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How Disney decides which content gets ‘offensive’ disclaimer



Disney holds monthly meetings to determine what content in its archive needs to have a warning added. 

The meetings are held virtually and are “very raw” according to one attendee. 

“We’ve had some very raw conversations on those Zooms,” African American Film Critics Association President Gil Robertson told the Hollywood Reporter. As part of Disney’s Stories Matter initiative’s advisory council, Robertson and his colleagues watch films believed to possibly be problematic and then tell Disney their reaction. 

“They want to make up for any offensive messaging they may have been a part of,” Robertson told the publication. “It feels sincere, and it’s also good business.”

In November 2019, when Disney launched its Disney+ streaming service, the company added content warnings ahead of its animated classics “Dumbo” (1941), “The Jungle Book” (1967) and “Aladdin” (1992) to warn audiences that the movies “may contain outdated cultural depictions.”

The iconic films “Aristocats” (1970), “Peter Pan” (1953) and “Swiss Family Robinson” (1960) also feature the warning ahead of the film.

The highly controversial “Song of the South” (1946) is not available on the streaming service.

Most recently, “The Muppet Show” had warning disclaimers placed prior to each episode, warning viewers that the show features “stereotypes” and “mistreatment of people or cultures.”

“Rather than remove this content, we want to acknowledge its harmful impact, learn from it and spark conversation to create a more inclusive future together,” the disclaimer says, adding “Disney is committed to creating stories with inspirational and aspirational themes that reflect the rich diversity of the human experience around the globe.”

The disclaimers are not a signal that the films have been canceled, Ben Mankiewicz, a host on classic TV network TCM, told the Reporter.

“Nobody’s canceling these movies,” he said. “Our job is not to get up and say, ‘Here’s a movie that you should feel guilty about for liking.’ But to pretend that the racism in it is not painful and acute? No. I do not want to shy away from that. This was inevitable. And welcomed. And overdue.”





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Sacha Baron Cohen quits ‘Borat’ over ‘risk’ of playing role


Borat is hanging up his iconic gray suit for good.

On Sunday, Sacha Baron Cohen, 49, told Golden Globes viewers that last year’s “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm,” the long anticipated follow-up to 2006’s “Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan,” would be his last with the beloved character.

“The gray suit is locked up and not coming out again,” Cohen said during a question-and-answer session during the virtual awards ceremony, which saw three nominations — and two wins — for the Borat sequel.

The British satirist took the award for Best Actor in a Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy for his final turn as the bumbling Kazakh broadcaster. The film itself also won a Golden Globe for the Best Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy category. Co-star Maria Bakalova, who played Borat’s teenage daughter — and foil to Rudy Giuliani — Tutar, was also nominated for Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy.

Sacha Baron Cohen as Borat, hauling carriage through Kazakh village.
The British satirist recently revealed that filming the “Borat” sequel was “the most dangerous project” he’d ever undertaken.
AP

“This was probably the most dangerous project I had to work on,” said Baron Cohen, who previously revealed that he wore a bulletproof vest while filming — which came in handy after Borat crashed a Second Amendment rights rally in Washington State, prompting a riot of angry gun-toters.

“We felt that the risks were worth taking,” he explained. “I was just very worried about Trump and Trumpism and the election and our democracy was at risk.”

still from "Borat Subsequent Moviefilm" featuring Sacha Baron Cohen as Borat and Maria Bakalova as daughter, Tutar.
Despite threats on his life, Sacha Baron Cohen, 49, is proud of what he suggests was a vital work of political parody.
Alamy Stock Photo

“There were situations I would never go back to do again. The gray suit is locked up and not coming out again,” the filmmaker said.

Despite threats on his life, Baron Cohen, 49, is proud of what he suggests was a vital work of political parody.

“Had Trump won on Nov. 3, and I hadn’t been able to make this movie, I wouldn’t be able to live with myself,” he concluded.



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‘Nomadland’ won, but not Oscar sure thing



Now we know for sure who’s gonna win the Oscar for Best Picture, right? The mist of obscurity has finally lifted, right? Place yer bets, right? Sorry, guys, it’s not that clear-cut.

Although the overpraised “Nomadland” won the 2021 Golden Globe for best dramatic film Sunday night, history tells us that director Chloé Zhao’s film is not a sure thing for the Best Picture Oscar on April 25. 

Look at the recent winners of the same illustrious prize: “1917,” “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” and “The Revenant.” None went on to win the Academy Award for Best Picture. 

Meanwhile, just two Golden Globe best comedy or musical victors have taken the top Oscar in the past decade: “Green Book” and “The Artist.” So, the odds aren’t the greatest, even if the film starring Frances McDormand has long been seen as a juggernaut since it premiered at the Venice and Toronto Film Festivals. Other voters are starting to get tired of it.

While I’ll give this loony bunch of international reporters some credit for maturing in who they’ve nominated the last few years — despite some moronic omissions — the 90-strong group still is not an accurate representation of the nearly 9,000 members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The Oscars are voted on by real actors, directors, screenwriters and producers.

Who can really trust a drunk Italian journalist?

While “Nomadland” was a perfectly sensible choice for the top prize Sunday, the mysterious group still had its fair share of loco picks.

One of the worst examples: Giving an award to Rosamund Pike for the dismal “I Care a Lot” — which will not get a single Oscar nod — instead of the revelatory Maria Bakalova from “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm.” Nobody predicted that. As Borat would say, “Not very nice.”

Another out-of-left-field choice was Andra Day, as Billie Holiday in “The United States vs. Billie Holiday,” for best dramatic actress. She’s terrific, but the newcomer won’t go on to win an Oscar over veterans such as Viola Davis (“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom“) or McDormand (“Nomadland”).

Meanwhile, Jodie Foster won for “The Mauritanian,” which few people have seen, over Amanda Seyfried for “Mank” or Olivia Colman for “The Father.” 

On the TV side, the Globes almost went full Brit: “The Crown” won best dramatic TV series, as well as acting awards for Emma Corrin, Josh O’Connor and Gillian Anderson.

For the small-screen comedies, “Schitt’s Creek” was still the darling, taking home statues for best comedy TV series and actress (Catherine O’Hara).

The best decision the Globes made, movie-wise, was awarding the wonderful late actor Chadwick Boseman for his work in Netflix’s adaptation of August Wilson’s “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.” It’s an unforgettable performance. Tell your boss you’re overstretched, and watch it today.

The second best decision the Globes made all night was not awarding Kate Hudson with the best actress – comedy or musical award for her role in the offensive “Music.” One very upset person took issue with my well-documented opinion on this issue.

“Okay, girl,” an Instagram user commented on a photo of Hudson. “What did you do to the New York Post writer Johnny Oleksinski?? Did you break his heart or something?? I hope you get the globe!!” 

Readers, I assure you: I would never be mad that Kate stood me up at Momofuku on our first date. I am a very serious journalist. I’m not bitter at all.



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Emma Stone reinvents Cruella de Vil in 2021 Disney movie



This ain’t your grandma’s Cruella de Vil.

Social media is in a tizzy over new details about the hotly anticipated “Cruella,” Disney’s latest live action adaptation of the animated classic “101 Dalmatians,” mostly thanks to Emma Stone’s fierce transformation as the nefarious fashionista with a penchant for spotted dogs.

“Hello, Cruel World,” said Disney, in a tweet announcing that a trailer for “Cruella” will drop tomorrow. A new poster for the film features a close-up of sultry Stone, 32, in black-and-white, in a style reminiscent of Madonna’s glam-punk days or rock opera icon Dr. Frank-N-Furter of “Rocky Horror Picture Show.”

In a promotional image from 2019 for the film, which will tell Cruella’s backstory and be set in the 1970s, Stone is dressed to kill in leather, leashes and with the character’s iconic black-and-white mane — and fans have been begging for more ever since.

The moment also provided some fans with an opportunity to praise Glenn Close, who thousands of fans on Twitter agree was “actually perfect” as Cruella in the 1996 live-action remake of the original 1961 cartoon film. 

Others had pointers for Disney ahead of the trailer release. 

“If the Cruella trailer doesn’t feature a children’s choir singing a haunting, slowed-down cover version of a certain Baha Men song, what are we even doing here?,” suggested Stephen Douglass, a sports writer whose hilarious suggestion has seen support nearly 6,000 others on Twitter in just an hour since Disney made its announcement.

The crime comedy, due out in May, was helmed by “I, Tonya” director Craig Gillespie and also stars Emma Thompson and Paul Walter Hauser (“I, Tonya”) in as-yet-named roles. It follows the story of young fashion designer Estella de Vil and as her obsession for dog furs takes hold — earning her the nickname Cruella nickname. 





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Danny DeVito quietly buys pristine Brooklyn brownstone


Has funnyman Danny DeVito given up his West Coast life for a return to the Big Apple? Not if Frank Reynolds has something to say about it! 

The “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” star quietly purchased a charming Brooklyn brownstone right before the pandemic hit, The Post can report. 

The sale was finalized on January 6, 2020 in a bargain and sale deed, according to New York property records.

While it is unknown exactly how much the home sold for, it is estimated DeVito, 76, paid upwards of at least $2 million. DeVito’s reps didn’t respond to The Post’s requests for comment.

The previous owner purchased the property for $2,200,000 in 2016. And prices in the area have only increased. 

Newly constructed in 2014, the four-story brownstone is made up of four bedrooms and five bathrooms. The structure was originally built on a 1,291-square-foot lot.

The home includes a brand new chef's kitchen, complete with custom white cabinetry, and marble countertops.
The home includes a brand new chef’s kitchen, complete with custom white cabinetry and marble countertops.
realtor.com

Each room boasts 11-feet-high ceilings. It also features an expansive living area and formal dining room, as well as a brand-new chef’s kitchen, with custom white cabinetry and marble countertops. 

The four-story home was newly constructed in 2014.
The four-story home was newly constructed in 2014.
realtor.com

The large master suite includes a spacious walk-in closet and a windowed Carrara marble master bath and opens up to one of the two private roof decks.

The townhouse is made up of four-bedrooms and five bathrooms.
The townhouse is made up of four-bedrooms and five bathrooms.
realtor.com

The second roof deck showcases glorious Manhattan views from 1 World Trade Center to the Chrysler Building.

The Brooklyn pad is beautifully situated in the Clinton Hill neighborhood, near local eateries, cafes and bars.

DeVito’s estranged wife, actress Rhea Perlman, was also listed on the transfer deed. 

The two separated in October 2012, after 30 years of marriage and over 40 years together. But they reconciled again in 2013. They separated for a second time in March 2017, but remain on amicable terms. 

Perlman, 72, revealed to The Post in 2018 that she would never divorce DeVito.

“We’ve been together a very long time, so there’s a lot of love and history,” she said. “We agree on enough things, so why [ruin] that with the yucky things that come with a divorce?”

The two co-starred together in the television show “Taxi” and the famous feature film, “Matilda.” 

They share three grown children,  Lucy, 37, Grace, 35, and Jake, 33. 

DeVito and Perlman also own a three-bedroom, two-bathroom Los Angeles pad they purchased in 2018, following their massive $28 million sale of their longtime Beverly Hills mansion.



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Stop with the terrible ‘Wizard of Oz’ adaptations


Why, Oz, why?!

A new big-screen adaptation of L. Frank Baum’s children’s classic “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” is headed our way like a cyclone, according to a Deadline report. The film from New Line will be directed by Nicole Kassell of HBO’s popular “Watchmen.”

Here’s an idea for her: Drive down to Ace Hardware, buy a jackhammer and rip up the Yellow Brick Road so nobody can ever access it again. Just like we did with “Peter Pan” and “Alice in Wonderland,” the world has reached critical mass with Dorothy and Toto.

The dreamy land of Oz and its characters have been plundered over and over again since Baum’s book was first published in 1900 and, yes, society has fond memories of exactly three riffs: 1939’s “The Wizard of Oz” (“Somewhere Over the Rainbow!” “The Wiz” (“Ease on Down the Road!”) and “Wicked” (“Defying Gravity!”).

The rest of them — and there is a boatload — bring to mind another catchy tune: “If I only had a brain!”

That’s because 99% of Oz adaptations are mindless gunk.

The first notable stinker after Victor Fleming’s Technicolor classic was a low-budget 1969 film called “The Wonderful Land of Oz,” based on Baum’s second novel “The Marvelous Land of Oz.” It is said to be faithful to its source, and is considered by some to be one of the worst movies ever made.

1978's "The Wiz," starring Michael Jackson, Nipsey Russell, Diana Ross and Ted Ross, was one of the only successes.
1978’s “The Wiz,” starring Michael Jackson, Nipsey Russell, Diana Ross and Ted Ross, was one of the only successes.
Everett Collection

The film’s origins were, appropriately for the late ’60s, in porn. Well, “nudie” flicks — a titillating genre that petered out in the ’70s and, while not displaying full sex, featured plenty of naked women. Suffice it to say, nobody left the theater raving about the dialogue.

In the two years before Barry Mahon directed “The Wonderful Land of Oz,” he helmed such high-class indulgences as “Forbidden Flesh,” “Instant Orgy,” “The Warm, Warm Bed,” “Sex Club International” and “Run Swinger Run!” He thought the genre was getting too smutty — really — so he transitioned to family fare. And what a transition it was.

In the two years before Barry Mahon directed "The Wonderful Land of Oz," he directed "nudie" flicks.
In the two years before Barry Mahon directed “The Wonderful Land of Oz,” he directed “nudie” flicks.
Courtesy Everett Collection

His first go-round is a disturbing descent into misery and tastelessness that is barely watchable today. Mahon cast his son Channy as Tipp, a little boy who runs away to Emerald City and finds himself in the middle of a creepy palace coup. There are no stars, the setting appears to jump from shabby cabin to shabbier cabin and many of Tipp’s compatriots, including something called the Wogglebug, look like nightmarish insects. It’s on YouTube. Watch it if you want. I’m not your doctor.

Less than 20 years later, Disney sank its fangs into the Baum brand, too. In 1985’s “Return to Oz,” Dorothy (Fairuza Balk making her debut) lands with a thud back in Kansas six months after her stint in Oz. The annoying girl can’t stop rattling on about flying monkeys and a tin man, however, so a reasonable Auntie Em thinks she’s lost her marbles. Shock therapy, it is! Not so shockingly, the movie made just $11.1 million at the box office against a $28 million budget.

Fairuza Balk played Dorothy in 1985’s “Return to Oz.”
Fairuza Balk played Dorothy in 1985’s “Return to Oz.”
©Buena Vista Pictures/Courtesy Everett

Then in 2013, that model of restraint James Franco wanted a piece of the action. He starred in a prequel (ugh) to the 1939 film called “Oz the Great and Powerful,” which Post critic Lou Lumenick hailed as “long-threatened!” It tries to explain how a Kansas huckster becomes a powerful leader, and why everybody is terrified of the Wicked Witch. It did not help matters that a decade earlier, the Broadway musical “Wicked” did a much better job of that. The aforementioned hag was played by Mila Kunis, who won an MTV Movie Award. A feather in her pointy hat.

The flops, they keep on coming.

James Franco starred in a prequel to the 1939 film called "Oz the Great and Powerful."
James Franco starred in a prequel to the 1939 film called “Oz the Great and Powerful” in 2013.
©Walt Disney Co./Courtesy Everett

That’s because the most famous book, “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz,” has been in the public domain since 1956, so anybody can take a crack at it. Kassell and New Line’s prime advantage is that the 1939 film, which had original elements such as the ruby slippers, is in the Warner Bros. library. She can borrow whatever iconic elements she likes.

From the sound of it, though, this is going to be like every other film that gloats about how it will expose a classic to a new generation: a soon-to-be-forgotten dud. The dismal “Annie” with Cameron Diaz arrogantly tired to do that. So did “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” with Johnny Depp.

I’ll tell you right now, if I have to watch a ginger Billie Eilish sing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” in this thing, I’m changing professions. That’s a dare.

THE WIZARD OF OZ, Margaret Hamilton, 1939
Please rip up the Yellow Brick Road so nobody can ever access it again.
Courtesy Everett Collection



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WandaVision Cast In Other TV Shows And Movies


The perfect time for me to scream about how great Ingrid Goes West is.

1.

Martha Marcy May Marlene


Fox Searchlight / Everett Collection

WandaVision star to look out for: Elizabeth Olsen

What the movie is about: Martha Marcy May Marlene follows Martha, a young woman who tries to reconnect with her family and the world after fleeing an abusive cult. Elizabeth plays Martha alongside Sarah Paulson, who plays Lucy, Martha’s sister. This is Elizabeth’s first major movie role and she absolutely crushes it. Her work in Martha Marcy May Marlene earned Elizabeth a 2011 Critics Choice Award nomination for Best Actress.

Where to watch: You can rent and/or buy it on Amazon Prime Video or iTunes.

2.

A Knight’s Tale


Columbia Pictures / Everett Collection

WandaVision star to look out for: Paul Bettany

What the movie is about: A Knight’s Tale follows William Thatcher, a squire who creates a new identity for himself as a knight. The film explores William’s rise to fame as he wins tournaments alongside his friends. Paul stars as Geoffrey Chaucer, who is portrayed as a writer and ring announcer.

Where to watch: TBS or TNT. Or you can rent and/or buy it on Amazon Prime Video or iTunes.

3.

Dear White People


Lionsgate / Via youtu.be

WandaVision star to look out for: Teyonah Parris

What the movie is about: Dear White People follows Samantha White and three other Black students at Winchester University, a prestigious and predominantly white school. The series was later adapted into a Netflix series of the same name too. Teyonah gave a breakthrough performance as Collandrea “Coco” Conners alongside Tyler James Williams and Tessa Thompson.

Where to watch: You can rent and/or buy it on Amazon Prime Video or iTunes.

4.

Mrs. Fletcher


HBO

WandaVision star to look out for: Kathryn Hahn

What the show is about: Mrs. Fletcher follows Eve Fletcher, a recently divorced mom who is going through a mid-life crisis. After her son goes off to college, Eve has a sexual reawakening and searches for the sex life she missed out on in her younger years. Kathryn is absolutely brilliant as Eve and I highly recommend this underrated series.

Where to watch: HBO Max

5.

Always Be My Maybe


Netflix / Everett Collection

WandaVision star to look out for: Randall Park

What the movie is about: Written by Randall Park, Ali Wong, and Michael Golamco, Always Be My Maybe follows Sasha and Marcus, two childhood best friends who reconnect after Sasha returns to San Francisco to open a restaurant. Randall stars as Marcus opposite Ali Wong as Sasha and it’s truly one of the best rom-com pairings in recent years.

Where to watch: Netflix

6.

2 Broke Girls


CBS / Everett Collection

WandaVision star to look out for: Kat Dennings

What the show is about: 2 Broke Girls follows the lives of Max and Caroline, two BFFs who work at a local diner in Brooklyn. The duo are attempting to raise enough money to start their own successful cupcake business. Kat starred as Max opposite Beth Behrs as Caroline during the show’s entire six season run.

Where to watch: TBS or you can buy it on Amazon Prime Video or iTunes.

7.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer


Warner Bros.

WandaVision star to look out for: Emma Caulfield

What the show is about: This beloved TV series follows Buffy Summers, the latest in a line of Slayers or “Chosen Ones” who are tasked with saving the world and fighting vampires, demons, and other forces of darkness. Emma joined the series during Season 3 as Anya, a former vengeance demon who joins the Scooby Gang.

Where to watch: Hulu or Amazon Prime Video

8.

Ingrid Goes West


Neon / Everett Collection

WandaVision star to look out for: Elizabeth Olsen

What the movie is about: Ingrid Goes West follows Ingrid, a woman obsessed with social media who moves to Los Angeles and tries to become friends with Taylor, a social media influencer who seemingly has the perfect life. Elizabeth stars as Taylor alongside Aubrey Plaza in this truly iconic movie.

Where to watch: You can rent and/or buy it on Amazon Prime Video or iTunes.

9.

Liberal Arts


IFC Films / Everett Collection

WandaVision star to look out for: Elizabeth Olsen

What the movie is about: Written, directed, and starring Josh Radnor, Liberal Arts tells the story of Jesse, a college admissions officer who returns to his alma mater and falls for Zibby, a college student. Elizabeth stars as, you guessed it, Zibby.

Where to watch: Showtime or you can rent and/or buy it on Amazon Prime Video or iTunes.

10.

If Beale Street Could Talk


Annapurna Pictures

WandaVision star to look out for: Teyonah Parris

What the movie is about: Directed by Barry Jenkins and based on James Baldwin’s novel, If Beale Street Could Talk follows Tish as she recalls everything that has connected her to her fiancé Alonzo “Fonny” Hunt. Friends since childhood, Tish and Fonny dream of their future together, however their plans are derailed when Fonny is arrested for a crime he didn’t commit. Teyonah stars as Ernestine, Tish’s sister, opposite Stephan James, KiKi Layne, Regina King, Colman Domingo, Brian Tyree Henry, and many more.

Where to watch: Hulu

11.

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse


Sony Pictures Releasing / Via youtu.be

WandaVision star to look out for: Kathryn Hahn

What the movie is about: This absolutely brilliant and breathtaking movie follows Miles Morales, who becomes the Spider-Man of his universe. Soon, Miles is joined by five other spider-powered individuals from other dimensions as they fight to save their worlds. Kathryn voices Olivia Octavius/Doctor Octopus, who is the head scientist and CEO of Alchemax.

Where to watch: You can rent and/or buy it on Amazon Prime Video or iTunes.

12.

Parks and Rec


NBC

WandaVision star to look out for: Kathryn Hahn

What the show is about: One of the most beloved comedy TV shows in recent years, Parks and Rec follows Leslie Knope and her co-workers at the Pawnee, Indiana parks and recreation department as they try to make their town a better place. Kathryn appeared as Jennifer Barkley, a campaign manager who is brought in to help Bobby Newport win the city council election against Leslie Knope, in 11 episodes through the show’s run.

Where to watch: Peacock

13.

Fresh Off The Boat


ABC / Everett Collection

WandaVision star to look out for: Randall Park

What the show is about: This hilarious sitcom follows is loosely based on food personality Eddie Huang’s life and follows a Taiwanese-American family who lives in Florida during the 1990s. Randall starred as Louis Huang, Eddie’s father, for all six seasons of this hit comedy.

Where to watch: Hulu

14.

Godzilla


Warner Bros. / Everett Collection

WandaVision star to look out for: Elizabeth Olsen

What the movie is about: A reboot of the iconic Godzilla franchise, this film follows Ford Brody, a solider who attempts to return to his family but ends up getting caught in a battle between monstrous creatures, like Godzilla. This movie is kind of hilarious to watch if you’ve come to love Elizabeth and Aaron Taylor Johnson as Wanda and Pietro Maximoff in the MCU because in Godzilla they play husband and wife.

Where to watch: TBS or you can rent and/or buy it on Amazon Prime Video or iTunes.

15.

I Saw The Light


Sony Pictures / Everett Collection

WandaVision star to look out for: Elizabeth Olsen

What the movie is about: I Saw The Light tells the story of country music legend Hank Williams. The movie follows Hank from his rise to fame to his sudden death at just 29 years old. It also details his marriage to Audrey Sheppard and his struggle with alcoholism. Elizabeth stars as Audrey Sheppard Williams opposite fellow MCU star Tom Hiddleston as Hank. If you’ve ever wanted to hear Elizabeth sing, this is the movie for you.

Where to watch: You can rent and/or buy it on Amazon Prime Video and/or iTunes.

16.

Wind River


Everett Collection

WandaVision star to look out for: Elizabeth Olsen

What the movie is about: Wind River follows Cory Lambert, a US Fish and Wildlife Service agent who helps Jane Banner, a rookie FBI agent, investigate a murder of a young woman in Wyoming. Elizabeth stars as Jane opposite fellow MCU star Jeremy Renner.

Where to watch: IMDbTV on Amazon Prime Video

17.

A Beautiful Mind


Universal / Everett Collection

WandaVision star to look out for: Paul Bettany

What the movie is about: A Beautiful Mind follows John Nash, a brilliant mathematician who accepts a job in cryptography in order to help crack encrypted communications. Paul stars as Charles Herman alongside Russell Crowe, Ed Harris, Jennifer Connelly, and Christopher Plummer. A Beautiful Mind is the film where Jennifer and Paul first met and eventually they got married in 2003.

Where to watch: You can rent and/or buy it on Amazon Prime Video or iTunes.

18.

Chi-Raq


Amazon Studios

WandaVision star to look out for: Teyonah Parris

What the movie is about: Directed and written by Spike Lee, Chi-Raq is a modern day adaptation of the ancient Greek play Lysistrata. The movie follows a group of women who withhold sex until the men in Chicago’s Southside stop fighting. Teyonah stars as Lysistrata opposite Nick Cannon, Wesley Snipes, Jennifer Hudson, Angela Bassett, Samuel L. Jackson, and many more.

Where to watch: Amazon Prime Video

19.

How to Lose A Guy In 10 Days


Paramount / Everett Collection

WandaVision star to look out for: Kathryn Hahn

What the movie is about: This classic rom-com follows Benjamin Barry, an advertising executive who bets that he can make a woman fall in love with him in only 10 days. Meanwhile, Andie Anderson, a magazine writer is inspired to write a new article titled “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days.” Kathryn stars as Micelle, Andie’s best friend who experiences another break up and inspires Andie to write her article.

Where to watch: You can rent and/or buy it on Amazon Prime Video or iTunes.

20.

Dollface


Hulu / Everett Collection

WandaVision star to look out for: Kat Dennings

What the show is about: Dollface follows Jules Wiley, who has recently broken up with her longtime boyfriend. Now, single for the first time in years, Jules tries to reconnect with the BFFs she fell out of touch with during her relationship. Kat stars as Jules alongside Brenda Song, Shay Mitchell, Esther Povitsky, and more.

Where to watch: Hulu

21.

Sorry For Your Loss


Facebook Watch / Everett Collection

WandaVision star to look out for: Elizabeth Olsen

What the show is about: Sorry For Your Loss follows Leigh, a writer who is dealing with the unexpected loss of her husband. The show brilliantly tackles grief as Leigh struggles to move on and come to terms with her husband’s death. Elizabeth was also an executive producer on the series and starred as Leigh opposite Kelly Marie Tran, Jovan Adepo, Mamoudou Athie, and Janet McTeer.

Where to watch: Facebook Watch

22.

Veep


HBO

WandaVision star to look out for: Randall Park

What the show is about: This Emmy Award-winning comedy follows Selina Meyer, the Vice President of the United States, and her team as they try to make a lasting impression and leave their mark. Randall appeared as Governor Danny Chung, a presidential candidate who ran against Selina, in 13 episodes throughout the show’s run.

Where to watch: HBO Max

23.

I Know This Much Is True


HBO

WandaVision star to look out for: Kathryn Hahn

What the show is about: Based on the novel of the same name, the limited series follows the lives of identical twin brothers Dominick and Thomas Birdsey. I Know This Much Is True explores the family’s stories of betrayal, sacrifice, and forgiveness. Kathryn starred as Dessa Constantine, Dominick’s ex-wife, opposite Mark Ruffalo, Melissa Leo, Juliette Lewis, Rosie O’Donnell, and more.

Where to watch: HBO Max

24.

Wimbledon


Universal / Everett Collection

WandaVision star to look out for: Paul Bettany

What the movie is about: Wimbledon follows Peter Colt, a pro tennis player who has lost all of his ambition and has fallen in the ranks. Suddenly, he meets an up-and-coming women’s tennis player who helps him recapture his love for the game. Paul stars as Peter opposite Kirsten Dunst as Lizzie Bradbury.

Where to watch: Peacock

25.

Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist


Sony Pictures / Everett Collection

WandaVision star to look out for: Kat Dennings

What the movie is about: Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist tells the story of teenagers Nick and Norah, who meet after Norah asks Nick to pretend to be her boyfriend one night. Over the course of the night, the duo try to find their favorite band’s secret show and search for Norah’s BFF. Kat stars as Norah opposite Michael Cera as Nick.

Where to watch: IMDb TV on Amazon Prime Video

26.

Mad Men


AMC

WandaVision star to look out for: Teyonah Parris

What the show is about: This critically-acclaimed series follows Don Draper and his associates at Sterling Cooper, an advertising agency, in the 1960s. Teyonah appeared in 22 episodes of the series as Dawn Chambers, Don’s secretary during Season 5 who befriends Peggy and is one of the first Black employees at Sterling Cooper.

Where to watch: IMDb TV on Amazon Prime Video

27.

In Secret


Roadside Attractions / Everett Collection

WandaVision star to look out for: Elizabeth Olsen

What the show is about: Based on the classic novel Thérèse Raquin, In Secret tells the story of Thérèse Raquin, a beautiful young woman who is trapped in a loveless marriage after her aunt insists she marries following their move to Paris. Elizabeth stars as Thérèse opposite Oscar Isaac, Tom Felton, and Jessica Lange.

Where to watch: HBO Max

28.

The Secret Life of Bees


Fox Searchlight / Everett Collection

WandaVision star to look out for: Paul Bettany

What the movie is about: Based on the bestselling novel of the same name, The Secret Life of Bees follows Lily Owens, a teenager who runs away and searches for the truth about her mother. Along the way, she finds a group of women who connect to her mother’s past. Paul appears as Lily’s father alongside Queen Latifah, Dakota Fanning, Jennifer Hudson, Alicia Keys, and Sophie Okonedo.

Where to watch: You can rent and/or buy it on Amazon Prime Video or iTunes.

29.

The Photograph


Universal Pictures

WandaVision star to look out for: Teyonah Parris

What the movie is about: Starring Issa Rae and Lakeith Stanfield, The Photograph follows Mae, a famous photographer who falls in love with Michael, a journalist who is investigating his mother’s life. Teyonah appears as Asia, Michael’s sister-in-law who is married to Kyle, played by Lil Rel Howery.

Where to watch: HBO Max

30.

Bad Moms


STX Entertainment / Everett Collection

WandaVision star to look out for: Kathryn Hahn

What the movie is about: This hilarious comedy follows Amy, Kiki, and Carla, three moms who are feelings overworked and under-appreciated. The three of them decide to ditch their conventions responsibilities and have some fun. Kathryn appears as Carla opposite Mila Kunis and Kristen Bell as Amy and Kiki respectively.

Where to watch: You can rent and/or buy it on Amazon Prime Video or iTunes.

31.

Solo: A Star Wars Story


Jonathan Olley / Lucasfilms / Everett Collection

WandaVision star to look out for: Paul Bettany

What the movie is about: Solo: A Star Wars Story follows Han Solo’s adventures alongside Chewbacca and Lando Calrissian before he met up with Luke Skywalker in the original Star Wars trilogy. Paul appears as Dryden Vos, a ruthless crime lord who has a history with Tobias Beckett.

Where to watch: Disney+

32.

Empire


Fox

WandaVision star to look out for: Teyonah Parris

What the show is about: Empire follows Lucious Lyon, Cookie Lyon, and their family as they build their hip hop music empire and entertainment company Empire Entertainment. Teyonah appeared during Season 6 as Detective Pamela Rose, Andre’s mysterious new girlfriend.

Where to watch: Hulu

33.

And of course, the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies.


Marvel

WandaVision star to look out for: Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Bettany, Kat Dennings, and Randall Park

Which movies to watch: Iron Man, Iron Man 2, Thor, The Avengers, Iron Man 3, Thor: The Dark World, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Ant-Man, Captain America: Civil War, Avengers: Infinity War, Ant-Man and the Wasp, and Avengers: Endgame.

Where to watch: Disney+

Obviously, this isn’t everything the cast has been in. So if you have another favorite role from one of these great actors, tell us in the comments below!

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Hollywood already eyeing movie on WallStreetBets, GameStop



This was a sure bet…

Hollywood already has its sights set on last week’s GameStop trading frenzy.

MGM recently scored the rights to a book proposal about the WallStreetBets Reddit forum tentatively titled “The Antisocial Network,” Deadline reported Sunday.

The planned tome, by Ben Mezrich, will explore how the group of rogue day traders shook Wall Street by boosting shares in GameStop and other companies in defiance of large hedge funds.

While the saga is still very recent, Deadline reported that Mezrich took the proposal on the market by the end of last week, and MGM quickly snatched it up after a competitive bidding war.

Mezrich is the author of “The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding Of Facebook, a Tale Of Sex, Money, Genius and Betrayal,” which was adapted into Oscar-winner “The Social Network” in 2010.



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‘Cryptozoo’ is animated instrument of torture


The animated film “Cryptozoo” begins with a nude hippie grabbing a rock and violently bashing in the head of a unicorn, who just impaled her boyfriend. This should have raised a red flag. 

But I kept watching — and wincing — for another 90 obnoxious minutes.

Director Dash Shaw’s movie, which premiered Friday in the Sundance Film Festival, imagines a world in which mythological creatures coexist with modern humans. It’s like Narnia, only instead of Christian allegory, we get a lot of “f–k”s, warped sex scenes, brutal deaths and the clarity of a blindfold.

Called cryptids, the beasts are often sold by sleazeballs on the black market for big bucks, and our heroine, Lauren Gray (voiced by Lake Bell), is determined to stop the evildoers. 

In an early scene, Lauren tiptoes over an orgy in a lodge to chat with a pervert centaur who has connections to this illicit trade. (You should know by now if this is the movie for you.) Determined to protect the cryptids, Lauren sets off to the exotic land of Orlando, Florida.

A particularly endangered cryptid is the Bakku, a Japanese storybook creature that looks like a handheld vacuum cleaner and is said to feast on our nightmares. America seeks to weaponize it.

“The US government wants to harness the power of the Bakku to wipe out the dreams of the counterculture,” we learn. Sounds good to me!

Dash Shaw, director of “Cryptozoo”.
Dash Shaw, director of “Cryptozoo.”
Courtesy of Sundance Institute

One such drug-fueled fantasy comes from the aforementioned impaled boyfriend at the film’s start: “Oh babe, I had the coolest dream last night,” he says. “We were in Washington, DC, like, thousands of people. We were storming the Capitol. The pigs were there guarding it, but we broke through. And we started a whole new perfect society where everyone was equal. It was a sweet trip.”

Sweet trip or not, maaaan, it’s pretty hard to root for storming the Capitol these days.

It’s a challenge to rally behind anybody here. Lauren and Co., including an old activist-scientist named Joan (Grace Zabriskie) and a gorgon (think Medusa), race to recover the Bakku before it’s too late, but their journey is monotonous.

“Cryptozoo” is, from start to finish, a pothead’s pastime. It’s a less-funny Adult Swim cartoon that drags on far too long for the little emotional investment it cultivates. The voice acting, no matter how urgent or high-energy the scene, is creepily breathy, like a couple of guys in hemp shirts staring at clouds.

The hand-drawn animation, however, is sporadically cool. That style is rare to see in the age of Pixar; even the famed Japanese Studio Ghibli’s latest film is CGI. The colors here distinctly pop and the sequences are cleverly imagined and visually appealing.

It’s just that I’d rather they were hanging on my wall.



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Denzel Washington cop film a dud


Running time: 127 minutes. Rated R (violent/disturbing images, language and full nudity) In select theaters and on HBO Max.

The No. 1 rule for any detective story: The mystery cannot be boring.

Shove in all the moral and ethical quandaries and Oscar winners you want, but without a satisfying maze for us to work through, your movie will be a forgettable pile of police jargon and brooding underscore. The latest example is Denzel Washington’s anemic drama, “The Little Things,” which is less gripping than some anthills.

“The Little Things” is not, as its cute title would suggest, about a Vermont woman who sells tchotchkes. It is, like a preponderance of entertainment these days, the story of a serial killer who preys on Los Angeles women in 1990. 

Washington plays Joe Deacon, a police officer in Kern County, California, who drives down to the big city one day to pick up a piece of evidence, but is unexpectedly enlisted by whippersnapper Sheriff Jim Baxter (Rami Malek) to help find the ruthless unknown murderer.

“We haven’t been under this much scrutiny since the Night Stalker!” exclaims one frustrated cop. The department has no leads, and the community is fed up and scared. Enter: Deacon, a less-fun Sherlock Holmes type who notices details that most other detectives miss.

“The little things are important, Jimmy,” Deacon says. “It’s the little things that get you caught.”

Denzel Washington and Jared Leto star in "The Little Things."
Denzel Washington and Jared Leto star in “The Little Things.”
AP

Deacon isn’t some unlikely suburban genius; he used to be top dog with the LAPD years earlier, but left after he cracked under the pressure during a case. There are hazy flashbacks to that violent night throughout.

Washington is at his best when challenged — check out his brilliant, transformative performance as a frumpy lawyer in “Roman J. Israel, Esq.” — but Deacon’s dogged pursuit is a stalk in the park for him. The actor certainly endured no sleepless nights worrying whether he could master the role of a hardened authority figure with a dark past. He has countless times before.

In this slow ferry ride of a film, Joe and Jim pursue just one lead: Albert Sparma, a shifty electronics store employee played by Jared Leto. I’d add that Albert is a stringy-haired creep, but that’s just our Jared. The character has a Hannibal Lecter quality in that his speech is serpentine and he knows an eerie amount about the detectives. “I’m a bit of a crime buff,” Albert says. But there is no depth or texture to the part — only weirdness.

Jared Leto gets weird and Rami Malek gets normal in "The Little Things."
Jared Leto gets weird, and Rami Malek gets normal in “The Little Things.”
©Warner Bros/Everett Collection

Malek, for a change, acts like a normal human being. No computer hacker awkwardness, French prisoner twitching or Freddie Mercury flamboyance — just a stripped-down, capable lead performance.

It would be nice if some of the little things in writer-director John Lee Hancock’s movie had been enlarged. Who cares that there’s beer in the fridge or who drank the milk? Unremarkable moments last for what feels like hours. If the movie feels like it’s going nowhere, that’s because it is. The climactic scene drops Malek and Leto in a nondescript lot of dirt and metal fences, and a should-be shocking twist summons memories of Moe and Larry.

Rami Malek turns in a capable performance as a sheriff in "The Little Things."
Rami Malek turns in a capable performance as a sheriff in “The Little Things.”
©Warner Bros/Everett Collection

The final moment — all 10 seconds of it — is cool, and I suspect that Hancock built his entire movie around it. Well, that and an indictment of self-shielding cop culture. But a couple of grand, intriguing ideas does not a movie make.

Say it with me, folks: It’s the little things.



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