Showing posts with label Jeffrey Wright. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Jeffrey Wright. Show all posts

Sunday, December 31, 2023

Negromancer News Bits and Bites from Dec. 24th to 31st, 2023 - Update #26

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

You can support Leroy via Paypal or on Patreon:

ENTERTAINMENT AND CULTURE NEWS:

BOX OFFICE - From BoxOfficePro:  The winner of the 12/28 to 12/31/2023 New Year's Day weekend box office is Warner Bros.'s "Wonka" with an estimated take of 23.9 million dollars.

MOVIES - From Variety: (Former) President Barack Obama has named his favorite movies of 2023.  The list includes three films produced by Higher Ground, which he founded with his wife, Michelle Obama.  Those films are "Rustin," "Leave the World Behind," and "American Symphony."  His list also includes "Oppenheimer" and "American Fiction."

MUSIC - From Variety: (Former) President Barack Obama has named his favorite songs of 2023.  The list includes "America Has a Problem" by Beyonce featuring Kendrick Lamar; "Water" by Tyla, and "My Love Mine All Mine" by Mitski.

BOX OFFICE - From Variety:  "The Color Purple" tops the box office on Christmas Day with an estimated take of 18 million dollars.  That is the largest Christmas Day opening since 2009, and the second largest of all-time.

From Deadline:  According to updated figures published by "Deadline," "Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom" won the four-day Christmas holiday weekend - 12//22 to 12/25/2023 - at the box office with an estimated take of 38.8 million dollars.

From Deadline:  Ridley Scott's "Napoleon" (starring Joaquin Phoenix in the title role) has crossed 200 million dollars at the global box office - 141.1 million at the international box office and 59.6 million at the domestic box office.

From Variety:  There won't be any official numbers for the 12/22 to 12/24/2023 weekend box office until Christmas Day at the earliest.  However, it seems that Warner Bros.'s "Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom" will win the weekend with an estimated take of 28.1 million dollars.

MOVIES - From DeadlineEddie Murphy says that reprising his role as "Axel Foley" for "Beverly Hills Cop 4" was a "hard one."

MOVIES - From DeadlineLionsgate will split from Starz.  It will take its TV studio, motion picture group, and film and television libraries with it into a merger with Screaming Eagle Acquisition Corp., a SPAC (special purpose acquisition company).

OBITS:

From THR:  The British stage, film, and television actor, Tom Wilkinson, has died at the age of 75, Saturday, December 30, 2023.  Wilkinson was nominated twice for an Academy Awards, "Best Actor" ("In the Bedroom") and Best Supporting Actor" ("Michael Clayton"). He won a British Academy Award for "Best Supporting Actor" ("The Full Monty") and nominated three other times.  He won an Primetime Emmy Award for his role in the HBO TV miniseries, "John Adams" (2008) and was nominated three other times.  He was an acclaimed character actor in such films as "Sense and Sensibility" (1995), "Shakespeare in Love" (1998), "Batman Begins" (2005), and "Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol" (2011), to name a few.

From Deadline:  The comedian, actor, musician, songwriter and composer, Tom Smothers, has died at the age of 86, Tuesday, December 26, 2023.  Tom was best known for teaming up with his younger brother, Dick Smothers, to form the musical comedy duo, "the Smothers Brothers."  The brothers are best known for their controversial comedy and variety series, "The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour" (1967-69), which CBS abruptly cancelled in April 1969.  Tom received two Primetime Emmy nominations, shared with other writers, including his brother, Dick.  In 2008, Tom received an honorary Emmy Awards.

-----------------------

AWARDS:

From AwardsWatch:  The Nevada Film Critics Society has announced its 2023 film awards.  "Oppenheimer" five awards, including "Best Picture" and "Best Director" (Christopher Nolan).

From AwardsWatchFlorida Film Critics Circle (FFCC) has announced its 2023 film awards.  Hayao's Miyazaki's anime film, "The Boy and the Heron" was named "Best Picture."

From AwardsWatchThe Black Film Critics Circle (BFCC) has announced its 2023 films awards.  "American Fiction" won six awards, including "Best Picture," "Best Director" (Cord Jefferson), and Best Actor (Jeffrey Wright).

From AwardsWatchThe San Diego Film Critics Society (SDFCS) has announced its 2023 film awards.  Always trying to be difficult, it named "Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret" the "Best Picture."  It named Martin Scorsese "Best Director" for "Killers of the Flower Moon."

From AwardsWatchThe Dublin Film Critics Circle has announced its 2023 film awards.  "Past Lives" wins "Best Film" and "Best Director" (Celine Song)"

From AwardsWatchThe North Texas Film Critics Association (NTFCA) has announced its 2023 films awards.  "Oppenheimer" wins five awards, including "Best Picture" and "Best Director" (Christopher Nolan).

From AwardsWatchThe Southeaster Film Critics Association (SEFCA) has announces its 2023 films awards.  "Oppenheimer" won eight awards including "Best Picture," "Best Director" (Christopher Nolan), and "Best Actor" (Cillian Murphy).

From AwardsWatchThe Indiana Film Journalists Association (IFJA) has announced its 2023 films awards.  "Poor Things" won six awards, including "Best Pictuere," "Best Director" (Yorgos Lanthmos), "Best Actress" (Emma Stone"), and "Best Supporting Actor" (Mark Ruffalo).

From AwardsWatchThe Philadelphia Film Critics Circle (PFCC) has announced it 2023 film awards.  "Poor Things" won four awards, including "Best Picture," "Best Director" (Yorgos Lanthimos), and "Best Actress" (Emma Stone).

From AwardsWatchThe St. Louis Film Critics Association (StLFCA) has announced its 2023 awards.  "Oppenheimer" won seven awards, including "Best Picture," "Best Director" (Christopher Nolan), and "Best Actor" (Cillian Murphy)

From AwardsWatchThe Phoenix Film Critics Society (PFCS) has named its 2023 film awards.  "Killers of the Flower Moon" wins "Best Picture."  Oppenheimer wins six, including "Best Director" for Christopher Nolan.

From AwardsWatchThe Dallas-Ft. Worth Film Critics Association (DFWFCA) has named its 2023 films awards.  "The Holdovers" wins "Best Picture."  "Oppenheimer" wins four, including "Best Director" for Christopher Nolan.

From AwardsWatchThe Toronto Film Critics Association (TFCA) have announced their 2023 film awards.  "The Zone of Interest" wins "Best Picture" and "Best Director" (for Jonathan Glazer).

From AwardsWatch:  The 2023 Boston Online Film Critics Association (BOFCA) awards have been announced.  "Killers of the Flower Moon" wins "Best Picture," one of two awards its won.  "Oppenheimer" wins five, including a "Best Director" for Christopher Nolan.

From AwardsWatch:  The nominations for the 2024 / 24th annual Black Reel Awards have been announced.  "The Color Purple" leads with 19 nominations.  The winners will be announced Jan. 16th, 2024.

From AwardsWatch:  The Phoenix Critics Circle (PCC) has announced its 2023 film awards.  "Past Lives" wins "Best Picture."

From AwardsWatchThe New York Film Critics Online (NYFCO) have named "Killers of the Flower Moon" the "Best Film" of 2023.  Christopher Nolan wins "Best Director" for "Oppenheimer."

From AwardsWatch:  The Las Vegas Film Critics Society have named "Oppenheimer" the "Best Picture" of 2023, with the film's director, Christopher Nolan, winning "Best Director."

From AwardsWatch:  The winners at the 2023 Chicago Film Critics Association Awards have been announced.  "Killers of the Flower Moon" wins "Best Picture," and Christopher Nolan wins "Best Director" for "Oppenheimer."

From THR:   The winners at the 2023 / 49th annual Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards have been announced.  The Holocaust historical drama, "The Zone of Interest," wins four awards, including "Best Picture," "Best Director" (Jonathan Glazer), and "Best Actress" (Sandra Huller).

From Deadline:  The nominations for the 2024 / 29th annual Critics Choice Awards have been announced. "Barbie" leads with 18 nominations.

From Deadline:  The nominations for the 2024 / 81st annual Golden Globe Awards have been announced.  The winners will be announced Jan. 7th, 2024 on CBS and Paramount Plus.

From AwardsWatch:  The Las Vegas Film Critics have announced their 2023 LVFC Awards nominations.  "Barbie" and "Oppenheimer" are the leading vote getters.  The winners will be announced Wed., Dec. 13th.

From THR:  The winners at the 2023 European Film Awards have been announced.  "Anatomy of a Fall" won five awards including for "Best Film," "Best Director" (Justine Triet), and "Best Actress" (Sandra Huller).

From AwardsWatch:  The 2023 National Board of Review film honors have been announced.  "Killers of the Flower Moon" won "Best Film," "Best Director" (Martin Scorsese), and "Best Actress" (Lily Gladstone).

From AwardsWatch:  The American Film Institute (AFI) names its top ten films: American Fiction, Barbie, The Holdovers, Killers of the Flower Moon, Maestro, May December, Oppenheimer, Past Lives, Poor Things, and Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse.  It also names its top ten television series: Abbott Elementary, The Bear, Beef, Jury Duty, The Last of Us, The Morning Show, Only Murders in the Building, Poker Face, Reservation Dogs, and Succession.

From AwardsWatch:  "Barbie" and "Oppenheimer" lead the nominations for "Astra Film & Creative Arts Awards," which are put on by the "Hollywood Creative Alliance" (formerly known as the Hollywood Critics Association).  The winners will be announced Jan. 6th, 2024 in Los Angeles.

From Deadline:  At the 2023 / 26th British Independent Film Awards, director Andrew Haigh's "All of Us Strangers" won seven awards, including "Best British Independent Film."

From Variety:  The winners at the 2023 / 89th New York Film Critics Circle Awards have been announced.  "Killers of the Flower Moon" (directed by Martin Scorsese) was named "Best Film of 2023."  Christopher Nolan won "Best Director" for his film, "Oppenheimer."

From Variety:  The winners at the 2023 / 33rd Annual Gotham Awards were announced Mon., Nov. 27th.  Writer-director Celine Song's South Korean romantic drama, "Past Lives" won the "Best Feature" award.

BEST PICTURE COUNT:
All of Us Strangers: 1
American Fiction: 1
The Boy and the Heron: 1
The Holdovers: 1
Killers of the Flower Moon: 6
Oppenheimer: 5
Past Lives: 3
Poor Things: 2
The Zone of Interest: 2

-------------------


Sunday, September 24, 2023

Negromancer News Bits and Bites from September 17th to 23rd, 2023 - Update #12

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

You can support Leroy via Paypal or on Patreon:

ENTERTAINMENT AND CULTURE NEWS:

MOVIES - From Deadline:  Oscar-winning legend, Michael Caine, is retiring again.  He says that his upcoming film, "The Great Escaper," is his final film before retiring.

MOVIES/TRAILERS - From DeadlineSaban Films has released a trailer for Amber Heard's first film since 2021. Entitled "In the Fire," the film is set in late 19th century Columbia and finds a New York doctor (played by Heard) taking on misogyny, small-town superstition, and maybe the Devil.

TECH - From Variety:  Indian actor Anil Kapoor ("Slumdog Millionaire) has won a landmark judgement against artificial intelligence (AI).  He had filed a suit in the Delhi High Court through his lawyer Ameet Naik for protection of his personality rights including his name, image, likeness, voice and other attributes of his personality against any misuse including on digital media. The suit also provided various instances of misuse of his attributes.

TELEVISION - From DeadlineAMC has renewed its crime drama, "Dark Winds," for a third season, just a few weeks after the second season concluded.  The third season is scheduled to arrive in early 2025, instead of Summer 2024, likely because of the ongoing strikes.

ANIMATION - From DeadlineFXX's animated series, "Archer," which is now in its 14th and final season, will also air on the cable network, FX.  Customers of the Spectrum cable service had lost access to FXX.

BOX OFFICE - From BoxOfficePro:  The winner of the 9/15 to 917/2023 weekend box office is Warner Bros.'s "The Nun II" with an estimated take of 14.7 million dollars.

TELEVISION - From Deadline:  HBO has cancelled the acclaimed series, "Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty," after two seasons.

TIFF - From Deadline:  Director Cord Jefferson's film, "American Fiction," has won "The People's Choice" award at the 2023 Toronto International Film Festival.  The film, starring Jeffrey Wright, is a satire of the American publishing industry its treatment of serious works by Black authors.

MUSIC/FILM - From RollingStone:  Oscar-winning director Martin Scorsese offers a tribute to his friend and collaborator, Robbie Robertson, the Canadian singer-songwriter, musician, and recording artist who died this past August (2023).

AI - From Deadline:  English actor, comedian, and writer, Stephen Fry, says that he has discovered that a historical documentary is using an AI version of his voice as the film's narrator - without his permission.

STREAMING - From DeadlinePeacock has released a trailer for "John Carpenter's Suburban Screams." John Carpenter, the director of "Halloween" and "The Fog," returns to the director’s chair for the first time in 13 years with this six-episode unscripted horror anthology series.  It premieres Friday, October 13, on Peacock and is an exploration of true tales of terror that took place in seemingly perfect American hometowns.

OBITS:

From Deadline:  Television director and producer, Stan Harris, has died at the age of 92, Monday, September 18, 2023.  Harris was known for directing and producing live and recorded television specials for recording artists such as David Bowie, Bob Dylan, and Dolly Parton, to name a few.  His TV episodes and events for Jack Benny, Milton Berle, George Burns, and the Smother Brothers, to name a few.  He received three Primetime Emmy Award nominations for his work.

From Deadline:  American television and soap opera actor, Billy Miller, has died at the age of 43, Friday, September 15, 2023. He was best known for his roles on the ABC soap, "General Hospital" and CBS' "The Young and the Restless."  Miller had received six Daytime Emmy Award nominations and won three of them.

---------------------

WRITERS/ACTORS STRIKE:

From Deadline:  A meeting between leading television showrunners, including Kenya Barris and Noah Hawley, and WGA leadership has been cancelled.

From Deadline:   The actors’ strike is now in its 63rd day.  Now, SAG-AFTRA leaders are ramping up their rhetoric against the studio heads, accusing them in the latest issue of the "SAG-AFTRA Magazine" of “behaving like petty tyrants,” “would-be feudal lords” and “land barons in feudal times.”

From Deadline:  Sony Pictures Entertainment CEO Tony Vinciquerra says that Hollywood unions need to embrace AI.

From Deadline:  The AMPTP says that the Writers Guild's claims that their is division in the ranks of the studios about the strike are false.

From Deadline:  The WGA (Writers Guild of America) told its members Friday (Sept. 8th) that despite the united front the streamers and studios (via the AMPTP) have shown in public during the guild’s 130-day strike, several of the legacy companies privately have expressed “both the desire and willingness to negotiate an agreement that adequately addresses writers’ issues.”

From Deadline:  Warner Bros. Discovery boss David Zaslav says the industry must focus and fight to resolve the writers and actors strikes.

From Deadline:  The writers of MTV’s "Ridiculousness" are coming closer to being unionized. The show’s writing team, which was behind over 230 episodes last year, has been going through the process to unionize over the last few months, hoping to join the WGA.

From THR:  As talks with the Writers Guild of America stall, the studio trade association, AMPTP, has retained D.C.-based firm, The Levinson Group, to pursue a fresh messaging strategy.

From Deadline:  Regarding the Hollywood writers strike, the AMPTP (representing the studios) released the details of a proposed labor agreement that it made to the WGA (the Writers Guild) on August 11th.

From Deadline:  A pair of former production assistants-turned-assistant directors have created a nonprofit in hopes of providing financial aid to PAs (production assistants) who’ve been put out of work due to the 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.

----------------------


Thursday, March 17, 2022

Review: "THE FRENCH DISPATCH" is Ultimate Wes Anderson

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 14 of 2022 (No. 1826) by Leroy Douresseaux

The French Dispatch of the Liberty, Kansas Evening Sun (2021)
Running time:  107 minutes (1 hour, 47 minutes)
MPA – R for graphic nudity, some sexual references and language
DIRECTOR:  Wes Anderson
WRITERS:  Wes Anderson; from a story by Wes Anderson, Roman Coppola, Jason Schwartzman, and Hugo Guinness
PRODUCERS:  Wes Anderson, Jeremy Dawson, and Steven Rales
CINEMATOGRAPHER:  Robert Yeoman (D.o.P.)
EDITOR:  Andrew Weisblum
COMPOSER:  Alexandre Desplat

COMEDY/DRAMA/ANTHOLOGY with elements of fantasy

Starring:  Jeffrey Wright, Benicio del Toro, Adrien Brody, Lea Seydoux, Tilda Swinton, Frances McDormand, Timothée Chalamet, Lyna Khoudri, Liev Schreiber, Mathieu Amalric, Stephen Park, Willem Dafoe, Edward Norton, Winston Ait Hellal, and Owen Wilson and Anjelica Huston

The French Dispatch (full title: The French Dispatch of the Liberty, Kansas Evening Sun) is a 2021 comedy-drama and anthology film from writer-director Wes Anderson.  The film focuses on the French foreign bureau of a Kansas newspaper and the features magazine it produces.

The French Dispatch introduces Arthur Howitzer Jr. (Bill Murray).  When he was a college freshman, he convinces his father, the owner of the newspaper, the “Liberty, Kansas Evening Sun,” to fund his transatlantic trip.  Junior would in turn produce a series of travelogue columns, which would be published for local readers in the Evening Sun's magazine supplement “Sunday Picnic.”  Arthur, Jr. sets up shop in the (fictional) French town of Ennui-sur-Blasé.  Over the next decade, young Arthur assembles a team of the best expatriate journalists of the time.  In 1925, he transforms the Sunday Picnic into the weekly magazine, “The French Dispatch” (something like The New Yorker).

In 1975, fifty years after he left Kansas, Arthur Howitzer, Jr. dies suddenly of a heart attack.  Although it has half a million subscribers in 50 countries, as per his will, The French Dispatch will immediately cease publication following the release of a farewell issue that will feature Arthur's obituary and four articles by magazine's best writers:

In “The Cycling Reporter,” Herbsaint Sazerac (Owen Wilson) gives a sight-seeing tour.  It is “a day in Ennui over the course of 250 years” and demonstrates how much and yet how little has changed in Ennui over time.

In “The Concrete Masterpiece,” J.K.L. Berensen (Tilda Swinton) delivers a lecture at an art gallery.  She details the career of Moses Rosenthaler (Benicio del Toro), a mentally disturbed artist serving a sentence in the Ennui Prison-Asylum for murder and the two most important people in his lives.  The first is Simone (Lea Seydoux), a prison officer who becomes Moses' lover and his muse.  Moses paints a portrait of Simone, and that second important person, Julien Cadazio, an art dealer also serving a sentence for tax evasion, is immediately taken by the painting.  After buying the painting, Cadazio uses it to turn Moses into an international sensation.  However, Moses struggles with inspiration, and his relationship with Simone becomes complicated.

In “Revisions to a Manifesto,” Lucinda Krementz (Frances McDormand) reports on a student protest breaking out in the streets of Ennui, one that soon boils over into the “Chessboard Revolution.”  Krementz fails to maintain “journalistic neutrality” when she falls in love with Zeffirelli (Timothée Chalamet), a college boy who is the self-styled leader of the revolt.  She secretly helps him write his manifesto, but Juliette (Lyna Khoudri), a fellow revolutionary who has some feelings for Zeffirelli, is unimpressed with his manifesto – thus, creating a love triangle.

In “The Private Dining Room of the Police Commissioner,” Roebuck Wright (Jeffrey Wright) is the guest of a television talk show host (Liev Schreiber).  Wright recounts the story of his attending a private dinner with The Commissaire (Mathieu Amalric) of the Ennui police force.  The meal is prepared by the legendary police officer and chef, Lt. Nescaffier (Stephen Park).  Nescaffier is the creator of a kind of “haute cuisine” specifically designed to be eaten by police officers while they are working.  The dinner is disrupted when the Commissaire's inquisitive and bright son, Gigi (Winston Ait Hellal), is kidnapped and held for ransom by a large gang of criminals, led by a failed musician known as “The Chauffeur” (Edward Norton).

They mourn his death.  Now, the staff of The French Dispatch must put together a final issue with these four stories that Arthur Howitzer Jr. touched in some way?

The French Dispatch has been described as a film that is “a love letter to journalists set in an outpost of an American newspaper in a fictional twentieth century French city.”  The film presents four of the magazine's stories of the city.  Director Wes Anderson has apparently stated that this film is inspired by his love of the venerable weekly magazine, The New Yorker, and that some of the film's characters and events are based on real-life equivalents from that magazine.  During The French Dispatch's closing credits, there is a dedication to several writers and editors, many of whom wrote for The New Yorker.

To that end, The French Dispatch is a movie that celebrates magazine writers, illustrators, and editors and the stories they tell.  This film is a love letter to stories of local color and of locales written for magazines.  The film demands patience and attention on the part of the audience.  The French Dispatch is a hybrid.  It is an anthology of four main stories and of a few small chapters, although everything connects in the end.  The audience has to follow each of the main stories, paying attention from beginning to the end.  That is where the pay off comes.

In fact, each of the main stories seems like one thing in the beginning, but fully develops over the course of the narrative in something different.  At the end of each, I realized that the story was about wonderful characters living lives both ordinary and extraordinary.  In the extraordinary, Anderson gives us a reason to love what is so ordinary and human about them.

This is brilliant character writing on Anderson's part.  His gift is to make not only the lead and supporting characters fascinating, but he also makes even the characters who say little and the extras seem worth knowing – even when the narrative passes them by.  To that end, I think Roebuck Wright is the character that ties all the characters and stories together.  He is the narrator/writer of “The Private Dining Room of the Police Commissioner,” the final story.  Both his first meeting and final conversation with Bill Murray's Arthur coalesces the film's theme of expatriate writers, and he begins Arthur's obituary, which also brings together the film's shifts in time.  It would have been nice to see Wright receive a best supporting actor Oscar nomination for his work here, but The French Dispatch did not receive any Oscar nominations.

The film's production values:  art direction and production design, costumes, and cinematography all meet the wonderfully inventive and incredibly imaginative standards that audiences have come to expect from Wes Anderson's films.  The French Dispatch looks like no film I have ever seen.  Even Alexandre Desplat's score sounds like something entirely new in film music.  I described Anderson's 2014 film, The Grand Budapest Hotel, as Wes Anderson art for Wes Anderson's art sake.  The French Dispatch is Wes Anderson high art.

9 of 10
A+

Thursday, March 17, 2022


NOTES:
2022 BAFTA Awards:  3 nominations: “Best Costume Design” (Milena Canonero); “Original Score” (Alexandre Desplat), and “Best Production Design” (Adam Stockhausen and Rena DeAngelo)

2022 Black Reel Awards:  1 nomination: “Outstanding Supporting Actor” (Jeffrey Wright)

2021 Cannes Film Festival:  1 nomination: “Palme d'Or” (Wes Anderson)

2022 Golden Globes, USA:  1 nomination: “Best Original Score - Motion Picture” (Alexandre Desplat)


The text is copyright © 2022 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this blog or site for syndication rights and fees.

-----------


-----------

Amazon wants me to inform you that the affiliate link below is a PAID AD, but I technically only get paid (eventually) if you click on the affiliate link below AND buy something(s).


Friday, March 4, 2022

Review: "THE BATMAN" Has Great Action Scenes and Dull Psychological Drama

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 12 of 2022 (No. 1824) by Leroy Douresseaux

The Batman (2022)
Running time:  175 minutes (2 hours, 55 minutes)
MPAA – PG-13 for strong violent and disturbing content, drug content, strong language, and some suggestive material
DIRECTOR:  Matt Reeves
WRITERS:  Matt Reeves and Peter Craig (based on Batman created by Bob Kane and Bill Finger)
PRODUCERS:  Dylan Clark and Matt Reeves
CINEMATOGRAPHER:  Greig Fraser (D.o.P.)
EDITORS:  William Hoy and Tyler Nelson
COMPOSER:  Michael Giacchino

SUPERHERO/FANTASY/ACTION and DRAMA/MYSTERY

Starring:  Robert Pattinson, Zoë Kravitz, Jeffrey Wright, Paul Dano, Colin Farrell, John Turturro, Andy Serkis, Peter Sarsgaard, Jayme Lawson, Gil Perez-Abraham, Alex Ferns, Rupert Penry-Jones, Hana Hrzic, Charlie Carver, Max Carver, Luke Roberts, Stella Stocker, and Barry Keoghan

The Batman is a 2022 superhero action-drama from director Matt Reeves.  It is the eighth film in the modern Batman film franchise that began with director Tim Burton's 1989 film, Batman, and it is a reboot of the Batman film franchise.  In The Batman, a sadistic serial killer begins murdering key political figures, forcing Batman to investigate his city's hidden corruption, which may involve both his father and mother's side of the family.

The Batman opens on Halloween.  The Gotham City mayoral race is in the final stretch between incumbent Mayor Don Mitchell Jr. (Robert Pattinson) and challenger, Bella Reál (Jayme Lawson).  A sadistic new serial killer, who calls himself “The Riddler” (Paul Dano), murders Mayor Mitchell.  Thus, begins The Riddler's wave of murder and terror.

The Batman (Robert Pattinson), a vigilante who has operated in Gotham for two years, works alongside Lieutenant James Gordon (Jeffrey Wright) of the Gotham City Police Department, much to the chagrin of many rank and file officers and higher-ups in the department.  They discover that with each of his murders, The Riddler leaves a message for Batman.

Batman is really reclusive billionaire, Bruce Wayne (Robert Pattinson), who obsessively protects Gotham.  So focused on his mission is Bruce that he pushes away his loyal butler and mentor, Alfred Pennyworth (Andy Serkis).  However, Batman ends up partnering with Selina Kyle ( Zoë Kravitz), a waitress who is something of a cat burglar – a “Catwoman” – who is trying to find her missing roommate and girlfriend Annika (Hana Hrzic).

The Batman will be forced to reckon with Gotham City's hidden corruption and also face tough questions about his late parents, Thomas and Martha Wayne's (Luke Roberts and Stella Stocker) involvement in that corruption  Especially, troubling is Thomas Wayne's connection to a notorious Gotham crime lord, Carmine Falcone (John Turturro).

The Batman is a film that borrows liberally from the recent film and comic book past of Batman.  I recognize story elements borrowed from Batman comic book stories like “Batman: Year One” and “Zero Year.”  There are allusions to Tim Burton's 1989 Batman film; even composer Michael Giacchino's score seems to reference composer Danny Elfman's score for Burton's film.

However, director Matt Reeves, in making The Batman, seems obsessed with or bewitched by director Christopher Nolan's hugely popular Batman films:  Batman Begins (2005), The Dark Knight (2008), and The Dark Knight Rises (2012), referred to as “The Dark Knight trilogy.”  Nolan's film were “dark” and edgy in terms of subject matter, plots, and characters, but Nolan filled the films with invigorating and tense action set pieces.

The Batman is just dark.  It is as if Reeves took Nolan's aesthetic and through a coal black filter over it.  The Gotham City of this film seems like a real-life city, and it is dark as all Hell at night and damp – really damp.  Reeves and his co-screenwriter, Peter Craig, fashion a story that is overwhelmed with political corruption and depraved criminals that are dark in personality and even darker in motivation.  Bruce Wayne is morose, as if both actor Robert Pattinson and Matt Reeves are determined to make him a caricature of the caricature that has become iconic rock musician, the late Kurt Cobain.  It is an utter waste of Pattinson's potential as both an actor and a movie star.

On the other hand, Pattinson's Batman has more layers.  Pattinson makes him formidable and dangerous, but also introspective and capable of mercy.  This Batman is also a fierce fighter, but is physically vulnerable; Bruce's body is marked with the scars of his Batman activities.  Batman is often knocked down by his opponents in hand to hand combat and seriously injured by gunfire.

Too bad that The Batman does not have better villains.  They aren't really worth talking about, but I do want to point out the really terrible version of The Riddler that is in this film.  He is a whiny, boring incel, and as The Riddler, actor Paul Dano is more doofus than diabolical.

The Batman does have good supporting characters, but the script does not give them much with which to work.  Zoë Kravitz is full of fire and talent as Selina Kyle, and when she is allowed to show her acting chops, she steals entire scenes.  Most of the time, however, it feels like all the filmmakers really want her to do is pose and look bad-ass slash alluring.  James Gordon is a mostly one-note character, and even the supremely talented Jeffrey Wright cannot make the character be more than that.  I won't get into how much the brilliant Andy Serkis is wasted as Alfred Pennyworth.

The Batman is truly at its best during the fights, chases, and action scenes.  The film also gives us a monster-like Batmobile that is more muscle car than mobile, and when Batman uses it to pursue the Penguin (Colin Farrell) in his car, the film seems to explode off the screen.

What keeps The Batman from being a really good film, to say nothing of being a great film, is that it is too long.  It is half kick-ass action and half plodding melodrama, and I wish the plodding melodrama had been cut in half.  Honestly, I would only recommend The Batman to people who enjoy watching Batman movies, regardless of whether they are comic book fans or not.

6 of 10
B

Friday, March 4, 2022


The text is copyright © 2022 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this blog or site for reprint or syndication rights and fees.

---------------


---------------


Friday, October 8, 2021

Review: "NO TIME TO DIE," But Plenty of Time to Bore

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 60 of 2021 (No. 1798) by Leroy Douresseaux

No Time to Die (2021)
Running time:  163 minutes (2 hours, 43 minutes)
MPAA – PG-13 for sequences of violence and action, some disturbing images, brief strong language and some suggestive material
DIRECTOR:  Cary Joji Fukunaga
WRITERS:  Neal Purvis & Robert Wade and Cary Joji Fukunaga, and Phoebe Waller-Bridge; from a story by Cary Joji Fukunaga and Neal Purvis & Robert Wade (based on the characters created by Ian Fleming)
PRODUCERS:  Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson
CINEMATOGRAPHER:  Linus Sandgren (D.o.P.)
EDITORS:  Tom Smith and Elliot Graham
COMPOSER:  Hans Zimmer
SONG:  “No Time to Die,” sung by Billie Eilish; written by Billie Eilish and Finneas O'Connell

SPY/ACTION/ADVENTURE

Starring:  Daniel Craig, Rami Malek, Lea Seydoux, Lashana Lynch, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Whishaw, Naomie Harris, Rory Kinnear, Billy Magnussen, David Dencik, Dali Benssalah, and Jeffrey Wright with Christoph Waltz

No Time to Day is a 2021 spy and action-adventure film from director Cary Joji Fukunaga.  It is the 25th entry in EON Productions' James Bond film franchise, and it is also the fifth and (supposedly) final film in which actor Daniel Craig portrays Bond.  In No Time to Die, James Bond is attempting to enjoy life after having left active service when an old friend asks him to help the CIA secure a dangerous new weapon.

No Time to Die finds former M16 agent, James Bond-007 (Daniel Craig), enjoying life after leaving active service with his lover, Dr. Madeleine Swann (Lea Seydoux).  While vacationing in Matera, Italy, Spectre assassins ambush Bond, and although he survives that attempt, he believes that he has been betrayed.  Bond blames Madeleine and leaves her.

Five years later, MI6 scientist, Valdo Obruchev (David Dencik), is kidnapped from an MI6 laboratory.  Obruchev was working on a bio-weapons project, “Project Heracles,” at the behest of Gareth Mallory (Ralph Fiennes), also known as “M,” the head of MI6.  In Jamaica, Bond's friend, CIA agent Felix Leiter (Jeffrey Wright), asks Bond to help him track Obruchev, but Bond refuses.  Later, Bond encounters Nomi (Lashana Lynch), the MI6 agent who has succeeded him as the new “007.”  After discovering more about “Project Heracles” via Nomi, Bond agrees to help Leiter find Obruchev.

Bond discovers that his old nemesis, Ernst Stavro Blofeld (Christoph Waltz), the founder and head of the criminal syndicate, Spectre, is somehow involved with Obruchev.  However, the true mastermind behind Obruchev's activities is a mysterious terrorist leader (Rami Malek) on a mission of revenge and harboring plans to kill untold millions of people.

Of the previous Daniel Craig James Bond films:  Casino Royale (2006), Quantum of Solace (2008), Skyfall (2012) and Spectre (2015), the last two join No Time to Die to form some kind of Daniel Craig as James Bond life cycle.  When it comes to James Bond, I am not interested in s life story, origin tale, or death story of 007.  Craig is the first actor to play Bond who gets a swan song film.  All the other Bond actors did not get a goodbye movie; they simply left.

Although it has some good moments and some exceptional set pieces – in the form of extended action scenes – No Time to Die gets old and listless, especially after the action that takes place in Matera.  This film is also too long and too tired, especially wants the drama moves to Japan.  Even Daniel Craig, who is only 53-years-old, seems to be much older than he really his.  His body is tight, but his face is Beetlejuice.  It is as if everything about this film inadvertently says that both Craig and Bond are way past their expiration date.  In fact, both seem like spoiled milk.

No Time to Die has other problems.  Ray Fiennes, with his dour faced portrayal of “M,” only makes things seem more rundown.  Naomie Harris is utterly wasted as Eve Moneypenny.  Lashana Lynch cannot do much to save her utterly wasted and woefully underdeveloped character, Nomi, the new 007.  Jeffrey Wright seems like an out-of-gas old car as Felix Leiter.  As for Rami Malek: what could have been is so obvious in how much he gets out of so little.

On the other hand, Rory Kinnear brings some quiet energy as M's chief of staff, Bill Tanner.  As usual Ben Whishaw is top notch as “Q,” and I hope the Bond bosses bring him back in the next iteration of the franchise.  Also, Bill Magnussen provides an expected pretty boy, watermelon sugar rush as the bright-eyed CIA agent, Logan Ash.

In the final analysis, if I had to do it again, I would not go to a movie theater to see No Time to Die.  Don't get me wrong.  I am a huge James Bond fan and would see this movie anyway.  I will always find a lot to like even in Bond movies about which I have mixed feelings.  However, No Time to Die is the kind of Bond movie that I could have waited to see at home.  It is sad that Daniel Craig's tenure as James Bond did not so much end as it simply petered out.

6 of 10
B

Friday, October 8, 2021


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

----------------

Amazon wants me to inform you that the link below is a PAID AD, but I technically only get paid (eventually) if you click on the ad below AND buy something(s).


Thursday, January 30, 2020

Director Matt Reeves Has Begun Filming "The Batman"

Filming Is Underway on Warner Bros. Pictures’ “The Batman,” Directed by Matt Reeves and Starring Robert Pattinson

Pattinson plays the dual role of Batman and Bruce Wayne amidst a star-studded ensemble

BURBANK, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Principal photography has begun on Warner Bros. Pictures’ “The Batman.” Director Matt Reeves (the “Planet of the Apes” films) is at the helm, with Robert Pattinson (upcoming “Tenet,” “The Lighthouse,” “Good Time”) starring as Gotham City’s vigilante detective, Batman, and billionaire Bruce Wayne.

Starring alongside Pattinson as Gotham’s famous and infamous cast of characters are Zoë Kravitz (“Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald,” “Mad Max: Fury Road”) as Selina Kyle; Paul Dano (“Love & Mercy,” “12 Years a Slave”) as Edward Nashton; Jeffrey Wright (the “Hunger Games” films) as the GCPD’s James Gordon; John Turturro (the “Transformers” films) as Carmine Falcone; Peter Sarsgaard (“The Magnificent Seven,” “Black Mass”) as Gotham D.A. Gil Colson; Jayme Lawson (“Farewell Amor”) as mayoral candidate Bella Reál; with Andy Serkis (the “Planet of the Apes” films, “Black Panther”) as Alfred; and Colin Farrell (“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” “Dumbo”) as Oswald Cobblepot.

Reeves and Dylan Clark (the “Planet of the Apes” films) are producing the film, with Simon Emanuel, Michael E. Uslan, Walter Hamada and Chantal Nong Vo serving as executive producers. Reeves’ behind-the-scenes creative team includes Oscar-nominated director of photography Greig Fraser (“Lion,” upcoming “Dune”); his “Planet of the Apes” production designer, James Chinlund; editors William Hoy (the “Planet of the Apes” films) and Tyler Nelson (“Rememory”); Oscar-winning VFX supervisor Dan Lemmon (“The Jungle Book”); Oscar-nominated SFX supervisor Dominic Tuohy (“1917,” “Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker”); Oscar-nominated sound mixer Stuart Wilson (“1917,” the “Star Wars” franchise); Oscar-winning costume designer Jacqueline Durran (“1917,” “Little Women,” “Anna Karenina”) and costume designers Glyn Dillon (the “Star Wars” franchise) and David Crossman (“1917,” the “Star Wars” franchise); hair designer Zoe Tahir (upcoming “No Time to Die,” “Spectre”); and Oscar-nominated makeup designer Naomi Donne (“1917”).

Batman was created by Bob Kane with Bill Finger. Based on characters from DC, “The Batman” is set to open in theaters June 25, 2021 and will be distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures.

-----------------------


Wednesday, August 21, 2019

"No Time to Die" is the Title of the Next James Bond Film


NO TIME TO DIE is the official title of Bond 25

Daniel Craig returns in his fifth 007 film

James Bond Producers, Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli today released the official title of the 25th James Bond adventure, NO TIME TO DIE. The film, from Albert R. Broccoli’s EON Productions, Metro Goldwyn Mayer Studios (MGM), and Universal Pictures International is directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga (Beasts of No Nation, True Detective) and stars Daniel Craig, who returns for his fifth film as Ian Fleming’s James Bond 007.

Written by Neal Purvis & Robert Wade (SPECTRE, SKYFALL), Cary Joji Fukunaga, Scott Z. Burns (Contagion, The Bourne Ultimatum) and Phoebe Waller-Bridge (Killing Eve, Fleabag) NO TIME TO DIE is currently in production. The film will be released globally from April 3, 2020 in the UK through Universal Pictures International and in the US on April 8, 2020, from MGM via their United Artists Releasing banner.

NO TIME TO DIE also stars Rami Malek, Léa Seydoux, Lashana Lynch, Ben Whishaw, Naomie Harris, Billy Magnussen, Ana de Armas, Rory Kinnear, David Dencik, Dali Benssalah with Jeffrey Wright and Ralph Fiennes.

In NO TIME TO DIE, Bond has left active service and is enjoying a tranquil life in Jamaica. His peace is short-lived when his old friend Felix Leiter from the CIA turns up asking for help. The mission to rescue a kidnapped scientist turns out to be far more treacherous than expected, leading Bond onto the trail of a mysterious villain armed with dangerous new technology.

Other members of the creative team are; Composer Dan Romer, Director of Photography Linus Sandgren, Editors Tom Cross and Elliot Graham, Production Designer Mark Tildesley, Costume Designer Suttirat Larlarb, Hair and Make up Designer Daniel Phillips, Supervising Stunt Coordinator Olivier Schneider, Stunt Coordinator Lee Morrison and Visual Effects Supervisor Charlie Noble. Returning members to the team are; 2nd Unit Director Alexander Witt, Special Effects and Action Vehicles Supervisor Chris Corbould and Casting Director Debbie McWilliams.

Press release from https://www.007.com/no-time-to-die-is-the-official-title-of-bond-25/

-------------------------


Friday, October 12, 2018

Negromancer News Bits and Bites from October 7th to 13th, 2018 - Update #19

Support Leroy on Patreon:

MOVIES - From Variety:  James Emswiller, an Emmy-winning sound mixer, died after a fall on the set on Tom Hank's Mr. Rogers' biopic, "You Are My Friend."  Emswiller was 61 years old, and won his Emmy for his work on Queen Latifah's "Bessie."

----------
MOVIES - From Variety:  HBO has acquired the Jeffrey Wright prison drama, "O.G."

----------
TELEVISION - From TVGuide:  Jennifer Garner confirms that a reboot of her early 2000s ABC series, "Alias," is happening, but that it is still in the early stages.

----------
DISNEY - From Variety:  Fox will be ready to close the Disney deal January 1, 2019.

----------
COMICS-FILM - From YahooET:  Maggie Gyllenhaal remembers her "The Dark Knight" co-star, the late Heath Ledger, for being "on a whole other level" on the set of Chris Nolan's 2008 film.

----------
AWARDS-MUSIC - From PopSugar:  Here is a list winners from the 2018 American Movie Awards.

----------
STAR TREK - From Deadline:  First look at Rebecca Romijn as "Number One" on CBS All Access' "Star Trek: Discovery" Season 2.

----------
COMICS-TV - From YahooEntertainment:  First look at actress Ruby Red as "Batwoman" has been released.  Batwoman will appear in The CW's "Arrowverse" event that crossover through episodes of "Arrow," "The Flash," and "Supergirl."

----------
COMICS-FILM - From TheWrap:  James Gunn is in talks to writer "Suicide Squad 2" for Warner Bros./DC Comics, with the possibility of directing the film also.

----------
MUSIC - From RockHall:  Janet Jackson, LL Cool J, Radiohead among 15 nominees for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2019. The acts that win induction for the Class of 2019 will be announced in December (2018).

----------
TELEVISION - From ShadowandAct:  Fox is developing a late-night talk show featuring Nick Cannon.

----------
MOVIES - From TheWrap:  Michael Pena of Marvel's "Ant-Man" franchise, is to play "Mr. Roarke" in a film based on the classic TV series, "Fantasy Island."  The late Ricardo Montalban originated the role on the ABC series.

----------
MUSIC - From RollingStone:  Foo Fighters stage Nirvana reunion.

----------
BOX OFFICE - From BoxOfficeMojo:  The winner of the 10/5 to 10/7/2018 weekend box office is "Venom" with an estimated take of $80 million.  That is the largest box office opening weekend for October.

From TheWrap:  "The Hate U Give" and "Free Solo" lead indie box office.

----------
MOVIES - From Deadline:  Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker, Alex Gibney, talks about how his film, "No Stone Unturned" could cause him to be arrested.

----------
JAMES BOND - From IndieWire:  Don't expect a female James Bond, says Bond producer Barbara Broccoli.

----------
BUSINESS - From QZ:  Did you know that Amazon has its own private brands?

OBITS:

From ESPN:  Basketball coach and innovator, Fred "Tex" Winter, has died at the age of 96, Wednesday, October 10, 2018.  Winter pioneered the "triangle offense," which helped propel the NBA's Los Angeles Lakers and Chicago Bulls to multiple NBA championships.

From Variety:  Movie producer, Arnold Kopelson, has died at the age of 83, Monday, October 8, 2018.  Kopelson won a "Best Picture" Oscar for producing Oliver Stone's film, "Platoon."   He earned a "Best Picture" Oscar nomination for producing "The Fugitive."

From Variety:   The actor, Scott Wilson, has died at the age of 76; it was announced Saturday, October 6, 2018.  Wilson was best known for playing the farmer, "Hershel Green," on AMC's "The Walking Dead" from 2011 to 2014.

From Deadline:  The actress, Celeste Yarnell, has died at the age of 74, Sunday, October 7, 2018.  "Star Trek" fans remember her for playing "Yeomen Martha London" in the "Star Trek: The Original Series" second season episode, "The Apple."  She appeared in a number of episodes of TV series in the 1960s and 1970s and in the 1968 Elvis Presley film, "Live a Little, Love a Little."


Thursday, February 1, 2018

Filming Has Begun on "The Goldfinch," Based on Pulitzer Prize Winner

Filming is Underway on Warner Bros. Pictures and Amazon Studios’ Powerful Drama “The Goldfinch”

Ansel Elgort and Oscar winner Nicole Kidman lead an ensemble cast in the film based on the award-winning bestseller

BURBANK, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Principal photography began on “The Goldfinch,” Warner Bros. Pictures and Amazon Studios’ highly anticipated film adaptation of Donna Tartt’s globally acclaimed best-selling novel, which won the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction.

The drama is being directed by BAFTA Award winner John Crowley (“Brooklyn”) and features a multigenerational cast led by Ansel Elgort (“Baby Driver”) as Theo Decker and Academy Award winner Nicole Kidman (“The Hours,” “Big Little Lies”) as Mrs. Barbour.

“The Goldfinch” is being produced by Nina Jacobson (“The Hunger Games” films, “American Crime Story”) and Brad Simpson (“World War Z,” “American Crime Story”) under their Color Force banner. Mari Jo Winkler-Ioffreda and Sue Kroll are serving as executive producers. The screenplay is by Oscar nominee Peter Straughan (“Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy”), based on the book by Donna Tartt, which spent 30 weeks on The New York Times Best Sellers list.

Theodore “Theo” Decker was 13 years old when his mother was killed in a bombing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The tragedy changes the course of his life, sending him on a stirring odyssey of grief and guilt, reinvention and redemption, and even love. Through it all, he holds on to one tangible piece of hope from that terrible day…a painting of a tiny bird chained to its perch. The Goldfinch.

The film also stars Oakes Fegley (“Pete’s Dragon”) as Young Theo, Aneurin Barnard (“Dunkirk”) as Boris, Finn Wolfhard (“Stranger Things,” “It”) as Young Boris, with Sarah Paulson (“The Post,” “American Crime Story”) as Xandra, Luke Wilson (“The Royal Tenenbaums”) as Larry, and Jeffrey Wright (“The Hunger Games” films) as Hobie.

The film’s main ensemble cast also includes Ashleigh Cummings (“Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries”) as Pippa, Willa Fitzgerald (“Little Women”) as Kitsey Barbour, Aimee Laurence (“Chicago P.D.”) as Young Pippa, Denis O’Hare (“American Horror Story”) as Lucius Reeve, Peter Jacobson (“Colony”) as Mr. Silver, Luke Kleintank (“The Man in the High Castle”) as Platt Barbour, Joey Slotnick (“The Secret Life of Walter Mitty”) as Dave, Robert Joy (“CSI: NY”) as Welty, and newcomer Ryan Foust as Andy.

The behind-the-scenes creative team includes multiple Oscar-nominated director of photography Roger Deakins (“Blade Runner 2049,” “Sicario,” “Unbroken”), Oscar-nominated production designer K.K. Barrett (“Her”), costume designer Kasia Walicka Maimone (“Bridge of Spies,” upcoming “Ready Player One”), and editor Kelley Dixon (“Breaking Bad”).

Slated for release on October 11, 2019, the film is a presentation of Warner Bros. Pictures, in association with Amazon Studios, a Color Force Production, a John Crowley Film. It will be distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.

-----------------------

Friday, February 17, 2017

Negromancer News Bits and Bites from February 12th to 18th, 2017 - Update #24

Support Leroy on Patreon.

CULTURE - From BuzzFlash:  NBA champion coach Gregg Popovich (San Antonio Spurs) speaks out on racial and social justice.

----------
MOVIES - From TheWrap:  Angela Lansbury joins "Mary Poppins Returns" from Disney.

----------
MOVIES - From Deadline: There will be a fourth entry in "The Purge" film franchise.  It's due in 2018.

----------
POLITICS - From YahooNews:  In a major survey of historians, President Obama, is ranked the 12th best President of the United States of all time.

----------
TELEVISION - From YahooTV:  On "The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon," Robert Irwin, the son of the late Steve Irwin a.k.a. "The Crocodile Hunter," comes across just like his dad.

----------
MOVIES - From Variety:   "Extinction," the sci-fi film starring Michael Pena, lands at Universal after a competitive bidding war.

----------
OSCARS - From THR:  The stars of "Bonnie and Clyde," Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty, will reunite at the Oscars to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the film and to present the best picture Oscar... to "La La Land," of course.

----------
COMICS - From BleedingCool:  Marvel and Archie enter join publishing venture.

----------
COMICS-FILM - From ComicBookMovie:  Mel Gibson among the directors being considered to director "Suicide Squad 2."

----------
MUSIC - From TheWrap:  Well, if you can have a President Trump... Kid Rock being considered a U.S. Senate candidate...

----------
POLITICS - From RSN:  The real reason that Republicans want to repeal Obamacare?  Robert Reich says it would put anywhere from $33000 to $197000 worth of tax cuts into the wealthiest 1 percent's hands every year.

----------
OSCARS - From RollingStone:  Peter Travers offers his 2017 Oscar predictions.

----------
TELEVISION:  Variety:  Amazon gets "Philip K. Dick's Electric Dreams" from Bryan Cranston and Ronald D. Moore.

----------
TELEVISION - From Variety:  The "S.W.A.T." reboot from CBS will have Bond girl, Stephanie Sigman, in a starring role.

----------
COMICS-FILM - From THR:  If Matt Reeves does become director of "The Batman," will he bring something new to the character.

----------
MOVIES - From ThePlaylist:  Jeremy Saulnier, director of "Green Room" and "Murder Party," lines up Jeffrey Wright, Alexander Skarsgard, and Riley Keough for his next film, "Hold the Dark (from Netflix).

----------
AWARDS - From YahooMusic:  Highs and lows of the Grammys.  It was mostly all low except for the end when Adele shouts out Beyonce.

From YahooMusic - Adele wins and gives all credit to Beyonce.

From YahooMusic:  A complete list of Grammy winners and nominees.

----------
BOX OFFICE - From BoxOfficeMojo:  The winner of the 2/10 to 2/12/2017 weekend box office is "The Lego Batman Movie" with an estimated take of $55.6 million.

----------
AWARDS - From Variety:  "La La Land" wins the top prize at the 2017 BAFTAs.

----------
AWARDS - From EOnline:  2017 Image Awards were held last night with "Hidden Figures" and Taraji P. Henson the big winners.

----------
OBIT - From TMZ:  The Grammy-winning singer, Al Jarreau, has died at the age of 76, Sunday, February 12, 2017.  He may be the only recording artist to win a Grammy in the jazz vocal, pop vocal, and R&B vocal categories.  He won a total of 7 Grammys.

----------
MOVIES - From Variety:  Matt Reeves of "Cloverfield" and "War for the Planet of the Apes" in talks to be the director Ben Affleck's "The Batman" movie, which Affleck has previously committed to directing before recently stepping down.

----------
SPORTS - From YahooSports:  There are now at least 6 players from the Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots will not visit Donald Trump per a tradition of the American championship teams visiting the White House.

TRAILERS:

From YouTube:  New "Iron Fist" trailer from Marvel/Netflix.


Saturday, June 13, 2015

Negromancer News Bits and Bites for the Week of June 7th to 13th, 2015 - Update #8


Posted by Leroy Douresseaux; you can support him on Patreon.

NEWS:

From YahooTV:  Jurassic World is apparently about to take over the world... box office.

---------------
From ColliderPixar has apparently replaced the entire voice cast (except maybe one actor) of The Good Dinosaur, which is due in December 2015.  

---------------

From Variety:  The great British actor, Christopher Lee, died on Sunday, June 7, 2015 at the age of 93.  He is probably best known as the actor who revitalized Dracula in the 1958, Horror of Dracula.  He was the 20th Century's second most famous screen Dracula.

Young fans will know him for his appearances in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit films.  He was a James Bond villain in The Man with the Golden Gun.  He was "Count Dooku" in the second and third films of Star Wars prequel trilogy.  He was a close friend of one of my favorite actors, Peter Cushing (who died in 1994).  I believe that they are reunited.

From IMDb:  Christopher Lee: A Life in Pictures.
---------------

From THR:  Apparently, Sony still wants "Bad Boys 3."  Joe Carnahan is circling to work on the script and to direct.  Michael Bay directed the first two films in the series.

---------------
From THR:  The new comedy, Spy, wins the 6/5 to 6/7/2015 weekend box office with an estimated take of $30 million.  The Paul Reig film stars Melissa McCarthy.

---------------
From CinemaBlend:  J.K. Rowling offers clues about an American wizarding school.


COMICS - Films and Books

From Collider:  Marvel and Sony at odds over which actor will be the next Spider-Man, apparently, my fave, Asa Butterfield, is out.

---------------
From Vulture:  Someone else takes a shot at writing a screenplay adaptation of one of the greatest manga and comic books of all time, Akira.

---------------
From YahooTech:  Joseph Gordon-Levitt says his "Sandman" film won't be a typical superhero film.


TRAILERS:

From YouTube:  The new trailer for Ridley Scott's "The Martian."


OBIT:

From Variety via YahooMovies:  The actress, Mary Ellen Trainor, died May 20, 2015 at the age of 62.  She appeared in numerous movies, including The Goonies, Die Hard, and all four Lethal Weapon movies, among many.


Friday, November 21, 2014

Review: Jennifer Lawrence Burns in "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire"

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 51 (of 2014) by Leroy Douresseaux

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013)
Running time: 146 minutes (2 hours, 26 minutes)
Rating: MPAA – PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, some frightening images, thematic elements, a suggestive situation and language
DIRECTOR: Francis Lawrence
WRITERS: Simon Beaufoy and Michael deBruyn (based upon the novel by Suzanne Collins)
PRODUCERS: Nina Jacobson and Jon Kilik
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Jo Willems
EDITOR: Alan Edward Bell
COMPOSER: James Newton Howard
Golden Globe nominee

SCI-FI/DRAMA/THRILLER

Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Stanley Tucci, Lenny Kravitz, Donald Sutherland, Elizabeth Banks, Philip Seyour Hoffman, Jeffrey Wright, Amanda Plummer, Sam Claflin, Willow Shields, Paul Malcomson, Lynn Cohen, Jena Malone, and Toby Jones

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is a 2013 dystopian science fiction film directed by Francis Lawrence, and it is also a direct sequel to the 2012 film, The Hunger GamesThe Hunger Games: Catching Fire is based upon Suzanne Collins’ 2009 novel, Catching Fire, the second novel in The Hunger Games trilogy.  In Catching Fire the movie, Katniss Everdeen becomes a target of the Capitol after her victory in the 74th Hunger Games sparks a rebellion.

The Hunger Games takes place in a post-apocalyptic future, and what was once North America is now the nation of Panem.  Panem is composed of 12 districts and The Capitol, which rules over the districts. Every year, The Capitol takes one boy and one girl (called “tributes”) from each of the 12 districts to become contestants in The Hunger Games.  Part entertainment and part intimidation of the 12 districts, these games are broadcast throughout Panem, and the 24 participants must fight to the death until only one of them remains alive – the victor.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire opens a few months after the first film.  Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) and Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson) were the winners of the 74th Hunger Games.  Now, the young victors have returned to their home, the impoverished District 12, and President Snow (Donald Sutherland) is waiting for Katniss.  Snow is upset that the outcome of the most recent Games has sparked rebellion in the districts of Panem, with Katniss' actions in the Games being the inspiration for rebellion in the districts.

Katniss (“The Girl on Fire”) and Peeta (“The Baker's Boy”) are going on a victory tour through the districts.  During this tour, Snow wants Katniss to sell the untrue idea that her actions in the Games were out of genuine love for Peeta and were not an act of defiance against the Capitol.  This scheme doesn't exactly work out.  So Snow calls for the 75th Hunger Games to be special.  These Games will be a “Quarter Quell,” and the tributes will be selected from previous victors.  Katniss and Peeta suddenly find themselves in the Games again, and this time, the target on Katniss' back comes from players inside and outside of the Games.

Catching Fire is the middle book in Suzanne Collin's Hunger Games trilogy, although the third book, Mockingjay, is being adapted as two film.  However, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire doesn't suffer the fate of some middle films in a trilogy.  Sometimes, the middle film can come across as filler material, or it can be packed with too many characters that are not important or too many subplots that won't be resolved until the third film.  An example of that is Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, which was a collection of pointless action scenes that didn't really serve much of a purpose beyond titillating young males and selling lots of tickets.

Catching Fire the movie is intense and gripping, almost every scene is important, not just to what came before or what will come after, but also to the story being told now.  When I reviewed the first film two-and-a-half years ago, I wrote that I could say without reservation that The Hunger Games captures the sense of the life and death struggle of Katniss and her competitors.  I can say the same for Catching Fire.  Like its predecessor, this movie is driven by character drama and by intimate man vs. man confrontations/encounters that freely range from sudden romance and friendship to cold-bloodied murder and assorted calculated cruelties.

I will say that I think this film offers more characters than the story can present in full-measure, not revealing how rich and how important they are.  However, almost every character does enough to be interesting or intriguing, and there are many excellent performances.  Donald Sutherland is even better and more menacing as President Snow than he was in the first film.  Woody Harrelson manages to further develop Haymitch Abernathy, surprisingly showing that there is much more to the character than one might think.  Josh Hutcherson makes Peeta Mellark the dashing young hero and co-lead that he could not be in the first film, even if that was the intention.  And I'm always happy to see Jeffrey Wright, although I wish his character, Beetee Latier, had more meat on the bone i.e. substance.

Still, as was true in The Hunger Games, Jennifer Lawrence is everything to Catching Fire. Whatever problems this film may have, Lawrence’s skill-set as an actor delivers a performance that glosses over narrative and cinematic glitches.  She is a true movie star, and her radiant presence bleeds across the screen, leaving me awash in the essence of Katniss.  Pardon my lack of articulation, but Jennifer is the real deal.

In the first film, we watched a young woman, Katniss, who was a poor nobody, struggle to survive and ultimately to triumph, becoming a star and a legend.  Catching Fire depicts Katniss' struggle to accept her fate.  The adventure is calling the hero, and she has to be dragged towards her destiny.  This kind of story is an archetype, and when told correctly, it can be mesmerizing.  So, as she did before, Jennifer Lawrence makes The Hunger Games: Catching Fire more than it ought to be.

8 of 10
A

Thursday, November 20, 2014


NOTES:
2014 Golden Globes, USA:  1 nomination: “Best Original Song - Motion Picture” (Chris Martin, Guy Berryman, Jonny Buckland, and Will Champion for the song “Atlas”)

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