Showing posts with label Javier Bardem. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Javier Bardem. Show all posts

Saturday, May 27, 2023

Review: Halle Bailey is the Heart of Disney's Eye-Popping "THE LITTLE MERMAID"

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 23 of 2023 (No. 1912) by Leroy Douresseaux

The Little Mermaid (2023)
Running time: 135 minutes (2 hours, 15 minutes)
MPA – PG for action/peril and some scary images
DIRECTOR: Rob Marshall
WRITER: David Magee
PRODUCERS: John DeLuca, Rob Marshall, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and Marc Platt
EDITOR: Wyatt Smith
COMPOSER: Alan Menken
SONGS: Howard Ashman (lyrics), Alan Menken (music), and Lin-Manuel Miranda (new lyrics)


Starring:  Halle Bailey, Jonah Hauer-King, Norma Dumezweni, Art Malik, and Javier Bardem and Melissa McCarthy and the voices of Daveed Diggs, Jacob Tremblay, and Awkwafina

The Little Mermaid is a 2023 fantasy musical and drama film directed by Rob Marshall and released by Walt Disney Pictures.  It is a live-action remake of Disney's 1989, Oscar-winning, animated film, The Little Mermaid.  Both films are loosely based on “The Little Mermaid,” the literary fairy tale authored by Hans Christian Andersen and first published in 1837.  The Little Mermaid 2023 focuses on a young mermaid who longs to live in the human world and makes a terrible deal to do so.

The Little Mermaid introduces Ariel (Halle Bailey), a mermaid princess and the youngest daughter of King Triton (Javier Bardem), ruler of the merpeople.  Ariel is fascinated with the human world despite never having seen it, as Triton forbids all merfolk from going to the surface.  However, Ariel collects human objects that sink below the surface of the sea.  She hides them in a grotto with the support of her best friends, Flounder (voice of Jacob Tremblay), a fish, and Scuttle (voice of Awkwafina), a seabird.  Furious that Ariel has missed a meeting with him and her sisters, Triton commands Sebastian (Daveed Diggs), a crab, to watch over her.

Ariel eventually swims to the surface where she comes upon a human sea vessel.  The ship, from an isolated island kingdom, is commanded by kingdom's Prince Eric (Jonah Hauer-King).  Eric tells his confidant, Sir Grimsby (Art Malik), the kingdom's Prime Minister, that he wishes to explore the unknown seas in a bid to help his people, but he knows that his mother, Queen Selina (Norma Dumezweni), is against such exploration.  Hearing that, Ariel considers Eric a kindred spirit.

After she saves Eric's life, Ariel is determined to visit him on his island home, but as a mermaid, she does not have legs.  Fortunately … the sea witch, Ursula (Melissa McCarthy), says that she has the magic that can make Ariel human so that she can be with Prince Eric.  However, the price is Ariel's beautiful singing voice, and, unknown to her, the fates of her father, their kingdom, and Eric.

I was not sure how Disney would pull off creating the undersea world of The Little Mermaid, especially the merfolk and other sea creatures.  Silly me: in the wake of Avatar: The Way of Water, The Little Mermaid could certainly pull off a water world that isn't nearly as ambitious as Avatar's – and still look good.  Under the sea and on land, the production design, art direction, set decoration, costumes, and environments are all dazzling.  The result is a stunningly beautiful film in which the undersea world looks a real, but still magical environment.  The island kingdom of Queen Selina seems like a kind of Caribbean utopia-lite, but it is both fantastical and inviting.  I want to see more of it.

The computer imagery creates merpeople that are beautiful, although it is not until the end of the film that we see the full dazzling array of merfolk, no two looking alike.  The special effects that turn Halle Bailey into a mermaid is try cinematic magic; she is a flawless, beautiful creature.  Ariel's trio of animal friends and helpers: Sebastian, Flounder, and Scuttle resemble real animals, and I was surprised how good Sebastian looked.  I thought he'd be a disaster as a CGI animal.

The performances – both acting and voice roles – are one of the elements that really makes The Little Mermaid work.  Daveed Diggs, Jacob Tremblay, and Awkwafina give winning voice performances as Sebastian, Flounder, and Scuttle, respectively.  Jonah Hauer-King as Prince Eric holds his own next to Halle Bailey as Ariel, which is not easy.  Melissa McCarthy is shockingly good as Ursula, and I didn't expect that.  I was sure she could not pull it off, although I am a fan of her work.  Her performance, which takes inspiration from the late actor, singer, and drag queen legend, Divine, gives this film the dark fairy magic energy that it needs.

Screenwriter David Magee cleverly spins something new out of old sources, but he is also respectful of the original film.  What the new film lacks in the original's charm, it makes up for by seeming more consequential.  Magee also benefits from having the classic songs of the late lyricist, Howard Ashman (1950-1991), and composer, Alan Menken, from The Little Mermaid 1989.  Also, contrary to some complaints, Lin-Manuel Miranda's new songs and new lyrics for two of the original songs both serve this film quite well.

The true star of this film is Halle Bailey, however.  Rob Marshall makes the most of Halle's natural gifts, especially her soaring singing voice, photogenic looks, and winning personality.  The ads for this film are not lying; when Halle sings, the waters part.  With Halle as his star, Marshall delivers his version The Little Mermaid that can stand on its own, apart from the Walt Disney animated classic that is its source.  Yes, I find The Little Mermaid 2023 to be a tad bit too long, but I was surprised.  The Little Mermaid is much better than I expected, and it feels like a true Disney fairy tale film.

7 of 10
★★★½ out of 4 stars

Saturday, May 27, 2023

You may visit the Amazon LITTLE MERMAID page here.

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



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Friday, October 22, 2021

Review: 2021 "DUNE " is Both Tremendous and Tedious

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 63 of 2021 (No. 1801) by Leroy Douresseaux

Dune (2021)
Running time:  155 minutes (2 hours, 35 minutes)
MPAA – PG-13 for sequences of strong violence, some disturbing images and suggestive material
DIRECTOR:  Denis Villeneuve
WRITERS:  Denis Villeneuve, Jon Spaihts, and Eric Roth (based on the novel by Frank Herbert)
PRODUCERS:  Denis Villeneuve, Cale Boyter, Joseph M. Caracciolo, and Mary Parent
CINEMATOGRAPHER:  Greg Fraser (D.o.P.)
EDITOR:  Joe Walker
COMPOSER: Hans Zimmer


Starring:  Timothée Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Zendaya, Oscar Isaac, Jason Momoa, Stellan Skarsgard, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Josh Brolin, Javier Bardem, Sharon Duncan-Brewster, Chen Chang, Dave Bautista, David Dastmalchian, Charlotte Rampling, Babs Olusanmokun, Benjamine Clementine, and Golda Rosheuvel

Dune is a 2021 science fiction film directed by Denis Villeneuve.  It is based on the 1965 novel, Dune, written by author Frank Herbert.  This the third screen adaptation of Herbert's novel after writer-director David Lynch's 1984 film and writer-director John Harrison's 2000 television miniseries.  Dune 2021 focuses on the male heir to a noble family who finds himself in the middle of conspiracy and prophecy on a desert planet where is found the most vital element in the universe.

Dune opens in the far future in the year 10,191.  The most valuable substance in the universe is “Spice,” which extends human vitality and life and is absolutely necessary for space travel.  Spice is only found on the desert planet, Arrakis.  For over eighty years, House Harkonnen, one of the noble houses of the “Landsraad,” has mined the planet for Spice.

Now, the Emperor of the Known Universe has ordered House Harkonnen to withdraw from the planet.  The Emperor has appointed Duke Leto I (Oscar Isaac) of House Atreides and ruler of the ocean planet, Caladan, as the new fief ruler of Arrakis and the one responsible for the mining of Spice.

However, Paul Atreides (Timothée Chalamet), the son of Leto and his concubine, Lady Jessica (Rebecca Ferguson), is the focus of the Bene Gesserit, a powerful sisterhood who wield advance mental and physical abilities, to which Jessica belongs.  The Bene Gesserit have a prophecy concerning a “superbeing,” called the  “Kwisatz Haderach,” and Paul may be this superbeing because of the machinations of his mother.  Meanwhile, Paul has dreams and visions, most of them set on Arrakis and involving the natives of Arrakis, the “Fremen.”  And of the Fremen, Paul dreams most of a mysterious young woman (Zendaya) with blue in her eyes.  Paul knows that his fate lies on Arrakis, and he will discover it if he survives the plot against his family.

Although the title of this film is “Dune,” when the movie starts the credits read “Dune: Part One.”  That's right, director Denis Villeneuve refused to adapt Frank Herbert's novel as one long film when he preferred to do it as two long films.  I have seen Herbert's novel referred to as “unwieldy” source material, but the truth is that like Robert A. Heinlein's novel, Starship Troopers (1959), which was adapted into a 1997 film, Dune is philosophical and thoughtful.  Much of the narrative takes place in the minds of its major characters, and I don't think that big-budget, event Hollywood films are really good at internal philosophical monologues.

Denis Villeneuve's Dune is visually ambitious.  It is pomp and circumstance.  It focuses on the rituals of the Landsraad (the empire's noble houses) and of the Fremen – to the point of being anthropological.  Dune is costumes, uniforms, makeup, hairdos, and lavish spectacle.  Dune offers some of the most imaginatively designed space crafts, flying contraptions, utility machines, and personal devices outside of the Star Wars films.  It leans towards opulence in its breathtaking landscapes and astonishing vistas.  This visual and design aesthetic creates the kind of overwhelming cinematic sensory experience that is exactly why we need to see some films in movie theaters.

Villeneuve apparently also said that Dune has “power in details,” and his obsession with details, both in terms of visuals and narratives, is a problem for Dune, much in the way it was a problem for his acclaimed 2016 film, The Arrival … to a lesser extent.  For Dune, he builds a big world in pictures and images, and then, he and his co-writers Jon Spaihts and Eric Roth (the ones who are credited onscreen), drag the movie out by drowning every key scene and sequence in detail.  There is no better example of this than the scene with the “Herald of the Change” (Benjamin Clementine), when Duke Leto formerly excepts his assignment to Arrakis.  It was pointless scene about the pointlessness of the Emperor and his rituals.

At one point while watching this film, I checked my phone and realized that there was still an hour to go.  I wasn't sure if I could make.  I could not understand how a film could be so visually dazzling as Dune is and have a story that frustratingly seems to be going somewhere … slowly.  And Dune's wonderful cast goes right along with this, delivering performances that are earnest in their grimness.  Still, the actors didn't make me want to connect with their characters, and Rebecca Ferguson's Lady Jessica is just fucking tiresome.

I am giving this film a B+ because of two things – the sometimes unbelievable visuals and, surprisingly, Hans Zimmer's amazing musical score, for which he supposedly created new musical instruments.  Without his constantly inventive score, this film would put people to sleep.  If I were focusing only on story, I'd give Dune a B- or a B, because there are some characters that are fascinating the few times they are on screen, such as Baron Harkonnen (Stellan Skarsgard) and his nephew, Rabban (Dave Bautista).  There are also a few scenes that resonate.  I really don't know how to recommend a film that will impress you almost as much as it will tire you, but that Denis Villeneuve's Dune in a nutshell.

7 of 10

Friday, October 22, 2021

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



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Negromancer News Bits and Bites from October 17th to 23rd, 2021 - Update #25

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

You can support Leroy via Paypal or on Patreon:


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

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

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

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

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

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


TELEVISION - From THR:    CBS has given a full-season pickup to its supernatural comedy, "Ghosts."

AWARDS - From THR:  The nominations for the 2021 Gotham Awards have been announced in both film and TV categories.  The winners will be announced Monday, Nov. 29th.

MOVIES - From DeadlineEmily Blunt is in talks to join Christopher Nolan's film, "Oppenheimer."

TRAILER - From ETCanada:  There is a new trailer for the film, "Being the Ricardos," starring Nicole Kidman as Lucille Ball and Javier Bardem as Desi Arnaz.  The film, directed by Aaron Sorkin, focuses on a week in the production of the classic television series, "I Love Lucy."  It will be released on "Amazon Prime" on Dec. 21st.

NETFLIX - From Deadline:   Netflix says that its hit, "Squid Game," the Korean sci-fi dystopian series, has been streamed by 142 million households in its first four weeks.

MOVIES - From THRSteve McQueen has won the inaugural European Film Award for Innovative Storytelling for "Small Axe," an anthology of five films set between 1969 and 1982 that explore the experiences of London’s West Indian community.

STREAMING - From Variety:  Hulu has ordered "History of the World, Part II," a TV variety series that will act as a sequel to Mel Brooks' classic film comedy, "History of the World, Part I" (1981).  Brooks will be a writer and executive producer on the series.

TELEVISION - From Deadline:  Lionsgate is developing, "The Continental," a three-night, special event TV series that will act as a prequel to the "John Wick" film series.  Actor Mel Gibson is the first star signed to appear in "The Continental," which is set to appear on Starz.

From Variety:  Actor Colin Woodell will play a young "Winston Scott" in Starz's "John Wick" prequel series, "The Continental."  Winston Scott is played by actor Ian McShane in the "John Wick" films.

MOVIES - From VarietyRob Zombie has shared the first cast photo from his film, "The Munsters," which updates or reboots the old 1960s TV series of the same name.  Universal Studios will release the film.

MOVIES - From Variety:  Disney delays the release date of several upcoming films, including "Doctor Strange 2," "Thor 4," Black Panther 2," and "Indiana Jones 5."

BOX OFFICE - From BoxOfficePro:  The winner of the 10/15 to 10/17/2021 weekend box office is "Halloween Kills" with an estimated take of 50.35 million dollars.

LABOR - From DeadlineThe Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers and the IATSE (International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees) have reached a new film and TV deal that averted the start of a strike by over 60,000 IATSE members on Monday.  This article has the details.


From Variety:  See all the hot trailers for upcoming DC Comics films and TV series from DC FanDome.

From Deadline:  At DC FanDome, director Matt Reeves revealed a new trailer for his film, "The Batman," which is due May 4, 2022.

From Deadline:  A preview of DC Film's "The Flash" gives us a peek at a cameo from a certain Batman...


From TMZ:  Singer and musician, Tommy DeBarge, has died at the age of 64, Thursday, October 21, 2021.  DeBarge was a vocalist and bass player for the R&B/funk band, "Switch," which had it best success in the late 1970s and early 1980s.  Tommy and his brother, the late Bobby DeBarge, were founding members of Switch.  Tommy and Bobby would later leave the group to mentor their younger siblings in the 1980s group, "DeBarge."

From THR:   Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins as died at the age of 42, Thursday, October 21, 2021 after a prop gun incident on the set of the film, "Rust."  Hutchins was known for her work on such indie films as "Archenemy," "Blindfire," and "The Mad Hatter."

From THR:  Actor Peter Scolari has died at the age of 66, Friday, October 22, 2021 after a battle with cancer.  Scolari first game to prominence on the short-lived ABC sitcom, "Bosom Buddies" (1980-82), with friend, Tom Hanks.  Scolari joined the cast of CBS' "Newhart" as a recurring character during the series' second season (1983-84), and then, became a series regular from 1984 until the series' end in 1990.  He won a "Guest Actor" Primetime Emmy for his role on HBO's "Girls."

From YahooNews:   American four-star general, diplomat, and statesman, General Colin Powell, has died at the age of 84, from complications of COVID-19.  He was the first African-American U.S. Secretary of State and a trailblazing figure both in the United States and around the world.  He also served as the 16th United States National Security Advisor from 1987 to 1989 and as the 12th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from 1989 to 1993.

From Deadline:  The actress, Betty Lynn, has died at the age of 95, Saturday, October 16, 2021.  Her best known role was as "Betty Lou," the girlfriend of "Deputy Barney Fife" on "The Andy Griffith Show."  Lynn appeared on the series 26 times from 1961 to 1966.  In the 1950s, Lynn appeared in "Cheaper by the Dozen" (1950) and "Meet Me in Las Vegas" (1956).  Lynn also appeared on four episodes of Andy Griffith's series "Matlock" (1986-92).

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Warner Bros.' and Legendary's "Dune" Begins Filming

Cameras Roll on Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Entertainment’s Epic Adaptation of “Dune”

Acclaimed director Denis Villeneuve brings Frank Herbert’s celebrated novel to the big screen with an all-star international ensemble cast.

BURBANK, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Filming has begun on Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Entertainment’s epic “Dune,” being directed by Oscar nominee Denis Villeneuve (“Arrival,” “Blade Runner 2049”).

The big-screen adaptation of Frank Herbert’s seminal bestseller Dune stars Oscar nominee Timothée Chalamet (“Call Me by Your Name”), Rebecca Ferguson (“Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation”), Oscar Isaac (“Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi”), Oscar nominee Josh Brolin (“Milk,” “Deadpool 2,” “Avengers: Infinity War”), Stellan Skarsgård (the “Mamma Mia!” films, “Avengers: Age of Ultron”), Dave Bautista (the “Guardians of the Galaxy” films, upcoming “Avengers: Endgame”), Zendaya (“Spider-Man: Homecoming”), David Dastmalchian (the “Ant-Man” movies), Stephen Henderson (“Fences,” “Lady Bird”), with Oscar nominee Charlotte Rampling (“45 Years,” “Assassin’s Creed”), with Jason Momoa (“Aquaman”), and Oscar winner Javier Bardem (“No Country for Old Men,” “Skyfall”). Chang Chen (“Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,” “The Grandmaster”) is in discussions to join the cast.

A mythic and emotionally charged hero’s journey, “Dune” tells the story of Paul Atreides, a brilliant and gifted young man born into a great destiny beyond his understanding, who must travel to the most dangerous planet in the universe to ensure the future of his family and his people. As malevolent forces explode into conflict over the planet’s exclusive supply of the most precious resource in existence—a commodity capable of unlocking humanity’s greatest potential—only those who can conquer their fear will survive.

Villeneuve is directing “Dune” from a screenplay he co-wrote with Eric Roth and Jon Spaihts based on Herbert’s novel. The film is being produced by Mary Parent, Cale Boyter, Joe Caracciolo and Villeneuve. The executive producers are Tanya Lapointe, Brian Herbert, Byron Merritt, Kim Herbert, Thomas Tull, Jon Spaihts, Richard P. Rubinstein, John Harrison and Herbert W. Gains, with Kevin J. Anderson serving as creative consultant.

Behind the scenes, Villeneuve is collaborating for the first time with Oscar-nominated director of photography Greig Fraser (“Lion,” “Zero Dark Thirty,” “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story”); three-time Oscar-nominated costume designer Jacqueline West (“The Revenant,” “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” “Quills”) and co-costume designer Bob Morgan; and stunt coordinator Tom Struthers (“The Dark Knight” trilogy, “Inception”). Oscar-winning and multiple Oscar-nominated composer Hans Zimmer (“Blade Runner 2049,” “Inception,” “Gladiator,” “The Lion King”) is creating the score. Villeneuve is also reteaming with two-time Oscar-nominated production designer Patrice Vermette (“Arrival,” “Sicario,” “The Young Victoria”), two-time Oscar-nominated editor Joe Walker (“Blade Runner 2049,” “Arrival,” “12 Years a Slave”), two-time Oscar-winning visual effects supervisor Paul Lambert (“First Man,” “Blade Runner 2049”), and Oscar-winning special effects supervisor Gerd Nefzer (“Blade Runner 2049”).

“Dune” is being filmed on location in Budapest, Hungary, and in Jordan.

The film is slated for a November 20, 2020 worldwide release from Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Entertainment.


Saturday, February 23, 2019

Academy Announces Second Round of Presenters for 91st Oscars


Javier Bardem, Angela Bassett, Chadwick Boseman, Emilia Clarke, Laura Dern, Samuel L. Jackson, Stephan James, Keegan-Michael Key, KiKi Layne, James McAvoy, Melissa McCarthy, Jason Momoa and Sarah Paulson

A second wave of stars is headed for the Oscars® stage on Sunday, February 24, 2019. Academy Awards® producer Donna Gigliotti and co-producer and director Glenn Weiss announced thirteen more Hollywood luminaries to celebrate the year in movies. The Oscars airs live on the ABC Television Network, and will be broadcast in more than 225 countries and territories.

“The array of talent anchoring the show this year has brought some of the most indelible moments in recent cinematic memory to audiences around the world,” said Gigliotti and Weiss. “They join together to reconnect us with the nominees, their tremendous movies, and outstanding performances.”

Previously announced Oscars presenters include:

Awkwafina, Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, Tina Fey, Allison Janney, Brie Larson, Jennifer Lopez, Frances McDormand, Gary Oldman, Amy Poehler, Sam Rockwell, Maya Rudolph, Amandla Stenberg, Charlize Theron, Tessa Thompson and Constance Wu.

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


Saturday, February 9, 2019

Negromancer News Bits and Bites from February 1st to 9th, 2019 - Update #34

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CULTURE - From Deadspin:  Who's Killing The Soul Of Sneaker Culture?

MOVIES - From YahooEntertainment:  James Cameron reveals the working title for upcoming "Terminator" film, "Terminator: Dark Fate."

MOVIES - From THR:  Phil Lord and Chris Miller's latest project, "The Last Human," is sparking a bidding war.

TELEVISION - From Variety:  "The Walking Dead" star, Danai Gurira ("Michonne"), is leaving the series after the tenth season, which is scheduled to debut October 2019.

AWARDS - From Deadline:  Sean Penn campaigns hard for Bradley Cooper and his film, "A Star is Born," at the Oscars in a "Deadline" article.

MEDIA - From THR:  Amazon god-king, Jeff Bezos, alleges that AMI (American Media, Inc.), the parent company of the "National Enquirer" is trying to blackmail and extort him.

MOVIES - From Variety:  Michael B. Jordan and Warner Bros. obtain the novel "Black Leopard, Red Wolf."  Written by Marlon James, this buzzy novel has been called an "African Game of Thrones."

MOVIES - From Variety:  Pre-production on the "World War Z" sequel has been halted.  Budgetary concerns may be the reason.

AVATAR - From TheWrap:  Edie Falco has joined James Cameron's "Avatar" sequels.  The second film in the franchise is due December 2020.  The 2009 original set box office records.

AWARDS - From Variety:  "Avengers: Infinity War" (3 wins) and "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse" (4 wins) dominate 2019 / 17th annual Visual Effects Society Awards.

COMICS-FILM - From Collider:  Apparently Disney CEO Bob Iger wants to keep producing R-rated movies based on Marvel Comics, like the "Deadpool" franchise.  He is also open to continuing R-rated FOX franchises.

BLM - From CBS42:  Alabama Attorney General and Exalted Cyclops Steve Marshall will not bring charges against the officer who killed E.J. Bradford, Jr., an African-American man.

COMICS-FILM - From Deadline:  Lauren Shuler-Donner, a producer on Fox's "X-Men" film franchise, speaks about the time of transition as "X-Men" moves from Fox's control to Disney.  She says Marvel will likely recast Wolverine, played by Hugh Jackson in Fox's films.

OSCARS - From YahooEntertainment:  The nominees for the 91st Academy Awards gather at the annual nominees luncheon and take a class photo.

COMICS-FILM - From Newsarama:   Brian Michael Bendis, one of the creators of Miles Morales of the film, "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse," says that he is still writing an X-Men film, even in the wake of Disney's buyout of Fox.

ANIMATION - From Newsarama:  "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse" dominates Annie Awards.

CELEBRITY - From TheDailyBeast:  Oscar-nominated Liam Neeson once wanted to commit and act or racist murder against a Black person (or "Black Bastard," as he described his potential victim).  I'll let the article tell you the rest...

TELEVISION - From Deadline:  The ratings for (fake) Super Bowl 53 hits a 10-year low for Super Bowl ratings.

BOX OFFICE - From BoxOfficeMojo:  The winner of the 2/1 to 2/3/2019 weekend box office (Super Bowl weekend) is "Glass" with an estimated take of $9.5 million.  This is the third week in a row that "Glass" tops the weekend box office.

MOVIES - From YahooEntertainment:  Rami Malek has something to say about original "Bohemian Rhapsody" director, Bryan Singer.

AWARDS - From TheWrap:  Alfonaso Cuaron wins the tops prize at the 2019 Directors Guild Awards for his film "Roma."

MOVIES - From Variety:  The hit 1992 film, "Groundhog Day," is getting a sequel, but it is a VR game and not a movie.

AWARDS - From Deadline:  The American Cinema Editors (ACE) announced their "Eddie Awards," with "Bohemian Rhapsody" and "The Favourite" winning the feature film awards.

MOVIES - From Deadline:  The next two "Mission: Impossible" films will appear a year apart, July 23, 2021 and August 5, 2022.  Tom Cruise, of course, will return.

SCIENCE - From TheAtlantic:  Death-Cap Mushrooms Are Spreading Across North America

MOVIES - From THR:  Leigh Whannell ("Saw," "Insidious") is the latest director connected to the long-promised (and unnecessary) "Escape from New York" remake.

CELEBRITY - LGBTQ - From Variety:  Jussie Smollett speaks publicly for the first time since the anti-gay, racist attack against him in Chicago earlier this week.

MOVIES - From Variety:  Javier Bardem joins Timothy Chalamet in Denis Villeneuve's "Dune" film reboot.

MOVIES - From Variety:  There are new photo images from Quentin Tarantino's "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood."


From YouTube:  First trailer for "Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw," which is in theaters August 2, 2019.


From Deadline:  The British actor, Albert Finney, has died at the age of 82, Thursday, February 7, 2019.  Finney was a five-time Oscar nominee, the first time being for the film with which he is most often associated, "Tom Jones," although he never attended the Academy Awards ceremony.  He also turned down the honor of being knighted by Queen Elizabeth.

From ESPN:  Baseball Hall of Fame member (1982) Frank Robinson has died at the age of 83, Thursday, February 7, 2019.  Robinson was the first and only Major League Baseball player to win the MVP in both the American League and National League.  Robinson was also the first African-American manager of a Major League team (Cleveland Indians, 1975).

From TheWeek:  Former U.S. Congressman, Representative John Dingell (Democrat - Michigan, 12th U.S. District) has died at the age of 92, Thursday, December 7, 2019.  Dingell retired at the age of 88 in January 2015.  He was the nation's longest serving U.S. Congressman.

From EOnline:  The actor Kristof St. John has died at the age of 52, Sunday, February 3, 2019.  St. John was best known for starring in the long-running CBS soap opera, "The Young and the Restless," playing "Neil Winters."

From TheWrap:  The actress Julie Adams has died at the age of 92 years old, Sunday, February 3, 2019.  She is best known for her role as "Kay Lawrence," the damsel in distress in the classic Univeral Pictures horror flick, "The Creature from the Black Lagoon."

From THR:  Prolific television director, Andrew McCullough, has died the age of 94, January 22, 2019.  McCullough directed Orson Welles and James Dean on the small screen.  He also directed episodes of classic family sitcoms like "The Donna Reed Show," "Happy Days," and "Family Ties."

Monday, April 2, 2018

Amazon Greenlights "Cortes" from Steven Spielberg and Javier Bardem

Amazon Studios Greenlights a New Series, Cortes — Steven Spielberg and Steven Zaillian Set to Executive Produce and Javier Bardem Set to Star and Executive Produce

Javier Bardem is set to star as Hernan Cortes, the explorer who overthrew the Aztec empire for the Spanish

The Amblin series created for television by Steven Zaillian

SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--(NASDAQ: AMZN)— Amazon Studios announced it has greenlit a straight-to-series order of a four-hour miniseries based on the epic saga of Hernan Cortes. The series, from three-time Academy Award-winner Steven Spielberg (Saving Private Ryan) and Amblin Television, is created for television and written by Academy Award-winner Steven Zaillian (Schindler’s List) and based on the screenplay by Dalton Trumbo (Roman Holiday). Emmy-winning Zaillian, Emmy-winning Darryl Frank (The Americans) and Emmy-nominated Justin Falvey (The Americans) are set to executive produce, and Academy Award-winner Javier Bardem (No Country for Old Men) is set to star and executive produce.

    “It is a privilege to tell this epic story — one that is full of drama and conflict within this huge, historical spectacle where two distant civilizations clash at the height of their reign”

Cortes reveals the legendary conqueror, Hernan Cortes, who led a rebellious expedition to the heart of King Montezuma II’s Aztec empire, connecting two civilizations for the first time and changing the course of history.

“Cortes’ epic discoveries shaped the world as we know it today, and through the minds of Amblin, Steven Spielberg, Steve Zaillian and Javier Bardem, we will bring Prime Video members on an exhilarating journey,” said Sharon Yguado, Head of Scripted Series, Amazon Studios. “There are few moments in history that shape an entire culture such as Cortes’ story, and this series will be one filled with drama and adventure.”

“We are so pleased that Amazon has given us the opportunity to bring this exciting 500-year-old story to Prime Video members worldwide. It is a part of history that had such a significant impact and largely influenced modern day civilizations. With Javier as Cortes, we have the perfect star for this role, and we can’t wait to get started,” said Darryl Frank and Justin Falvey, co-heads of Amblin Television.

“It is a privilege to tell this epic story — one that is full of drama and conflict within this huge, historical spectacle where two distant civilizations clash at the height of their reign,” said Javier Bardem. “The best and worst of human nature came to life in all its light and darkness. As an actor, there is no better challenge than to serve such a unique project that I have been passionate about for years, and I am thrilled to be working with this dream team of Steven Spielberg, Steven Zaillian and Amazon.”

Prime Original series are available for Prime members to stream and enjoy using the Prime Video app for TVs, connected devices including Amazon Fire TV, and mobile devices, or online with other Prime Original series at, at no additional cost to their membership. Eligible customers who are not already Prime members can sign up for a free trial at For a list of all Prime Video compatible devices, visit Content is available through the Prime Video app and in more than 200 countries and territories.

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

  •     Prime Video: Thousands of movies and TV shows, including popular licensed and self-published content plus critically-acclaimed and award-winning Prime Original series like The Grand Tour, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Sneaky Pete, and kids series Tumble Leaf, and Amazon Original Movies such as Academy Award-winning Manchester by the Sea and The Salesman, and Academy Award-nominated The Big Sick, available for unlimited streaming as part of an Amazon Prime membership. Prime Video is also now available to customers in more than 200 countries and territories around the globe at
  •     Live Sports: Sporting events, including AVP volleyball and ATP tennis, are available to watch live on Prime Video in more than 200 countries and territories around the globe
  •     Amazon Channels: Over 140 channel subscriptions that Prime members can add to their membership, including HBO, SHOWTIME, STARZ, Cinemax, PBS KIDS, Acorn TV and more. To view the full list of channels available, visit
  •     Rent or Own: Hundreds of thousands of titles, including new-release movies and current TV shows available for on-demand rental or purchase for all Amazon customers
  •     Instant Access: Instantly watch anytime, anywhere through the Prime Video app on TVs, mobile devices, Amazon Fire TV, Fire TV Stick, Fire tablets and Apple TV or online. For a list of all compatible devices visit
  •     Premium Features: Top features like 4K Ultra HD, High Dynamic Range (HDR), X-Ray and mobile downloads for offline viewing of select content

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

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

About Amblin Television
Amblin Television, a long-time leader in quality programming, is a division of Amblin Partners, a content creation company led by Steven Spielberg, with investment partners that include Participant Media, Reliance Entertainment, Entertainment One (eOne), Alibaba Pictures and Universal Pictures. Amblin Television’s co-presidents, Darryl Frank and Justin Falvey, oversee all development, production and programming for the company. With the addition of “Cortes” for Amazon, Amblin Television currently has ten series in various stages of production including “Bull” for CBS, the Peabody Award-winning and Emmy-nominated drama “The Americans” for FX, the upcoming dramatic thriller “Reverie” for NBC, the adaptation of Shirley Jackson’s “The Haunting of Hill House” for Netflix, the Rev Run and Justine Simmons family sitcom for Netflix, “Amazing Stories” for Apple, “Animaniacs” for Hulu, “Days that Shaped America” for The History Channel, and “Cooper’s Treasure” for Discovery. Some of Amblin Television’s previous credits include the Emmy-nominated HBO movie “All The Way” starring Bryan Cranston, “Smash” for NBC, “Under the Dome” for CBS, “Falling Skies” for TNT, “The Borgias” and “The United States of Tara” for Showtime, and “Las Vegas” for NBC.


Saturday, August 26, 2017

Negromancer News Bits and Bites from August 20th to 26th, 2017 - Update #33

Support Leroy on Patreon.

TELEVISION - From SlashFilm:  Lionsgate is among a group of entities developing a reboot of the 2008 film "Jumper."  Doug Liman, who directed the film, is also developing a "Jumper"-related series for Youtube Red.

TELEVISION - TVLine:  The first three episode of "American Horror Story: Cult" have been screened for the press, revealing details about Lena Dunham and Emma Roberts' characters.

MOVIES - From FlickeringMyth:  Vera Farmiga and J.K. Simmons are joining Hugh Jackman in his Gary Hart biopic, "The Front Runner."

MOVIES - From TheWrap:  "It," the new film adaptation of Stephen King's epic novel, is looking like it may set a box office record for the month of September.

COMICS-FILM - From Vulture:  James Cameron ain't buying all the self-congratulatory back slapping over the "Wonder Woman" film.

MOVIES - From ThePlaylist:  A "Girls Trip" sequel may be in the works.

COMICS-FILM - From THR:  Glenn Ficarra and John Requa, the producers of NBC's hit drama, "This is Us," will write and direct a film featuring DC Comics' characters, The Joker and Harley Quinn.

COMICS-FILM - From YahooMovies:  Jon Favreau teases a reunion of Robert Downey, Gwyneth Paltrow and himself in "Avengers 4."

CELEBRITY - From YahooTV:  Tyler Perry says that he still takes care of his step-father although the man physically and verbally abused him as a child.

COMICS-FILM - From TheWrap:  Director Matt Reeves says that his movie, "The Batman" (starring Ben Affleck as Batman) will not be part of the DC Extended Universe and it will be a stand alone film.

MOVIES - From TheWrap:  Martin Lawrence does not think "Bad Boys 3" will happen.

BLM - From GuardianUK:  The U.S. justice system uses the chokehold to oppress and humiliate black men.

TELEVISION - From Variety:  Common will star in Starz "Black Samurai" series with RZA (Wu-Tang Clan) and Jerry Bruckheimer executive producing.

MOVIES - From Variety:  Iranian filmmaker, Asghar Farhadi, has begun shooting his new film in Spain with Oscar winners Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz headlining the film.

MOVIES - From Deadline:  Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment are planning another Batman spinoff movie.  This one would focus on the origin of iconic Batman villian, The Joker, and would involve the creative talents of Todd Phillips and Martin Scorsese.

MOVIES - From CinemaBlend:  Ed Skein of "Deadpool" is joining the "Hellboy" reboot film.

TELEVISION - From TheWrap:  NBC has scrapped its plans for a reboot of "Xena: Warrior Princess."

MOVIES - From YahooMovies:  Margot Robbie is unrecognizable as Queen Elizabeth I in the film, "Mary Queen of Scots."

SPORTS - From BET:  A large number of NYPD officers rally in support of blackballed NFL quarterback, Colin Kaepernick.

CULTURE - From RollingStone:  The history of White supremacy in America.

MOVIES - From Deadline:  New details emerge on "Deadpool 2" crash that took the life of stunt woman Joi Harris.

TELEVISION - From Deadline:  Lynn Whitfield joins Sanaa Lathan in Netflix's comedy, "Nappily Ever After."

TELEVISION - From YahooTV:  A spoiler-filled recap of the Aug. 20th, 2017 "Game of Thones."

BOX OFFICE - From BoxOfficeMojo:  The winner of the 8/18 to 8/20/2017 weekend box office is "Hitman's Bodyguard" with an estimated take of $21.6 million.

ANIMATION - From YahooTV:  Writer-director Adam Reid is trying to raise money to produce a pilot for a proposed animated TV series featuring President Barack Obama and Vice-President Joe Biden as time traveling heroes.

MOVIES - From Variety:  Cover story:  Has Netflix's Ted Sarandos rescued or ruined Hollywood?

From Variety:  Marvel/Netflix's "The Defenders" could set binge-viewing / streaming records.

MOVIES - From Variety:  New Line is looking to reboot the "Shaft" film franchise again.  Samuel L. Jackson is in negotiations to join the film with Jessie T. Usher ("Survivor's Remorse").  Jackson starred in the title role in Paramount Pictures' 2000 "Shaft" film.

CULTURE - From Politico:  How militias became the private police force for White supremacists.


From THR:  The comedian, radio talk show host, and comic actor, Jay Thomas, has died at the age of 69, Thurs., August 24, 2017.  Thomas won two Emmys playing "Jay Gold" on the 1980s-90s CBS sitcom, "Murphy Brown."  He was also known for his annual appearances on David Letterman's late-night talks shows.

From RollingStone:  Actor, filmmaker, comedian, and philanthropist, Jerry Lewis, has died at the age of 91, Sunday, August 20, 2017.  Before he embarked on a solo film career, he partnered with legendary singer and actor, Dean Martin.  Many knew Lewis for his annual "The Jerry Lewis MDA Labor Day Telethon," which raised money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

From Variety:  Groundbreaking civil rights activist and comedian, Dick Gregory, has died at the age of 84, Saturday, August 19, 2017.  He counted among his friends Dr. Martin Luther King and Medgar Evars.  Gregory wrote several books, including "Nigger: An Autobiography."  His new book, "Defining Moments in Black History" is due in September.

From Variety:  Tributes to Dick Gregory, who died on Saturday, pour in from colleagues, fans, and admirers, including Whoopi Goldberg, George Wallace, Ava DuVernay, Gilbert Gottfried, Jesse Jackson, Rev. Al Sharpton, Lawrence O'Donnell, and more.

From Variety:  Dick Gregory recent guest column for Variety: "Fight Police Brutality with Your Wallet."

From Variety:  The actor Sonny Landham died at the age of 76, Thursday, August 17, 2017.  Part Seminole and Cherokee, Landham was best known for playing the Native American tracker, Billy Sole, in the Arnold Schwarzenegger film, Predator (1987).  He also had roles in "The Warriors," "48 Hrs," and "Action Jackson."

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Paramont Reveals "mother" Poster with New James Jean Art


They came to see him.

Official trailer coming August 8, 2017. mother! is in theaters September 15, 2017.

Directed by: Darren Aronofsky
Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Bardem, Ed Harris and Michelle Pfeiffer

A couple's relationship is tested when uninvited guests arrive at their home, disrupting their tranquil existence. From filmmaker Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan, Requiem for a Dream), mother! stars Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Bardem, Ed Harris and Michelle Pfeiffer in this riveting psychological thriller about love, devotion and sacrifice.

mother! Official Channels
Hashtag: #mothermovie
Facebook: /OfficialMotherMovie
Twitter: @MotherMovie
Instagram: @MotherMovie


Saturday, January 5, 2013

2012 Satellite Awards Honor "Silver Linings Playbook"

The International Press Academy (IPA) chose Silver Linings Playbook as the "Best Film of 2012."  The IPA is an entertainment media association with voting members worldwide who represent domestic and foreign markets via print, television, radio, blogs, and other content platforms for virtually every notable outlet.

Each year the IPA honors artistic excellence in the areas of Motion Pictures, Television, Radio, and New Media via the Satellite® Awards.

Complete List of 2012 Satellite Award Winners and Nominees (Announced December 16, 2012):


Motion Picture
Silver Linings Playbook, The Weinstein Co. WINNER

Argo, Warner Bros.
Beasts of the Southern Wild, Fox Searchlight Pictures
Les Miserables, Universal
Skyfall, Columbia Pictures
Moonrise Kingdom, Focus Features
The Sessions, Fox Searchlight Pictures
Lincoln, DreamWorks/Touchstone
Life of Pi, Twentieth Century Fox
Zero Dark Thirty, Columbia Pictures

David O. Russell for Silver Linings Playbook, The Weinstein Co. WINNER

Ben Affleck for Argo, Warner Bros.
Kim Ki-Duk for Pieta, Drafthouse Films
Ben Lewin for The Sessions, Fox Searchlight Pictures
Steven Spielberg for Lincoln, DreamWorks/Touchstone
Kathryn Bigelow for Zero Dark Thirty, Columbia Pictures

Actress in a Motion Picture
Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook, The Weinstein Co. WINNER

Emilie Dequenne, Our Children, Versus Production
Keira Knightley, Anna Karenina, Focus Features
Emmanuelle, Riva Amour, Sony Pictures Classics
Laura Birn, Purge, Solar Films
Laura Linney, Hyde Park on Hudson, Focus Features
Jessica Chastain Zero Dark Thirty, Columbia Pictures

Actor in a Motion Picture
Bradley Cooper, Silver Linings Playbook, The Weinstein Co. WINNER

John Hawkes, The Sessions, Fox Searchlight Pictures
Omar Sy, The Intouchables, The Weinstein Co.
Hugh Jackman, Les Miserables, Universal
Joaquin Phoenix, The Master, The Weinstein Co.
Denzel Washington, Flight, Paramount Pictures
Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln, DreamWorks/Touchstone

Actress in a Supporting Role
Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables, Universal WINNER

Amy Adams, The Master, The Weinstein Co.
Helene Florent, Cafe De Flore, Adopt Films
Helen Hunt, The Sessions, Fox Searchlight Pictures
Judi Dench, Skyfall, Columbia Pictures
Samantha Barks, Les Miserables, Universal

Actor in a Supporting Role
Javier Bardem, Skyfall, Columbia Pictures WINNER

Philip Seymour Hoffman, The Master, The Weinstein Co.
Robert De Niro, Silver Linings Playbook, The Weinstein Co.
John Goodman, Flight, Paramount Pictures
Tommy Lee Jones, Lincoln, DreamWorks/Touchstone
Eddie Redmayne, Les Miserables, Universal

Motion Picture, International Film
The Intouchables, The Weinstein Co. (France) WINNER

Amour, Sony Pictures Classics (Austria)
A Royal Affair, Magnolia Pictures (Denmark)
Our Children, Le Films Du Losange (Belgium)
Kon-Tiki, The Weinstein Co. (Norway)
Pieta, Drafthouse Films (South Korea)
Beyond the Hills, Sundance Selects (Romania)
War Witch, Tribeca Film (Canada)
Caesar Must Die, Adopt Film (Italy)

Motion Picture, Animated or Mixed Media
Rise of the Guardians, DreamWorks Animation WINNER

ParaNorman, Focus Features
Wreck-It Ralph, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Brave, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Ice Age 4: Continental Drift, Twentieth Century Fox Animation
Frankenweenie, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted, DreamWorks Animation

Motion Picture, Documentary
Chasing Ice, National Geographic WINNER

The Central Park Five, Sundance Selects
The Pruitt-Igoe, Myth First Run Features
The Gatekeepers, Sony Pictures Classics
Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry, Sundance Selects
West of Memphis, Sony Pictures Classics
Marina Abramovic: The Artist Is Present, Music Box Films
Searching for Sugar Man, Sony Pictures Classics

Original Screenplay
Mark Boal - Zero Dark Thirty, Columbia Pictures WINNER

Eric Toledano, Olivier Nakache - The Intouchables, The Weinstein Co.
John Gatins - Flight, Paramount Pictures
Kim Ki-Duk - Pieta, Drafthouse Films
Roman Coppola, Wes Anderson - Moonrise Kingdom, Focus Features
Paul Thomas Anderson - The Master, The Weinstein Co.

Adapted Screenplay
David Magee - Life of Pi; Twentieth Century Fox (Based on the Novel by Yann Martel) WINNER

• Ben Lewin - The Sessions; Fox Searchlight Pictures (Based on documentary Breathing Lessons: The Life and Work of Mark O’Brien, Directed by Jessica Yu)

• Tony Kushner, John Logan, Paul Webb – Lincoln; DreamWorks/Touchstone (Based on Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin)

• Chris Terrio – Argo; Warner Bros. (Based on magazine article “Escape From Tehran” by Joshuah Berman)

• Tom Stoppard - Anna Karenina; Focus Features (Based on the novel by Leo Tolstoy)

• David O. Russell, Silver Linings Playbook, The Weinstein Co. (Based on the novel by Matthew Quick)

Original Score (Composer, Film)
Alexandre Desplat for Argo, Warner Bros. WINNER

Dario Marianelli for Anna Karenina, Focus Features
Thomas Newman for Skyfall, Columbia Pictures
Jonny Greenwood for The Master, The Weinstein Co.
John Williams for Lincoln, DreamWorks/Touchstone
Dan Romer, Benh Zeitlin for Beasts of the Southern Wild, Fox Searchlight Pictures

Original Song (Title, Performer, Writer(s), Film)
"Suddenly, " Hugh Jackman, Alain Boubil, Herbert Kretzmer, from Les Miserables WINNER

• "Learn Me Right, " Birdy Birdy & Mumford and Sons, Mumford and Sons, from Brave

• "Still Alive, " Paul Williams, Paul Williams, Paul Williams: from Still Alive

• "Skyfall, " Adele, Adele Adkins, Paul Epworth, from Skyfall

• "Fire in the Blood/Snake Song, " Emmylou Harris, Emmylou Harris, Nick Cave, Warren Ellis, from Lawless

• "Love Always Comes as a Surprise." Peter Asher, Peter Asher & Dave Stewart, from Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted

Claudio Miranda, for Life of Pi, Twentieth Century Fox WINNER

Ben Richardson, for Beasts of the Southern Wild, Fox Searchlight Pictures
Mihai Malaimare Jr., for The Master, The Weinstein Co.
Janusz Kaminski, for Lincoln, DreamWorks/Touchstone
Roger Deakins, for Skyfall, Columbia Pictures
Seamus McGarvey, for Anna Karenina, Focus Features

Visual Effects
Michael Lantieri, Kevin Baillie, Ryan Tudhope, Jim Gibbs, for Flight, Paramount Pictures WINNER

• Steve Begg, Arundi Asregadoo, Andrew Whitehurst, for Skyfall, Columbia Pictures

• Richard Stammers, Charley Henley, Martin Hill, for Prometheus, Twentieth Century Fox

• Bill Westenhofer, for Life of Pi, Twentieth Century Fox

• Dan Glass, Geoffrey Hancock, Stephane Ceretti, for Cloud Atlas, Warner Bros.

• Chris Corbould, Paul Franklin, for The Dark Knight Rises, Warner Bros.

Film Editing
Jay Cassidy, for Silver Linings Playbook, The Weinstein Co. WINNER

Lisa Bromwell, for The Sessions, Fox Searchlight Pictures
Jeremiah O’Driscoll, for Flight, Paramount Pictures
Dylan Tichenor, for Zero Dark Thirty, Columbia Pictures
Alexander Berner, for Cloud Atlas, Warner Bros
Chris Dickens, for Les Miserables, Universal

Sound (Editing and Mixing)
John Warhurst, Lee Walpole, Simon Hayes, for Les Miserables, Universal WINNER

• Dennis Leonard, Randy Thom, for Flight, Paramount Pictures

• Craig Henighan, Chris Munro, for Snow White & The Huntsman, Universal

• Baard H. Ingebretsen, Tormod Ringes, for Kon-Tiki, The Weinstein Co.

• Drew Kunin, Eugene Gearty, Philip Stockton, for Life of Pi, Twentieth Century Fox

• Victor Ray Ennis, Ann Scibelli, John Cucci, Mark P. Stoeckinger for Prometheus Twentieth Century Fox

Art Direction & Production Design
Rick Carter, Curt Beech, David Crank, Leslie McDonald, for Lincoln, DreamWorks/Touchstone WINNER

• Nathan Crowley, Kevin Kavanaugh, James Hambidge, Naaman Marshall, for The Dark Knight Rises, Warner Bros.

• Niels Sejer, for A Royal Affair, Magnolia Pictures

• David Crank, Jack Fisk, for The Master, The Weinstein Co.

• Sarah Greenwood, Niall Moroney, Thomas Brown, Nick Gottschalk, Tom Still, for Anna Karenina, Focus Features

• Eve Stewart, Anna Lynch-Robinson, for Les Miserables, Universal

Costume Design
Manon Rasmussen for A Royal Affair, Magnolia Pictures WINNER

Colleen Atwood for Snow White & The Huntsman, Universal
Christian Gasc, Valerie Ranchoux, for Farewell, My Queen, Cohen Media Group
Jacqueline Durran, for Anna Karenina, Focus Features
Kym Barrett, Pierre-Yves Gayraud, for Cloud Atlas, Warner Bros
Paco Delgado, for Les Miserables, Universal

Mary Pickford Award for Outstanding Artistic Contribution to the Entertainment Industry: Terence Stamp

Nikola Tesla Award In Recognition of Visionary Achievement in Filmmaking Technology: Walter Murch

Auteur Award: Paul Williams

Honorary Satellite Award: Bruce Davison

Newcomer Award: Quvenzhane Wallis, Beasts of the Southern Wild

Best Ensemble, Motion Picture: Les Miserables

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Review: "Skyfall" is Among the Best Daniel Craig James Bond Films... so far

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 84 (of 2012) by Leroy Douresseaux

Skyfall (2012)
Running time: 143 minutes (2 hours, 23 minutes)
MPAA – PG-13 for intense violent sequences throughout, some sexuality, language and smoking
DIRECTOR: Sam Mendes
WRITERS: Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, and John Logan
PRODUCERS: Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson
EDITORS: Stuart Baird with Kate Baird
COMPOSER: Thomas Newman
MAIN THEME: “Skyfall” performed by Adele and composed by Adele and Paul Epworth


Starring: Daniel Craig, Judi Dench, Javier Bardem, Ralph Fiennes, Naomie Harris, Berenice Marlohe, Albert Finney, Ben Wishaw, Rory Kinnear, and Ola Rapace

Skyfall is a 2012 action movie and spy thriller. Directed by Sam Mendes (American Beauty), Skyfall is the 23rd film in the James Bond series. Actor Daniel Craig returns for his third outing as James Bond, agent 007. Skyfall finds Bond’s loyalty tested as the British Secret Intelligence Service comes under attack.

As the film opens, MI6 agents James Bond (Daniel Craig) and Eve Moneypenny (Naomie Harris) are in Turkey where they are tracking a killer named Patrice (Ola Rapace). This mercenary has in his possession a computer hard drive containing highly-sensitive information that belongs to the British, but the mission goes badly.

Later, Bond’s superior, M (Judi Dench), comes under political pressure to retire, even as MI6 comes under attack. With his credibility and ability to perform under question, Bond sets out to discover the identity of the attacker. What he finds is that M’s past has come back to haunt her in the form of a mysterious figure known as Raoul Silva (Javier Bardem). As 007 tracks down the threat, he finds himself facing his own past, but he must destroy that threat no matter how personal the cost.

I don’t think that there is much to say. Skyfall is good, and it is the best James Bond movie in recent memory, and certainly one of the best Bond films ever. It is well-directed with bracing action set pieces and thrilling scenes that, quite frankly, enthralled me. The performances are good, especially Javier Bardem as Raoul Silva; surely, he should at least be considered for an Oscar nomination.

The film is well-written, but I wouldn’t say that it is much better written than any of the other Daniel Craig Bond films. Most of the first hour of Skyfall is testament to brilliant spy thriller screenwriting. Once the film moves to London (because the story is resolved in Great Britain), it loses some of its mojo. It is not that Skyfall turns bad. It simply slows from a genius pop confection and transitions into a highly-skillful, espionage, shoot-‘em-up, action flick.

That’s not much of a fall, but it is still a step down from the near-perfection that opened Skyfall. Anyway, no one who has every enjoyed a James Bond film should miss this. Plus, I saw Skyfall in digital, and the picture sure was pretty.

8 of 10

Sunday, November 11, 2012


Friday, July 1, 2011

Review: Penelope Cruz Rescues Woody Allen's "Vicky Cristina Barcelona"

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 56 (of 2011) by Leroy Douresseaux

Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008)
Running time: 96 minutes (1 hour, 36 mintues)
MPAA – PG-13 for mature thematic material involving sexuality, and smoking
PRODUCERS: Letty Aronson, Stephen Tenenbaum, and Gareth Wiley
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Javier Aguirresarobe (D.o.P)
EDITOR: Alisa Lepselter
Academy Award winner


Starring: Rebecca Hall, Scarlett Johansson, Javier Bardem, Penélope Cruz, Chris Messina, Patricia Clarkson, Kevin Dunn, Pablo Schreiber, Carrie Preston, Zak Orth, Josep Maria Domenech, and Christopher Evan Welch (narrator)

Vicky Cristina Barcelona is a 2008 romantic comedy and drama from director Woody Allen. This was also his fourth consecutive film shot outside the United States (beginning with 2005’s Match Point). This Oscar-winning film is the story of two American girlfriends on a summer holiday in Spain who both fall in love with a womanizing Spanish painter.

Vicky (Rebecca Hall) and Cristina (Scarlett Johansson) travel to Barcelona, Spain to spend the summer with Vicky’s distant relatives, Judy (Patricia Clarkson), and her husband, Mark Nash (Kevin Dunn). Vicky is practical and traditional in her approach to love and is preparing to marry Doug (Chris Messina), a well-to-do white collar type. Cristina is non-conformist and spontaneous, but doesn’t know what she’s looking for in love.

Late one night at a restaurant, Juan Antonio Gonzalo (Javier Bardem), an artist, boldly approaches Vicky and Cristina and invites them to spend the weekend in the city of Oviedo with him. Vicky is reluctant, but Cristina is ready to go. Both young women eventually develop strong romantic feelings for Juan Antonio, but in different ways. Neither woman, however, knows that Juan Antonio’s mentally unstable ex-wife, María Elena (Penélope Cruz), is about to re-enter his life.

Vicky Cristina Barcelona received some of the best reviews any Allen film has had the past decade. Penélope Cruz even received a best supporting actress Oscar for her performance as the tempestuous and sometimes violent María Elena. In fact, it is Cruz’s Elena that saves this film. The first 50 minutes are listless, dull, and, in a few places, almost unwatchable. When Elena arrives, this movie perks up and its themes of unhappy marriages, romantic longing, and the search for meaningful, fulfilling relationships suddenly resonate, whereas those themes were hollow and did not feel genuine before the arrival of Elena.

One of Allen’s strengths has been his screenplays, but this one isn’t strong. The dialogue is flat and fake, and the actors, try as they might, cannot make it anything better. Working this poor script causes the actors to give middling performances, except for Cruz. These characters and the subplots all have potential; the screenplay just rushes by them as if they were nothing more than items on a grocery list that just needs to be gotten out the way. Vicky Cristina Barcelona was a successful film for Woody Allen, and I am happy for him as a fan of his work, but I only enjoyed half of this movie. Once again, I credit the lovely and talented Penélope Cruz, who can bring energy even to a limp film like Vicky Cristina Barcelona.

5 of 10

2009 Academy Awards: 1 win: “Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role” (Penélope Cruz)

2009 BAFTA Awards: 1 win: “Best Supporting Actress” (Penélope Cruz)

2009 Golden Globes: 1 win: “Best Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical;” 3 nominations: “Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical” (Javier Bardem), “Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical” (Rebecca Hall), and “Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture” (Penélope Cruz)

2008 Black Reel Awards: 1 nomination: “Best Supporting Actress” (Penélope Cruz)


Sunday, February 27, 2011

Colin Firth Wins Best Actor for "The King's Speech"

Actor in a Leading Role

Colin Firth in “The King's Speech” WINNER

Javier Bardem in “Biutiful”

Jeff Bridges in “True Grit”

Jesse Eisenberg in “The Social Network”

James Franco in “127 Hours”

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Oscars, "Black Swan" Buzz Yahoo! Search Engine

83rd Annual Academy Awards Projections from Yahoo!: According to Yahoo! Search, Black Swan Reigns Supreme and the Web is Buzzing About Co-Host Anne Hathaway

--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The 83rd Annual Academy Awards are set to air on Sunday February 27th. As the world prepares for Hollywood’s biggest night, Yahoo! looked at which films and actors are getting the most buzz online.

According to Yahoo! the web is excited about Hollywood’s big show:

Searches for “when are the Oscars” are spiking on Yahoo!

Searches on Yahoo! for “Oscars 2011” are up 1403%

Oscar ballots are spiking on Yahoo! up 38%

Searches for the award show are split between males and females

States searching for “Oscars” the most: California, Illinois, Texas, Washington and New Jersey

Older viewers: those under 24 only make up 16% of searches for “Oscars”

Black Swan Reigns Supreme: According to Yahoo! the top searched nominated films are:

1. Black Swan
2. True Grit
3. 127 hours
4. The Kids Are Alright
5. Inception
6. The Fighter
7. Toy Story 3

According to Yahoo! the top searched nominated actresses are:

1. Natalie Portman
2. Nicole Kidman
3. Jennifer Lawrence
4. Annette Bening

According to Yahoo! the top searched nominated actors are:

1. Javier Bardem
2. James Franco
3. Colin Firth
4. Jeff Bridges

According to Yahoo! the top searched Oscar hosts are:

1. Anne Hathaway
2. Ellen DeGeneres
3. James Franco
4. Alec Baldwin
5. Hugh Jackman
6. Whoopi Goldberg
7. Jon Stewart
8. Chris Rock
9. Steve Martin

Hostess with the Most:
Yahoo! users searched for Oscar co-host Anne Hathaway more than all of the “Best Actress” nominees.

Can’t get enough of the Oscars? Check out Yahoo! Movies’ exclusive coverage complete with predictions, nominees, polls, photos and more:

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Colin Firth Wins Best Actor BAFTA for "The King's Speech"





JESSE EISENBERG The Social Network


Saturday, February 5, 2011

Review: "Collateral" is Flashy, Gritty, and Edgy (Happy B'day, Michael Mann)

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 143 (of 2004) by Leroy Douresseaux

Collateral (2004)
Running time: 120 minutes (2 hours)
MPAA – R for violence and language
DIRECTOR: Michael Mann
WRITER: Stuart Beattie
PRODUCERS: Michael Mann and Julie Richardson
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Dion Beebe (D.o.P.) and Paul Cameron (D.o.P.)
EDITORS: Jim Miller and Paul Rubell
COMPOSER: James Newton Howard
Academy Award nominee


Starring: Tom Cruise, Jamie Foxx, Jada Pinkett Smith, Mark Ruffalo, Peter Berg, Bruce McGill, Irma P. Hall, Barry Shabaka Henley, Javier Bardem, and Klea Scott

Director Michael Mann is certainly a master of filming deliciously eye candy movies; from his hit 80’s TV series “Miami Vice” to such glossy power ballad films as Last of the Mohicans and Heat, he has delighted us with his visual acumen. His most recent film, Collateral, is, as a visual feast, an absolute delight and, just maybe, a masterpiece, albeit one with a flaw here and there.

A cabby named Max (Jaime Foxx) finds himself the hostage of Vincent (Tom Cruise), an engaging contract hit man, as he uses Max to ferry him around Los Angeles from hit to hit. The screwy duo eventually attracts the attention of Fanning (Mark Ruffalo), a savvy homicide detective. But despite the attention of the police, Max must, on his own, find a way to save himself and the last of five victims, Annie (Jada Pinkett Smith), a federal prosecutor who rode in Max’s cab before Vincent and befriended Max.

Collateral’s success is definitely the product of Michael Mann’s vision and of his cast, especially Cruise and Foxx. Mann’s film feels like his last L.A. blast off, the aforementioned Heat, but don’t mistake his visual flair for lack of substance. Mann’s films are always thrilling, even the character dramas, and they breath with life and vitality. Every frame suggests motivation and conflict, so Mann’s glossiness isn’t the shallowness of the many filmmakers his 1980’s work influenced.

Cruise is, of course, a delight to watch; he merely takes his usual film persona and turns of the heat to super intensity and makes Vincent a cold, ruthless machine – a machine that simultaneously has disdain for life and how we live it and a fascination with existence and how we understand it. This performance by Foxx is likely another hint that he is a comic who will reinvent himself as dramatic star much the way Robin Williams and Steve Martin did, but with the success of the former. Foxx’s Max is a troubled man, dealing with the failures and disappointments of life with a mixture of weariness and hope, cynicism and optimism, and stoicism and passion.

But Mann, Cruise, and Fox can’t do it alone. Ms. Smith and Mark Ruffalo are excellent supporting performers, and Ruffalo’s Fanning would himself make an excellent lead character in his own film. Stuart Beattie’s script is also good, especially in creating Vincent, part cipher and intriguing mystery man, but an inviting character who leaves us wanting more. The script did seem a little soft on really fleshing out Foxx’s Max, but overall, the script is a tightly-crafted short story that Mann was able to turn into a thrilling, short, dangerous crime tale that is both gritty and glorious. Collateral may be somewhat lacking in substance, but it’s just about the best confection you can have.

8 of 10

2005 Academy Awards: 2 nominations: “Best Achievement in Editing” (Jim Miller and Paul Rubell) and “Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role” (Jamie Foxx)

2005 BAFTA Awards: 1 win: “Best Cinematography” (Dion Beebe and Paul Cameron); 5 nominations: “Best Editing” (Jim Miller and Paul Rubell), “Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role” (Jamie Foxx), “Best Screenplay – Original” (Stuart Beattie), “Best Sound” (Elliott Koretz, Lee Orloff, Michael Minkler, and Myron Nettinga) and “David Lean Award for Direction” (Michael Mann)

2005 Black Reel Awards: 1 win “Best Supporting Actor” (Jamie Foxx) and 1 nomination: “Best Supporting Actress” (Jada Pinkett Smith)

2005 Golden Globes: 1 nomination: “Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture” (Jamie Foxx)

2005 Image Awards: 3 nominations: “Outstanding Motion Picture,” “Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture” (Jamie Foxx) and “Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture” (Jada Pinkett Smith)


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

2011 Oscar Nominations: Lead Actor

Actor in a Leading Role

Javier Bardem in “Biutiful”

Jeff Bridges in “True Grit”

Jesse Eisenberg in “The Social Network”

Colin Firth in “The King's Speech”

James Franco in “127 Hours”