Showing posts with label Kristen Stewart. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Kristen Stewart. Show all posts

Wednesday, January 24, 2024

Review: "CAFÉ SOCIETY" Sounds More Scandalous Than It Actually Is

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 2 of 2024 (No. 1946) by Leroy Douresseaux

Café Society (2016)
Running time:  96 minutes (1 hour, 36 minutes)
MPAA –  PG-13 for some violence, a drug reference, suggestive material and smoking
PRODUCERS:  Letty Aronson, Stephen Tenenbaum, and Edward Walson
CINEMATOGRAPHER:  Vittorio Storaro
EDITOR:  Alisa Lepselter

COMEDY/ROMANCE with elements of crime

Starring:  Jesse Eisenberg, Kristen Stewart, Steve Carell, Blake Lively, Sheryl Lee, Jeannie Berlin, Ken Stott, Sari Lennick, Stephen Kunken, and Corey Stoll

Café Society is a 2016 period comedy and romance film written and directed by Woody Allen.  Set in the 1930s, the film follows a Bronx native who moves to Hollywood and falls in love with a young woman who is already in an affair with a mysterious married man.

Café Society introduces Robert Jacob “Bobby” Dorfman (Jessie Eisenberg).  He is the youngest child and younger son of Marty Dorfman (Ken Stott) and his wife, Rose Dorfman (Jeannie Berlin).  The Dorfman's middle child is their adult daughter, Evelyn (Sari Lennick), who is married to Leonard (Stephen Kunken), a teacher, an intellectual, and a communist.  Dorfman's oldest child is their elder son, Ben (Corey Stoll), a gangster.  While his siblings' lives are set, Bobby's is not.  He is discontented with working for his father, Marty, who is a jeweler, so Bobby decides to move to Hollywood.

There, his mother Karen's brother, Phil Stern (Steve Carell), is a powerful talent agent who works with the most famous stars, biggest filmmakers, and most powerful movie studios.  Phil is married to a beautiful woman, Karen (Sheryl Lee), and he lives in a lavish mansion in Hollywood.  And he might have a job for his wayward nephew, Bobby Dorfman.

Bobby ends up taking a job running menial errands for Phil, and that brings him into contact with on of Phil's employees, Veronica “Vonnie” Sybil (Kristen Stewart).  Bobby falls in love with Vonnie, but she claims that she already has a boyfriend, Doug, whom she describes as a journalist.  Ultimately, Bobby returns to New York City, where he runs a high-end nightclub that he names “Les Tropiques.”  It is there that Bobby embraces “café society,” as the club soon becomes a famous hangout for the rich and powerful.  Bobby, however, cannot escape his recent past, nor can he avoid Ben's gangster activities.

Coup de chance, the film Woody Allen says will likely be his final directorial effort, was released in France in September (2023).  Because of the controversies surrounding Allen the last few decades, especially the last five years, the film may not get a stateside theatrical release (although there has been a rumor that it has found a thus far secret U.S. distributor).  In anticipation of eventually somehow seeing Coup de chance, I have decided to watch the recent Woody Allen films that I missed, such as the 2015 film, Irrational Man, and Cafe Society.

Cafe Society is an amiable, lightweight Woody Allen period comedy.  It's nostalgic overtones certainly recall Allen's utterly delightful and semi-autobiographical period film, Radio Days (1987).  I adore Radio Days and am tempted to call it his masterpiece.  Unfortunately, Cafe Society is nowhere near the film that Radio Days is.

The first half of Cafe Society, which is mostly set in Hollywood, ends up being a prologue to the main story.  You see, dear readers, Cafe Society's real story takes place after Bobby Dorfman returns to New York City and becomes a player in cafe society, the party scene of the Big Apple's rich and famous – from the blue bloods and celebrities to politicians and gangsters.  In fact, the film is practically sleepy until Bobby becomes the impresario of NYC's most popular and notorious nightclub.  That is when the two strands of his past – his aborted relationship with Vonnie and the natural end of Ben's activities – meet.  Of course, it is a time when Bobby has the best of everything.

Cafe Society's themes of love-at-first-sight, love lost, and yearning for what might have been are familiar, and the film deals with it all so slightly that the story feels underdeveloped.  I can't help but believe Cafe Society would work better as a television series, which would allow it to fully develop its multiple subplots and to play out a cast that is filled with potential.  Ultimately, Café Society is an average put-together of familiar Woody Allen tropes, decorated with gorgeous production values.  The cinematography, costumes, and sets are all Oscar worthy.

5 of 10
★★½ out of 4 stars

Wednesday, January 24, 2024

The text is copyright © 2024 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this site or blog for syndication rights and fees.



Thursday, August 25, 2022

Review: Viggo Mortensen is a Kingpin in Cronenberg's "CRIMES OF THE FUTURE"

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 49 of 2022 (No. 1861) by Leroy Douresseaux

Crimes of the Future (2022)
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:  Canada (with France, Greece, and UK); Language:  English
Running time:  107 minutes (1 hour, 47 minutes)
MPAA – R for strong disturbing violent content and grisly images, graphic nudity and some language
WRITER/DIRECTOR:  David Cronenberg
PRODUCERS:  Robert Lantos, Panos Papahadzis, and Steve Solomos
CINEMATOGRAPHER:  Douglas Koch (D.o.P.)
EDITOR:  Christopher Donaldson
COMPOSER:  Howard Shore


Starring:  Viggo Mortensen, Léa Seydoux, Don McKellar, Scott Speedman, Welket Bungué, Lihi Kornowski, Nadia Litz, Tanaya Beatty, Sotiris Siozos, and Kristen Stewart

Crimes of the Future is a 2022 Canadian science fiction film from writer-director David Cronenberg.  The film focuses on a performances artist who showcases the metamorphosis of his internal organs with the help of his partner who performs surgery on him during the performance.

Crimes of the Future opens sometime in the future when humanity has experienced a number of biological changes and evolutionary changes to human physiology.  The film introduces Saul Tenser (Viggo Mortensen) and Caprice (Lea Seydoux), a performance artist couple.  Saul's body is afflicted by “accelerated evolution syndrome,” which forces his body to constantly develop new vestigial organs.  Tenser is in constant pain, and he relies biomechanical devices in order to sleep and to eat.  Using a “Sark autopsy module,” Caprice performs surgery on Saul before an audience as an act of performance art, performances which have made the duo world renown.

Saul and Caprice's performances have started to draw official, governmental, and law enforcement interest.  They meet Wippet (Don McKellar) and Timlin (Kristen Stewart), the two bureaucrats in charge of the “National Organ Registry,” which catalogs and stores newly developed and evolved organs.

Not everyone is excited about “body-growth” and consider it a “body-crime.”  Cope (Welket Bungué), a detective with the “New Vice Unit,” a governmental police agency, wants Tenser to infiltrate the worlds of evolutionists, the people that want to accept and encourage “accelerated evolution syndrome.”  After he meets Lang Dotrice (Scott Speedman), a grieving father, Saul goes so deep into the world of this new human evolution that he might discover something about himself.

Some consider Crimes of the Future to be both a science fiction and horror film, but I consider it to be only a science fiction film.  However, I do recognize how much the film travels into the realms of the genre of “body horror.”  In that, Crimes of the Future does share many similarities with David Cronenberg's last science fiction-horror film, eXistenZ (1999).  Both are set in a world where biotechnology invents new machines that can directly interface with human bodies and control those bodies.  In both films, public performances of man-machine interfaces are both popular and controversial, and a diverse group of entities:  law enforcement, fetishists, secretive agencies, rebels, dissidents, and subcultures seek to control the future and future-tech.

In Crimes of the Future, Cronenberg presents a world in which the evolutionary change is spurred on by technology and other man-made efforts.  Once this new evolution starts, it is free to do as it pleases, outside the considerations of humanity.  As in many of his films, a lead character, group of characters, and/or society and the world at large struggle to adapt to that change.  To one extent or another, they are against it, afraid of it, and some ultimately, even if reluctantly, embrace that change.

Two things hold this film together, David Cronenberg's vision and his muse, actor Viggo Mortensen as Saul Tenser.  Cronenberg and his collaborators have created a world in which biotechnological and evolutionary changes take place in drab and rundown settings.  In Crimes of the Future, Cronenberg does not need flying cars and off-world colonies in order to communicate to his audience that the world and mankind are in a future undergoing radical transformation.  True to his ways, Cronenberg is both provocative and exploitative and visionary and elegant as he executes a story of a world in which evolution forces humanity to live in the world it made.

Crimes of the Future has a number of eccentric performances.  Lea Seydoux makes Caprice grow … and evolve, and Kristen Stewart is impish and mysterious as Timlin.  However, Viggo Mortensen is both the center of this film's narrative and the outer boundaries of its ideas and ambitions.  He holds it together both as one afflicted by evolution and as an explorer of the world of evolution and new humans.  Mortensen's gift is to make people buy into the idea that he is indeed the character he plays and that what he does as that character is authentic and not a contrivance of a really talented actor.

Once again, David Cronenberg offers a film that examines horrifying change, and he does it without nostalgia and sentiment, but with a superb score by the great Howard Shore.  Yeah, Cronenberg is a genius, and Crimes of the Future is his latest masterpiece.  The ending, which feels like a quick wrap-up, is the only reason I won't call this film perfect, but it would be a crime of the present for me to quibble about that.

9 of 10
★★★★+ out of 4 stars

Thursday, August 25, 2022

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



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Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Negromancer News Bits and Bites from August 22nd to 31st, 2021 - Update #26

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

You can support Leroy via Paypal or on Patreon:


REVIEW - From Negromancer:  Here is my review of "Candyman."

DISNEY - From Deadline:  Frank Oz, the filmmaker and puppeteer who originally performed such Muppet characters as Miss Piggy and Fozzy Bear, has said that Disney, which has owned the franchise since 2004, does not want him to work with "The Muppets" anymore.

MOVIES - From Deadline:   Lionsgate and Millennium Media are working on a fourth film in "The Expendables" franchise, with Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Dolph Lundgren, and Randy Couture set to return.

MOVIES - From Deadline:   Lord Miller (the home of Phil Lord, Chris Miller, and Aditya Sood) will produce a film about former Chicago Bull, Dennis Rodman, and his crazy weekend in Las Vegas during the 1998 NBA Finals.

BOX OFFICE - From BoxOfficePro:  The winner of the 8/27 to 8/29/2021 weekend box office is "Candyman" with an estimated take of 22.37 million dollars.

From TheGuardian:  An interview with co-writer and director of "Candyman," Nia DaCosta.

MOVIES - From CNN:  With two new movies about him, we must ask, "Why won't Hollywood let Ted Bundy go away."

MOVIES - From Variety:   The Grammy-winning recording artist and Oscar-winning songwriter, H.E.R., has signed on for her first major acting role, landing the part of Squeak in Blitz Bazawule’s forthcoming adaptation of “The Color Purple” for Warner Bros.

BOX OFFICE - From Deadline:  Director Nia DaCosta's "Candyman" has a strong Thursday night of "preview shows." 

MOVIES - From Deadline:   "The Matrix 4" revealed some of its secrets at "Cinemacon."  It's official title is "The Matrix: Resurrections," and it is due Dec. 22nd.  There is no word on when the trailer showed at Cinemacon will hit social media.

TELEVISION - From Deadline:  COVID-19 and the "anti-vaxx" controversies are both roiling on the set of ABC's long-running daytime soap opera, "General Hospital."

TRAILER - From Variety:   Neon has released the first official trailer for "Spencer," starring Kristen Stewart as Princess Diana.  The film is directed by Pablo Larrain ("Jackie").

DISNEY - From Deadline:   Kelvin Harrison Jr. and Aaron Pierre are set to lead the voice cast of director Barry Jenkins' prequel to Walt Disney's "The Lion King."

SCANDAL - From Deadline:  A Los Angeles grand jury has indicted legendary porn movie star, 68-year-old Ron Jeremy, on 33 rape and sexual assault charges.  These new counts involve 21 individuals, age ranging from 15 to 51, and go back to the mid-1990s.  He pleaded "not guilty" again.

TELEVISION - From TheGrio:   The "Jeopardy!" team never really considered LeVar Burton for the position of new permanent host, replacing the late Alex Trebek, according to a report.  TMZ reported that its insider sources say Sony Studios executives loved Burton, yet didn't think he was a "right fit."

MARVEL STUDIOS - From Deadline:   During an overnight shoot in Boston for Marvel’s "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever," actress Letitia Wright suffered minor injuries due to an incident with a stunt rig.  She was hospitalized, but has since been released.

MUSIC - From Variety:   When he was an infant, Spencer Elden, was photographed nude with his genitalia exposed.  That photograph was used as the cover art for the rock band, Nirvana's seminal 1991 album, "Nevermind."  Now, Elden is suing several people, including the surviving members of the band, Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic, and Courtney Love, the widow of deceased member, Kurt Cobain, over the use of the photograph.

NETFLIX - From EW:   Netflix shares the first photos from its live-action adaptation of the beloved Japanese anime series, "Cowboy Bebop."

From Deadline:  Netflix has announced the release dates of 42 films that it will release Fall 2021, beginning with "Afterlife of the Party" on September 2nd, 2021.

From WeGotThisCovered:  "Beverly Hills Cop 4" gets closer to actually being a thing. The film has been award 15 million dollars in tax credits to shoot in California.

MOVIES - From Deadline:  Amblin adds six more cast members to Steven Spielberg's next film, "The Fablesons," his semi-autobiographical film about his childhood.

BOX OFFICE - From BoxOfficePro:   The winner of the 8/20 to 8/22/2021 weekend box office is "Free Guy" with an estimated take of 18.8 million dollars.

DISNEY - From Deadline:   Disney attempts to take its legal disputes with actress Scarlett Johansson over Marvel Studios' "Black Widow" behind closed doors via arbitration.


From Variety:   Film and television actor, Ed Asner, has died at the age of 91, Sunday, November 29, 2021.  Asner is the most most honored male actor in the history of the Primetime Emmy Awards, having won seven Emmys.  He won five for playing the character, "Lou Grant."  He first played Grant in the late CBS sitcom, "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" (1970-77), and then, he played the character in a lead role in the late CBS spinoff drama, "Lou Grant" (1977-82).  He also notably provided the voice for the character "Carl Fredricksen" in Disney/Pixar's "Up" (2009).

From Variety:  Longtime drummer of "The Rolling Stones," Charlie Watts, has died at the age of 80, Tuesday, August 24, 2021.  Watts, Mick Jagger, and Keith Richards are the only members of the Stones to have been featured on all their studio albums.  In addition to his Stones work, the jazz-trained drummer also released 10 albums, including several jazz recordings.

From Variety:   Singer-songwriter and musician, Don Everly, has died at the age of 84, Saturday, August 21, 2021.  Don was one-half of the legendary country-influenced rock 'n' roll duo, "The Everly Brothers," with his younger brother, Phil Everly, who died in 2014.  The brothers' close-harmony singing and acoustic guitar playing had a huge influence on a number of musical acts that emerged in the 1960s, including The Beatles and and the Beach Boys.  The Everly Brothers had their greatest success from 1957 to 1961 with such hits as "Bye Bye Love," "Wake Up Little Susie," and "Cathy's Clown," to name a few.  They were part of the inaugural class of the "Rock and Roll Hall of Fame" in 1986.

From CBSNews:  Conservative radio talk show host, Phil Valentine, has died at the age of 61, Saturday, August 21, 2021 from complications of COVID-19.  From his perch at SuperTalk 99.7 WTN in Nashville, TN, Valentine was a vaccine skeptic and disagreed with mask mandates.  He changed his mind when he was diagnosed with COVID-19 in July and encouraged people to get vaccinated.

Sunday, January 31, 2021

Negromancer News Bits and Bites from January 24th to 31st, 2021 - Update #28

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

You can support Leroy via Paypal or on Patreon:


BOX OFFICE - From Variety:   The winner of the 1/29 to 1/31/2021 weekend box office is "The Little Things" (starring Oscar winners Denzel Washington, Rami Malek, and Jared Leto), with an estimated take of 4.8 million dollars.

From Deadline:   Are Warner Bros.' film that are are released in both movie theaters and on HBO Max making money?

POLITICS - From Jacobin:   Everything You Always Wanted to Know about QAnon But Were Too Weirded Out to Ask

BLM - From YahooNews:   Black Lives Matter movement nominated for 2021 Nobel Peace Prize

TELEVISION - From Deadline:  ABC has ordered a production pilot that will reboot its former Emmy-winning series, "The Wonder Years" (1988-93).  The reboot will be set in the same time period, late 1960s, but this time will focus on a middle class African-American family in Montgomery, Alabama.

CICELY TYSON - From Variety:  LeVar Burton pays tribute to his "Roots" co-star, Cicely Tyson, who died on Thursday.

MOVIES - From Variety:   "Variety" has made the screenplay for "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom" available for reading.

TELEVISION - From YahooFinance:  Media mogul Byron Allen launches TheGrio.TV: "Communicate how you see the world unapologetically."

MOVIES - From YahooEntertainment:   Is Denzel Washington acting in movies like the new film, "The Little Things," to make up for turning down the Brad Pitt role in classic serial killer film, "Seven?"  This review of "The Little Things" speculates.

STREAMING - From Deadline:   Paramount+ (CBS All Access) teases a revival of Nickelodeon's "iCarly" with a set photo.

OSCARS - From Deadline:   The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on Thursday released its official entries for 2021 Oscars in the categories of Documentary Feature, Animated Feature and International Films. As expected, the eligible Documentary Feature lineup shatters the record for the most ever.

FESTIVALS - From Deadline:   The 2021 Cannes Film Festival is delaying from its May dates. The fest will now run July 6-17, pushing back from the originally planned May 11-22 slot.

MOVIES - From IndieWire: Neon has released a first look at actress Kristen Stewart ("Twilight") as Princess Diana in director Pablo Larrain's upcoming film, "Spencer."

MOVIES - From Deadline:   Skydance Media has optioned the rights to re-imagine the "Spy Kids" film franchise Spyglass Media Group and series creator Robert Rodriguez.

MOVIES - From Deadline: Newcomer Alton Mason will play rock 'n' roll icon, Little Richard, in director Baz Luhrmann's film, "Elvis."

BLM - From BET:   UCLA Gymnastics showed off some Black Girl Magic over the weekend, thanks to a flawless floor routine from star athlete Nia Dennis.

AWARDS - From Deadline:   The nominees fro the 2020-21 Film Independent Spirit Awards have been announced.  "Never Rarely Sometimes Always" leads with seven nominations, include "Best Feature."

BIDEN! - From CNN:   White House recommits to getting Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill after delays by the defunct President Donald clown administration.

POLITICS-AWARDS - From YahooEntertainment:   Spike Lee says Donald Trump "will go down in history with the likes of Hitler" in New York Film Critics speech

HARRY POTTER - From THR:   A live-action "Harry Potter" TV series is in development at HBO Max. HBO and Warner Bros. are denying this, however.

TELEVISION - From THR:  Former Secretary of State and Senator Hillary Clinton and her daughter, Chelsea, are developing a female Kurdish militia drama for TV.

BOX OFFICE - From Deadline:  The winner of the 1/22 to 1/24/20 weekend box office is "The Marksman" with an estimated take of 2.03 million dollars.

From Deadline: "Our Friend" is among the film leading at the specialty box office.

TELEVISION - From Variety:   Actor Kenneth Branagh will play British Prime Minister Boris Johnson in a new television series from writer-director Michael Winterbottom.  Entitled "The Spectred Isle," the series will focus on Britain's muddled response to the COVID-19 crisis.


From Deadline:  The pioneering African-American actress, Cicely Tyson, has died at the age of 96, Thursday, January 28, 2021.  Her most famous works are the 1974 television movie, "The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman" (for which she won two of her three Primetime Emmy Awards) and the 1972 film, "Sounder" (for which she received her lone Academy Award nomination).  Tyson won a Tony Award for her performance in the 2013 revival of "A Trip to Bountiful."  In 2018, she received the "Honorary Academy Award."  Tyson continued to work until her passing, appearing in six films for Tyler Perry.

From Variety:  Longtime film and television actress, Cloris Leachman, has died at the age of 94, Tuesday, January 26, 2021.  Many will remember her as the character, "Phyllis Lindstrom" on CBS' "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" and on her spinoff, "Phyllis" (1975-77). Leachman also appeared in three Mel Brooks movies, including her memorable turn as "Frau Blucher" in "Young Frankenstein" (1974).  Leachman was nominated 22 times for the Primetime Emmy Awards and won eight, and she won a Daytime Emmy Award.  Leachman won the "Best Supporting Actress" Oscar and British Academy Film Award for her performance in "The Last Picture Show" (1971).

From CNN:   Veteran NBA reporter and analyst, Sekou Smith, has died at the age of 48, Tuesday, January 26, 2021 from complications of COVID-19.  Smith wrote for and worked for NBA TV since 2009.

From Deadline:   The veteran character actor, Bruce Kirby, has died at the age of Sunday, January 24, 2021.  Kirby long career began in the mid-1950s.  He appeared in recurring roles on several series, including "Car 54, Where Are You?," "Columbo," and "L.A. Law" to name a few.  He also had a memorable role in the Oscar-winning "Best Picture," "Crash."  Kirby was also the father of the late actor, Bruno Kirby (1949-2006).

From Deadline:   Television and film writer, Walter Bernstein, has died at the age of 101, Friday, January 22, 2021.  Bernstein was one of the writers blacklisted in Hollywood in the 1950s.  His credits include "Fail-Safe" (1964) and "The Front" (1976), which starred Woody Allen as a man who acts as a "front" for blacklisted writers.

From Deadline:   The actor, Gregory Sierra, has died at the age of 83, Monday, January 4, 2021.  Sierra is best known for playing "Julio Fuentes" in 12 episodes of the NBC sitcom, "Sanford and Son" (1972-77), and for playing "Sgt. Miguel 'Chano' Amenguale" during the first two seasons of the ABC sitcom, "Barney Miller" (1975-85).  He had guest roles on numerous TV series and appeared in at least 30 films.  Sierra's death was only recently made public.

Saturday, June 20, 2020

Negromancer News Bits and Bites from June 14th to 20th, 2020 - Update #24

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

Support Leroy on Patreon:


MOVIES - From Variety:  AMC Theatres will require patrons to wear masks when it reopens its theaters after initially not requiring them.

GEORGE FLOYD - From YahooNews:  New Mexico Shooting Raises Specter Of Right-Wing Violence Around Statue Protests

BLM - From YahooLifestyle:  Support grows for making "Juneteenth" (June 19th) an official holiday.

MOVIES - From DeadlineMark Wahlberg's canine adventure film, "Arthur the King," movies to Lionsgate.  The film reunited Wahlberg with is "2 Guns" and "Contraband" director, Baltasar Kormakur.

BLM-HOLLYWOOD - From BET:  Actress Gabrielle Union talks her "America's Got Talent" departure and on holding "bad apples" accountable.

GEORGE FLOYD - From YahooNews360:  Why was George Floyd's death the breaking point?

POLITICS - From YahooNews:  Five bombshells about President Trump from John Bolton's book, "The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir."

MOVIES - From Deadline:  Actress Kristen Stewart will portray Princess Diana in director Pablo Larrain's film, "Spencer."

BLM-EDUCATION - From YahooNewsNetflix CEO Reed Hastings and his wife, Patty Quillin, are donating $120 million toward student scholarships at historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs).  The couple is giving $40 million to each of three institutions: the United Negro College Fund, Spelman College and Morehouse College. The organizations said it is the largest individual gift in support of student scholarships at HBCUs.

GEORGE FLOYD - From CNNMartin Gugino, the 75-year-old protester who was pushed by two Buffalo, New York, police officers earlier this month, has a fractured skull and is not able to walk, his lawyer said in a statement provided to CNN on Monday.

From YahooEntertainmentWhoopi Goldberg says police officers have to 'relearn how to police': 'Because now they're soldiers — and we're not in a war'

SPORTS - From YahooSports:  Here is a look at Super Bowl champion QB Tom Brady in his new uniform for his new team, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

POLITICS - From InformedComment:  How American cities were Reduced to Esper’s “Battlespace”: From Fallujah to Minneapolis

OSCARS - From Deadline:  The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences has announced that the 2021 / 93rd Academy Awards ceremony has been moved from February 28, 2021 to April 25, 2021 - the latest date ever for the Oscars.  Films will be eligible to compete for the 93rd Academy Awards though Feb. 28th.

MOVIES - From Deadline:  Director Antonie Fuqua and actor Will Smith's runaway slave thriller, "Emancipation," will be introduced at the virtual Cannes market and will begin production in early 2021.

LGBTQ - For BuzzFeed:  The Supreme Court on Monday issued its most sweeping decision ever to protect LGBTQ people from discrimination, finding that a federal ban on sex discrimination in workplaces also protects employees on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

POLITICS-CELEBRITY - From FoxNews:  U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) challenges actor Ron Perlman... to wrestle with former wrestling coach and protector of sexual assailants, U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio).

GEORGE FLOYD - From People:  Legendary singer, actress, and filmmaker, Barbra Streisand, has given Gianna Floyd, the daughter of the police-slain George Floyd, an unknown numbers of shares of stock in The Walt Disney Company.

MOVIES - From Deadline:  After his "Gone with the Wind" op-ed, Oscar-winning screenwriter John Ridley ponders permanent Hollywood change.

BLM - From Deadline:  "Saturday Night Live" alum, Jay Pharoah, was profiled by the Los Angeles Police Department and then one of them put his knee on his neck.


From Deadline:  The British actor, Ian Holm, has died at the age of 88, Friday, June 19, 2020.  Holms was best known for his appearances in such films as "Alien," "Chariots of Fire," "The Sweet Hereafter," and "The Fifth Element."  He also appeared in "The Lord of the Rings" and "The Hobbit" film series.  Holm won a Tony Award in 1967 for his performance in "The Homecoming."  He received a best supporting Oscar nomination for his role in "Chariots of Fire" (1981), a role for which he won the BAFTA.

From CNN:  Former U.S. Ambassador to Ireland (1993-98), Jean Kennedy Smith, has died at the age of 92, Wednesday, June 17, 2020.  She was also the last surviving sibling of assassinated U.S. President John F. Kennedy.


From YahooFinance:  Why Black wealth has stayed 'relatively flat' since Tulsa massacre

From InTheseTimes:  The four questions we must ask before we agree to police reform.


From CDC:   The Centers for Disease Control has a "COVID Data Tracker."

From YahooNews:  Why does COVID-19 kill some people and hardly affects others?

From YahooNews:  Yahoo has a dedicated page of links updating news about COVID-19.

From Deadline:  The news site "Deadline" has a dedicated page for news about coronavirus and the film, TV, and entertainment industries.

From TheNewYorker:  The venerable magazine has a dedicate COVID-19 page free to all readers.

From YahooNews:  Re: the federal government's response to COVID-19: What if the most important election of our lifetime was the last one - 2016?

From YahooLife:  What is "happy hypoxia?"  And do you have this COVID-19 symptom?

From JuanCole:  Remeber when President Donald went crazy and suggested that we ingest household cleaning supplies and UV light to fight COVID-19.  Here is the video and commentary from Juan Cole.

From TheIntercept:  The federal government has ramped up security and police-related spending in response to the COVID-19/coronavirus pandemic, including issuing contracts for riot gear, disclosures show. The purchase orders include requests for disposable cuffs, gas masks, ballistic helmets, and riot gloves...

From NPR:  A sad milestone: over 100,000 American have died due to COVID-19.

From TheAtlanticThe Coronavirus Was an Emergency Until Trump Found Out Who Was Dying. The pandemic has exposed the bitter terms of our racial contract, which deems certain lives of greater value than others.

From ProPublica:  Hospital's Secret COVID-19 Policy Separated Native American Mothers From Their Newborns


Saturday, September 30, 2017

Negromancer News Bits and Bites from September 24th to 30th, 2017 - Update #31

Support Leroy on Patreon.

LGBTQ - From Reuters:  Egypt's government is hunting down gay men and performing forced anal exams, according to Amnesty International.

CRIME - From YahooNews:  O.J. Simpson is due to be released from a Nevada prison Sunday, Oct. 1st, and he is apparently moving to the state of Florida.  But Florida's state attorney general does not want him.

TELEVISION - From SlashFilm:  The TV series based on David Cronenberg's infamous film "Scanners" (1981) is in development again.

MOVIES - From SideshowToys:  There is a new poster for "Pacific Rim Uprising" starring John Boyega ("Star Wars: The Force Awakens).

MOVIES - From Variety:  Early reviews on "Blade Runner 2049" are glowing.

CELEBRITY - From CNN:  Emmy-winning actress and producer, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, reveals that she has breast cancer.

MOVIES - From Deadline:  Cesar-winner Kristen Stewart and Oscar-winner are circling Sony's "Charlies Angels" reboot, which Elizabeth Banks will direct.

BLM - From APNews:  One of two lawsuits that Black Lives Matter and DeRay Mckesson are facing in Baton Rouge, Louisiana has been dismissed.

TELEVISION - From TheWrap:  The Disney Channel will produce a TV movie remake of Disney's popular 1993 film, "Hocus Pocus."  The long-rumored "Hocus Pocus 2" is apparently not happening.

TELEVISION - From TheWrap:  Spike is cancelling its TV series adaptation of the Stephen King novella, "The Mist," after one season. [I found the show unwatchable. - Ed.]

TELEVISION - From EOnline:  Meghan McCain, a TV political commentator, is reportedly joining the ABC morning talker, "The View."  McCain is the daughter of United States Senator and former Vietnam prison of war, Sen. John McCain.

SPORTS - From TVGuide:  Justin Timberlake will reportedly headline the halftime show for Super Bowl 52.

LGBTQ - From ViceNews:  Trump's Department of Justice wants to make being gay a fireable offense.

SPORTS - From Truthout:  NFL quaterback Colin Kaepernick has won a "long victory."

MOVIES - From ScreenRant:  James Cameron says "Terminator 6" will be a direct sequel to 1991's "Terminator 2: Judgment Day."

CELEBRITY - From YahooEntertainment:  Action movie star turned Vladimir Putin-toady, Steven Seagal, criticizes NFL players for "National Anthem" protests.

MOVIES - From Variety:  A sequel to the smash hit horror film, "IT," is scheduled to land in theaters September 2019.

MOVIES - From Deadline:  The super-team of Leo DiCaprio and Martin Scorsese reunite for a film about Teddy Roosevelt.

MOVIES:  From ThePlaylist:  "Avatar" sequels (#2 to #5) begin shooting with a $1 billion price tag.

BLM - From YesMagazines:  A black woman explains "white privilege" to a white friend.

TELEVISION - From TVLine:  Tyler Posey of "Teen Wolf" is joining Fox's "Scream" Season 3.

STAR TREK - From TheWrap:  Early episodes of "Star Trek: Discovery" answer questions.

BLM - From teleSUR:  Any white cop can kill a Black man at any time.

BLM - From HuffingtonPost:  Trump Voters think that Black people are less deserving than average-American (white people).

From NewYorkTimes:  Charles M. Blow says that President Trump is a "race fiend"

BOX OFFICE - From BoxOfficeMojo:  The winner of the the 9/22 to 9/24/2017 weekend box office is "Kingsman: The Golden Circle" with an estimated take of $39 million.

MOVIES - From TheTrackingBoard:  A screenplay about the young Oprah Winfrey is a hot read in Hollywood.

SPORTS - From TheHill:  LeBron James calls President Trump "a bum." "Going to the White House was a great honor until you [Trump] showed up!"

MOVIES - From Deadline:  The "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" sequel adds Danish-Japanese actor, David Sakurai, to the cast.

ECO - From BusinessInsider:  Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation awards $20 million dollars in eco-grants to more than 100 organizations from around the world.


From TheWrapMonty Hall, game show host, has died at the age of 96, Saturday, September 30, 2017.  He was the creator and the original host of "Let's Make a Deal."

From TheNewYorkTimesHugh Hefner, the creator of "Playboy" Magazine, died at the age of 91, Wednesday, September 27, 2017.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Negromancer News Bits and Bites from February 1st to 11th, 2017 - Update #51

Support Leroy on Patreon.

COMICS-FILM - From CNET:  Marvel just released a video featurette concerning the first day of filming of "Avengers: Infinity."

From YahooNews:  Video from the set of "Avengers: Infinity War."

MOVIES - From TheWrap:  Coen Brothers set to remake "Scarface."

MOVIES - From Deadline:  Babak Najafi ("London Has Fallen") set to direct Taraji P. Henson in the thriller, "Proud Mary."

TELEVISION - From TVLine:  ABC's Thursday night lineup from Shonda Rhimes, "Grey's Anatomy," "Scandal," and "How to Get Away with Murder," will return for another season, 2017-18.

POLITICS - From Esquire - What Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III as the Attorney General of the United States now the Confederate States of America means to us.

TELEVISION - From Esquire:  What does Alec Baldwin get out of playing Donald Trump on Saturday Night Live.

BLM - From Time:  She complied with Immigration and still got deported to Mexico, after being in the U.S. for 21 years since she was 14.

MOVIES - From FlickeringMyth:  Blair Redford joins Marvel/Fox's "X-Men" TV pilot.

TELEVISION - From Variety:  NBC is in talks to revive "American Idol," which ran on FOX for 15 seasons.

MOVIES - From Deadline:  Director David Gordon Green ("Pineapple Express") will direct the reboot of the "Halloween" horror film franchise.

COMICS-FILM - From YahooMovies:  A photo of an Iron Man action figure may reveal what Iron Man's armor looks like in "Spider-Man: Homecoming."

MOVIES - From TheWrap:  Lee Daniels is in talks to direct Oprah Winfrey in a remake of "Terms of Endearment."  God in Heaven, help us.

MOVIES - From Variety:  Two of the writers behind "Scary Movie" and such parody films as "Vampires Suck" and "Epic Movie," will write and direct a "Star Wars" spoof.

MOVIES - From Variety:  Jack Nicholson will star in the American remake of "Toni Erdmann," the Oscar-nominated German film.

COMICS-FILM - From THR:  Billy Dee Williams talks about finally playing Two-Face.

OBIT - From THR:  The actor Richard Hatch has died at the age of 71, Tuesday, February 7, 2017.  His best known role was as "Captain Apollo" in the original "Battlestar Galactica" (ABC, 1978-79).  He also returned for the 2004-09 reboot of the series.

MOVIES - From YahooMovies:  Hmm... the Oscar nominees luncheon looks different this year compared to last year.

MOVIES - From Variety:  Matthew McConaughey will star in Harmony Korine's "The Beach Bum."

SPORTS - From BusinessInsider: The New England Patriots won Super Bowl 51.  When the team visits the White House, Patriots tight end Martellus Bennett will not attend.

From YahooSports:  Devin McCourty becomes the second Super Bowl winning New England Patriot (after Martellus Bennett) who will not go to the White House.

MOVIES - From YahooMovies:  All the big Super Bowl movie trailers broadcast during Super Bowl 51 - according to Yahoo.

MOVIES - From Variety:  M. Night Shyamalan teases "Split" sequel.

BOX OFFICE - From BoxOfficeMojo:  The winner of the 2/3 to 2/5/2017 weekend box office winner is "Split" with an estimated take of $14.6 million.  This is the film's third weekend at #1.

TELEVISION - From YahooTV:  Some people think Kristen Stewart killed it hosting "Saturday Night Live" last night (2/4/2017).

From YahooNews:  From a special guest appearance, Melissa McCarthy steals the show last night on "SNL," spoofing President Trump's Press Secretary, Sean Spicer.

AWARDS - From TheWrap:  Damien Chazelle, director of "La La Land," wins at the Directors Guild Awards.

From LATimes:  Winners make politicized speeches at the 2017 DGA Awards.

AWARDS - From Variety:  "Zootopia" tops at the animation industry's "Annie Awards."

MOVIES - From Variety:  John Lithgow has joined the cast of "Pitch Perfect."

POLITICS - From TIME:  Kareem Abdul-Jabbar says President Trump's "Muslim ban" like a bad horror movie.

ANIMATION - From TheWrap:  The director of "The Lego Movie" sequel is Mike Mitchell, who directed DreamWork Animation's hit, "Trolls."

MOVIES - From TheWrap:  New Line Cinema is spinning off a horror movie from "The Conjuring 2."  It is "The Nun" and it will be directed by Corin Hardy.

COMICS-FILM - From TheWrap:  Marvel has found its leads for its TV series, "Runaways," which is set on Hulu.

ANIMATION - From TheWrap:  Universal and its animation unit, Illumination, books five straight July 4 weekends through 2023 for film debuts, including "Minions 2."

MOVIES - From ThePlaylist:  Penelope Cruz and Edgar Ramirez join "Love Child" from director Todd Solondz.

CELEBRITY - From YahooCelebrity:  Patton Oswalt gets in a nasty Twitter exchange with a guy who brings up Oswalt's recently deceased wife.

POLITICS - From YahooCelebrity:  Matthew McConaughey says that it is time to embrace President Trump.  Hell, no!

MOVIES - From TheVillageVoice: Bilge Ebiri lists the 10 best films of Sundance 2017.

CULTURE - From TheIntercept:   The FBI has quietly been investigating white supremacist infiltration of law enforcement.

COMICS-FILM - From ScreenRant:  Kevin Smith does not want to director "The Batman" movie that Ben Affleck recently declined to direct.

MOVIES - From Deadline:  Lesley Manville and Vicky Krieps are added to the new film by Paul Thomas Anderson, which stars Daniel Day-Lewis.

POLITICS - From RSN:  Reuters orders reporters to cover the President Trump administration as if it were an authoritarian regime.

MOVIES - From YahooFinance:  Apparently, Johnny Depp has almost ruined himself financially with an unsustainable lifestyle.

MOVIES - From ThePlaylist:  Denis Villeneuve has apparently been confirmed as the director of the latest screen adaptation of Frank Hebert's legendary novel, "Dune."  Villeneuve is hot off his Oscar-nominated film, "Arrival" and his upcoming "Blade Runner" sequel.

MUSIC - From YahooStyle:  Beyonce announces that she is pregnant with twins.

MOVIES - From THR:  Colin Farrell in talks to join Denzel Washington in the thriller, "Inner City," from director Dan Gilroy ("Nightcrawler")

TELEVISION - From IndieWire:  Two hot new shows, "American Gods" and "Dear White People," headed to SXSW 2017.


From YouTube:  Here is the Super Bowl commercial for Netflix's "Stranger Things 2" (Season 2).

From YouTube:  Here is an extended version of the "Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2" Super Bowl commercial.

From YouTube:  Here is the 30-second commercial for "Logan" that appeared during Super Bowl 51.

From YouTube:  Here is the Super Bowl commercial for "Ghost in the Shell." It is 30 seconds long.

From YouTube:  Here is the "Transformers: The Last Knight" 30-secon "spot" to be shown during the Super Bowl.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Negromancer News Bits and Bites from December 18th to 24th, 2016 - Update #31

Support Leroy on Patreon.

STAR WARS - From Deadline:  Carrie Fisher is stable and out of emergency after having a heart attack on an airplane.

From ETCanada:  According to Carrie's brother, Todd Fisher, Carrie is not in "stable condition."

MOVIES - From THR:  There is supposed to be a teaser released today in anticipation of the release of the first trailer for "Alien: Covenant," on Christmas Day.

CELEBRITY - From YahooStyle:  Kristen Stewart (Twilight) is dating Stella Maxwell.

SPORTS - YahooSports:  The NFL's Cleveland Browns will NOT become the second team to go winless in a 16-game NFL regular season.  The Detroit were 0 and 16 in 2008.  Several NFL teams have had seasons with no victories or ties.

TELEVISION - From Deadline:  The "Cruel Intentions" reboot TV series is officially dead, but could rise again.

TELEVISION - From IndieWire:  A&E's "Generation KKK" may get a name change.

ANIMATION - From Variety:  Fox Searchlight has purchased worldwide rights to Wes Anderson's next film, the animated "Isle of Dogs."

POLITICS - From YahooMusic:  Celine Dion says no to performing at the Trump inauguration.

MOVIES - From Variety:  After "Blade Runner 2049," Dennis Villeneuve may move onto Legendary Entertainment's "Dune" reboot.

MOVIES - From IndieWire:  Martin Scorsese offers an update on his upcoming film with Leonardo DiCaprio, "Devil in the White City."  A script is being worked on.

TELEVISION - From TheWrap:  Michael Stuhlbarg added to "Fargo" Season 3.

TELEVISION - From THR:  Starz cancels "Blunt Talk" with Patrick Stewart.

BOX OFFICE - From YahooMovies:  Disney becomes the first movie studio to earn $7 billion in global box office.

MOVIES - From YahooMovies:  Yahoo's 10 worst movies of the year.

CELEBRITY - From ETCanada:  Margot Robbie secretly married in Australia.

POLITICS - From YahooMovies:  Comedian/actor Tom Arnold claims he has outtakes of President-elect Donald Trump making racists comments.  It's too late to tell us that now - not that it would have changed the results of the election anyway...

MUSIC - YahooMusic:  The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has announced the 2017 inductees into the hall:  Pearl Jam, Tupac Shakur, Journey, Yes, Electric Light Orchestra, and Joan Baez. Chic's Nile Rodgers will be given the Award For Musical Excellence.  The induction ceremony will be held at Brooklyn's Barclays Center on April 7th, 2017.

CELEBRITY - From YahooCelebrity:   There was a star-studded memorial for Alan Thicke, which included appearances by Leonardo DiCaprio, anti-gay advocate Kirk Cameron, and Alan's son Grammy-nominated son, Robin Thicke.

ECO - From RSN:  Leonardo DiCaprio says the truth about climate change has spread like "wildfire."

From EW - DiCaprio remembers his co-star from his "Growing Pains" days, Alan Thicke.

BOX OFFICE - BoxOfficeMojo:  "Rogue One" wins the 12/16 to 12/18/2016 weekend box office with an estimated haul of $155 million.

From Variety:  "Rogue One" has second largest December opening ever.

From TheWrap:   Denzel Washington's "Fences" makes sturdy indie box office debut.

From YahooMovies: With an estimated $7 million take for the weekend, "Collateral Beauty" is a career low for Will Smith.

From Variety:  In China, director Zhang Yimou's "The Great Wall" debuts with a $66 million box office.


MOVIES - From IndieWire:  Michael Sheen is not quitting acting to be an activist.

OBIT - From YahooMovies:  Zsa Zsa Gabor, Hollywood socialite and actress, has died at the age of 99, Sunday, December 18, 2016.

BLACK LIVES MATTER - From Heavy:   The subject of the "Google Doodle" for Sunday, December 18, 2016 is Steve Biko.  Biko would have been 70-years-old today if he had not died while in police custody, essentially murdered by the White racist government of South Africa.  Heavy has 5 facts you need to know about him.

From YahooNews:  RE - Dylann Roof - don't be so quick to forgive.



From YouTube:  This is the first official teaser trailer for "Blade Runner 2019," which is due October 2017.

From YouTube:  "xXx: Return of Xander Cage" first official trailer, which was released in early November 2016.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Negromancer News Bits and Bites from July 1st to 9th, 2016 - Update #44

Support Leroy on Patreon.

COMICS - From Indiewire:  Writer-producer Simon Kinberg hopes "Gambit" movie (with Channing Tatum playing Gambit) starts filming in 2017.

MOVIES - From ScreenDaily:  "Tomb Raider" has been set for a March 2018 debut.

MOVIES - From Deadline:  Kiefer Sutherland, who was an original cast member of the film, Flatliners (1990), is likely to join the remake.

STAR TREK - From YahooNews:  "Star Trek Beyond" will introduce Sulu's husband.

From YahooMovies:   George Takei, the Sulu from the original Star Trek cast, wishes there were a gay Star Trek character, but does not want Sulu to be that gay character.

From Deadline:  Zachary Quinto and Simon Pegg respond to "gay Sulu" debate.

MOVIES - From Variety:   Justin Timberlake joins Woody Allen's 2017 unnamed film, which begins shooting this fall.

COMICS - From YahooNews:  It is finally revealed.  Mads Mikkelsen will play the villain, Kaecilius, formerly a goon in service of Baron Mordo.

TELEVISION - From THR:  Former FOX News blonde bimbo, Gretchen Carlson, sues FOX News boss, Roger Ailes, for sexual harassment.

COMICS - From YahooMovies:  Tony Stark has been replaced as Iron Man by a young Black woman.

TELEVISION - From Hitfix:  The start of "Game of Thrones" Season 7 to be delayed.

The Killing of #AltonSterling and #PhilandroCastille and #Dallas:

From YahooNews:  Cuba Gooding, Jr.  once took a photo with one of the Dallas police officers killed on Thursday, July 7, 2016.

From YahooNews:  Dallas Police Chief David Brown earns praise for his steady hand.

From HuffingtonPost:  Rudy Giuliani is an racist, opportunistic ass; yet people are still surprised.

From NYTimes:  Details emerge in the death of Philandro Castille.

From telSUR:  Cops kill detained man #AltonSterling in Baton Rouge, LA.

From RSN:  More video related to #AltonSterling

From YahooNews:  Katie Couric interviews family of #AltonSterling.

From YahooNews:   Federal civil rights investigators were called in Wednesday to probe the fatal police shooting of a black father of five in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  The death of 37-year-old Alton Sterling outside a convenience store in Baton Rouge was captured on cell phone video.

HISTORY - From YahooNews:  Slave descendant unites with plantation owner for heartwarming dinner 181 years after families lived there.  The plantation owner, a descendant of the plantation's original owner is also a cousin to the slave descendant.

JAMES BOND - From Variety:  Nicolas Winding Refn says that he turned down the directing gig on the recent James Bond film, "Spectre."

COMICS - From Movieweb:  Colin Farrell will play a mystery role in "Justice League."

COMICS - From DarkHorizons:  "Thor: Ragnarok" begins filming.

OBITS - From TheWrap:  Acclaimed Iranian film director, Abbas Kiarostami, has died at the age of 76, Monday, July 4, 2016.

MOVIES - From VillageVoice:  Post-"Twilight" Kristen Stewart continues to astound critic Melissa Anderson.

OBITS - From TheWrap:  The actress Noel Neill has died at the age of 95, Sunday, July 3, 2016.  Neill's fame primarily comes from the fact that she was the first actress to portray the character, Lois Lane, from the Superman comic books.  She played Lois for the first time in the 1948 film, "Superman," and most famously in the classic 1950s TV series, "The Adventures of Superman."

MOVIES - From YahooMovies:  Chris Costello talks about her father, Lou Costello of the legendary comedy duo, "Abbot & Costello," and her book, "Lou's on First."

MOVIES - From Variety:  Has Steven Spielberg lost his platinum touch?

BOX OFFICE - From BoxOfficeMojo:  The winner of the box office for the four-day, July 4th (2016) holiday weekend is "Finding Dory" with an estimated take of $50.19 million.

OBIT - From TheGuardian:  Robin Hardy, the director of "The Wicker Man" (1973), one of the most unsettling films ever made, has died.  He died Friday, July 1, 2016 at the age of 86.

ANIMATION - From YahooStyle:  Disney getting heat about a fat character in their upcoming film, "Moana."

BOX OFFICE - From TheWrap:  "Finding Dory" wins the Saturday box office of the 4th of July weekend.

From YahooCelebrity:  "The Legend of Tarzan" doing better than expected.  "The BFG" is in trouble.

COMICS REVIEW - From Patreon:  "Don't Be Cruel 2-in-1 Edition Volume 1"

From Patreon:  "Tales from the Darkside #1" by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez

From Patreon:  "Star Wars: The Force Awakens #1" - Marvel Comics adaptation

From Patreon:  "Han Solo #1"

COMICS - From BleedingCool:  The long-running worldwide hit manga, Bleach, will end this Fall.

CULTURE - From TheWrap:  Patricia Clarkson on Hollywood Sexism: ‘A White Male Actor Should Never Be Allowed to Complain About Anything’

OBIT - From TheWrap:  Director Michael Cimino has died at the age of 77.  He is best known for his film, "The Deer Hunter," for which he won a "Best Director" Oscar.  He also directed legendary film flop, "Heaven's Gate."

OBIT - From NYTimes:  Elie Wiesel has died at the age of 87, Saturday, July 2, 2016.  Wiesel was an Aushwitz survivor and Nobel Peace Prize winner.  As an author, his most famous work is the short biographical novel, "Night."

BOX OFFICE - From Variety:  Steven Spielberg's "The BFG" looks like the loser of the July 4th weekend's major new releases.  "The Purge 3" looks to be a big hit.  It may tie the other big new release, "The Legend of Tarzan" as the top new performer at the box office.

COMICS - From ScreenRant:  Jon Watts is directing "Spider-Man: Homecoming."  What can his earlier films, "Cop Car" and "Clown" tells us about what to expect from Spider-Man.

MOVIES - From BleedingCool:  "Underworld: Blood Wars" (the fifth film in the franchise) has been pushed from October 2016 to a January 2017.

MOVIES - From YahooMovies:  "Gone with the Wind" star, Olivia de Havilland is 100 years old today.

COMICS - From Kickstarter:  Veteran comic book writer-artist and illustrator, Kody Chamberlain, is working on a new comic book project with newcomer Gavin Guidry.  It is called "Smut and Jeff," and it has a Kickstarter campaign.


ANIMATION - From Deadline:  The 2012 animated film, "Wreck-It Ralph" will have a sequel, due in 2018.


From Vevo:  See Rihanna's video for the song "Sledgehammer" from "Star Trek Beyond."

From Facebook:  Dr. McCoy gives Spock advice in latest "Star Trek Beyond" clip.

From YouTube:  The debut trailer for "Why Him?" with James Franco and Bryan Cranston.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Review: "American Ultra" is Impossibly Good

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 6 (of 2016) by Leroy Douresseaux

[This review was originally posted on Patreon.]

American Ultra (2015)
Running time:  96 minutes (1 hour, 36 minutes)
MPAA – R for strong bloody violence, language throughout, drug use and some sexual content
DIRECTOR:  Nima Nourizadeh
WRITER:  Max Landis
PRODUCERS:  David Alpert, Anthony Bregman, Kevin Scott Frakes, Britton Rizzio, and Raj Brinder Singh
CINEMATOGRAPHER:  Michael Bonvillain
EDITOR:  Andrew Marcus and Bill Pankow
COMPOSER:  Marcelo Zarvos


Starring:  Jesse Eisenberg, Kristen Stewart, Topher Grace, Connie Britton, Walter Goggins, John Leguizamo, Bill Pullman, Tony Hale, Stuart Greer, Michael Papajohn, Monique Ganderton, Lavell Crawford, and Sam Malone

American Ultra is a 2015 action-comedy written by Max Landis and directed by Nima Nourizadeh.  The film focuses on a stoner who finds himself targeted for extermination because he is a government sleeper agent, facts of which is he unaware.

American Ultra opens in small town Liman, West Virginia where we meet Mike “Mikey” Howell (Jesse Eisenberg), a stoner and slacker.  He lives with his girlfriend, Phoebe Larson (Kristen Stewart), in a small wooden house, and he works at a convenience story.  Meanwhile, in Langley, Virginia, CIA section boss, Adrian Yates (Topher Grace), has decided Mike's fate.  Mike is the sole remaining asset of “Wiseman” which was part of the “Ultra” program, and Yates considers Mike a liability, thus targeting him for extermination.

Yates deploys a team of “Toughguy” operatives to kill Mike, but Victoria Lasseter (Connie Britton), who once supervised the Wiseman program, is determined to save Mike's life.  She arrives in Liman ahead of Yates' men, but reactivating Mike is a bit more difficult than she realized.  Mike slowly begins to remember his training, but it is a messy and chaotic process... for everyone.

American Ultra's CIA conceits are preposterous, of course.  What sells this is that the screenplay by Max Landis constructs a love that feels real and a relationship that seems genuine between Mike and Phoebe's characters.  Director Nima Nourizadeh takes the time to properly transform Landis' romantic conceit into a true-blue movie romance.  Once you buy the Mikey-Phoebe dynamic, the rest of the movie – the believable, the ridiculous, and the sublime – encourages the audience to suspend disbelief so they can enjoy one of the most inventive action-comedies of the 21st century.

Landis's script offers some interesting ideas, and Jesse Eisenberg's turn as the stoner Mikey distracts the viewer from taking a good, hard look at those ideas.  After all, the fun is in running through the world of secret and sleeper agents, not in examining what is and isn't plausible in that world.  [Of course, how many people actually take that hard look in the real world.]  Landis' concept is perfect for Eisenberg's performance, and Eisenberg's performance makes Landis' concept work perfectly.

I admire how director Nima Nourizadeh maintains the off-beat, slacker charm of this story even as the movie turns increasingly violent, but here, the gore actually has a splattery charm all its own.  In truth, Sylvester Stallone's The Expendables movie franchise could use the Nourizadeh-Landis touch.  I cannot emphasize enough that this movie is just a blast to watch, and it is fresh and imaginative in a genre, CIA-themed films, that is rapidly growing stale.

Any action-movie franchise could use some Kristen Stewart.  There is something about her that goes beyond merely being the spine of a billion-dollar movie franchise (Twilight).  Stewart is authentic in this movie, and her performance is one of the many things that come together like serendipity to make American Ultra one of the best films of 2015.

9 of 10

Saturday, December 5, 2015

The text is copyright © 2015 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this site for reprint and syndication rights and fees.

Monday, February 1, 2016

2015 EDA Awards Announced; "Spotlight" Named Best Film of 2015

According the organization’s website, The Alliance of Women Film Journalists, Inc. (AWFJ), was founded in 2006.  The membership is made up of “highly qualified professional female movie critics, reporters and feature writers working in print, broadcast and online media.”  Its state purpose is to “support work by and about women - both in front of and behind the cameras - through intra-group promotional activities, outreach programs and by presenting the annual EDA Awards in recognition of outstanding accomplishments (the best and worst) by and about women in the movies.”

AWFJ BEST OF AWARDS: These awards are presented to women and/or men without gender consideration.”

EDA Award winners were announced on January 12, 2016.

2015 EDA Awards winners:

Best Film

Best Director (Female or Male)
Tom McCarthy for SPOTLIGHT

Best Screenplay, Original
SPOTLIGHT – Josh Singer, Tom McCarthy

Best Screenplay, Adapted
CAROL – Phyllis Nagy

Best Documentary
AMY – Asif Kapadia

Best Animated Film
INSIDE OUT – Pete Docter, Ronnie Del Carmen

Best Actress
Charlotte Rampling in 45 YEARS

Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Kristen Stewart in CLOUDS OF SILS MARIA

Best Actor
Leonardo DiCaprio in THE REVENANT

Best Actor in a Supporting Role
Paul Dano in LOVE & MERCY

Best Ensemble Cast (tie)

Best Editing
MAD MAX: FURY ROAD – Margaret Sixel

Best Cinematography
CAROL – Edward Lachman

Best Film Music Or Score
THE HATEFUL EIGHT – Ennio Morricone

Best Non-English-Language Film
Son of Saul – Laszlo Nemes (Hungary)

EDA FEMALE FOCUS AWARDS (These awards honor WOMEN only.)

Best Woman Director
Marielle Heller for DIARY OF A TEENAGE GIRL

Best Woman Screenwriter
Emma Donoghue for ROOM

Best Female Action Star
Charlize Theron for MAD MAX: FURY ROAD

Best Breakthrough Performance

Female Icon of the Year (presented to a woman whose work in film and/or in life made a difference)
Chantal Ackerman – In Memoriam, for being a great filmmaker and an inspiration.


Best Depiction Of Nudity, Sexuality, or Seduction (Tie)

Actress Defying Age and Ageism (Tie)
Charlotte Rampling
Lily Tomlin

Most Egregious Age Difference Between The Lead Character and The Love Interest
DANNY COLLINS – Al Pacino (born 1940) and Katarina Cas (born 1976)

Actress Most in Need Of A New Agent
Emma Stone for ALOHA

Movie You Wanted To Love, But Just Couldn’t