1981 film, Raiders of the Lost Ark.  Dial of Destiny finds Indiana Jones racing to retrieve a legendary artifact from a Nazi who wants change the course of history.

Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny opens in 1944, deep inside Europe during the Allied liberation of World War II.  Dr. Henry “Indiana” Jones, Jr. (Harrison Ford) and his colleague and fellow archaeologist, Basil Shaw (Toby Jones), are both captured by Nazis while attempting to retrieve “the Lance of Longinus.”  This relic is also known as the “Spear of Destiny,” the lance that is alleged to have pierced the side of Jesus Christ.  Adolf Hitler believes it can save him and his dying Third Reich.

However, Nazi scientist Jürgen Voller (Mads Mikkelsen) believes that he has found part of the relic that can save the Nazis, the “Antikythera”or “Archimedes's Dial,” a device created by the ancient Greek mathematician, Archimedes,  Voller believes that if he can make the device whole it is capable of locating fissures in time.  As usual, Indiana Jones foils the Nazis.

A quarter-century later, in August 1969, Jones is retiring from his position as a professor and instructor at Hunter College.  He is approached by Helena “Wombat” Shaw (Phoebe Waller-Bridge), Jones' goddaughter and Basil Shaw's daughter.  She has come looking for the Dial, but she isn't the only one.  A Nazi ghost from Indiana Jones' past also wants to retrieve the Dial and to find its missing half.  Can Indiana Jones, now an old man, find the will for one more adventure to save the world from Nazi machinations?  Can he really trust his own goddaughter's motivations?

In preparation for Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, I recently watched Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade in its entirety for the first time in over two decades.  I have seen the first film, Raiders of the Lost Ark, countless times, and I re-watched its follow-up, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984), in November of last year (2022).  I have watched the fourth film in the series, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008), many times since its release.

I am happy to report that Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny is the best Indiana Jones since Temple of Doom.  It is a bit long and drags in the middle, but when it is time to deliver the old-fashioned Indiana Jones thrills, this film brings it with renewed freshness.  The two street chases, one in New York and one in Tangier, Morocco, kept me on the edge of my seat.  Indiana Jones on a horse tearing through the streets and subways of NYC is every bit as good as it could be.

Dial of Destiny is also blessed by Phoebe Waller-Bridge as Helena Shaw.  The script presents a very well conceived and executed character, and Bridge turns her into a character that can match Indiana Jones step for step.  Hers is not the only high-quality supporting character, but this film could not work without Waller-Bridge playing Shaw the way she does.

The best Indiana Jones villains are the Nazis, and Mads Mikkelsen as Voller and Boyd Holbrook as Klaber, Voller's crazy and homicidal lackey, gives us Nazis worthy of not only being punched, but also of being killed.  It's good to see that the Indiana Jones franchise makes Nazis plainly and clearly evil.  There isn't any “good people on both sides here” double talk in this movie.

No, Steven Spielberg and George Lucas do not return for Dial of Destiny, being listed in the credits as “executive producers.”  James Mangold has replaced Spielberg as director, and he does a much better job with this film than I expected.  Lucas has co-written the story for the previous films doesn't for this one, but the spirit of adventure and mystery he first imagined decades ago is strong in Dial of Destiny.

I understand that some viewers may be put off by the age of Dial of Destiny's star and title character.  I like that Dial of Destiny does not hesitate to grapple with Indiana Jones' age and about the grief and regret that have become a big part of his life.  It is nice to see returning supporting characters, Sallah (John Rhys-Davies) and Marion Ravenwood (Karen Allen), although it is a bit off-putting not seeing them so much older.  Still, Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, with its themes of time and tide, of change, of new eras, of aging, of a hero in the sunset of his life, offers a perfect good-bye to a beloved hero.  It says that there is still a story to tell, but the story we followed for so long … well, that's over.

7 of 10
A-
★★★½ out of 4 stars

Friday, June 30, 2023


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

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Thursday, June 29, 2023

Review: "INDIANA JONES and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" is a Nice Coda

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 27 (of 2008) by Leroy Douresseaux

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008)
Running time:  126 minutes (2 hours, 6 minutes)
MPAA – PG-13 for adventure violence and scary images
DIRECTOR:  Steven Spielberg
WRITERS:  David Koepp; from a story by George Lucas and Jeff Nathanson
PRODUCER:  Frank Marshall
CINEMATOGRAPHER:  Janusz Kaminski (D.o.P.)
EDITOR:  Michael Kahn, A.C.E.
COMPOSER:  John Williams

ACTION/ADVENTURE

Starring:  Harrison Ford, Cate Blanchett, Karen Allen, Ray Winstone, John Hurt, Jim Broadbent, and Shia LaBeouf

There is that old saying, “you can’t go home again,” but you can.  It is simply that the present does not have the cherished golden glow of cherished memories of an idealized past.  With that in mind, in 2008, we saw the return of Indiana Jones to the big screen for the first time in 19 years.

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is an action-adventure film from director Steven Spielberg.  It is the fourth entry in the “Indiana Jones” film franchise that began with the 1981 film, Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981).  Kingdom of the Crystal Skull finds Indiana Jones fighting a Soviet plot to uncover the secret behind mysterious artifacts known as the “Crystal Skulls.”

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull begins in the desert Southwest in 1957 at the height of the Cold War.  There, Dr. Henry “Indiana” Jones, Jr. (Harrison Ford) and his sidekick, George “Mac” McHale (Ray Winstone), encounter the icy cold Soviet beauty, Irina Spalko (Cate Blanchett), and her elite military unit on a remote airfield.  The Soviets want something from Indy, but in the end, he barely escapes the nefarious Soviets.

Afterwards, Indy returns to Marshall College, where he is known as “Professor Jones,” and finds that things have gone from bad to worse.  The government is suspicious of Indy’s recent activities and forced Jones’ close friend and dean of the college, Dean Charles Stanforth (Jim Broadbent), to fire him.  On his way out of town, Indy meets the rebellious young biker, Mutt Williams (Shia LaBeouf), who asks Indy for his help in a deeply personal mission.  If he helps Mutt, Indy could very well make one of the most spectacular archaeological finds in history – the Crystal Skull of Akator, a legendary object of fascination and superstition.

As Indy and Mutt comb the most remote corners of Peru, Spalko and the Soviet agents are also hot on the trail of the Crystal Skull, which they believe can help the Soviets dominate the world, if they can unlock its secrets.  Peru, however, is not only the home of the Crystal Skull, it is also the place where Indiana Jones makes a surprise reunion and learns an even more shocking secret, as he and his friends desperately battle to protect the powerful Crystal Skull.

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull lacks the old school, B-movie serial charm of the original Raiders of the Lost Ark.  It doesn’t have the gleefully and deliberately gruesome spirit of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984), nor the comic charm of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989).

What Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull does have is entertainment value by the truckload.  This pleasing popcorn movie has a mix of action, adventure, and nostalgia that turns it into the perfect summer romp for an afternoon at the movie theater.

Why keep pretending!?  Karen Allen, as the original Indiana Jones heroine, Marion Ravenwood, is back, and that makes this somewhat inferior Indiana Jones sequel even more enjoyable.  Throw in another secret, and Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is a must-see for Indy fans.  Obviously many fans had questions and concerns coming into this new film.  Chief among them would be the use of CGI.  Between the time that The Last Crusade appeared and now, CGI has, for the most part, replaced practical and physical special effects in mainstream Hollywood films.

No, the use of CGI (which the filmmakers claimed was only used on 30% of the film) to create lush jungles, impossible fight scenes (like the sword duel between Mutt and Irina, most of it on top of moving vehicles), and exotic locales doesn’t ruin Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, although this flick lacks the grit and tough guy spirit of the other films.  But let’s face it; Harrison Ford is no longer a spring chicken, so this film needs CGI slickness to give the action a manic video game feel to it.  Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is a modern action movie, and all the quiet, dramatic moments are used to merely prepare us for the next death-defying chase, whereas they existed for themselves in the early films.  Still, the modern touches work.

Set in 1957, the film drops many 1950’s cultural and pop culture tropes: Elvin Presley, B-movie sci-fi, aliens, Communism, bikers, etc.  The fear of being turned into the other or being forced into a like or hive mind is prevalent, as is Steven Spielberg’s familiar motif that knowledge only robs reality of its sense of wonder (OK…).  However, the age of their star Harrison Ford required the driving force behind Indiana Jones, Spielberg and George Lucas, to accept that it’s sometimes okay to grow up.

That’s why Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is ultimately less a sequel than it is a coda or epilogue to Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones, which is likely the reason that Karen Allen/Marion Ravenwood, the most beloved woman in Indy’s life, is back.  It’s time to grow up and movie on, and what a silly and fun send off this is.  Flaws and all, Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is a good old American summer movie blockbuster.  As the credits rolled on the film’s happy finale, I realized that Indy and I were going our separate ways, but with wonderful memories as parting gifts.

6 of 10
B
★★★ out of 4 stars

NOTES:
2009 BAFTA Awards:  1 nomination: “Best Special Visual Effects” (Pablo Helman, Marshall Richard Krasserm and Steve Rawlins)

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Edited:  Saturday, November 5, 2022

You can purchase the "INDIANA JONES 4-Movie Collection" Blu-ray or DVD here at AMAZON.

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

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Wednesday, June 28, 2023

Review: "INDIANA JONES and the Last Crusade" Stills Feels Like a True Ending

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 28 of 2023 (No. 1917) by Leroy Douresseaux

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)
Running time:  127 minutes (2 hours, 7 minutes)
MPAA – PG-13
DIRECTOR:  Steven Spielberg
WRITERS:  Jeffrey Boam; from a story by George Lucas and Menno Meyjes (based on characters created by George Lucas and Philip Kaufman)
PRODUCER:  Robert Watts
CINEMATOGRAPHER:  Douglas Slocombe (D.o.P.)
EDITOR:  Michael Kahn, A.C.E.
COMPOSER:  John Williams
Academy Award winner

ADVENTURE/ACTION/FANTASY

Starring:  Harrison Ford, Sean Connery, Alison Doody, Denholm Elliot, John Rhys-Davies, Julian Glover, River Phoenix, Michael Byrne, Kevork Malikyan, Robert Eddison, Richard Young, and Michael Sheard

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade is a 1989 action-adventure film from director Steven Spielberg.  It is the third entry in the “Indiana Jones” film franchise that began with the 1981 film, Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981).  The Last Crusade finds Indiana Jones searching for his father, who along with the Nazis, are search for the Holy Grail.

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade opens in Utah, 1912.  It is there that teenage Henry Jones, Jr. (River Phoenix) has his first experiences with raiders of an archaeological site.

Over a quarter-century later, in 1938, Dr. Henry “Indiana” Jones, Jr. (Harrison Ford) recovers the treasure he lost as a teenager.  Jones returns to teaching (apparently at Barnett College in Fairfield, New York) when one of the college's wealthy patrons approaches him about a special mission.  Walter Donovan (Julian Glover) wants Jones to help him locate the Holy Grail.

Jones informs him that his father, Professor Henry Jones, Sr. (Sean Connery), is the expert on the Holy Grail and the one whom Donovan should seek.  Donovan shocks Jones by informing him that he had hired his father to find the Grail, but the senior Jones has disappeared.  Jones and his colleague, Marcus Brody (Denholm Elliot), race to Venice, his father's last known location.  Waiting for them is Dr. Elsa Schneider (Alison Doody), who was working with the elder Jones in Venice as he sought to find more clues about the Grail's location.

Before long, Indiana Jones and Henry Jones Sr. are racing for their lives, staying one step ahead of the Nazis, who also want the Grail, and the Brotherhood of the Cruciform Sword, who want to protect it.  Reunited with his old friend, Sallah (John Rhys-Davies), the Jones boys get closer to the Holy Grail, but the secret of the Grail is that it offers both eternal life and total destruction.

In preparation for the upcoming fifth film in the series, Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, I decided to see the one Indiana Jones film that I have not watched in its entirety since the 1990s, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.  I have seen the first film, Raiders of the Lost Ark, countless times, and I rewatched its follow-up, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984), in November of last year (2022).  I have watched the fourth film in the series, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008), many times since its release.

I have long considered Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade the true end of the Indiana Jones film series because it was the third film in the original trilogy and because it felt like the end of something.  The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull felt like a “coda,” in the sense that it was both an addition to the three-film series that ran from 1981 to 1989 and a final piece added to the ending of The Last Crusade's tale of family and friends out for one last adventure.

Seeing The Last Crusade in its entirety for the first time in decades, I still feel like I'm watching the end of trilogy.  If there was going to be another film after it, that ceased to be when River Phoenix, the actor who played teen Henry Jones, Jr. in this film, died in 1993 at the age of 23.  Actor Denholm Elliot, who played Marcus Brody in the original film and in The Last Crusade, died at the age of 70, a year earlier in 1992.  Henry Jones Sr., actor Sean Connery, only recently died (2020) at the age of 90.  So, you see, dear readers, because of the passing of a number of cast members, more and more, I associate Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade with endings.

The Last Crusade is my least favorite film of the original trilogy.  I know that some audiences prefer it to the darker Temple of Doom, and apparently, director Steven Spielberg made The Last Crusade the way he did to offer a lighter film in response to the criticism of the Temple of Doom's violence and exotic mysticism.  However, I find Temple of Doom to be wildly inventive, darkly imaginative, and a roller coaster ride.  If Raiders of the Lost Ark is an original, in a way, Temple of Doom still seems determined to be something very different from its predecessor.

Honestly, I find The Last Crusade to be only mildly entertaining until the film's last 45 minutes.  Then, it explodes and really finds itself with lots of Nazi-punching and killing and also with a spine-tingling jaunt to the Holy Grail.  Besides, Indiana Jones is always at his best when he's beating Nazis.  Honestly, I think it is important that audiences who have not seen the original films watch them all before moving on to the new film.  By the time they get to the end of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, many newbies may finally understand what Indiana Jones meant to American cinema once upon a time, and why, over four decades after the release of the first film, there is a new one.


7 of 10
B+
★★★½ out of 4 stars

Wednesday, June 28, 2023

You can purchase the "INDIANA JONES 4-Movie Collection" Blu-ray or DVD here at AMAZON.

NOTES:
1990 Academy Awards, USA:  1 win: “Best Effects, Sound Effects Editing” (Ben Burtt and Richard Hymns); 2 nominations: “Best Sound” (Ben Burtt, Gary Summers, Shawn Murphy, and Tony Dawe), and “Best Music, Original Score” (John Williams)

1990 BAFTA Awards:  3 nominations: “Best Actor in a Supporting Role” (Sean Connery), “Best Sound” (Richard Hymns, Tony Dawe, Ben Burtt, Gary Summers, and Shawn Murphy), and “Best Special Effects” (George Gibbs, Michael J. McAlister, Mark Sullivan, and John Ellis)

1990 Golden Globes, USA:  1 nomination: “Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture” (Sean Connery)


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

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Saturday, June 10, 2023

Negromancer News Bits and Bites from June 1st to 10th, 2023 - Update #27

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

You can support Leroy via Paypal or on Patreon:

ENTERTAINMENT AND CULTURE NEWS:

ANIMATION - From Deadline:  Warner Animation Group is now Warner Bros Pictures Animation, and that is just part of the rebranding from new President of Feature Animation, Bill Damaschke.

TELEVISION - From DeadlineNBC has cancelled the sitcom, "Young Rock," after three seasons on the network.  The series focuses on different chapters in the life of Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson.

MUSIC - From Variety:  Grammy-winning legend, Madonna, and Grammy and Oscar-winner, Sam Smith, drop their new collabo, the single, "Vulgar."

SCANDAL - From THR:  Actor and voice performer, Jay Johnston, has been arrested by the FBI for his alleged participation in the Jan. 6, 2021 riots at the U.S. Capitol. Charged by the Department of Justice in connection to his presence at the Capitol, Johnston was arrested Wednesday in Los Angeles.  Johnson is best known for his voice role as "Jimmy Pesto Sr.," a pizzeria owner on Fox's long-running animated series, "Bob's Burgers," and for appearing on such series as "Mr. Show with Bob and Dave" (HBO) and "The Sarah Silverman Program" (Comedy Central).

ANIMATION - From Deadline:  Due to its recent rise in ratings, Cartoon Network is giving its "Adult Swim" banner an extra hour of programming each evening, starting in late August.

TELEVISION - From Deadline:  For the first time, the NFL highlights and analysis TV series, "Inside the NFL, moves to The CW, beginning Sept. 5th.  The series began in 1977 on HBO (1977-2008). It moved to Showtime (2008-21), and then most recently was on Paramount+ (2021-23).

NETFLIX - From Variety:  Zack Snyder days that his epic sci-fi film, "Rebel Moon," will be two films, and each will have two versions.  There will be a version that "anyone can enjoy," and there will be a version that is explicit and for "adults only."

DISNEY - From THRABC has defeated a lawsuit from Ingo Rademacher over his dismissal from the daytime soap opera, "General Hospital," for refusing to get the COVID-19 vaccine.  Rademacher left or was fired from the series around November 2021.

SCANDAL - From THR:  Disgraced director, Bryan Singer (Fox's "X-Men" franchise), is planning a documentary film that would address the sexual misconduct accusations against him.  A 2019 expose in "The Atlantic" magazine detailed accusations against Singer by four accusers.

BREAKING - From THR:  98 percent of the members of Hollywood’s largest union, SAG-AFTRA, have given the green light to their negotiators to call a strike if deemed necessary in upcoming labor negotiations with the Hollywood studios.

APPLE - From DeadlineApple has announced its first major device launch in nearly a decade its VR (virtual reality) and AR (augmented reality) headset and platform, "Vision Pro."  Apparently, the starting price will be $3499.00

BOX OFFICE - From BoxOfficePro:  The winner of the 6/2 to 6/4/2023 weekend box office is Sony Pictures Animations' "Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse" with an estimated take of 120.5 million dollars.

From Deadline:  "Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse" grosses 88.1 million dollars at the international box office. Combined with its 120.5 million at the domestic box office, that is a global total of 208.6 million dollars.

MOVIES - From Deadline:  Oscar-winning directors Francis Ford Coppola and Kevin Costner talk about risking their fortunes bankrolling passion projects.  For Coppola, it is "Megalopolis," his epic, troubled sci-fi film.  For Costner, it is "Horizon," the first of four films set in the pre- and post-Civil War expansion of the American West.

DISNEY - From Deadline:  The Disney layoffs have hit Pixar with 75 jobs being made redundant at the legendary animation studio.  Among those let go are Angus McLane, the director of Pixar's "Lightyear" and Galyn Susman, the film's producer.  Susman had been with Pixar since 1995 and is apparently the person who saved "Toy Story 2."

DISNEY - From Deadline:  British actor Hugo Speer, one of the original actors from the 1997 film, "The Full Monty," was dropped from the forthcoming Disney spinoff series because (according to him) a few people saw him... naked.

TELEVISION - From Deadline:  The CW's "The Winchesters" is officially dead, as Warner Bros. has not been able to find another home for the series, which The CW cancelled after one season.  It is a spinoff and prequel to The CW's long-running "Supernatural."

MOVIES - From VarietyHarrison Ford says he takes some of the blame for his clash with Brad Pitt over the script for the 1997 film thriller, "The Devil's Own."

LGBTQ+ - From VarietyElliot Page reveals in his upcoming book, "Pageboy," that a famous actor threatened to force sex on when he came out as gay over decade ago when he was "Ellen Page." The forced sex would prove that he wasn't gay - just afraid of men...

CELEBRITY - From PerezHilton:  Reality television star family, the Duggars, will always be with us. Hilton details how family patriarch, Jim Bob Duggar, stole his children's reality TV money. The post starts off funny and then, starts to read like an expose on a cult leader.

MOVIES - From TheWrap:  Universal Pictures is in active development on an untitled new “Fast & Furious” film starring Dwayne Johnson as "Luke Hobbs." The film won’t be a sequel to 2019's “Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw” or a spinoff.  Instead, it will be a direct continuation of the main “Fast Saga” story, serving as a bridge between the recently released “Fast X” and and its follow-up, “Fast X: Part II.”

From CBR:  Star Vin Diesel is reportedly upset with another "Fast & Furious" co-star over stealing attention from him.

DISNEY - From CBR:  Disney and Lucasfilm have revealed seven new "character posters" from "Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny."

HARRISON FORD - From VarietyHarrison Ford told a trio of stunt workers on the set of "Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny" the following: "Leave me the f**k alone."  Why? Read and find out.

From CBR:  Harrison Ford has now changed his stance and agrees with "Blade Runner" director, Ridley Scott. Ford believes that the film's lead character, "Rick Deckard," is a replicant.

AWARDS - From Deadline:  Here is your 2023-24 award season calendar, beginning on May 31, 2023 with the "Television Academy Honors" ceremony and ends on ends on March 10th, 2024 with the 96th Academy Awards.

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WRITERS STRIKE:

From Deadline:  The Directors Guild of America (DGA) has reached a tentative new three-year deal with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP). So what does the Writers Guild (WGA), currently on strike and negotiating with the AMPTP, think of that deal.

From Deadline:  Netflix shareholders declined to support the 2023 pay packages of top executives during a non-binding vote at the company’s annual shareholder meeting on Thursday.  The vote won't prevent these execs from getting their loot (an total of $166 million), but this is a rare public rebuke.  The Writers Guild of America (WGA) has urged shareholders to vote "No" because the pay was "inappropriate" at this time.

From Deadline:  Warner Bros Discovery chief David Zaslav gave the commencement address at Boston University. There he was met with jeers and also chants of "pay your writers" from picketers and from some in the audience.

From Deadline:   President Joe Biden speaks on the Writers Guild of America strike.

From Deadline:  Retaliation! The studios have starting informing writer-producers who have "overall" and "first-look" deals that such deals are being suspended.

From Deadline:  Retaliation!  Prolific HBO creator, David Simon, who is best known for "The Wire," is one of the many writers who have had their overall deals suspended the studios due to the WGA strike.  Simon has been with HBO for 25 years.

From Deadline:  The Writers Guild of America (WGA) is on strike.

From Deadline:  Disney, HBO/HBO Max, and CBS have sent letters to showrunners (the TV equivalent of film directors) instructing them to return to work, inspite of the writer's strike.

From Deadline:  The WGA's chief negotiator, Ellen Stutzman, talks about the state of the writers' strike, including the lack of engagement on the part of the strike's other party, AMPTP.

From Deadline:  What went wrong between the WGA and AMPTP? What could they not agree on that led to a strike?

From Deadline:  The site explains the WGA strike: the issues, the stakes, movies and TV shows affected, and how long it might last.


Friday, May 19, 2023

Negromancer News Bits and Bites from May 14th to 20th, 2023 - Update #23

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

You can support Leroy via Paypal or on Patreon:

ENTERTAINMENT AND CULTURE NEWS:

CANNES - From THR:  Indiana Jones star Harrison Ford received an honorary Palme d’Or for lifetime achievement at the 2023 Cannes Film Festival.

From Variety:  Variety's Zach Sharf describes the audience's reaction to seeing to a screening of "Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny" as "a muted standing ovation."

SPORTS/STREAMING - From DeadlineNational Football League (NFL) Commissioner Roger Goodell says that the league's deal with YouTube to carry the "NFL Sunday Ticket" is just the beginning of strengthening ties between the NFL and YouTube.

ANIMATION - From DeadlineHulu's revival of the former Fox animated series, "Futurama," will debut Monday, 24th.  The 20 episodes will constitute Season 11 of the series.

MOVIES/TRAILERS - From Variety:  Apple/Paramount have released the first trailer for director Martin Scorsese's "Killers of the Flower Moon," starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro.  The film is due in theaters Oct. 18th.

From KOSU:  "People Need to Know the History" - Osage citizens are excited and nervous as "Killers of the Flower Moon" hits the big screen.

DISNEY - From Deadline:  In an exclusive Q&A, director Rob Marshall talks about turning an animated classic into the live-action "The Little Mermaid."

MOVIES/TRAILERS - From THR: The new trailer for Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning: Part One reveals more of what Tom Cruise has in store when he returns to the IMF agent role of "Ethan Hunt" he originated in 1996's "Mission: Impossible."

MOVIES - From THR:  In this wide-ranging Q&A, Hollywood legend and icon, Arnold Schwarzenegger talks about the end of his involvement with "The Terminator" franchise and about the "Conan" movie he is struggling to get made, among other things.

LGBTQ+ - From CNN:  Oscar and Tony Award-winning actress, Marcia Gay Harden, says that all three of her adult children identify as "Queer."  Harden is an advocate for the LGBTQ community.

DISNEY - From Lucasfilm:  All "Indiana Jones" is coming to Disney+ on May 31st. That includes the four films and, as they titled it, "The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones" (ABC, The Family Channel, 1992-96). So the streamer will likely have the reworked and not the original TV series, "The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles" (ABC, 1992-96).

From DeadlineLucasfilm president Kathleen Kenney says the full "Indiana Jones" catalog will land on Disney+ before the new film, "Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny" arrives in theaters June 30th.

TELEVISION - From Deadline:  Because of the writer's strike, ABC has released a contingent 2023-24 television schedule.  It leans heavily on unscripted series, such as "Dancing with the Stars" and "Bachelor in Paradise."

From Deadline:  The Fox broadcast network revealed its 2023-24 television schedule at it "upfront" in NYC on Monday (May 15th).

ANIMATION - From Variety:  Cable network FXX's long-running animated series, "Archer," will end after its upcoming 14th season, which debuts August 30th.

DISNEY/STREAMING - From Variety:  "Avatar: The Way of Water" will begin streaming on both Disney+ and Max (formerly HBO Max) on June 7th.

BOX OFFICE - From BoxOfficePro:  The winner of the 5/12 to 5/14/2023 weekend box office is Disney/Marvel Studios' "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3" with an estimated total of 60.5 million dollars.

From Here:  My review of "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3."

TELEVISION - From Deadline:  The winners of the 2023 BAFTA TV Awards have been announced.

MOVIES - From DeadlineMillennium Media is going to Cannes to shop around "Infernus," an action thriller that Idris Elba will produce, direct, and star in.

From Deadline:  Mel Gibson's first directorial effort since the Oscar-nominated "Hacksaw Ridge" is "Flight Fisk" a thriller starring Mark Wahlberg. Lionsgate will be selling the film at the Cannes Film Festival.

CELEBRITY - From EW:  65-year-old action movie legend, Dolph Lundgren ("Universal Soldier," "The Expendables" franchises) has revealed that he has been privately engaged in an 8-year battle with cancer.

OBITS:

From AP:  Social activist, actor, and former professional football player, Jim Brown, has died at the age of 87, Thursday, May 18, 2023.  One of the greatest players in football, he is best remembered as the running back for the Cleveland Browns (1957-65).  He was a three-time NFL Most Valuable Player (1957, 1958, and 1965) and "Rookie of the Year" (1957).  He was a member of the Brown's 1964 NFL Champions.  In addition to being one of the greatest football players of all time, Brown is also considered to be one of the greatest lacrosse players of all time.  He was also a prolific film and television actor, appearing in such films as "The Dirty Dozen" (1967), "100 Rifles" (1969), and "Three the Hard Way" (1974), to name a few.  As an activist, Brown organized black professional athletes in the fight for civil rights and against the Vietnam War. He later to curb gang violence in Los Angeles.

From Deadline:  American film editor, John Refoua, has died at the age of 58, Sunday, May 14, 2023.  He was best known for his work editing "Avatar" (for which he shared an Oscar nomination) and "Avatar: The Way of Water."  He also worked on "The Equalizer" (2014), "The Magnificent Seven" (2016), and "Geostorm" (2017), to name a few.

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WRITERS STRIKE:

From Deadline:   President Joe Biden speaks on the Writers Guild of America strike.

From Deadline:  Retaliation! The studios have starting informing writer-producers who have "overall" and "first-look" deals that such deals are being suspended.

From Deadline:  Retaliation!  Prolific HBO creator, David Simon, who is best known for "The Wire," is one of the many writers who have had their overall deals suspended the studios due to the WGA strike.  Simon has been with HBO for 25 years.

From Deadline:  The Writers Guild of America (WGA) is on strike.

From Deadline:  Disney, HBO/HBO Max, and CBS have sent letters to showrunners (the TV equivalent of film directors) instructing them to return to work, inspite of the writer's strike.

From Deadline:  The WGA's chief negotiator, Ellen Stutzman, talks about the state of the writers' strike, including the lack of engagement on the part of the strike's other party, AMPTP.

From Deadline:  What went wrong between the WGA and AMPTP? What could they not agree on that led to a strike?

From Deadline:  The site explains the WGA strike: the issues, the stakes, movies and TV shows affected, and how long it might last.