Showing posts with label Rooney Mara. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Rooney Mara. Show all posts

Thursday, May 4, 2023

Review: Riveting "WOMEN TALKING" is a Film That Speaks Directly, Even to Us

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 19 of 2023 (No. 1908) by Leroy Douresseaux

Women Talking (2022)
Running time:  104 minutes (1 hour, 44 minutes)
MPA – PG-13 for mature thematic content including sexual assault, bloody images, and some strong language
DIRECTOR:  Sarah Polley
WRITER:  Sarah Polley (based upon the book by Miriam Toews)
PRODUCERS:  Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, and Frances McDormand
EDITORS:  Christopher Donaldson and Roslyn Kalloo
COMPOSER:  Hildur Guðnadottir
Academy Award winner


Starring:  Rooney Mara, Claire Foy, Jessie Buckley, France McDormand, Judith Ivey, Emily Mitchell, Kate Hallet, Liv McNeil, Shelia McCarthy, Michelle McLeod, Kira Guloien, Shayla Brown, Vivien Endicott-Douglas, August Winter, and Ben Whishaw

Women Talking is a 2022 drama film from writer-director Sarah Polley. The film is based on Miriam Towes' 2018 Canadian novel, Women Talking.  Both the film and the novel are inspired by real-life events.  Women Talking the film focuses on a group of women who must decide if they should do nothing, stay and fight, or leave their isolated religious community where sexual abuse of girls and women is common.

Women Talking opens in the year 2010 in an unnamed, isolated Mennonite colony.  The colony's women and girls have discovered that some of the men in the colony have been using livestock tranquilizer to subdue them in order to rape them.  Although other men in the colony have had these attackers arrested and imprisoned in a nearby city, they are also seeking bail for the attackers.

The men have left the women by themselves for two days in order for the women to determine what they will do going forward.  However, the men expect the women to forgive their attackers or be expelled from the colony.  The women gather in a barn to discuss and to vote.  They have a young man named August (Ben Whishaw) sit in the meeting in order to take the minutes.  When he was a boy, Ben's mother was expelled from the colony.  Ben returned to become the colony's sole teacher, but he only teaches the boys because women are not allowed to attend school.

Elders like Agata (Judith Ivey) and Greta (Sheila McCarthy) lead the discussion, but young women like Ona (Rooney Mara), Salome (Claire Foy), Mariche (Jessie Buckley), and Mejal (Michelle McLeod) have strong opinions.  Should the women do nothing... forgive... stay and fight... or leave the colony?  As they grapple with the brutal reality of their faith, the time to decide is running out.

Almost four days out from watching Women Talking, and I find myself still thinking about it, dear readers.  In the wake of the of the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in the case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization, it feels like a supernaturally timely film.  The “Dobbs decision” held that the Constitution of the United States did not confer a right to abortion.  It is just the latest in a more than three-decade assault on women's rights to reproductive freedom and choice.

Women Talking effectively delivers a valuable message.  The women of the Mennonite colony that this film depicts must confront not only the violence against them, but also a religion designed down to its bones to give men all the power over women.  Their faith essentially renders women and girls indentured servants and non-citizens.

I quibble that writer-director Sarah Polley's direction and Oscar-winning screenplay bury the actresses of Women Talking beneath the scenario and story.  There is a lot of genuine talent here, and I wanted to see more of them, in a broader sense, although no one can really keep Rooney Mara from shining.  In a way, however, that is good thing.  The way Polley presents this makes Women Talking as timeless as it is timely.

Women Talking is truly an exceptional and spectacular film because the women at the heart of its story are talking.  What they say crosses over into our real world.  Because what is depicted in this film is real, it matters.  Women Talking is based on something that happened not that long ago, in this century, so women struggling for equality and human rights must keep talking.  And this movie, Women Talking, is entertainment, educational, and hopefully, inspiration for future generations.

9 of 10
★★★★+ out of 4 stars

Thursday, May 4, 2023

2023 Academy Awards, USA:  1 win: “Best Adapted Screenplay” (Sarah Polley) and 1 nomination: “Best Motion Picture of the Year” (Jeremy Kleiner, Dede Gardner, and Frances McDormand – producers)

2023 Golden Globes, USA:  2 nominations: “Best Original Score - Motion Picture” (Hildur Guðnadóttir) and “Best Screenplay-Motion Picture” (Sarah Polley)

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



Thursday, May 5, 2022

Review: "NIGHTMARE ALLEY" is One of 2021's Very Best Films

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 27 of 2022 (No. 1839) by Leroy Douresseaux

Nightmare Alley (2021)
Running time:  150 minutes (2 hours, 30 minutes)
MPA – R for strong/bloody violence, some sexual content, nudity and language
DIRECTOR:  Guillermo del Toro
WRITERS: Guillermo del Toro and Kim Morgan (based on the novel by William Lindsay Gresham)
PRODUCERS:  Guillermo del Toro, J. Miles Dale, and Bradley Cooper
CINEMATOGRAPHER:  Dan Laustsen (D.o.P.)
EDITOR:  Cameron McLauchlin
COMPOSER:  Nathan Johnson
Academy Award nominee


Starring:  Bradley Cooper, Cate Blanchett, Rooney Mara, Toni Collette, Willem Dafoe, Richard Jenkins, Ron Perlman, Mary Steenburgen, Peter MacNeill, David Strathairn, Mark Povinelli, Holt McCallany and Paul Anderson

Nightmare Alley is a 2021 neo-noir crime thriller and drama directed by Guillermo del Toro.  The film is an adaptation of the 1946 novel, Nightmare Alley, which was written by William Lindsay Gresham.  Nightmare Alley the film focuses on a drifter who works his way from low-ranking carnival employee to acclaimed psychic medium on his way to his self-made doom.

Nightmare Alley opens in 1939 and introduces Stanton “Stan” Carlisle (Bradley Cooper).  A drifter, Stan gets a job at a carnival operated by Clement “Clem”Hoatley (Willem Dafoe).  He begins working with the carnival's clairvoyant act, “Madame Zeena,” (Toni Collette) and her alcoholic husband, Peter “Pete” Krumbein (David Strathairn).  They use coded language and cold reading tricks, which Pete keeps in a secret book.  Although Pete teaches tricks to Stan, he also warns him against using these tricks to be a mentalist that pretends to speak to the dead, known as a “spookshow.”

Stan becomes attracted to a fellow performer, Mary Margaret “Molly” Cahill (Rooney Mara), and he eventually convinces her to leave with him.  Two years later, Stan has successfully reinvented himself with a psychic act for the wealthy elite of Buffalo, and Molly is his assistant.  His act has attracted the attention of consulting psychologist, Dr. Lilith Ritter (Cate Blanchett), and she is determined to reveal him as a fraud.  Thus, begins a cat and mouse game between Stan and Lilith that will destroy lives.

Nightmare Alley is not the first film adaptation of William Lindsay Gresham's novel.  Hollywood legend Tyrone Power starred in a 1947 version in a bid to escape from the kinds of films (romance and adventure) that had made him a Hollywood star, but had also relegated him to the same kinds of roles (romantic leads and swashbuckling heroes).  From what I have read, Guillermo del Toro's 2021 version is more faithful to original novel than the 1947 film.

Some excellent and even great films are ruined or nearly ruined by their endings.  Del Toro's Nightmare Alley is solidified as a great film because of its ending, which brings back elements from the beginning of the film.  Bradley Cooper's Stan Carlisle is a doomed fool, a man consumed by greed and self-interest.  As his lust for power and greed for money and fame become more evident, Nightmare Alley turns truly prophetic.  A con man's ultimate mark is himself, and Stan never paid attention to the warnings, especially those that came when he first started working for Clem.

Although Cooper's status as the lead actor playing the lead character allows him to deliver a powerful performance, others in Nightmare Alley are also quite good.  Toni Collette, always good, is lovely here as the saintly, whorish, motherly Madame Zeena, while David Strathairn, also always good, is excellent as the pitiful prophet and father figure, Pete.  Cate Blanchett, decked in top notch hair and make-up and costumes, is the femme fatale as demoness, Lilith Ritter.  The film's best performance, however, is delivered by Rooney Mara, who in subtle shades and quiet gestures represents kind people in this film.  In a film determined to be dark and condemning, Mara's Molly is the film's humanity and hope.

As usual, Nightmare Alley offers Del Toro's haunting gothic visuals.  The production design, cinematography, costume design, and hair and make-up all capture this film's clash of vistas:  Depression-era destitution against a world of wealth, opulence, privilege, and corruption that ignored the poverty and decay right under their noses.  From ragged carnival garb to fabulous raiment; from the rundown world of carnies to the glow of swanky nightclubs:  Nightmare Alley is a vision of the darkness beneath the American dream and its illusions of wealth and power.  I have a few quibbles with Nightmare Alley, finding it a bit too dry, cold, and brittle in places.  Still, Nightmare Alley is another great film by the master of illusions, director Guillermo del Toro.

9 of 10
★★★★+ out of 4 stars

Thursday, May 5, 2022

2022 Academy Awards, USA:  4 nominations: “Best Motion Picture of the Year” (Guillermo del Toro, J. Miles Dale, and Bradley Cooper); “Best Achievement in Production Design” (Tamara Deverell-production design and Shane Vieau-set decoration); “Best Achievement in Costume Design” (Luis Sequeira), and “Best Achievement in Cinematography” (Dan Laustsen)

2022 BAFTA Awards:  3 nominations: “Best Cinematography” (Dan Laustsen), “Best Costume Design” (Luis Sequeira), and “Best Production Design” (Tamara Deverell and Shane Vieau)

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



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Saturday, October 7, 2017

Negromancer News Bits and Bites from October 1st to 7th, 2017 - Update #29

Support Leroy on Patreon.

BLM - From RSN:  Are you a "Black Identity Extremist?"

MOVIES - From Nerdist:  On the 30th anniversary of Clive Barker's film "Hellraiser" (1987), Nerdiest ranks all the films in the series.  There are ten as of this year's "Hellraiser: Judgment."

STAR TREK - From CinemaBlend:  Would Quentin Tarantino really direct a "Star Trek" movie.

MOVIES - From TheWrap:  Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Jason Statham will get their own "Fast & Furious" movie spinoff, set for 2019.

MOVIES - From THR:  James Cameron talks about how he convinced Linda Hamilton to return for a "Terminator" revival.

MOVIES - From THR:  Universal takes "Bride of Frankenstein" off its schedule.  Part of its "Dark Universe" line, it was scheduled to debut Feb. 14, 2019.

MOVIES - From TheNewYorkTimes:  Decades of sexual harassment allegations against Harvey Weinstein are revealed.

MOVIES - From YahooNews:  Rooney Mara says that it was not entirely her decision not to return for the sequel to 2011's "The Girl with a Dragon Tatoo," which is entitled "The Girl in the Spider's Web," which is due in 2018.  British actress Claire Foy will take over the role of "Lisbeth Salander," from Mara.

ANIMATION - From RollingStone:  Fox's beloved and Emmy-winning animated television series, "Bob's Burgers," will also be a animated feature film in 2020.

HISTORY -  From TheVillageVoice:  In the wake of "Playboy" magazine founder, Hugh Hefner's death, "The Village Voice" is make available its 1980 Pulitzer Prize-winning article, "Death of a Playmate."  The article is about the murder of "Playboy playmate," Dorothy Stratten, by her husband who killed himself after murdering her.  Stratten's life was fictionalized in Bob Fosse's final film, "Star 80" (1983).

AVATAR - From THR:  Oscar-winner Kate Winslet joins James Cameron's "Avatar" universe.  Winslet starred in Cameron's Oscar-winning box office record setting film, "Titanic."

MOVIES - From THR:  Joachim Ronning, director of the recent fifth Pirates of the Caribbean film, will direct the sequel to "Maleficent," the 2014 worldwide hit starring Angelina Jolie.

MOVIES - From SlashFilm:  Luc Besson says that "Lucy 2," the sequel to his hit film starring Scarlett Johansson, is still happening.

MOVIES - From Collider:  Director Doug Liman provided an update on "Edge of Tomorrow 2."


BREAKING NEWS - From WashingtonPost:  A gunman opened fire at a country music concert in Las Vegas on Sunday night - Breaking news and developing story.

From YahooNews:  Dark details emerge about the family history of Las Vegas mass shooter, Stephen Paddock.

From YahooNews:  Stephen Paddock was a multimillionaire!

From YahooNewsweek:  The identities of the victims of Las Vegas mass shooter, Stephen Paddock, are being revealed.

From TheDailyBeast:  Former Fox New host and serial sexual harasser, Bill O'Reilly, says that Las Vegas massacre is "the price of freedom."

From YahooFinance:  Walt Disney Company CEO Robert Iger announced that a Disney cast member, Carrie Barnette, was killed in the Las Vegas shooting.  Another, Jessica Milam, was injured.


MUSIC - From TMZ:  Tom Petty found in full cardiac arrest at home in Malibu - Developing Story.

From YahooNews:  Tom Petty may have been taken off life support.

TELEVISION - From TVLine:  Jon Hamm has joined Neil Gaiman's "Good Omens," the six-part TV adaptation of Gaiman's novel of the same name that he wrote with the late Terry Prathett.

BOX OFFICE - From BoxOfficeMojo:  It is a close race for #1 at the 9/29 to 10/1/2017 weekend box office with "IT" ($17.3 mil), "American Made" ($17.01 mil), and "Kingsman 2: The Golden Circle" ($17 mil) fighting for #1.

From TheWrap:  Period pieces, "Loving Vincent," and "Victoria and Abdul," expand at indie box office.

CELEBRITY - From People:  O.J. Simpson has been released from prison.

From BET:  Rob Kardashian can't pay his baby mama Blac Chyna the $20,000 per month in child support for their child, Dream, that he agreed to pay. 

MOVIES - From SlashFilm:  Don Mancini, the creator of the horror movie killer, Chucky ("Child's Play"), submits to a Q&A about the "Chucky" franchise and about the new film, "Cult of Chucky," the seventh installment.


From SideshowToys:  Here is the first trailer for Alex Garland's upcoming film, "Annihilation" (February 2018),


From YahooNews:  Rock music legend, Tom Petty, has died at the age of 66, Monday night, October 2, 2017.  Petty was best known as the front man of the band "Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers."  He also recorded two albums with the supergroup, "Traveling Wilburys," and he released three solo albums.  He won three Grammy Awards, one as a solo artist, one with the Heartbreakers, and one with the Wilburys.

From DeadlineTV:  Comedian Ralphie May has died at the age of 45, Friday, October 6, 2017.  He rose to fame competing on NBC's "Last Comic Standing" in 2003.

From RSN:  Peace activist and teacher, Scott Galindez, died at the age of 52, Tuesday, September 26, 2017.  He was a frequent contributor to news service, Reader Supported News.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Negromancer News Bits and Bites from January 8th to 14th, 2017 - Update #19

Support Leroy on Patreon.

COMICS-FILM - From ThePlaylist:  Hugh Jackman and James Mangold share tidbits from the making of "Logan."

AWARDS - From THR:  With his nod for "Achievement in First-Time Feature Film," Nate Parker and "Birth of a Nation" earn their first major Hollywood film award nomination.

OBIT - From IndieWire:  The author and filmmaker, William Peter Blatty, has died at the age of 89, Thursday, January 12, 2017.  His most famous work is the best-selling and legendary novel, The Exorcist.  It was adapted into a hugely popular and legendary film (by director William Friedkin), and Blatty won an Oscar for writing the screenplay adaptation of his novel.

TELEVISION - From Variety:  Remember this controversy from awhile back:  actor Joseph Fiennes was supposed to portray pop music icon Michael Jackson in an episode of the Brit TV series, "Urban Myths?"  We apparently, the episode was filmed but will not be aired by European pay TV company, Sky.

COMICS-FILM - From THR:  Davis S. Goyer and Justin Rhodes will write Warner's "Green Lantern Corps" movie.  The film will feature both popular DC Comics Green Lanterns, Hal Jordan and John Stewart.

TELEVISION - From IndieWire:  Fresh off his Golden Globe win for "Atlanta," Donald Glover signs large overall developmental deal with FX, but "Atlanta" is not coming back until 2018.

TELEVISION - From Variety:  FX has renewed "American Horror Story" for an additional two seasons, which would take it through Season 9.

COMICS-FILM - From YahooMovies:  Emmy-winner Peter Dinklage ("Game of Thrones") may join Marvel's "Avengers" films as fan-favorite character, "Pip."

TELEVISION - From Variety:  The third season of John Ridley's critically-acclaimed series, "American Crime" (ABC), will focus on immigration.

MOVIES - From YahooMovies:  Natalie Portman reveals that Ashton Kutcher was paid three times what she was for their 2011 film, "No Strings Attached."

STAR WARS - From YahooMovies:  The one-billion dollar Lucas Museum of Narrative Art has a home - Los Angeles.

AWARDS - From YahooCelebrity:  Meryl Streep earns her 15th BAFTA nomination - in the wake of being called overrated by President-elect Donald Trump.

BOX OFFICE - From Variety:  With the release of the final weekend box office numbers, we learn that the winner of the 1/6 to 1/8/2017 weekend is "Hidden Figures" with a tally of $22.8 million, that is about of $700,00 "Rogue One's" final.

From BoxOfficeMojo:  The winner of the 1/6 to 1/8/2017 weekend box office is "Rogue One" with an estimated take of $21.97 million.  However, "Hidden Figures" is a close second with $21.8 million, and the release of actual totals may change which film holds the top spot.

CELEBRITY -From YahooCelebrity:  The cause of actress Debbie Reynolds's death is released, while her daughter Carrie Fisher's cause death is described as inconclusive.

TELEVISION - From IndieWire:  The release date for David Lynch's "Twin Peaks" revival miniseries is May 21, 2017 at 9 p.m. on Showtime.

MOVIES - From ThePlaylist:  J.J. Abrams says he will avoid remakes and reboots after being involved in such films via Star Wars, Star Trek, Mission:Impossible, and "Westworld" for TV.

AWARDS - From TheWrap:  At the 2017 Golden Globes, "La La Land" wins a record 7 Globes.

From CNN:  Meryl Streep criticizes President-elect Trump in her acceptance speech at the Golden Globes - without even mentioning Clownstick's name.

From LATimes:  Watch the video and read the transcript of Meryl Streep's Golden Globe speech.

From YahooCelebrity:  Apparently, Tom Hiddleston had to apologize for his acceptance speech.

COMICS - From BleedingCool:  Marvel Entertainment's reclusive CEO Isaac Perlmutter looks like a cheap hood gangster in this photo with President-elect Fuckface Von Clownstick.

From BleedingCool:  Now, Ike may play a role in the Clownstick administration.

MOVIES - From Variety:  Another Sundance film has been bought before its festival debut.  A24 has bought "A Ghost Story" directed by David Lowery (who directed Disney's remake, "Pete's Dragon") and stars Casey Affleck and Rooney Mara.

COMICS-ANIMATION - From EW:  There is a vague teaser for "Marvel's Spider-Man," Disney XD's upcoming Spider-Man animated series, which will replace "Ultimate Spider-Man."

From BleedingCool:  Matt Ryan played DC Comics' "John Constantine" in the short-lived NBC series, "Constantine."  He is reportedly returning to the role for an animated series.

CULTURE - From YahooBeauty:  Why men have body issues now more than ever - the muscular, superhero body.

AWARDS:  From Variety:   At the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (Aacta) International Awards "La La Land" wins two awards, "Best Picture" and "Best Actress" (Emma Stone).

Friday, November 4, 2016

Negromancer News Bits and Bites from November 1st to 5th, 2016 - Update #15

Support Leroy on Patreon.

MOVIES - From Variety:  Rami Malek, the Emmy-winning star of "Mr. Robot," play the late rock singer Freddie Mercury in a long-developed biopic.  Bryan Singer may direct.

BOX OFFICE - From BoxOfficeMojo:  Update - "Doctor Strange" has a $9.4 million Thursday night.

MOVIES - From Variety:  Adam Driver and Rooney Mara join Leos Carax's "Annette."

SPORTS - From ChicagoTribune:  Chicago Cubs win 2016 World Series.

BOX OFFICE - From BoxOfficeMojo:  "Doctor Strange" set to go kaboom at the weekend box office.

MOVIES - From YahooMovies:  Quentin Tarantino reiterates that he is retiring after his 10th film, which mean he has two left.

MOVIES - From Variety:  Samuel L. Jackson joins Travis Fimmel in the sci-fi film, "Inversion."

BLM - From MintPressNews:  San Francisco 49ers quarerback, Colin Kaepernick, has started a camp to help children fight oppression.  It seems inspired by the Black Panthers.

BOX OFFICE - From Variety:  Disney has best ever box office year - beating its own record from 2015.

MOVIES - From YahooMovies:  Entertainment Weekly has a cover feature on next year's like action "Beauty and the Beast" from Disney.

OBIT - From Variety:  The actor, Don Marshall, has died at the age of 80, Sunday, October 30, 2016.  The African-American actor is known for his appearances in "Star Trek" (the original) and "Julia" and for a recurring role on "Land of the Giants."

BOX OFFICE - From YahooMovies:  Why has the Fall 2016 movie box office been bleak?

POLITICS - From YahooNews:  President Obama sings Prince's "Purple Rain" to a kid dressed as Prince at the White House Halloween party.

COMICS-FILM: From Variety:  Rick Famuyiwa leaves Warner's "The Flash."

TELEVISION - From Variety:  "The Good Fight," the spinoff of CBS' "The Good Wife," begins production.


From YouTube:  New "Wonder Woman" trailer.

From YouTube:  Official trailer for "A Cure for Wellness" which is due February 2017.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Negromancer News Bits and Bites from July 10th to 16th, 2016 - Update #52

Support Leroy on Patreon

POLITICS - From TPM:  Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump announces Indiana Governor Mike Pence as his running mate.

From RollingStone:  Why Mike Pence is the absolute worse.

TELEVISION - From MassLive:  Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart reunite to cover the 2016 Republican National Convention.

COMICS - From IGN:  Do right by the X-Men comics franchise!

COMICS - From YahooMovies:  New photos of Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman - one with Chris Pine.

SPORTS - From NBA:  Oh, no!  Los Angeles Lakers young stallion, Larry Nance, Jr., suffers a probably hand fracture.

SPORTS -  From YahooSports:   New England Patriots Super Bowl champion quaterback, Tom Brady, gives up on his "Deflage-gate" lawsuit.

MOVIES - From TheGuardian:  Chiwetel Ejiofor in talks to join Rooney Mara and Joaquin Phoenix in the film "Mary Magdalene."  Ejiofor would play Peter the Apostle.

RACE - From YahooTV:   D.L. Hughley rips into FOX News' Megyn Kelly.

EMMYS - From YahooTV:  "Game of Thrones" leads the 2016 Emmy nominations with 23 nominations.

From YahooTV:  A complete list of 2016 Emmy Award nominations.

MOVIES - From EW:   First look at Jude Law and Charlie Hunnam in Guy Ritchie's "King Arthur."

MOVIES - From EW:  See this first look at "Pennywise the Clown" as played by Bill Skarsgard in the latest adaptation of Stephen King's It - due in theaters Sept. 2017.

RACE - From TheGuardian:  Eve Ensler - It's time for white people to reckon with racism.

COMICS - From GMAYahooNews:  Marvel kills of Bruce Banner in comic book, "Civil War II #3."

BLACK LIVES MATTER - From YahooNews:  Even U.S. Senator Tim Scott (R-South Carolina), an African-America, has felt the sting of the long arm of the law - both Capitol Police and law enforcement.

MOVIES - From MovieWeb:  "Saw 8" to beginning shooting in the Fall, likely in Canada.

COMICS - From BleedingCool:  See Keiynan Lonsdale as "Kid Flash," appearing in the upcoming season of "Flash."

GAMES - From Deadline:  Who is going to catch the rights to the hot franchise, "Pokemon."

MOVIES - From EW:  Sigourney Weaver talks about the fate of "Ellen Ripley" in the stalled "Alien" sequel.

HARRY POTTER - From Gamespot:  J.K. Rowling reveals why Uncle Dursley hated Harry Potter.

TELEVISION - From BuzzFlash:  The time David Letterman called Donald Trump a racist.

COMICS - From Variety:  FOX, the broadcast network, is entering the Marvel Universe with an "X-Men" action-adventure television series.  It co-produced with Marvel, and FOX is committed to a producing a pilot.  Bryan Singer, Simon Kinberg, and Marvel's Jeph Loeb are among executive producers.  Matt Nix is writing.

MOVIES - From TheWrap:  The new all-girl "Ghostbusters" has a post-credit scene.

SPORTS - From YahooStyle:  Serena Williams breaks "tradition" and wears sandals to the Wimbledon champions dinner.

MOVIES - From Variety:  Oscar-winner Javier Bardem to pick up a paycheck from Universal by appearing in its "Frankenstein" reboot.

MOVIES - From IndieWire:  Ubisoft chief says the movie based on his company's game, "Assassin's Creed," will not make money.

SPORTS - From YahooSports:  NBA legend, champion, and star, Tim Duncan, has announced his retirement.  He won five championships with the San Antonio Spurs, the only team he played for.

BOX OFFICE - From BoxOfficeMojo:  "The Secret Life of Pets" won the 7/8 to 7/10/2016 weekend box office with a $103.17 million estimated opening.  This is the largest domestic opening weekend for an original animated property.

OBITS - From the BBC:  American journalist Sydney Schanberg has died at the age of 82, Saturday, July 9, 2016.  His work in Cambodia inspired the Oscar-winning film, "The Killing Fields."

MOVIES - From Collider:  First set photo images of Sofia Boutella as the titular monster in the upcoming Tom Cruise reboot of "The Mummy."

From BleedingCool:  "Child's Play" is returning to home video.

From IndieWire:  Goldie Hawn will return to movies for the first time since 2002 in an adventure movie with Amy Schumer.

MUSIC - From IndieWire:  Ray Parker, Jr., who wrote the song "Ghostbusters" for the original film has mixed feelings about the new "Ghostbusters" theme.

SPORTS - From YahooSports:  Serena Williams wins the 2016 Wimbledon Women's Single title - her 7th Wimbledon singles' title.  This is her 22nd Grand Slam singles championship, which ties her with Steffi Graf for the most in professional tennis' "Open era" (which began in 1968).  The all-time women's Grand Slam singles champ is Margaret Court with 24.

From YahooSports:  Later, Serena joined her sister Venus Williams to win the 2016 Wimbledon Women's Doubles Championship - their sixth.


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

From Newsone:  The NRA will not defend Black and brown gun owners because they are not the organization's constituency.

From Truthout:  The system that killed Alton Sterling and Philando Castille cannot be reformed.

From RSN:  Beyonce says "respect our lives."

From YahooNews:  Pa. police officer picks up tab of guy who refused to sit next to him and his fellow officers in a diner.

From Clevelanddotcom:  NFL running back, Isaiah Crowell (Cleveland Browns), posted this horrible and violent image against police officers.
From YahooSports:  Now, it will cost Crowell a game check.

From TheIntercept:  Baton Rouge police reponse to #AltonSterling protests is complete militarization.  The world is watching.

From ESPN:  Four cops who were working a WNBA Minnesota Lynx game leave over T-shirts the players wore.

From YahooNews:  This buzzed-about photo from the #AltonSterling protests in Baton Rouge is quite popular and maybe iconic and may one day be legendary.

From CSM:  First use of a robot to kill a suspect in U.S. history.

From RSN:  Marc Ash: I blame the police

From RiverFrontTimes:  A young police officer ambushed during a traffic stop.  There is a Go Fund Me page for him.

From Baton Rouge Advocate:  Baton Rouge police say out-of-towners (i.e. outside-agitators) are making Alton Sterling demonstrations more violent.

From RSN:  The President Is Wrong About Dallas, Wrong About Race

From TheGuardian:  NRA afraid to support some Black gun owners?

From Metro:  London stands with #BlackLivesMatter

From WashPost:  New information on NYPD road-rage killing.

From WashPost:  Let's agree that Rudy Giulani needs to shot dead.

From Truthout:  The problem is over-policing.

From telSUR:  Four Latinos killed by police this week, and America really didn't notice.


From FoxMovies:  The new trailer for Warren Beatty's film, "Rules Don't Apply."

From Facebook:  Idris Elba adds a finishing touch to a "Star Trek Beyond" mural painted on the side of a building in London by artist Jim Vision.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Houston Film Critics Named "Spotlight" Best Picture of 2015- Complete List of Winners

Houston Film Critics Society is a not-for-profit, unincorporated voluntary organizaton of print, broadcast, and internet film critics based in the Greater Houston metropolitan area that meet its membership criteria.  According its website, the group was founded in 2007 by Nick Nicholson and Danny Minton and helps to organize and coordinate the local area film critics community.

The nominees for the 9th annual Houston Film Critics Society Awards were announced, December 13, 2015.  The winners were announced January 9, 2016.

2015 / 9th Houston Film Critics Society winners:

Best Picture:  Spotlight

Best Director:  Alejandro G. Iñárritu for The Revenant

Best Actor:  Michael Fassbender for Steve Jobs

Best Actress:  Brie Larson for Room

Best Supporting Actor:  Tom Hardy for The Revenant

Best Supporting Actress:  Rooney Mara for Carol

Best Screenplay:  Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer for Spotlight

Best Animated Film:  Inside Out (Pete Doctor, director)

Best  Cinematography:  Emmanuel Lubezki for The Revenant

Best Documentary:  Amy (Asif Kapadia, director)

Best Foreign Film:  Son of Saul (Hungary; László Nemes, director)

Best Score:  Ennio Moriccone for The Hateful Eight

Best Song:  Brian Wilson for "Love and Mercy" from Love & Mercy

Texas Independent Film Award:  Mark Craig for The Last Man on the Moon

Technical:  Guy Norris for Mad Max: Fury Road

Worst Movie:  Pixels                      

Lifetime Achievement:  Dennis Quaid

Humanitarian of the Year:  Matt Damon

Outstanding Cinematic Contribution:  Joe Leydon


Friday, January 22, 2016

Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Name "Spotlight" Best Picture of the Year

The Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association is also known as the DFW Film Critics Association.  The group describes itself as a not-for-profit, unincorporated voluntary organization of print, broadcast and internet film critics based in the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area and greater North Texas who meet its membership criteria.  The DFW Film Critics Association currently consists of 31 broadcast, print, and online journalists from throughout North Texas.

The Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association 2015 / 22nd Annual Critics’ Poll:

Best Picture:
Spotlight (director — Tom McCarthy)

Best Animated Feature:
Inside Out (director — Pete Docter)

Best Foreign Language Film:
Son of Saul (Hungary)

Best Documentary:

Best Director:
Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (The Revenant)

Best Actor:
Leonardo DiCaprio (The Revenant)

Best Actress:
Brie Larson (Room)

Best Supporting Actor:
Paul Dano (Love and Mercy)

Best Supporting Actress:
Rooney Mara (Carol)

Best Screenplay:
Spotlight (Josh Singer, TomMcCarthy)

Best Cinematography:
Emmanuel Lubezki (The Revenant)

Best Musical Score:
The Revenant (Bryce Dessner, Carsten Nicolai and Ryûichi Sakamoto)

Russell Smith Award (named for the late Dallas Morning News film critic. The honor is given annually to the best low-budget or cutting-edge independent film.)
Tangerine (director — Sean Baker)


Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Online Film Critics Name "Mad Max: Fury Road" Best Picture of 2015

Founded in 1997, the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS) describes itself as “the largest, most respected organization for critics whose work appears primarily on the Internet.”  The OFCS says that it has been the key force in establishing and raising the standards for Internet-based film journalism.  Its membership consists of film reviewers, journalists and scholars based in the U.S., Canada, Europe, Latin America and the Asia/Pacific Rim region.  The Online Film Critics Society currently consists of 254 members with writers representing 22 countries across the globe.

The 19th Online Film Critics Society Awards were announced on Monday, December 14, 2015.

2015 / 19th OFCS Award winners:

Best Picture:
Mad Max: Fury Road

Best Animated Feature:
Inside Out

Best Film Not in the English Language:
The Assassin (Taiwan)

Best Documentary:
The Look of Silence

Best Director:
George Miller (Mad Max: Fury Road)

Best Actor:
Michael Fassbender (Steve Jobs)

Best Actress:
Cate Blanchett (Carol)

Best Supporting Actor:
Oscar Isaac (Ex Machina)

Best Supporting Actress:
Rooney Mara (Carol)

Best Original Screenplay:
Spotlight (Josh Singer, Tom McCarthy)

Best Adapted Screenplay:
Carol (Phyllis Nagy)

Best Editing:
Mad Max: Fury Road (Margaret Sixel)

Best Cinematography:
Mad Max: Fury Road (John Seale)

Best Non-U.S. Release
Cemetery of Splendor
The Club
The Lobster
Mountains May Depart
Mia Madre
Right Now, Wrong Then
The Sunset Song


Wednesday, December 9, 2015

New York Film Critics Online Put on the "Spotlight" for Best Film of 2015

The New York Film Critics Online is a group of Internet film critics based in New York City that meets once a year, in December, for voting on its annual NYFCO Awards.

2015 New York Film Critics Online honorees:


Tom McCarthy

Tom McCarthy and Josh Springer - Spotlight


Brie Larson – Room

Paul Dano - Love & Mercy

Rooney Mara – Carol

Mark Rylance - Bridge of Spies

John Seale, Mad Max: Fury Road

Son of Saul (Hungary)


Inside Out

Alex Garland, Ex Machina

Love & Mercy; Atticus Ross, Composer; Featuring the Music of Brian Wilson

Alicia Vikander, Ex Machina and The Danish Girl

Top 10 Pictures of 2015 (Alphabetical)
45 Years
The Big Short
Bridge of Spies
Mad Max: Fury Road
Steve Jobs


Saturday, September 19, 2015

Warner Bros. Takes "Pan" on a Global Adventure

Warner Bros. Pictures Celebrates the Release of the Magical Adventure Film “Pan” by Bringing Neverland to Life Around the Globe

Fans Join the Journey with Stars Hugh Jackman, Levi Miller, Garrett Hedlund and Rooney Mara, Plus Director Joe Wright, at Events from Melbourne to London, Hong Kong, Tokyo, New York City, Mexico City and Beyond.

BURBANK, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Gearing up for the release of the big screen, family adventure “Pan,” Warner Bros. Pictures has been bringing the film’s magical world to life with exciting and unique events across the globe. Global superstar Hugh Jackman, who plays the fearsome pirate Blackbeard, along with Levi Miller, who brings the iconic title character of Peter Pan to life, and acclaimed director Joe Wright will celebrate and experience many of these exciting versions of Neverland in person with fans, and will be joined at several stops by Rooney Mara, who plays Tiger Lily, and Garrett HedlundHook before the hook. This worldwide celebration will be connected via social media as fans everywhere will be invited to check in virtually at each unique “Neverland” location via Facebook and Instagram, and post their experiences using #PanMovie.

The whirlwind tour began on September 2, 2015 in Australia, the home country of both Jackman and Miller, where “Pan” will make its global debut in theatres on September 24, 2015. Melbourne students from five local public schools saw advance footage from the film, followed by a surprise Q&A with Jackman.

In London, Leicester Square is being transformed into the film’s vividly imagined Neverland, with the immersive take-over of its Gardens being opened to ticketed families for free on Saturday, September 19. Under canopies of colorful tents, guests can discover Blackbeard’s Pirate Training Tent, Pan’s Warrior Tent, Tiger Lily’s Kingdom and watch performances on the Jolly Roger Stage. On Sunday, September 20, Leicester Square will also host the gala worldwide premiere of “Pan,” at the Empire Cinema and the Odeon Leicester Square. In addition to Jackman, Miller and Wright, stars Rooney Mara and Garrett Hedlund will join the UK celebration.

In Hong Kong, from September 18 to October 11, the city’s Times Square Mall will host a massive installation entitled “Every Legend Has a Beginning.” Featuring a village inspired by Tiger Lily’s in the film, plus a Jolly Roger ship modeled after the one in Blackbeard’s fleet, the Mall will offer a multi-media experience for fans with a variety of performances and imagery from the film and fans will have the opportunity to meet and greet Jackman on Monday, September 28. On the same day, Jackman will also become the first international star ever to participate in the Chinese Mid Autumn Festival celebration in Hong Kong, the Fire Dragon Festival. As a special honor, Jackman will be asked to hold the Fire Dragon’s pearl in the parade.

On October 1, Jackman, Miller and Wright will fly to Tokyo for the film’s premiere event, streamed live online from the Roppongi Hills Area at the Keyakizaka Complex, which will be transformed from stem to stern in the style of Neverland. The stars will be joined there by major Japanese musical artist Seiko Matsuda, before heading onto the TOHO Cinemas to view the film, which opens across Japan on October 31.

New York City hosts the gala U.S. premiere on Sunday, October 4, ahead of the film’s October 9 nationwide debut. Cast and filmmakers including Jackman, Miller, Mara, Hedlund and Wright will be joined by a host of other celebrities at the legendary Ziegfeld Theater.

In Mexico City on Tuesday October 6, the trio of Jackman, Miller and Wright will attend the film’s Latin American premiere at the all-new Toreo Parque Central’s vast Cinepolis Complex. With designs inspired by the Neverland natives’ village, Mermaid Lagoon and the Jolly Roger itself, a special live drum performance will be part of one of the most spectacular premiere events ever hosted in the country. All of these iconic Neverland elements will remain at Toreo Parque Central until October 18, giving families the opportunity to visit this exhibition for 12 extra days.

As Neverland sweeps the globe, a dazzling selection of the film’s costumes will simultaneously be debuting in exhibits throughout Asia, Europe, Latin America and the U.S. Costume designer Jacqueline Durran’s creations for Jackman’s Blackbeard, Miller’s Peter, Hedlund’s Hook and Mara’s Tiger Lily will be showcased at or around the events in Hong Kong, at Times Square Mall; London; New York City; Madrid; and Mexico City. Added stops include Prague, Dubai, Athens and more, with exact locations and dates to be announced.

There will also be mall installations including Brazil, Italy, the UAE and beyond, plus an airship with the Jolly Roger hitting the skies above Germany at events in Hamburg and Frankfurt, plus many more “Pan” themed activities around the world, bringing fans closer to Neverland than ever before.

From director Joe Wright comes “Pan,” a live-action feature presenting a wholly original adventure about the beginnings of the beloved characters created by J.M. Barrie. Wright directs “Pan” from a screenplay written by Jason Fuchs. Greg Berlanti, Sarah Schechter and Oscar nominee Paul Webster (“Atonement”) are producing, with Tim Lewis serving as executive producer.

The film stars Oscar nominee Hugh Jackman (“Les Misérables”) as Blackbeard; Garrett Hedlund as James Hook; Oscar nominee Rooney Mara (“The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”) as Tiger Lily; newcomer Levi Miller as Peter; and Amanda Seyfried as Mary.

Rounding out the cast are Adeel Akhtar as Smee; Taejoo Na as Kwahu; Nonso Anozie as Bishop; Kathy Burke as Mother Barnabas; Kurt Egyiawan as Murray; Lewis MacDougall as Nibs; and Jack Charles as The Chief.

Wright’s behind-the-scenes creative team includes Oscar-nominated directors of photography Seamus McGarvey (“Anna Karenina,” “Atonement”) and John Mathieson (“The Phantom of the Opera,” “Gladiator”); Oscar-nominated production designer Aline Bonetto (“A Very Long Engagement,” “Amelie”); editors Paul Tothill and William Hoy; Oscar-winning costume designer Jacqueline Durran (“Anna Karenina”); and makeup and hair designer Ivana Primorac. The music is by Oscar-nominated composer John Powell (“How to Train Your Dragon”).

Warner Bros. Pictures Presents, in association with RatPac-Dune Entertainment, a Berlanti Production, a Joe Wright film, “Pan.” Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company, it is set for a worldwide release in 2D and 3D.


Saturday, August 8, 2015

Negromancer News Bits and Bites for the Week of August 1st to 8th, 2015 - Update #16

Support Leroy on Patreon.


From CinemaBlend:  Your bro doesn't think that you're big enough for his movies anymore, Miles Teller.

From ThePlaylist:  "The Day the Clown Cried" is Jerry Lewis' infamous, unreleased and rarely seen Holocaust drama.  He has the only copy in existence, or he had.  The Library of Congress has it now as a gift from Lewis, but cannot show it for 10 years.

From Variety:  Sony Pictures announce the release of 16 films over the next four years, including two "Bad Boys" films.

From SlashFilm:  Will Smith will replace Hugh Jackman in "Collateral Beauty," which will co-star Rooney Mara.

From Deadline:  More actors added to Woody Allen's next film, due in 2016.

From SlashFilm:  "The Hobbit" will return to theaters this fall with extended editions of all three films.

From BoxOfficeMojo:  The winner of the 7/31 to 8/2/15 weekend box office is "Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation" with an estimated haul of $56 million.

From TheWrap:  Andre Benjamin joins "American Crime" Season 2.

From YahooSports:  Wrestler and actor "Rowdy" Roddy Piper died Thursday, July 30, 2015 at the age of 61.

From EntertainmentWeekly:  EW takes a look at Roddy's career, focusing on his turn in John Carpenter's sci-fi cult classic, They Live.  I have been a fan of his since I first saw this film. Rest in Peace, "Rowdy."

From EW:  Director John Carpenter pays tribute to his friend, "Rowdy" Roddy Piper.

COMICS - Films and Books:

From YahooNews:  Doctor Strange - Marvel's "Fantasia?"

From YahooMovies:  Talk about white privilege, Josh Trank blames others for his panned Fantastic Four reboot.

From Variety:  A Deadpool teaser for the Deadpool trailer debuts ahead of the trailer's debut on "Conan" on Tuesday night, August 4, 2015.

From HuffingtonPost:  Kate Mara and Michael B. Jordan deal with rude interviewer.

From EW:  Stan Lee is quite fine with Michael B. Jordan as the Human Torch in the Fantastic Four reboot.

From SideshowCollectibles:  News on the Marvel/Netflix deal and potential schedule of series.


From YouTube:  20th Century Fox unleashed the "red band" trailer for 2016's "Deadpool."

From YouTube:  New trailer for "The Martian," directed by Ridley Scott and starring Matt Damon.

From YouTube:  A new trailer for future box office disappointment, "Hitman: Agent 47."


From VillageVoice:  I'm glad that there is a new generation discovering the great Nile Rogers.

Monday, May 25, 2015

"Dheepan" Wins Palme d'Or at 2015 Cannes Film Festival

The 68th annual Cannes Film Festival was held in Cannes, France from May 13 to May 24, 2015.  The closing ceremony and the 2015 awards ceremony were held on Saturday, May 23, 2015.

I have included a list of winners from the “In Competition” categories; this is the main competition in which films compete for the festival’s top prize, the “Palme d’Or” (Golden Palm).  I’ve included the winners from other Cannes award competitions, including “Un Certain Regard” and the “Golden Camera.”

The “Grand Prix” is the second most prestigious prize given at Cannes, after the Palme d’Or.  The competition known as “Un Certain Regard” is a part of Cannes that runs parallel to the competition for the Palme d’Or.

2015 / 68th Cannes “In Competition” winners:

Palme d'Or: "Dheepan," Directed by Jacques Audiard

Grand Prix: "Son of Saul," Directed by Laszlo Nemes

Best Director: "The Assassin," Directed by Hou Hsiao-Hsien for

Best Screenplay: "Chronic," Written by Michel Franco

Camera d'Or (Best First Feature): "La Tierra y la Sombre," Directed by Cesar Acevedo

Jury Prize: "The Lobster," Directed by Yorgos Lanthimos

Best Actress: Rooney Mara for "Carol" and Emmanuelle Bercot for "Mon Roi" (Shared Prize)

Best Actor: Vincent Lindon for "The Measure of a Man"

Palme d'Or (Short Film): "Waves '98," Directed by Ely Dagher

Judges for the Main Competition – “In Competiton”:
Joel and Ethan Coen, American film directors. Main Jury Presidents
    Rossy de Palma, Spanish actress
    Sophie Marceau, French actress and film director
    Sienna Miller, English actress
    Rokia Traoré, Malian singer-songwriter and composer
    Guillermo del Toro, Mexican film director
    Xavier Dolan, Canadian film director and actor
    Jake Gyllenhaal, American actor

Prize of Un Certain Regard - HRÚTAR (RAMS) Directed by Grímur HAKONARSON

Jury Prize - Un Certain Regard - ZVIZDAN (THE HIGH SUN) Directed by Dalibor MATANIC

Directing Prize of Un Certain Regard - KISHIBE NO TABI (JOURNEY TO THE SHORE) Directed by KUROSAWA Kiyoshi

Un Certain Talent Prize - COMOARA (THE TREASURE) Directed by Corneliu PORUMBOIU

Promizing Future Prize Ex-aequo:
MASAAN Directed by Neeraj GHAYWAN

1st Prize Cinéfondation - SHARE Directed by Pippa BIANCO

2nd Prize Cinéfondation - LOCAS PERDIDAS (LOST QUEENS) Directed by Ignacio JURICIC MERILLÁN

3rd Prize Cinéfondation Ex-aequo:

Caméra d'or - LA TIERRA Y LA SOMBRA Directed by César Augusto ACEVEDO


Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Warner Bros.' "Pan" Changes Release Date to October 2015

Warner Bros. Pictures’ Action Adventure “Pan” is Flying High into the Fall Season

BURBANK, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Giving both the film and the filmmakers some extra breathing room, the opening date of Warner Bros. Pictures’ action adventure “Pan” has been moved to fall and will begin its global launch with the new domestic release date of October 9, 2015. The announcement was made today by Dan Fellman, President, Domestic Distribution, and Veronika Kwan Vandenberg, President, International Distribution, Warner Bros. Pictures.

    “As you might expect, the fantastical story of Peter Pan involves very complex effects and I did not want to compromise on quality in finishing the film. This allows me and my team the time to complete the movie and tell the story the way it should be told.”

In making the announcement, Fellman said, “We wanted to give ‘Pan’ the space to extend its theatrical run, so taking it out of the cluttered summer season made the most sense. Moving the film to the heart of the fall will allow us more time to screen the picture, enabling us to capitalize on what we anticipate will be strong word of mouth.”

Kwan Vandenberg added, “Peter Pan is a beloved figure the world over, and the fall corridor is perfect for this epic adventure story that explores the origins of this young hero. In many markets we can take advantage of school holidays that ensure a greater opportunity for families to enjoy ‘Pan’ together.”

Director Joe Wright expressed his support for the move, noting, “As you might expect, the fantastical story of Peter Pan involves very complex effects and I did not want to compromise on quality in finishing the film. This allows me and my team the time to complete the movie and tell the story the way it should be told.”

From director Joe Wright (“Atonement,” “Pride & Prejudice”) comes “Pan,” a live-action feature presenting a wholly original adventure about the beginnings of the beloved characters created by J.M. Barrie.

Peter (Levi Miller) is a mischievous 12-year-old boy with an irrepressible rebellious streak, but in the bleak London orphanage where he has lived his whole life those qualities do not exactly fly. Then one incredible night, Peter is whisked away from the orphanage and spirited off to a world of pirates, warriors and fairies called Neverland. There, he finds amazing adventures and fights life-or-death battles while trying to uncover the secret of his mother, who left him at the orphanage so long ago, and his rightful place in this magical land. Teamed with the warrior Tiger Lily (Rooney Mara) and a new friend named James Hook (Garrett Hedlund), Peter must defeat the ruthless pirate Blackbeard (Hugh Jackman) to save Neverland and discover his true destiny—to become the hero who will forever be known as Peter Pan.

Wright directed “Pan” from a screenplay written by Jason Fuchs. Greg Berlanti, Sarah Schechter and Oscar nominee Paul Webster (“Atonement”) are producing, with Tim Lewis serving as executive producer.

The film stars Oscar nominee Hugh Jackman (“Les Misérables”), Garrett Hedlund (“Inside Llewyn Davis”), Oscar nominee Rooney Mara (“The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”), newcomer Levi Miller, and Amanda Seyfried (“Les Misérables”). Rounding out the cast are Adeel Akhtar (“The Dictator”) as Smee; Taejoo Na (“The Kick”) as Kwahu; Nonso Anozie (“Son of God,” “Atonement”) as Bishop; Kathy Burke (“Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy”) as Mother Barnabas; Kurt Egyiawan (“Skyfall”) as Murray; Lewis MacDougall (UK TV’s “In the Name of the Children”) as Nibs; and Jack Charles (“Mystery Road”) as The Chief.

Warner Bros. Pictures Presents, in Association with RatPac-Dune Entertainment, a Berlanti Production, a Joe Wright film, “Pan.” Filmed at Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden, “Pan” is set for release in 3D and 2D in select theatres and IMAX® on October 9, 2015.


Saturday, January 24, 2015

Negromancer News Bits and Bites: January 18th to 24th, 2015 - Updated #15


From Variety:  Quentin Tarantino begins shooting "The Hateful Eight."

From YahooTV:  Seth Rogen responds exclusively to the outrage about his American Sniper comments.

From TheGuardian:  J.K. Rowling slapped back at Rupert Murdoch's bigotry.

From YahooNews:  Free Mark Wahlberg!

From YahooNewsMichael Moore speaks on American Sniper - He says that he was taught that snipers were cowards, because his uncle was killed in WWII by a sniper.

From YahooNews:  Seth Rogen also has thoughts on American Sniper, referencing Inglourious Basterds.

From TPM:  The Oakland Tribune's front page headline read, "And the Oscar for best Caucasian goes to...

From Variety via YahooMovies:  In its first full week of release, American Sniper wins the January 16th to 18th, 2015 weekend box office with an estimated take of $90.2 million.  This is also the Martin Luther King holiday weekend, so totals will go up.

From YahooMoviesTaya Kyle, the widow of American Sniper SEAL, Chris Kyle, struggled with the idea of someone playing her late husband on screen.

From HuffingtonPost:  Star Trek's troubling 50th anniversary.


From TheVox:  Bryan Singer announces the new actors who will play Storm, (Alexandra Shipp), Jean Grey (Sophie Turner), and Cyclops (Tye Sheridan).


From CinemaBlend:  Disney ditches George Lucas' ideas for Star Wars 7.

From CinemaBlend:  Actress hunt for Star Wars spin-off films.


From CinemaBlend:  George Lucas' at one time predicted the future for Star Wars.

From YahooMovies:  George Lucas has finally seen the trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens.


From ComcastSportsnet:  Now you know what it feels like to be Kobe.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Review: I Can't Help But Love "Her"

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 40 (of 2014) by Leroy Douresseaux

Her (2013)
Running time:  126 minutes (2 hours, 6 minutes)
MPAA – R for language, sexual content and brief graphic nudity
PRODUCERS:  Megan Ellison, Spike Jonze, and Vincent Landay
CINEMATOGRAPHER:  Hoyte Van Hoytema (D.o.P.)
EDITORS:  Jeff Buchanan and Eric Zumbrunnen
COMPOSER:  Will Butler and Owen Pallett
MUSIC:  Arcade Fire
Academy Award winner


Starring:  Joaquin Phoenix, Scarlett Johansson (voice), Amy Adams, Rooney Mara, Chris Pratt, Matt Letscher, Olivia Wilde, Gracie Prewitt, Laura Kai Chen, and Brian Cox (voice)

Her is a 2013 romantic drama and science fiction film from writer-director Spike Jonze.  The film focus on a lonely writer who develops an unlikely relationship with the new operating system he bought for his computer and hand-held device.

Her is set in an indeterminate near-future and focuses on Theodore Twombly (Joaquin Phoenix), a lonely, introverted man.  Theodore works for, a business that writes heartfelt, intimate, and deeply personal letters for people who cannot write such letters.  Theodore is struggling with an impending divorce from his wife, Catherine Klausen (Rooney Mara), who was his childhood sweetheart.

To help get his life in order, Theodore buys a new operating system (OS) from Element Software.  This OS is an artificially intelligent operating system that is designed to adapt and evolve.  Taking on the persona of a human female, the OS names itself “Samantha” (Scarlett Johansson).  [Of note: actress Samantha Morton originally provided the voice of the OS, before Jonze replaced her, with her consent.]  Her ability to learn and to grow psychologically fascinates Theodore.  Samantha and Theodore bond over discussions about love and life, and Samantha is constantly available and is designed to meet his every need.  She is always curious about Theodore and is interested in him and his life; she is supportive and does not make demands... at least for a while.  Theodore is in love with her, but, as she changes, can Theodore sustain this relationship?

Her is one of the best movies of 2013, and, after watching it, I can certainly see why some thought it was the best picture of 2013.  I think what Her does best is to evoke feelings in the viewer; it is as if director Spike Jonze wants viewers to feel his movie.  I did.

There is a lot that goes into making a special movie, and several people made this movie one of the best.  In Her,  Joaquin Phoenix does not give one of his best or most adventurous performances, but his subtle and nuanced take on a puppy-love struck, lonely man is endearing.  He carries this picture, as well as the viewers' expectations, so his performance is so good that even if it isn't his best, it is still better than most by other actors.

The film's score by Will Butler and Owen Pallett is oddly compelling and queerly futuristic without feeling too far-flung.  The score was apparently performed by the Grammy-winning band, Arcade Fire, of which Butler is a member.  Hoyte Van Hoytema's gorgeous cinematography is curiously in sync with the score, and it also seems like it belongs to another day.  In fact, the art direction and set decoration helps to maintain that almost futuristic, edge-of-tomorrow vibe.

The foundation of Her is Spike Jonze's screenplay, which earned him an Academy Award.  It is deeply romantic, heartfelt, and sentimental; it is like a romance novel without melodrama and schmaltz.  The writing is thoughtful and provocative, one of the best examples of a screenplay that takes on science fiction without being taken over by sci-fi genre trappings.

I often wonder if science fiction is still relevant; some of it seemed clueless about the lives that many people lived in the late 20th century.  I don't know how much science fiction can address pertinent issues in the early 21st century, but I know one science fiction film that did.  I think that by plot, by the issues it tackles, and by what it depicts, Her is relevant now and will be in the future.  With Her, Spike Jonze does not do science fiction prediction.  Instead, he addresses the unchanging aspects of humanity as it grapples with a changing world and evolving environment.  What a way to bring new life to the love story.

9 of 10

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

 2014 Academy Awards, USA:  1 win: “Best Writing, Original Screenplay” (Spike Jonze); 4 nominations: “Best Motion Picture of the Year (Megan Ellison, Spike Jonze, and Vincent Landay), “Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score” (Will Butler and Owen Pallett), “Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Song” (Karen O-music and lyrics and Spike Jonze-lyrics for "The Moon Song"), and “Best Achievement in Production Design) “K.K. Barrett-production design and Gene Serdena-set decoration)

2014 Golden Globes, USA:  1 win “Best Screenplay - Motion Picture” (Spike Jonze); 2 nominations: “Best Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical” and “Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy” (Joaquin Phoenix)

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

Monday, April 28, 2014

Warner Bros.' "Peter Pan" Begins Production Today

Production Set to Begin on Warner Bros. Pictures’ Live-Action Peter Pan Feature Film

Production rounds out cast with addition of Amanda Seyfried and others in key roles

BURBANK, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Principal photography will begin April 28 on Warner Bros. Pictures’ live-action Peter Pan feature from director Joe Wright (“Atonement,” “Pride & Prejudice”).

Offering a new take on the origin of the classic characters created by J.M. Barrie, the film follows the story of an orphan who is spirited away to the magical Neverland. There, he finds both fun and dangers, and ultimately discovers his destiny—to become the hero who will be forever known as Peter Pan.

The film stars Oscar® nominee Hugh Jackman (“Les Misérables”) as Blackbeard; Garrett Hedlund (“Inside Llewyn Davis”) as Hook; Oscar® nominee Rooney Mara (“The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo”) as Tiger Lily; Adeel Akhtar (“The Dictator”) as Smee; and newcomer Levi Miller as Peter.

Amanda Seyfried (“Les Misérables”) rounds out the cast as Mary, alongside Jack Charles (“Mystery Road”) as The Chief/Tiger Lily’s father; Taejoo Na (“The Kick”) as Kwahu; Nonso Anozie (“Son of God,” “Atonement”) as Bishop; Kathy Burke (“Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy”) as Mother Barnabas; Kurt Egyiawan (“Skyfall”) as Murray; Lewis MacDougall (UK TV’s “In the Name of the Children”) as Nibs; and newcomer Leni Zieglmeier as Wendy Darling.

Wright is directing the as-yet-untitled Peter Pan adventure from a screenplay by Jason Fuchs. Greg Berlanti, Paul Webster and Sarah Schechter are producing, with Tim Lewis serving as executive producer.

Filming will take place at Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden. The film is set for a worldwide release on July 17, 2015.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Spike Jonze's "Her" Goes Nationwide January 10, 2014

Warner Bros. Pictures Shifts Release for Spike Jonze’s “Her”

“Her” to open in limited release on December 18, 2013 in New York, Los Angeles and Toronto, and wide on January 10, 2014

BURBANK, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Warner Bros. Pictures has moved the release date of Spike Jonze’s already much anticipated romantic drama “Her.” The film will now open in limited release in New York, Los Angeles and Toronto on December 18, 2013, and wide on January 10, 2014. The announcement was made today by Dan Fellman, President, Domestic Distribution, Warner Bros. Pictures.

The move comes on the heels of strong positive reactions coming out of early screenings. “Her” has also just been announced by the New York Film Festival as its selection for the prestigious Closing Night Gala slot. The date change allows the studio to take full advantage of word of mouth resulting from the Festival screening, placing the film in the key awards consideration corridor and positioning it for its December opening and wider launch in January.

In making the announcement, Fellman stated, “Spike Jonze has created an unconventional love story that is thought-provoking and reflective of our modern age. Based on the responses we’ve seen thus far, we have confidence that ‘Her’ will be embraced by both critics and audiences and look forward to sharing it with them, beginning in the holiday season.”

Set in Los Angeles, in the near future, “Her” follows Theodore Twombly (Joaquin Phoenix), a complex, soulful man who makes his living writing touching, personal letters for other people. Heartbroken after the end of a long relationship, he becomes intrigued with a new, advanced operating system, which promises to be an intuitive and unique entity in its own right. Upon initiating it, he is delighted to meet “Samantha,” a bright, female voice (Scarlett Johansson) who is insightful, sensitive and surprisingly funny. As her needs and desires grow in tandem with his own, their friendship deepens into an eventual love for each other.

From the singular perspective of Oscar®-nominated filmmaker Spike Jonze (“Being John Malkovich”) comes “Her,” an original love story that explores the evolving nature—and the risks—of intimacy in the modern world.

Written and directed by Jonze, the romantic drama stars Oscar® nominees Joaquin Phoenix (“The Master,” “Walk the Line”), Amy Adams (“The Master,” “Doubt”) and Rooney Mara (“The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo”); Olivia Wilde (upcoming “Rush”); and Scarlett Johansson (“Lost in Translation”).

“Her” is produced by Megan Ellison, Spike Jonze and Vincent Landay. Daniel Lupi, Natalie Farrey and Chelsea Barnard served as executive producers.

The film reunites many of Jonze’s longtime creative collaborators, including production designer KK Barrett, editor Eric Zumbrunnen and costume designer Casey Storm, who worked together on “Where the Wild Things Are,” “Adaptation.” and “Being John Malkovich.” Joining them is director of photography Hoyte Van Hoytema (“Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy”), and editor Jeff Buchanan (HBO’s “Tell Them Anything You Want: A Portrait of Maurice Sendak,” which Jonze co-directed). The music is composed by Arcade Fire.

A Warner Bros. Pictures presentation of an Annapurna Pictures Production, “Her” will be distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Spike Jonze's "Her" Due November 2013

Warner Bros. Pictures Slates Spike Jonze’s “Her” for November 20, 2013

Film to open in limited release in New York, Los Angeles and Toronto

BURBANK, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--“Her,” the new modern-day love story from Oscar®-nominated filmmaker Spike Jonze (“Being John Malkovich”) and Annapurna Pictures, will open in limited release on November 20, 2013, it was announced today by Dan Fellman, President, Domestic Distribution, Warner Bros. Pictures.

The film will be released initially in New York, Los Angeles and Toronto, with future cities and dates to be announced.

Written, directed and produced by Jonze, “Her” stars Joaquin Phoenix (“The Master”), Amy Adams (“The Master”), Scarlett Johansson (“Hitchcock”), Rooney Mara (“The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”), Chris Pratt (“Moneyball”) and Olivia Wilde (“People Like Us”).

In making the announcement, Fellman stated, “Spike Jonze is known as a filmmaker who breaks the mold, and ‘Her’ continues in that tradition. It’s a thought-provoking love story that speaks to the impact of ever-evolving technology on our personal lives. We love the film, and we are very excited to be able to share it with audiences on November 20th.”

Joining Jonze as producers on the film are Vincent Landay and Megan Ellison. Daniel Lupi and Ted Schipper will serve as executive producers, with Natalie Farrey and Chelsea Barnard as co-producers.

The behind-the-scenes creative team includes director of photography Hoyte Van Hoytema (“Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy”), production designer KK Barrett (“Where the Wild Things Are”), costume designer Casey Storm (“Where the Wild Things Are”) and editors Eric Zumbrunnen (“Where the Wild Things Are”) and Jeff Buchanan (“Be Kind Rewind”).

An Annapurna Pictures Production, a Film by Spike Jonze, “Her” will be distributed domestically by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.