Showing posts with label Tim Roth. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Tim Roth. Show all posts

Friday, September 3, 2021

Review: "SHANG-CHI and the Legend of the Ten Rings" Rings My Bell

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 54 of 2021 (No. 1792) by Leroy Douresseaux

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021)
Running time: 132 minutes (2 hours, 12 minutes)
MPAA – PG-13 for sequences of violence and action, and language
DIRECTOR:  Destin Daniel Cretton
WRITERS:  Dave Callaham, Destin Daniel Cretton, and Andrew Lanham; from a story by Dave Callaham and Destin Daniel Cretton (based on the Marvel Comics)
PRODUCERS: Kevin Feige and Jonathan Schwartz
CINEMATOGRAPHER: William Pope (D.o.P.)
EDITORS: Elisabet Ronaldsdottir, Nat Sanders, and Harry Yoon
COMPOSER: Joel P. Best

SUPERHERO/FANTASY/MARTIAL ARTS

Starring:  Simu Liu, Awkwafina, Tony Leung, Meng'er Zhang, Fala Chen, Michelle Yeoh, Wah Yuen, Florian Munteanu, Jayden Zhang, Elodie Fong, Arnold Sun, Harmonie He, Ronny Chieng, Benedict Wong, Tim Roth, and Ben Kingsley

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is a 2021 superhero film directed by Destin Daniel Cretton and produced by Marvel Studios and Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures.  It is the 25th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) series.  The film is based on the Marvel Comics character, Shang-Chi, Master of Kung-Fu, that was created by Steve Englehart and Jim Starlin and first appeared in the comic book, Special Marvel Edition #15 (cover dated: December 1973).  Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings focuses on a young martial artist who is forced to confront his past and his father's deadly criminal legacy.

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (or simply Shang-Chi) opens one thousand years ago and focuses on Xu Wenwu (Tony Leung), a warlord who found the “Ten Rings,” mystical weapons that grant their user immortality and great power.  Wenwu establishes a secret society of warriors called the “Ten Rings,” and begins to conquer the world.  In 1996, while searching for a legendary village, “Ta Lo,” Wenwu meets the village's guardian, Jiang Li (Fala Chen).  The two battle, but eventually fall in love and have two children, a boy named Xu Shang-Chi and girl named Xu Xialing.

Decades later, Shang-Chi (Simu Liu) has adopted the name “Shaun” and is living in San Francisco.  Along with his long time best friend, Katy (Awkwafina), he works as a valet at a fancy hotel.  One day, while taking the city bus, Shang-Chi and Katy are attacked by a Ten Rings squad led by the assassin, “Razor Fist” (Florian Munteanu), who wants to steal a pendant given to Shang-Chi by his mother.  Fearing that the Ten Rings are going to steal a second identical pendant given to his sister, Xialing (Meng'er Zhang), Shang-Chi decides to track her down.  Waiting for him, however, is a conspiracy that will inadvertently free a great evil known as the “Dweller-in-Darkness.”  To stop that, Shang-Chi will finally have to confront his past and grasp his destiny.

If I am honest, I will admit that I love martial arts fighting scenes in television and especially in movies.  I prefer fighting as performed by Asian or Asian-American actors.  Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings gives me both, and the fight scenes are spectacular, so much so that they movie could never give me enough to satisfy me.  The general choreography of the action scenes is quite good, as seen in the bus-battle sequence, and it is clear that Shang-Chi's fighting style and techniques are influenced by the martial arts films of legendary Chinese actor/stuntman, Jackie Chan.

With flashy visual effects, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings also explores Asian culture, offering nice peeks into both family dynamics and Chinese culture and myths.  In a way, Shang-Chi is a movie that blends a story of family with an an exploration of a fantasy world that is similar to the one in Disney's recent animated film, Raya and the Last Dragon.  This immersion in a different world and culture allows Shang-Chi to set itself far apart, the way Black Panther stood out from other Marvel Studios films.

Shang-Chi also offers the combination of the prodigal son and the gifted-kid motif that both Raya and other Marvel films (like Iron Man and Black Panther) offer.  In that role, Simu Liu is versatile as Shang-Chi, an incredibly talented fighter who is also a happy-go-luck every man.  I found Liu's Shang-Chi likable from the first moment I saw him on film.  Tony Leung is an intense, dramatic heavy as Shang-Chi's shady father, Xu Wenwu; it's a gritty, edgy performance that Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings needs in order to keep the story from flying away in its flights of fancy.

I do think that Marvel tries a little too hard to convince us that Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is part of the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe.  We got that with the appearance of Wong (Benedict Wong), a character that appeared in Doctor Strange (2016), but an end credits scene is ready to pound it into our heads, as if we never had a clue.  The film, especially its flashbacks and in its quiet moments, sometimes falls flat.  That keeps it from being the kind of next-level Marvel film, that Black Panther and the better Avengers and Captain America films are.

Still, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is an exceptional film, both in its story and in what it represents.  Shang-Chi is Marvel Studios' first film with an Asian director and a predominantly Asian cast, and it shows those distinctions with pride, while being wonderful and entertaining.

8 of 10
A

Friday, September 3, 2021


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

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Monday, December 7, 2015

Review: Gripping "Selma" is History Unfarnished

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 46 (of 2015) by Leroy Douresseaux

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

Selma (2014)
Running time: 128 minutes (2 hours, 8 minutes)
MPAA – PG-13 for disturbing thematic material including violence, a suggestive moment, and brief strong language
DIRECTOR:  Ava DuVernay
WRITER:  Paul Webb
PRODUCERS:  Christian Colson, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, and Oprah Winfrey
CINEMATOGRAPHER:  Bradford Young
EDITOR:  Spencer Averick
COMPOSER:  Jason Moran
Academy Award winner

DRAMA/HISTORY

Starring:  David Oyelowo, Carmen Ejogo, Tom Wilkinson, Giovanni Ribisi, Andre Holland, Stephan James, Wendell Pierce, Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Colman Domingo, Omar Dorsey, Tessa Thompson, Common, Lorraine Toussaint, Lakeith Stanfield, Henry G. Sanders, Charity Jordan, Trai Beyers, Dylan Baker, Stephen Root, Niecy Nash, E. Roger Mitchell, Tim Roth, Cuba Gooding, Jr., Alessandro Nivola, Michael Shikany, Brandon O'Dell, Nigel Thatch, and Oprah Winfrey

Selma is a 2014 historical drama from director Ava DuVernay.  Written by Paul Webb, the film chronicles the 1965 Selma to Montgomery, Alabama voting rights marches and its leaders:  Martin Luther King, Jr., James Bevel, Hosea Williams, and John Lewis.  Brad Pitt is one of this film's executive producers.

Selma opens in 1964.  Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (David Oyelowo) of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) accepts his Nobel Peace Prize.  King believes that after the passage of the “Civil Rights Act of 1964” (which outlawed discrimination), the next big effort for civil rights should be to secure voting rights for Black Americans, especially in the South.  He and the SCLC decide that the campaign to secure equal voting rights will be highlighted with an epic march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama in 1965.

However, several forces gather to stop the march.  President Lyndon B. Johnson (Tom Wilkinson) wants Dr. King to hold off on seeking voting rights until after Johnson can push through his “War of Poverty” program.  Alabama Governor George Wallace (Tim Roth) wants to bring an end to Civil Rights activism in his state, and decides to use force, including state police and local law enforcement, against marchers and protesters.

Meanwhile, Coretta Scott King (Carmen Ejogo), Dr. King's wife, is concerned for her husband's safety and for the disruption to their marriage and danger to his family caused by his work.  Younger Black activists, such as the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), are not happy with Dr. King and the SCLC's methods.  Worst of all, dark forces are gathering to keep the marchers from crossing Edmund Pettus Bridge, which will keep them from leaving Selma.

Like many Civil Rights films, documentaries, and television movies, Selma is an epic, but not by being grand.  Director Ava DuVernay composes the film as an intimate tale that closes in on its subjects.  Selma is not about the struggle of the Civil Rights movement at large, but about the struggle of the key players, especially Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., at a particular moment in time.

Now, having seen the film, I cannot understand the controversy that surrounded Selma regarding its portrayal of President Lyndon B. Johnson.  Some... what can I call them... fans, admirers, protectors of Johnson's legacy, etc. claimed that Selma played the late President as if he were a villain and an obstacle in the Civil Rights movement.  First of all, this film is a dramatization of the events surrounding the Selma to Montgomery voting rights march, and, thus, the President Johnson that appears in the film is a fictional depiction of a real person.  Secondly, the doubts, reservations, objections that the fictional Johnson expressed here are the same expressed by other characters in Selma, including characters involved in the marches.

Paul Webb's screenplay for Selma depicts nearly all of the major characters and main supporting players as having feet of clay, of being fragile and vulnerable.  They are self-interested and self-serving, often to protect what they see as right for the Civil Rights movement, but also to protect themselves and loved ones in a time that was dangerous for many, but especially for people involved in the movement, in particular for Black people, but also for some White people.

Selma is not colorful and whimsical like fellow best picture Oscar nominee, The Grand Budapest Hotel.  It is not arty and guileful like the behind-the-scenes Birdman, with its sense of familiarity for actors.  Selma is meat-and-potatoes.  DuVernay does not compose the Selma to Montgomery march as a grand, historical event, as if it were a history-changing struggle taking place on the kind of wide-open battlefield that is perfect for an epic conflict.

DuVernay closes in on the players in this movement, showing the inner workings of a social movement.  This is not the stuff seen on television, like the march itself.  This is that unseen stuff, the details that are not glamorous, and sometimes seems petty and trivial, except to those making them and living with the consequences.  This intense focus on the interior workings creates a sense of claustrophobia, but also so of dread.  Selma often seems like a thriller, because DuVernay brings the audience in so close that they might feel as if they are there.  Watching this film, I felt endangered.

The one glitch in this film, I think, is that it sometimes feels disconnected from the larger Civil Rights movement.  It is as if nothing came before the marches or would come after it.  Sometimes, Selma simply seems out of context.

As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., David Oyelowo gives Selma its best performance.  Oyelowo's is both an imaginative and a bold presentation of Dr. King.  In the decades since his assassination, many people have made him both a martyr and, sadly, an idol of adoration.  This worship of a false idol is dangerous because it allows people who were or would have been against Dr. King and the Civil Rights movement to appropriate him and the movement.  It is as if he is a religious figure that can be reshaped for whatever cause or ideology that needs King's moral position.  Oyelowo makes Dr. King human, fragile, and self-serving or self-interested, if not quite selfish.  Thus, when Oyelowo brings out the best of Dr. King, it seems genuine and honest, rather than expected.

I think that Selma should have been a more popular film and that it should have received more Oscar nominations than it did (two).  In the end, box office and industry accolades don't matter because Selma will stand out as one of the truer cinematic expressions of the Civil Rights movement, which was a fight for freedom and for the soul of the United States of America.

9 of 10
A+

Friday, September 25, 2015

NOTES:
2015 Academy Awards, USA:  1 win: “Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Song” (Common as Lonnie Lynn and John Legend as John Stephens for the song “Glory”); 1 nomination: “Best Motion Picture of the Year” (Christian Colson, Oprah Winfrey, Dede Gardner, and Jeremy Kleiner)

2015 Golden Globes, USA:  1 win: “Best Original Song - Motion Picture” (John Legend and Common for the song, “Glory”);  3 nominations: “Best Motion Picture – Drama,” “Best Director - Motion Picture” (Ava DuVernay), and “Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama” (David Oyelowo)

2015 Black Reel Awards:  8 wins: “Outstanding Motion Picture” (Oprah Winfrey, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, and Christian Colson), “Outstanding Actor, Motion Picture” (David Oyelowo), “Outstanding Supporting Actor, Motion Picture” (Wendell Pierce), “Outstanding Supporting Actress, Motion Picture” (Carmen Ejogo), “Outstanding Director, Motion Picture? (Ava DuVernay), “Outstanding Ensemble” (Aisha Coley), “Outstanding Score” (Jason Moran), and “Outstanding Original Song” (John Legend as performer, writer and Common as performer, writer, and Rhymefest as writer for the song, “Glory”); 2 nominations: “Outstanding Breakthrough Performance, Male” (André Holland) and “Outstanding Breakthrough Performance, Male” (Stephan James)

2015 Image Awards:  4 wins: “Outstanding Motion Picture,” “Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture” (David Oyelowo), “Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture” (Common), “Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture” (Carmen Ejogo); 4 nominations: “Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture” (André Holland), “Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture” (Wendell Pierce), “Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture” (Oprah Winfrey), and “Outstanding Directing in a Motion Picture” (Ava DuVernay)


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


Monday, March 16, 2015

"Selma" Arrives on DVD and Blu-ray May 5, 2015

Experience the Power of Director Ava DuVernay’s Critically Acclaimed Epic SELMA on Blu-ray™ Combo Pack May 5, 2015

Buy It Two Weeks Early on Digital HD April 21, 2015

“This is the film of the year.”—Richard Corliss, Time

HOLLYWOOD, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Hailed as “extraordinary” (David Denby, The New Yorker), “deeply moving” (Claudia Puig, USA Today) and “a triumph” (A.O. Scott, New York Times), director Ava DuVernay’s powerful drama SELMA debuts on Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD and On Demand May 5, 2015 from Paramount Home Media Distribution. The film arrives two weeks early on Digital HD April 21, 2015.

    “definitive depiction of the 1960s American civil rights movement”

Embraced by critics and audiences alike, SELMA was named one of the best films of the year by New York Times, New York Post, New York Magazine, Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair, Huffington Post, Entertainment Weekly, Variety, Hollywood Reporter and many more. The film was nominated for an Academy Award® for Best Picture and won the Oscar® for Best Original Song for John Legend and Common’s compelling tribute “Glory.”

Director Ava DuVernay delivers the “definitive depiction of the 1960s American civil rights movement” (Lou Lumenick, New York Post) with the incredible story of how Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. led the epic march from Selma to Montgomery to secure equal voting rights in an event that forever altered history. 2015 marks the 50th anniversary of the legendary march.

David Oyelowo is “mesmerizing” (Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times) as Dr. King and leads an outstanding ensemble cast including Academy Award nominee Oprah Winfrey1, Academy Award nominee Tom Wilkinson2, Academy Award winner Cuba Gooding, Jr.3, Academy Award nominee Tim Roth4, Grammy®-winning artist Common5, Giovanni Ribisi, Carmen Ejogo, and Lorraine Toussaint.

SELMA will be available in a Blu-ray Combo Pack with UltraViolet™ that includes an in-depth exploration of the making of the film, historical newsreels, a video for the Academy Award-winning song “Glory,” featuring John Legend and Common, commentary by director Ava DuVernay and actor David Oyelowo, a photo gallery and more.

SELMA Blu-ray Combo Pack
The SELMA Blu-ray is presented in 1080p high definition with English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, French 5.1 Dolby Digital and English Audio Description and English, English SDH, French and Spanish subtitles. The DVD in the combo pack is presented in widescreen enhanced for 16:9 TVs with English 5.1 Dolby Digital, French 5.1 Dolby Digital and English Audio Description and English, French and Spanish subtitles. The combo pack includes access to a Digital HD copy of the film, as well as the following:

Blu-ray
    Feature film in high definition
    The Road to Selma
    Recreating Selma
    “Glory” Music Video featuring John Legend and Common
    Historical Newsreels
    Photo Gallery
    Deleted and Extended Scenes
    National Voting Rights Museum and Institute
    Selma Student Tickets: Donor Appreciation
    Commentary by director Ava DuVernay and actor David Oyelowo
    Commentary by director Ava DuVernay, director of photography Bradford Young and editor Spencer Averick

DVD
    Feature film in standard definition
    National Voting Rights Museum and Institute
    Selma Student Tickets: Donor Appreciation

The Blu-ray Combo Pack available for purchase includes a Digital Version of the film that can be accessed through UltraViolet™, a way to collect, access and enjoy movies. With UltraViolet, consumers can add movies to their digital collection in the cloud, and then stream or download them—reliably and securely—to a variety of devices.

SELMA Single-Disc DVD
The single-disc DVD is presented in widescreen enhanced for 16:9 TVs with English 5.1 Dolby Digital, French 5.1 Dolby Digital and English Audio Description and English, French and Spanish subtitles. The disc includes the feature film in standard definition plus a look at the National Voting Rights Museum and Institute and Selma Student Tickets: Donor Appreciation.

Website: http://www.SelmaMovie.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/selmamovie
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SelmaMovie
Instagram: http://instagram.com/selmamovie
iTunes: http://j.mp/BuySelmaMovieNow
Amazon: http://j.mp/BuySelmaMovie

Paramount Pictures, Pathé and Harpo Films present a Plan B/ Cloud Eight Films/Harpo Films Production in Association with Ingenious Media, an Ava DuVernay film “SELMA.” Executive produced by Brad Pitt, Cameron McCracken, Nik Bower, Diarmuid McKeown, Ava DuVernay, Paul Garnes, and Nan Morales. Produced by Christian Colson, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, and Oprah Winfrey. Written by Paul Webb. Directed by Ava DuVernay.

About Paramount Home Media Distribution
Paramount Home Media Distribution (PHMD) is part of Paramount Pictures Corporation (PPC), a global producer and distributor of filmed entertainment. PPC is a unit of Viacom (NASDAQ: VIAB, VIA), a leading content company with prominent and respected film, television and digital entertainment brands. The PHMD division oversees PPC’s home entertainment, digital and television distribution activities worldwide. The division is responsible for the sales, marketing and distribution of home entertainment content on behalf of Paramount Pictures, Paramount Animation, Paramount Vantage, Paramount Classics, Insurge Pictures, MTV, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central and CBS and applicable licensing and servicing of certain DreamWorks Animation titles. PHMD additionally manages global licensing of studio content and distribution across worldwide digital and television distribution platforms including online, mobile and portable devices and emerging technologies.

SELMA
Street Date:
May 5, 2015 (Blu-ray Combo/DVD/VOD)
April 21, 2015 (Digital HD)

SRP: $39.99 U.S. (Blu-ray Combo Pack); $29.99 U.S. (DVD)

U.S. Rating: PG-13 for disturbing thematic material including violence, a suggestive moment, and brief strong language
Canadian Rating: PG for violence and mature theme

1 Best Picture , Selma, 2014; Best Actress in a Supporting Role, The Color Purple, 1985

2 Best Actor in a Supporting Role, Michael Clayton, 2007; Best Actor in a Leading Role, In the Bedroom, 2001

3 Best Actor in a Supporting Role, Jerry Maguire, 1996

4 Best Actor in a Supporting Role, Rob Roy, 1995

5 Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group, Southside, 2007

“ACADEMY AWARD®” and “OSCAR®” are registered trademarks and service marks of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

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Saturday, January 3, 2015

Free Showings of "Selma" in Selma, Alabama Beginning January 9th, 2015

AVA DUVERNAY’S “SELMA” TO OPEN IN SELMA, ALABAMA ON JANUARY 9th

IN AN UNPRECEDENTED OFFERING, AND IN THANKS TO THE CITY WHERE THE FILM WAS SHOT, “SELMA” IS BEING SHOWN FOR FREE TO THE CITIZENS OF THE CITY

Paramount Pictures, a division of Viacom, Inc. (NASDAQ: VIAB, VIA), announced today that the Golden Globe nominated film “SELMA” from director Ava DuVernay will be shown for free to the town’s citizens at the Selma Walton Theater in the city of Selma, Alabama beginning January 9th.

“With deep gratitude to the people of Selma, Alabama, we are proud to share this powerful film depicting the historic events that took place there 50 years ago,” said Oprah Winfrey on behalf of the film's producers. “I hope generations will watch the film and share their stories of remembrance and history together.”

“The city and people of Selma welcomed the production with open arms this past summer and in celebration of the film’s national release on January 9th, we are incredibly excited and very humbled to be bringing Ava’s finished film to the community,” said Rob Moore, Vice Chairman of Paramount Pictures.

“I’m so happy that the movie ‘Selma’ will be shown in Selma when it’s released to the nation. I’m so grateful of the fact that Selma has been blessed to have a movie named after it. I’m thankful to the producers, director Ava, and executive producer Paul Garnes for their leadership, and all of the cast for selecting Selma to produce this movie. We must keep in mind that the movie is just that, a movie and not a documentary. May God continue to bless Selma,” said Selma Mayor George P. Evans.

Citizens of the city of Selma, AL can get more information and showtimes at http://www.selmawaltontheater.com/

Directed by DuVernay and starring David Oyelowo as Martin Luther King Jr., “SELMA” has been nominated for 4 Golden Globes, including for Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Director and Best Song (“Glory” by Common and John Legend).

The film also stars Tom Wilkinson, Cuba Gooding Jr., Alessandro Nivola, Giovanni Ribisi, Common, Carmen Ejogo, Lorraine Toussaint, with Tim Roth and Oprah Winfrey as “Annie Lee Cooper.”

Paramount Pictures, Pathé, and Harpo Films present “SELMA.” Produced by Christian Colson, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Oprah Winfrey, the film is executive produced by Cameron McCracken, Nik Bower, Diarmuid McKeown, Ava DuVernay, Paul Garnes, and Nan Morales. The film is written by Paul Webb. “SELMA” is directed by Ava DuVernay.

“SELMA” is the story of a movement. The film chronicles the tumultuous three-month period in 1965, when Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. led a dangerous campaign to secure equal voting rights in the face of violent opposition.  The epic march from Selma to Montgomery culminated in President Johnson (Tom Wilkinson) signing the Voting Rights Act of 1965, one of the most significant victories for the civil rights movement.  Director Ava DuVernay’s “SELMA” tells the story of how the revered leader and visionary Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (David Oyelowo) and his brothers and sisters in the movement prompted change that forever altered history.

Currently open in select cities, “SELMA” opens in theaters nationwide on January 9, 2015. To learn more about the film, go to www.selmamovie.com


About Paramount Pictures Corporation
Paramount Pictures Corporation (PPC), a global producer and distributor of filmed entertainment, is a unit of Viacom (NASDAQ: VIAB, VIA), a leading content company with prominent and respected film, television and digital entertainment brands. Paramount controls a collection of some of the most powerful brands in filmed entertainment, including Paramount Pictures, Paramount Animation, Paramount Vantage, Paramount Classics, Insurge Pictures, MTV Films, and Nickelodeon Movies. PPC operations also include Paramount Television, Paramount Home Media Distribution, Paramount Pictures International, Paramount Licensing Inc., and Paramount Studio Group.

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Thursday, December 11, 2014

Willie Horton Ad President Who Appointed Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court Gets Special Screening of "Selma"


PARAMOUNT PICTURES HOSTED A SPECIAL SCREENING OF “SELMA” FOR PRESIDENT GEORGE H. W. BUSH AND BARBARA BUSH

HOLLYWOOD, CA (December 11, 2014) – Paramount Pictures hosted a special advance screening of its critically acclaimed upcoming film “SELMA” in Houston on Tuesday, December 9, 2014 for President George H.W. Bush and Barbara Bush and their guests.

“’Selma’ magnificently recreates the strong emotions felt across our nation, vividly taking us back to when Martin Luther King, Jr. led the civil rights movement,” said President Bush. “Together, the filmmakers and cast not only captured the pain and conflict of that challenging time, but also how far we have come as a society – and, in so doing, reminded us how the freedom to protest peacefully and the power of human spirit make America so great.”

Guests included the Bushes’ close family and friends, members of the president’s secret service team and the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy, and local politicians, among others.

SELMA is the story of a movement. The film chronicles the tumultuous three-month period in 1965, when Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. led a dangerous campaign to secure equal voting rights in the face of violent opposition.  The epic march from Selma to Montgomery culminated in President Johnson (Tom Wilkinson) signing the Voting Rights Act of 1965, one of the most significant victories for the civil rights movement.  Director Ava DuVernay’s SELMA tells the real story of how the revered leader and visionary Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (David Oyelowo) and his brothers and sisters in the movement prompted change that forever altered history.  Starring David Oyelowo, Tom Wilkinson, Cuba Gooding Jr., Alessandro Nivola, Giovanni Ribisi, Common, Carmen Ejogo, Lorraine Toussaint, with Tim Roth and Oprah Winfrey as “Annie Lee Cooper.”

The film is produced by Christian Colson, Oprah Winfrey, Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner. Written by Paul Webb. Directed by Ava DuVernay.


About Paramount Pictures Corporation
Paramount Pictures Corporation (PPC), a global producer and distributor of filmed entertainment, is a unit of Viacom (NASDAQ: VIAB, VIA), a leading content company with prominent and respected film, television and digital entertainment brands. Paramount controls a collection of some of the most powerful brands in filmed entertainment, including Paramount Pictures, Paramount Animation, Paramount Television, Paramount Vantage, Paramount Classics, Insurge Pictures, MTV Films, and Nickelodeon Movies. PPC operations also include Paramount Home Media Distribution, Paramount Pictures International, Paramount Licensing Inc., and Paramount Studio Group.

Monday, November 10, 2014

First Trailer for Ava DuVernay's "Selma" Debuts


Watch the first trailer for SELMA

Starring David Oyelowo as Martin Luther King, Jr.

Watch now and read an interview with director Ava DuVernay:
https://www.yahoo.com/movies/watch-martin-luther-king-jr-s-struggle-for-101958230737.html

Can you pass a voting literacy test? - www.SelmaMovie.com/SelmaLiteracyTest

Voting is a topic at the forefront of culture. Whether debating the effects of voter ID laws or discussing the importance of voting to push for more police regulation, we find ourselves at a pivotal time in history. As we approach the theatrical release of SELMA and the 50th anniversary of the passing of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, we take a reflective look at where America would be without this powerful movement via an infographic that simply asks the question, “Can you vote?”

In Select Theaters December 25, 2014 - In All Theaters January 9, 2015

SELMA is the story of a movement. The film chronicles the tumultuous three-month period in 1965, when Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. led a dangerous campaign to secure equal voting rights in the face of violent opposition.  The epic march from Selma to Montgomery culminated in President Johnson (Tom Wilkinson) signing the Voting Rights Act of 1965, one of the most significant victories for the civil rights movement.  Director Ava DuVernay’s SELMA tells the story of how the revered leader and visionary Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (David Oyelowo) and his brothers and sisters in the movement prompted change that forever altered history.

Starring:  David Oyelowo, Tom Wilkinson, Cuba Gooding Jr., Alessandro Nivola, Giovanni Ribisi Common, Carmen Ejogo, Lorraine Toussaint, with Tim Roth and Oprah Winfrey as “Annie Lee Cooper.”

Directed by Ava DuVernay
Written by Paul Webb
Produced by Christian Colson,  Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Oprah Winfrey
Executive Producers:  Cameron McCracken, Nik Bower, Diarmuid McKeown, Ava DuVernay, Paul Garnes, Nan Morales

Official Site: http://www.selmamovie.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SelmaMovie
Twitter: https://twitter.com/selmamovie
Instagram: http://instagram.com/selmamovie

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Sunday, June 22, 2014

Ava DuVernay's "Selma" Gets Christmas 2014 Release

“SELMA” TO LAUNCH ON CHRISTMAS DAY

HOLLYWOOD, CA (June 20, 2014) – Paramount Pictures and Pathé announced that the feature film “SELMA” will have a limited release in the U.S. on Christmas day and will open wide on January 9, 2015. Directed by Ava DuVernay (“MIDDLE OF NOWHERE”), the film is being produced by Oprah Winfrey, Plan B, the producers of the Academy Award®-winning “TWELVE YEARS A SLAVE,” and Cloud Eight Films’ Academy Award®-winning Christian Colson (“127 HOURS,” “SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE”).

Academy Award® nominee Oprah Winfrey joins the film’s cast as Annie Lee Cooper, an elderly woman and visible leader amongst the civil rights protesters in Selma who tried to register to vote and was unfairly denied by the sheriff.

The film is currently shooting in Atlanta, Georgia, and Montgomery and Selma, Alabama.

“SELMA” is the story of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s historic struggle to secure voting rights for all people – a dangerous and terrifying campaign that culminated with the epic march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, and led to President Johnson signing the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The film’s release will celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the landmark legislation.

The film stars David Oyelowo (“INTERSTELLAR,” “LEE DANIEL’S THE BUTLER”) as Martin Luther King Jr., Tom Wilkinson (“THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL,” “MICHAEL CLAYTON”) as Lyndon Baines Johnson, Carmen Ejogo (“ALEX CROSS,” “PRIDE AND GLORY”) as Coretta Scott King, Andre Holland (“42,” “1600 Penn”) as Andrew Young, Omar J. Dorsey (“DJANGO UNCHAINED,” “THE BLIND SIDE”) as James Orange, Alessandro Nivola (“A MOST VIOLENT YEAR,” “AMERICAN HUSTLE”) as John Doar, Dylan Baker (“The Good Wife,” “Damages”) as J. Edgar Hoover, Giovanni Ribisi (“My Name is Earl,” “AVATAR”) as Lee White, Tessa Thompson (“Heroes,” “Veronica Mars”) as Diane Nash, Colman Domingo (“LEE DANIELS’ THE BUTLER,” “42”) as Ralph Abernathy, Stephen Root (“Justified,” “Boardwalk Empire”) as Al Lingo, Jeremy Strong (“The Good Wife,” “ZERO DARK THIRTY”) as James Reeb, with Tim Roth (“Lie to Me,” “THE INCREDIBLE HULK”) as George Wallace, and Oprah Winfrey (“LEE DANIELS’ THE BUTLER,” “THE COLOR PURPLE”) as Annie Lee Cooper.

Paramount is handling the film’s domestic distribution, Pathé is distributing in the UK and France and Pathé International will handle sales to the rest of the world.

About Paramount Pictures Corporation
Paramount Pictures Corporation (PPC), a global producer and distributor of filmed entertainment, is a unit of Viacom (NASDAQ: VIAB, VIA), a leading content company with prominent and respected film, television and digital entertainment brands. Paramount controls a collection of some of the most powerful brands in filmed entertainment, including Paramount Pictures, Paramount Animation, ParamountVantage, Paramount Classics, Insurge Pictures, MTV Films, and Nickelodeon Movies. PPC operations also include Paramount Home Media Distribution, Paramount Pictures International, Paramount Licensing Inc., and Paramount Studio Group.

About Pathé
Pathé is one of the leading European film production and distribution companies with offices in both Paris and London.  It is involved in all aspects of filmmaking, from development and production through to international sales and distribution. Films produced/distributed by Pathé range from THE QUEEN to SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE and from THE IRON LADY to PHILOMENA.  Pathé’s upcoming releases include Matthew Warchus’ PRIDE starring Bill Nighy and Imelda Staunton; and Sarah Gavron’s SUFFRAGETTE starring Carey Mulligan, Helena Bonham-Carter, Brendan Gleeson and Meryl Streep.

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

FANTASY/SUPERHERO/SCI-FI/ACTION/DRAMA

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
B+

Sunday, June 15, 2008

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Monday, January 24, 2011

Review: "Planet of the Apes" is the "Razzie Award" Winner for Worst Remake, But It's Not So Bad

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 2 (of 2002) by Leroy Douresseaux

Planet of the Apes (2001)
Running time:  119 minutes (1 hour, 59 minutes)
MPAA – PG-13 for some sequences of action/violence
DIRECTOR: Tim Burton
WRITERS: William Broyles, Jr., Lawrence Konner, and Mark D. Rosenthal (based upon the novel by Pierre Boulle)
PRODUCER: Richard D. Zanuck
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Philippe Rousselot (D.o.P.)
EDITOR: Chris Lebenzon
COMPOSER: Danny Elfman
BAFTA Award nominee

SCI-FI/FANTASY/ACTION/THRILLER with elements of adventure

Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Tim Roth, Helena Bonham Carter, Michael Clarke Duncan, Paul Giamatti, Estella Warren, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, David Warner, Kris Kristofferson, Erick Avari, and (uncredited) Charlton Heston

When Captain Leo Davidson (Mark Wahlberg) leaves the safety of a United States Air Force space station, he is on an unauthorized mission to save his favorite chimp. He enters some kind of electro-magnetic storm, and his space pod crashes on an uncharted planet.

Before long, he is running through the jungle with a back of wild humans, chased by half glimpsed pursuers. A group of talking apes led by General Thade (Tim Roth) capture Davidson and the humans. Ari (Helena Bonham-Carter) buys Davidson because his intelligence and demeanor piques her interest. He convinces her to follow him on a quest to find his shipmates whom he believes are on the planet in search of him. However, a deeper mystery resides in the desert heart of their destination.

Directed by one of cinema’s finest visual stylists, Tim Burton, Planet of the Apes, the 2001 remake of the 1968 classic is noisy spectacle that is not without some nice moments. Burton has admitted to not knowing a good script when he sees one, but when he inadvertently gets one, he makes good movies (Beetlejuice, Edward Scissorhands, Ed Wood, and Sleepy Hollow). When he gets a troubled piece of writing, the audience writhes in pain at the cinematic potential clumsily handled before their eyes (Batman Returns); this one falls somewhere in the middle.

The script is a simple cat and mouse chase story with a battle scene thrown late into the movie for a faux epic aura. Here and there are smatterings of issues of freedom, slavery, intelligence, friendship and betrayal, but the smart stuff doesn’t get in the way of the fun, dumb stuff – fist fights, gunfire and explosions. Burton expertly wields the story and creates a nearly two-hour movie that feels much shorter. It is a “lite” affair meant to entertain by keeping the protagonists in a constant state of discomfort and definite sense of entertainment.

The acting is mostly adequate professional work. Ms. Bonham-Carter creates the illusion that her character Ari has quite a bit of depth, more so than with which the action movie script can deal; there’s not too much time for character in many action movies. Michael Clarke Duncan as Thade’s right hand man-ape, Colonel Attar, is wonderfully convincing as an officer and as a leader of soldiers. Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa as Krull, the disgraced soldier, is equally compelling; between Attar and Krull is some interesting back-story that would have greatly embellished the movie had that story been give a chance. But this is a summer bang-bang.

Planet of the Apes wastes the talented Roth, who can portray layered, multi-dimensional villains (such as the vile Archibald Cunningham in Rob Roy, which earned him an Oscar nomination) behind a heavy costume. Here, the mask hides that which truly makes Roth’s gifts work, his face of a thousand expressions – exaggerated and otherwise. This is no criticism of the fantastic work of makeup effects artist Rick Baker. Once again, he uncannily delivers brilliant work. However, the glare from Baker’s skills dim the light of Roth’s thespian talents.

Light fare for sure, Planet of the Apes’ massive box office success is a surprise. But it’s clear and linear movie and it properly strings the audience along until it’s pitiable ending. By then, one gets the feeling that this entire exercise was merely the testing ground for a long lasting franchise similar to the franchise birthed from the original.

Still, the magic is in what Burton does. This is a very entertaining movie and remains so even as one tries to poke holes in it. One can hold the same light up to Beetlejuice, Edward Scissorhands, and Sleepy Hollow and find all manner of ridiculousness, but they remain fun films, always ready to be popped into a VCR or DVD player and become a filling midnight video snack.

Planet of the Apes is like that and it pretty much delivers on being the vacuous treat it started out to be. Not much of a goal, but a goal attained, more or less.

6 of 10
B

NOTES:
2002 BAFTA Awards: 2 nominations: “Best Costume Design” (Colleen Atwood) and “Best Make Up/Hair” (Rick Baker, Toni G, and Kazuhiro Tsuji)

2002 Razzie Awards: 3 wins: “Worst Remake or Sequel,” “Worst Supporting Actor” (Charlton Heston), and “Worst Supporting Actress” (Estella Warren)

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