Black Cinema’s Rise in 2018: In the Year of ‘Black Panther,’ Has Real Change Happened?

Black Cinema’s Rise in 2018: In the Year of ‘Black Panther,’ Has Real Change Happened?
Black Panther” is a game changer. With over $1.3 billion worldwide, it shattered the long-standing, fallacious belief that black films don’t sell overseas. It also should close 2018 as North America’s highest-grossing film — a historic first for a film with a predominantly black cast, black writers, and directed by a black filmmaker.

There’s another way to look at this: Deja vu. Hollywood’s interest in black stories surges, and then the “renaissance” is followed by a fallow period … until the next one. It’s a pattern that strips the consistency and continuity that’s essential for lasting change.

In the late 1960s, following the Civil Rights movement and facing pressure from a socially and politically conscious black audience seeking full representations of their humanity, Hollywood responded with blaxploitation movies. (It didn’t hurt that Hollywood was in economic flux at the time.) This overdue recognition of the power of
See full article at Indiewire »

Will the cast of ‘Widows’ be able to pull off a SAG nomination?

Will the cast of ‘Widows’ be able to pull off a SAG nomination?
Steve McQueen’s “Widows” hasn’t had a great start to awards season so far, getting shut out at the Golden Globe Awards. It did receive one Critics’ Choice Awards nomination on Monday, in Best Ensemble. And with the Screen Actors Guild Awards nominations right around the corner on Wednesday, the film could pick up another ensemble bid.

The “Widows” cast could benefit from its size, considering SAG voters’ tendency to award bigger casts with the their ensemble prize. All the better if it’s a high-caliber cast like that of “Widows,” which includes Viola Davis, Carrie Coon, Elizabeth Debicki, Robert Duvall, Cynthia Erivo, Colin Farrell, Brian Tyree Henry, Daniel Kaluuya, Liam Neeson, Michelle Rodriguez and Jackie Weaver.

Not to mention, the impressive cast includes many TV stars: Coon, Davis (“How to Get Away With Murder”), Debicki (“The Night Manager”) and Henry (“Atlanta”). In fact, Davis even took home two
See full article at Gold Derby »

Will box office for ‘First Man’ and ‘Widows’ affect their Oscar chances?

Will box office for ‘First Man’ and ‘Widows’ affect their Oscar chances?
While box office hasn’t factored too significantly into the Oscars for years now, that hasn’t stopped some pundits from questioning the chances of otherwise acclaimed films like “First Man” and “Widows.” The films were projected to earn higher totals than they’ve achieved so far, with “First Man” earning $44 million and “Widows” earning $34 million to date. Both have traditionally crowd-pleasing elements to them, with “First Man” centering on an American icon, Neil Armstrong as played by bona fide star Ryan Gosling, and “Widows” being in the heist genre with an all-star cast led by Viola Davis. The box office receipts so far hardly suggest a bomb in either case, but how significantly should awards experts be factoring in such totals?

SEEGolden Globes nominations 2019: Who’s up, who’s down (‘First Man’) in the Oscar race?

“First Man” was hit by right-wing controversy in the weeks before its release,
See full article at Gold Derby »

‘Network’ Broadway Review: Bryan Cranston Goes Suitably Mad

  • Deadline
‘Network’ Broadway Review: Bryan Cranston Goes Suitably Mad
Bryan Cranston’s blistering performance as Network‘s mad-as-hell prophet of the airwaves – now ranting from Broadway’s Belasco Theatre – is all the proof anyone could need that an actor can demolish any and all associations to a role that audiences carry to their seats.

I’m not referring to our memories of Peter Finch’s instant classic performance of raving newsman Howard Beale in Sidney Lumet’s 1976 masterwork. The ghost Cranston battles is his own, and even if by now he’s an old hat at ripping away a perma-glued fictional persona, his Network star turn is no less mesmerizing, so thoroughly does the actor strip away Walter White.

And Lbj (All the Way) and Dalton Trumbo (Trumbo) and hapless Hal (Malcolm in the Middle). But those characters – might as well toss in Seinfeld‘s oily dentist Tim Whatley, too – can’t really compete with Walter White, the high
See full article at Deadline »

Spike Lee to Receive Career Achievement Award From Palm Springs International Film Festival

  • The Wrap
Spike Lee to Receive Career Achievement Award From Palm Springs International Film Festival
Spike Lee will be honored with a career achievement award from the Palm Springs International Film Festival, organizers announced on Wednesday.

Lee, who has been making films for more than three decades, has directed classics such as “Do The Right Thing,” “She’s Gotta Have It” and “Malcolm X.” His most recent film, “BlacKkKlansman,” has been praised by critics.

“Spike Lee has been an outstanding warrior for equal rights while creating an iconic body of film and television work over his 30-year career,” festival chairman Harold Matzner said in a statement. “In ‘BlacKkKlansman,’ Lee directs one of his best and most provocative films about an African-American detective and a white detective who are determined to infiltrate and expose the Ku Klux Klan in Colorado Springs. It is our great honor to present the Career Achievement Award to Spike Lee.”

Also Read: 'BlacKkKlansman' Film Review: Spike Lee Looks Back
See full article at The Wrap »

Spike Lee to Receive Palm Springs Festival Career Achievement Award

  • Variety
Spike Lee to Receive Palm Springs Festival Career Achievement Award
The Palm Springs International Film Festival has selected Spike Lee as the recipient of its career achievement award.

Lee will be presented with the honor at the festival’s awards gala on Jan. 3 at the Palm Springs Convention Center. The festival runs from Jan. 3 to Jan 14.

“Spike Lee has been an outstanding warrior for equal rights while creating an iconic body of film and television work over his 30-year career,” said festival chairman Harold Matzner. “In BlacKkKlansman,’ Lee directs one of his best and most provocative films about an African-American detective and a white detective who are determined to infiltrate and expose the Ku Klux Klan in Colorado Springs. It is our great honor to present the Career Achievement Award to Spike Lee.”

Past recipients of the festival’s career achievement award include Annette Bening, Kevin Costner, Bruce Dern, Robert Duvall, Clint Eastwood, Sally Field, Morgan Freeman, Holly Hunter, and Samuel L. Jackson.
See full article at Variety »

TCM Brings 14 Classic Movies Back to Theaters in 2019

Film fans can take a yearlong journey through Hollywood history in 2019 when Fathom Events and Turner Classic Movies (TCM) come together for the fourth annual "TCM Big Screen Classics," presenting 14 film favorites throughout the year, spanning seven decades.

From the Golden Age of Hollywood to groundbreaking movies from the seventies, eighties and nineties, the TCM Big Screen Classics series combines each film with little-known facts and insight provided by TCM Primetime Host Ben Mankiewicz. In addition, every film is presented in its original aspect ratio, offering audiences the chance to see these movies on the big screen just as they were originally enjoyed.

The lineup for the 2019 "TCM Big Screen Classics" includes:

&#8226 The Wizard of Oz - 1/27, 29 & 30&#8226 My Fair Lady - 2/17 & 20&#8226 To Kill a Mockingbird - 3/24 & 27&#8226 Ben-Hur - 4/14 & 17 &#8226 True Grit - 5/5 & 8&#8226 Steel Magnolias - 5/19, 21 & 22&#8226 Field of Dreams - 6/16 & 18&#8226 Glory - 7/21 & 24 &#8226 Hello, Dolly! - 8/11 & 14&#8226 Lawrence of Arabia - 9/1 & 4&#8226 The Shawshank Redemption
See full article at MovieWeb »

Spike Lee to receive Palm Springs fest career honour

Spike Lee to receive Palm Springs fest career honour
Regina King to collect Psiff Chairman’s Award.

BlacKkKlansman director Spike Lee will receive the Career Achievement Award at the 30th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival’s (Psiff) film awards gala on January 3.

Lee’s honour follows the announcement earlier this week that If Beale Street Could Talk star Regina King will receive the Chairman’s Award at the show.

Lee joins previously announced honourees Glenn Close, Bradley Cooper, Alfonso Cuarón, King, Rami Malek, Melissa McCarthy and the film Green Book.

Past recipients of the Career Achievement Award include Annette Bening, Kevin Costner, Bruce Dern, Robert Duvall, Clint Eastwood,
See full article at ScreenDaily »

‘Widows’ Review

Stars: Viola Davis, Michelle Rodriguez, Elizabeth Debicki, Liam Neeson, Jon Bernthal, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, Coburn Goss, Alejandro Verdin, Bailey Rhyse Walters, Carrie Coon, Robert Duvall, Colin Farrell, Molly Kunz | Written by Steve McQueen, Gillian Flynn | Directed by Steve McQueen

Steve McQueen is four for four in terms of cinematic masterpieces after Hunger, Shame, 12 Years A Slave and now, thanks to his latest directorial effort and stunning turn in Widows, cements himself as a master at his craft. Adapted from the British mini-series of the same name with the help of Gone Girl writer Gillian Flynn and relocated to the United States in Chicago offering a far more relevant social commentary and far-reaching dramatic thriller that haunts and dispenses an impactful poignancy that sends shivers down to the spine.

Widows was somewhat of a surprising venture for Steve McQueen. A departure of sorts into a mainstream heist thriller that came as
See full article at Blogomatic3000 »

The Biggest Revelations From Michael Cohen’s New Guilty Plea

Washington — Michael Cohen, the former personal attorney and “pit bull” for President Donald Trump, pleaded guilty on Thursday to lying to Congress about a potential real-estate development in Moscow that he tried to broker for the Trump Organization.

In a 10-page “criminal information” filing, Special Counsel Robert Mueller describes how Cohen misled the House and Senate intelligence committees about the details and timing of the proposed “Moscow Project,” as it’s referred to in the filing.

In August 2017, Cohen sent a two-page letter to both intel committees in which he
See full article at Rolling Stone »

‘Handmaid’s Tale’ Author Margaret Atwood Writing Sequel Novel

‘Handmaid’s Tale’ Author Margaret Atwood Writing Sequel Novel
Over three decades after releasing her disturbing dystopian novel The Handmaid’s Tale — which spawned a 1990 movie adaptation (starring Natasha Richardson, Faye Dunaway and Robert Duvall) and the critically acclaimed Hulu series (starring Elizabeth Moss) — author Margaret Atwood is prepping a sequel. Publisher Penguin Random House announced a September 10th, 2019 release date for the book, titled The Testaments, which follows three female narrators 15 years after protagonist Offred’s final scene in the original story.

The Handmaid’s Tale, published in 1985, explores the fictional theocracy of “Gilead” in a post-civil war United States.
See full article at Rolling Stone »

Review: Robert Altman's "The Gingerbread Man" (1998); Kino Lorber Blu-ray Release

  • CinemaRetro
“Altman Meets Grisham”

By Raymond Benson

Eccentric, quirky, and often brilliant director Robert Altman had a hit-and-miss career spanning six decades. After a mostly spectacular run of cutting-edge comedies and dramas in the 1970s, Altman’s pictures in the 1980s faltered. He lost some of the value in his stock that he had gained after such hits as M*A*S*H and Nashville. However, he had a strong come-back in the 1990s with The Player and Short Cuts, and he made a few more interesting movies in the last ten years of his life.

One of these was The Gingerbread Man, based on an original story by legal-thriller author John Grisham. Apparently, Grisham had also tried his hand at the screenplay, too, and successfully sold it. Altman, however, rewrote it himself, and then Al Hayes (credited for the film’s screenplay) finished it. Curiously, the picture is more of
See full article at CinemaRetro »

‘Widows’ Editor Layers Suspense Into Steve McQueen’s Crime Thriller

  • Variety
‘Widows’ Editor Layers Suspense Into Steve McQueen’s Crime Thriller
More than five years ago, while finishing the Academy Award-winning “12 Years a Slave, ” director Steve McQueen told editor Joe Walker about a different project he had in mind: an adaptation of the hit ’80s British television drama “Widows” from crime writer Lynda La Plante.

The movie adaptation, co-written by McQueen and Gillian Flynn, is set in modern-day Chicago, where four women find themselves alone and unprotected after a heist gone wrong leaves their criminal husbands dead. Pressured to pay off their $2 million debt, the wives plan an all-or-nothing heist of their own to retake control of their lives.

Viewers are catapulted into the allegory with an opening that intercuts intimate moments among the married couples and a raging police chase from the point of view of an escaping van. On the surface there’s a lot of violence, but the movie also observes deep social issues, including entrenched political
See full article at Variety »

In ‘Widows,’ Steve McQueen Does More with One Shot Than Most Directors Do with a Scene

In ‘Widows,’ Steve McQueen Does More with One Shot Than Most Directors Do with a Scene
There has always been an efficiency to filmmaker Steve McQueen’s visual storytelling, but the multi-layered and complex narrative of his new film “Widows” puts the director’s ability to quickly translate complex emotional and dramatic situations to the test. Beyond the effortless way McQueen rips through exposition to ground his film in a story with 81 speaking parts as it weaves through different socio-economic, political, and criminal worlds, “Widows” relies on the audience grasping the emotional and psychological depth of 14 principal characters.

“I wanted to have this canvas where you touched upon things like icebergs,” said McQueen when he was guest on IndieWire’s Toolkit podcast. “Where you saw the tip of it, but you knew the depth of it.”

Subscribe via Apple Podcasts to the Filmmaker Toolkit Podcast

As an example, McQueen points to the introduction of Elizabeth Debicki’s character Alice, whose husband will die in the film’s opening heist.
See full article at Indiewire »

November 20th Blu-ray & DVD Releases Include Candyman and Urban Legend Collector’s Editions, The Outer Limits Season 2

  • DailyDead
Happy Thanksgiving week, everyone! As everyone here in the States prepares for the grand feast later this week, we have a new round of horror and sci-fi home media releases to indulge in before it’s time for turkey and stuffing. Scream Factory is doing the dark lord’s work this Tuesday with their Collector’s Edition releases of both Candyman and Urban Legend, and they’re even showing Urban Legends: Final Cut some love as well. Season 2 of The Outer Limits comes home this week, the recent sci-fi actioner Kin arrives on multiple formats, and Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey is getting a 4K upgrade to boot.

Other notable releases for November 20th include the Steelbook editions of both Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey and Streets of Fire, Luciferina on Blu-ray and DVD, and Malicious on DVD.

Candyman: Collector’s Edition

This gut-wrenching thriller follows a
See full article at DailyDead »

Podcast: Green Book, Widows, and the Best Supporting Actor Race

Nathaniel R and Murtada Elfadl talk new films and the Oscar race

Index (68 minutes)

00:01 We didn't see Fantastic Beasts 2

01:46 Steve McQueen's Widows is more than a heist movie. We dive into its themes, best scenes, and particularly its all star ensemble: Viola Davis, Elizabeth Debicki, Brian Tyree Henry, Cynthia Erivo, Robert Duvall, Michelle Rodriguez,and Olivia the dog!

25:44 Widow's Best Picture chances?

28:09 'Crowd-Pleaser' Green Book does not please Murtada. Thoughts on the movie, escapist laughter, road trip tropes, and Mahershala Ali's Oscar clip.

42:05 Best Supporting Actor discussion including Richard E Grant, Mahershala Ali, Michael B Jordan, Daniel Kaluuya, Sam Rockwell, Adam Driver, Steven Yeun, etc...

52:00 Spirit Nominations: Suspiria for ensemble? We the Animals, Blame and other micro-indies that did well. Who is going to win?

1:07:00 Byeeee

Further Reading / References

• Shadow & Act's pan of Green Book

Vox's pan of Green
See full article at FilmExperience »

‘Fantastic Beasts 2’ to Cast a Spell With $63 Million Launch

  • Variety
‘Fantastic Beasts 2’ to Cast a Spell With $63 Million Launch
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald” is on its way to a $63 million debut from 4,163 North American theaters.

The latest Wizarding World installment from Warner Bros. earned an estimated $25.7 million on Friday from North America with an additional $74.3 million internationally. If estimates hold, the sequel’s debut would come in behind its predecessor, “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” which opened to $74 million domestically in 2016.

Eddie Redmayne returns as Newt Scamander, along with Ezra Miller, Katherine Waterston, and Dan Fogel. Jude Law, Zoe Kravitz, and Johnny Depp also star. David Yates returned to direct from J.K. Rowling’s script.

Reviews have been mixed, with the film sitting at an unfortunate 39% on Rotten Tomatoes and a B+ CinemaScore. That evidently hasn’t deterred moviegoers, however, and recent research found that the controversy surrounding Depp’s casting as Gellert Grindelwald despite his background of alleged domestic violence won’t put off Harry Potter fans either.
See full article at Variety »

The Five Best Robert Duvall Movies of His Career

It’s often a lot of fun to look in on the career of a person like Robert Duvall, someone who is considered old school and has been for some time since he’s been around and done a lot of stuff in his years as an actor. He was in the Us Army at one point in his younger years but spent only a year in the service before being discharged as a private first class. From there he went on to try his hand in acting but did manage to hold down several jobs as he made his way onto

The Five Best Robert Duvall Movies of His Career
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Widows Review

Steve McQueen’s Widows is a thriller almost uncomfortable with thrills. Though it has its fair share of mayhem (this is a very violent picture), a ferocious cast, and a plot with several twists and turns, the 12 Years A Slave director’s latest movie, which he co-wrote with Gone Girl author Gillian Flynn, is slow and methodic, fueled by fear and desperation, rather than the usual suspect, greed.

The usual suspect, however, does make a quick appearance in the form of Harry Rawlings (Liam Neeson), the leader of a proficient robber crew. But Widows, practicing in genre-reversal storytelling, has no place for him, and after a brilliant, adrenaline-pumping opening sequence which combines the events of their latest heist with those of the domestic day leading up to it, Harry and his crew are dead, stripping their titular wives of physical and financial security.

Retribution is soon demanded by the men
See full article at We Got This Covered »

Widows – Review

Viola Davis stars in Twentieth Century Fox’s Widows. Photo Credit: Merrick Morton.

The complete delight of seeing Viola Davis in the role of an elegantly-dressed, wealthy wife whose sheltered life is suddenly upended by the death of her crime boss husband, played by Liam Neeson, is one of the pleasures of crime thriller Widows. The Oscar-winning actress so often seen in roles as mothers or working-class women, here plays a svelte, elegant, pampered wife, a woman dressed in tasteful expensive clothes and clutching her little dog as she leaves her luxurious Chicago penthouse apartment to spend her day shopping or lunching. It isn’t the way we usually see her but Davis pulls it off with commanding style.

Widows focuses on four women with little in common other than that their husbands were members of a criminal team killed in the commission of a heist. Now faced with threats from another criminal operation,
See full article at »
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