Bill Maher Trashes Comic Book Culture and Stan Lee, Says They Are Responsible for Trump's Election

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Yes, the across-the-board worshiping of Stan Lee's death should never be condemned. Lee was, by all accounts, a good man who, in this last turn of the century, ended up being one of the most important and revolutionary figures for pop culture and the mainstream. Superhero movies are all the rage these days, and have been since "X-Men" was released in 2000.  And so, what's resulted in these 18 years since that film's release is the corporate Marvel-ization of mainstream movies. Nostalgia took over, mass infantilization if you will; fanboy culture has risen.


Sylvester Stallone on ‘Creed 2': “The Rocky universe is gone"

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The irony is, as my life evolves, I find new things in the Rocky character,” the 72-year-old said when the Sun visited the set of Creed II this past spring. “In the last one, he faced death and his own mortality. In this one, he’s finally completely alone. The only thing he has left is this young man. So he’s now part of the Creed universe. The Rocky universe is gone. It’s left in the graveyard.



YouTube is Now Showing Free Hollywood Movies with Ad Breaks like ‘Rocky,' ‘Terminator,' and ‘Legally Blonde

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Last month YouTube, quite subtly, and with a complete lack of promotional campaigning, started showing ad-supported movies, including "The Terminator," "Rocky" and "Legally Blonde," for free.


Oscars: Can Steve McQueen's ‘Widows' Get Nominated For Best Picture?

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At the moment, it is very hard to predict whether "Widows" will garner a Best Picture nomination, all of this despite its 86 metacritic score and 92% RT score

If director Steve McQueen's film is not nominated for Best Picture, it won't be because it's an action film, a genre the Academy tends to ignore much like sci-fi. No, "Widows" is not an "action" movie; It's an arty-cool, distancing film that is more about build-up than tany actual heist. McQueen's film has none of the high-tension, octane-driven action that the trailer hinted at, it plays more like a snail-paced, character-driven drama than anything else. There are socio-political overtones throughout the film as well, something the Academy seems to be hungry for ever since #OscarsSoWhite ridiculed them back in 2014. 

So, in essence, it should be the perfect contender. However, I don't necesarilly see the film connecting with a large voting body like the Academy, for example. Despite critical approval, audiences will likely be turned off by the cool, steely detachment of the film, which might be too distancing and unabsorbing for many. McQueen takes major risks here and I am shocked that a major studio decided to bank on such a unique endeavor. He juggles more than a dozen characters in his film, and, contrary to what might be suggested by the marketing campaign, there is so much more going on in this mosaic of a film than just women pulling off a heist.


Tim Allen Likes Pissing Liberals Off: “There's Nothing Worse to Them Than A Very Funny Conservative."

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The new trend these days on television seems to be the success of conservative-minded TV shows. Just look at how Roseanne catapulted to the top of the ratings due, in part, to its star's unadulterated, not to mention unfiltered, pro-Trump rhetoric. Trumpsters love to have their values represented in pop culture, something that so rarely happens in mostly liberal-minded Hollywood. So it is not a surprise that Tim Allen's "Last Man Standing" is doing so well. A popular ABC show which was all-of-a-sudden cancelled by the network earlier this year, 'Standing' found a new home at FOX where, surprise surprise, it has become a major hit. ABC had originally cancelled it due to some bogus explanation of how the show's economics just didn't work, whatever  that means. And yet, "Last Man Standing" was consistently the highest-rated show on Friday nights, among the four major networks, for ABC.



FilmStruck replaced by The Criterion Channel; Free-Standing Streaming Service to Launch Spring 2019

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The Criterion Collection will have its own independent streaming platform, named The Criterion Channel. The partnership with WarnerMedia is for a “free-standing streaming service” which is set to launch in the Spring of 2019. Cinephiles rejoice! 

“Today’s announcement ensures that fans will have access to these films from the Criterion Collection as well as films from WarnerMedia’s deep and extensive library in what will be a rich and curated experience, which will further expand the audience footprint for these classic and acclaimed movies,” Criterion said in a statement.

The company added, “The Criterion Channel will be picking up where FilmStruck left off, with thematic programming, regular filmmaker spotlights, and actor retrospectives, featuring major classics and hard-to-find discoveries from Hollywood and around the world, complete with special features like commentaries, behind-the-scenes footage and original documentaries.”

“We will be starting from scratch with no subscribers, so we will need all the help we can get. The most valuable thing you can do to help now is go to Criterion.com/channel and sign up to be a Charter Subscriber, then tell your friends to sign up too. We need everyone who was a FilmStruck subscriber or who’s been tweeting and signing petitions and writing letters to come out and to sign up for the new service. We can’t do it without you!”

As of late yesterday evening more than 50,000 signatures [petition] had been gathered to save FilmStruck. Directors such as Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, Paul Thomas Anderson, Christopher Nolan, Sofia Coppola, Alfonso Cuaron, Leonardo DiCaprio, Edgar Wright and many more had tried to appeal to Warner Bros Picture Group chairman Toby Emmerich to save FilmStruck, their argument, and it is right the one, was that it would be a vital loss for film culture.

FilmStruck will be shutting down on November 29th


2019 Independent Spirit Awards; ‘Eighth Grade’ & ‘First Reformed’ Lead Nominees List

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The Independent Spirit Awards nominations have been announced and the biggest shocker is the total snub of Melissa McCarthy‘s immaculate performance as Lee Israel in "Can You Ever Forgive Me?" Does this spell trouble for Oscar? Doubt it, the performance is too irresistible to ignore and McCarthy is, at this point, industry royalty.
Also, despite leading in nominations "Eighth Grade" failed to garner a directing nom for the creator of this brilliant film, writer-director Bo Burnham.
Best FeatureEighth Grade, First Reformed, If Beale Street Could Talk, Leave No Trace, You Were Never Really Here
Best DirectorDebra GranikLeave No TraceBarry JenkinsIf Beale Street Could TalkTamara JenkinsPrivate LifeLynne RamsayYou Were Never Really HerePaul SchraderFirst Reformed
Best First FeatureHereditary, Sorry to Bother You, The Tale, We The Animals, Wildlife
Best Female LeadGlenn CloseThe WifeToni ColletteHereditaryElsie FisherEighth GradeRegina HallSupport The GirlsHelena HowardMadeline’s MadelineCarey MulliganWildlife
Best Male LeadJohn ChoSearchingDaveed DiggsBlindspottingEthan HawkeFirst ReformedChristian MalheirosSocratesJoaquin PhoenixYou Were Never Really Here.
Best Supporting FemaleKayli CarterPrivate LifeTyne DalyA Bread FactoryRegina KingIf Beale Street Could TalkThomasin Harcourt McKenzieLeave No TraceJ. Smith-CameronNancy
Best Supporting Male: Raúl Castillo, We the Animals, Adam Driver, BlacKkKlansman, Richard E. Grant, Can You Ever Forgive Me?, Josh HamiltonEighth GradeJohn David WashingtonMonsters and Men
Best ScreenplayRichard Glatzer (Writer/Story By), Rebecca Lenkiewicz & Wash WestmorelandColetteNicole Holofcener & Jeff WhittyCan You Ever Forgive Me?Tamara JenkinsPrivate LifeBoots RileySorry to Bother YouPaul SchraderFirst Reformed


Jimmy Kimmel Begs Michelle Obama to ‘Save Us’ from Trump; Compares Obama to Superman.

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You see how much we miss you? I mean where did you go” Kimmel said after Michelle Obama sat down for an interview to promote her just-released book, “We need you back in the old house.



A24 to Produce Movies for Apple

Yesterday afternoon, the Wall Street Journal’Tripp Mickle and Erin Schwartzel reported that Apple would be teaming up with A24 to produce “independent” features for the tech giant. Tweeted by WAPO entertainment writer Steven Zeitchik:  “A24-Apple is about as smart as entertainment partnerships get. Apple just found a fast-track into the prestige-film game, and A24 has another financial backstop in case its hedge-fund backers go cold. Something for everybody.” 
Variety is reporting that the A24/Apple deal is a multi-year agreement to produce a slate of films for the tech giant. 
A24 is at the forefront of the indie cinema movement having produced some of the great independent visions of the last few years ("Moonlight," "The Lobster," Lady Bird," "Eighth Grade," A Ghost Story," "Hereditary"). 
The entertainment heads over at Apple know exactly what they are doing. They are knowledgeable enough to know that not only does the production company they are partnering with have good taste in movies, but they are also at the very forefront of what many consider to be the "cool cats" of the industry. A24's reputation is that of well-curated, risky cinema that rarely stumbles with critics or at the specialty box-office.


William Goldman Dies; Oscar Winning Writer Of ‘All the President's Men,' ‘Butch Cassidy' and ‘Princess Bride' Was 87

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Academy Award-winning screenwriter William Goldman has passed on at the age of 87.
Goldman's apex moment will forever be his incisive and breathtaking script for 1976's “All the President’s Men.” The other Goldman masterwork is “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.” He was also a novelist, writing "Marathon Man," "The Princess Bride" for both the page and the screen. That, in essence, is the legend that Goldman has left behind. Towering.
Other works of his included “The Stepford Wives,” “Misery,” “Chaplin,” and “A Bridge Too Far,” among many more. He stopped writing in Hollywood around 2003 after back-to-back Stephen King adaptations "Hearts in Atlantis" and "Dreamcatcher."

William Goldman: “I [don’t] like my writing. I wrote a movie called "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" and I wrote a novel called "The Princess Bride" and those are the only two things I’ve ever written, not that I’m proud of, but that I can look at without humiliation.”


Leonardo DiCaprio and Martin Scorsese’s Sixth Collaboration, ‘Killers of the Flower Moon,’ Starts Filming Summer 2019

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Variety has confirmed that Martin Scorsese and Leonardo Dicaprio's sixth collaboration together "Killers of the Flower Moon" will start production next summer. The film is written by Eric Roth, an Oscar winner for “Forrest Gump.”


Joel Coen: “Movies have a beginning, a middle & an end; TV shows have a beginning, a middle & then they’re beaten to death"

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In a fascinating new interview with the Los Angeles Times, Joel and Ethan Coen spoke about their total disinterest in creating a TV series. They are cinematic creatures and it will stay that way, it seems. Joel asserts that movies and TV cannot be compared due to the ambiguous nature of a TV series' ongoing evolution from season-to-season:



Eddie Redmayne admits that he gave ‘a pretty bad performance’ in ‘Jupiter Ascending'

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At the same time that Eddie Redmayne won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance as Stephen Hawking in "The Theory Of Everything," he had a new film out in theaters, "Jupiter Ascending," in which he gave what many consider to be an abominable performance



Tim Burton's Live-Action ‘Dumbo' [Trailer]

"Dumbo"

Tim Burton's 2010 adaptation of “Alice in Wonderland” earned over $1 billion at the global box office.  It also cemented his 21st-century reputation as the go-to-director for classic children's fantasy.  That's his thing now: "Alice," "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," "Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children" and now "Dumbo."



‘FilmStruck’: Paul Thomas Anderson, Christopher Nolan, Alfonso Cuaron, Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese and Many More Sign Petition to Save Streaming Service

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50,000 signatures have now been gathered to save FilmStruck. Directors such as Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, Paul Thomas Anderson, Christopher Nolan, Sofia Coppola, Alfonso Cuaron, Leonardo DiCaprio, Edgar Wright and many more have tried to appeal to Warner Bros Picture Group chairman Toby Emmerich to save FilmStruck, their argument, and it is right the one, is that it would be a vital loss for film culture.

In case you are unaware, WarnerMedia released a statement last week announcing they were shutting down FilmStruck on November 29th, the statement read, “While FilmStruck has a very loyal fanbase, it remains largely a niche service.” It doesn’t appear that WarnerMedia is changing its tune for now, but the more backlash the better the chance to reverse the hideous decision that they made.

UPDATE:

Deadline is reporting that WarnerMedia CEO John Stankey is very much aware of the backlash from filmmakers and film fans about the axing of streaming service FilmStruck. The report states that Stankey is interested in letting FilmStruck survive but he wants the site to be reformed completely. This "new form" he mentions is not expanded on in the report, but, suffice to say, the service might return under a new name and as part of the package of streaming services that WarnerMedia is putting together which is set to launch in late 2019. Sadly, we have no idea if the Criterion Channel will be part of that package deal. Sadly, this means that we won't have a FilmStruck-esque streaming service for at the very least the next 6-7 months. 


James Cameron Says ‘Avatar’ Sequels Have Wrapped Production; Rumored to Be in Glasses-Free 3D

Avatar 2 Will Revolutionize 3D Claims James Cameron

James Cameron has announced, via Twitter video message, that the "Avatar" sequels have completed all principal photography involving main cast members. "Avatar 2" and "Avatar 3" have been filming since September of 2017.