Showing posts with label Vin Diesel. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Vin Diesel. Show all posts

Saturday, June 10, 2023

Negromancer News Bits and Bites from June 1st to 10th, 2023 - Update #27

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

You can support Leroy via Paypal or on Patreon:

ENTERTAINMENT AND CULTURE NEWS:

ANIMATION - From Deadline:  Warner Animation Group is now Warner Bros Pictures Animation, and that is just part of the rebranding from new President of Feature Animation, Bill Damaschke.

TELEVISION - From DeadlineNBC has cancelled the sitcom, "Young Rock," after three seasons on the network.  The series focuses on different chapters in the life of Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson.

MUSIC - From Variety:  Grammy-winning legend, Madonna, and Grammy and Oscar-winner, Sam Smith, drop their new collabo, the single, "Vulgar."

SCANDAL - From THR:  Actor and voice performer, Jay Johnston, has been arrested by the FBI for his alleged participation in the Jan. 6, 2021 riots at the U.S. Capitol. Charged by the Department of Justice in connection to his presence at the Capitol, Johnston was arrested Wednesday in Los Angeles.  Johnson is best known for his voice role as "Jimmy Pesto Sr.," a pizzeria owner on Fox's long-running animated series, "Bob's Burgers," and for appearing on such series as "Mr. Show with Bob and Dave" (HBO) and "The Sarah Silverman Program" (Comedy Central).

ANIMATION - From Deadline:  Due to its recent rise in ratings, Cartoon Network is giving its "Adult Swim" banner an extra hour of programming each evening, starting in late August.

TELEVISION - From Deadline:  For the first time, the NFL highlights and analysis TV series, "Inside the NFL, moves to The CW, beginning Sept. 5th.  The series began in 1977 on HBO (1977-2008). It moved to Showtime (2008-21), and then most recently was on Paramount+ (2021-23).

NETFLIX - From Variety:  Zack Snyder days that his epic sci-fi film, "Rebel Moon," will be two films, and each will have two versions.  There will be a version that "anyone can enjoy," and there will be a version that is explicit and for "adults only."

DISNEY - From THRABC has defeated a lawsuit from Ingo Rademacher over his dismissal from the daytime soap opera, "General Hospital," for refusing to get the COVID-19 vaccine.  Rademacher left or was fired from the series around November 2021.

SCANDAL - From THR:  Disgraced director, Bryan Singer (Fox's "X-Men" franchise), is planning a documentary film that would address the sexual misconduct accusations against him.  A 2019 expose in "The Atlantic" magazine detailed accusations against Singer by four accusers.

BREAKING - From THR:  98 percent of the members of Hollywood’s largest union, SAG-AFTRA, have given the green light to their negotiators to call a strike if deemed necessary in upcoming labor negotiations with the Hollywood studios.

APPLE - From DeadlineApple has announced its first major device launch in nearly a decade its VR (virtual reality) and AR (augmented reality) headset and platform, "Vision Pro."  Apparently, the starting price will be $3499.00

BOX OFFICE - From BoxOfficePro:  The winner of the 6/2 to 6/4/2023 weekend box office is Sony Pictures Animations' "Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse" with an estimated take of 120.5 million dollars.

From Deadline:  "Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse" grosses 88.1 million dollars at the international box office. Combined with its 120.5 million at the domestic box office, that is a global total of 208.6 million dollars.

MOVIES - From Deadline:  Oscar-winning directors Francis Ford Coppola and Kevin Costner talk about risking their fortunes bankrolling passion projects.  For Coppola, it is "Megalopolis," his epic, troubled sci-fi film.  For Costner, it is "Horizon," the first of four films set in the pre- and post-Civil War expansion of the American West.

DISNEY - From Deadline:  The Disney layoffs have hit Pixar with 75 jobs being made redundant at the legendary animation studio.  Among those let go are Angus McLane, the director of Pixar's "Lightyear" and Galyn Susman, the film's producer.  Susman had been with Pixar since 1995 and is apparently the person who saved "Toy Story 2."

DISNEY - From Deadline:  British actor Hugo Speer, one of the original actors from the 1997 film, "The Full Monty," was dropped from the forthcoming Disney spinoff series because (according to him) a few people saw him... naked.

TELEVISION - From Deadline:  The CW's "The Winchesters" is officially dead, as Warner Bros. has not been able to find another home for the series, which The CW cancelled after one season.  It is a spinoff and prequel to The CW's long-running "Supernatural."

MOVIES - From VarietyHarrison Ford says he takes some of the blame for his clash with Brad Pitt over the script for the 1997 film thriller, "The Devil's Own."

LGBTQ+ - From VarietyElliot Page reveals in his upcoming book, "Pageboy," that a famous actor threatened to force sex on when he came out as gay over decade ago when he was "Ellen Page." The forced sex would prove that he wasn't gay - just afraid of men...

CELEBRITY - From PerezHilton:  Reality television star family, the Duggars, will always be with us. Hilton details how family patriarch, Jim Bob Duggar, stole his children's reality TV money. The post starts off funny and then, starts to read like an expose on a cult leader.

MOVIES - From TheWrap:  Universal Pictures is in active development on an untitled new “Fast & Furious” film starring Dwayne Johnson as "Luke Hobbs." The film won’t be a sequel to 2019's “Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw” or a spinoff.  Instead, it will be a direct continuation of the main “Fast Saga” story, serving as a bridge between the recently released “Fast X” and and its follow-up, “Fast X: Part II.”

From CBR:  Star Vin Diesel is reportedly upset with another "Fast & Furious" co-star over stealing attention from him.

DISNEY - From CBR:  Disney and Lucasfilm have revealed seven new "character posters" from "Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny."

HARRISON FORD - From VarietyHarrison Ford told a trio of stunt workers on the set of "Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny" the following: "Leave me the f**k alone."  Why? Read and find out.

From CBR:  Harrison Ford has now changed his stance and agrees with "Blade Runner" director, Ridley Scott. Ford believes that the film's lead character, "Rick Deckard," is a replicant.

AWARDS - From Deadline:  Here is your 2023-24 award season calendar, beginning on May 31, 2023 with the "Television Academy Honors" ceremony and ends on ends on March 10th, 2024 with the 96th Academy Awards.

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WRITERS STRIKE:

From Deadline:  The Directors Guild of America (DGA) has reached a tentative new three-year deal with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP). So what does the Writers Guild (WGA), currently on strike and negotiating with the AMPTP, think of that deal.

From Deadline:  Netflix shareholders declined to support the 2023 pay packages of top executives during a non-binding vote at the company’s annual shareholder meeting on Thursday.  The vote won't prevent these execs from getting their loot (an total of $166 million), but this is a rare public rebuke.  The Writers Guild of America (WGA) has urged shareholders to vote "No" because the pay was "inappropriate" at this time.

From Deadline:  Warner Bros Discovery chief David Zaslav gave the commencement address at Boston University. There he was met with jeers and also chants of "pay your writers" from picketers and from some in the audience.

From Deadline:   President Joe Biden speaks on the Writers Guild of America strike.

From Deadline:  Retaliation! The studios have starting informing writer-producers who have "overall" and "first-look" deals that such deals are being suspended.

From Deadline:  Retaliation!  Prolific HBO creator, David Simon, who is best known for "The Wire," is one of the many writers who have had their overall deals suspended the studios due to the WGA strike.  Simon has been with HBO for 25 years.

From Deadline:  The Writers Guild of America (WGA) is on strike.

From Deadline:  Disney, HBO/HBO Max, and CBS have sent letters to showrunners (the TV equivalent of film directors) instructing them to return to work, inspite of the writer's strike.

From Deadline:  The WGA's chief negotiator, Ellen Stutzman, talks about the state of the writers' strike, including the lack of engagement on the part of the strike's other party, AMPTP.

From Deadline:  What went wrong between the WGA and AMPTP? What could they not agree on that led to a strike?

From Deadline:  The site explains the WGA strike: the issues, the stakes, movies and TV shows affected, and how long it might last.


Friday, May 19, 2023

Review: "FAST X" is Too Fast, Too Furious For One Movie

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 22 of 2023 (No. 1911) by Leroy Douresseaux

Fast X (2023)
Running time: 141 minutes (2 hours, 21 minutes)
MPA – PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, language and some suggestive material
DIRECTOR: Louis Leterrier
WRITERS: Justin Lin and Dan Mazeau; from a story by Justin Lin & Dan Mazeau and Zach Dean (based on the characters created by Gary Scott Thompson)
PRODUCERS: Vin Diesel, Neal H. Moritz, Justin Lin, Jeffrey Kirschenbaum, and Samantha Vincent
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Stephen F. Windon (D.o.P.)
EDITORS: Dylan Highsmith and Kelly Matsumoto
COMPOSER: Brian Tyler

ACTION/CRIME/DRAMA

Starring:  Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Nathalie Emmanuel, Sung Kang, Leo Abelo Perry, Jason Statham, Jordana Brewster, Charlize Theron, Jon Cena, Brie Larson, Scot Eastwood, Alan Ritchson, Daniela Melchior, Pete Davidson, Joaquim de Almeida, Rita Moreno, Dwayne Johnson, Gal Gadot, and Helen Mirren

Fast X is a 2023 action movie that is directed by Louis Leterrier and is produced by Universal Pictures.  It is the tenth installment in the Fast & Furious movie franchise (now also called the “Fast Saga”).  A direct sequel to 2021's F9, Fast X finds Dom Toretto and his family targeted by the vengeful son of a drug kingpin they defeated over a decade ago.

Fast X begins in 2011 in Rio de Janeiro and recounts events, some of which were depicted in Fast Five (2011).  That time, professional criminals, Dominic “Dom” Toretto (Vin Diesel) and Brian O'Connor, led their crew/family in a heist against drug lord, Hernan Reyes (Joaquim de Almeida).  It is revealed that Reyes' son, Dante Reyes (Jason Momoa), failed in his bid to stop the heist.

In present day Los Angeles, Dom is living a quiet life with his wife, Letitia “Letty” Ortiz (Michelle Rodriguez), and his son, Brian “Little B” Marcos (Leo Abelo Perry).  Dom holds a family reunion that gathers the current incarnation of his crew-family:  Roman Pearce (Tyrese Gibson), Tej Parker (Chris “Ludacris” Bridges), Han Lue (Sung Kang), and Ramsey (Nathalie Emmanuel), as well as Dom's grandmother, Abuelita Torreto (Rita Moreno).

Roman, Tej, Han, and Ramsey are about to embark on a mission in Rome, Italy – with Roman leading – for Little Nobody (Scott Eastwood), the current head of “the Agency.”  However, what Dom and his family will discover is an elaborate trap laid for them by Dante Reyes, returned after over a decade and looking to avenge himself and his late father, Hernan.  Dante promise to kill Dom, but not before he makes him suffer by targeting his family and everyone connected to them or who helped them.  Now, a ragtag friends, enemies, and frenemies must gather together to stop Dante, who is always one step ahead of Dom and his family.  And Dante is enjoying every minute of the chaos and violence he causes.

When the first film, The Fast and the Furious, arrived in movie theaters in June of 2001, I ignored it, although I recognized the film's two stars, Vin Diesel and Paul Walker (1973-2013).  However, a few years later, I wanted to see 2 Fast 2 Furious (2003) because it was directed by the late John Singleton (1968-2019) and because I was a fan of actor Tyrese and rapper/actor Chris “Ludacris” Bridges.  Three years later, I was in a local theater to see The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (2006), but I called it quits after that, refusing to see Fast & Furious (2009).  I eventually did see it because I wanted to see the fifth film in the series.

That would be 2011's Fast Five.  I found it hugely entertaining, and it was the film that made me a consistent fan of the “Fast & Furious” film series.  I think that Fast Five was the first film in the series in which the action was more fantasy or fantastic than realistic.  Beginning with Dom and company's adventures in Rio, the series became some hybrid of science fiction-action, quasi-superhero fantasy, and James Bond-type super spy adventure.  After Fast Five, the series was never the same.

I won't say that Fast X epitomizes that any more than the previous four films:  Fast & Furious 6 (2013), Furious 7 (2015), The Fate of the Furious (2017), and F9 (2021).  There may be more crashes and collisions of automobiles, military vehicles, aircraft, etc, but it is all familiar, solidly entertaining, but familiar.  Fast X does seem to have the highest body count of any of the films, which I did find off-putting.  The characters shoot to kill and injury as if they are players in a video game and not characters in a narrative film.

Jason Momoa and Charlize Theron really give stand out performances in the film.  Momoa's Dante Reyes seems to be the first series villain that can really destroy Dominic Toretto, and Theron's Cipher is simply, majorly cool.

Fast X is also surprisingly funny, with more wit and humor than I think the series has delivered since 2 Fast 2 Furious.  The action is non-stop, but it is also apparently too big for a single film, as you will discover when you watch it, dear readers.  Fast X isn't a great work of cinema, but it is a superb entry in this crazy series.

[Fast X has one mid-credit scene.]

7 of 10
B+
★★★½ out of 4 stars

Friday, May 19, 2023


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

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Friday, May 5, 2023

Review: James Gunn Delivers a Series Best in the Great "GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 3"

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 20 of 2023 (No. 1909) by Leroy Douresseaux

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (2023)
Running time:  150 minutes (2 hours, 30 minutes)
MPAA – PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, strong language, suggestive/drug references and thematic elements
DIRECTOR:  James Gunn
WRITERS:  James Gunn (based on the Marvel Comics characters)
PRODUCER:  Kevin Feige
CINEMATOGRAPHER:  Henry Braham (D.o.P.)
EDITORS:  Fred Raskin and Greg D'Auria
COMPOSER:  John Murphy

SCI-FI/FANTASY and ACTION/ADVENTURE/COMEDY

Starring:  Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff, Chukwudi Iwuji, Sean Gunn, Will Poulter, Nico Santos, Miriam Shor, Elizabeth Debicki, Sylvester Stallone, Nathan Fillion, Michael Rooker, Gregg Henry, and the voices of Linda Cardellini, Seth Green, Maria Bakalova, Bradley Cooper, and Vin Diesel

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is a 2023 science fiction, comedy, and action-adventure film written and directed by James Gunn and produced by Marvel Studios.  It is the third film in Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy film series, following 2014's Guardians of the Galaxy and 2017's Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.  It is also the 32nd film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).  Vol. 3 finds the Guardians fighting to save one of their members from his creator, a mission that may destroy the Guardians whether they are successful or not.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 opens on Knowhere, the strange space station where the Guardians of the Galaxy have established their headquarters.  Their leader, Peter Quill/Star-Lord (Chris Pratt), mourns the loss of his girlfriend, Gamora (Zoe Saldana).  The alien warlord, Thanos, killed Gamora (as seen in Avengers: Infinity War), but an alternate universe version of her appeared (as seen in Avengers: Endgame).  This new Gamora does not love Peter, and she associates with The Ravagers, which was once essentially Peter's surrogate family.

The group has bigger troubles ahead.  The Guardians are being targeted by the “Sovereign” empress Ayesha (Elizabeth Debicki), someone with a grudge against them (as seen in Vol. 2).  She sends her son, Adam Warlock (Will Poulter), to attack the Guardians, and he grievously wounds Rocket (voice of Bradley Cooper).  To save Rocket, Peter and his fellow Guardians:  Drax the Destroyer (Dave Bautista), Groot (voice of Vin Diesel), Mantis (Pom Klementieff), Nebula (Karen Gillan), and a reluctant Gamora, must confront The High Evolutionary (Chukwudi Iwuji), the Counter-Earth scientist who created Rocket.

The original Guardians of the Galaxy was one of the surprise hits of 2014, if not the surprise hit of the year.  Vol. 2 was a fun sci-fi-action movie and a surprisingly thoughtful character melodrama.  Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 does everything the first two films did well and amplifies that.  Vol. 3 is the series' funniest film, and I found myself laughing throughout it.  That still surprises me because this movie has some pretty dark moments, especially concerning The High Evolutionary, who is superbly played with volcanic intensity and unremitting cruelty by the most excellent Chuckwudi Iwuji.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is one of Marvel Studios' best films in years.  I think it works for three reasons.  First, the film's production values and special effects are impressive.  The CGI-created environments, backdrops, sets (interiors and exteriors), space-ways, worlds, etc. are so dazzling in scope, color, and imagination that they surpass the impressive work of the first two films, especially the second film.  The entire entire “Orgoscope” sequence is an eye-popping collection of inventiveness.  Even the menagerie of people, creatures, and robots exceeds the first two film, probably combined.

The acting is quite good, and that makes me want to engage the characters even more.  Chris Pratt gives his best tern as Peter Quill/Star-Lord – drama, pathos, big emotions, and the sarcasm and quips are still here – but with edginess.  This is the first time that I really hoped that Star-Lord would be a long term MCU character.  It is so shocking that Zoe Saldana can convince me that she is a different Gamora.  Karen Gillan as Nebula and Pom Klementieff as Mantis do superb work with the character arcs that the story gives them.  As Drax the Destroyer, Dave Bautista makes the character seem not extraneous for the first time.  Vin Diesel and Bradley Cooper as always are winning in their voice roles as Groot and Rocket, respectively, with Diesel bringing some extra to Groot this time.

The third reason Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is so damn good is writer-director James Gunn.  This is Gunn at the peak of his powers.  Honestly, I liked Vol. 2 so much that I didn't think he could top himself, but he does with this third film.  I did find Vol. 3 a little dry and too dark in the beginning, but once it grabbed me, it would not let go.

This film has a heart – a center that is about the struggle to help a friend or family member no matter how bad his or her troubles might be or even if he or she resists and rejects the help.  In Vol. 3, Gunn makes all the characters unique individuals with wants, needs, goals, conflicts, and melodrama.  However, the best thing that Gunn does is accept that even the most intense relationships change, so he lets some of the characters move on.  The result is a last act for the ages and a closing sequence that recalls the beginning of the original film and leaves the viewer with the warmest feelings.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 opens in the U.S. today, May 5, 2023.  That is 15 years and a few days after the release of the first MCU film, Iron Man (2008).  Vol. 3 exemplifies something that I just realize runs throughout Marvel Studios' film.  In almost all of them, a dominant theme is the formation of surrogate families.  Friends, enemies, heroes, and sometimes even the villains come together in a unit that is more than just a group of friends; they are family.  In Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, James Gunn gives us the end of one version of the family as it evolves into something larger.  What makes Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 an amazing film is that it is as heartwarming as it is exciting and thrilling.  Yes, there are big, mesmerizing action set pieces, but by the end, I really believe that these guys love one another.  I could watch it forever.

9 of 10
A+
★★★★+ out of 4 stars

Friday, May 5, 2023

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

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Friday, February 17, 2023

Negromancer News Bits and Bites from February 12th to 18th, 2023 - Update #12

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

You can support Leroy via Paypal or on Patreon:

ENTERTAINMENT AND CULTURE NEWS:

MOVIES - From Deadline:  The upcoming "Scream VI" is on track to have a franchise record opening weekend at the domestic box.  The film opens March 10th.

STREAMING - From Deadline:  When Paramount+ and Showtime merge into a single service, there will be a price increase.

MOVIES - From Deadline:  Director M. Night Shyamalan has signed a multi-year, first-look deal with Warner Bros.  Upcoming projects include 2024's "Trap" and his daughter Ishana Night Shyamalan's "The Watchers," which is slated for June 2024.

CELEBRITY - From Deadline:  The family of Bruce Willis ("Die Hard") have announced that the now retired actor has "prefrontotemporal dementia."

TELEVISION - From DeadlineLaToya Morgan and J.J. Abrams' television series, "Duster," has received an official series order from HBO MaxRachel Hilson will star alongside previously announced lead, Josh Holloway.

OSCARS - From EW2023 Oscar nominees meet at the 95th Academy Awards luncheon and posed for a 2023 class photo.

TRAILERS - From DeadlineWarner Bros. Pictures debuts the first official trailer for its big summer superhero flick, "The Flash."

BOX OFFICE - From BoxOfficePro:  The winner of the 2/10 to 2/12/2023 weekend box office is "Magic Mike's Last Dance" with an estimated take of 8.2 million dollars.

CELEBRITY - From Deadline:  California county sheriff updates on missing British actor Julian Sands, who has been missing for a month in the Mount Baldy region of the San Gabriel region. "... the outcome may not be what we would like," the sheriff says.  Sands is known for such films as "Room with a View," "Warlock," and "Leaving Las Vegas," to name a few.

MOVIES - From Variety:  Vin Diesel says that he'd like Oscar-nominated actor, Robert Downey, Jr., to appear in a "Fast & Furious" film.

OBITS:

From Deadline:  Former Major League Baseball (MLB) player and television sports commentator, Tim McCarver, has died at the age of 81, Thursday, February 16, 2023.  McCarver was a catcher and played in the MLB from 1959 to 1980.  He was two World Series as a member of the St. Louis Cardinals (1964, 1967) and appeared in a third (1968), which the Cardinals lost.  Although he played for the Philadelphia Phillies in 1980, he was apparently not on the playoff roster of their World Series winning team that year.  His career as a local and national television sports broadcaster ran from 1980 to 2020, including work for ABC, CBS, and Fox.  For his work, he won three Emmy Awards.

From Variety:  Actress and international sex symbol, Raquel Welch, has died at the age of 82, Wednesday, February 15, 2023.  She first made her mark in film with the 1966 sci-fi flick, "Fantastic Voyage."  Her turn in the 1966 British adventure fantasy, "One Million Years B.C.," wearing a fur bikini, made her an international sensation.  Her other star turns included the 1967 films, "Fathom," and "Bedazzled."  She also starred in 1973's "The Three Musketeers" and its 1974 sequel, "The Four Musketeers."  Among her numerous television appearances was playing herself in the 1997 episode of "Seinfeld," entitled "The Summer of George."

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AWARDS:

From Oscar:  The nominations for the 2023 / 95th Academy Awards have been announced.  The winners will be announced Sunday, March 12, 2023.

From Deadline:   The winners at the 2023 / 21st annual VES Awards, handed out by the Visual Effects Society, have been announced.  "Avatar: The Way of Water" topped the night with 9 wins.

From Deadline:  "Top Gun: Maverick" wins "Best Picture" at the "AARP Movies for Grownups Awards" held Saturday night in Beverly Hills.

From Variety:  The nominations for the 2023 Writers Guild Awards have been announced.  Winners will be announced Sunday, March 5, 2023.

From Variety:  The nominations for the 2023 EE BAFTA Awards have been announced. The Netflix World War I drama, "All Quiet on the Western Front," leads with 14 nominations.  The winners will be announced Sunday, February 19, 2023.

From Deadline:  The winners were announced at the 2023 / 28th annual Critics Choice Awards.  "Everything Everywhere All at Once" was named "Best Picture."

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 Deadline:  The 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.

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TYRE NICHOLS:

From NBCNews:  Tyre Nichols' death: A summary and timeline of his encounter with Memphis police officers

From YahooNews:  In the 67 minutes of the Tyre Nichols video, brutality followed by nonchalance.

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BRITTNEY GRINER:

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."

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Saturday, February 11, 2023

Negromancer News Bits and Bites from February 1st to 11th, 2023 - Update #21

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

You can support Leroy via Paypal or on Patreon:

ENTERTAINMENT AND CULTURE NEWS:

MOVIES - From THR:   Daniel Fajemisin-Duncan and Marlon Smith, who co-created the 2013 British crime drama "Run," has been tapped to write the action thriller, "Rainbow Six," that has Michael B. Jordan starring and Chad Stahelski directing.

MOVIES - From Deadline:  Writer-director David Twohy and star Vin Diesel are reunited for a fourth film in the "Riddick" series, entitled "Riddick: Furya."

From JoBlo:  On Instagram, Vin Diesel shares some concept art for the upcoming, "Riddick: Furya."

MOVIES - From Deadline:  Oscar-nominee Sacha Baron Cohen and Keke Palmer ("Nope") are teaming up with writer-director David O. Russell ("Amsterdam") for "Super Toys."

AMAZON - From DeadlineNicole Kidman and Jamie Lee Curtis will headline Amazon Studios' TV series adaptation of Patricia Cornwell's "Kay Scarpetta" novels.  Kidman will play the lead, and Curtis will play her sister, Dorothy.

TELEVISION - From EW:  British comedy legend, John Cleese, is reviving his beloved BBC sitcom, "Fawlty Towers," with his daughter, Camilla Cleese.  The series is being developed by Rob Reiner's Castle Rock Entertainment.  The original series ran for two series of six episodes each in 1975 and 1979.

MOVIES - From DeadlineSony Pictures is developing a direct sequel to its 1997 hit slasher film, "I Know What You Did Last Summer."  Jennifer Love Hewitt and Freddie Prinze, Jr. are in talks to reprise their respective roles from the original.

NETFLIX - From THR:   Matthew McConaughey has signed on to voice Elvis Presley in Netflix’s adult animated action comedy series "Agent Elvis."

MOVIES - From THR:  The AMC Theatres chain is going start basing movie ticket prices on where patrons want to sit in the auditorium.  This price will take place after 4 pm.

MUSIC - From Deadline:  At the 2023 / 65th annual Grammy Awards, "Harry's House," an album by recording artist Harry Styles, won the top honor "Album of the Year."  With her 32nd Grammy win, Beyonce became the all-time leaders in career Grammy wins.

MOVIES - From BloodyDisgusting:  Film producer-director, Sean S. Cunningham, is "working to get his own 'Friday the 13th' reboot off the ground.  Much depends on the setting the franchise's rights issues"

BOX OFFICE - BoxOfficePro:  The winner of the 2/3 to 2/5/2023 weekend box office is "Knock at the Cabin" with an estimated take of 14.2 million dollars.

From Here:  Negromancer's review of "Knock at the Cabin."

From Variety:  Actor Dave Bautista explains his most shocking scene in the new film, "Knock at the Cabin."

MOVIES - From DeadlineWarner Bros has acquired the rights to Stephen King's novel, "Billy SummersJJ Abrams and Leonard DiCaprio's respective production companies are producing.

TELEVISION - From DeadlineNBC has given its comedy revival, "Night Court," a renewal for a second season.

MUSIC - From Variety: Grammy-winning recording artist and music icon, Beyonce, has announced stadium tour dates for her "Renaissance" world tour.  The first U.S. date appears to be July 12th in Philladelphia.

MOVIES - From DeadlineJerry Bruckenheimer and director Guy Ritchie's World War II movie, "The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare," has added eight new names to a cast that already includes Henry Cavill and Eiza Gonzalez. New cast includes Alex Pettyfer and Cary Elwes.

AMAZON - From Deadline:  Amazon Prime's "The Terminal List," staring Chris Pratt, will continue with a second season and will become a franchise with a prequel executive produced and starring Taylor Kitsch.

MOVIES/MUSIC - From VarietyJaafar Jackson will portray his late uncle, Michael Jackson, in director Antoine Fuqua's biopic about the Grammy Award-winning legend and music icon, which is entitled "Michael."  Jaafar is the second youngest son of Michael Jackson's brother, Jermaine Jackson, songwriter, producer, recording artist, and member of the "Jackson 5."

*DC STUDIOS - From Deadline:   DC Studios co-CEOs James Gunn and Peter Safran finally revealed their plans for an inter-connective universe of DC Comics character-based film and television.

*MOVIES - From Deadline:  Will Smith and Martin Lawrence announced that "Bad Boys 4" is in pre-production.  "Bad Boys for Life" directors El Arbi and Bilall Fallah are also returning.

OBITS:

From Deadline:  Songwriter, composer, and record producer, Burt Bacharach, has died at the age of 94, Wednesday, February 8, 2023.  Over a three decade career, he composed hundreds of pop songs that have been recorded by over 1000 recording artists.  He won the "Best Original Song" Oscar twice and "Best Original Score" once (for "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid").  He won six Grammy Awards, including for the 1987 "Song of the Year" award for "That's What Friends Are For" (1986, co-written with his then wife, Carole Bayer Sager).

From MarinIJ:  Author and activist, David Harris, has died at the age of 76, Monday, February 6, 2023.  He was a leader and an icon of the Vietnam War draft resistance movement.  He encouraged young men to resist the draft and to refuse to report for military service.  When he himself was drafted in 1968, he refused to report and was immediately indicted.  He spent 20 months of a three-year sentence in the federal prison system.  He would go on to write for "Rolling Stone" and "The New York Times Magazine."  He also published 10 non-fiction books on a range of topics, including the NFL, politics, and international events.

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AWARDS:

From Oscar:  The nominations for the 2023 / 95th Academy Awards have been announced.  The winners will be announced Sunday, March 12, 2023.

From Deadline:  "Top Gun: Maverick" wins "Best Picture" at the "AARP Movies for Grownups Awards" held Saturday night in Beverly Hills.

From Variety:  The nominations for the 2023 Writers Guild Awards have been announced.  Winners will be announced Sunday, March 5, 2023.

From Variety:  The nominations for the 2023 EE BAFTA Awards have been announced. The Netflix World War I drama, "All Quiet on the Western Front," leads with 14 nominations.  The winners will be announced Sunday, February 19, 2023.

From Deadline:  The winners were announced at the 2023 / 28th annual Critics Choice Awards.  "Everything Everywhere All at Once" was named "Best Picture."

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 Deadline:  The 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.

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TYRE NICHOLS:

From NBCNews:  Tyre Nichols' death: A summary and timeline of his encounter with Memphis police officers

From YahooNews:  In the 67 minutes of the Tyre Nichols video, brutality followed by nonchalance.

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BRITTNEY GRINER:

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."

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Friday, July 8, 2022

Review: "THOR: LOVE AND THUNDER" is Full of Love and Thunder

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 42 of 2022 (No. 1854) by Leroy Douresseaux

Thor: Love and Thunder (2022)
Running time:  119 minutes (1 hour, 59 minutes)
MPAA – PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action, language, some suggestive material and partial nudity
DIRECTOR:  Taika Waititi
WRITERS: Taiki Waititi and Jennifer Kaytin Robinson; from a story by Taika Waititi (based on the Marvel Comics)
PRODUCERS:  Kevin Feige and Brad Winderbaum
CINEMATOGRAPHER:  Barry Idoine (D.o.P.)
EDITORS:  Peter S. Elliot, Tim Roche, Matthew Schmidt, and Jennifer Vecchiarello
COMPOSERS:  Michael Giacchino and Nami Melumad

SUPERHERO/FANTASY/ACTION and COMEDY/DRAMA

Starring:  Chris Hemsworth, Christian Bale, Tessa Thompson, Taika Waititi (voice) Jaimie Alexander, Chris Pratt, Dave Bautista, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff, Vin Diesel (voice), Bradley Cooper (voice), Kieron L. Dyer, Idris Elba, Brett Goldstein, and Russell Crowe and Natalie Portman

Thor: Love and Thunder is a 2022 superhero fantasy and action-comedy directed by Taika Waititi and produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Pictures.  It is the fourth film in Marvel's Thor film series, which began with Thor (2011).  Thor is a Marvel Comics character that first appeared in the comic book, Journey into Mystery #83 (cover dated: August 1962), and is based on the Norse mythological deity of the same name.  In Love and Thunder, Thor reunites with his ex-girlfriend to fight a being who plans to make the gods extinct.

Thor: Love and Thunder finds Thor (Chris Hemsworth), using his second enchanted hammer, “Stormbreaker,” is fighting the bad guys of the galaxy with the Guardians of the GalaxyStar-Lord (Chris Pratt), Mantis (Pom Klementieff), Drax the Destroyer (Dave Bautista), Nebula (Karen Gillan), Groot (voice of Vin Diesel), and Rocket (voice of Bradley Cooper).  Thor is at a crossroads in his life and is unsure of what to do next.

Back on Earth, Thor's ex-girlfriend, the astrophysicist Dr. Jane Foster (Natalie Portman), is battling stage four cancer.  Seeking medical treatment, Jane travels to New Asgard.  There, she has a strange encounter with Thor's broken hammer, Mjolnir.

Meanwhile, Thor has answered a distress signal from one of Asgard's warriors, Sif (Jaimie Alexander).  She warns him of Gorr the God Butcher (Christian Bale), a being who possesses the god-killing weapon, “the Necrosword.”  When Gorr attacks New Asgard, Thor returns to join the battle.  Much to his shock, he discovers that Mjolnir has reforged and bonded with Jane Foster, transforming her into another Thor.

Now, Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson), King of Asgard, and Korg (voice of Taika Waititi), the rocky Kronan warrior, join Thor and Thor on a journey to fight Gorr.  But are they enough to fight a being that has already killed many gods?

The last year's worth of Marvel Studios films, five including Thor: Love and Thunder, have been different, even offbeat, much to the chagrin of some critics and fans.  People complained that Marvel's films were too much alike, and now that the studio has given us five films that are quite different from the first 11 years of films, they still aren't happy.

Anyway, I want to make it clear that there is plenty of “thunder” in Thor: Love and Thunder.  Director Taika Waititi offers some action set pieces that are either unusual or have an unusual angle to them.  As Gorr, Christian Bale gives a multi-layered performance full of pathos, humor, and maniacal glee.  It is a seemingly effortless performance from one of the best actors of the last quarter-century.  So, this superhero movie has a great villain, one who can match both Thors and is genuinely vengeful, a vengeance grounded in love.

Still, Waititi wants Thor to be something really different.  The films trades in themes of love, death, and change.  Thor Odinson and Jane Foster-Thor are both in crisis.  The Odinson is having a sort of mid-life crisis.  If he is no longer the rascally young heir to the throne of Asgard or the Avenger's lightning, thunder, and muscle, then, what is he?  Jane Foster is facing an existential crisis; her cancer is really terminal.  Should she quietly accept her fate or should she go out with a bang and some thunder as Thor, fighting their enemy to death, if need be?

Thor: Love and Thunder is a perfect film for this time.  It chooses love over despair.  It is a post-breakup movie in which Thor and Jane Foster find their way back to one another.  Although death is an end, it can also mean change, and that is what can be in store for Thor and Thor and for King Valkyrie, Korg, and a few other characters.

I love what director Taika Waititi has created in his two Thor films, this and the earlier Thor: Ragnarok (2017).  Thor: Love and Thunder finds the humor in every situation, even the dark and dangerous ones, which might put off some of its audience.  However, I like that Thor: Love and Thunder is a film made of joy, color, and wonder that travels across the galaxy and into different realms.  But no matter where it goes, Thor: Love and Thunder full of thunderous sounds and furious love.

[This film as two scenes that occur during the credits, one in the middle and one at the end.]

8 of 10
A
★★★★ out of 4 stars


Friday, July 8, 2022


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

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Saturday, April 23, 2022

Negromancer News Bits and Bites from April 17th to 23rd, 2022 - Update #18

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

You can support Leroy via Paypal or on Patreon:

ENTERTAINMENT AND CULTURE NEWS:

MOVIES - From NYTArts:  Director Robert Eggers says that filming his epic, "The Northman," was punishing, but that he wanted it that way.

MOVIES - From RollingStone:  Former CIA operative Alfreda Scheuer (formerly Bikowsky) partially inspired Jessica Chastain's character, "Maya Harris," the CIA analyst in the 2021 film, "Zero Dark Thirty."  Known as the "Queen of Torture," Alfreda is now a life coach hawking beauty products via her company YBeU Beautiful...

STREAMING - From VarietyWarner Bros. Discovery is shutting down the streaming service, CNN+, after it has been in existence for a month...

STREAMING - From Collider:  Hulu will stream a black and white version of director Guillermo del Toro's Oscar-nominated film, "Nightmare Alley," beginning April 25th.

STREAMING - From THRHBO Max and HBO added 3 million subscribers in the first quarter of the year (2022).

NETFLIX/ANIMATION - From YahooEntertainment:  "Netflix Animation" is no more.  It's creative director (Phil Rynda) and its staff was let go.  Prestige projects, like the adaptation of the comic book, "Bone," have been discontinued.

DISNEY - From DeadlineFlorida Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Republican-controlled legislature looks to strip Disney World of its "special district" privileges as payback for Disney's criticism of Florida's anti-LGBTQ+ legislation.

MOVIES - From YahooEntertainment:   The tenth installment of the "Fast & Furious" franchise, the first of the two-part finale, will be titled, "Fast X," says star Vin Diesel. The film is currently beginning production under director, Justin Lin.

TELEVISION - From LATimes:  NBA legend and Los Angeles Lakers legend, Jerry West, is demanding that four entitles, including executive producer, Adam McKay, withdraw its portrayal of him in the hit HBO miniseries about the 1980s "Showtime era" Lakers, "Winning Time."

SCANDAL - From YahooEntertainment:  The New Mexico Occupational Health and Safety Bureau has fined "Rust Movie Productions LLC, the company that produced the ill-fated Western film, "Rust," $136,793 for its "willful and serious" violation of workplace safety procedures. While handling a gun, actor Alec Baldwin accidentally killed the film's cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and wounded director Joel Souza.

MOVIES - From Deadline:  Screen Gems will release its romantic drama, "It's All Coming Back to Me," on Feb. 10th, 2023. The film centers of the music of Celine Dion helping a couple find love.

BOX OFFICE - From BoxOfficePro:  The winner of the 4/15 to 4/17/2022 (Easter) weekend box office is "Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore" with an estimated take of 43 million dollars.

HAPPY EASTER - From THR:   22 of the funniest, coolest, cuddliest, and creepiest rabbits in pop Culture - from Bugs to "Donnie Darko."

MOVIES - From Variety:  Actor Jamie Dornan ("50 Shades of Grey" trilogy, "Belfast") calls fan backlash over casting actors in certain roles "disturbing" and "a fucking disease." [And he is oh-so right. - Leroy]

CULTURE - From TheDailyBeast:  "What Hollywood Can Learn From Porn About Sex Scenes" by Maitland War, porn actress.

MISC - From BackDoorSurvival:   What to do if martial law is declared...

From NBCNews:  A man wins $450,000 in a lawsuit because his employer celebrated his birthday...

DEPP V. HEARD:

From VarietyJohnny Depp says that Disney has wanted to cut ties with him regarding the "Pirates of the Caribbean" franchise, even before Amber Heard wrote her infamous op-ed for "The Washington Post" that accused Depp of abusing her.

From YahooEntertainmentJohnny Depp says that his ex-wife Amber Heard once "severed" his finger.

From LATimes:  The lawsuit explained:  Johnny Depp (58) is suing his ex-wife, Amber Heard (35), over a 2018 Washington Post piece she wrote that Depp believes falsely portrayed him as a domestic abuser.  Heard is counter-suing Depp accusing his lawyers of defaming her.

From Deadline:  Oscar-nominee Johnny Depp's 50 million dollar defamation law suit against his ex-wife, Amber Heard, has begun in Fairfax County Circuit Court, Virginia.

From PerezHilton:  Amber Heard lawyer says that Heard's ex, the Oscar-nominated actor, Johnny Depp, held her hostage in Australia for three days. This is one of many claims made in Depp's defamation law suit that has gone from 50 million dollars to 100 million.

From Deadline:  James Franco, "WandaVision" star Paul Bettany, Elon Musk, and representatives of the Walt Disney Company, Warner Bros, and the LAPD could end up in the court in Johnny Depp's defamation case against his former wife, Amber Heard.

From WeGotThisCovered:  Johnny Depp versus Amber Heard is in its first day and already there are allegations of sexual assault.


Friday, December 31, 2021

Negromancer News Bits and Bites from December 26th to 31st, 2021 - Update #12

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

You can support Leroy via Paypal or on Patreon:

ENTERTAINMENT AND CULTURE NEWS:

REVIEW - From Negromancer:  My review of "Spider-Man: No Way Home."

MOVIES - From Variety:   Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson has publicly declined Vin Diesel's invitation to rejoin the "Fast Saga" mainline franchise for the supposed finale, "Fast 10."

COVID-19 - From Deadline:  On Tuesday (12/28/2021), the United States recorded 512,553 daily new COVID-19 cases, according to Johns Hopkins University. That is, by far, the single highest daily case number recorded during the entire COVID-19 pandemic. 

From RSN:  According to the Associated Press, "FEMA Wants to Give Families Up to $9,000 for COVID Funerals, but Many Don't Apply"

MOVIES - From HotNewHipHopIce Cube reveals why actor Chris Tucker did not return for "Next Friday" (2000), the first of two sequels to the cult hit film, "Friday" (1995).  It was for religious reasons.

BOX OFFFICE - From BoxOfficePro:   The winner of the 12/24 to 12/26/2021 weekend box office is Sony Pictures/Marvel Studios' "Spider-Man: No Way Home" with an estimated take of 81.5 million dollars.

From THR:   "Spider-Man: No Way Home" is now Sony Pictures' all-time top-grossing film at the U.S. box office with a total to date of 405.5 million dollars.  The previous champ was "Jumanji: Welcome to to the Jungle" (2017) with a domestic total of 404.5 million.

From THR:  On Sunday, "Spider-Man: No Way Home" passed the billion-dollar mark in global box office.  It is the first film to do so in the pandemic era.

MOVIES - From Variety:  Actor Michael B. Jordan talks about getting directing advice from Denzel Washington as Jordan prepares to direct "Creed III."

OBITS:

From THR:   American animal advocate and beloved television actress and comedienne, Betty White, has died at the age of 99, Friday, December 31, 2021.  A five-time Emmy winner, White starred on CBS's "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" from 1973 to 1977, NBC's "The Golden Girls" (1985-92), and TV Land's "Hot in Cleveland" (2010-15).

From Variety:  Former NFL coach and retired sportscaster, John Madden, has died at the age of 85, Tuesday, December 28, 2021.  Madden won Super Bowl XI (Jan. 1977) as head coach of the Oakland Raiders.  He was the Raiders head coach from 1969 to 1978.  Madden was a color commentator for CBS from 1979 to 1993, for Fox from 1994 to 2001, for ABC Sports from 2002 to 2005, and for NBC Sports from 2006 to 2008.  In 1988, Madden lent his name, voice, and personality to EA Sports sports video game, "John Madden Football" (1988-94), which has been best known as "Madden NFL."  Madden was "Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2006."

From Deadline:  Canadian director and screenwriter, Jean-Marc VallĂ©e, has died at the age of 58, Sunday, December 26, 2021.  Among his best known directorial efforts are the Oscar-winning films, "Young Victoria" (2009) and "Dallas Buyers Club" (2013) and the Oscar-nominated "Wild" (2014).  He also directed the first season of the HBO TV series, "Big Little Lies."

From TheNewYorkTimes:   Archbishop Desmond Tutu has died at the age of 80, Sunday, December 26, 2021.  A South African Anglican bishop, Tutu was known as an anti-apartheid and human rights activist.  He was one of the most prominent opponents of South Africa's apartheid system of racial segregation and white minority rule.  He was a key figure in apartheid's dismantling and in South Africa's transition away from it.  Tutu appeared in over a hundred television, film, and video documentaries and TV specials and series to discuss his work and beliefs.

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AWARDS:

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 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.