Black Panther is making almost as much this weekend as Justice League made in its entire run (~216m vs 228m)

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Black Panther currently stands at an estimated $216 million opening. Justice League grossed $228+ million for its entire run. This is absolutely insane. Of someone told you these results even 6 months ago, you'd ask of the numbers were switched. It will be interesting to see the final gross, especially because it just received an uber rare A+ Cinemascore. It may perform domestically like one of the lesser Avengers movies (Ultron or Civil Wr). Infinity War is going to be huge, especially with apparently such a big focus on Wakanda.

"Black Panther" doesn't live up to the hype

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The 18th entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is the first to star a black superhero. In that regard, director Ryan Coogler's "Black Panther" is a game-changer, a landmark of the superhero genre that's been more than 2 decades in the making. 

The plot goes like this, T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman), is the king of Wakanda, but when he dons his leather, all-Ebony suit he's the Black Panther. Since this is Coogler, Michael B. Jordan has to be cast in some kind of role, here the 31-year-old actor plays the villainous Killmonger and he, quite frankly, steals the show from Boseman's rather stilted, uninteresting performance, ditto Letitia Wright as T'Challa's "Q" Shuri and Winston Duke as the tribal behemoth M'Baku. 

Without a doubt this is a culturally important film, one with an important message to tell its audience.  We learn that bad power leads to oppression, and good power leads to good oppression, but only if used properly and respectfully. Blind loyalty to a power structure keeps the system intact. Wakanda is in essence an African fantasy, one in which the continent is able to withstand white oppressors in its history to  consequentially maintain power and build an empire off Vibranium, a natural resource that is more powerful than steel. 

Wakanda is hidden behind clouds and mountains, far from the evils of white colonizers, but any sort of imagination is left in the back seat when it comes to this city. It's a missed opportunity on the part of Coogler and Marvel because, after all, this is an MCU movie set in Africa! I wanted to see the savannas and the fantastic natural sights and beauties that come with this fascinating and colorful continent but instead, there's an over-reliance of fake digital backgrounds rather than real on-set locations. This is detrimental to bringing any kind of humane connection or absorbing feeling to the film, which feels rather artificial and computerized instead of lived-in.

The action itself is, at times, very shaky. There are a lot of fights in the movie, best of all in, of all places, a South Korean casino where CIA, mobsters and Wakandians all meet for a nastily rendered brawl.  For some reason, many of the shots lack proper lighting. The screen is sometimes too darkly lit by Rachel Morrison (known for her excellent work in "Mudbound"), which makes some of the more frenetic sequences difficult to parse, and confusing to discern. Worst of all is the final fight which uses unremarkable CGI and strangely produced physics. The choreography in "Black Panther" is also all over the place, you don't always know what's happening at any given moment, which isn't helped at all by the fact that somebody in the editing room thought it was a good idea to strip away any kind of flow to the action. What isn't rare for Marvel, of for that matter DC, movies are formulaic fight scenes that seem to have everything on the line but have become so predictably repetitive over the course of the 18 film MCU that the adrenaline just can't kick in anymore, you feel numb or unpersuaded by any of it. We all know the film will end with over-the-top action rather than kind of subtle gesturings. I would love to see a Marvel or DC movie end with a profoundly dramatic conclusion that strips away any action in favor of character. Of course, that will never happen, these films have a blueprint that has now become all-too predictable, but seems to be eaten up by mass audiences who favor the familiar.

The film doesn't remotely come close to the tense and, yes, cinematic level of, say, "The Winter Soldier,"  a film which drastically changed the mold for Marvel as first and foremost a film inspired by '70s political thriller cinema rather. Of course, cliches and predictability are hallmarks for most other Marvel movies, but one tends to check his or her brain at the door and just go along with the ride, hoping that some kind of satisfying experience will arise from the, I'll just say it, banality onscreen. The problem with "Black Panther" is that there simply isn't all that much excitement to go around. Almost everything you expect to happen happens. There isn't anything memorable, no moment that sends your pulse pounding. This is a pretty straightforward telling of a story that on paper should not be straightforward at all or, at the very least, this safe.

Although Jordan and Boseman, commendable actors that have delivered the goods many times in their short, respectable careers, elevate the material at hand, their characters simply aren't all that interesting or deep, and quite predictable in their story arcs. And therein lies the problems at the core of "Black Panther," there is no actual investment. No nerve in the core of the story. Almost everything you expect to happen, does indeed happen. In short, it's a token by-the-books Marvel movie but, how refreshing and original, cast with black actors.
The lack of character development is non-existant. There are no identifiable character arcs, even T'Challa's past is barely touched upon here, even worse the rest of the characters stay in their own little bubbles and never fully develop as anything but caricatures, which becomes increasingly frustrating for the viewer as there ends up being nobody to root for. It doesn't help that there is way too much expository dialogue, an over-reliance on flashbacks and predictable plotting all the way through its 135 minutes

As for Coogler (Fruitvale Station, Creed), he forever reinvented the boxing genre in Creed, but if he aimed to do the same for the superhero genre he sadly failed at this attempt. The look of the film is beautifully rendered and was said to be inspired by the architecture and dress of African countries. Coogler even had the time to bring innovation to the tiresome superhero genre with a few excellent single take shots, which is when the action is at its most comprehensible. But at the end of the day this is a Marvel movie and because of that, restrictions will happen, creative freedom will be stalled in favor of business as usual. To a certain extent, yes there are films of this kind that have broken the mold and become groundbreakers over the last decade. A few do transcend the demographic to become entertainment for adults, but those are few and far between. I can count in one hand the amount of Marvel movies that actually, truly felt like they were meant to be more than just cash cows ("Logan," Spider-Man 2," "Iron Man," "Guardians of the Galaxy," and "The Winter Soldier" come to mind)

I saw "Black Panther" last Wednesday, by then the reviews had all turned out to be raves. Its 97% Rotten Tomatoes score was quite impressive, but I am here to say that film criticism as we know it has turned into a total and utter joke. The film's glowing reviews are an abomination, an insult, to our field. This movie, like many other Marvel movies, is not cinema. It is an empty exercise in pop culture entertainment and, even worse, it tries to take advantage of the current zeitgeist to pretend like it is saying something substantial and relevant about black empowerment. It isn't.  Coogler's source material was Ta-Nehisi Coates' more recent "Black Panther" comics and to say they have been watered-down for mass entertainment would be an understatement. Coates' comics were firmly rooted in Afrofuturism and had a Shakespearian-influence scope and tone. What we get instead in Coogler's film are the inner struggles of a monarchy trying to maintain any kind of power and tradition they might have. [C]

Henry Cavill's Digitally Removed Mustache

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Star Wars: J.J. Abrams Claims Some of 'The Last Jedi' Backlash Comes From Fans "Threatened" By Women

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Yes, Rian Johnson's "The Last Jedi" riled up many long-time "Star Wars" fans and quickly became the most divisive movie in the franchise's history. There's no arguing that. You may say the film was "bold" but there's no discounting the fact that those that did the complaining were longtime fans that, in all essence, were purists when it came to the franchise and were allergic to any kind of change emerging through the characters and storylines. The main complaint was, of course, the way Johnson treated Luke Skywalker and how his all encompassing statemnt that the "Jedi was dead" could not have been uttered by the same guy who told Yoda in 1980's "The Empire Strikes Back" "I won't fail you, I'm not afraid." Alas this deviation from the original spirit of the character rubbed many people the wrong way. Others were also complaining about the new characters whom, coincidence or not, were mostly female characters, (Laura Dern's Admiral Holdo and Kelly Marie Tran's Rose Tico,) which even led to a fan deciding to edit his own 46 minute version of the "The Last Jedi" without any women in it. That was going a little too far.

While filming ‘Blade: Trinity,’ Wesley Snipes became so fed up with the film’s production being hindered by studio interference that he locked himself in his trailer, began smoking weed, choked the director, and only communicated through post-it notes which he would sign “Blade.”

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The AV Club’s Random Roles has Patton Oswalt as the guest this week as he recounts the horrific experience of shooting "Blade: Trinity" with Wesley Snipes.  Yes, Snipes pulled a Daniel Day-Lewis and was in character for the entire shoot. “When I met him I was like, ‘Hi!’ And he was like, ‘I’m Blade.’  Also, judging by the title of this post, you might know that it was much, much more than that. 

Is "Red Sparrow" a winner?

Jennifer Lawrence as a former ballerina turned Russian intelligence officer? Joel Edgerton as the CIA agent that falls in love with her? This spy thriller, directed by Francis Lawrence, also stars Matthias Schoenaerts, Charlotte Rampling, Mary-Louise Parker, and Jeremy Irons.  Based on the popular novel by former CIA operative Jason Matthews, the film re-teams J-Law with her Hunger Games director Lawrence. The film has also been stamped with an R rating for strong violence, torture, sexual content, language and some graphic nudity, the creatives are going all in with this movie.
I'll be watching "Red Sparrow" next week and the fact that a screening is happening tonight in Los Angeles and the embargo is lifted tomorrow says a lot about the confidence 20th Century Fox might be having for this J-Law spooker, which only opens on the 23rd. Director Lawrence has sent a message to press for us to keep “all major plot points including the ending secret so other viewers may also enjoy the movie to the fullest.” Amen to that.

"Kung Fury" adds Arnold Schwarzenegger to its cast which already includes Michael Fassbender and David Hasselhoff

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Wes Anderson's "Isle of Dogs" Premieres at the Berlinale to Raves

Of all the great Wes Anderson movies, and there quite a few, I've always a real fondness for "The Fantastic Mr. Fox," a stop-motion animation treat from 2009 that was the most formally realized picture of his career. So it is with great joy that I see that there's another film of his that will be in stop motion animation form: "Isle of Dogs." If that wasn't enough he has amassed another fantastic cast to take part in this adventure. Earlier this year, Anderson had mentioned that the film was “less influenced by stop-motion movies than it is by Akira Kurosawa.” The full cast includes Bryan Cranston, Bill Murray, Jeff Goldblum, Scarlett Johansson, F. Murray Abraham, Edward Norton, Tilda Swinton, Kunichi Nomura, Harvey Keitel, Akira Ito, Akira Takayama, Koyu Rankin, Yoko Ono (!), Courtney B. Vance (!), Greta Gerwig (!!!), Frances McDormand, Bob Balaban and Liev Schreiber "Isle of Dogs" comes out on April 20th, 2018. Is it a coincidence that this is coming out on 4/20?

5 foreign films vying for the Oscar

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Listen, we know the academy wants and will most probably reward Sebastian Lelio's good but not great "A Fantastic Woman," a film so overpraised by critics last year that you couldn't help but think that maybe, just maybe, it was because of how progressive its subject matter was rather than the way it was delivered. 
15 of the 23  Gold Derby pundits have Lelio‘s film to win the Best Foreign Language Feature Oscar. That's fine, it's a good movie that features a great performance from transgender actress Daniela Vega who plays the titular character, a transsexual woman who's older boyfriend suddenly dies of a heart attack. 

Black Panther is a game changer but ....

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Exclusive Look at Robert Pattinson in Claire Denis' Upcoming Sci-Fi "High Life"

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The art house helmer tells THR of making 'High Life,' researching astrophysics and facing her fear of special effects.

A fascinating interview with writer-director Claire Denis courtesy of THR. She's shooting "High Life" with Robert Pattinson, fresh off his "Good Time" triumph, the drama will also star, Juliette Binoche, Mia Goth and musician-actor Andre Benjamin (OutKast). 

Denis is 71, and has been working on this story for "years" according to THR, which has "a crew of convicts sent on a no-return mission to explore a black hole." Claire Denis is an art-house critical darling, I highly recommend "35 Shots of Rum," "White Material" and "Beau Travail" if you're a newbie. She actually started off as an assistant director on many films - including Wim Wenders' legendary "Wings of Desire" and "Paris, Texas," and then emerged as a perennial arthouse favorite with her films almost always assured to premeire at Cannes. In other words, Claire Denis, is badass.  

Denis has stated that "High Life" "is less a science-fiction film than a drama, a Claire Denis film, set outside the solar system. The story of the film is about this crew, who are prisoners and are offered the chance to take part in this trip into space, knowing that there is no return."  THR — who have released the image above — says the film is actually about “a father and daughter [who] struggle to survive in deep space.”

I'm not sure if this film will be done in time for Cannes, but, suffice to say, put it high atop your must-see list for 2018.

Trailer: 14 years later, "The Incredibles 2" comes at a time when superhero movies are everywhere.

Good news if you're an "Incredibles" fan, like me, the sequel to the brilliant 2004 Pixar film has been moved up to Summer of 2018. The bad news? Toy Story 4 has been bumped to 2019. Nevertheless, we have a trailer for the sequel to the superhero saga which will surely be a potent moneymaker this year. "The Incredibles" is still considered one of the very best movies of the superhero genre and for good reason. Back in 2004 I wrote this about the film:

"While we get relentlessly pummeled by countless superhero movies every single year, it is a breath of fresh air to see the genre work so triumphantly well. Brad Bird has proven his worth in the past, most notably with the criminally underrated animated movie “The Iron Giant”. Bird gives us another visual treat by tackling the superhero genre and coming out with a classic that can stand alongside “The Dark Knight” and “Spider-Man 2″. The action scenes are breathtakingly staged, with Bird’s incredible eye for detail and pacing coming in handy. Unlike many superhero movies, this is one of the rare cases where a sequel would be welcome and well-deserved."

Paulette Goddard, in 1936’s Charlie Chaplin starring "Modern Times," looked like she could be in a contemporary film

"City Lights" is probably Charlie Chaplin's greatest achievement, but "Modern Times," ah yes, now that movie is my favorite Chaplin. It's no surprise that he found an incredible starring partner in Paulette Godard, who also starred with him in "The Great Dictator." She was also great in her non-Chaplin roles, but her legacy is those two Chaplins she was win.  She married the actor in 1936 but would later divorce him in 1942, no coincidence that she garnered a reputation as an actress that was hard to work with, but that might have to do with Chaplin spreading the aforementioned toxicity post-divorce than any other conceivable reality, but who knows. I must have seen "Modern Times" around 2004, when I was in film school and, suffice to say, her modern beauty struck me immediately. I've seen hundreds upon hundreds of films from that era with most of the women looking rather dated and of their time, not Goddard. Today, she still has that modern beauty to be a movie star.  This is a timeless example of how sporting the latest hairdo in a movie can date a woman. Another great example, from the other end of the spectrum, is just about every movie from the 80s. Goddrd's chemistry with Chaplin in "Modern Times" was incredibly intense and brought forth an extra layer of realism to the film. On a side note; in the film "Chaplin," in which Robert Downey Jr. portrayed the titular star, he was portrayed as seeming to feel the best about Goddard out of all of his ex-wives because she was the only one that didn't try to take him to the cleaners in the divorce. Go figure.

George Lucas was developing a Han Solo Movie with "Solo: A Star Wars Story" scribe Lawrence Kasdan before Disney bought Lucasfilm

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In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, writer Lawrence Kasdan confirmed that before the Disney deal, he was already working on a Han Solo screenplay for George Lucas. However, when the Disney purchase of Lucasfilm happened, he put the unfinished screenplay on the backburner and started to work on ’The Force Awakens.’ Feeling burned out, the screenwriter enlisted his son Jon Kasdan to help him on the uncompleted ‘Solo’:

"When I was done, I was sort of burned out. And I said, ‘I don’t know, do we still want to do this Han thing?’…And they said, ‘Yeah! We really want you to go ahead with Han.’ And I said, ‘Well, my son, Jon, is very enthusiastic and full of ideas about the saga.’ And he had directed two movies and had done other things. ‘What if he came on and worked with me? Because that would give me a shot in the arm.’ And so, that’s exactly what happened. They made a deal with Jon, and he and I have been writing since for three years."
I'm sure Lucas had a very different movie in mind, but, alas, Disney has taken over and Kasdan can do the best he can to maintain whatever original vision he had for Lucas' version. The creative freedom, or lack thereof, that Disney gives to its creatives is well-known and so what we will surely have is a film very much in the spirit of the last three Disney-Star Wars movies. We could have gotten something a little more unique with Lord and Miller at the reigns, but we all know what happened with their movie.

“Solo: A Star Wars Story” opens on May 25th.

"Get Out" is returning to theaters for free on President's Day

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That Writer's Guild of America award sure helped build back momentum for what, quite frankly was, the movie of the year: Jordan Peele's "Get Out." Yes, Peele's film is back in contention as a Best picture contender and my dark horse pick to win come Oscar evening. To say the movie is important would be an understatement, it is a product for and of its time, one of the most culturally important genre films to come around ever. A hybrid of horror, comedy, social commentary, the film was made on a scant $4.5 million budget and made more than $110 million domestically. The way the film dealt with the hypocrisy of white liberalism's tackling of race was not just eye-opening but immensely risk-taking. However, the film's greatest achievement was its showing of what it really felt like to be African-American, a sort of forced empathy that resonated deeply as we looked at the world through the eyes of Daniel Kaluuya's African-American and suddenly we saw the world in in whole a new perspective we never thought to be possible. That's the magic of cinema. Plus, it was just so damn funny and strange.

One year later, the conversation continues. And to celebrate the one-year anniversary of Get Out, AMC theaters has decided to re-release it to theaters on February 19, for one day only, just a handful of days shy of the film's one year anniversary (February 24). And to boot, that’s a Monday and, yes, that’s President’s Day. Coincidence? I think not. So that all the people who would've voted for Obama a 3rd time can enjoy!
In a video shared on Peele's Twitter account, the writer-director had this to say about the event:
"It's been a year since Get Out opened in theaters. As a small thank you to the fans who made the film a success, Universal and I wanted to give something back."

Peele's movie is one that greatly benefits from the theatrical experience, as he mentions, this is part of the reason why the film is being re-released:

"It's all about that theatrical experience, so please go, enjoy it with other people, get ready to use your voices," he said. "I don't care if you've seen it one time, two times, three times, if you bring somebody who's never seen it and you watch them watch it — whatever. You get to enjoy a free screening of "Get Out" this President's Day."

The film  will be shown on President's Day at select AMC Theaters at 7 p.m.So far, 55 locations have marked themselves down as participating, according to the press release from Universal, some of the major cities included are Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Los Angeles, Miami, Nashville, Philadelphia, San Diego, Washington, D.C. and more.

The tickets will be given on first come, first served basis. More info can be found on the film's website, which has been reconfigured for the President's Day event.

Tommy Wiseau Continues Campaigning for Joker Role, Shares Fan Art

James Franco spared for now

The sexual misconduct allegations against James Franco that surfaced last month slowed the multi-hyphenate’s momentum. Five women came forward and accused Franco of sexually exploitative behavior, and the actor quickly responded, saying the allegations were “not accurate” during appearances on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” and “Late Night With Seth Meyers.”
Franco had just written, directed, starred and won a Golden Globe for “The Disaster Artist” (pundits have surmised that Franco lost a chance at a Best Actor Oscar nomination due to the allegations which surfaced just days before voting closed) and was also a part of one of the best TV shows of the year. HBO‘s “The Deuce.”
If you’ve watched Franco’s dual performance as twin brother Vincent and Frankie Martino in David Simon‘s brilliant “The Deuce,” you know how important his presence is to the saga, which details the rise of the porn industry in early ’70s New York City. However, with these new allegations, it remained unclear what HBO would decide to do about Franco and the series, which they renewed for a second season in the fall.
ET reveals that during last night’s Writers Guild Awards ceremony, writer Megan Abbott spoke to the media and confirmed that  Franco would “of course” be part of the second season. She didn’t elaborate further.
Plenty of questions still remain. Will there be a pushback on this decision? In the current #MeToo climate, can Franco survive what will surely be a contentious debate surrounding his return to “The Deuce”? The series can’t really continue without Franco, but it’s hard to imagine this will be the last we hear of the controversy.

Sony Thinking About Leaving Quentin Tarantino's Manson Movie

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Roger Friedman over at Showbiz 411 is reporting that Paramount are having “second thoughts” about producing Tarantino's Charles Manson era movie.The studio is supposedly concerned about the controversies that have surrounded Tarantino the last few weeks. Uma Thurman, interviewed by the NYT, accused the director of forcing her to do a car stunt, which left her injured with permanent chronic pain, then a 2003 interview on “The Howard Stern Show resurfaced which had Tarantino claiming that Samantha Geimer, who was raped by Roman Polanski when she was 13 years-old, “wanted to have it….she was down with this.” QT apologized for both incidents, but it was a matter of too little too late for many on social media and in the industry.
It's no doubt a risk for Sony to embark on this project, forget about QT's recent controversies, the fact that the film will have Polanski as a side character is also ridiculous and badly-timed. It also costs upwards of $100 million, and the fact that it will have to earn $375M to break even is something that should be considered here. “Django Unchained,” earned $425 million worldwide. “Inglourious Basterds,” $321 million worldwide, but Tarantino’s last movie, “The Hateful Eight,” earned a very tepid $155 million globally. I just can't see the studio moving along with this project, but who knows.

Is "The Thin Red Line" Still A Masterpiece?

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Jeffrey Wells over at Hollywood-Elsewhere had  an interesting write-up on Terrence Malick's "The Thin Red Line," saying that any kind of excitement he had for the movie upon initial viewings has evaporated away the last few years: "I’m always excited when I watch scenes from Malick’s 1998 film on YouTube, but I found it labored and ponderous during my two full-boat viewings. I was exhausted at the end of both."

To which I replied: "The Thin Red Line" is long, pedantic if you will, but also has some truly astonishing moments scattered throughout its 3 hour running time. It can sometimes be a chore to watch but who cares? It's as much a work of art as "2001," "L'Avventura" or "Andrei Rublev," meaning just because it moves at a snail's pace doesn't mean it's not worthy It's also significantly better than any of Malick's last 3 features."

Update on Scorsese's "The Irishman"

Martin Scorsese‘s “The Irishman” isn’t slotted as a 2018 movie "The Irishman," the official byline says 2019, but it’s already skyrocketed to the top of most cinephiles “most anticipated” films lists for this year. Film nerds like us want it that bad and hope that Netflix will push for a December 2018 Awards season bow. But the movie is a deceptively complex one may arrive later than we think.
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There is no more timely Doc than "Icarus"

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Netflix has a goldmine with “Icarus,” its documentary about Russia’s doping program, especially  with the recent announcement by the International Olympic Committee that bans Russia from the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea.  "Icarus" is about an elaborate doping scheme involving Russian government and its athletes. Many are saying that because Fogel stumbled onto an international scandal while making the film, it led to the IOC ban.

The film is expected to screen this weekend in Los Angeles and the same next weekend in New York. “Icarus” is available to Netflix subscribers on its streaming platform. Controversy or not, “Icarus” is an incredible documentary and quite possibly a contender for a best documentary Academy Award, it just needs this theatrical release to be eligible for the award.

On 2.1.17 I wrote:

"Given all the attention that Russia’s Vladmir Putin has been getting of late, it would be very hard to find a more relevant film than Bryan Fogel’s documentary Icarus, which deals with the Russian government’s Olympic cheating scandal. The scandal was uncovered by accident by Fogel, who was following a Russian scientist for a doping documentary, but found out he had a much bigger story at hand. This is the kind of film where a twist happens in almost every frame and the filmmaker, Fogel, seems to have stumbled upon a goldmine of a narrative."

Two months ago, it was announced that Russia’s was banned from the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea. Many claim the reason for this punishment was "Icarus" and the evidence it layed forth onscreen.
N.Y. Times report has gone a little more in-depth with the whole Russia/IOC debacle, and investigated the massive state-run doping program. Grigory Rodchenkov, the main subject of "Icarus," was the mastermind behind Russia’s antidoping laboratory during 2014 Sochi Olympics.

Thanks to Jeff Wells over at Hollywood-Elsewhere for these quotes from the two-month old N.Y. Times story:
“Russia’s government officials are forbidden to attend, its flag will not be displayed at the opening ceremony and its anthem will not sound.
“Any athletes from Russia who receive special dispensation to compete will do so as individuals wearing a neutral uniform, and the official record books will forever show that Russia won zero medals.
“That was the punishment issued Tuesday to the proud sports juggernaut that has long used the Olympics as a show of global force but was exposed for systematic doping in previously unfathomable ways.
“The International Olympic Committee, after completing its own prolonged investigations that reiterated what had been known for more than a year, handed Russia penalties for doping so severe they were without precedent in Olympics history.”

A Source Claims Zack Snyder Was Fired From the DCEU Last Year While "Justice League" Was Being Shot

This is not surprising news at all but I uncovered a story from Mashable's Josh Dickey, which basically confirms that Zack Snyder was fired from "Justice League"

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Amy Schumer "Feels Pretty" and It's Causing Social Media to Freak

 I Feel Pretty written by Abby Kohn and Marc Silverstein will no doubt have some celebrating its message, which has been used over and over again in the 100+ year history of cinema, but probably feels like it's all of a sudden relevant to the #MeToo crowd. Fine by me. The character Amy Schumer plays here has low self-esteem, mostly due to her weight, but suddenly feels reinvigorated after some kind of mainstream magical surrealism happens to her after an awesome workout session at the gym. What she sees in the mirror is a stunning woman.

Uwe Boll Accuses Paul Thomas Anderson Of Hiding a "Fuck You" To Him In "Phantom Thread" Marketing

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Tommy Wiseau Wants to Play The Joker in Todd Phillips’ Film

The oldest film listed on the IMDB is Roundhay Garden Scene (1888.) This is the only 3-seconds of film that survives today

#MeToo: "Amour" Director Michael Haneke denounces "hatred of men" and "witch hunt"

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The French seem to have had a totally opposite reaction to the #MeToo movement, at least judging by the number of actors, actresses, and directors that have shown their disdain towards it. Take for example an open letter published in Le Monde that compared the movement to “puritanism,” but insisted that although “rape is a crime, insistently or awkwardly hitting on someone is not,” additionally blaming the #MeToo campaign for “expeditious justice” to men who “may have touched a knee, tried to steal a kiss” or “spoken of ‘intimate’ things during a professional dinner.” More than 100 “prominent French women,” from the industry had signed that letter, including Catherine Deneuve,  as a right to try and defend “sexual freedom.” Oh and lest we forget the immense amour French cinephiles have given Woody Allen over the past 3 decades, even as his work stateside has been much less popular with critics and audiences. His French distributor Stéphane Célérier, the head of Mars Films, last week defended Allen when it came to the tumultuous and controversial sexual accusations brought forth against him by his daughter Dylan Farrow, with Célérier even going as far saying “This affair makes me think of the case of the Witches of Salem which Arthur Miller used so expertly in his play [‘The Crucible‘] as an allegory for McCarthyism.”

Director Ron Howard Says Lord & Miller’s “Fingerprints Are All Over” 'Solo: A Star Wars Story.'

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The questions pertaining to just how much of “Solo: A Star Wars Story” was original directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller's footage before they were fired. How much of the material they shot, and there was plenty, was used in the movie before Ron Howard came to save the day? These are undoubtedly questions we will never know the exact answer to, but an estimate would be nice. “As Han says, ‘Don’t tell me the percentages.’ Never tell me the percentages,” Howard told EW

#MeCarthyism took Jill Messick from us

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Jill Messick, a Harvey Weinstein staffer that was the target of Rose McGowan's wrath, committed suicide yesterday. Her family has claimed that Messick was “victimized” and brought to the brink of that dark void by McGowan.
McGowan’s charges were part of a 10.28.17 N.Y. Times story, as well as her recent book "Brave," which had its book tour recently canceled because of McGowan's erratic behavior. 
Messick was a producer, but, more importantly, former Miramax exec that was also McGowan’s manager when the actress alleged Weinstein raped her in January 1997. Messick's family claims that she was brought into a deep depression by McGowan and didn't want to defend herself as it would deter the goodness and momentum of the #MeToo movement. 

First Poster - 'Tully' | Charlize Theron, Mackenzie Davis

Published on 2.1.18 from Sundance:

"In Jason Reitman’s beautiful love letter, a fairy tale of sorts, Charlize Theron is Marlo, a mother of three, whose hesitance towards hiring a night nanny Tully (Mackenzie Davis)by her brother quickly turns into a truly heavenly experience once the aforementioned nanny is hired. Marlo and Tully form a bond that feels so touching and heavenly that it effectively works as the driving force of the whole movie. Not much happens in Tully except for conversation, this is screenwriter Diablo Cody’s ruthless, authentic love letter to women all over the world, those that have to go through all the obstacles that man don’t. They say you have to experience to fully know what it feels, Theron, in a performance of immense honesty makes you feel every ache, every strain, of her character’s everyday struggles. This is the fiercest of feminism portrayed on-screen. "