Hollywood News – United States

“Detroit” is the best film of 2017 so far

Last week was probably the best week of the year for me yet, screening wise. Not only did I lay eyes on Dunkirk at last, but I also got a chance to see Kathryn Bigelow’s latest film. That film, in case you’re not aware, is Detroit and it quickly stood up next to Dunkirk as the class of 2017. In fact, I think Bigelow’s movie is slightly better, even. With the embargo having lifted yesterday in the late afternoon, I can now begin to rave about it. And believe me, it deserves to be raved about. Detroit is something special. Bigelow and Mark Boal have done it again.
This film is a docudrama about the 1967 Detroit Rebellion, also known as the 12th Street Riots. A central incident depicted is a police raid on the Algiers Motel. Known as the Algiers Motel incident, that fateful July 25th night in 1967 resulted in the deaths of three black men as well as the brutal beatings of nine other people, consisting of seven black men and two white women. We follow a number of characters before, during, and after the incident, namely security guard Melvin Dismukes (John Boyega), Police Officers Krauss (Will Poulter), Demens (Jack Reynor), and Flynn (Ben O’Toole), as well as prostitutes Karen (Kaitlyn Dever) and Julie (Hannah Murray). There’s also members of a Motown group called the Dramatics, including front man Larry Reed (Algee Smith). As we build up to that infamous yet largely unknown act of Police terrorism, the characters all come together, with devastating consequences. Bigelow directs a script from Boal once again, with return collaborations from cinematographer Barry Ackroyd and editor William Goldenberg as well. The score is by James Newton Howard. Other supporting players here include Las Alonzo, Nathan Davis Jr., Malcolm David Kelley, John Krasinski, Jacob Latimore, Anthony Mackie, Jason Mitchell, Jeremy Strong, and many more. Everyone is doing very strong work, to say the least.
There’s a case to be made that this is Bigelow’s best work to date. The movie is riveting and deeply upsetting. It’s almost unrelenting in its intensity. In particular, the extended hotel sequence in the middle of the film is absolute perfection. A combination horror movie and thriller in how chilling it is, the hair will stand up on the back of your neck. In terms of direction, this is Bigelow’s finest hour. While Boal’s screenplay perhaps is a tick […]

Posted on 24 July 2017 @ 10:54 am

Trailer drops for Guillermo del Toro’s latest “The Shape of Water”

Earlier this week, a Trailer hit the web for auteur Guillermo del Toro’s next film, the unique looking The Shape of Water. The filmmaker is one of the more singular storytellers in the business, never taking an obvious route. This hybrid creature feature/love story is unlike anything else out there in the winter months. What that means? Who knows? For now, it will hope to be an awards vehicle while also attempting to make some money. You’ll be able to see the Trailer later on in this piece, but first, we’ll be diving in to talk about just what this thing might be.
The movie is a fantasy, mixing science fiction and romantic drama. The description for this one is that it’s an other-worldly fairy tale, set in 1963 against the backdrop of the Cold War in America. Elisa (Sally Hawkins) is a woman trapped in a life of silence and isolation, spending her days working within a hidden high-security government laboratory. A lonely woman, Elisa’s life is changed forever when she and her co-worker Zelda (Octavia Spencer) discover a secret classified experiment. That experiment is, well…you’ll see for yourself. Suffice to say, Elisa’s life will never be the same again. As mentioned above, del Toro directs, while also co-writing with Vanessa Taylor. The supporting players here include Richard Jenkins, Doug Jones, Michael Shannon, Michael Stuhlbarg, and more. The ubiquitous Alexandre Desplat contributes the score, while cinematography is by Dan Laustsen.
Just going by this Trailer, this appears to be quirky yet somewhat classical at the same time. Hawkins seems to be in fine form, while Shannon looks to be having a real good time in this one. My hunch is that the flick will end up working as much as a love story as a creature feature. The former is what will set it apart from the crowd, as we’ve seen del Toro do the latter a number of times in his career. Nothing here blew me away, but I’m curious to see more. That’s somewhat of a win on its own, isn’t it?
Awards wise, The Shape of Water might be a tough sell for Oscar. Still, I’m sure the powers that be will try. Look for a campaign at least in Best Picture, Best Director (for del Toro), Best Actress (for Hawkins), Best Supporting Actor (for Jenkins, Jones, Shannong, and/or Stuhlbarg), Best Supporting Actress (for Spencer), Best Original Screenplay (for […]

Posted on 21 July 2017 @ 8:44 pm

“Dunkirk” is a towering achievement from Christopher Nolan

When it was announced that filmmaker Christopher Nolan’s next project was going to be a World War II epic, it was hard not to respond with some degree of snark that the director had finally gone all in on getting the Academy to notice him. Well, Oscar damn well might come calling this time for Nolan, since I’ve seen this film, and Dunkirk is a monumental work. In many ways it’s Nolan’s finest hour. Harrowing, impeccably made, and a must see in IMAX, it’s the best movie of 2017 so far. Awards will be coming Dunkirk’s way before all is said and done. This one not only lives up to the hype, it exceeds it. Opening Friday, it’s an absolute must see.
The film is an historical war drama about the famous evacuation of Dunkirk. Allied soldiers from Belgium, the Britain, and France were surrounded by the German forces and needed to be evacuated from the small French town that gives the film its name. Here, the focus is on the 400,000 British troops and their risky evacuation. On the land, we spend a week with troops just sitting on a beach, being picked off by the Germans. There, Tommy (Fionn Whitehead) and others attempt to survive and be rescued. In the sea, we spend a day with a civilian boat headed to Dunkirk to aid in the rescue. Mr. Dawson (Mark Rylance) and his son Peter (Tom Glynn-Carney) are joined by Peter’s friend George (Barry Keoghan) in sailing from England to the beach for pickup, if that is, they survive. In the air, we spend an hour with RAF pilot Farrier (Tom Hardy) and his fellow airmen as they try to keep the skies free of the enemy and give the men on the ground a fighting chance for survival. Nolan writes and directs, with the large ensemble cast also including Aneurin Barnard, Kenneth Branagh, James D’Arcy, Jack Lowden, Cillian Murphy, Harry Styles, the voice of Michael Caine, and many more. Hans Zimmer contributes an iconic score, while the amazing visuals are courtesy of cinematographer Hoyte Van Hoytema. Elsewhere below the line, frequent Nolan collaborators Lee Smith (editor) and Nathan Crowley (production designer) are back once again.
This is a near perfect movie. Nolan has a master’s grasp on the material, showcasing it from start to finish. In many ways, this is an experimental film too, nearly silent, dialogue wise, […]

Posted on 20 July 2017 @ 5:41 pm

“Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets” offers a visually stimulating universe

The bigger the budget, the safer a film usually ends up playing things. It’s rare that anything approaching blockbuster status feels risky or revolutionary. Most of the time, big time summer fare especially feels as generic and safe as possible. Every so often though, a release hits that has a huge budget and yet also seems like a gigantic dare. This week, something of that sort hits screens in Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets. The movie hopes to create a brand new cinematic world, one that will capture your attention. Whether it does or not remains to be seen, but the ambition is certainly there. Science fiction fans may very well eat it up. Time will tell. At the very least, it’s a July release that will stand out from the pack, by and large.
The film is an adaptation of the French comic book Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (obviously). For this story, we follow the duo of Special Ops agents Valerian (Dane DeHaan) and Laureline (Cara Delevingne) as they investigate a threat to Alpha, a large space station metropolis that’s home to species from, you guessed it, a thousand different planets. Valerian and Laureline must race to identify the dark forces at hand and attempt to safeguard not just Alpha itself, but the very future of the universe. It’s beautiful to look at, even if occasionally the story doesn’t make a whole hell of a lot of sense. Luckily Besson adapts the comic and directs here, representing a passion project of sorts for him. The cast, in addition to DeHaan and Delevingne, include Elizabeth Debicki, Herbie Hancock, Rutger Hauer, Ethan Hawke, John Goodman, Mathieu Kassovitz, Clive Owen, Sam Spruell, and Kris Wu, plus Rihanna. Alexandre Desplat contributes the score, while cinematography is by Thierry Arbogast. The latter especially is partnering with Besson for some noteworthy work.
Without question, the visuals of Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets are beyond reproach. Besson spares no expense in creating a whole unique universe, full of interesting creatures, planets, and environments. The action starts off pretty great but tails off in the second half, while the cast is kind of left to their own devices. That side of the film is just kind of ordinary, while the look of it is anything but. Visually, the movie is among the year’s best. As has usually been the […]

Posted on 19 July 2017 @ 4:31 pm

Teaser Trailer for “The Disaster Artist” suggests a laugh riot

Among modern day cult films, The Room stands tall. Not since The Rocky Horror Picture Show has a midnight movie captured audience adoration like Tommy Wiseau’s “masterpiece”. Even in Hollywood, it’s an iconic picture. As such, it was never a huge shock that a look at its inception was going to receive the cinematic treatment, especially after an acclaimed book about its making hit shelves. What’s surprising is that A-list talent has surrounded it from top to bottom, including A24 distributing. The Disaster Artist, as it’s known, made waves at SXSW and now has a Teaser Trailer to showcase, well in advance of its December release date. You can see the Teaser below, but first, a dive into Wiseau’s world!
For those of you who aren’t aware of the movie in any notable way, here’s a quick little primer. It’s a look at how an unlikely friendship bloomed between struggling actors Greg Sestero (Dave Franco) and Tommy Wiseau (James Franco). Their chance meeting in an acting class would allow Greg to observe the unique character that Tommy was, supremely untalented and perhaps the weirdest human being on the planet, but also wildly passionate about movies. It also would lead to Tommy casting Greg in a film he’d written, planned to direct, and also starred in. It was The Room, which has been called the Citizen Kane of bad movies and has usurped The Rocky Horror Picture Show in some ways as this generation’s midnight movie. The rest is history. The elder Franco directs an adaptation of Sestero’s book by scribes Scott Neustadter and Michael H Weber. Supporting players include Alison Brie, Zoey Deutch, Zac Efron, Ari Graynor, Melanie Griffith, Josh Hutcherson, Jason Mantzoukas, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Seth Rogen, Sharon Stone, Jacki Weaver, and many more. Only a handful show up in this tease, but the chemistry already looks strong.
From the looks of it, this is going to be absolutely hilarious. The Trailer is just a quick Teaser, showing the ineptitude of Wiseau and the struggle that making every moment of The Room was. It builds to a comedy crescendo that made me laugh out loud. Franco’s aesthetic behind the camera simulates the picture well, while it all gives off a nice little Ed Wood vibe. Without question, Neustadter and Weber’s adaptation of Sestero’s book appears spot on. As for Franco as the filmmaker, he seems incredibly committed. That may end up serving […]

Posted on 18 July 2017 @ 2:40 pm

R.I.P. Martin Landau and George A. Romero

Yesterday, the film world lost a pair of legends as reports came in that both Martin Landau and George A. Romero had passed away over the weekend. These two titans of the industry impacted Hollywood in very different ways, but both left an indelible mark on cinema, that’s for sure. One was an actor whose career spanned decades, including recent awards worthy work. The other was an independent filmmaker who revolutionized a whole genre, one he would tinker with for decades, creating a franchise that spanned his entire career. Both will be greatly missed. The film world is a lesser place for having lost them. Let us now celebrate Landau and Romero a bit with a small tribute to the two departed talents.
Landau (1928-2017) was a giant of acting. An Oscar winner for his supporting turn in Tim Burton’s Ed Wood, he also had nominations to his credit for his work in Crimes and Misdemeanors as well as Tucker: The Man and His Dream. A three time nominee in Best Supporting Actor, the third time was the charm for him. The same was the case with the Golden Globes, so Burton was responsible for getting him over many finish lines, not just the Academy Award one. Beyond that, Landau worked with plenty of icons behind the camera. From Woody Allen to Alfred Hitchcock, and beyond, Landau collaborated with many of the big ones. He was 89 years old.
Romero (1940-2017), the father of the zombie movie, was one of the industry’s best indie filmmakers and genre creators. From the original Night of the Living Dead all through to his Land of the Dead, his franchise really put forward what the undead would look like on the silver screen. The social commentary of especially Dawn of the Dead, as well as Night of the Living Dead, will stand the test of time. Mixing scares with the issues of the day were his specialty. At 77 years old, Romero certainly had more to offer the industry, though his contributions already are among the greats in horror, and beyond.

Both men had slowed down in recent years, though neither had quit completely. Landau had a few movies still to come, including The Last Poker Game, plus some that had yet to be shot. Romero had moved towards somewhat of a godfather status, though recently he had announced a new “Dead” installment, one he would co-write, […]

Posted on 17 July 2017 @ 10:43 am

Updated Oscar predictions for July

As the weather gets hotter and hotter, thoughts of the Academy Awards begin percolating in my mind. It’s always there, of course, but now, officially in the second half of the year, it feels time to get down to business, as it were. Summer counter programming is out and hoping to catch the eye of voters as they enjoy the months before they get down to awards season business. All this is to say that predictions are in flux. There are always differences from month to month, but from here on out, there could be more than usual. That’s just the name of the game.
As you’ll see below, there’s some definite movement in my predictions. The big question mark for me right now is Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk. Some have actually seen it, but no full reviews are out yet. That leads you to wonder where it stands in the Oscar race. At the very least, it’ll be a technical player, going by the bits of praise that have been allowed out into the world. Beyond that, we don’t know yet. The Academy will surely see it either way, but in my mind, it’s a real X factor. As such, I’ve moved it down some rankings, at least until I lay eyes on it in a couple of days. Pair that with Darkest Hour getting a Trailer yesterday and the World War II epics are starting to make their cases. Anyway, on to the update…
Here now are the newest Oscar predictions, tailor made for this month that is July:
1. The Papers
2. Downsizing
3. Darkest Hour
4. Phantom Thread
5. Molly’s Game
6. Wonder Wheel
7. The Greatest Showman
8. Last Flag Flying
9. Dunkirk
10. The Disaster Artist
Next in line: 11. Suburbicon 12. Battle of the Sexes 13. Call Me By Your Name 14. Wonderstruck 15. Mother! 16. The Beguiled 17. Detroit 18. The Big Sick 19. Mudbound 20. Stronger 21. The Glass Castle 23. Wind River 23. Thank You For Your Service 24. Blade Runner 2049 25. The Hero 26. Star Wars: The Last Jedi 27. The Current War 28. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri 29. The Florida Project 30. War for the Planet of the Apes
1. Alexander Payne – Downsizing
2. Steven Spielberg – The Papers
3. Joe Wright – Darkest Hour
4. Paul Thomas Anderson – Phantom Thread
5. Christopher Nolan – Dunkirk
Next in line: 6. Woody Allen – Wonder Wheel 7. George Clooney – Suburbicon 8. Darren […]

Posted on 14 July 2017 @ 1:03 pm

People – United States

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Yahoo – United States

The Best Portable Air Conditioners

The Best Portable Air Conditioners

Posted on 24 July 2017 @ 7:44 pm

This Is The Best Happy Hour Spot In Your State

This Is The Best Happy Hour Spot In Your State

Posted on 24 July 2017 @ 7:38 pm

Russia deploys forces to police Syria safe zones

Russia deploys forces to police Syria safe zonesRussia has deployed military police to monitor two safe zones being established in Syria, it was announced on Monday, with officials touting it as a new era of US cooperation. Senior commander Sergei Rudskoi said Russian forces had set up checkpoints and observation posts around a zone in the south-west and in another covering Eastern Ghouta, near Damascus. The two areas are part of a broader Moscow-backed plan to create four “de-escalation zones” in rebel-held parts of Syria.

Posted on 24 July 2017 @ 5:02 pm

Ryanair firms Alitalia interest, as EasyJet boosts jobs

Ryanair firms Alitalia interest, as EasyJet boosts jobsRyanair has made a “non-binding offer” for loss-making Italian rival Alitalia, the Irish no-frills carrier said Monday, as rival EasyJet said it plans to employ more than 1,200 new staff. “We have made a non-binding offer for Alitalia. As the largest airline in Italy, it’s important we are involved in the process,” Ryanair said in a statement after Italian media said Friday that about ten such bids had been made.

Posted on 24 July 2017 @ 4:49 pm

US student is freed after week held in China in taxi dispute

US student is freed after week held in China in taxi disputeBILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — An American university student is free after being detained for a week in China for allegedly injuring a taxi driver who manhandled his mother during a fare dispute, in a case that brought U.S. lawmakers to the student's defense.

Posted on 24 July 2017 @ 2:40 pm

Homeless people cleared from New York subway to make it look 'nice' for Mayor Bill de Blasio's ride

Homeless people cleared from New York subway to make it look 'nice' for Mayor Bill de Blasio's rideThe New York Police Department was sent an email that instructed officers to clear homeless people from certain stations to make them “look nice” for Mayor Bill de Blasio’s subway ride. The New York Post reported that officers were given the morning to “make sure nobody’s hanging out” on the four station route the Mayor and wife Chirlane would be taking from the Park Slope neighbourhood to his re-election headquarters in Downtown Brooklyn. Mr de Blasio rarely rides the subway and prefers to take private motorcade with an NYPD security detail to work at City Hall.

Posted on 24 July 2017 @ 12:18 pm

Death toll rises to nine in suspected Texas human smuggling case

Death toll rises to nine in suspected Texas human smuggling caseAt least eight men were found dead on Sunday alongside dozens of people discovered inside a sweltering tractor trailer parked at a Walmart store in San Antonio, Texas, in what authorities called a case of “ruthless” human trafficking. Thirty people, many in critical condition and suffering from heat stoke and exhaustion, were removed from the trailer, which lacked air conditioning or a water supply, San Antonio Fire Chief Charles Hood said. Another person was found in a wooded area nearby and was also being treated, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Texas said in a statement.

Posted on 24 July 2017 @ 12:16 pm

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