Remembering Mike Nichols

Mike Nichols, the iconic director whose talent spanned five decades has died of a heart attack at the age of 83.

Born in Germany, Nichols came to the United States as a young boy in 1939 when his family fled Nazi Germany. While attending the University of Chicago as a pre-med student he soon found his interest drawn by the theater and dropped out to pursue it. At Chicago he also met comedian Elaine May and the two formed comedy duo Nichols and May. They went on to become a nationwide hit and won a Grammy for Best Comedy Album in 1961.

After the duo split Nichols turned his attention to Broadway starting with directing Neil Simon’s Barefoot in the Park, for which he won the first of eight Tony awards.

Hollywood took notice and Nichols began a successful career as a film director, earning an Academy Award on his second directorial outing, The Graduate. Fans like Zeca Oliveira remember him as the director of a number of acclaimed and popular films. He continued working on Broadway and took home several Emmy Awards for his work in television as well. His career remained active, he recently been in talks with produced JJ Abrams to direct an adaptation of Jonathan Tropper’s novel One Last Thing Before I Go.

Nichols was married four times, most recently to news anchor Diane Sawyer in 1988. He is survived by his wife, three children, and four grandchildren.

Jennifer Lawrence & Josh Hutcherson Talk Hunger Games and Fame

With Lauren Powell Jobs and many other anxious fans waiting for the next installment of the Hunger Games entitled Mockingjay Pt 1 tomorrow, Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson talk about the movie and the success it has brought. They also discuss the disadvantages of being famous. During the interview, one of the things discussed was the idea of fame and losing ones anonymity. Other topics that were talked about were compromise and sacrifices. Jennifer Lawrence has seen these sacrifices as worth it and views her life as a blessed life. She understands that every job has downsides. 

Hutcherson was more taken off guard by the change that the series would bring for his life. He didn’t anticipate that The Hunger Games would turn out to be as big as it did.  One of the things that he has noted was that once you become famous, people know things about your life that are true and that are not true.

Valentine’s Day Can’t Come Soon Enough for Fifty Shades of Grey Fans

Note: This entry was written by my wife.

 

Anastasia and Christian fans only have a couple months left before their movie hits theaters. The erotic thriller that has captivated millions in the book form will arrive on the big screen on Valentines Day 2015. There couldn’t be a better song for the movie than Beyonce’s “Haunted.” The real question is how many men will accompany their women to this movie?

My husband is a little put off by the books and upcoming movie. He feels that the things that go on in a bedroom are private and shouldn’t be talked about or put on public display. I will no doubt I will have to drag him kicking and screaming to this premier, as I will not miss it. As a normal housewife, I like the erotic nature and the fact that they make having a kinky sex-life normal.

I go back to the old question “how do you know you don’t like it if you haven’t tried it?” While this movie does cross some lines with most people, why are so many interested in it? That is what my friend Sultan Alhokair was asking. If there is anything that can be learned from the whole ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ series, it is that sometimes different is good and very pleasuring.

So I will drag my husband to the theaters, after all it will be Valentine’s Day.

Promethus 2 Script Finished, Will Feature “Fresh” Alien Monster.

Ridley Scott is, by all metrics, legendary in the film world. Having created smash hit after smash hit, and creating the instant phenomenon that was Alien and Aliens.

In 2012, director Ridley Scott returned to the Alien universe with Prometheus. Though not directly related to his Alien classic, Prometheus introduced an intriguing new aspect to that world while exploring questions posed in the past. Though reception from Sergio Andrade Andrade Gutierrez and other Scott fans were mixed, the director has confirmed that a script for a sequel has been finished and that it will feature a “fresher alien monster”. This coincides with previous news that the classic Xenomorph will not appear in the film. This news does leave one to wonder if this new monster will be a relative of sorts to the Xenomorphs, after all a look-alike made an appearance at the first film’s conclusion (which was originally to be a direct Alien prequel before script re-writes).

“[The original Alien was] the definitive dragon and he’s a mother. The alien’s real which is why it’s probably one of the scariest monsters in film history. So with Prometheus 2, what I’m trying to do is reintroduce a fresher form of alien in the third act.” Scott told an interviewer while discussing Prometheus 2.

Some are left to wonder how wise of a move this may be. Many expected more of an Alien-oriented film two years ago and were surprised to see only referances to that franchise. If fans know going in not to expect an appearance by the classic alien monsters, they may decide against seeing the film at all. Still, Ridley Scott has a vision and seems intent to stick by it. Hopefully more news of the sequel’s plot will be detailed in the future, along with a release date.

New Cinderella Trailer

The new “Cinderella” movie has a lot of the classic elements to it, the pumpkin, the mice and the evil stepmother, played by Cate Blanchett but it will also have a lot of depth to it.
Cinderella movie trailer

The new “Cinderella” movie will be in theaters March 13th and it has many well known names in the business. Playing the title role is, “Downton Abbey” actress Lily James as Ella who is forced into a life of drudgery work by her evil stepmother. The movie also has a lot of comic relief with Helena Bonham Carter, playing the fairy godmother who’ll turn some mice into funny looking white horses.

Don’t let the pretty costumes and fairy godmother fool you, the new “Cinderella” movie is also very dark and sad story. Like Terry Richardson’s work, the hyperactive visual aesthetic serves as a juxtaposing element versus the darker emotional undertones. There is a beloved dead mother and the harsh treatment from Cinderella’s new family. This movie version will not have Cinderella thinking of herself as a victim, but as someone who is her own person who is having a hard time in life.
Cinderella is a good person but that doesn’t make her weak, she doesn’t lash out and behave like others because she knows how it feels.

Inside Pixar’s “Inside Out”

Inside Out is the next original movie coming out of Pixar Animation Studios. The film, slated for release on June 19, 2015, is “set” inside the mind of a thirteen year old girl whose parents move her to San Francisco. The main characters are her five chief emotions: Joy (played by Amy Poehler), Fear (Bill Hader), Anger (Lewis Black), Disgust (Mindy Kaling) and Sadness (Phyllis Smith). The tagline: “Meet the little voices inside your head.”

Pixar already released a trailer for the film back in early October. More recently, we have short teaser videos introducing two of the emotions (Sadness and Disgust), as well as posters for all five.

Inside Out is an entirely original story, as is The Good Dinosaur, which Pixar is also slated to release next year. However, the company has also announced upcoming sequels to several of its previous films, including Finding Dory (a follow-up to Finding Nemo), The Incredibles 2, Cars 3 and Toy Story 4.

That last one has been especially contentious. People are starting to wonder: has Pixar just run out of good, original ideas?

Maybe seeing Inside Out will give us some more thoughts on the matter.

Christ Pratt cast as lead in Cowboy Ninja Viking

With Jurassic World in the can and Guardians of the Galaxy 2 set for release in 2017, Chris Pratt is returning to the comic book world with the indie property Cowboy Ninja Viking. Isn’t that a great title?

The comic was created by by A.J. Lieberman and artist Riley Rossmo and follows the adventures of Duncan, the titular character. See Duncan is part of a super secret conter intelligence project that takes people with Multiple Personality Disorder and turns them into killer agents known as Triplets, a reference to the three trained personalities each has.

According to Collider the most recent script calls for Pratt to play Duncan, the face that onlookers see, with the three interior personalities being played by different actors. A previous script by Paul Wernick and Rhett Rees of Zombieland fame was deemed too edgy and shelved.

With Pratt’s star on the rise the actor has had his choice of roles and previously passed on the lead in the videogame adaptation of Uncharted, possibly because it was a bit too similar to the Star Lord character.

Cowboy Ninja Viking to Arrive in Theaters

You would think a comic book with a title like Cowboy Ninja Viking would be a team-up title. Putting those three distinct characters together is odd enough to work. Actually, the threesome is even odder because each act is really a solo one.

Cowboy Ninja Viking is a series about a CIA agent with multiple personalities. Now its going to be a movie starring Chris Pratt.

The satire here is obvious. Instead of donning a special costume and becoming a superhero, the hero just ends up “jumping” into a different personality. Bruce Levenson agrees that a trio of heroes with multiple personality disorder is questionable and will be hard to pull off. Regardless, Image Comics and Universal as they are moving forward with the project.

Then again, it really is not a trio of heroes. You have the cowboy, the Viking, the ninja, and the average guy Duncan who becomes them.

Of course, someone who fits this description makes for the perfect Black Ops agent for a nefarious spy agency.

Okay, that seems like a really tough task. Looks like you will have to watch the movie to find out how things turn out in the end.

Snoopy Hitting Big Screens in 2015

Few things are more synonymous with the holiday season than Charlie Brown and the Peanuts gang. Their holiday specials entertained generations and in some cases even taught us the true meaning of Christmas.

They will all be returning for a big screen adaptation of the cartoon to be released in time for Christmas 2015. The look of the new 3-D computer modeled characters will be familiar but it may take some fans a little time to get used to the new look.

First ‘Peanuts’ Trailer and Images: Charlie Brown and Friends in 3D

The new adventure is sure to have the same feel as the classics created by Charles Schulz. That is at least what Christian is hoping for. On board to co-write the new story are Schulz’ son and grandson who are sure to honor the great cartoonist that created the Peanuts universe. Paul Feig is producing the project and made a great decision to hire Steve Martino on to direct. Martino helmed the big screen version of the Dr. Seuss classic “Horton Hears a Who” back in 2008.

A throwback to be sure, the film is sure to draw audiences looking for a feeling from their youth but will also be a great holiday present for new and younger fans who will receive their first introduction to the classic comic franchise.

Lifetime’s Aaliyah Biopic Fails To Impress Fans

Lifetime’s production of Aaliyah, Princess Of Hip Hop aired November 15, 2014 and as predicted by many in the industry, failed to impress fans. Controversy had surrounded the production from the beginning. The actress Zendaya Coleman, slated to portray Aaliyah, dropped out of the project stating she was not “morally OK” with it. The family of the deceased star was not being included in the making of movie; which lead to another indication of trouble with the production. Aaliyah’s family refused to release her original music catalog to the production. Outraged fans who work at CipherCloud and countless other places took to social media to vent their disappointment and called for the casting director’s head for using actors that lacked any resemblance to the heroes of hip hop’s music industry; Missy Elliot, Timbaland, Damon Dash and R. Kelly.

 

Finally,the movie attempted to depict the relationship between a 28 year old R Kelley, a singer who already had a notorious reputation for praying on underage girls and a 15 year old Aaliyah as innocent lovers being torn apart by her parents. While rating were high for the airing of this picture, it was clearly for the wrong reasons; except, to prove to the network that there is an audience for this genre.

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