Showing posts with label Tim Blake Nelson. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Tim Blake Nelson. Show all posts

Saturday, January 14, 2023

Negromancer News Bits and Bites from January 8th to 14th, 2023 - Update #20

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

You can support Leroy via Paypal or on Patreon:


TELEVISION - From Deadline:  "Snowpiercer," TNT's last remaining original scripted drama, is also leaving the cable network.  Season 4 of "Snowpiercer" has been completed and was to be the series' finale.  It will be shopped around to other networks.

MOVIES - From Variety:  "Variety" has a revealing Q&A with the great horror and science fiction filmmaker, John Carpenter ("Halloween," "They Live," "The Fog").

MOVIES - From ScreenGeek:  Just when you thought it was safe to go outside again ... and visit movie theater comes word that Mel Gibson will begin filming the sequel to his 2004 mega-hit, "The Passion of the Christ," sometime this coming spring.  The title is apparently "The Passion of the Christ: Resurrection."

GOLDEN GLOBES - From Deadline:  For those who care (and I don't care as much as I once did), the winners of the 2023 / 80th Golden Globes Awards were announced last night (Tues., Jan. 10th).  "The Fabelmans" won for "Best Motion Picture-Drama" and "The Banshees of Inisherin" won for "Best Motion Picture-Musical or Comedy."

From DeadlineEddie Murphy was the recipient of the Cecil B. DeMille Award at the 80th Annual Golden Globes on Tuesday night (Jan. 10th). Murphy ended his speech with the “blueprint” for up-and-coming actors to achieve success in the industry.  “I want to let you know that there is a definitive blueprint that you can follow to achieve success, prosperity, longevity and peace of mind,” he said. “There’s a blueprint and I followed it my whole career. It’s very simple.” Murphy continued, “Just do these three things: Pay your taxes, mind your business and keep Will Smith’s wife’s name out your f*cking mouth.”

NETFLIX - From THR:  Netflix debuts a trailer for "You People," the new film from Kenya Barris, the creator of ABC's former sitcom hit, "black-ish."  The film stars Eddie Murphy, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, David Duchovny, and Jonah Hill.

MOVIES - From THR:  Halfway through its production in Atlanta, Georgia, director Francis Ford Coppola's new film, "Megalopolis," is in trouble with the loss of key creative talent and the exit of its entire visual effects team.

From Deadline:  Hold up, boo!  Francis Ford Coppola says that there is no truth to the rumors of "Megalopolis" being in trouble.

TELEVISION - From Deadline: TV super-producer, Greg Berlanti, has signed a new four-year exclusive deal with Warner Bros. Television Group.  Berlanti was the architect of DC Comics' live-action TV series on The CW broadcast network.

MOVIES - From THR:   Actor Tim Blake Nelson has joined director Denis Villleneuve's "Dune: Part 2."

BOX OFFICE - From BoxOfficePro:  The winner of the 1/6/2023 to 1/8/2023 weekend box office is "Avatar: The Way of Water" with an estimated take of 45 million dollars.

From Here:  Leroy Douresseaux's review of "Avatar: The Way of Water."

MOVIES - From Deadline:  Director Eli Roth has not been fired as the director of Lionsgate's "Borderlands," a film based on the video game.  Instead Roth has hand reshoot duties on the film to director Tim Miller ("Deadpool") so that he can begin work on his next film, "Thanksgiving."

STREAMING - From Variety:   After premiering on Dec. 22, 2022, “The Best Man: The Final Chapters” became NBCUniversal streaming service, Peacock’s first original project to make it onto Nielsen’s Top 10 streaming rankings.  It is at #5 in an early version of the Dec. 19th to 25th, 2022 chart.


From Deadline:  Singer-songwriter, Lisa Marie Presley, has died at the age of 54, Thursday, January 12, 2023.  She was the only child of rock 'n' roll icon, Elvis Presley and Priscilla Presley.  Presley recorded three studios albums, including the gold-certified "To Whom it May Concern" (2003).

From BBC:  English rock guitarist, Jeff Beck, has died at the age of 78, Tuesday, January 10, 2023.  One of the most influential rock guitarists ever, Beck was best known for his association with the bands, "The Yardbirds" and "The Jeff Beck Group."  He was nominated for 16 Grammy Awards and won eight of them.

From Deadline:  The great American cinematographer, Owen Roizman, has died at the age of 86, Friday, January 6, 2023.  He received five "Best Cinematography" Oscar nominations, including for his work on "The French Connection" (1971) and "The Exorcist" (1973).  He received the "Academy Honorary Award" in 2017.

From Variety:  Film and television actor and voice performer, Earl Boen, has died at the age of 81, Thursday, January 5, 2023.  Boen was best known for playing criminal psychologist, Dr. Peter Silberman, in three film in the "Terminator" film series, beginning with 1984's "The Terminator."  However, Boen appeared in numerous other films, including "9 to 5" (1980) and "To Be or Not to Be" (1983).  Boen also appeared in guest roles on multiple TV series, including "Seinfeld," "Star Trek: The Next Generation," and "The West Wing," to name a few.  From 1988 to 2004, Boen was a voice actor, performing in almost 40 animated TV series in various genres.


From Deadline:  The nominees for the 2023 / 34th Producers Guild of America Awards have been announced in both film and TV categories.  The winners will be announced Sat. Feb. 25th, 2023.

From Deadline:  The nominations for the 2023 / 29th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards have been announced.  The winners will be announced Sun., Feb. 26th, 2023.

From DeadlineThe National Society of Film Critics has named "Tar" its "Best Picture" of 2023 and its star, Cate Blanchette, as "Best Actress."

From Deadline:  The nominations for the 2023 / 23rd Annual Black Reel Awards have been announced.  "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever" and "The Woman King" have tied for the lead in nominations with 14 apiece.  The winners will be announced February 6, 2023.

From Deadline:  The Black Film Critics Circle named "The Woman King" the "Best Film" of 2022.

From Deadline:  The winners of the 2022 Los Angeles Film Critics Association (LAFCA) Awards have been announced.  "Everything Everywhere All at Once" and "Tar" tie for "Best Picture" award.

From Deadline:  The nominations for the 2023 / 80th annual Golden Globes Awards were announced today (Mon., Dec. 12th).  "The Banshees of Inisherin" led the film field with eight nominations. ABC's "Abbot Elementary" lead the TV side with five nominations.  The winners will be announced January 10, 2023.

From Deadline:  The American Film Institute (AFI) has named its "AFI Awards Film" list of "Top 10 Films of 2022."  The list includes "Avatar: The Way of Water," "Top Gun: Maverick," and "The Woman King."

From THR:  The African-American Film Critics Association name "The Woman King" the "Best Film of 2022."

From Deadline:  The nominations for the "2023 Critics Choice Awards" in the television categories have been announced.  ABC's sitcom, "Abbot Elementary" leads the nominations.  The winners will be announced Sunday, January 15, 2023 and broadcast on The CW.

From Variety:  The 2022 / 88th Annual New York Film Critics Circle (NYFCC) Awards have been announced.  Todd Field's "Tar" wins "Best Film" and "Best Actress" (Cate Blanchett).  Keke Palmer wins "Best Supporting Actress" for her performance in "Nope."

From Deadline:  "Everything Everywhere All at Once" wins the "Best Feature" award at the 2022 / 32nd Annual Gotham Awards, one of two wins for the film.

From IndieWire:  The nominations for the 2023 Film Independent Spirit Awards have been announced.   "Everything Everywhere All at Once" leads with eight nominations.  The winners will be announced March 4th, 2023.

From Variety:  The nominations for the 2022 / 32nd Annual Gotham Awards were announced a month ago.  Todd Field's "Tar" leads with five nominations.  The winners will be announced Monday, November 28th.



From CBSNews:  WNBA star Brittney Griner has been released from her Russian imprisonment in a one-for-one prisoner swap for notorious international arms dealer, Viktor Bout.

From NBCNews:   Brittney Griner will enter a system of isolation, grueling labor and psychological torment when she is transferred to a penal colony, the successor to the infamous Russian gulag, to fulfill a nine-year sentence handed down Tuesday in Moscow, former prisoners and advocates said.

From NBCNews:  A Russian court has rejected Brittney Griner's appeal of her nine-year prison sentence on (fake) drug charges.

From Reuters:  Russia says that it is ready to talk prisoner swamp for Brittney Griner and U.S. Marine veteran Paul Whelan, but also scolds the U.S. Embassy.

From TheDailyBeast:   Legendary NBA bad boy and champion (Detroit Pistons, Chicago Bulls), Dennis Rodman claims that he has been given permission to go to Russia and help free imprisoned hostage, WNBA star, Brittney Griner.

From Vox:  Vox's Jonathan Guyer talks the Brittney Griner case with Danielle Gilbert, a Dartmouth professor who is writing a book about states and rogue actors that take hostages.

From ESPN:   A Russian court sentenced WNBA star Brittney Griner to nine years in prison Thursday, Aug. 4th.  Griner was arrested Feb. 17 for bringing cannabis into the country and pleaded guilty July 7, though the case continued under Russian law.

From ESPN:  The Biden administration has offered a deal to Russia aimed at bringing home WNBA star Brittney Griner and another jailed American, Paul Whelan, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Wednesday.

From RSN:  "Will Support From LeBron James, Joe Rogan, Kim Kardashian, and Other Celebrities Help Free Brittney Griner From a Russian Prison?" by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar via Substack

From ESPN:  Detained WNBA star Brittney Griner pleaded guilty on Thursday to bringing hashish oil into Russia, telling a judge that she had done so "inadvertently" while asking the court for mercy.

From CBSSports:  The Brittney Griner situation explained.

From RSN:  According to The Washington Post Editorial Board: "Brittney Griner is a hostage, plain and simple."

Thursday, January 9, 2020

Celebrities Celebrate New Film, "Just Mercy"

Celebrities, Sports Teams, Athletes, Churches and Major Corporations Champion “Just Mercy,” the Acclaimed Film About Real-Life Hero Bryan Stevenson, Starring Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Foxx and Brie Larson

BURBANK, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Leading up to the Friday, January 10th, 2020 nationwide release of Warner Bros. Pictures’ “Just Mercy,” a growing list of luminaries, sports teams, faith leaders and global corporations have come out in support of the film through theatre buyouts. The film, which opened in limited release on Christmas Day, has struck a chord with critics and moviegoers, earning an exceedingly rare A+ CinemaScore in addition to being Certified Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes with a 99% Audience Score. “Just Mercy” has also won seven Audience Awards at film festivals across the country, including the Mill Valley, Chicago, Virginia, New Orleans, Twin Cities and Heartland Film Festivals.

People are inspired by the story of a true hero for our time, attorney Bryan Stevenson, a Black man who courageously took on powerful forces in Alabama to save the life of an innocent Black man on death row. Bryan has since become an indomitable force for change, both in his community and across the nation, tirelessly fighting for justice for people trapped in a system where the cards are often stacked against them.

Stars from the worlds of sports, acting, fashion and music, as well as sports teams, key faith leaders and churches, and multinational corporations, have been motivated to buy out entire theatres and offer free admission, in hopes of making this powerful story accessible to as many people as possible. Some of those on the growing list of those doing theatre buyouts include:

    Kobe Bryant
    Kanye and Kim Kardashian West
    John Legend
    Lena Waithe
    Garrett Temple from the Brooklyn Nets
    Devin McCourty, New England Patriots Defensive Back #32
    Jason McCourty, New England Patriots Cornerback #30
    JPMorgan Chase
    Prudential Financial
    Goldman Sachs Urban Investment Group
    Eastdil Secured
    The Margaret and Daniel Loeb Foundation & Third Point LLC
    The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation
    Chris & Crystal Sacca
    Michael & Lydia Kives
    Sheryl Leach
    William McMorrow, Chairman and CEO of Kennedy Wilson
    just keep livin foundation
    Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics
    Pastor Jamal Bryant and New Birth Church, Atlanta
    Dr. Irishea Hilliard and New Light Church, Houston
    Bishop Dale Bronner and Word of Faith Family Worship Cathedral, Atlanta

Sports teams including:
        From the NBA: Los Angeles Lakers, Cleveland Cavaliers, Memphis Grizzlies, Utah Jazz, Milwaukee Bucks, Sacramento Kings

        From the NFL: San Francisco 49ers, Los Angeles Rams, Atlanta Falcons

About “Just Mercy”:
Michael B. Jordan (“Black Panther,” the “Creed” films, “Fruitvale Station”) and Oscar winners Jamie Foxx (“Ray,” “Baby Driver,” “Django: Unchained”) and Brie Larson (“Room,” “Short Term 12,” “Captain Marvel”) star in “Just Mercy.” Award-winning filmmaker Destin Daniel Cretton (“The Glass Castle,” “Short Term 12”) directed the film from a screenplay he co-wrote, based on Bryan Stevenson’s bestselling memoir.

The main cast also includes Rob Morgan, Tim Blake Nelson, Rafe Spall, O’Shea Jackson Jr. and Karan Kendrick. The film was produced by two-time Oscar nominee Gil Netter (“Life of Pi,” “The Blind Side”), Asher Goldstein (“Short Term 12”) and Michael B. Jordan. Bryan Stevenson, Mike Drake, Niija Kuykendall, Gabriel Hammond, Daniel Hammond, Scott Budnick, Jeff Skoll and Charles D. King served as executive producers. Cretton co-wrote the screenplay with Andrew Lanham, based on Stevenson’s book Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption, which has spent more than 180 weeks on The New York Times Best Sellers List and counting.

Warner Bros. Pictures presents, in Association with Endeavor Content/One Community/Participant Media/Macro, a Gil Netter Production, an Outlier Society Production, “Just Mercy.” Distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, the film has been rated PG-13 for thematic content, including some racial epithets.


Thursday, September 13, 2018

"Just Mercy," Starring Michael B. Jordan and Jamie Foxx, Begins Shooting

Cameras Roll on the True-Life Drama “Just Mercy”

Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Foxx and Brie Larson star in the film, which brings one of the most important stories of our time to the big screen

BURBANK, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Principal photography began on Warner Bros. Pictures’ inspiring drama “Just Mercy,” based on the award-winning nonfiction bestseller by Bryan Stevenson. The film stars Michael B. Jordan (“Black Panther,” “Creed,” upcoming “Creed II”) and Oscar winners Jamie Foxx (“Ray,” “Baby Driver,” “Django: Unchained”) and Brie Larson (“Room,” “The Glass Castle,” upcoming “Captain Marvel”). Award-winning filmmaker Destin Daniel Cretton (“The Glass Castle,” “Short Term 12”) is directing “Just Mercy.”

A powerful and thought-provoking true story, “Just Mercy” follows young lawyer Bryan Stevenson (Jordan) and his history-making battle for justice. After graduating from Harvard, Bryan might have had his pick of lucrative jobs. Instead, he heads to Alabama to defend those wrongly condemned, with the support of local advocate Eva Ansley (Larson). One of his first, and most incendiary, cases is that of Walter McMillian (Foxx), who, in 1987, was sentenced to die for the notorious murder of an 18-year-old girl, despite a preponderance of evidence proving his innocence and the fact that the only testimony against him came from a criminal with a motive to lie. In the years that follow, Bryan becomes embroiled in a labyrinth of legal and political maneuverings and overt and unabashed racism as he fights for Walter, and others like him, with the odds—and the system—stacked against them.

The film is being produced by two-time Oscar nominee Gil Netter (“Life of Pi,” “The Blind Side”) and Asher Goldstein (“Short Term 12”), with Mike Drake, Michael B. Jordan, Bryan Stevenson, Gabriel Hammond, Daniel Hammond and Niija Kuykendall serving as executive producers. Cretton is helming the film from a screenplay he co-wrote with Andrew Lanham (“The Glass Castle”), based on Stevenson’s book Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption. Published in 2014 by Spiegel & Grau, the book has spent 118 weeks on The New York Times Best Sellers List, and counting, and was named one of the year’s best books by a number of top publications, including TIME Magazine. For the book, Stevenson also won the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence, an NAACP Image Award, and the Dayton Literary Peace Prize for Nonfiction.

The main cast also includes O’Shea Jackson Jr. (“Straight Outta Compton”) as Anthony Ray Hinton, another wrongly convicted death row inmate whose cause is taken up by Bryan; Rob Morgan (“Mudbound”) as Herbert Richardson, who also sits on death row awaiting his fate; and Tim Blake Nelson (“Wormwood”) as Ralph Myers, whose pivotal testimony against Walter McMillian is called into question.

The creative team working with Cretton behind the scenes includes director of photography Brett Pawlak, production designer Sharon Seymour, editor Nat Sanders and composer Joel P. West, all of whom previously collaborated with the director on “The Glass Castle.” They are joined by costume designer Francine Jamison-Tanchuck (“Detroit,” “Roman J. Israel, Esq.”).

“Just Mercy” is being shot almost entirely on location in and around Atlanta, Georgia, with a few scenes also filmed in Montgomery, Alabama.

A presentation of Warner Bros. Pictures, a Gil Netter Production, an Outlier Society Production, “Just Mercy” is slated for release on January 17, 2020, and will be distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures.


Thursday, December 24, 2015

Review: New "Fantastic Four" is Fantastically Problematic

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 49 (of 2015) by Leroy Douresseaux

[A version of this review originally appeared on Patreon.]

Fantastic Four (2015)
Running time:  100 minutes (1 hour, 40 minutes)
MPAA – PG-13 for sci-fi action violence, and language
DIRECTOR:  Josh Trank
WRITERS:  Simon Kinberg, Jeremy Slater, and Josh Trank (based on characters created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby)
PRODUCERS:  Gregory Goodman, Simon Kinberg, Robert Kulzer, Hutch Parker, and Matthew Vaughn
EDITORS:  Elliot Greenberg and Stephen E. Rivkin
COMPOSER:  Marco Beltrami and Philip Glass


Starring:  Miles Teller, Michael B. Jordan, Kata Mara, Jamie Bell, Toby Kebbell, Reg E. Cathey, Tim Blake Nelson, Owen Judge, Evan Hannemann, Don Yesso, and Dan Castellaneta

Fantastic Four is a 2015 superhero movie and science fiction film from director Josh Trank.  It is the third film in 20th Century Fox's Fantastic Four film franchise, and it is also a reboot of that franchise.  Fantastic Four 2015 follows four young people whose physical forms are changed in shocking ways after being exposed to energy from an alternate and dangerous universe.

Reed Richards (Miles Teller) and Ben Grimm (Jamie Bell) have been friends since childhood, when Ben started helping Reed build his prototype teleportation device.  It is in high school when they attract the attention of Professor Franklin Storm (Reg E. Cathey), who is the director of the Baxter Foundation, a government-sponsored research institute for young prodigies.

Reed joins the foundation and begins working with Storm's adopted daughter, Susan “Sue” Storm (Kate Mara), and eventually his son, Johnny Storm (Michael B. Jordan).  Reed also gets to work with Professor Storm's wayward protege, Victor Von Doom (Toby Kebbell).  Together, this quartet builds a device called the “Quantum Gate,” which opens a way to “Zero,” a planet in an parallel dimension.  Awaiting those who travel to “Zero,” however, is energy that will change them in unimaginable and fantastic ways.

Fantastic Four isn't a good movie, but it isn't a terrible movie.  It is like flavorless chewing gum.  The gum might start with a lot of promise, but pretty soon you're just chewing for the sake of chewing and the flavor is gone.  That is this Fantastic Four reboot.  It starts off with promise, but pretty soon, the story seems to be just going through the motions, and I was simply watching it out of habit, waiting for the end credits to roll.

Fantastic Four 2015 is mostly build-up.  In some ways, it is like a long teaser for another movie, the real Fantastic Four (or “FF”) movie that is “coming soon.”  What we get with this new movie is something akin to a prologue or an overly long introductory act.  In fact, this film's big villain, called “Doom,” rather than Doctor Doom, does not show up until the last 10 or 15 minutes of the movie.

I think that there are a kernel or two of good ideas in this new Fantastic Four that could become something good... in a second movie... produced by an entirely different group of people.  I think that the special effects for Reed Richards' (Mr. Fantastic) stretching powers is much better than it was in the 2005 and 2007 Fantastic Four films.  Ben Grimm (The Thing) looks better in this reboot than in the earlier films.  Hard as it is to believe, Kate Mara as Sue Storm  is worse than Jessica Alba as Sue in the first two films.  I like Michael B. Jordan, but his Johnny Storm (Human Torch) is stiff compared to Chris Evans' rascally Human Torch from the earlier films.

Overall, director Josh Trank has made a Fantastic Four film that is actually less entertaining than Tim Story's uneven 2005 and 2007 FF films.  I wouldn't recommend this even to comic book fans.  It is so mediocre and uninspiring that it isn't even awful enough to be an enjoyable “bad movie.”  It is like the ultimate average and bland film.  This Fantastic Four makes it clear that 20th Century Fox should just stop making Fantastic Four movies.

4 of 10

Saturday, August 8, 2015

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

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Review: The Hulk is Incredible in "The Incredible Hulk"

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 29 (of 2008) by Leroy Douresseaux

The Incredible Hulk (2008)
Running time: 114 minutes (1 hour, 54 minutes)
MPAA – PG-13 for sequences of intense action violence, some frightening sci-fi images, and brief suggestive content
DIRECTOR: Louis Leterrier
WRITER: Zak Penn; from his screen story (based upon the comic book created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby)
PRODUCERS: Avi Arad, Kevin Feige, and Gale Anne Hurd
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Peter Menzies, Jr. (D.o.P.)
EDITORS: Rick Shaine and John Wright


Starring: Edward Norton, Liv Tyler, Tim Roth, William Hurt, Tim Blake Nelson, Ty Burrell, Christina Cabot, Peter Mensah, and Lou Ferrigno

After the box office and critical disappointment that was the 2003 film, The Hulk, directed by Ang Lee (Brokeback Mountain), the people at Marvel Entertainment, which publishes Hulk comic books through Marvel Comics, believed that they could make a more successful Hulk flick. Five years later, Marvel Studios is making its own films from its comic book characters (like the recent box office smash, Iron Man). Now, Marvel finally has the chance to do the Hulk right, and Marvel certainly gets it right with The Incredible Hulk, a movie that offers a raging good time.

Hiding in Brazil, scientist Bruce Banner (Edward Norton) desperately hunts for a cure for the gamma radiation that has not only poisoned his cells, but when he becomes angry also transforms him into that unbridled, green force of rage, The Hulk. Banner lives in the shadows, cut off from the life he knew and the woman he loves, Betty Ross (Liv Tyler). Banner has been secretly corresponding with another scientist back in the U.S., but he accidentally alerts the U.S. military to his whereabouts. Soon, Banner’s old nemesis and Betty’s father, General Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross (William Hurt), is leading a special operations force to capture Banner. Ross wants to dissect Banner until he learns the secrets inside him that turn him into the Hulk.

This time around, General Ross has the assistance of a Russian-born, British mercenary, Emil Blonsky (Tim Roth). When Ross and Blonsky find Banner upon his return to America to meet Betty, it starts a confrontation that leads to Banner becoming the Hulk. Determined to match the power of the Hulk, Blonsky agrees to submit his body to the same kind of weird science that created the Hulk. Now, Blonsky has turned himself into an “Abomination,” and heads to New York City for a final showdown with The Incredible Hulk.

The Incredible Hulk is an incredibly entertaining film… when the Hulk is onscreen. In that way, this movie is a bit strange. The dramatic bits – relationships, conflicts, dialogue – are very slow. There are times when The Incredible Hulk elicits neither interest nor disinterest. I found myself sitting in the theatre watching a movie, and I felt the same as if I were merely watching eggs boil.

Then, Mr. Hulk shows up, and The Incredible Hulk just freakin’ explodes with energy. When this green behemoth is onscreen, this movie is so much more fun. I could feel the power; it was as if the angrier the Hulk became, the more I enjoyed the movie. That’s scary, but maybe the secret to making a good Hulk movie is to make it scary. The Hulk is monster; unleashed and angry, he’s is destruction, damage, and devastation.

This untamed and fierce force of nature is the result of some great special effects and CGI work. They got it right. When the Hulk rages, flexes, and roars, we should be scared, and the visual effects guys gave the movie just what it needed. Yes, this CGI Hulk steals the show from the actors – especially Ed Norton, who is such a fine actor. Yet Norton doesn’t really get much traction in this film – especially considering that we’re here for the Hulk show. Evidence suggests that Norton is indeed upset that too much of his thespian magic was left out of the final cut of this film, so he can’t shine and has to take second place to a computer created character.

But The Incredible Hulk is really about… the Incredible Hulk. Boy does this green monster make the most of his onscreen time. The action is big, violent, and not so dumb that it can’t figure out a way to smash your head in.

7 of 10

Sunday, June 15, 2008


Monday, September 12, 2011

Julie Taymor and Coen Bros. Films Debut on Blu-ray

THE TEMPEST: This modern retelling of William Shakespeare’s final masterpiece is an exciting, mystical and magical fantasy with Academy Award®-winner Helen Mirren (Best Actress, The Queen, 2006) leading a star-studded cast including Russell Brand (Get Him To The Greek) and Alfred Molina (The Sorcerer’s Apprentice). Exiled to a magical island, the sorceress Prospera (Mirren) conjures up a storm that shipwrecks her enemies, and then unleashes her powers for revenge. Directed by Julie Taymor (Frida) — and complete with exclusive bonus features — The Tempest, with its innovative twist, is a supernatural dramedy filled with Shakespearean villains, lovers and fools that will leave you spellbound. The Tempest will be released as a 1-Disc Blu-ray for the suggested Retail Price: $39.99 U.S.

GREY’S ANATOMY: THE COMPLETE SEVENTH SEASON: Includes all 22 episodes in the popular medical drama‘s seventh season which features an exclusive extended version of the one-of-a-kind 'Music Event' episode, plus “The Making of the Music Event” created especially for the DVD. This DVD gives fans exactly what they‘ve loved for seven seasons – watching the compelling ensemble deal with life-or-death consequences, while they find comfort, friendship and, at times, love in one another. Through it all everyone involved discovers that neither medicine nor relationships can be defined in black and white -- real life only comes in shades of “grey”. Grey’s Anatomy: The Complete Seventh Season will be releasing as a 5-Disc DVD set for the suggested retail price of $45.99 U.S./$54.99 Canada.

PRIVATE PRACTICE: THE COMPLETE FOURTH SEASON: From the creators of Grey’s Anatomy, comes the fourth season of ABC‘s sexy medical drama, Private Practice. Re-experience daily life for Dr. Addison Montgomery and her family of colleagues at the Oceanside Wellness Group as they rely on one another to deal with every complex romance, medical case and moral dilemma that comes their way. Offering fans the chance to own every season episode on DVD, including the critically-acclaimed, award-winning episode "Did You Hear What Happened To Charlotte King?," the release also includes exciting never before seen bonus features! Private Practice: The Complete Fourth Season will be releasing as a 3-Disc DVD set for the suggested retail price of $29.99 U.S./$35.99 Canada.

O BROTHER WHERE ARE THOU? BLU-RAY: George Clooney (The Perfect Storm) and John Turturro (Cars 2) embark on the adventure of a lifetime in this hilarious, offbeat road picture. And now, for the first time, this quirky gem shines more brightly than ever in Blu-ray High Definition!

Fed up with crushing rocks on a prison farm in Mississippi, the dapper, silver-tongued Ulysses Everett McGill (Clooney) busts loose…except that he’s still shackled to two misfits from his chain gang: bad tempered Pete (Turturro) and sweet, dimwitted Delmar (Tim Blake Nelsen) With nothing to lose and buried loot to regain, the three embark on a riotous odyssey filled with chases, close calls, near misses and betrayal. Experience every unpredictable moment as it plays out in the crystal-clear sound and breathtaking picture quality of Blu-ray. Populated with strange characters, including a blind prophet, sexy sirens and a one-eyed Bible salesman (John Goodman), O Brother, Where Art Thou will leave you laughing at every outrageous and surprising twist and turn! O Brother Where Art Thou? will be releasing as a 1-Disc Blu-ray for the suggested retail price of $26.50 US / $31.50 Canada.

COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO BLU-RAY: Jim Caviezel (Deja Vu) and Guy Pearce (Bedtime Stories) give sizzling performances in The Count Of Monte Cristo. And now, for the first time, the world’s greatest tale of betrayal, adventure and revenge is more riveting than ever in Blu-ray High Definition!

When the dashing and guileless Edmond Dantes (Caviezel) is betrayed by his best friend (Pearce) and wrongly imprisoned, he becomes consumed by thoughts of vengeance. After a miraculous escape, he transforms himself into the mysterious and wealthy Count of Monte Cristo, insinuates himself into the French nobility, and puts his cunning plan of reprisal in action. Experience the resounding clash of swords and the deadly glint off every razor-sharp blade. With the pristine sound and magnificent picture quality of Blu-ray, this swashbuckling thriller will have you perched on the edge of your seat until the very last drop of sweet revenge is exacted. The Count of Monte Cristo will be releasing as a 1-Disc Blu-ray for the suggested retail price of $26.50 U. S./ $31.50 Canada.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Spielberg Tries Visionary Take on Philip K. Dick's "Minority Report"

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 24 (of 2003) by Leroy Douresseaux

Minority Report (2002)
Running time: 145 minutes (2 hours, 25 minutes)
MPAA – PG-13 for violence, brief language, some sexuality and drug content
DIRECTOR: Steven Spielberg
WRITERS: Scott Frank and Jon Cohen (based upon a short story by Philip K. Dick)
PRODUCERS: Jan De Bont, Bonnie Curtis, Gerald R. Molen, and Walter F. Parkes
EDITOR: Michael Kahn
COMPOSER: John Williams
Academy Award nominee

SCI-FI/ACTION/MYSTERY/THRILLER with elements of drama

Starring: Tom Cruise, Colin Farrell, Samantha Morton, Max von Sydow, Lois Smith, Peter Stormare, Tim Blake Nelson, and Anna Marie Horsford

When I saw director Steven Spielberg’s film, Minority Report, I realized that I was seeing a work by the man who directed Jaws, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and Raiders of the Lost Ark when he was younger. This film is fun, inventive, and quite exciting, just like the aforementioned. This isn’t the work of the oh-so-serious director of such allegedly adult fare as Schindler’s List and Saving Private Ryan, important films by a grown up director. In fact, Minority Report maintains it exuberance, unlike the fantastic A.I. Artificial Intelligence, which loses steam at the end.

In the year 2050, a Pre-Crime Unit arrests people for murders they will commit, but haven’t yet done so. “Precogs,” humans with the ability to see into the future predict the crime and through a series of high tech machines show it to officers in the Pre-Crime Unit. The officers sweep in and arrest the would-be murderer before he murders. One day, the precogs see a murder committed by the unit’s best officer, John Anderton (Tom Cruise). Determined to prove his innocence, John has to avoid the clutches of his comrades in arms and an ambitious federal agent (Colin Farrell) who are determined to bring him in before he murders his intended victim, a man Anderton doesn’t even know exists.

Visually, Minority Report gives you an eyeful of gadgets and future tech, and a view of a future world. At times, it’s a bit jumbled; some of the ideas about the future seem dead on – rampant, out of control, targeted advertising and public monitoring of civilians; other ideas seem a bit much – the highway system for one. However, when Spielberg puts it all together it makes for a delightful futuristic gumbo of action, thriller, and crime drama.

The script is very good. It’s an engaging story, one of those professional jobs that tie everything together because most of the major film players are related by their fictional pasts. It makes for a good murder mystery, and the execution keeps the mind humming. Although the visuals are sometimes over the top, the story is quite subtle in delivering its philosophical and social viewpoints. It’s smart eye candy.

Watching this film, I get the idea that Spielberg is absorbing some of famed director Stanley Kubrick’s style. The film occasionally has Kubrick’s cool intellectual detachment, which Spielberg showed in A.I., but Spielberg remains true to himself. He knows how to manipulate an audience. He can still control your emotions and keep the heart pumping and the mind attentive. That’s good because it means he still has the magician’s touch he’ll need for the next Indy movie.

I certainly enjoyed Minority Report. It’s an excellent science fiction film, the kind that relates not only to a probably future, but also to how humans might live in that future. And like the best sci-fi, this film makes a subtle connection to our present lives. This is good work, the most thoughtful SF since The Matrix.

8 of 10

2003 Academy Awards: 1 nomination: “Best Sound Editing” (Richard Hymns and Gary Rydstrom)

2003 BAFTA Awards: 1 nomination: “Best Achievement in Special Visual Effects” (Scott Farrar, Michael Lantieri, Nathan McGuinness, and Henry LaBounta)


Saturday, June 11, 2011

Review: "Holes" is a Winning Mystery Film (Happy B'day, Shia LaBeouf)

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 117 (of 2005) by Leroy Douresseaux

Holes (2003)
Running time: 117 minutes (1 hour, 57 minutes)
MPAA – PG for violence, mild language, and some thematic elements
DIRECTOR: Andrew Davis
WRITERS: Louis Sachar (based upon his novel)
PRODUCERS: Mike Medavoy, Lowell Blank, Teresa Tucker-Davies, and Andrew Davis
EDITORS: Tom Nordberg and Jeffrey Wolfe, A.C.E.

DRAMA/FAMILY/MYSTERY with elements of adventure and comedy

Starring: Shia LaBeouf, Sigourney Weaver, Jon Voight, Patricia Arquette, Tim Blake Nelson, Dulé Hill, Khelo Thomas, Jake M. Smith, Byron Cotton, Max Kasch, Miguel Castro, Brenden Jefferson, Henry Winkler, Siobhan Fallon, Nathan Davis, Rick Fox, and Eartha Kitt

Stanley Yelnats (Shia LaBeouf) is dogged by the bad luck stemming from an old curse on the Yelnats, and it gets him in trouble with the law when he’s wrongly accused of stealing the prized shoes of an athlete named Sweet Feet (Rick Fox). For this, a judge sends Stanley to Camp Green Lake, a very weird work camp for male juvenile offenders that isn’t very green and isn’t a lake; it seems that Green Lake may also be laboring under a curse.

At the camp, he meets a colorful cast of campmates, and like them, he has to dig a hole a day to keep The Warden (Sigourney Weaver) and her henchmen, Mr. Sir (Jon Voight) and Dr. Pendanski (Tim Blake Nelson) at bay. There is, however, more to digging those holes than just the character building Mr. Sir says digging gives a boy. Stanley’s family history is somehow tied to incidents that happened a century ago where Camp Green Lake stands today, and Stanley and his new friend, Hector Zeroni or “Zero” (Khelo Thomas) are going to solve that old mystery, even if it gets them in trouble with The Warden and endangers their lives.

In Holes, the star of the film is not the setting, although the rundown camp and desert add a sense of foreboding and mystery to the film. The star is also not the story, which is intriguing with its twists and turns, interconnectedness with the past, and the fact that characters from the past are related to some in the present. Holes’ star, its center of radiance, is then-16-year old Shia LaBeouf, although his name was fourth on the marquee, behind the better-known adult actors. Shia drives this film, and the narrative sometimes drifts when it shifts away from him, especially when it shifts to the past. Shia epitomizes the average kid who rises to the challenge – a Harry Potter type, and that talent is this film’s charm.

I liked the central mystery and Holes’ resounding message about family and legacy. The mild turn of the 20th-century romance, that happens in a series of flashbacks during Stanley’s time at the camp, can feel a little jagged (because it was such a dangerous thing for two people to do), but the romance only adds to this Holes’ sense of peril and risk. Tim Blake Nelson stands out amongst the adult cast, and it’s always good to see Sigourney Weaver on the big screen. The rest of the boys in the camp seem woefully underutilized, but even their relatively small parts help to make Holes a compelling family drama and a winning juvenile mystery.

7 of 10

July 19, 2005

Friday, May 6, 2011

Tommy Lee Jones Among Actors Slated for Steven Spielberg's "Lincoln"

Steven Spielberg Adds Key Members to His "Lincoln" Cast

Tommy Lee Jones Among Those Joining DreamWorks Studios Film About Abraham Lincoln

LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Tommy Lee Jones, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Hal Holbrook, James Spader, John Hawkes, Tim Blake Nelson, Bruce McGill and Joseph Cross are in negotiations to join the cast of DreamWorks Studios' "Lincoln," it was announced today by DreamWorks partners Steven Spielberg and Stacey Snider. Also in negotiations to join the film are David Costabile, Byron Jennings, Dakin Matthews, Boris McGiver, Gloria Reuben, Jeremy Strong, and David Warshofsky. This group joins the previously announced casting of Daniel Day-Lewis and Sally Field in the Spielberg directed film about the 16th President of the United States.

Based on the best-selling book, Team of Rivals, by Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, the screenplay has been written by the Pulitzer Prize winner, Tony Award winner, and Academy Award nominated writer Tony Kushner. It will be produced by Kathleen Kennedy and Steven Spielberg.

The film will focus on the political collision of Lincoln and the powerful men of his cabinet on the road to abolition and the end of the Civil War.

Oscar winner Tommy Lee Jones will play Thaddeus Stevens, a Republican leader and powerful congressman from Pennsylvania in the U.S. House of Representatives. Stevens was a staunch supporter of abolishing slavery and was critical to writing the legislation that funded the American Civil War.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt, known for his roles in "Inception," "(500) Days of Summer," and next year's "The Dark Knight Rises," will take on the role of Robert Todd Lincoln, eldest son of President Lincoln and the only one to live past his teenage years.

Other announced cast will take on various supporting roles in the film.

Doris Kearns Goodwin won her Pulitzer Prize for “No Ordinary Time,” the story of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt and the home front in World War II. Kushner's prize was for his play “Angels in America,” which later became an Emmy Award-winning television special. He had previously worked with Spielberg on “Munich” for which he was nominated for an Oscar in the Adapted Screenplay category.

Filming is expected to begin in the fall of 2011 in Virginia for release in the fourth quarter of 2012 through Disney’s Touchstone distribution label.

About DreamWorks Studios
DreamWorks Studios is a motion picture company formed in 2009 and led by Steven Spielberg and Stacey Snider in partnership with The Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group. Upcoming releases include “Cowboys & Aliens,” “The Help,” “Fright Night,” “Real Steel,” and “War Horse.”

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