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Minions-The Rise of Gru, Review: One in a minion

Minions-The Rise of Gru, Review: One in a minion Minion and Villain don’t rhyme. They shouldn’t. After all, what is a primary school kid doing? Yes, he is almost a dwarf, and we would love to see his rise. But rise as what? An arch-villain? A super-villain? There are some movies in which good, clean, animation fun turns into adult stuff that can affect the mind-set of millions of viewers. Films need not preach or moralise, but they need not glorify villainy either. This is one suc...

Get Ready: Drew Barrymore, Henry Thomas, Spielberg open TCM Fest with E.T.

by Quendrith Johnson, Los Angeles Correspondent Yes, you can still get tickets, and TCM Classic Film Festival 2022 has kind of outdone itself for movie fans with E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial's original cast kids, now grown up Drew Barrymore and Henry Thomas, plus Director Steven Spielberg and Producer Kathleen Kennedy for this year's red carpet opening ceremony. Not to mention the screening of ET is on the 40th anniversary of the seminal lovable alien film. Here's all the news ...

IFFI 51, 16-24 January, 38: Pierre Filmon’s Long Time No See was realised after ten years, but took only five days to shoot

IFFI 51, 16-24 January, 38: Pierre Filmon’s Long Time No See was realised after ten years, but took only five days to shoot They were meeting after nine long years of separation. They had eighty minutes to rewind their journey, re-evaluate their lives, to face their truth, regrets and memories. And, this is their last chance. In a nut-shell, the story of the French movie ‘Long Time No See (Entre Deux Trains)’ can be described like this. Directed  and scripted by Pierre...

Steven Spielberg Kicks Off AFI MOVIE CLUB for COVID-19 Shuts-Ins, Sheltered, Everybody

by Quendrith Johnson, Los Angeles Correspondent Here's something fun for your WFH (work from home) and hunkered-down Coronavirus Life from Uncle Spielberg and AFI... Curated by Screenmancer Staff from AFI - Los Angeles, CA (03/31/2020): The American Film Institute (AFI) announced today the launch of AFI Movie Club – a daily virtual gathering to leverage our collective love of film on behalf of optimism in this time of global uncertainty. AFI Trustee Steven Spie...

9th Jagran Film Festival, Mumbai: The Post, A Star is Born and Maassab make it worth the wake

9th Jagran Film Festival, Mumbai: The Post, A Star is Born and Maassab make it worth the wake Dainik Jagran, which means ‘daily wake’, is a leading Hindi language newspaper of India and the group also owns the popular tabloid, Mid-Day. Its 9th film festival was held across 18 cities and came to Mumbai on the 27th of September, playing through the 30th. Held at four screens of the suburban multiplex called Cinépolis (formerly Fun Republic), it suffered from many technical an...

READY PLAYER ONE, Or a 101 on VR & Why Uncle Spielberg Is On Board

by Quendrith Johnson, Los Angeles Correspondent If you’re old enough to remember when MIT had a virtual glove and Jaron Lanier threw together a little company called VPL, you’re probably ahead of the game. Suffice it to say, while READY PLAYER ONE (RP1) is the first big bang BO Hollywood VR blockbuster attempt, the weird road to virtual reality headsets and handsets began somewhere in the mid-80’s. Or you could peg Thomas Zimmerman in 1982 with a ‘wired glove’ p...

The Black Prince who walked the Red Carpet at Cannes

The Black Prince who walked the Red Carpet at Cannes Very little is known about Maharaja Duleep Singh, the last Maharaja of Punjab with his capital at Lahore, who is said to have gifted the invaluable Koh-i-Noor diamond to Queen Victoria, while a young boy. Time and again, a lobby is raised in India to try and get it back from Britain, only to fizzle out. Dalip Singh remains an enigmatic figure, a missing chapter from India’s colonial history. All that is set to change with oncoming rel...

The Zookeeper’s Wife, Review by Siraj Syed: Of animals, animal instincts and humanity above all

The Zookeeper’s Wife, Review by Siraj Syed: Of animals, animal instincts and humanity above all A wife, a husband their zoo and the Jews. Unlikely ingredients of a film seen by us critics on the eve of Hitler’s birthday. And yet, The Zookeeper’s Wife movie survives some uneven narrative and unimaginative camerawork to settle down into a compelling, if understated, holocaust tale that more than deserves a cursory viewing. It begins as The Life of Pi, moves on to join Schindle...

A Bridge of Spies, Review: Spyelberg on spy-swapping--one of theirs for two of ours

A Bridge of Spies, Review: Spyelberg on spy-swapping--one of theirs for two of ours Old school film-making at its charming best is what Steven Spielberg delivers in this potential thriller, that is, instead, crafted as a compelling commentary--on the sordid business of spying, the acceptance of the hard truth that a foreign spy operating in your country is as loyal as your spies indulging in espionage abroad, and the sacred right of every accused in America to a fair trial, be it a US citizen...

Poltergeist, Review: Respect the dead, or…

Poltergeist, Review: Respect the dead, or… Dictionary meaning of Poltergeist: A ghost or other supernatural being, believed to be responsible for physical disturbances, such as making loud noises and throwing objects about. Mid 19th century: from German ‘Poltergeist’, from poltern= to 'create a disturbance' + geist 'ghost'. Poltergeist 2015 is a reboot and remake of producer and co-writer Steven Spielberg's and director Tobe Hooper's 1982 film of t...

Yes, You’ve Heard It! What We Know About “The Wilhelm Scream” So Far

by Quendrith Johnson, Los Angeles Correspondent Lord of the Rings has it, Star Wars has it, Indiana Jones, Spider Man, Star Trek, even The Wild Bunch (1969) has it too. But you can find it in Disney movies, nearly from every studio, at least a few big projects. So what is it?  Known by insiders as “The Wilhelm Scream,” a term coined by George Lucas’ sound designer wizard Ben Burtt, this is that familiar toe-curling roar let out by dying Storm Troopers, bit players eate...

Interstellar, Review--Gravity of the situation: Galactic Wormhole or Earthy Dust-bowl?

Interstellar, Review-- Gravity of the situation: Galactic Wormhole or Earthy Dust-bowl?   Mainly based on the scientific theories of Kip Thorne, Interstellar is a film that Steven Spielberg was to direct, and took about nine earthly years to land on planet IMAX (probably the last one to be shot on IMAX 15/70 format), courtesy spaceships Warner and Paramount. Thorne is an American Caltech physicist theoretical physicist who has written academic books on general relativity, colla...

Spielberg to Shoot New Cold War Drama in Poland in November

What do you get when you take Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks, a script by the Coen Brothers, a musical score by John Williams, and a plot based on one of the most pivotal events of the Cold War? You get St. James Place, the director's latest production, which just wrapped its first leg of principal photography in New York. St. James Place tells the story of what became the first spy prisoner exchange between the United States and the Soviet Union, following the shoot-down on May 1, 1960, ...

Picture Up, Roll Sound: Salute to John Williams’ 49 Noms, Movie Music’s 49 Best List & More

by Quendrith Johnson, Los Angeles Correspondent Last night LA Philharmonic opened the season with a Tribute to John Williams, featuring virtuoso violinist Itzhak Perlman and his greatest movie music moments from Indiana Jones to Star Wars, so this is a perfect time to examine the world of cinema’s renowned music composers.  While none can match the record-stealing 49 Oscar nominations of Williams, some credit should go to the amazing cast of characters (say 49, why not?) who have ...

The Hundred-Foot Journey, Review: Worth going far to watch

The Hundred-Foot Journey: Worth going far to watch Riots, destruction of  his restaurant, and his wife (Juhi Chawla)’s death push Papa Kadam (Om Puri) and his four children out of India. The family moves to London, eventually settling in a quaint village in France. The village is both picturesque and elegant – the ideal place to settle down and open an Indian restaurant. And so, the Maison (house) Mumbai is born. The cold and stiff chef-proprietress of Le Saule Pleureur, a M...

Touched by Oprah's "Vulnerable Spaces": 2014 Montecito Honoree Wows in Santa Barbara

  by Quendrith Johnson, Los Angeles Correspondent   It took Oprah Winfrey "two hours to get ready" to receive the Montecito Award from the Santa Barbara International Film Festival last night, even though her house is just minutes away from the Arlington Theater. "When I told my Gale, Gale called me this afternoon, she said, 'You're getting some kind of award? For the Oprah show?' No, for my body of work.  'Body of work?' I've done like...

JAN HARLAN comments on my work.

user
FANTASTIC NEWS!!! Jan Harlan just gave me his approval for me to post his praise for my work on my websites. For those of you who might not be familiar with him, here are some of his film credits: Executive Producer: THE SHINING, FULL METAL JACKET, EYES WIDE SHUT, BARRY LYNDON, etc. (directed by Stanley Kubrick) Executive Producer: ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE (directed by Steven Spielberg). Director: STANLEY KUBRICK: A LIFE IN PICTURES, etc. Here are the links to my websites that contain his co...

Steven Spielberg talks about his films

"I started to shoot films at the age of 13 because nothing else was even half as fun for me. Now at the age of 65, I still get that same feeling of excitement. The day that feeling disappears, I'll stop making films. "             Jaws - 1975         ...

Cannes blog: Cannes Film Festival Day 1

  66th Cannes Film Festival Day 1 – The Great Gatsby and Opening Ceremonies Leonardo DiCaprio at The Great Gatsby Cannes premiere - Photo courtesy of Anne-Christine Poujoulat (AFP) Nearly 4,000 accredited journalists descend upon the city of Cannes for 11 days of cinema magic and what looks like heavy rain for the first few days. The opening day of the 66th Cannes Film Festival surrounded festivities for the out of competition opening film – “The Great Gatsb...

Saving "Private" Lincoln: a conversation between Salvador Litvak, director of "SAVING LINCOLN" and Stephanie Ronnet

Salvador Litvak based his film on Ward Hill Lamon's memoirs. This outstanding first-hand account describes the unique bound uniting Abraham Lincoln to his bodyguard, U.S. Marshal Ward Hill Lamon.  Despite encountering many obstacles during the process, Salvador Litvak took up the challenge of shooting an epic film on Lincoln on a very low budget, and conquered!    Clearly inspired by Lincoln's strength and determination, Salvador Litvak gave a new meaning to ...

There is only one direction to go…FORWARD!

user
I recently read (again) the Steven Spielberg biography by Joseph McBride. There is a passage in the book that always gets my attention. “Early in 1977, when Close Encounters was still months away from completion, George Lucas showed a rough cut of Star Wars (without John Williams’s rousing musical score) at his San Anselmo home, in northern California. The audience included executives of Twentieth Century-Fox; Gloria Katz and William Huyck, who worked on the script; and several of Lucas...

Steven spielberg in Cannes

Stars Come Out for THE GOOD NIGHT Premiere

Thursday, January 25---The stars were out tonight for the world premiere screening of THE GOOD NIGHT at the Sundance Film Festival. Among the attendees were Danny DeVito, Steven Spielberg and Gwyneth Paltrow, pictured above at the Eccles Center. Paltrow and DeVito co-star in the film, which is the writing and directing debut of Gwyneth's brother, Jake Paltrow. The film, one of the high profile projects coming to Sundance without a US theatrical deal, also stars Oscar nominee Penelope Cruz, M...

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