Showing posts with label Sacha Baron Cohen. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sacha Baron Cohen. Show all posts

Thursday, April 28, 2022

Review: Pixar's "LUCA" is a True Disney Instant Classic

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 26 of 2022 (No. 1838) by Leroy Douresseaux

Luca (2021)
Running time:  95 minutes (1 hour, 35 minutes)
MPAA –  PG for rude humor, language, some thematic elements and brief violence
DIRECTOR:  Enrico Casarosa
WRITERS:  Jesse Andrews and Mike Jones; from a story by Enrico Casarosa, Jesse Andrews, and Simon Stephenson
PRODUCER:  Andrea Warren
CINEMATOGRAPHERS:  David Juan Bianchi (D.o.P.) and Kim White (D.o.P.)
EDITORS:  Catherine Apple and Jason Hudak
COMPOSER: Dan Romer
Academy Award nominee

ANIMATION/FANTASY/ADVENTURE/COMEDY/DRAMA

Starring:  (voices) Jacob Tremblay, Jack Dylan Grazer, Emma Berman, Saverio Raimondo, Maya Rudolph, Marco Barricelli, Jim Gaffigan, Peter Sohn, Lorenzo Crisci, Marina Massironi, Gino LaMoica, Sandy Martin, and Sacha Baron Cohen

Luca is a 2021 computer-animated, coming-of-age, fantasy film directed by Enrico Casarosa, produced by Pixar Animation Studios, and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures.  The film focuses on a two sea monster boys disguised as humans and the human girl they befriend.

Luca opens sometime in the 1950s in and around the Italian Riviera.  Below the surface of the waters of the Riviera live a group of sea monsters.  Luca Paguro (Jacob Tremblay), a timid young sea monster, herds goatfish below the coast of the small Italian town of Portorosso.  Luca is curious about the human world, but his parents, Daniela (Maya Rudolph) and Lorenzo Paguro (Jim Gaffigan), fear that the humans might hunt him for food.  Thus, they forbid him from approaching the surface.

One day, Luca meets Alberto Scorfano (Jack Dylan Grazer), a fellow sea monster boy who lives alone above the surface on Isola del Mare.  Alberto encourages Luca to venture out of the ocean, showing him that sea monsters turn into humans when their bodies become dry, but return to their true forms when they become wet.  Alberto invites Luca to his hideout where the boys connect and dream about owning a Vespa (an Italian luxury brand of scooter) so that they can travel the world.

Venturing into Portorosso as humans, the boys discover that a local children's triathlon, the “Portorosso Cup,” is about to take place.  They run afoul of Ercole Visconti (Saverio Raimondo), the local bully and five-time champion of the Portorosso Cup.  They also meet a young girl named Giulia Marcovaldo (Emma Berman), the daughter of a fisherman, Massimo Marcovaldo (Marco Barricelli).  Giulia has participated in the triathlon, but has never won.  Hoping to win the money they need to buy a Vespa, Luca and Alberto form a team with Giulia.  Through Giulia, Luca learns that there is so much more to the surface world, but his feelings for her threaten everything, including his plans with Alberto.

I could say that Luca is one of Pixar's most beautiful films, and I will, although that is redundant.  Pixar's films always have beautiful visuals, and sometimes they are stunning and a wonder to behold.  The film is drenched in the bright colors of the Italian Riviera and reinterprets them as if they were watercolor paintings.

Dear readers, perhaps you are familiar with the animated films of the Japanese master, Hayao Miyazaki.  His films are a symphony of wondrous colors and stunning locales, and those films clearly have an influence on Luca on a number of levels, especially in terms of visuals and in the tone of the story.  Luca's town of Portorosso may be named in honor of Miyazaki's 1992 animated film, Porco Rosso, which is also set in Italy.

I think the elements that really drive this film, its beauty aside, are the characters and voice performances.  The characters are very well developed:  their personalities, their goals, and fears.  From Alberto's jealousy and fear of loss to Giulia's determination and open-mindedness, the viewer can believe in these characters.  Luca is ostensibly a coming-of-age story focusing on Luca.  His sense of adventure is overcome by his fear of trying new things, whether it is actually going to the surface world or going to school.  In Luca, we see the film's themes of acceptance (accepting others, accepting help, and accepting oneself) and overcoming fear (especially the fear of change).  Luca takes on a beautiful journey as we see the evolution of the title character, and as for the coming-of-age angle, this film feels like only the first chapter of Luca's coming of age.

The voice performances make the characters seem like real people.  If there were an Oscar for voice performances, Jacob Tremblay as Luca would be worthy of being nominated.  Every performance is winning, from major characters to bit players.  I am crazy about the performances here.

Dan Romer's beautiful score highlights and accentuates the journey of change and evolution that is Luca, both the film and the character.  Luca is one of Pixar's most convincing boy characters, which is quite a feat in a filmography full of wonderfully drawn characters.  Speaking of drawn, the character design and art direction and production design are on par with Pixar's best.

I always thought that I would like Luca, and now that I have seen it, I am in love with it.  For me, Luca is one of Pixar's best ever films, and it is one of 2021's very best films  I recommend it without reservation; everyone should see it.

10 of 10

Thursday, April 28, 2022


NOTES:
2022 Academy Awards, USA:  1 nomination: “Best Animated Feature Film” (Enrico Casarosa and Andrea Warren)

2022 BAFTA Awards:  1 nomination: “Best Animated Feature Film” (Enrico Casarosa and Andrea Warren)

2022 Golden Globes, USA:  1 nomination:  “Best Motion Picture-Animated”

2022 Black Reel Awards:  1 win: “Outstanding Voice Performance” (Maya Rudolph)

2022 Image Awards (NAACP):  1 nomination: “Outstanding Animated Motion Picture”


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

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Monday, February 28, 2022

Negromancer News Bits and Bites from February 20th to 28th, 2022 - Update #26

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

You can support Leroy via Paypal or on Patreon:

ENTERTAINMENT AND CULTURE NEWS:

AWARDS - From Deadline:   The winners at the 2022 / 28th annual SAG Awards. "CODA" wins the top prize, "Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture."

BOX OFFICE - From BoxOfficePro:   The winner of the 2/25 to 2/27/2022 weekend box office is Sony Pictures' "Uncharted" with an estimated take of $23.25 million.

NAACP - From Variety:  Here is a complete list of winners at 2022 / 53rd NAACP Image Awards in the film, television and music categories.  Jennifer Hudson was named "Entertainer of the Year."

TELEVISION - From DeadlineQuentin Tarantino is in early talks to direct one or two episodes of "Justified: City Primeval," the FX limited series that brings Timothy Olyphant as U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens from FX's long-running series, "Justified" (2010-15).

MOVIES/NETFLIX - From BETTyler Perry talks to BET about his new Madea movie, "A Madea Homecoming," which is streaming on Netflix.

MOVIES - From DeadlineSteven Spielberg is attached to direct a new original story based on "Lt. Frank Bullitt," the character the late Steve McQueen played in the 1968 film, "Bullitt."

AWARDS - From Deadline:  "Lost Illusions" and "Annette" top the 2022 Cesar Awards in France.

DISNEY - From Deadline:  Disney has set the release date for its film, "Haunted Mansion," for March 10, 2023.  Justin Simien is directing stars Tiffany Haddish, Owen Wilson, Rosario Dawson, Danny DeVito, and LaKeith Stanfield.

MOVIES - From DeadlineUniversal Pictures will release its monster movie, "Renfield" on April 14, 2023.  The films focuses on Count Dracula's lackey/aide, Renfield, played by Nicholas Hoult with Nicolas Cage playing Dracula.

NEWS - From Variety:  Oscar-winning actor, Sean Penn, is in Ukraine filming a documentary about the Russia's invasion of the country.

STREAMING - From Deadline:   Sacha Baron Cohen has joined the cast of director Alfonso Cuaron's film, "Disclaimer," for Apple TV+.

MOVIES - From DeadlineParamount Pictures has acquired "80 For Brady." NFL legend and Super Bowl champion, Tom Brady, will produce and star in the film with Lily Tomlin, Jane FondaRita Moreno, and Sally Field.

MOVIES - From Deadline:   Director James Mangold and 20th Century Studios are developing a biopic of Hollywood legend and icon, the comedian and filmmaker, Buster Keaton.

STREAMING - From Deadline:  The site has a first look at actor Daniel Radcliffe as "Weird" Al Yankovic in the biopic, "Weird: The Al Yankovic Story."

OSCARS - From THR:  During this year's Oscar telecast, for the 94th Academy Awards, eight categories that are usually presented live during the ceremony will not be this year.  The categories of "documentary short," "film editing," "makeup/hairstyling," "original score," "production design," "animated short," "live action short," and "sound" will take place inside the Dolby Theatre an hour before the live telecast commences, will be recorded, and will then be edited into the subsequent live broadcast.

From Deadline:  The changes to this year's Oscar telecast for the 94th Academy Awards have created a backlash.

TELEVISION - From Deadline:  "The Wendy Williams Show" is ending for now, and will be replaced by a daytime syndicated talk show headline by Sherri Shepherd, a former co-host on "The View," slated to debut Fall 2022.

MOVIES - From VarietyUniversal Pictures has released a moody first image of actor Cillian Murphy as "J. Robert Oppenheimer" in director Christopher Nolan's film, "Oppenheimer." The film has begun principal photography and is due July 2023.

BOX OFFICE - From BoxOfficePro:  The winner of the 2/18 to 2/20/2022 weekend box office is Sony Pictures' "Uncharted" with an estimated take of 44.16 million dollars.

From Deadline:  "Uncharted" scores 139 million dollars in global box office.

From BuzzFeed:  Actor Tom Holland worked as a bartender while making "Uncharted."

MOVIES - From VogueUK:  Here is the first look of actor Austin Butler as Elvis Presley in director Baz Luhrmann's biopic, "Elvis."

OBITS:

From Variety:   Film and television actress, Sally Kellerman, has died at the age of 84, Thursday, Feruary 24, 2022.  Kellerman was nominated for a "Best Supporting Actress" Oscar for her role as "Margaret 'Hot Lips' Houlihan" in director Robert Altman's 1970 film, "MASH."  From 2014 to 2015, she had a recurring guest role on the CBS soap opera, "The Young and the Restless," which earned her a 2015 Daytime Emmy Award nomination.

From Deadline:  American singer-songwriter and rock musician, Mark Lanegan, has died at the age of 57, Tuesday, February 22, 2022.  He was one of the leading figures in the development of "grunge music" as the vocalist for the band, "Screaming Tress," and recorded seven albums with them.  He also released 12 solo studio albums.  He was also a member of the rock band, "Queens of the Stone Age."

From Deadline:  British music entrepreneur and YouTube star, Jamal Edwards, has died at the age of 31, Sunday, February 20, 2022.  He was known for founding "SBTV," a YouTube music channel dedicated to breaking emerging music acts in the United Kingdom.  Edwards helped launch the careers of artists such as Ed Sheeran and Jessie J, to name a few.  Edwards and SBTV are also credited with helping to popularize "grime music" in the UK and beyond.

From Deadline:   American film editor, David Brenner, has died at the age of 59, February 17, 2022.  Brenner was known for editing blockbuster films of noted directors like Roland Emmerich, Oliver Stone, and Zach Snyder, to name a few.  He won an Oscar with Joe Hutshing for editing Stone's 1989 film, "Born on the Forth of July."  Brenner was the editor on the "Avatar" sequels.

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94TH ACADEMY AWARDS:

OSCARS - From Variety:  The nominations for the 2022 / 94th Academy Awards have been announced.  "The Power of the Dog" leads with 12 nominations.  The winners will be revealed March 27th.

From Deadline:    With his "Best Actor" nomination for "The Tragedy of Macbeth," Denzel Washington is the most nominated Black actor is Oscar history.  He has been nominated in two acting categories a total of 10 times with two wins total.

From Variety:   With her "Best Director" Oscar nomination for "The Power of the Dog," Jane Campion becomes the first woman nominated twice in that category. She was previously nominated in that category for "The Piano" (1993).

From Variety:  With his three nominations today, Kenneth Branagh of "Belfast" becomes the first person to have been nominated in seven individual categories over his career.

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MOVIE AWARDS:

From Deadline:   The 2022 / 9th annual Make-Up Artists & Hair Stylists Guild Awards were announced.  The Amazon film, "Coming 2 America" (the sequel to the 1988 film, "Coming to America"), led with three wins.

From Deadline:  The 2022 BAFTA Film Awards nominations have been announced.  "Dune" leads with 11 nominations.  The winners will be announced March 13th.

From Deadline:   The 2022 / 33rd annual Producers Guild of America Awards nominations have been announced.  The winners will be announced Saturday, March 19th.

From Deadline:  The nominations for the 2022 / 74th annual Directors Guild Awards have been announced.  The winners will be announced March 12th.

From COFCA:  The Columbus Film Critics Association name "The Power of the Dog" the "Best Film" of 2021.

From Deadline:  Netflix's Black Western, "The Harder They Fall," was named the "Best Picture" of 2021 at the 13th annual African American Film Critics Association Awards.  The Western tied with "King Richard" for most wins with four.  Will Smith was named "Best Actor" for "King Richard."

From Deadline:  The nominations for the 2022 / 28th Screen Actors Guild Awards have been announced.

From Variety:  The snubs and surprises in the nominations for the 28th Screen Actors Guild Awards.

From Variety:   At the 2022 / 79th Golden Globes, "The Power of the Dog" wins "Best Motion Picture-Drama" and "West Side Story" wins "Best Motion Picture-Musical or Comedy."

From VarietyThe National Society of Film Critics names the Japanese film, "Drive My Car," the best film of 2021.

From AwardsWatch:  The nominations for the 22nd Annual Black Reel Awards were announced a few weeks ago. Netflix's Black Western, "The Harder They Fall," has a record 20 nominations.  The winners will be announced February 27, 2022.

From AwardsWatch:  The Columbus Film Critics Association announced the nominations for their annual film awards.  Director Jane Campion's "The Power of the Dog" leads with 12 noms.  The winners will be announced Thurs., Jan. 6th, 2022.

From Deadline:  The Los Angeles Film Critics Association has named the Japanese film, "Drive My Car," the "Best Picture" of 2021.

From Deadline:  The 2022 / 37th annual Film Independent Spirit Awards have announced their nominations. "Zola" leads with six nominations. The winners will be announced Sun., March 6, 2022.

From THR:  The 2022 / 79th Golden Globes Awards nominations have been announced.  "Belfast" and "The Power of the Dog" lead with seven nominations each.  Winners will be announced Jan. 9th, 2022.

From GoldDerby:   The 2022 Critics Choice Awards nominations have been announced. "Belfast" and "West Side Story" leads with 11 nominations each. Winners will be announced Jan. 9th, 2022.

From Deadline:   The American Film Institute announced the "2021 AFI Awards" Top 10 list, and the list includes "Dune," "The Tragedy of Macbeth," and "West Side Story."

From THR:  Director Aleem Khan's "After Love" tops the 2021 British Independent Film Awards, winning six awards, including "Best Film of 2021."

From Variety:   The New York Film Critics Circle has named the Japanese drama, "Drive My Car," as the "Best Film of 2021."

From Deadline:  The National Board of Review hands director Paul Thomas Anderson's "Licorice Pizza" it "Best Film" and "Best Director" awards.  Will Smith picks up the "Best Actor" award for "King Richard."

From THR:  Netflix’s "The Lost Daughter," directed by actress Maggie Gyllenhaal, dominated the 2021 Gotham Awards in New York on Monday night (Nov. 29th).  The film won in four of the five categories in which it was nominated, including "Best Feature."

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"RUST" ACCIDENTAL SHOOTING DEATH:

From Deadline:  This link will take you to Deadline's Halyna Hutchins page, which articles related to everything about her shooting death on the set of the Western film, "Rust."

From DeadlineMatt Hutchins, the husband of Halyna Hutchins, blames Alec Baldwin for Halyna's accidental shooting death on the set of the doomed Western film, "Rust."

From Deadline:  The family and estate of Halyna Hutchins has filed suit against Alec Baldwin (who accidentally shot Hutchins), a slew of production companies and entities, producers, and key crew members involved in the Western film, "Rust," for her death.

From THR:   A Republican New Mexico legislator, State Sen. Cliff Pirtle of Roswell, on Monday introduced a bill that would require all film set personnel who handle firearms to complete a safety course offered by the New Mexico Game and Fish Department.  This is in the wake a cinematographer, Halyna Hutchins, being fatally shot on the set of the Western, "Rust," last year by Alec Baldwin with a weapon he says he thought was not loaded with live ammunition.

From DeadlineAlec Baldwin and the other producers of the doomed Western film, "Rust," want a California judge to dismiss the lawsuit filed against them by the script supervisor, Mamie Mitchell.

From Deadline:   Alec Baldwin has finally turned over his cell phone to police for their probe into the fatal shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of Baldwin's Western film, "Rust," last October in New Mexico.

From Variety:  One of the producers of tragic Western film, Rust, Emily Salveson, pushes tax shelters and hid income.

From THR:  "I let go of the hammer and 'Bang,' the gun goes off" says Alec Baldwin says in his first interview of the moment when a gun he was holding accidentally killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of the Western film, "Rust."

From DeadlineAlec Baldwin will sit down with ABC's news-reading clown George Stephanopoulos for a one hour special tomorrow night to talk about what happened on the set of the movie "Rust."  It will be Baldwin’s first extensive interview about the shooting.

From Deadline:  Industry veteran, Thall Reed, the father of Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, the armorer on the Western, "Rust," may have handed the police a tip on why the film's cinematographer, Halyna Hutchins, was shot to death on the set.

From THR:  A search warrant affidavit filed Tuesday for a prop shop sheds light on how alleged live ammunition ended up on the set of the Western film, "Rust," where cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was killed in October.

From Deadline:  A month after cinematographer, Halyna Hutchins, was shot and killed on the New Mexico set the movie Western, "Rust," by a prop gun “discharged” by Alec Baldwin, those closest to the cinematographer held a private ceremony and interred her ashes at an unknown location.

From Deadline:  Actor Daniel Baldwin defends his brother, Alec Baldwin, in the accidental shooting death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of the film, "Rust."  "Someone loaded that gun improperly," Daniel says.

From Deadline:  The newest lawsuit involving the tragic shooting on the set of the Western film, "Rust," has been filed by the film's script supervisor, Mamie Mitchell, against Alec Baldwin, the producers, the production company, armorer Hanna Gutierrez Reed, and others.

From DeadlineSerge Svetnoy, the gaffer on "Rust," has filed a lawsuit against several parties related to the film, including the production, the financiers, star Alec Baldwin, armorer Hannah Gutierrez Reed, and first Assistant Director David Halls.

From THR:   In the wake of the tragic accidental shooting on the set of his film, "Rust," Alec Baldwin on Monday took to social media to urge Hollywood to employ a police officer on every film and TV set that uses guns.

From THR:   The budget for "Rust" - Alec Baldwin was set to earn $150,000 as lead actor and $100,000 as producer, while $7,913 was earmarked for armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed and $17,500 was set aside for the rental of weapons and $5,000 for rounds.

From Deadline:  Attorneys for Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, the armorer on the set of the film, "Rust," said that they’re looking into whether a live bullet was placed in a box of dummy rounds with the intent of  “sabotaging the set.”

From THR:   Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, the armorer on the film, "Rust," released a statement through her lawyers.  She says she had “no idea where the live rounds came from” that were recovered by the Santa Fe County Sheriff's during the investigation of the accidental on-set shooting death of Halyna Hutchins.

From Jacobin:  An opinion piece says that cinematographer Halyna Hutchins' death on the set of the film, "Rust," was not a freak accident, but was about Alec Baldwin and his fellow producers' cost-cutting decisions.  Baldwin accidentally fired the gun that killed Hutchins.

From Deadline:   Two of executive producers on "Rust," Allen Cheney and Emily Salveson, disavow responsibility for the film's troubled production.

From THR:   Iconic "Ghostbusters" actor Ernie Hudson is reeling from the news of the death of Halyna Hutchins, like the rest of Hollywood. Hudson also appeared in the film, "The Crow," the film in which its star, Brandon Lee, was killed because of an on-set accidental shooting.  He also agrees with the call to ban real guns from movie sets.

From THR:  The Sheriff of Sante Fe County says that his office has recovered three guns and 500 rounds of ammunition from the set of the movie "Rust" where cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was killed.

From Deadline:  Regarding criminal charges in the death of Halyna Hutchins on the set of the film "Rust," District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altweis, "all options are on the table - no one has been ruled out."

From THR:  Does Hollywood Need Guns? Will new regulations lead to an overreactions to a tragedy.

From Deadline:   "Rust" producers have opened an internal investigation into the fatal shooting on the set of the Western film.  They have hired outside lawyers to conduct interviews with the film's production crew.

From Deadline:  "Rust's" AD (assistant director), Dave Halls, has come under scrutiny in the wake of the on-set shooting death of the film's cinematographer, Halyna Hutchins.

From Deadline:  The affidavit of Sante Fe Sheriff's Department Detective Joel Cano has been made public. It can be read at "Deadline."  The affidavit was for a search warrant from the property were the Western, "Rust," was being filmed.

From THR:  The production company behind "Rust" has shut the film down until the police investigation into the fatal, on-set shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins is through.  The Sante Fe County Sheriff's Office has also revealed a timeline of the shooting.

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

From THR:  "Rust" director, Joel Souza, who was wounded in the accidental on-set shooting, says that he is "gutted" by the death of his cinematographer on the film, Halyna Hutchins.

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

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

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

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

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


Saturday, October 24, 2020

Negromancer News Bits and Bites from October 18th to 24th, 2020 - Update #23

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

Support Leroy on Patreon and please visit I Reads You:

ENTERTAINMENT AND CULTURE NEWS:

JAMES BOND - From Variety:  Apparently, Netflix and Apple were among the streaming services that considered the possibility of acquiring the next Bond film, "No Time to Die," which has seen its release delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

STREAMING - From YahooHuffPost:  Even if you don't have Amazon, you can still see that notorious scene starring President Trump's lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, from "Borat Subsequent Moviefilm."

TELEVISION - From THR:  "Seinfeld" creator Larry David reveals his favorite episode of the iconic NBC series, and it's (of course) "The Contest," the 11th episode of the series' fourth season.

TELEVISION - From THR:   What is the Walt Disney Co. going to do with ESPN?

MOVIES - From Deadline:  "Roxanne, Roxanne" star Chante Adams has landed the female lead opposite Michael B. Jordan in Sony’s "Journal For Jordan," directed by Denzel Washington.

TELEVISION - From Deadline:   NBC has given a put pilot commitment to drama Sovereign, from Emmy winner Ava DuVernay and Bird Runningwater.

DISNEY+ - From ShadowandAct:   Chosen Jacobs ("It") and Lexi Underwood ("Little Fires Everywhere") will star in the Disney+ pop/hip-hop musical, "Sneakerella."

CELEBRITY - From Variety:   In his new memoir, "Greenlights," Oscar-winner Matthew McConaughey reveals that he was sexually abused during his teenage years.

MOVIES - From Variety:  Simon Kinberg will write and produce Universal's "Battlestar Galactica" movie (hopefully with better results than Kinberg's "X-Men" work for Fox).

TELEVISION - From Deadline:   Tim Burton is looking to develop of a live-action TV series based on "The Addams Family" property.

STREAMING - From Deadline:  Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman talk about their decision to shut down short-form streaming service, "Quibi." 

From Deadline:  And this is what they are talking about - Quibi shuts down.

POLITICS - From Deadline:  In his first ever "political video," iconic American filmmaker and comedian Mel Brooks ("Blazing Saddles") endorses the Joe Biden-Kamala Harris ticket for President/Vice-President of the United States.

DISNEY+ - From EW:  Actor Warwick Davis and director Ron Howard are for a Disney+ sequel series to their beloved 1998 fantasy film, "Willow."

CELEBRITY - From Deadline:  Oscar-winning actor, Jeff Bridges, has announced that he has been diagnosed with Lymphoma, but that his prognosis is good.

BOX OFFICE - From Deadline:   The winner of the 10/16 to 10/18/2020 weekend box office is "Honest Thief" with an estimated take of 3.7 million dollars.

From Deadline:   The international box office is being dominated by a Japanese anime film, "Demon Slayer The Movie: Mugen Train," which is setting records for an animated film.

From Deadline:  Movie theater owners are happy to be reopening their business in New York state.

POLITICS-AVENGERS - From Deadline:  Directors Joe and Anthony Russo are gathering from some of the actors from their "Avengers" movies for a fundraiser for Joe Biden. 

FILM FESTIVALS - From Deadline:  The Danish comedy, "Another Round," which stars Mads Mikkelsen, won "Best Film" at the 2020 BFI London Film Festival.

MOVIES - From Vulture:   Which "Welcome to the Blumhouse" Horror Movies Should You Watch? -  guide.

OBITS:

From THR: Television writer and producer, Dana Baratta, has died at the age of 59, Sunday, October 18, 2020.  Baratta was a writer and producer on several television series, including "Dawson's Creek" (The WB), "Private Practice" (ABC), and Marvel/Netflix's "Jessica Jones."

From Deadline:   Broadway and television actress, Doreen Montalvo, has died at the age of 56, Saturday, October 17, 2020.  Montalvo was appearing in the Broadway musical, "Mrs. Doubtfire," before it was shutdown due to COVID-19.  Her television appearances included episodes of "Law & Order" and "The Good Wife."  She is still set to appear in two films, director John M. Chu's "In the Heights" and Steven Spielberg's "West Side Story."

From ESPN:  Pro Football Hall of Fame member, Fred Dean, has died at the age of 68, Wednesday, October 14, 2020 of complications of COVID-19.  Dean played defensive end for the San Diego Chargers (who drafted him in 1975) and the San Francisco 49ers.  Dean was a two-time Super Bowl champion with the 49ers and entered the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2008.


COVID-19:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

From TheGuardian:  More than 20 million Americans could have contracted COVID-19, experts say.

From RSN/WashPost:  The COVID-19 mutation that has taken over the world.

7/13 - From YahooSports:  Maybe a pandemic means that there will not be college football this fall.

7/13- From YahooNews:  The CDC adds four new symptoms (including nausea and purple or blue lesions on feet and toes) to the list of COVID-19 symptoms.

7/19 - From YahooFinance:  Harvard Public Health professor Dr. Howard Koh says the U.S. "needs to regroup" to find COVID-19.

7/22 - From YahooNews:  A public health employee predicted Florida's coronavirus catastrophe — then she was fired.

7/22 - From YahooLifestyle:  Florida mom loses son, 20, to coronavirus, and then days later, her daughter.

7/23 - From TheWrap:  The site has a list of movie and TV stars, entertainment and sports figures who have tested positive for COVID-19

From Bloomberg:  Will the COVID-19 pandemic turn Millennials into socialists?

7/27 - From CNN:   Chief of critical care at Baltimore's Mercy Medical Center, Dr. Joseph Costa, passes away due to Covid-19 complications... after treating the hospital's sickest COVID-19 patients.  He was 56 and leaves behind family, including a husband of 28 years.

7/30 - From Deadline:  Emmy-winning actor Bryan Cranston ("Breaking Bad") reveals that he had a bout with COVID-19.

7/31 - From YahooEntertainment:  Writer and actress, Lena Dunham, creator of HBO's "Girls, reveals that she contracted COVID-19 and the symptoms she experiences and still experience.

7/30 - From YahooGMA:  In their bid to crackdown on illegal gatherings amid COVID-19, New York authorities break up an alleged sex party.

7/31 - From Slate:  COVID-19 is airborne - for reals!

8/2 - From TheDailyBeast:  In Mississippi, COVID-19 has coroners terrified.

8/6 - From YahooNews:  Testing everyone constantly could stop the spread of COVID-19... according to this article.

8/8 - From YahooNYT:  The coronavirus is new, but your immune system might recognize it.

8/8 - From YahooNBC:  They thought COVID-19 was a hoax, and they almost died from it or are watching family and loved ones suffer with it or die from it.

8/9 - From YahooNews:  The rest of the world is incredulous at the pitiful U.S. response to COVID-19.

8/9 - From YahooAFP:  According to the real-time tally kept by John Hopkins University, the United States has hit 5 million cases of COVID-19.

8/16 - From Truthout: COVID Deaths Continue to Surge in Countries Led by Far Right Authoritarians

9/19 - From WashPost:  U.S. coronavirus death toll reaches 200,000

9/23 - From CNBC:  Mark Cuban, who owns the NBA's Dallas Mavericks and star of ABC's "Shark Tank," suggests that every household in American get a $1000 check every two weeks for the next two months.

9/28 - From Deadline:  John Hopkins University's coronavirus tracker reports that over 1 million people have died of COVID-19 worldwide.

10/2 - From YahooNews:  President Donald and the First Lady have tested positive for COVID-19.

BLACK LIVES MATTER:

From RSN:   Judge's Blistering Opinion Says Courts Have Placed Police Beyond Accountability

From TheGuardian:  Yusef Salaam, one of the "Central Park Five," says in an interview, "Trump would have had me hanging from a tree in Central Park."

From NPR:  Prosecutors' plea deal required drug suspect to name Breonna Taylor a "co-defendant."

From ChicagoSunTimes:  Rev. Jesse Jackson: America has millions of people in poverty because Americans choose not to demand the policies that would lift them out of poverty.

From APNews:  No one will be held accountable for the killing of Louisville African-American resident, Breonna Taylor.

From Channel4:  Revealed: Trump campaign strategy to deter millions of Black Americans from voting in 2016

From GuardianUK:  California is going to consider paying reparations to the descendants of African slaves after adopting a landmark law to study and to develop proposals around the issue.

From TheRoot:   What to Do When Your Country Turns Into a Dumpster Fire

From Vox:  It's True: 1 in 1,000 Black Americans Have Died in the Covid-19 Pandemic

From CBS:  Breonna Taylor's boyfriend certain cops didn't identify themselves


Saturday, July 14, 2018

Negromancer News Bits and Bites from July 8th to 14th, 2018 - Update #18

Support Leroy on Patreon:

MOVIES - From THR: Scarlet Johansson drops out of playing trans character after backlash.

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EMMYS - From YahooET:  Sandra Oh becomes the first woman of Asian descent to be nominated in a lead actress category, either comedy or drama, at the Emmys.  She has been nominated for her role in the series, "Killing Eve."  The 70th / 2018 Emmy Award winners will be announced, Monday, Sept. 17th.

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MOVIES - From Variety:  Chadwick Boseman will produce and star in STXfilms  "17 Bridges."

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MOVIES - From DreadCentral:  The bloom has steadily degraded on Neill Blomkamp's rose with each film succeeding his stunning debut, "District 9."  After the cancellation of his "Aliens" revival, Blomkamp is now attached to MGM's "Robocop" revival.

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TELEVISION - From YahooTheWrap:  Angela Kang, the new showrunner for "The Walking Dead" talks about Season 9.

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SCANDAL - From ThePlaylist:  New sexual assault allegations have been levied against French director and filmmaker, Luc Besson.

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CELEBRITY - From TIME:  Sarah Palin apparently got punked by Sacha Baron Cohen in an interview.

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STREAMING - From ShadowandAct:  Ava DuVernay's Netflix 'Central Park Five' Limited Series Casts Michael K. Williams, Vera Farmiga And John Leguizamo

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COMICS-FILM - From SlashFilm:  Joaquin Phoenix apparently has really agreed to play "The Joker" in a film based on the antics of Batman's arch-villain.

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CELEBRITY - From TheWrap:  Shine with Reese Witherspoon.

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DISNEY - From JoBlo:   "Indiana Jones 5" has been moved to 2021.

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COMICS-FILM - From TheWrap:  A source says that Jeremy Renner has joined Blumhouse's film, "Spawn," which will star Jamie Foxx and is being directed by Spawn's creator, Todd McFarlane.

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BOX OFFICE - From BoxOfficeMojo:  The winner of the 7/6 to 7/8/2018 weekend box office was Disney/Marvel Studios' "Ant-Man and the Wasp" with an estimated take of $76 million.

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CELEBRITY - From Variety:  "Wonder Woman" star Gal Gadot visits a children's hospital dressed as Wonder Woman."

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COMICS-FILM - From BleedingCool:  Margot Robbie confirms that the Warner Bros./DC Comics film, "Birds of Prey," starts shooting in January 2018.

OBITS:

From YahooEntertainment:  Nancy Sinatra Sr. has died at the age of 101, Friday, July 13, 2018.  Sinatra was the first of legendary singer/actor, the late Frank Sinatra's four wives.  Nancy gave birth to Frank's three children, Nancy Jr., Frank Jr. (who died in 2016), and Tina.

From THR:  The actor Roger Perry has died at the age of 85, Thursday, July 12, 2018.  Perry was a guest star in the first season episode, "Tomorrow is Yesterday" in the original "Star Trek."  Perry played a 1960s Air Force pilot who finds himself aboard the USS Enterprise.  Discovered by Lucille Ball, Perry appeared as an actor and guest in numerous television series.

From Variety:  Actor, singer, and gay icon, Tab Hunter, has died at the age of 86, Sunday, July 8, 2018.  One of Hollywood's leading men in the 1950s, Hunter appeared in "Damn Yankees" and "Battle Cry."  He had a #1 pop single, "Young Love," in 1957.  In the 1980s, he experienced a career revival after appearing in John Water's film, "Polyester" (1981).  He came out as gay in the biography, "Tab Hunter Confidential: The Making of a Movie Star" (2005).

From SeattleTimes:   Former NBA player, Lonnie Shelton, has died at the age of 62, Sunday, July 8, 2018.  Shelton was drafted by the New York Knicks in 1976 out of Oregon State University.  In his first season with the Seattle SuperSonics, Shelton was the starting power forward and enforcer on the Sonics 1978-79 NBA World Championship team.

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Saturday, June 11, 2016

Negromancer News Bits and Bites from June 5th to 11th, 2016 - Update #50

Support Leroy on Patreon.

COMICS - From CinemaBlend:  Mark Ruffalo on the changing dynamic between Hulk and Bruce Banner in "Thor: Ragnarok" (Thor 3).

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COMICS - From JustJared:  Set photos from "Wolverine" with bearded Hugh Jackman.

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OBIT/MUSIC - From YahooMusic:  22-year-old Christina Grimmie, who finished third on NBC's singing competition, "The Voice" (in 2014), was shot and killed at a concert venue in Orlando, Florida, Friday, June 10, 2016.

From YahooNews:  Christina Grimmie's killer has been identified.

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MOVIES - From THR:  Mel Gibson and writer Randall Wallace are working on a sequel to "The Passion of the Christ."

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SPORTS/CRIME - From YahooNews:  Stanford rapist, Brock Turner, banned for life by USA Swimming.  A competitive swimmer for Stanford, Turner had apparently planned on competing for a spot on the U.S. Olympic swimming team.

From YahooNews:  Rape friendly judge, Aaron Persky, also was a student-athlete at Stanford - just like Brock Turner to whom Persky gave a slap-on-the-pinky sentence for sexual assault.

From YahooNews:  Some jurors have refused to serve Judge Aaron Persky.

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SPORTS - From YahooSports:  Trying to be one of the guys, Tampa Bay Rays and Orlando Magic sideline reporter, Emily Austen, dropped some racist comments.  It cost her her job.

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MOVIES - From Variety:  Angelina Jolie interested in "Murder on the Orient Express" remake.

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COMICS - From CinemaBlend:  Sharon Stone drops more clues about her upcoming role in a Marvel movie.

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JAMES BOND - From Forbes:  Will Warner Bros. end up as the new distributor of James Bond films, with Christopher Nolan directing at least one Bond feature?

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OBITS - From YahooSports:  Legendary professional hockey player, Gordie Howe, "Mr. Hockey," has died at the age of 88, Friday, June 10, 2016.  Howe played 26 years in the NHL and six in the WHL.  He won four Stanley Cups with the Detroit Red Wings.

From YahooSports: World reacts to the death of Gordie Howe.

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HARRY POTTER - From Deadline:  Here is a review of the first preview performance of "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child."

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MOVIES - From Deadline:  Universal is making a film adaptation of "Battlestar Galactica," apparently the original 1978 version (and not the 2003-reboot).  Director Francis Lawrence is reportedly interested in helming the film.

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MOVIES - From Variety:  Jennifer Lawrence joins director Adam McKay (The Big Short) for a drama.

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CRIME - From BuzzFeed:  The Stanford rape victim's releases her "Victim Impact Statement."

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BLACK LIVES MATTER - From RSN:  Black Lives Matter activist, Jazmine Richards, jailed.

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POLITICS - From YahooNews:  Barack Obama endorses Hillary Clinton.

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COMICS - From THR:  Michael B. Jordan seems to confirm that he will be in Marvel's "Black Panther."

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MOVIES - From ScreenRant:  Word on the cinematic streets is that Chris Nolan will crash a vintage WWII plane during the filming of "Dunkirk."

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MOVIES - From Deadline:  Ron Howard and Brian Grazer are working on an adaptation of the science fiction novel, "Seveneves," for Skydance.

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PIXAR - From YahooMovies:  More new clips from "Finding Dory."

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COMICS - From YahooMovies:  Oscar-winner actor, J.K. Simmons (Whiplash) has gotten buffed and shredded for his role in the "Justice League" movie.

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COMICS - From TheWrap:  Warner Bros.' "Suicide Squad" movie earns a rating of PG-13.

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BOX OFFICE - From FlickeringMyth:  "Warcraft" opens huge in China, and passes $100 million worldwide.

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COMICS - From Deadline:  Sacha Baron Cohen is apparently interested in playing the lead role in a film adaptation of the newspaper comic strip, "Mandrake the Magician."

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ECO - From Truthout:  Two actors associated with the "Star Trek," James Cromwell and John "J.G." Hertzler, are arrested for an anti-fossil fuel protest.

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COMICS - From YahooFinance:  Are high-value comic books a better investment than the stock market?

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MOVIES - From TheGuardian:  Tom Hiddleston said he doubts that he will succeed Daniel Craig as James Bond.

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MOVIES - From CinemaBlend:  Eddie Murphy and Brett Ratner teaming up for Netflix mockumentary.

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COMICS - From CinemaBlend:  The title of the third Wolverine movie, which is supposed to be the last time Hugh Jacksman plays the characters, is rumored to be titled "Weapon X."

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MOVIES - From YahooCelebrity:  Meryl Streep lathers her face in orange, wears a fat suit with a ridiculously long tie and lampoon Donald Trump.

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SPORTS/OBITS: - From ESPN:   MMA (mixed martial arts) sensation and legend, Kimbo Slice, has died at the age of 42, Monday, June 6, 2016.

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MOVIES - From Deadline:  John Boyega is the lead in the "Pacific Rim" sequel.

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COMICS - From Deadline:  The fall-scheduled "Reborn" comic book might be the next hot Hollywood property from comic book writer, Mark Millar.

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MOVIES - From YahooTech:  Vin Diesel shows off cast photo from "Fast 8."

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CRIME - From YahooStyle:  Stanford rapist, Brock Turner, is at the head of a truly awful case.  He gets off with a slap on the pinky.

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MUSIC - From YahooMusic:  ABBA performs together on stage for the first time in 30 years.

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TELEVISION - From YahooFinance:  John Oliver, host of "Last Week Tonight," buys about $15 million dollars of medical debt from besieged people.

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AWARDS - From YahooMovies:  At the 10th Spike TV Guy's Choice Awards, Matt Damon and Ben Affleck tease their bromance.

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BOX OFFICE - BoxOfficedMojo:  The winner at the 6/3 to 6/5/2016 weekend box office is "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows" with an estimated take of $35.25 million.

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BOOKS - From Truthout:  The beloved lesbian vampire returns in a new printing of "The Gilda Stories.

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STAR TREK - From ScreenRant:   The CBS "Star Trek" revival adds familiar Trek scribes to its writing staff.

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HARRY POTTER:  From People:  J.K. Rowling does not care what the racists thinks.  She gives her blessing to actress Noma Dumezweni, who is black, playing a grown up Hermoine Granger in the play, "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child."

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Muhammad Ali:

From Wikipedia:  Muhammad Ali's page.

From RSN:  Thousands mourn Ali.

From YahooSports:  Live streaming and memorable moments from Muhammad Ali's funeral.

From YahooSports:  Louisville mourns its native son, Muhammad Ali.

From YahooSports:  Ali to be honored at a public funeral on Friday, June 10, 2016.

From TheNewYorker:  David Remnick on the outsized life of Ali.

From YahooSports:  The "Ali Summit" (in which Ali announced that he would not serve in the Vietnam War) was a transformational moment in U.S. history.

From Variety:  Celebrities and athletes pay tribe to Ali.

From CBB:  Johnny Bullet webcomic offers an extra episode honoring Muhammad Ali.

From RollingStone:  The legacy of Muhammad Ali and his enemies.

From LATimes:  There will never be another Muhammad Ali.

From RSN:  Ali's biggest win - in the Supreme Court.



Sunday, February 21, 2016

Morgan Freeman and John Legend Added as Presenters at 2016 Oscars Ceremony

OSCAR WINNERS MORGAN FREEMAN AND JOHN LEGEND ADDED AS PRESENTERS ALONG WITH J.J. ABRAMS, SACHA BARON COHEN AND HENRY CAVILL DAVE GROHL WILL GIVE A SPECIAL PERFORMANCE

Oscar winners Morgan Freeman and John Legend have been added to the list of presenters along with J.J. Abrams, Sacha Baron Cohen and Henry Cavill for the 88th Oscars® telecast. Oscar producers David Hill and Reginald Hudlin also announced a special performance by Dave Grohl for the 88th annual event, hosted by Chris Rock, airing live Oscar Sunday, February 28, 2016, on ABC. 

The most recent list of presenters marks the return of Sacha Baron Cohen, Morgan Freeman and John Legend. J.J. Abrams, Henry Cavill and Dave Grohl take to the Oscar stage for the first time.

“We’re thrilled to be joined by a movie icon, a filmmaking dynamo, a larger than life action hero, a master of satire  and two world renowned music power-hitters, “said Hill and Hudlin. “This year’s show reflects a commitment to showcase cinematic contributions from a variety of genres and this latest list of presenters reflects just that.”  

The 88th Oscars will be held on Sunday, February 28, at the Dolby Theatre® at Hollywood & Highland Center® in Hollywood, and will be televised live by the ABC Television Network at 7:00 p.m. EST/4:00 p.m. PST.  The Oscar presentation also will be televised live in more than 225 countries and territories worldwide.

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Friday, September 25, 2015

Amazon Announces Six Pilots for 2015 "Fall Pilot Season"

Amazon Announces Lineup for its 2015 Fall Pilot Season

Following Amazon’s five Primetime Emmy wins, six pilots will launch from acclaimed creators Shane Black (Lethal Weapon, Iron Man 3), Louis CK (Louie), Diablo Cody (Juno), Sacha Baron Cohen (The Dictator), Steven Conrad (The Secret Life of Walter Mitty), Jonathan Dayton & Valerie Faris (Little Miss Sunshine), Nicole Holofcener (Enough Said), Bob Nelson (Nebraska), Tig Notaro (Boyish Girl Interrupted), Christine Vachon (Still Alice), and Nicole Yorkin & Dawn Prestwich (The Killing)

Shows feature noted talent including Anna Camp (Pitch Perfect), Flea (The Big Lebowski), Ryan Kwanten (True Blood), Shaquille O’Neal (Blended), Terry O’Quinn (Lost), Chris Parnell (Saturday Night Live), Mary Lynn Rajskub (24), Christina Ricci (Monster), and David Strathairn (The Bourne Ultimatum)

SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--(NASDAQ: AMZN)—Amazon today announced the lineup for its fall pilot season which is scheduled to debut later this year exclusively on Amazon Video in the US, UK, Germany and Austria. Amazon customers will find a wide-range of genres in this latest slate of pilots ranging from Good Girls Revolt, a powerful story set in 1969 about a group of young women seeking to be treated fairly and ultimately sparking changes that upend marriages, careers, love and friendship; Z, a half-hour bio-series pilot of Lost Generation legend Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald and her passionate love affair with iconic author F. Scott Fitzgerald; Highston, a family comedy about invisible celebrity friendships to Edge, a western set in the post-Civil War era where one cowboy doles out his own savage brand of justice; and more.

    “We have something for everyone in this season and I am excited to see which shows spark conversation amongst our customers and what they want to be made into series.”

Amazon customers will once again be invited to watch and provide feedback on the shows they want to see turned into full series for Prime members. All pilots will be available via the Amazon Video app for TVs, connected devices and mobile devices, or online at Amazon.com/amazonvideo.

The new half-hour pilots premiering later this year include Highston from Bob Nelson (Nebraska), Directors Jonathan Dayton & Valerie Faris (Little Miss Sunshine) and Executive Producer Sacha Baron Cohen (The Dictator); One Mississippi from Executive Producers Louis CK (Louie), Tig Notaro (Boyish Girl Interrupted), Diablo Cody (Juno) and Executive Producer/Director Nicole Holofcener (Enough Said); and Z from Dawn Prestwich (The Killing) and Nicole Yorkin (The Killing), produced by Pam Koffler and Christine Vachon (Still Alice) and directed by Tim Blake Nelson (Anesthesia). The hour-long pilots will include Edge from Shane Black (Lethal Weapon, Iron Man 3) and Fred Dekker (Tales from the Crypt, Star Trek: Enterprise); Good Girls Revolt written by Dana Calvo (Made in Jersey); and Patriot (working title) from Steven Conrad (The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, The Weather Man).

As well, these pilots feature notable actors including Anna Camp (Pitch Perfect), Flea (The Big Lebowski), Ryan Kwanten (True Blood), Shaquille O’Neal (Blended), Terry O’Quinn (Lost), Chris Parnell (Saturday Night Live), Mary Lynn Rajskub (24), Christina Ricci (Monster), and David Strathairn (The Bourne Ultimatum).

“Our latest pilot season brings together a diverse group of shows that we think customers will really enjoy,” said Roy Price, Vice President, Amazon Studios. “We have something for everyone in this season and I am excited to see which shows spark conversation amongst our customers and what they want to be made into series.”

Amazon’s fall pilot season includes the following shows:

Edge

Based on George G. Gilman's best-selling book series of the same name, which has been described as “the most violent western in print,” Edge showcases the sly, raw power of the western genre. Set in 1868, Max Martini (Pacific Rim, Captain Phillips) stars as Josiah ‘Edge' Hedges—a Union officer turned cowboy, who prowls the post-Civil War American West doling out his own peculiar (and savage) brand of justice. When we meet Edge in the pilot, his mission is personal and his vengeance hath no fury. Edge also stars Ryan Kwanten (True Blood) as Merritt Harknett, and Yvonne Strahovski (The Astronaut Wives Club, Chuck) as Beth. Edge was developed by Shane Black (Lethal Weapon, Iron Man 3) and Fred Dekker (Tales from the Crypt, Star Trek: Enterprise), teleplay by Dekker and Black, is directed by Black, and executive produced by Black, Dekker, Barry Josephson (Bones, Turn: Washington Spies), and David Greenblatt (Battle Los Angeles).

Good Girls Revolt

In 1969, while a cultural revolution with a soundtrack to match swept through the free world, there was still one place that refused to change with the times: newsrooms. Good Girls Revolt follows a group of young female researchers at "News of the Week," who simply ask to be treated fairly. Their revolutionary request will spark convulsive changes and upend marriages, careers, sex lives, love lives, and friendships. Good Girls Revolt stars Genevieve Angelson (Backstrom) as Patti, Anna Camp (Pitch Perfect) as Jane, Erin Darke (We Need to Talk About Kevin) as Cindy, Chris Diamantopoulos (Silicon Valley) as Finn, Hunter Parrish (Weeds) as Doug, Jim Belushi (Show Me a Hero) as Wick McFadden, Joy Bryant (Parenthood) as Eleanor Holmes Norton, and Grace Gummer as Nora Ephron. A co-production with TriStar Television, Good Girls Revolt is written and created by Dana Calvo (Made in Jersey), directed by Liza Johnson (Return), and executive produced by Calvo, Lynda Obst (Interstellar), Darlene Hunt (The Big C), Don Kurt (Justified) and Jeff Okin (Dark Skies, Stanley Park). The pilot is inspired by the landmark sexual discrimination cases chronicled in Lynn Povich's book, The Good Girls Revolt.

Highston

Highston Liggetts (newcomer Lewis Pullman) is a 19-year-old with a wide circle of celebrity friends—that only he can see. His parents, Jean (Mary Lynn Rajskub, 24), and Wilbur (Chris Parnell, Saturday Night Live) force him to get psychiatric help, but his Uncle Billy (Curtis Armstrong, American Dad!) thinks he’s just fine. Highston is a comedy about what it means to be normal in a world that’s anything but. The pilot guest stars Shaquille O’Neal (Thunderstruck) and Flea (The Big Lewbowski), and is written by Oscar-nominee Bob Nelson (Nebraska), directed by Independent Spirit Award winners Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris (Little Miss Sunshine), and executive produced by Sacha Baron Cohen (The Dictator), Todd Hoffman (Love Stinks), Nelson, and Todd Schulman (Bruno).

One Mississippi

A dark comedy, loosely inspired by Tig Notaro’s (Boyish Girl Interrupted) life, One Mississippi follows Tig as she deals with the complex reentry into her childhood hometown of Bay Saint Lucille, Mississippi, to deal with the unexpected death of her mother, the interminable life of the party, Caroline. Reeling from her own recently declining health, Tig struggles to find her footing with the loss of the one person who actually understood her, with help from her older but not always wiser brother, Remy, played by Noah Harpster (Transparent), and her emotionally distant stepfather, Bill, played by John Rothman (The Devil Wears Prada). A surprise visit from Tig’s girlfriend, Brooke, played by Casey Wilson (Gone Girl) only compounds the reality of how out of place Tig is in a world without her mother. A co-production with FX Productions, One Mississippi is written and executive produced by Notaro and Diablo Cody (Juno), executive produced by Louis CK (Louie), Blair Breard (Louie), and Dave Becky (Everybody Hates Chris), with pilot directed and executive produced by Nicole Holofcener (Enough Said).

Patriot

The political thriller Patriot follows the complicated life of intelligence officer John Tavner (Australian newcomer Michael Dorman, Wonderland). His latest assignment is to prevent Iran from going nuclear, requiring him to forgo all safety nets and assume a perilous "non-official cover" -- that of a mid-level employee at a Midwestern industrial piping firm. A bout with PTSD, the Federal government’s incompetence, and the intricacies of keeping a day job in the “front” industrial piping company, cause a barrage of ever-escalating fiascos that jeopardize Tavner’s mission. The pilot also stars Terry O’Quinn (Lost) as Tom Tavner, John's State Department Director of Intelligence father, Michael Chernus (Manhattan Project), as John's older brother Edward Tavner, a young Texas congressman, Kathleen Munroe (Call Me Fitz), as John's wife Alice, Aliette Opheim (Sandor slash Ida) as Agathe, a brilliant young homicide detective from Luxembourg hot on John's trail, and Kurtwood Smith (That 70s Show) as Mr. Claret, John's stickler of a new "boss" at the piping firm. Patriot is written and directed by Steven Conrad (The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, The Weather Man), and executive produced by Conrad, Gil Bellows (Temple Grandin), Glen Ficarra (Crazy Stupid Love, Focus), Charlie Gogolak (Focus), and John Requa (Crazy Stupid Love, Focus).

Z

Z is a bio-series pilot based on the life of Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald, the brilliant, beautiful and talented Southern Belle who becomes the original flapper and icon of the wild, flamboyant Jazz Age in the 20s. Starring Christina Ricci (Monster) as Zelda Sayre, Z starts before she meets the unpublished writer F. Scott Fitzgerald (Gavin Stenhouse, Allegiance), and moves through their passionate, turbulent love affair and their marriage—made in heaven, lived out in hell as the celebrity couple of their time. The series travels through the wild parties, the wicked jazz, the dissolute artists of the era, as well as the alcoholism, adultery and struggle with dashed dreams and mental illness that characterizes their later years. Z dives into the fascinating life of a woman ahead of her time, an artist determined to establish her own identity in the tempestuous wake of a world-famous husband. The show pulls back the curtain on her triumphs and dark secrets. It's a modern take on one of the most notorious love stories of all time, played out in salons and speak-easies from Montgomery, Alabama to the Cote D'Azur. Z is written by Dawn Prestwich (The Killing) and Nicole Yorkin (The Killing), directed by Tim Blake Nelson (Anesthesia), and executive produced by Pamela Koffler (Still Alice) and Christine Vachon (One Hour Photo) of Killer Films, as well as Ricci. The show also guest stars David Strathairn (Good Night and Good Luck) as Judge Anthony Dickerson Sayre, Kristine Nielsen (Savages) as Minnie Sayre, Maya Kazan (The Knick) as Livye Hart, Sarah Schenkkan (30 Rock) as Eleanor Browder, Jamie Anne Allman (The Killing) as Tootsie Sayre, and Holly Curran (Alpha House) as Tilde Sayre.


About Amazon Video
Amazon Video includes tens of thousands of movies and TV episodes available on Prime Video at no additional charge to Prime members, as well as access to hundreds of thousands of titles to buy or rent. Amazon Video is the only service in the world that brings customers both of these options in one place.

Prime Video, available on Amazon Video, lets Prime members enjoy binge-worthy TV shows including Amazon Original Series airing now such as the multi-Golden Globe-winning and Emmy-winning series Transparent, Hand of God, Bosch, Catastrophe and Mozart in the Jungle as well as hit series like Sex and the City, Veep, Girls, The Sopranos, Entourage, Curb Your Enthusiasm and The Wire. Prime Video also offers members blockbuster movies such as Transformers: Age of Extinction, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, Star Trek Into Darkness and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, among others. Prime members have access to a collection of kids shows including Amazon Original Series Annedroids, Gortimer Gibbon’s Life on Normal Street and the Annecy, Annie and multi-Emmy Award-winning Tumble Leaf, as well as popular shows from Nickelodeon and Nick Jr. including SpongeBob SquarePants, Dora the Explorer, Team Umizoomi, and Blue’s Clues.

Prime members can look forward to several new upcoming original series premiering this year, with the coming-of-age dramedy Red Oaks premiering on October 9, followed by the much anticipated adaptation of Philip K. Dick’s The Man in the High Castle on November 20, and season two of Emmy-winning Transparent December 4. Coming in 2016 will be the second seasons of Mozart in the Jungle, Bosch and romantic comedy, Catastrophe, along with the debut season of The New Yorker Presents.

In addition to tens of thousands of titles to instantly stream on Prime Video, the Amazon Prime membership (www.amazon.com/prime) includes more than one million songs, more than a thousand playlists and hundreds of stations through Prime Music, unlimited Free Two-Day Shipping on millions of items, early access to select Lightning Deals, unlimited photo storage with Amazon Photos, and access to borrow from more than 800,000 books for Kindle owners–all for $99 a year.

Amazon Video can be accessed through the Amazon Video app on TVs, connected devices and mobile devices, or online at Amazon.com/amazonvideo. Prime Video titles can also be downloaded for offline enjoyment—the only subscription streaming service to offer this functionality. Customers who are not already Prime members can sign up for a free trial at Amazon.com/prime.

About Amazon
Amazon.com opened on the World Wide Web in July 1995. The company is guided by four principles: customer obsession rather than competitor focus, passion for invention, commitment to operational excellence, and long-term thinking. Customer reviews, 1-Click shopping, personalized recommendations, Prime, Fulfillment by Amazon, AWS, Kindle Direct Publishing, Kindle, Fire tablets, Fire TV, Amazon Echo, and Alexa are some of the products and services pioneered by Amazon.

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Monday, October 22, 2012

Review: "Madagascar 3" is DreamWorks Animation's Best to Date

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 79 (of 2012) by Leroy Douresseaux

Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted (2012)
Running time: 93 minutes (1 hour, 43 minutes)
MPAA – PG for mild crude humor
DIRECTORS: Eric Darnell, Tom McGrath, and Conrad Vernon
WRITERS: Eric Darnell and Noah Baumbach
PRODUCERS: Mireille Soria and Mark Swift
EDITOR: Nick Fletcher
COMPOSER: Hans Zimmer

ANIMATION/COMEDY/FANTASY/ACTION/FAMILY

Starring: (voices) Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, David Schwimmer, Jada Pinkett Smith, Sacha Baron Cohen, Cedric the Entertainer, Andy Richter, Tom McGrath, Frances McDormand, Jessica Chastain, Bryan Cranston, Martin Short, Chris Miller, Christopher Knights, John DiMaggio, Paz Vega, Frank Welker and Vinnie Jones

The subject of this movie review is Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted, a 2012 3D computer-animated film from DreamWorks Animation. It is the third movie in the Madagascar film series, following Madagascar (2005) and Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa (2008). Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted finds Alex, Marty, Gloria and Melman on the run in Europe and hiding with a traveling circus, which needs their help.

Alex the Lion (Ben Stiller) was the king of New York City’s Central Park Zoo. A series of bizarre incidents found Alex and his friends: Marty the Zebra (Chris Rock), Melman the Giraffe (David Schwimmer), and Gloria the Hippo (Jada Pinkett Smith), as well as four crafty Penguins: Skipper (Tom McGrath), Kowalski (Chris Miller), Private (Christopher Knights), and Rico (John DiMaggio), stranded on the exotic island of Madagascar. They make new friends, the Madagascar lemurs: King Julien (Sacha Baron Cohen), Maurice (Cedric the Entertainer), and Mort (Andy Richter).

Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted finds Alex, Marty, Gloria and Melman headed to Monaco, Monte Carlo in search of the penguins and their two chimpanzee companions, Mason and Phil. What they find is trouble in the form of Captain Chantal DuBois (Frances McDormand) of Monaco Animal Control. On the run from DuBois and her cohorts, Alex and company find a safe haven with Zaragoza Circus. The circus, which has seen better days, needs some help, but its animal denizens are suspicious of the newcomers. Alex sets out to reinvent the circus, a miracle that just may get him and his friends home – finally!

Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted is the best film in the Madagascar franchise. I’d planned on seeing it in a theatre, but I wasn’t really that enthused about it. I rented Madagascar 3 on DVD, and gave the copy to my mother. After watching it, she wanted to know if she could keep the disc to watch it a second time. She rarely watches films a second time, so I knew something was up. After watching the first few minutes of the film, I knew that it was going to be good. By the time the action explodes in the Hotel De Paris sequence, I knew that this movie was going to be something special, and it is. Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted is the best film DreamWorks Animation has produced to date – even better than the exceptional Kung Fu Panda movies. What’s the difference between Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted and the earlier Madagascar films and most other DreamWorks’ cartoons? The difference is the writing/storytelling.

I’ve come across commentary that describes DreamWorks as the tech guys of computer animation and Pixar Animation Studios as the art of storytelling guys. There is some truth to that. DreamWorks is producing computer-animated films in which the quality of the animation in terms of movement of characters and objects is improving by sky-high leaps and bounds. The stories in Pixar’s films have heart and the characters almost seem like real people, as seen in the Toy Story films, Wall-E, and Up. These films captivate adults as much as they capture the imagination of children.

Europe’s Most Wanted has heart. The earlier Madagascar films relied on the personality quirks and the motivation and conflicts of the characters, but the plots and action weren’t as interesting or as funny as the characters. In fact, whenever the characters fell flat in the first two films, the plots could not rise to the level where the characters had been. The first film was interesting, and the second was not quite as good, but had its moments.

Europe’s Most Wanted has one great moment after another; the narrative is entrancing, and the action is exhilarating. This allows the characters, main and supporting, to shine, as excellent performers usually do when they have top-notch material. Of course, the animation is great, some of the best ever; it’s DreamWorks Animation, after all.

This movie also adds three fine new characters: Gia the Italian jaguar (Jessica Chastain), Vitaly the Russian tiger (Bryan Cranston), and Stefano the Italian sea lion (Martin Short). All three of the actors playing these characters give superb voice-acting performances. They help make Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted better than the earlier films – a lavish spectacle of animation brilliance. This story about the meaning of home and friendship is one of the great animated films in recent memory. I want to watch it again.

9 of 10
A+

Sunday, October 21, 2012

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