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Friday, October 15, 2021

No Time To Die (Spoiler Alert)

The final film of Daniel Craig’s James Bond career, No Time to Die continues the fragmented story of the past five films, joining 007 in a life of retirement is his lover, Madeleine (Léa Seydoux), a psychiatrist with a dark past. Attacked whilst on vacation, it is revealed that Madeleine hasn’t been entirely truthful to Bond, as the two part ways and Bond seeks out the villainous Lyutsifer Safin (Rami Malek). Eventually seeing the errors of their ways, Bond and Madeleine join forces with Lashana Lynch’s Nomi to take down the maniacal villain on his island lair. As the film rages towards its violent climax, Bond defeats Safin in a rather muted fashion and unusually finds himself totally alone, without a getaway vehicle or even the company of his accomplice. Deciding not to make a grand escape with a jetpack, hovercraft or hot air balloon, instead James Bond awaits his fate as missiles head to destroy the poisonous island. For the first time in the franchise’s history, James Bond dies. Following in the footsteps of Harrison Ford’s Han Solo in Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Robert Downey Jr’s Iron Man in Avengers: Endgame, the death of Daniel Craig’s Bond represents a monumental shift in the series. However, no matter how radical this climax may seem, it is perhaps the most loyal to Ian Fleming’s original vision. As Daniel Craig stated in a recent interview, “It’s very complicated the relationship Fleming had to Bond…He didn’t like him. He tried to kill him off. There’s not a lot there as far as character is concerned. Fleming called him ‘a shadow’”. So what does this ending mean for the future of James Bond? The death of 007 represents a significant statement of intent from Barbara Broccoli and the James Bond crew, levelling the landscape of the current character, and in many ways the decades of history that has preceded. As the after-credits titles read “James Bond will return”, though the form in which the character may return could very well be far different. Having long-relied on franchise iconography to carry the series from film to film, the death of James Bond can also trigger the death of the Aston Martin DB5, the Martinis and the Bond girls. Never has there been a better time to refit 007 with a brand new suit, car and modern bunch of ideals. Cast a younger actor, a woman or an actor from an entirely different ethnicity. Switch up the tone and create something more unique, instead of copying contemporary action flicks. Restore the simple pleasures of Roger Moore’s era. The possibilities to revolutionise the James Bond series are truly endless. It’s time for Bond to live and let die.

Thursday, June 17, 2021

Mission: Impossible 7" has been shut down

 (CNN)Months after its star Tom Cruise was reportedly recorded reprimanding crew members for violating social distancing protocols, production for "Mission: Impossible 7" has been shut down because of a positive Covid test.

Paramount, which is producing the latest film in the Cruise franchise, did not reveal who on the production had tested positive in a statement the studio provided to CNN.
"We have temporarily halted production on Mission: Impossible 7 until June 14th, due to positive coronavirus test results during routine testing," the statement read. "We are following all safety protocols and will continue to monitor the situation."
    Filming in Italy had initially been suspended in February 2020 because of the pandemic and then resumed in October.
      In December, British newspaper The Sun obtained and published audio tapes that allegedly feature Cruise chiding two crew members who were reportedly standing within six feet of each other.
        "We are the gold standard," Cruise can be heard saying in the audio recording The Sun reported as being him. "They're back there in Hollywood making movies right now because of us! Because they believe in us and what we're doing."
          CNN has contacted reps for Cruise for comment.
            The film has been scheduled for a May 2022 release.

            Sunday, July 24, 2016

            Ice Age: Collision Course proves once and for all that this dying franchise

            In Kevin Smith's Clerks II, there's a scene where Randall, one of Smith's most iconic characters, derisively described The Lord of the Rings trilogy as a lot of walking, only to drop a ring into a volcano. If he were to sum up the Ice Age films, he'd have basically done the same thing, except he'd still be walking, and there'd be no closure in a ring being destroyed. Indeed, Ice Age: Collision Course is just more of the same for the franchise that spawned it: travel from here to there, make some jokes, and once and awhile check in on Scrat. Suffice it to say, this movie only really serves one purpose: to prove that the franchise needs a swift and sudden ending.

            With a series of meteors threatening life as they know it, Manny (Ray Romano,) Diego (Denis Leary,) and Sid (John Leguizamo) must lead their group, including Ellie (Queen Latifah,) Shirah (Jennifer Lopez,) Peaches (Keke Palmer,) and Julian (Adam Devine) to safety. Of course, the road to safety is really a path to danger, as Buck (Simon Pegg) has convinced the team to head to where the largest meteor is supposed to hit, in an effort to somehow avoid their historically dictated fate.

            If you're looking for an animated film that tests the boundaries of storytelling in the medium of children's films, then you'd better go see Finding Dory again, as Ice Age: Collision Course is pretty much your standard, all-star kids comedy. With glowing nipples, dangerous yoga contortions, and a marriage subplot that plays it so safe it requires a combination to unlock, you basically know where this film is going at least 20 steps ahead of time. I wish I could say that there's at least enough humor to keep the audience past the age of 6 entertained, but unless you're really hankering for jokes referencing Armageddon, then I really can't say that. In fact, it seems that the Ice Age series has mistaken adding characters to its already hefty dramatis personae as a tactic for making things funnier. As you can tell by the constantly unfunny Crash and Eddie, it's not.

            All's not lost though, as there are a couple of bright spots that save Ice Age: Collision Course from itself. Scrat, as per usual, gets some of the funniest gags involving zero dialogue, but a Looney Tunes sensibility. Also, Simon Pegg's Buck continues to be a character that deserves his own spin off, as his adventures and witty repartee are an oasis from the cloying wedding subplot this film contains. And last, but not least, Neil deGrasse Tyson's minuscule cameo kind of makes me wish Fox would commission a Cosmos for Kids series, using his character, Neil deBuck Weasel as the storyteller. But considering Scrat has always been the crutch of the Ice Age series, and the roles of Pegg and Tyson are so small, they can't overcome the crushing pall of unfunny material that makes up the meat of the film.

            The fact that Ice Age is on its fifth sequel, and still hasn't resolved itself into an ending, is enough to make you apologize to The Land Before Time franchise for complaining when it crossed the threshold of ten films. It would be best if Fox just feeds this languishing franchise to the nearest predator, in order to give Scrat, Buck, and Neil deBuck Weasel their own buddy comedy. Alas, the chances of this happening are the same as an asteroid wiping out the animated cast of Ice Age: Collision Course, so I wouldn't recommend holding your breath.

            Star Trek Beyond Opens Number One

            Weekend Box Office: July 22 - 24, 2016

            With $59 million, Star Trek Beyond still has one of the top ten openings of 2016 so far, but marks a notable drop from Star Trek's $75 million and Star Trek Into Darkness' $70 million openings. The drop isn't unusual for franchises, but it's the opposite trend from the original Star Trek films, each of which consecutively opened higher from the original in 1979 until the ninth film, Star Trek: Insurrection, in 1998.
            PG-13 horror films aren't as common as their R-rated brethren, but their dirt cheap budgets just as easily result in insta-profits. Lights Out opened with a strong fourth place start with $21 million against a $5 million budget, making it one of the more profitable horror flicks in the last couple of years.
            The Ice Age franchise is beginning to feel like this decade's Land Before Time. The fifth animated pre-historic venture in the series, Ice Age: Collision Course, opened in fifth place with a just $21 million. Despite a $105 million production budget, international sales have already pushed the movie well out of the red. But with the lowest domestic opening of the franchise so far, it's not clear how much longer the cash cow can be milked before it converts to direct to Netflix.

            Sunday, May 1, 2016

            Jeremy Irons’ Returning as Alfred in Justice League

            Jeremy Irons will be returning as Alfred in the Zack Snyder-directed Justice League: Part One, the actor told Showbiz 411. Irons can currently be seen in theaters as Alfred in Warner Bros. Pictures‘ Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, which has earned over $856 million worldwide.
            Justice League
            Production is already underway for Justice League in London. Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill and Gal Gadot are reprising their roles as the DC Trinity, Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman, in the film, with Jason Mamoa appearing as Aquaman, Ray Fisher as Cyborg, and Ezra Miller as The Flash. Amber Heard is set to play Queen Mera in the film as well before moving to the solo Aquaman movie in 2018, Willem Dafoe is appearing in a mystery role, and J.K. Simmons is playing Commissioner Gordon.
            Justice League will debut in theaters on November 10, 2017. While we’ll have to wait and see how big his role is in that film, Irons’ Alfred will undoubtedly have a lot of screen time in the upcoming Ben Affleck-directed, and co-written, untitled solo Batman movie.

            Tuesday, April 19, 2016

            ‘Avatar’ Sequels: Plans to be Shot - All Four Sequels Concurrently

            Last week at CinemaCon, James Cameron and 20th Century Fox announced they were planning four Avatar sequels. The release schedule currently has Avatar 2 due Christmas 2018, Avatar 3 is due Christmas 2020, Avatar 4 is due Christmas 2022, and Avatar 5 is due Christmas 2023. There weren’t any details beyond that, but now Cameron has done an interview with Famous Monsters of Filmland to talk about the upcoming quadrilogy of sequels and what he has planned.
            For starters, he isn’t planning to shoot them back-to-back. Instead, he’s taking a miniseries approach and shooting them concurrently, which seems fairly bold when the first sequel is only two years away and the final sequel is due in seven years. Cameron explains:

            Image result for the movie avatar pics
            “It’s not back-to-back. It’s really all one big production. It’s more the way you would shoot a miniseries. So we’ll be shooting across all [AVATAR scripts] simultaneously. So Monday I might be doing a scene from Movie Four, and Tuesday I’m doing a scene from Movie One. … We’re working across, essentially, eight hours of story. It’s going to be a big challenge to keep it all fixed in our minds, exactly where we are, across that story arc at any given point. It’s going to be probably the most challenging thing I’ve ever done. I’m sure the actors will be challenged by that as well. It’s like, ‘No, no, no, no, this person hasn’t died yet, so you’re still in this phase of your life.’ It’s a saga. It’s like doing all three GODFATHER films at the same time.”

            Wednesday, January 21, 2015

            2015 Oscar Nominations

            Best Motion Picture
            • “American Sniper” Clint Eastwood, Robert Lorenz, Andrew Lazar, Bradley Cooper and Peter Morgan, Producers
            • “Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)” Alejandro G. Iñárritu, John Lesher and James W. Skotchdopole, Producers
            • “Boyhood” Richard Linklater and Cathleen Sutherland, Producers
            • “The Grand Budapest Hotel” Wes Anderson, Scott Rudin, Steven Rales and Jeremy Dawson, Producers
            • “The Imitation Game” Nora Grossman, Ido Ostrowsky and Teddy Schwarzman, Producers
            • “Selma” Christian Colson, Oprah Winfrey, Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner, Producers
            • “The Theory of Everything” Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Lisa Bruce and Anthony McCarten, Producers
            • “Whiplash” Jason Blum, Helen Estabrook and David Lancaster, Producers
            Achievement in Directing
            • “Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)” Alejandro G. Iñárritu
            • “Boyhood” Richard Linklater
            • “Foxcatcher” Bennett Miller
            • “The Grand Budapest Hotel” Wes Anderson
            • “The Imitation Game” Morten Tyldum
            Performance By an Actor in a Leading Role
            • Steve Carell in “Foxcatcher”
            • Bradley Cooper in “American Sniper”
            • Benedict Cumberbatch in “The Imitation Game”
            • Michael Keaton in “Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)”
            • Eddie Redmayne in “The Theory of Everything”
            Performance By an Actress in a Leading Role
            1. Marion Cotillard in “Two Days, One Night”
            2. Felicity Jones in “The Theory of Everything”
            3. Julianne Moore in “Still Alice”
            4. Rosamund Pike in “Gone Girl”
            5. Reese Witherspoon in “Wild”
            Performance By an Actor in a Supporting Role
            • Robert Duvall in “The Judge”
            • Ethan Hawke in “Boyhood”
            • Edward Norton in “Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)”
            • Mark Ruffalo in “Foxcatcher”
            • J.K. Simmons in “Whiplash”
            Performance By an Actress in a Supporting Role
            • Patricia Arquette in “Boyhood”
            • Laura Dern in “Wild”
            • Keira Knightley in “The Imitation Game”
            • Emma Stone in “Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)”
            • Meryl Streep in “Into the Woods”
            Best Animated Feature
            • “Big Hero 6” Don Hall, Chris Williams and Roy Conli
            • “The Boxtrolls” Anthony Stacchi, Graham Annable and Travis Knight
            • “How to Train Your Dragon 2” Dean DeBlois and Bonnie Arnold
            • “Song of the Sea” Tomm Moore and Paul Young
            • “The Tale of the Princess Kaguya” Isao Takahata and Yoshiaki Nishimura
            Achievement in Cinematography
            • “Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)” Emmanuel Lubezki
            • “The Grand Budapest Hotel” Robert Yeoman
            • “Ida” Lukasz Zal and Ryszard Lenczewski
            • “Mr. Turner” Dick Pope
            • “Unbroken” Roger Deakins
            Achievement in Costume Design
            • “The Grand Budapest Hotel” Milena Canonero
            • “Inherent Vice” Mark Bridges
            • “Into the Woods” Colleen Atwood
            • “Maleficent” Anna B. Sheppard and Jane Clive
            • “Mr. Turner” Jacqueline Durran
            Best Documentary Feature
            • “CitizenFour” Laura Poitras, Mathilde Bonnefoy and Dirk Wilutzky
            • “Finding Vivian Maier” John Maloof and Charlie Siskel
            • “Last Days in Vietnam” Rory Kennedy and Keven McAlester
            • “The Salt of the Earth” Wim Wenders, Juliano Ribeiro Salgado and David Rosier
            • “Virunga” Orlando von Einsiedel and Joanna Natasegara
            Best Documentary Short Feature
            • “Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1” Ellen Goosenberg Kent and Dana Perry
            • “Joanna” Aneta Kopacz
            • “Our Curse” Tomasz Sliwinski and Maciej Slesicki
            • “The Reaper (La Parka)” Gabriel Serra Arguello
            • “White Earth” J. Christian Jensen
            Achievement in Film Editing
            • “American Sniper” Joel Cox and Gary D. Roach
            • “Boyhood” Sandra Adair
            • “The Grand Budapest Hotel” Barney Pilling
            • “The Imitation Game” William Goldenberg
            • “Whiplash” Tom Cross
            Best Foreign Language Film
            • “Ida” Poland
            • “Leviathan” Russia
            • “Tangerines” Estonia
            • “Timbuktu” Mauritania
            • “Wild Tales” Argentina
            Achievement in Makeup and Hairstyling
            • “Foxcatcher” Bill Corso and Dennis Liddiard
            • “The Grand Budapest Hotel” Frances Hannon and Mark Coulier
            • “Guardians of the Galaxy” Elizabeth Yianni-Georgiou and David White
            Achievement in Original Score
            • “The Grand Budapest Hotel” Alexandre Desplat
            • “The Imitation Game” Alexandre Desplat
            • “Interstellar” Hans Zimmer
            • “Mr. Turner” Gary Yershon
            • “The Theory of Everything” Jóhann Jóhannsson
            Achievement in Original Song
            • “Everything Is Awesome” from “The Lego Movie”Music and Lyric by Shawn Patterson
            • “Glory” from “Selma”Music and Lyric by John Stephens and Lonnie Lynn
            • “Grateful” from “Beyond the Lights”Music and Lyric by Diane Warren
            • “I’m Not Gonna Miss You” from “Glen Campbell…I’ll Be Me”Music and Lyric by Glen Campbell and Julian Raymond
            • “Lost Stars” from “Begin Again”Music and Lyric by Gregg Alexander and Danielle Brisebois
            Achievement in Production Design
            • “The Grand Budapest Hotel” Production Design: Adam Stockhausen; Set Decoration: Anna Pinnock
            • “The Imitation Game” Production Design: Maria Djurkovic; Set Decoration: Tatiana Macdonald
            • “Interstellar” Production Design: Nathan Crowley; Set Decoration: Gary Fettis
            • “Into the Woods” Production Design: Dennis Gassner; Set Decoration: Anna Pinnock
            • “Mr. Turner” Production Design: Suzie Davies; Set Decoration: Charlotte Watts
            Best Animated Short Film
            • “The Bigger Picture” Daisy Jacobs and Christopher Hees
            • “The Dam Keeper” Robert Kondo and Dice Tsutsumi
            • “Feast” Patrick Osborne and Kristina Reed
            • “Me and My Moulton” Torill Kove
            • “A Single Life” Joris Oprins
            Best Live-Action Short Film
            • “Aya” Oded Binnun and Mihal Brezis
            • “Boogaloo and Graham” Michael Lennox and Ronan Blaney“
            • Butter Lamp (La Lampe Au Beurre De Yak)” Hu Wei and Julien Féret
            • “Parvaneh” Talkhon Hamzavi and Stefan Eichenberger
            • “The Phone Call” Mat Kirkby and James Lucas
            Achievement in Sound Editing
            • “American Sniper” Alan Robert Murray and Bub Asman
            • “Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)” Martín Hernández and Aaron Glascock
            • “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” Brent Burge and Jason Canovas
            • “Interstellar” Richard King
            • “Unbroken” Becky Sullivan and Andrew DeCristofaro
            Achievement in Sound Mixing
            • “American Sniper” John Reitz, Gregg Rudloff and Walt Martin
            • “Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)” Jon Taylor, Frank A. Montaño and Thomas Varga
            • “Interstellar” Gary A. Rizzo, Gregg Landaker and Mark Weingarten
            • “Unbroken” Jon Taylor, Frank A. Montaño and David Lee
            • “Whiplash” Craig Mann, Ben Wilkins and Thomas Curley
            Achievement in Visual Effects
            • “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” Dan DeLeeuw, Russell Earl, Bryan Grill and Dan Sudick
            • “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” Joe Letteri, Dan Lemmon, Daniel Barrett and Erik Winquist
            • “Guardians of the Galaxy” Stephane Ceretti, Nicolas Aithadi, Jonathan Fawkner and Paul Corbould
            • “Interstellar” Paul Franklin, Andrew Lockley, Ian Hunter and Scott Fisher
            • “X-Men: Days of Future Past” Richard Stammers, Lou Pecora, Tim Crosbie and Cameron Waldbauer
            Best Adapted Screenplay
            • “American Sniper” Written by Jason Hall
            • “The Imitation Game” Written by Graham Moore
            • “Inherent Vice” Written for the screen by Paul Thomas Anderson
            • “The Theory of Everything” Screenplay by Anthony McCarten
            • “Whiplash” Written by Damien Chazelle
            Best Original Screenplay
            • “Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)” Written by Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Jr. & Armando Bo
            • “Boyhood” Written by Richard Linklater
            • “Foxcatcher” Written by E. Max Frye and Dan Futterman
            • “The Grand Budapest Hotel” Screenplay by Wes Anderson; Story by Wes Anderson & Hugo Guinness
            • “Nightcrawler” Written by Dan Gilroy

            Watch Whitney Houston's Funeral Live

            Whitney Houston - Final Scene of The BodyGuard