Showing posts with label Michelle Williams. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Michelle Williams. Show all posts

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Review: Entertaining "VENOM: Let There Be Carnage" Offers Some Crazy Love

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 59 of 2021 (No. 1797) by Leroy Douresseaux

Venom: Let There Be Carnage (2021)
Running time:  97 minutes (1 hour, 37 minutes)
MPAA – PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, some strong language, disturbing material and suggestive references
DIRECTOR:  Andy Serkis
WRITERS:  Kelly Marcel; from a story by Kelly Marcel and Tom Hardy (based on the Marvel Comics)
PRODUCERS:  Avi Arad, Amy Pascal, Matt Tolmach, Tom Hardy, Kelly Marcel, and Hutch Parker
CINEMATOGRAPHER:  Robert Richardson (D.o.P.)
EDITORS:  Maryann Brandon and Stan Salfas
COMPOSER:  Marco Beltrami


Starring:  Tom Hardy, Michelle Williams, Naomie Harris, Reid Scott, Stephen Graham, Peggy Lu, Little Simz, Jack Bandeira, Olumide Olorunfemi, and Woody Harrelson

Venom: Let There Be Carnage is a 2021 superhero fantasy-action film directed by Andy Serkis.  The film is based on the Marvel Comics super-villain/anti-hero characters, Eddie Brock/Venom, to which several comic book writers, artists, and editors contributed in the creation, most especially artist Todd McFarlane and writer David Michelinie.  This film is a direct sequel to the 2018 film, Venom, and it is also the second film in “Sony's Spider-Man Universe” series.  In Venom: Let There Be Carnage, Eddie Brock and Venom face a new symbiote, a violent monster more powerful than Venom.

Venom: Let There Be Carnage opens in “St. Estes Home for Unwanted Children,” circa 1996.  There, young Cletus Kasady (Jack Bandeira) watches helplessly as his love, young Frances Barrison (Olumide Olorunfemi), is taken away.  She will be placed at the “Ravencroft Institute,” where she will be experimented upon because of her special power, her ability to emit a sonic scream.

In the present day, police Detective Patrick Mulligan (Stephen Graham) contacts Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy), who is attempting to revive his journalism career.  Mulligan asks Brock to speak to Cletus Kasady (Woody Harrelson), now a serial killer who sits on death row and awaits execution.  Kasady refuses to talk to anyone other than Brock.  Kasady invites Brock to attend his execution, but Brock uses the visit to benefit himself.  Kasady sees Brock's actions as betrayal.

Meanwhile, Brock and the symbiote, Venom, have hit a wall in their relationship.  Each believes that the other does not really appreciate what he brings to the relationship.  Plus, Brock's ex-fiancée, Anne Weying (Michelle Williams), tells him that she is now engaged to Dr. Dan Lewis (Reid Scott).  This news and his cantankerous relationship with Venom lead Brock into being careless when he visits Kasady a second time, which leads to the creation of a monstrous new symbiote named “Carnage.”  Meanwhile, the adult Frances Barrison (Naomie Harris) is still imprisoned and, in her new identity as “Shriek, she still pines for her man, Cletus.

From what information I have gathered, the general consensus seems to be that the sequel, Venom: Let There Be Carnage, is better than the first film, Venom.  As entertaining as I found the sequel, I think the original is the better film.  Yes, Venom: Let There Be Carnage has a lot going for it.  Its main cast:  Tom Hardy, Michelle Williams, Naomie Harris, and Woody Harrelson have all received Academy Award nominations for their acting – Williams and Harrelson more than once.

Yes, the sequel's special effects are excellent.  It is quite an achievement to create multiple scenes featuring not one but two shape-shifting, morphing CGI characters.  Venom and Carnage transmute at the same speed and frequency with which the late actor and comic legend, Robin Williams, blabbed and babbled – every chance he got.

Yes, I will give Venom: Let There Be Carnage credit for attempting to be something more than just a superhero film.  [Venom considers himself a hero.]  The film offers themes related to romance, fractured relationships, troubled friendships, jealousy, unrequited love, and love triangles.  In fact, I have to credit Tom Hardy for sharing so much of what is essentially his film with another actor.  Much of this film is about the story of Woody Harrelson's character, Cletus Kasady.

However, the first film seemed more sure of its plots and story points.  As eye-popping as Carnage is in this sequel, I think the original film's human/symbiote villains, Carlton Drake (played by Riz Ahmed) and Riot, were … deliciously evil.  Carnage is needlessly homicidal, and the character takes away from the subtle notes that Woody Harrelson tries to play as Cletus Kasady.

So, in the end, Venom: Let There Be Carnage is entertaining and often funny.  The supporting characters get to play, even fifth wheel Dr. Dan, and I'm always happy to see Naomi Harris, who makes the most of her time as Shriek.  But Venom: Let There Be Carnage feels like a placeholder.  It is as if Sony Pictures offered this sequel in order to satisfy demand while it takes time to develop a really good follow-up to the original Venom, instead of this merely good one.

6 of 10

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

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


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Sunday, September 26, 2021

Review: First "VENOM" is Surprisingly Entertaining and Unexpectedly Good

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 57 of 2021 (No. 1795) by Leroy Douresseaux

Venom (2018)
Running time:  112 minutes (1 hour, 52 minutes)
MPAA – PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action, and for language
DIRECTOR:  Ruben Fleischer
WRITERS:  Scott Rosenberg and Kelly Marcel; from a screen story by Jeff Pinkner and Scott Rosenberg (based on the Marvel Comics)
PRODUCERS:  Avi Arad, Amy Pascal, and Matt Tolmach
CINEMATOGRAPHER:  Matthew Libatique (D.o.P.)
EDITORS:  Alan Baumgarten and Maryann Brandon
COMPOSER:  Ludwig Göransson


Starring:  Tom Hardy, Michelle Williams, Riz Ahmed, Scott Haze, Reid Scott, Jenny Slate, Melora Walters, Peggy Lu, Ron Cephas Jones, Stan Lee, and Woody Harrelson

Venom is a 2018 superhero fantasy-action film directed by Ruben Fleischer.  The film is based on the Marvel Comics super-villain/anti-hero characters, Eddie Brock/Venom, to which several comic book writers, artists, and editors contributed in the creation of, most especially artist Todd McFarlane and writer David Michelinie.  It is also the first film in the “Sony Pictures Universe of Marvel Characters” series.  In Venom the film, a troubled television reporter gains superpowers after bonding with an alien entity that is part of an invasion force.

As Venom opens, a space exploration probe belonging to the bio-engineering corporation, Life Foundation, discovers a comet covered in strange lifeforms.  The probe returns to Earth with four samples of these lifeforms, but one escapes.  Later, Life Foundation CEO, Carlton Drake (Riz Ahmed), has realized that these lifeforms are “symbiotes,” and that they cannot survive without human hosts.  However, soon after the symbiotes bond with humans, the humans' bodies start to reject the aliens.  Drake is obsessed with finding the perfect human hosts for these symbiotes, even if his experiments lead to the deaths of many humans.

Six months later, Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy) is a failed television reporter and former star of “The Brock Report.”  He previously had a run-in with Drake, but fate has given him the opportunity to infiltrate the Life Foundation.  That is how Eddie has an unfortunate encounter with a symbiote that calls itself “Venom.”  Eddie struggles to adapt to what he calls the “parasite” inside his body and is shocked to learn that there are millions more like Venom out in space.  But Eddie will need Venom's help to stay alive when Drake and Life Foundation discover his strange union and come after him to retrieve their property – the symbiote Venom.

Except for his early comic book appearances, I have never been a fan of Venom, but I am a fan of Venom the movie.  He is one of those characters whose potential reveals itself in the movement that television and film offers.  The visual-effects crew of Venom does excellent work in creating Venom as a fascinating and alluring CGI character; noisy, chaotic, obnoxious, inconsistent, and aggressive work for this character.  In fact, there are many inconsistencies in what is supposed to be the nature of human-symbiote relationship, especially in what are the rules of Eddie Brock and Venom's merger, but I found this movie to be too much fun for me to pay attention to logic.

Tom Hardy as Eddie Brock and Riz Ahmed as Carlton Drake make the most of two characters that are not that well developed, and the characters make a good adversarial pair.  Even acclaimed actress and multiple Oscar nominee, Michelle Williams, manages to make Eddie's ex, Anne Weying, seem like something more than an obligatory female character.  But still, the gold in Venom is the special effect that is Venom the character.  I like Venom enough to watch a sequel...

7 of 10

Monday, July 5, 2021

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


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Saturday, March 13, 2021

Negromancer News Bits and Bites from March 7th to 13th, 2021 - Update #29

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

You can support Leroy via Paypal or on Patreon:


CELEBRITY - From WeGotThisCovered:  After securing his place as a box office star, actor Robert Downey, Jr. is reportedly now focused on winning an Oscar.

STREAMING - From Deadline:  Netflix's password sharing crackdown may be beneficial to the company in the long term.

MOVIES - From THR:  Warner Bros. has released a series of six posters for director Jon M. Chu's "In the Heights," the musical film adaptation of Lin Manuel Miranda's Broadway musical.

TELEVISION - From Deadline:  Disney Channel has ordered "Descendants: The Royal Wedding," an animated special set to premiere this summer.  The special will also pay memory to late cast member Cameron Boyce, who appeared as "Carlos." Boyce died in July 2019 of epilepsy at the age of 20.

MOVIES/COVID-19 - From Deadline:  Los Angeles County officials say that movie theaters can reopen Monday (March 15th), because the county has met COVID requirements.

STREAMING - From Deadline:  Netflix makes a worldwide rights deal for actor Dev Patel's directorial debut, "Monkey Man," which recently completed filming.

From Deadline:  Netflix had a hit with the sci-fi/horror film, "Bird Box," starring Julia Roberts.  The streamer is planning "local language" spinoffs of the film.  The first will be a Spanish-language spinoff of Bird Box.

CULTURE - From Jacobin:  Actor and activist Danny Glover talks about the struggle of workers in Alabama to organize a union at Amazon.

MUSIC - From RollingStone:   Grammy-winning recording artist, The Weeknd, says he is finished with the Grammy Awards because of the awards' "secret committees" (expert committees).

CULTURE - From BuzzFeed:   Actress Katie Leung, who played "Cho Chang" in the Harry Potter film series, says that she faced online racist attacks after her casting in the series was announced.  Leung also says that the film's publicist told her to deny that she was experiencing racist attacks.

MOVIES - From RSNNewYorker:  "The New Yorker's" Vinson Cunningham interviews Spike Lee.

STREAMING - From Deadline:   Oscar winners, Natalie Portman and Lupita Nyong'o, are set to star in the television limited series, "Lady in the Lake," for Apple TV+

BLACK FILM - From Deadline:   The African-American Film Critics Association has named "Judas and the Black Messiah" the best film of 2020.

BAFTA - From THR:   The 2021 British Academy Film Awards (BAFTAs) nominations have been announced, featuring a more diverse group of nominees since last year's #BAFTAsSoWhite controversy.  The winners will be announced over two days April 10th and 11th.

AWARDS - From Variety:  The nominees for the 2021 Directors Guild Awards have been announced with some history made.  The winners will be announced Saturday, April 10th.

TELEVISION - From Deadline:   The CW has found the leads for its live-action pilot, "The Powerpuff Girls."  They are Chloe Bennet (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.), Dove Cameron (Descendants) and Yana Perrault (Jagged Little Pill).

MOVIE - From Deadline:   Steven Spielberg is developing a film that is based on his boyhood.  Multiple Oscar-nominee Michelle Williams will play a character based on Spielberg's mother.

STREAMING - From Deadline:  Actor Josh Holloway has snagged the lead in LaToya Morgan and J.J. Abrams 1970s Southwest crime series, "Duster."  This is reunion as Holloway was one of the leads in Abram's Emmy-winning his series, "Lost" (ABC).

HARRY & MEGHAN - From YahooLife:  Meghan’s racism claims come as no surprise to Black Britons.

MEDIA - From FastCompany:  The site and magazine offer a profile on NBA superstar LeBron James and super-agent Maverick Carter's media company, The SpringHill Company.

AWARDS - From Deadline:  The nominees for the 2021 / 32nd annual Producers Guild Awards have been announced.  Winners will be announced at a virtual show on March 24th.

From Variety:    "Judas and the Black Messiah" becomes the first film with an all-black producing team (Shaka King, Ryan Coogler, and Charles D. King) to be nominated by the Producers Guild Awards.

From Deadline:  The winners at the 2021 /26th annual Critics Choice Awards have been announced.  "Nomadland" wins best picture, and "The Crown" wins best TV drama series.

From Deadline:  The nominations for the 2021 48th annual Annie Awards have been announced.  The winners will be announced at a virtual show on April 16, 2021.

HARRY & MEGHAN - From YahooEntertainment:   11 bombshells from Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's tell-all interview with Oprah Winfrey.

From BET:  5 revelations you might have missed during Meghan Markle’s bombshell CBS interview with Oprah Winfrey 

From BET:  Tyler Perry played a part in helping Harry & Meghan escape the royal Red Lectroids.

BOX OFFICE - From Variety:   The winner of the 3/5 to 3/7/2021 weekend box office is Disney's "Raya and the Last Dragon" with an estimated take of 8.6 million dollars.

From Deadline:  Film industry worries about "Raya and the Last Dragon's" sluggish opening weekend at the North American box office.

OSCARS - From NoFilmSchool:   Watch 10 Animated Short Films on the Shortlist for the 2021 Academy Awards.

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Negromancer News Bits and Bites from August 1st to 10th, 2019 - Update #24

Support Leroy on Patreon:

MOVIES - From DigitalSpy:  This article is a list of films that 20th Century Fox had planned to make, but Disney has cancelled since buying Fox.

TELEVISION - From THR:  Robert Kirkman, the co-creator of "The Walking Dead" comic book, is suing AMC over profits concerning "The Walking Dead" television series.  That trial may begin sooner than expected.

DISNEY - From SlashFilm:  Disney's live-action remake of its animated classic, "Lady and the Tramp," will feature real dogs.  Here is a first look at those dogs.

COMICS-FILM - From SlashFilm:  Multiple Oscar-nominee, Michelle Williams, is returning for the Venom sequel, "Venom 2," to play "Anne Weying."

MOVIES - From Deadline:  Wesley Snipes joins Eddie Murphy and Craig Brewer's "Coming to America" sequel.

STREAMING - From Deadline:  Disney CEO Bob Iger says that the Disney+ streaming service will include reboots of 20th Century Fox movie properties like "Home Alone," "Night at the Museum," and "Cheaper by the Dozen."

COMICS-TV - From Deadline:  ABC is looking for its next series based on a Marvel Comics property as Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. comes to an end. They are looking for a mostly brand new female superhero.

COMICS-FILM - From THR:  Andy Serkis has closed a deal with Sony Pictures to direct "Venom 2."  Sexy Tom Hardy will return as the film's star.

TELEVISION - From THR:  On the heels of "Live in Front of a Studio Audience: Norman Lear's All in the Family and The Jeffersons", ABC has ordered two more "live" specials from producers Norman Lear and Jimmy Kimmel.  No word on which classic Norman Lear TV series will get the live treatment.

BOX OFFICE - From BoxOfficeMojo:  The winner of the 8/2 to 8/4/2019 weekend box office is "Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw" with an estimated 60.8 million dollars.

From Patreon:  My review of "Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw."

TELEVISION - From Deadline:  Actress Afton Williamson recently quit ABC's TV series, "The Rookie" (starring Nathan Fillion).  She announces that the reasons were sexual misconduct and racist behavior towards her.  Deadline has a dedicated page to follow this controversy which is heating up.

MOVIES - From Deadline:  Oscar-winning producers Phil Lord and Christopher Miller have signed a first-look production deal with Universal Pictures.

MOVIES - From THR:  In a rare public appearance, Lilly Wachowski (formerly Andy Wachowski), talks about the visibility of trans-people.  Lilly and her sister, Lana, (formerly Larry), are best known for directing "The Matrix" trilogy.

MOVIES - From TheGuardian:  "Fragile masculinity: why no one in the Fast and Furious films can lose a fight" by Stuart Heritage.

TELEVISION - From Deadline:  Former costars Sylvester Stallone and Dolph Lundgren are reuniting for an hour-long action drama series, and it is a hot property with broadcast and streaming companies.

TELEVISION - From TheWrap:  The eighth and final season of Showtime's Emmy-winning series, "Homeland," will begin February 2020.

TELEVISION - From TVLine:  Gal Gadot will star in Showtime's biopic of famed Golden Age of Hollywood actress, Hedy Lamarr (who was also an inventor).

MOVIES-TELEVISION - From Variety:  CBS and Viacom's reunion moves closer as both companies agree to an executive structure.

MOVIES - From Variety:  Cate Blanchett looks to join Guillermo del Toro's "Nightmare Alley," opposite Bradley Cooper.

MOVIES - From Jezebel:  An analysis by Rich Juzwiak: "Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon a Time In Hollywood Doubles Down on Shittiness Toward Women."

MOVIES - From Deadline:  Robert De Niro is in talks to join director Martin Scorsese and actor Leonardo DiCaprio in the film adaptation of the book, "Killers of the Flower Moon."


From Deadline:  The American author, Toni Morrison, has died at the age of 88, Monday, August 5, 2019.  Morrison won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1993, the first Black woman to win the award.  Ms. Morrison was known for such novels as Sula, The Song of Solomon, and Beloved.

From ReviewJournal:  Sports reporter Don Banks has died at the age of 56, Sunday, August 4, 2019.  Banks was known for his work covering the National Football League (NFL).  He wrote for "Sports Illustrated" for 17 years and had recently joined "The Las Vegas Review-Journal. "

From IndieWire:  Documentary filmmaker D.A. Pennebaker died at the age of 94, Thursday, August 1, 2019.  He was known for his focus on arts ("Don't Look Back" and "Monterey Pop") and politics ("The War Room") and was a pioneer of "Direct Cinema."  He was only nominated for one Oscar (for "The War Room"), but he won an "Honorary Oscar" for Lifetime Achievement.

From NFL:  Former National Football League (NFL) player, Nick Buoniconti, died at the age of 78, Tuesday, July 30, 2019.  Buoniconti played middle linebacker for the Boston Patriots and the Miami Dolphins.  He was on two Super Bowl winning Dolphins teams, including the 1972 "Perfect Season" Dolphins.  He was named to the "Pro Football Hall of Fame" in 2001.  Known for his charitable work, he co-founded Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, and he raised hundreds of millions of dollars for research into brain and spinal cord injuries.

Monday, May 27, 2019

Sony Pictures Classics to Distributre "After the Wedding" Remake

Sony Pictures Classics Acquires Bart Freundlich’s "After the Wedding"

NEW YORK (May 14, 2019) – Sony Pictures Classics announced today that they have acquired all rights in North America, France, India and several other Asian countries to Bart Freundlich’s AFTER THE WEDDING. The film is an adaptation of Susanne Bier’s Academy Award® nominated Danish film of the same title and screened as an opening night selection at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival.

[The Negromancer review of Susanne Bier's original After the Wedding is here.]

Directed by Freundlich (The Myth of Fingerprints, The Rebound, Wolves), AFTER THE WEDDING stars Academy Award® winner Julianne Moore, Academy Award® nominee Michelle Williams, Billy Crudup, and Abby Quinn.

Isabel (Michelle Williams) has dedicated her life to working with the children in an orphanage in Calcutta. Theresa (Julianne Moore) is the multimillionaire head of a media company who lives with her artist husband (Billy Crudup) and their twin boys in New York. When word comes to Isabel of a mysterious and generous grant for the financially struggling orphanage, she must travel to New York to meet the benefactor—Theresa—in person.

The film is produced by Joel B. Michaels and Harry Finkel. The film is an Ingenious Media and Riverstone Pictures presentation, Executive Produced by Nik Bower and Deepak Nayar for Riverstone and Peter Touche and Andrea Scarso for Ingenious.

AFTER THE WEDDING reunites Freundlich and Sony Pictures Classics, having worked together on Freundlich’s first feature, THE MYTH OF FINGERPRINTS. Sony Pictures Classics has also collaborated on a number of films with Julianne Moore, including Vanya on 42nd Street, Safe and Still Alice, for which she was awarded the Academy Award® for Best Actress.

Said Bart Freundlich, “I’ve known Michael and Tom for 23 years when we worked together on my first film, 'The Myth of Fingerprints'. They have impeccable taste, so it is very exciting, and great vote of confidence that they believe so whole heartedly in 'After the Wedding’.“

Added Joel Michaels, “I’m thrilled that we are working with the Sony Pictures Classics team. Michael Barker and Tom Bernard run a very classy company and After The Wedding simply couldn’t be in better hands.”

From Sony Pictures Classics, “Stunning performances with a nail biter of a story executed perfectly by director Bart Freundlich. AFTER THE WEDDING makes for a perfect end of summer release.”

An August 2019 release is planned for the film.

The deal was negotiated by Endeavor Content and Cornerstone Films on behalf of the filmmakers. Additional funding was provided by Rock Island Films.

Michael Barker and Tom Bernard serve as co-presidents of Sony Pictures Classics—an autonomous division of Sony Pictures Entertainment they founded with Marcie Bloom in January 1992—which distributes, produces, and acquires independent films from around the world.  Barker and Bernard have released prestigious films that have won 39 Academy Awards® (35 of those at Sony Pictures Classics) and have garnered 173 Academy Award® nominations (151 at Sony Pictures Classics) including Best Picture nominations for CALL ME BY YOUR NAME, WHIPLASH, AMOUR, MIDNIGHT IN PARIS, AN EDUCATION, CAPOTE, HOWARDS END, AND CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON.

Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) is a subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America, a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Sony Corporation. SPE's global operations encompass motion picture production and distribution; television production and distribution; home entertainment acquisition and distribution; a global channel network; digital content creation and distribution; operation of studio facilities; development of new entertainment products, services and technologies; and distribution of entertainment in more than 142 countries. For additional information, go to 


Saturday, January 20, 2018

Negromancer News Bits and Bites from January 14th to 20th, 2018 - Update #34

Support Leroy on Patreon.

COMICS-FILM - From WeGotThisCovered:  Brie Larson continues her preparation for Marvel Studios' "Captain Marvel," as seen in these photos.

COMICS-FILM - From ICv2:  "Marvel's Cloak & Dagger" will debut on Freeform (Disney) June 7, 2018 at 8 p.m. Eastern/Pacific.

MUSIC - From Billboard:  Drake drops two new songs.  Here, them at Billboard.

MUSIC - From RollingStone:  A medical examiner has ruled that rock musician Tom Petty died of an accidental mixture of medication including opiods.  Petty died in October 2017.

MOVIES - From BleedingCool:  The "Crocodile Dundee" film franchise gets a new life with "Dundee" starring Danny McBride.

PIXAR - From THR:  Stephany Folsom is the new writer on "Toy Story 4."  Previous writer Rashida Jones left the project.

COMICS-FILM - From ComicBook:  Matthew Lloyd, who was the cinematographer on the first season of Marvel/Netflix's "Daredevil" will be do the photography duties on the "Spider-Man: Homecoming" sequel.

COMICS-FILM - From BleedingCool:  NBA legend, champion, and Basketball Hall of Famer Shaquille O'Neal wants to be in an "Avengers" movie.  Back in the 1990s, he was the star of the film, "Steel," based on the DC Comics character.

MANGA-FILM - From CBR:  Director Robert Rodriguez explains the photo-realistic "manga eyes" in "Alita: Battle Angel" (based on the manga "Battle Angel Alita").

CULTURE - From YahooNews:  A University of Alabama female student finds herself expelled and returned to her New Jersey home after she posts a racist anti-African-American rant on Instagram.

COMICS-FILM - From ComicBookMovie:  John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein will be the directors of "Flashpoint," the stand-alone film featuring DC Comics superhero, "Flash."

TELEVISION - From THR:  J.J. Abrams is working on a television science fiction drama that has HBO and Apple would like to buy.

CULTURE - From TheNewYorker:  When Barbie Went to War with Bratz

COMICS-ANIMATION - From DenofGeek:  There are rumors that Marvel will cancel all three of its Disney XD animated TV series.

COMICS-FILM - From TheWrap:  Vin Diesel wants to play the lead in Sony's film adaptation of Valiant Comics' "Bloodshot."

CELEBRITY - From Deadline:  Pam Grier talks about her biopic and speaks on sexual harassment.

MOVIES - From Deadline:  Trevor Jackson and Jason Mitchell to star in Sony's "Superfly" remake.  Director X (a Canadian music video director) is set to director.

CELEBRITY/AWARDS - From TMZ:  Halle Berry may have "gone commando" at the 49th NAACP Image Awards ceremony on Mon., Jan. 15th, 2018.

CULTURE - From THR:  "The Big Sick" and Hollywood's Muslim-American Renaissance by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

POLITICS - From HuffPost:  Famed whistleblower, Chelsea Manning, is running for a U.S. Senate seat in Maryland.

COMICS-FILM - From CinemaBlend:  Stan Lee talks about what he wanted his "Black Panther" cameo to be.

From ScreenRant:  Both Todd McFarlane and Stan Lee will appear in the reboot of the "Spawn" film franchise.  McFarlane is the creator of the Spawn comic book and is writing and directing the reboot.  Stan Lee was the creator or co-creator of many of the most iconic Marvel Comics characters.

MLK - From TheGuardian:  If Martin Luther King Jr were alive today, politicians would denounce him.

MOVIES - From ThePlaylist:  Quentin Tarantino reportedly wants Al Pacino in his 1969/Manson murders movie.

BOX OFFICE - From BoxOfficeMojo:   The winner at the 1/12 to 1/14/2018 weekend box office is "Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle" with an estimated take of $27 million.

SCANDAL - From Deadline:  Eliza Dushku has accused famed stunt coordinator, Joel Kramer, of molesting her on the during filming of the James Cameron film, "True Lies" (1994).

From Facebook:  Eliza Dushku's post describing the sexual assault she alleges a True Lies coordinator committed against her when she was 12.  [WARNING: Her post is shocking, graphic, and heartbreaking.]

From BleedingCool:  James Cameron, director of True Lies, and Jamie Lee Curtis, co-star of True Lies, comments on Eliza Dushku's allegations that she was molested as a child on the set of True Lies by a stunt coordinator.

MOVIES - From Variety:  Mark Wahlberg and his agency WME to donate "All the Money in the World" reshoot money (a combined $2 million) to "Times Up" legal defense fund.

From TheWrap:  Mark Wahlberg's "All of the Money in the World," Michelle Williams, praises Wahlberg for donating his reshoot money to #TimesUp.

From TimesUp:  About #TimesUp

CELEBRITY - From THR:  A profile of journalist and writer Ronan Farrow, the son of Mia Farrow and Woody Allen, and one of the writers who broke open the Harvey Weinstein sexual misconduct scandal.

COMICS - From BleedingCool:  Oscar winning screenwriter, John Ridley (12 Years a Slave) is writing "The Other History of the DC Universe" for DC Comics.


From FlickeringMyth:  Lucasfilm and Disney XD has released a trailer for the final episodes of "Star Wars Rebels." The final six episodes will be released over a 3-week period beginning Feb. 19th, 2018.


From ChicagoSunTimes:  The Chicago-based rapper, Fredo Santana, has died at the age of 27, Saturday, January 20, 2018.  Known as a "drill rapper," Fredo was the older cousin of controversial rapper, Chief Keef.  Fredo released nine mixtapes and one solo album, 2013's "Trappin Ain't Dead."

From PEOPLE:  Irish musician, Dolores O'Riordan, has died at the age of 46, Monday, January 15, 2018.  She was the lead singer of the Irish band, "The Cranberries," which has a number of hit songs in the 1990s, especially "Linger" and "Zombie."

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Negromancer News Bits and Bites from January 7th to 13th, 2018 - Update #28

Support Leroy on Patreon.

MOVIES - From BleedingCool:  Blumhouse's "Halloween" sequel began shooting today (Jan. 13th, 2018).  David Gordon Green is directing with original director John Carpenter co-producing and scoring the film.  Jamie Lee Curtis, the original film's star, returns, as does original Michael Myers, Nick Castle.

CELEBRITY - From BET:  Paris Jackson, daughter of the late, great Michael Jackson, tried to help some bums and they stole from her.

MOVIES - From THR:  Oscar-winner Barry Jenkins (Moonlight) and Chadwick Boseman (Black Panther) are joining for "Expatriate," a 1970s set international thriller.

MOVIES - From Deadline:  Leonardo DiCaprio will star in Quentin Tarantino's ninth feature length film, which is set during the summer of 1969 around the time of the Charles Manson murders.  DiCaprio appeared in Tarantino's 2012 film, "Django Unchained."

TELEVISION - From BleedingCool:  Gareth Edwards' ("Rogue One") film, Monster, is being adapted as a TV series.  The film was originally released in the U.S. in 2010.

COMICS-FILM - From Collider:  "Deadpool 2" will now open May 18, 2018, instead of June 1st.  Fox also moves "The New Mutants" from April 13, 2018 to February 22, 2019.

TELEVISION - From BleedingCool:  ABC is developing a reboot of its 1980s series, "The Greatest American Hero," and a live-action version of "The Jetsons."

COMICS-FILM - From BleedingCool:  Channing Tatum's X-Men spinoff film, "Gambit," has lost another director, Gore Verbinski.

CULTURE - From TheNewYorker:  Legendary French actress, Catherine Deneuve, and other prominent French women denounce the #MeToo and #BalanceTonPorc (the French #MeToo) movements.

COMICS - From TheWrap:  Marvel Studios is moving forward with a "Black Widow" stand alone movie.  Jac Schaeffer, who made her debut with the film "TiMER," will write the film.

MOVIE - From ShadowandAct:  There is a biopic of African-American actress Hattie McDaniel in the works.  McDaniel was the first African-American to receive an Oscar nomination for acting and the first to win an Academy Award (Best Supporting Actress, "Gone with the Wind").

MOVIE AWARDS - From HuffPost:  While introducing Meryl Streep at the "National Board of Review Annual" awards, Robert DeNiro called President Donald Trump a "fucking idiot" and a "fucking fool."

CELEBRITY - From ComicBook:  The photography of the late actor Anton Yelchin will be at the De Buck Gallery in New York City through January 20th, 2018.

MOVIES - From ThePlaylist:  Mark Wahlberg paid way more money than Michelle Williams for the "All the Money in the World" reshoots.

From YahooNews:  The Mark Wahlberg-Michelle pay gap on the reshoots for Ridley Scott's "All the Money in the World," is sparking growing outrage.

ANIMATION/SCANDAL - From Variety:  TBS has ended its involvement in the animated comedy, "The Cops," co-created by and set to star Louis CK, the comedian accused of having a history of misconduct.

OPRAH - From CNN:  The transcript to Oprah Winfrey's rousing and acclaimed Golden Globes speech after receiving the "Cecil B. DeMille Award" for lifetime achievement - the first black woman to receive the award.

From YouTube:   See Oprah's speech at the 75th Golden Globes Awards.

From RSN:  Actresses protest at 75th Golden Globes Awards.

AWARDS - From TheWrap:  The 2018 / 75th Golden Globe Awards - the complete winners list.

BOX OFFICE - From BoxOfficeMojo:  The winner of the 1/5 to 1/7/2018 weekend box office is "Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle," with an estimated take of $36 million.  This is its first time winning the weekend box office, although this is also its third weekend in release.

From Variety:  "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" stumbles in its Chinese box office debut, but still moves up to $1.2 billion in worldwide box office.

MOVIES - From IndieWire:  Ridley Scott, who directed the original "Blade Runner," is already planning a sequel to the recent "Blade Runner 2048," which he did not direct.

MOVIE AWARDS - From GoldenGlobes:  The nominees for the 2018/ 75th Golden Globe Awards, which are tonight.

STREAMING - From Deadline:   David Letterman's six-episode Netflix show will be entitled "My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman."  It starts streaming Jan. 12th, 2018, and President Barack Obama will be Letterman's first guest.

POLITICS:  From ThinkProgress:  Companies that announced big bonuses after GOP tax cut are now laying off their workers


From YahooEntertainment:  See the teaser trailer for Marvel's "Black Panther" shown during Mon., Jan. 8th's college football National Championship Game.


From ESPN:  Legendary sports broadcaster Keith Jackson has died at the age of 89, Friday, January 12, 2018.  He was a play-by-play announcer for a number of sports, but is best known for his work on college football games.  He was known for his folksy manner, down-to-earth manner and for his colorful expressions like "Who, Nellie!" and "Big Uglies."  He is also credited for dubbing college football's "Rose Bowl" game as "The Granddaddy of Them All."

From TheWrap:  The Canadian actor, Donnelly Rhodes, has died at the age of 80, Monday, January 8, 2018.  He is best known for his work on the late ABC series, "Soap" (1977-1981), the "Battlestar Galactica" reboot (2004 to 2009), and the Canadian police drama, "Da Vinci's Inquest" (1998 to 2005).

From THR:  The actress Greta Thyssen has died at the age of 90, Saturday, January 6, 2018.  Born in Denmark, Thyssen was a "blonde bombshell" of the 1950s and 1960s.  She doubled for Marilyn Monroe in the film "Bus Stop" and appeared in 3 "Three Stooges" films, including the final Stooges short film, "Sappy Bull Fighters" (1959).

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Viola Davis Wins "Best Supporting Actress" Oscar

Actress in a Supporting Role

Viola Davis - Fences - WINNER

Naomie Harris - Moonlight

Nicole Kidman- -Lion

Octavia Spencer - Hidden Figures

Michelle Williams - Manchester by the Sea

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Utah Film Critics Association Names "La La Land" Best Picture of 2016

The Utah Film Critics Association is an organization of cinema journalists affiliated with publications, broadcasting stations, and online media based in the state of Utah. The group meets every December to votr on the Utah Film Critics Association Awards.

2016 Utah Film Critics Association Awards – winners and runner-ups:

Best Picture: La La Land
Runner-up: Moonlight

Best Director: Barry Jenkins, Moonlight
Runner-up: Damien Chazelle, La La Land

Best Actor: Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea
Runner-up: Joel Edgerton, Loving

Best Actress: Emma Stone, La La Land
Runner-up: Ruth Negga, Loving

Supporting Actor: (TIE) Mahershala Ali, Moonlight; John Goodman, 10 Cloverfield Lan

Supporting Actress: Viola Davis, Fences
Runners-up: Naomie Harris, Moonlight and Michelle Williams, Manchester by the Sea

Adapted Screenplay: Barry Jenkins and Tarell McCraney, Moonlight
Runner -up: Eric Heisserer, Arrival

Original Screenplay: Taylor Sheridan, Hell or High Water
Runner-up: Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester by the Sea

Non-English Language Film: The Handmaiden
Runners-up: Elle and Toni Erdmann (tie)

Animated Feature: Kubo and the Two Strings
Runners-up: Moana and Zootopia (tie)

Documentary Feature: Cameraperson
Runner -up: Weiner

Original Score: La La Land
Runner -up: Arrival

Cinematography: Linus Sandgren, La La Land
Runner -up: Bradford Young, Arrival


Saturday, January 7, 2017

National Society of Film Critics Name "Moonlight" Best Picture of 2016

The National Society of Film Critics was founded in New York City in 1966 and its membership is currently comprise of 56 of the country’s most prominent movie critics.  Known for their highbrow tastes, these critics form one of the most prestigious film groups on the United States.  Current members include some of my favorite film critics, like David Edelstein and J. Hoberman, among others.  The late Roger Ebert, my favorite critic, was also a member.  The society has produced several anthologies about movies, including the must-have for film fans, Produced and Abandoned: The Best Films You’ve Never Seen (1990).

The National Society of Film Critics gathered on Saturday, January 7, 2017 to vote on their annual film awards – the 51st edition.

Here is a list of the National Society of Film Critics 2016 winners and runners-up, with vote counts from the final round.

*1. Moonlight (54)

    Manchester by the Sea (39)
    La La Land (31)

*1. Barry Jenkins (53) – Moonlight

    Damien Chazelle (37) – La La Land
    Kenneth Lonergan (23) – Manchester by the Sea

*1. Casey Affleck (65) – Manchester by the Sea

    Denzel Washington (21) – Fences
    Adam Driver (20) – Paterson

*1. Isabelle Huppert (55) – Elle and Things to Come

    Annette Bening (26) – 20th Century Women
    Sandra Hüller (26) – Toni Erdmann [tied with Bening]

*1. Mahershala Ali (72) – Moonlight

    Jeff Bridges (18) – Hell or High Water
    Michael Shannon (14) – Nocturnal Animals

*1. Michelle Williams (58) – Manchester by the Sea

    Lily Gladstone (45) – Certain Women
    Naomie Harris (25) – Moonlight

*1. Manchester by the Sea (61) – Kenneth Lonergan

    Moonlight (39) – Barry Jenkins
    Hell or High Water (16) – Taylor Sheridan

*1. Moonlight (52) – James Laxton

    La La Land (27) – Linus Sandgren
    Silence (23) – Rodrigo Prieto

*1. Toni Erdmann (52)

    The Handmaiden (26)
    Elle (19) and Things to Come (19) tied

*1. O.J.: Made in America (64)

    I Am Not Your Negro (36)
    13th (20)

SPECIAL CITATION for a film awaiting American distribution: Sieranevada (Romania) Cristi Puiu

FILM HERITAGE AWARD: Kino Lorber’s 5-disc collection “Pioneers of African-American Cinema”


Monday, January 2, 2017

Toronto Film Critics Association Names "Moonlight" Best Picture of 2016

The Toronto Film Critics Association (TFCA) was established in 1997 and is comprised of Toronto based journalists and broadcasters who specialize in film criticism and commentary.  All major dailies, weeklies and a variety of other print and electronic outlets are represented.

The 2016 Toronto Film Critics Association Awards (TFCA) were voted by TFCA members at a meeting on Sunday, December 11, 2016.  The membership also chose the three finalists for the “Rogers Best Canadian Film Award.”  They are How Heavy This Hammer, directed by Kazik Radwanski; Operation Avalanche, directed by Matt Johnson, and The Stairs, directed by Hugh Gibson. The winner will be named at the TFCA Awards Gala, to be held at The Carlu in Toronto Tuesday, January 10, 2017.

The full list of 2016 / 20th Toronto Film Critics Association Awards winners and runners-up:

“Moonlight” (Elevation Pictures)
“Manchester by the Sea” (Mongrel Media)
“Toni Erdmann” (Mongrel Media)

Adam Driver, “Paterson” (Mongrel Media)
Casey Affleck, “Manchester by the Sea”
Peter Simonischek, “Toni Erdmann”

Sandra Hüller, “Toni Erdmann”
Rebecca Hall, “Christine” (The Orchard)
Isabelle Huppert, “Elle” (Mongrel Media)
Natalie Portman, “Jackie” (Fox Searchlight)

Mahershala Ali, “Moonlight”
Ralph Fiennes, “A Bigger Splash” (Elevation Pictures)
Michael Shannon, “Nocturnal Animals” (Focus Features)

Michelle Williams, “Manchester by the Sea”
Viola Davis, “Fences” (Paramount)
Naomie Harris, “Moonlight”

Maren Ade, “Toni Erdmann”
Damien Chazelle, “La La Land” (Entertainment One)
Barry Jenkins, “Moonlight”

“Manchester by the Sea” by Kenneth Lonergan
“Moonlight” by Barry Jenkins
“Toni Erdmann” by Maren Ade

“The Witch” directed by Robert Eggers (Elevation Pictures)
“The Edge of Seventeen” directed by Kelly Fremon Craig (VVS Films)
“Swiss Army Man” directed by Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert (D Films)

“Zootopia” (Walt Disney Animation Studios)
“The Red Turtle” (A-Z Films)
“Kubo and the Two Strings” (Focus Features)

“Toni Erdmann”
“Elle” (Mongrel Media)
“The Handmaiden” (Mongrel Media)

“Cameraperson” (Films We Like)
“Fire at Sea” (Films We Like)
“The Stairs” (Midnight Lamp Films)

ROGERS BEST CANADIAN FILM AWARD FINALISTS (to be named at the 2016 TFCA Awards gala on January 2017)
“How Heavy This Hammer” directed by Kazik Radwanski (MDFF)
“Operation Avalanche” directed by Matt Johnson (Entertainment One)
“The Stairs” directed by Hugh Gibson (Midnight Lamp Films)


Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Boston Online Film Critics Name "Moonlight" Best Picture of 2016

The Boston Online Film Critics Association (BOFCA) was founded in May 2012.  According to the group, BOFCA fosters a community of web-based film critics and provides them with a supportive group of colleagues and a professional platform for their voices to be heard. They collect and link to their reviews every week at a website that also features original content by members, including filmmaker interviews and spotlights on Boston’s vital repertory film scene.

By widening professional membership to writers working in new media, BOFCA aims to encourage more diverse opinions in the field. The Boston Online Film Critics Association has gathered together critics writing for publications that collectively receive over 15 million impressions/page views per month. BOFCA is present on social media year-round with members’ film articles and essays.

The 2016 Boston Online Film Critics Association Awards:


Damien Chazelle – LA LA LAND


Isabelle Huppert – ELLE

Mahershala Ali – MOONLIGHT

Michelle Williams – MANCHESTER BY THE SEA


Kenneth Lonergan – MANCHESTER BY THE SEA




Natasha Braier – THE NEON DEMON

Nels Bangerter – CAMERAPERSON

Mica Levi – JACKIE



Saturday, December 10, 2016

Los Angeles Film Critics Choose "Moonlight" as "Best Picture of 2016"

The Los Angeles Film Critics Association (LAFCA) is a professional organization of Los Angeles-based, professional film critics working in the Los Angeles print and electronic media.  Since 1975, LAFCA members vote on the year's Achievement Awards each December, honoring screen excellence on both sides of the camera.

42nd Annual (2016) Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards:

Runner-up: La La Land

Barry Jenkins, Moonlight
Runner-up: Damien Chazelle, La La Land.

Isabelle Huppert, Elle and Things to Come.
Runner-up: Rebecca Hall, Christine

Adam Driver, Paterson
Runner-up: Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea

Lily Gladstone, Certain Women
Runner-up: Michelle Williams, Manchester by the Sea

Mahershala Ali, Moonlight
Runner-up: Issei Ogata, Silence

Efthymis Filippou and Yorgos Lanthimos, The Lobster
Runner-up: Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester by the Sea

I Am Not Your Negro
Runner-up: O.J.: Made in America

The Handmaiden (South Korea)
Runner-up: Toni Erdmann

Your Name
Runner-up: The Red Turtle

James Laxton, Moonlight
Runner-up: Linus Sandgren, La La Land

Justin Hurwitz, Benj Pasek, Justin Paul,  La La Land
Runner-up: Mica Levi, Jackie

Seong-hie Ryu, The Handmaiden
Runner-up: David Wasco, La La Land

Bret Granato, Maya Mumma, Ben Sozanski, O.J.: Made in America
Runner-up: Tom Cross, La La Land

Deborah Stratman, The Illinois Parables

Trey Edward Shults and Krisha Fairchild, Krisha

Turner Classic Movies, for preserving historic cinema via Filmstrick

Shirley MacLaine


Thursday, December 1, 2016

New York Film Critics Circle Names "La La Land" Best Picture of 2016

Founded in 1935, the New York Film Critics Circle is, according to their website, “an organization of film reviewers from New York-based publications that exists to honor excellence in U.S. and world cinema.”  Members are critics from daily newspapers, weekly newspapers, magazines, and online general-interest publications (that meet certain qualifications). Every year in December, Circle members meet in New York to vote on awards for the year's films.  The Circle also puts on an awards presentation, which will be held in January 2017 to honor 2016 winners.

The Circle was the first film critics organization that I encountered as a budding, young movie lover.  The Circle's awards have been predictors of the Oscar nominations. However, The Circle sees it awards “as a principled alternative to the Oscars, honoring esthetic merit in a forum that is immune to commercial and political pressures,” according to their website.

2016 NYFCC Awards:

Best Picture
La La Land

Best Director
Barry Jenkins - Moonlight

Best Screenplay
Kenneth Lonergan - Manchester by the Sea

Best Actress
Isabelle Huppert – Elle; The Things to Come

Best Actor
Casey Affleck - Manchester by the Sea

Best Supporting Actress
Michelle Williams - Manchester by the Sea; Certain Women

Best Supporting Actor
Mahershala Ali - Moonlight

Best Cinematographer
James Laxton - Moonlight

Best Animated Film

Best Non-Fiction Film (Documentary)
O.J.: Made in America

Best Foreign Language Film
Toni Erdmann

Best First Film
Kelly Fremon Craig - The Edge of Seventeen

Best First Film
Trey Edward Shults - Krisha

Special Award:
Thelma Schoonmaker & Julie Dash - Daughters of the Dust (25th Anniversary Restoration)


Saturday, November 19, 2016

Negromancer News Bits and Bites from November 13th to 19th, 2016 - Update #27

Support Leroy on Patreon.

POLITICS - From YahooNews:  President-elect Trump wants the cast of the Broadway musical, "Hamilton" to apologize to Vice-President-elect and anti-gay bigot, Mike Pence.

MOVIE - From THR:  Marc Forster is directing Disney's live-action movie about "Christopher Robin," Winnie the Pooh's friend.

OBIT - From TheWrap:  Sharon Jones, who is the lead singer of "Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings," has died at the age of 60, Friday, November 18, 2016.

CULTURE - From RSN:  Is America possible, Michelle Alexander asks, especially as we are just learning to walk.

MOVIES - From CNN:  Shelley Duvall, the actress who is known for such film as "The Shinning" and "Popeye," reveals that she suffers from mental illness.

ECO - From RollingStone:  Neil Young celebrates his 71st birthday with a concert at Standing Rock #NoDAPL protest site.

SPORTS - From the Steelers:  The NFL's Pittsburgh Steelers announce the "The Chuck Noll Foundation for Brain Injury Research."

MOVIES - From ETCanada:  Michelle Williams to play rock legend Janis Joplin in upcoming biopic.

CELEBRITY - From YahooCelebrity:  Halle Berry celebrates 50 with a new lingerie line.

COMICS - From Vulture:  A fascinating piece on, Steve Ditko, the artist who created The Amazing Spider-Man and Doctor Strange with Stan Lee.  The writer even tries to meet Ditko, who is an infamous recluse.

TELEVISION - From BleedingCool:  Marvel, IMAX, and ABC team for a big budget "Inhumans" television show.

MOVIES - From TheWrap:  Ava DuVernay's "A Wrinkle in Time" set for release April 2018.

OBITS - From NYTimes:  Award-winning and groundbreaking political reporter and author, Gwen Ifill, died at the age of 61, Monday, November 14, 2016.

ACADEMY AWARDS - From Variety:  Jackie Chan receives an Oscar.

BOX OFFICE - From BoxOfficeMojo:  The winner of the 11/11 to 11/13/2016 weekend box office is "Doctor Strange" with an estimated take of $43 million.

POLITICS - From YesMagazine:  6 historic firsts for women on election night 2016.

SPORTS - From LATimes:  Serena and Venus Williams are returning to their hometown of Compton to renew ties to the community.

POLITICS - From OregonLive:  Anti-Trump protests in Portland Oregon turn violent Saturday night.

From YahooSports:  Damian Lillard, a star of the Portland Trailblazers, troubled by the anti-Trump protests in Portland.

OBIT:  From People:  Songwriter and musician, Leon Russell, has died at the age of 74, Sunday, November 13, 2016.  He is a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame - Class of 2011.

TELEVISION - From USAToday:  Dave Chappelle hosted "Saturday Night Live" last night (11/12/2016) and revived some favorite characters from "The Chappelle Show."

POLITICS - From NYTimes:  Oscar-winning filmmaker, Ethan Coen, pens thank you notes to the people who helped us end up with President-elect Trump.

MOVIES - From THR:  David Yates says that he is directing all "Fantastic Beasts" films, which are set in the "Harry Potter" universe.

ANIMATION - From Variety:  DreamWorks Animation and Universal have shut down production on "The Croods 2," the sequel to the Oscar-nominated, "The Croods."

MUSIC - From YahooMusic:  Sting reopens Bataclan one year after the Paris terror attacks.


From YouTube:  New trailer (second official?) for Hidden Figures (which I want to see so badly), which is due January 6, 2017.

From YouTube:  First official trailer for Disney's live-action "Beauty and the Beast," due Spring 2017.

From YouTube:  Here is the first trailer for "Ghost in the Shell," which is due  March 31, 2017.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Negromancer News Bits and Bites from October 9th to 15th, 2016 - Update #28

Support Leroy on Patreon.

MOVIES - From TheWrap:  91-year-old veteran actor defends Nate Parker and "Birth of a Nation."  Concerning rape allegatiosn - get over it, he says.

MOVIES - From YahooMovies:  President Barack Obama lists his all-time favorite science fiction flicks and a few TV show.

TELEVISION - From TheWrap:  Delroy Lindo joins the cast of "The Good Wife" spinoff series, which will air on CBS All Access - a streaming service.

ECO - From Time:  Robert Redford - "Climate change affects every issue."

OBIT - From BleedingCool:  Michiyo Yasuda, an animator, artist, and colorist for anime films, has died at the age of 77.  She worked for Studio Ghibli and worked on such Hayao Miyazaki films as the Oscar-winning "Spirited Away" and "Ponyo."

MOVIES - From TheWrap:  J.K. Rowling's "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" film series will be five film long.

MOVIES - From ThePlaylist:  Quentin Tarantino is researching the 1970s for his next project, although that project might not be a film...

MUSIC - From Variety:  Bob Dylan wins the Nobel Prize in Literature.  He is the first American to win the award since Toni Morrison in 1993.

ECO - From TheGuardian:  Climate change deniers should not hold elective office.

COMICS - From TheVillageVoice:  "Ms. Marvel Will Save You Now"

CELEBRITY - From THR:  Mel Gibson is back - hot and bankable.

OBIT -  From TMZ:  The actor Tommy Ford has died at the age of 52, Wednesday, October 12, 2016.  He was best known for playing "Tommy" on the 1990s Fox television comedy, "Martin" (starring Martin Lawrence).

ECO - From EcoWatch:  Shailene Woodley and 26 others are arrest protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL).

MOVIES - From CinemaBlend:  The original Freddy Krueger, Robert Englund, has a really good idea for the next installment of "A Nightmare on Elm Street."

MUSIC - From YahooCelebrity:  Miley Cyrus is "pansexual."

COMICS-FILM - From BleedingCool:  Marvel's "Captain Marvel" movie will be an origin story.

MOVIES - From TheWrap:  Clint Eastwood has lined up his next film.

MOVIES - From TheWrap:  "Chronicle" screenwriter Max Landis thinks "Mighty Morphing Power Rangers" looks like Chronicle.

MOVIES - From Variety:  Uber-talented Michelle Williams in talks to star in a Janis Joplin biopic.

MOVIES - From Variety:  Guy Ritchie is in talks to direct a live-action remake of Walt Disney's "Aladdin."

BOX OFFICE - From BoxOfficeMojo:  The winner of the 10/7 to 10/9/2016 weekend box office is "The Girl on the Train" with an estimated take of $24.7 million.

From Variety:  "Finding Dory" surpasses $1 billion in worldwide box office.  This is the third Disney film to do so this calendar year, following "Captain America: Civil War" and "Zootopia."


From EW:  John Wick goes to NYCC '16 with Keanu Reeves vs. Common sizzle reel.

From ScreenRant:  At NYCC '16, Jeph Loeb talks about the FX and Marvel connections in the two studio's FX television series, "Legion."

From YahooTV:  At NYCC '16, Marvel introduces "The Defenders," who will appear on Netflix at some point.

From FlickeringMyth:  Marvel's animated "Avengers Assemble" became "Avengers: Ultron Revlutions" and will now become "Avengers: Secret Wars."  That is where Haley Atwell will reprise her role as "Peggy Carter" in voice form.

COMICS-FILM - From IGN:  2017 will see a new animated Spider-Man series from Disney, entitled "Marvel's Spider-Man."  The current series, "Ultimate Spider-Man" ends in January.

TELEVISION - From DemocracyNow:  Rosario Dawson and Norman Lear among stars exploring "America Divided."


From YouTube:  Third official "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story" trailer.

From TheVerge:  First full trailer for Marvel-Netflix's "Iron Fist" series.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Review: Oz the (Not So) Great and (Not Really) Powerful

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 18 (of 2013) by Leroy Douresseaux

Oz the Great and Powerful (2013)
Running minutes: 130 minutes (2 hours, 10 minutes)
MPAA – PG for sequences of action and scary images, and brief mild language
WRITERS: Mitchell Kapner and David Lindsay-Abaire; from a screen story by Mitchell Kapner (based on the works of L. Frank Baum)
EDITOR: Bob Murawski
COMPOSER: Danny Elfman

FANTASY with elements of action, adventure, and comedy

Starring: James Franco, Mila Kunis, Rachel Weisz, Michelle Williams, Zach Braff, Bill Cobbs, Joey King, Tony Cox, Bruce Campbell, and Ted Raimi

Oz the Great and Powerful is a 2013 fantasy film from Walt Disney Pictures. Directed by Sam Raimi, this movie is based on the works of L. Frank Baum, especially Baum’s most famous book, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, which was first published in 1900. Oz the Great and Powerful’s story takes place before the events depicted in the book, so the movie is kind of a prequel to the novel. The new movie focuses on a small-time magician who arrives in an enchanted land, where he reluctantly joins a fight to save the land from evil witches.

Oz the Great and Powerful (which I will sometimes refer to as “OGP”) is not officially connected to the 1939 film, The Wizard of Oz, which is also based on Baum’s original novel and was produced by MGM (and is now owned by Time-Warner). In terms of quality, Oz the Great and Powerful is half the movie the 1939 film is. OGP is not a bad movie; it is simply mediocre, corporate film-product that cannot hide weak characters and a poor story behind tens of millions of dollars worth of special effects.

Oz the Great and Powerful opens in 1905, where we meet Oscar “Oz” Diggs (James Franco), a small-time magician, con artist, and womanizer. His activities lead him to make a desperate escape aboard a hot air balloon. The balloon, however, is sucked into a tornado, which takes Oscar to the mysterious and strange Land of Oz. The first resident of Oz he meets is the beautiful Theodora, the Wicked Witch of the West (Mila Kunis). Theodora tells Oscar that he is the prophesized wizard who will save Oz from the wicked Glinda the Good Witch (Michelle Williams).

They travel the yellow brick road to Emerald City, the capital of Oz. There, Oscar meets Theodora’s sister, Evanora, the Wicked Witch of the East (Rachel Weisz), who sends Oscar on a mission. Joined by Finley the Flying Monkey (voice of Zach Braff) and China Girl (voice Joey King), Oscar begins a journey that takes him to Munchkinland, where he must decide whether to be great or to be a good man.

In a perfect world, Oz the Great and Powerful would be judged on its own merits, but this is not a perfect world. This is an imperfect world that is made better by a great movie first released in 1939, The Wizard of Oz. In that film, Judy Garland is still a young thing and matte paints can make you believe in dark forests and emerald cities. Thus, OGP must match up with (or perhaps against) that classic 1939 film, and OGP doesn’t win that match up.

Oz the Great and Powerful has its inventive moments, but it lacks the imagination of the 1939 film. The new film is all special effects technical wizardry, but it doesn’t have the magic, the heart, or the folksy charm of 1939 film. There are a few moments in OGP that mimic the first film’s rustic flourishes, but everything else in OGP pales before a computer-generated onslaught of elements and effects. This is not heart; this is noise.

The last half hour of Oz the Great and Powerful (before the end credits) is actually quite good, but the other 90 minutes is equal parts hits and misses. The actors and their characters are also inconsistent. Who thought James Franco was right for this part? Franco is a good actor, but half the time, I found him unconvincing as Oscar Diggs. Michelle Williams’s performance as Glinda is way too sugary, a shame as she is actually a good actor.

OGP is really an odd little movie that was super-sized and thus, made too big by corporate studio demands. Still, I think fans of all-things-Oz, young and old, will find things to like about this movie (as I have), if not fall in love with the entire movie. The last act nearly makes up for the rest of the movie, but not quite. Oz the Great and Powerful is big rather than great and overpowering rather than powerful.

5 of 10

Monday, March 11, 2013

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

San Diego Film Critics Choose "Argo" as 2012 Best Film

The San Diego Film Critics Society (SDFCS) announced their top films list.  So far, Kathryn Bigelow and her film, Zero Dark Thirty, has been dominating critics' awards.  San Diego Critics, however, have gone with Argo, naming it tops in four categories, including the "Best Film" and "Best Director" awards.

San Diego Film Critics Society Top Films of 2012 Winners:


Ben Affleck, ARGO

Michelle Williams, TAKE THIS WALTZ

Daniel Day-Lewis, LINCOLN



Paul Thomas Anderson, THE MASTER

Chris Terrio, ARGO

THE KID WITH A BIKE (from Belgium)


Claudio Miranda, LIFE OF PI


William Goldenberg, ARGO

Hugh Bateup and Uli Hanisch, CLOUD ATLAS

Jonny Greenwood, THE MASTER



Dan Bennett, Member Emeritus SDFCS, North County Times Film Critic, International Children’s Film Festival

Saturday, November 3, 2012

"Halloween H20" a Standout in the Franchise

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 82 (of 2012) by Leroy Douresseaux

Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (1998)
Running time: 86 minutes (1 hour, 26 minutes)
MPAA – R for terror violence/gore and language
DIRECTOR: Steve Miner
WRITERS: Robert Zappia and Matt Greenberg; from a story by Robert Zappia (based on the characters created by John Carpenter and Debra Hill)
PRODUCER: Paul Freeman
EDITOR: Patrick Lussier
COMPOSER: John Ottman with Marco Beltrami and Jeremy Sweet


Starring: Jamie Lee Curtis, Josh Hartnett, Adam Arkin, Michelle Williams, LL Cool J, Adam Hann-Byrd, Jodi Lyn O’Keefe, Janet Leigh, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Nancy Stephens, and Chris Durand

The subject of this movie review is Halloween H20: 20 Years Later, a 1998 slasher film from director Steve Miner. Although he is only credited as one of the executive producers, Kevin Williamson, the screenwriter of the hit horror movie, Scream, contributed as a writer on Halloween H20.

Halloween H20 is also the seventh film in the Halloween horror film franchise that began in 1978 with the highly influential John Carpenter film, Halloween. Halloween H20 takes place 20 years after the events depicted in Halloween and its sequel, Halloween II (1981). Once again, the cursed brother-sister duo of Michael Myers and Laurie Strode must struggle against one another. Halloween H20 ignores the third (which did not involve Michael Myers) through the sixth installments of the franchise.

Halloween H20: 20 Years Later opens in 1998. As Halloween approaches, Michael Myers (Chris Durand) reappears. Meanwhile, Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) is living in Summer Glen, Northern California under the assumed name, “Keri Tate.” She is the headmistress at the posh, secluded, private boarding school, Hillcrest Academy High School. Laurie also has a boyfriend, Will Brennan (Adam Arkin), but her life isn’t quite perfect. She is a functioning alcoholic, forever fearful that Michael will come coming looking for her. Her son, 17-year-old John Tate (Josh Hartnett), is tired of dealing with his mother’s paranoia. On Halloween night, however, John will discover that his mother has to face her fears one more time.

I have to keep it real. I really like Halloween H20: 20 Years Later. I have seen it in its entirety three times, and I still watch bit and pieces of it whenever it is shown on television. It never fails to thrill me, and it is easily the best Halloween film since the first two. I give a lot of the credit for this movie’s quality to director Steve Miner and the various screenwriters.

Miner is a veteran film director, having helmed several horror films, including House (1986), Lake Placid (1999), and two installments of the Friday the 13th franchise. Miner uses some of the techniques that Carpenter used in the original film. He builds intensity with musical cues, eschews gore in scenes of violent death, uses darkness and shadow to create an atmosphere that suggests fear and mystery, and turns every setting into a place of danger, regardless of the time of day. Halloween H20 is quiet and ominous rather than frantic and clumsy, which some of the Halloween films are.

I don’t know which writers contributed what to the screenplay, but clearly (to me at least) the respect for the original films comes first for Kevin Williamson. Halloween H20 is smooth and also stripped down to its raw essence: Michael Myers’ relentless drive to kill his sister and Laurie’s naked fear of Michael finding her and killing both her and her son.

Without John Carpenter and actress Jamie Lee Curtis, the Myers character had not been able to carry this franchise. With Myers alone, each Halloween was simply another bad slasher flick – a movie that was little more than product turned out, like a cheap fast food hamburger, to separate a sucker from his money. With Miner doing his best work, Curtis returns and makes Halloween H20: 20 Years Later one of the best horror movies of the 1990s. It is scary, thrilling, a little funny, and sometimes a nail-biter. The people that control this franchise should have stopped here.

8 of 10

Thursday, November 01, 2012