Robert Downey Sr., filmmaker & father of Robert Downey Jr., dies at 85
July 7, 2021 by: Gaius Bolling
Sad news just coming in that Robert Downey Sr., director and father of actor Robert Downey Jr., died early today in his sleep at home in New York City. The director of the anti-establishment satirical film, Putney Swope, was 85.
The news of his death was announced by his wife and author Rosemary Rogers in the "New York Daily News." Rogers revealed to the publication that Downey Sr. had been suffering from Parkinson's disease for more than five years. Robert Downey Jr. took to his Instagram page to pay tribute to his late father by calling him "a true maverick filmmaker" who "remained remarkably optimistic" through "the ravages of Parkinson's." You can view Downey Jr.'s Instagram post below.
Downey Sr. was born in New York City and became a driving force in the city's underground film movement of the 1960s. The director took on several offbeat projects including Ball's Bluff, Babo 73, Chafed Elbows, and No More Excuses but his work became known to a wider audience with the release of 1969's Putney Swope. The film, starring Arnold Johnson as Swope, followed a Black advertising executive who surprisingly and accidentally becomes the agency's new chairman of the board. The satire took spot-on aims at the advertising industry, Madison Avenue culture, corporate America, and racism and it's said that the satirical classic has inspired generations of indie filmmakers over the years. The film was selected for the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant", back in 2016.
Downey Sr. also put in work as an actor, appearing in such films as To Live and Die in L.A., 1st & Ten, Boogie Nights, and Magnolia. His final film credit was in 2011's Tower Heist.
The filmmaker was currently married to Rosemary Rogers while he and his first wife had two children that include actress-winner Allyson Downey and Robert Downey Jr. The couple divorced in 1982 and he married second wife Laura Ernst in 1991. Downey Sr. later married Rosemary Rogers in 1998 following the death of his second wife.
Our deepest condolences go out to Downey Sr.'s family, friends, and fans during this difficult time. Thankfully he left behind some truly culturally relevant work that will continue to inspire for years to come.
New York Daily News
Godzilla Vs. Kong is the 2nd film to cross $100M at the pandemic box office
June 21, 2021 by: Gaius Bolling
It took some time but GODZILLA VS. KONG crossed a domestic milestone at the box office that should be celebrated given the fact that the pandemic has truly made moviegoing suffer for over a year. It took 12 weekends, but monster mash-up crossed $100 million at the domestic box office.
Godzilla Vs. Kong is the second film to achieve this feat during the pandemic after A Quiet Place Part II which did it in three weekends. Godzilla Vs. Kong grossed $250,000 over the weekend at 512 theaters which pushed the film over the $100 million milestone. The film was the first release during the pandemic that gave an indication that moviegoing was on its way back. Even though the film was also released on the HBO Max streaming service the Wednesday before Easter, the movie still managed to open to $48.1 million in its first five days. This was before Los Angeles and New York City were at 100% auditorium capacity so the opening was significant given its limitations.
The production budget on Godzilla Vs. Kong is reportedly $155-200 million but worldwide grosses have pushed the movie to $442.5 million globally. The film needed to gross about $330 million worldwide to break even so Warner Bros. has to be happy with its performance during an unprecedented worldwide pandemic. Had the film come out in a healthy box office climate, the numbers would’ve obviously surged higher but we have to call this a win for Warner Bros given the circumstances.
Did YOU catch Godzilla Vs. Kong in the theaters? Are YOU surprised the film crossed $100 million domestically?
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A Quiet Place sequel arrives with a bang!
The hushed horror sequel, with Emily Blunt returning to protect her family from aliens with excellent hearing, is expected to collect $58.5 million over the four-day domestic holiday weekend.
The new post-apocalyptic terror tale had the strongest box office debut since SONIC THE HEDGEHOG opened with $58 million back in February 2020, about a month before global lockdown began.
Again written and directed by the first movie’s co-star John Krasinski, the sequel was originally planned for release in March 2020 (and even had a world premiere in New York City) before the coronavirus pandemic delayed everything. It was initially shifted to April 2021, then to September 2021, before effectively kicking off the 2021 summer movie season this weekend.
The PG-13 Paramount release, which also stars Cillian Murphy, Djimon Hounsou, Millicent Simmonds and Noah Jupe, has already frightened up a worldwide total of $70.4 million.
The sequel cost a reported $61 million — a substantial jump over the $17 million budget of A QUIET PLACE. The first movie opened to $50.2 million in April 2018 before ultimately finishing with $188 million domestic and $335 million worldwide.
Critics appreciated the tense survival story, giving the movie an average of 91% on Rotten Tomatoes (just a slight drop from the original’s 96% average) and a score of 71 on Metacritic. Sneak on over to the JoBlo review HERE.
Opening in second place was Disney’s CRUELLA with an estimated $21.3 million for the three-day weekend, and an anticipated four-day holiday weekend take of $26.5 million.
The live-action prequel stars Emma Stone as iconic Disney villainess Cruella de Vil, the dastardly puppy-chasing antagonist of the animated 101 DALMATIANS (which was previously brought to life in 1996 with Glenn Close as the fur fanatic).
CRUELLA is the second Disney adaptation (after last year’s MULAN) based on a G-rated cartoon feature to get a PG-13 rating when going to live-action.
Directed by Craig Gillespie (I, TONYA) and also starring Emma Thompson and Mark Strong, the movie was simultaneously made available on the Disney+ streaming platform (for an extra 30 bones).
In third place was the R-rated horror sequel/spinoff SPIRAL: FROM THE BOOK OF SAW with $2.27 million for the three-day weekend. Lionsgate’s Chris Rock/Samuel L. Jackson thriller has a domestic total of $19.7 million on its third weekend.
The Jason Statham action-thriller WRATH OF MAN was in fourth place with $2.1 million over its fourth domestic weekend. Director Guy Ritchie’s latest R-rated effort has a domestic total of $22.1 million and $72 million worldwide.
In fifth place was the Disney fantasy RAYA AND THE LAST DRAGON with $2 million, a boost over last week despite being in theaters for 13 weekends now. The PG-rated animated adventure has a domestic total of $50.8 million and $111.5 million worldwide.
The bottom half of the list drops to six-figure weekend totals, with GODZILLA VS. KONG in sixth place on its ninth weekend, and R-rated anime DEMON SLAYER – THE MOVIE: MUGEN TRAIN following in seventh.
The feel-good equestrian comedy DREAM HORSE moved up a spot to eighth place on its second weekend, while the Angelina Jolie action-thriller THOSE WHO WISH ME DEAD is burning out in ninth place after only three weekends in theaters.
For whatever reason, Paramount re-released the 2013 zombie movie WORLD WAR Z onto 80 screens, clutching $347,000 for the three-day weekend.
The PG-13 Brad Pitt horror-thriller from director Marc Forster (adapted from the Max Brooks book) has a cumulative domestic total of $203 million and $540 million worldwide.
Overseas, the FAST & FURIOUS sequel F9 continues to rev its engines with a worldwide total of $229 million (despite sputtering by 85% in China) before it arrives in North American theaters on June 25.
What is your favorite Emily Blunt performance? VOTE HERE!
A Quiet Place Part II
Spiral: From the Book of Saw
Wrath of Man
Raya and the Last Dragon
Godzilla vs. Kong
Demon Slayer the Movie: Mugen Train
Those Who Wish Me Dead
World War Z
No Sudden Move: Steven Soderbergh’s latest releases first teaser trailer
May 20, 2021 by: Gaius Bolling
The first teaser for Steven Soderbergh's No Sudden Move has been released along with the news that it will world premiere as the centerpiece gala selection at the Tribeca Film Festival on June 18, 2021.
No Sudden Move is set in 1954 Detroit and centers on a group of small-time criminals who are hired to steal what they think is a simple document. When their plan goes horribly wrong, their search for who hired them – and for what ultimate purpose – weaves them through all echelons of the race-torn, rapidly changing city. The film stars Don Cheadle, Benicio del Toro, David Harbour, Ray Liotta, Jon Hamm, Amy Seimetz, Brendan Fraser, Kieran Culkin, Noah Jupe, Craig muMs Grant, Julia Fox, Frankie Shaw, and Bill Duke.
The outdoor premiere of Steven Soderbergh’s film will take place at The Battery in New York City on Saturday, June 18, 2021, as part of Tribeca’s 12-day celebration to re-open New York and bring live entertainment back. Members of the cast will also make an appearance at the live event. Jane Rosenthal, Co-Founder, and CEO of Tribeca Enterprises and the Tribeca Festival had this to say about the film:
"No Sudden Move is a fantastic addition to our lineup and Steven has been such a great friend of the festival. Each year, he brings a unique ability to capture audiences through his films, with such powerful and prolific moments. I suspect this year will be no different. ‘No Sudden Move’ will definitely be a crowd-pleaser and I’m looking forward to enjoying it under the New York skyline."
Did YOU like the teaser? No Sudden Move will debut on HBO Max on July 1, 2021.
JoBlo Movie Trailers
Movie theaters in New York demand a 50% capacity rise by Memorial weekend
April 20, 2021 by: Gaius Bolling
New York movie theaters have increased their capacity limit to 33% (up from 25%) but NATO New York's Joe Masher says it's not enough and that it's "doing damage to a global industry." Masher is demanding a capacity increase to 50% by Memorial Day weekend which is a huge timeframe for tentpole releases.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has had his door hammered on for months with demands to increase the capacity limit from 25% and while he did increase the new limit to 33% by April 26, 2021, it's not being viewed in a positive light because it doesn't really move the needle much for New York theaters to really survive. Joe Masher, COO of Bowtie Cinemas and head of the National Theater Owners' New York division, had this to say about what's needed for theaters to thrive in the state:
"We’re glad that we haven’t been completely ignored and that a step towards progress has been made, but we have made it very clear that theaters need to have the audience limit raised to 50% by Memorial Day weekend to survive financially. What New York is doing to us right now is simply doing damage to a worldwide industry."
Prior to Cuomo’s announcement, New York was one of the last two states in the country, along with Pennsylvania, to require 25% capacity limits for all of its counties. While some states enforce such a limit on a county-by-county basis — including California, Colorado, and Oregon — major cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco raised their limits to 50% earlier this month and more increases for those major markets aren't too far behind. New York City, much like Los Angeles, is a major market for box office revenue so the frustration from New York exhibitors is understandable. We didn't have a summer movie season last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic but this summer, even if it's not 100% back to normal, can make up for a lot of that loss if theaters are in a position to welcome back moviegoers.
NATO might be particularly baffled by how slow Cuomo is moving on the capacity increases because New York’s rate of Covid-19 infection is now 2.94%, the lowest it has been since last November. Total hospitalizations stand at 3,783 but there also seems to be confusion as to why certain establishments can reopen at larger capacity levels and not movie theaters. For instance, indoor dining has been upped to 50% and the argument is that it's much easier to enforce distancing at a movie theater thanks to blocking off space and assigned seating. Cuomo has never really made it quite clear why movie theaters in the area are being treated so much differently from other establishments and it seems the lack of transparency is a bone of contention.
Do YOU think New York movie theaters will increase their capacity to 50% by Memorial Day weekend?
Black Widow expected to triple its box office due to delay
April 8, 2021 by: Gaius Bolling
All delays aren’t bad, at least in terms of box office during an ongoing global pandemic. Marvel’s BLACK WIDOW was set to be released in May of 2020 but was delayed several times due to the COVID-19 crisis that resulted in movie theaters being shuttered all over the world. Now that vaccines have begun to roll out more effectively and COVID-19 cases are going down in various areas, moviegoing is beginning to pick up again and even though Disney decided to further delay the release of Black Widow until July, some box office experts think the most recent delay will pay off nicely.
According to a new report, coming to us from “Observer“, Black Widow is expected to triple its domestic box office gross to about $170 million because Disney decided to push the film further into the summer months. Before the delay, which saw the film coming out in May this year, the domestic projection was just $45 million. The $170 million prediction seems pretty incredible especially considering that Disney+ subscribers will also have the option to pay an extra $29.99 to watch the movie at home through the streamer’s Premier Access program. With the global box office also picking up, particularly in China, the $200 million film has various avenues to make a profit, despite capacity limitations from most movie theaters. Jeff Bock, Box Office Analyst at Exhibitor Relations, had this to say about films that decided to delay their releases further into the summer:
“It’s very difficult to gauge the success of one film in terms of the entire industry going forward, especially in this transitionary period. That being said, [Godzilla vs. Kong]’s domestic debut gave both theatrical and streaming a much-needed boost, and its box office performance over the weeks to come will be tracked closely… As far as Marvel goes and other films that have pushed further back into summer, that can only help their cause at this point, as the science of things points to the film industry getting more resilient across the board. That’s excellent news for blockbusters, considering budgets usually balloon upwards of $200M these days.”
Bock’s comments seem pretty spot on. Godzilla Vs. Kong tested the waters last week as more movie theaters in big markets like Los Angeles and New York City have reopened at limited capacity and the result was a pandemic best $48.1 million five-day opening. This was also with the film streaming on HBO Max and it has been widely reported that Godzilla Vs. Kong gave HBO Max their biggest viewing audience to date. This is an example of the theatrical experience and streaming seemingly working very well together and showing both avenues can be successful during this ongoing transitionary period. Godzilla Vs. Kong has cleared $300 million worldwide and still has some left to gross even more money in the weeks ahead and this is a film releasing in March. Black Widow has the benefit of opening in July, a time when even more capacity restrictions will be lifted on movie theaters.
Black Widow has something to look forward to, at least in Los Angeles County. Governor Gavin Newsom announced this week that California will have a full reopening of its economy on June 15, 2021. This will be determined by keeping hospitalizations low and the full availability of vaccines. California has seen consistent declining numbers and they currently have “the lowest case rates and positivity rates in America.” The state has also passed 20 million vaccine doses being delivered to willing recipients. I say all of this to make a point that Los Angeles, which is the biggest box office market in the U.S. other than New York City, will have its movie theaters opened at full capacity by June 15 given our current trajectory. This is good news to any tentpole offering that has a late June and beyond release date. The normalcy that the industry was seeking seems to be on the horizon and this has to make studios excited for the potential of some of their bigger films on the release calendar.
Do YOU agree that Black Widow will see a larger box office result due to its most recent delay? Black Widow hits screens and Disney+ Premier Access on July 9, 2021.
NATO exec says NYC cinemas need 75% capacity by July 4 or they won’t make it
April 6, 2021 by: Gaius Bolling
New York City was presented with great news when Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that their movie theaters could reopen at 25% capacity back in March but these capacity limits need to increase in the near future or they will be back in a position where their future is very uncertain.
Joe Masher, president of New York NATO, made a bold declaration on Monday after Governor Andrew Cuomo made no moves during a press conference to boost the capacity of movie theaters in the five boroughs. The capacity limit still sits at 25% and New York exhibitors were hoping to see that be bumped up to 50%. The box office results for Godzilla vs. Kong had theaters owners hopeful for a tide change in terms of moviegoing but Masher believes that movie theaters really need to be open at 50% capacity or more by Memorial Day and 75% or more by July 4. Essentially, under the 25% limit, it’s simply too hard to accommodate movie fans that are willing to go to the movies and it’s difficult to make money under those restrictions. Masher says “We are at the Governor’s door every morning with a call or an email trying to get to a minimum of 50% right now across the state, given the fact that there are zero cases of Covid from theaters and that people clearly want to go to the movies. We just can’t make it at 25%. We have to accommodate the movie-going audience. We can safely do so.”
A 50% capacity bump by Memorial Day would have New York City cinemas ready for Cruella and A Quiet Place Part II while a 75% capacity increase or more by July 4 has them prepared for Top Gun: Maverick and BLACK WIDOW. These are all potentially high box office earners and Masher is clearly a bit worried that where they stand now, they won’t be able to accommodate these huge tentpole releases under their current restrictions. Masher said some 5,000 movie theater employees are still out of work since chains can’t afford to staff back up fully due to the 25% capacity limit and Masher believes the 25% capacity cap doesn’t seem to make sense scientifically or logically given that indoor dining at restaurants, where people sit across from each other talking, eating and drinking without masks, is at 50% capacity. Guests in theaters generally don’t speak, face the same direction and wear masks they’re eating food. According to Masher, the majority of auditoriums in the have been retrofitted with oversized luxury recliners that already eliminate up to 60% of seating. This means that an original 200-seat theater now seats 80 people and, at 25%, 20 people.
New York City, along with Los Angeles, represents the biggest box office market in the U.S. When Governor Cuomo allowed movie theaters to reopen in New York State back in October, he opened them at 25% limited capacity and he has budged from that number. Meanwhile, in Los Angeles, movie theaters in the county reopened on March 11 to 25% capacity but the area quickly moved into a new tier that bumped up that capacity limit. On March 31, Los Angeles County movie theaters were allowed to operate at a 50% limited capacity. That move happened fairly quickly considering where Los Angles was before the reopenings and it’s clear that exhibitors thought NYC would be at this level by now but that hasn’t been the case.
Do YOU think New York City will see the capacity limit increases they’re hoping for by July 4?
Regal Cinemas to reopen in April as Cineworld reaches new deal with WB films
March 23, 2021 by: Gaius Bolling
Don't call it a comeback! Parent company Cineworld revealed their plans to reopen Regal Cinemas in the U.S. for the first time in six months as they also launch a multi-year deal agreement with Warner Bros.
The reopening will begin in phases with a limited number of cinemas opening their doors for the WB/Legendary film Godzilla Vs Kong on April 2, 2021. More Regal locations will then open on April 16, 2021, which is just in time for another Warner Bros. title, Mortal Kombat. The new deal with Cineworld will see the 2021 Warner Bros. theatrical film slate playing day-and-date on HBO Max and then in 2022, theatrical films released by the studio will have a 45-day window of exclusivity at Cineworld's Regal locations.
Regal's return signals more good news for the film industry as movie theaters in major markets like Los Angeles and New York City have begun to reopen at 25% limited capacity. This is expected to increase to 50% in the near future and Regal now joins AMC Theatres as the next major movie chain to reopen in these markets. Cineworld CEO Mooky Greidinger called the news "a great moment for us – the U.S. market represents 75% of our business – and soon will be followed with all our markets. We are great believers in the theatrical experience, which only a year ago (2019) generated $43 billion worldwide."
Cineworld's largest market is in the U.K. and a deal between the company and Warner Bros. has also been struck there. The two entities have agreed to an exclusive theatrical window of 31 days prior to their PVOD launch and that is extended to 45 days for films that open to an agreed-upon box office threshold. The situation in the U.K. in terms of their COVID-19 reopening plan a little behind the U.S. at the moment but they expect to resume operations there in May under current government guidance.
The news was pretty bleak for Cineworld and Regal Cinemas just last year. Back in October, Cineworld temporarily closed 536 Regal locations in the U.S. and 127 Cineworld and Picturehouse sites in the U.K. Regal Cinemas is the number two exhibitor in the U.S. after AMC Theatres so the closure of all of those locations was a major blow to the industry after they had been shuttered since March. Regal did reopen in certain locations but by October it was clear the odds were against them. Major releases like No Time To Die vacated planned release dates and moved into the new year while big box office markets like Los Angeles and New York City weren't budging on reopening their movie theaters.
What a difference a year makes? Things are not 100% back to normal but it's great to hear about reopening plans rather than more news about closures. I'm a firm believer in the theatrical experience and I certainly want to see it survive. The return of Regal Cinemas signals that this is an industry that can come roaring back as moviegoers embrace the communal experience of going to the movies once again.
Are YOU excited to hear that Regal Cinemas will be opening again soon? What are YOUR thoughts on Cineworld's new deal with Warner Bros.?
MoviePass website back online with a countdown clock. Is it coming back?
March 17, 2021 by: Gaius Bolling
Is MoviePass about to rise from the ashes like the phoenix? The subscription-based ticket service that declared bankruptcy in 2019, has relaunched its website with a mysterious countdown clock.
The countdown clock, which can be found at MoviePass.Ventures, is set to end on Monday, March 22, and it displays a caption that reads "the movie is about to start." As of this writing, the original MoviePass website, Moviepass.com, remains unchanged from the notice of shutdown that was posted when they filed for bankruptcy in 2019. It has yet to be revealed what the countdown clock is for.
Founded by entertainment entrepreneurs Stacy Spikes and Hamet Watt, MoviePass was once supported in over 91% of movie theaters nationwide. The service launched in 2011 but it didn't really garner mainstream until 2018 when they lowered their price to $9.95/month. MoviePass, on paper, looked like the perfect way for subscribers to see one film per day in theaters at a low monthly cost.
When MoviePass lowered its prices it caused a huge subscriber surge which led to an unprecedented amount of signups that caused the website to crash. The affordable price also made it the target for its competition and thus began a rivalry between the service and AMC Theatres. Soon AMC Theatres offered their own program to see a film once a day and also offered rewards and incentives on concessions and other perks to sweeten the deal. As AMC was building its program, MoviePass began to face numerous controversies that included blacked-out viewings for blockbuster films (something AMC Theatres wasn't doing), a data leak that exposed subscribers' credit card information and being caught trying to un-cancel users' accounts. The service was meant to be the Netflix of the movie theater experience but the business model strayed from its original concept and, in the end, it created animosity with movie theater chains.
Does this countdown clock indicate some kind of comeback? The founders of the company have been dormant since the bankruptcy filing in 2019 but Spikes and Watt have expressed an interest in bringing MoviePass back. It should be noted that the countdown clock appears a month after it was announced that Mark Wahlberg's company was producing a MoviePass docuseries but it also coincides with the reopening of movie theaters in major cities like Los Angeles and New York City. For now, we'll just have to speculate until Monday if MoviePass is attempting a second round for their ticket subscription service.
Do YOU want to see MoviePass return?
Alien & Bond actor Yaphet Kotto dies at 81
March 16, 2021 by: Gaius Bolling
Sad news came in late last night that ALIEN and Bond star Yaphet Kotto died at the age of 81. His wife, Tessie Sinahon, shared a statement on his official Facebook page that confirmed the actor passed away Sunday night due to unknown causes and his agent also confirmed the news to “Variety.” You can check out his wife’s statement about his passing below.
“I’m saddened and still in shocked of the passing of my husband Yaphet of 24 years. He died last night around 10:30 pm Philippine time. This is a very painful [sic] moment for me to inform you all fans, friends, and family of my husband. We still have a lot of plans honey that we discussed you have a lot of interviews waiting and you have movie offers like G.I. Joe and the movie of Tom Cruise and others. You still have plan to release your book and build a religious organization based on Yogananda’s Teachings. You played a villain on some of your movies but for me, you’re a real hero and to a lot of people also. A good man, a good father, a good husband, and a decent human being, very rare to find. One of the best actors in Hollywood a Legend. Rest in Peace Honey, I’m gonna miss you everyday, my best friend, my rock. I love you and you will always be in my heart. Till we meet again!”
Kotto was born in New York City in 1939 & by the age of sixteen, the actor was studying acting at the Actors Mobile Theater Studio. At the age of19, Kotto made his professional acting debut in Othello. As a member of the Actors Studio in New York, Kotto got his real start acting on Broadway, where he appeared in The Great White Hope, among other productions.
In 1963, at the age of 23, Kotto made his film debut in an uncredited role in 4 For Texas, and that was followed up with a role in Michael Roemer’s Nothing But a Man. Kotto’s first substantial supporting role came in 1968 when he appeared in the caper film The Thomas Crown Affair. That very same year, Kotto played John Auston, a confused Marine Lance Corporal during the first season of Hawaii Five-0.
In 1973, Kotto landed his biggest break to date when he pulled double duty portraying the corrupt Caribbean dictator Dr. Kananga as well as his alter ego, Mr. Big, in the James Bond film, Live and Let Die. The film was Roger Moore’s first Bond movie and Kotto’s appearance in the film made him the first major Black James Bond villain. While other roles followed for Kotto, it was 1979’s Alien that likely has made him more of a household name with movie fans. Kotto played technician Dennis Parker in the Ridley Scott classic and the film has continued to endure today. The actor was no stranger to science fiction throughout his career and in 1987, Kotto played William Laughlin in the futuristic sci-fi action film The Running Man alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger.
In the ’90s, Kotto transitioned more to television and in 1993, the actor began playing Lieutenant Al Giardello on the long-running police procedural series Homicide: Life on the Street. Koto was a regular cast member for all seven seasons of the series which ended its run in May of 1999. Kotto would also go on to earn credits on popular shows like Law & Order and The Wire. Judging from his wife’s statement, it seems Kotto still had more plans to work and his passing was unexpected.
Kotto is survived by his wife and six children and we send out condolences to his family, friends, and fans. If you were a fan of some of Kotto’s work, please share some of your favorite roles of Kotto’s in the comment section blow.
Let’s build up tall into the sky
We can sit on those beams and smile
And eat our sandwiches and smoke cigarettes
Like those boys who built New York City
No fear of falling, oh, it looks so pretty
Oh look, a funeral, a carnival
Sugar, sugar so high, high
Let’s build all this shit, no one’s ever gonna buy
When we come ’round we’ll blame the sugar high
And act all sheepish and kinda sorryish
They’ll just sit there like monuments
Plastic flapping in the wind like a flag so sad
Sugar, so high, high
Hey Charlie, don’t you know?
Seanie, don’t you know?
Paddy, don’t you know the Baileys?
Good old boys at the races
Yeah, in a big tent at the races
He’s a friend of mine, he’s a friend of yours
He’s a friend of ours like not so wise guys
Yeah, not so wise guys
And they’ll do anything for sugar, sugar so high, high
Yeah, anything for sugar, sugar so high, high
Can’t let go of the good times
Good times, good times
Sugar so high
Sugar, sugar so high
Free to those who can afford it
To those who can afford it
Very dear to those who can’t
Those who can’t
Free to those who can afford it
To those who can afford it
Very dear to those who can’t
Those who can’t
UPDATE: Los Angeles can officially begin reopening movie theaters on Monday
March 12, 2021 by: Gaius Bolling
UPDATE: According to “Deadline“, Los Angeles Health Officials confirm that movie theaters in the county can begin reopening on Monday as the county has moved out of the “Purple tier” and into the “Red tier.” This all goes into effect at 12:01 AM on Monday and the decision was made based on the state of California achieving a milestone of 2 million COVID-19 vaccine doses in hard-hit communities. This will allow movie theaters, indoor dining, gyms, and other shuttered facilities to begin reopening at limited capacity.
It has finally happened! As we approach a year since movie theaters began to shutter nationwide due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it has been announced that Los Angeles movie theaters can begin reopening next week at 25% capacity. Los Angeles follows New York City which recently reopened on March 5 under the same conditions.
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health announced Thursday that theaters will be allowed to reopen at the limited capacity being set sometime between Monday and Wednesday of next week. The county was waiting for the state to distribute two million vaccine doses to underserved populations, a key trigger in the state’s reopening framework that was established by Governor Gavin Newsom.
The Governor announced on Wednesday that California would hit the vaccine milestone today, meaning that counties could move to the “red tier” if they had less than 10 new cases a day per 100,000 people. This tier will also be significant for places like retail stores, gyms, indoor dining, museums, zoos, fitness centers, dance studios, aquariums, and yoga studios. The key difference for establishments like gyms, dance studios, and yoga studios, is that they can reopen at 10% capacity rather than 25%.
Before we get too excited, movie theaters in Los Angeles will need some time to get situated for reopening since this news arrives a little last minute. The major theater chains like AMC & Regal believe their venues won’t be operational until Friday, March 19, because they need more time to hire back staff. They will also need to decide exactly how many staff to hire back since limited capacity will make things initially hard to turn a profit. They will be wanting to keep their labor costs low. In addition to limited capacity, Los Angeles movie theaters will also have to have reserved seating, and groups will have to be spaced at least six feet apart in all directions. Also, like in New York City, you can’t have more than 100 people in one auditorium.
This is good news for the industry though! Los Angeles is a huge box office market much like New York City & with both being back online, studios will feel more confident about releasing their films on the big screen rather than delaying them even further. I know I’m thrilled! I live in Los Angeles County & today marks a year since I’ve been to a movie theater and I’ve REALLY missed it. It’s truly time to go back to the movies again!
If YOU live in the Los Angeles area, are YOU thrilled to be able to soon go back to the movies again?
I’M BACK! I’m on my Dipset shit, 20-30 grand in one pocket, foreign car
outside…living life fast, you niggaz need to catch up, slow pokes
NYC…Here We Go Again!
DIP,DIP SET! I GET ON EXTRA GRIND, I GET ON EXTRA GRIND, I GET ON EXTRA
GRIND…WHEN IT’S, WHEN IT’S REPPIN TIME
WHEN IT’S REPPIN TIME, WHEN IT’S WHEN IT’S REPPIN TIME, WHEN IT’S REPPIN
TIME, WHEN IT’S WHEN IT’S REPPIN TIME
I GET ON EXTRA GRIND, I GET ON EXTRA GRIND
I GET ON EXTRA GRIND WHEN IT’S WHEN IT’S REPPIN TIME (DIP DIPSET!)
WHEN IT’S REPPIN TIME, WHEN IT’S WHEN IT’S REPPIN TIME (DIPSET)
WHEN IT’S REPPIN TIME, WHEN IT’S WHEN IT’S REPPIN TIME (DIP DIPSET!)
It’s Dipset Season, you ready to grind? Get money, rep yours, what you know
about that? Everyday we hustle, you hear me, YOU HEAR ME? I got money on my
mind man, we the talk of New York
you niggaz want action, I got a movie for ya!
I’m in the coupe relaxing (like that)
you see the roof collapsing (drop the top!)
I got my paper up although I’m still kufi smacking! (smack the shit out you!)
And it’s God fearing, foreign car steering
60 thou Jabar wearing, just beat a trial hearing
You should catch me walking cocky out the courtroom (diddy bopping!)
Like eat my dust, a buck 40 for the Porsche zoom (ZOOOOOOOOOM!)
Back in population (what else?)
we cop drops to race ’em (BALLIIIING!)
we getting money over here WHAT’S YOUR OCCUPATION?!?!
We on top of things, and we got them things (them birds)
But we only sell them birds, you tryna cop a wing? (you a petty hustler)
I know the real Rich…the REAL Richard Porter
RIP he left the hood to us, we own the corners! (HARLEM!)
The bright lights and my big city
my ice bright and the wrist silly (FLOSSIIIIIIING!)
I’m risking Fed time, front page headline
make the pedal hit the floor til the throttle red line!
DIP DIP DIP DIPSET! WHEN IT’S REPPIN TIME, WHEN IT’S WHEN IT’S REPPIN TIME (DIPSET)
WHEN IT’S REPPIN TIME, WHEN IT’S WHEN IT’S REPPIN TIME (DIPSET)
WHEN IT’S REPPIN TIME, WHEN IT’S WHEN IT’S REPPIN TIME (DIPSET)
WHEN IT’S REPPIN TIME, WHEN IT’S WHEN IT’S REPPIN TIME (DIP DIPSET!)
I let my pants sag (why?), so I can show my ass (KISS MY ASS!)
It’s twenty g’s a pocket, that’s cause we blowing cash (that’s NOTHING!)
And when the photo’s flash (SMILE!), Gallardies going pass
Lights, camera’s, autographs…”Wet Willies”, call a cab
The fast life is pricey, the time piece is icey (BLINGING!)
And my niggaz moving fish scale just like the Pisces!
Momma raised a thug, lawyers when we face the judge (Kelina!)
This is the chance we take to try and put ya brain on drugs
…and we invade the clubs standing on the furniture
Throwing gang signs, two stepping with our burners tucked (EASTSIIIIDE!)
and we will burn you up like three star alarm
WE ARE THE BOMB HUNDRED G’S ON THE CHARM (Byrd Gang!)
You’d think I own the cleaners how I wash that paper
And now we at the dealer tryna cop all flavors (BALLIIIIIIING!)
We at the dealer dog (yeah), so how you feeling y’all?!?
….just tear the ceiling off, f*ck the light we peeling off!
The young and the restless…live life reckless
House money on the necklace the pigs want him arrested
Cause I’m obsessed with the guns and the vest’s
cause when you get some cake, the candles come with a death wish!
The rock star living (what else?), the hot cars and women (LAVISH LIFE!)
…the God forgive him, hope the cop cars don’t get ’em (SQUALIIIIIIIIE!)
This for them niggaz that…at the club, throwing stacks (BALLIN!)
At Star Wars, they threw two I threw four back!
and I’m back, it’s Mr. New York City
My hat to the back, I stay flyer than a Frisbee
We still diddy bopping (yeah)
we still could get it poppin (yeah!)
ain’t nothing change but the year of the Range
And the clouds still moving with the squamy (loaded)
and the gangsta’s don’t die, we get MONEEEEY and move to Miami!
When it’s repping time, I get on extra grind
40 cal, an extra nine Dipset the cities mine!
Running pretty, New York City girl, 25, 35
Hello baby, New York City girl
You grew up riding the subways running with people
Up in Harlem, down on Broadway
You’re no tramp but you’re no lady
Talking that street talk
You’re the heart and soul of New York City
Love is just a passing word
It’s the thought you had in a taxi cab
That got left on the curb
When he dropped you off at East 83rd
You’re a native New Yorker
You should know the score by now
You’re a native New Yorker
There you are, lost in the shadows
Searching for someone
To set you free from New York City
Where did all those yesterdays go
When you still believed
Love could really be like a Broadway show
You are the star, when did it close?
You’re a native New Yorker
No one opens the door
For a native New Yorker
Sex and the City revival officially happening at HBO Max
January 11, 2021 by: Gaius Bolling
SEX AND THE CITY is making a comeback. It has been announced that the popular HBO series has officially been revived at HBO Max. The news was first announced via the social media accounts of the stars who will be participating in the revival.
The new, 10-episode chapter from Michael Patrick King, will be called And Just Like That…, a nod to the original series. The show will follow Carrie, Miranda, and Charlotte as they navigate friendship in their 50s. Production on the series will begin in late spring in New York. Sarah Jessica Parker, Kristin Davis, and Cynthia Nixon are all reprising their roles but you might notice that one part of the signature foursome from the series is missing. Kim Cattrall, who played the scene-stealing Samantha on the original series, is not involved in the HBO Max incarnation. The actress has openly feuded with Parker and, more in October 2017, was vocal about seeing her part being recast in a bid to improve the original comedy’s inclusivity.
Sex and the City, based on the essays from Candice Bushnell, ran for six seasons from 1998-2008 on HBO. Set and filmed in New York City, the show followed the lives of a group of four women, three in their mid-thirties and one in her forties who, despite their different natures and ever-changing sex lives, remain inseparable and confide in each other. The series was groundbreaking during its time because it was one of the first shows to feature women talking about their relationship and sex lives in an explicitly open fashion. The show is also given the credit, along with The Sopranos, for helping to increase HBO’s popularity as a network. The series took home the Emmy for best comedy series in 2001, with stars Parker and Nixon also winning statuettes for their respective roles in 2004. The series also spawned feature films in 2008 and 2010 as well as a two-season prequel series on The CW, The Carrie Diaries, from former writer Amy B. Harris. A third film was in the works but it was ultimately scrapped in 2017 with Cattrall being very vocal at the time that she did not want to participate in any extensions of the franchise.
Will YOU be watching the Sex and the City revival?
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Ben Affleck in talks to star in George Clooney’s The Tender Bar
December 9, 2020 by: Kevin Fraser
Ben Affleck and George Clooney have been looking for an opportunity to work together for years, and they may finally get that chance as Deadline has reported that Affleck is currently in negotiations to star in Amazon Studio's adaptation of The Tender Bar that is slated to be directed by George Clooney (The Midnight Sky).
Based on the J.R. Moehringer memoir of the same name, The Tender Bar is a coming-of-age tale of a young boy who seeks refuge and father figures at a local bar following the disappearance of his father, a New York City disc jockey. William Monahan (The Departed) has penned the script for the project, which was once slated to be helmed by Ted Melfi (Hidden Figures) at Sony. At the moment, George Clooney is only expected to direct and produce the film, but Deadline says that there's always a possibility he could appear in the film as well.
A synopsis of The Tender Bar: A Memoir via Amazon:
J.R. Moehringer grew up captivated by a voice. It was the voice of his father, a New York City disc jockey who vanished before J.R. spoke his first word. Sitting on the stoop, pressing an ear to the radio, J.R. would strain to hear in that plummy baritone the secrets of masculinity and identity. Though J.R.'s mother was his world, his rock, he craved something more, something faintly and hauntingly audible only in The Voice. At eight years old, suddenly unable to find The Voice on the radio, J.R. turned in desperation to the bar on the corner, where he found a rousing chorus of new voices. The alphas along the bar–including J.R.'s Uncle Charlie, a Humphrey Bogart look-alike; Colt, a Yogi Bear sound-alike; and Joey D, a softhearted brawler–took J.R. to the beach, to ballgames, and ultimately into their circle. They taught J.R., tended him, and provided a kind of fathering-by-committee. Torn between the stirring example of his mother and the lurid romance of the bar, J.R. tried to forge a self somewhere in the center. But when it was time for J.R. to leave home, the bar became an increasingly seductive sanctuary, a place to return and regroup during his picaresque journeys. Time and again the bar offered shelter from failure, rejection, heartbreak–and eventually from reality. In the grand tradition of landmark memoirs, The Tender Bar is suspenseful, wrenching, and achingly funny. A classic American story of self-invention and escape, of the fierce love between a single mother and an only son, it's also a moving portrait of one boy's struggle to become a man, and an unforgettable depiction of how men remain, at heart, lost boys.
Ben Affleck has plenty of projects just over the horizon, with Adrian Lyne's (Fatal Attraction) Deep Water set to hit theaters on August 13, 2021 and Ridley Scott's (All the Money in the World) The Last Duel following on October 15, 2021. Affleck is also starring in Robert Rodriguez's (We Can Be Heroes) Hypnotic, an action thriller in which Affleck will play a detective who becomes entangled in a mystery involving his missing sister and a secret government program, all while investigating a string of impossible high-end heists. Affleck is also tapped to direct The Big Goodbye, which tells the behind-the-scenes story of the making of Chinatown. As for George Clooney, he will be starring in The Midnight Sky, which he also directed, a sci-fi film that will debut on Netflix on December 23rd.
Sarah Michelle Gellar & Selma Blair give Cruel Intentions kiss a COVID twist
December 8, 2020 by: Gaius Bolling
Sarah Michelle Gellar and Selma Blair took us back to 1999 because 2020 is just no fun at the moment. The duo famously co-starred in the cult teen film, CRUEL INTENTIONS, which featured teens behaving badly in New York City long before Gossip Girl did. The one moment that has now become a bit iconic between the two is their characters sharing a pretty steamy kiss that ends with an Oscar-worthy strand of drool. The lip-lock led to Gellar and Blair winning Best Kiss at the 2000 MTV Movie Awards and the moment was celebrated on the network but with a very 2020 COVID twist.
The MTV Movie & TV Awards abandoned a traditional ceremony due to the pandemic this year and decided to honor the “Greatest of All Time (GOAT) from the 1980s to today. In a pre-recorded video, the actresses spoke about the kiss and how important it was 21 years ago when the film first opened in theaters. After their initial message, the two go in slowly for a kiss, much as they did in the film, but as soon as their lips are meant to meet, both of their faces meet a clear partition that halts their make-out. The plexiglass partition did lead to some very funny looks from the duo as they smash their lips into it to “virtually” kiss each other. Gellar. then looks at the camera and says “Stay safe MTV. And 2020? End Soon.” You can check out the 2020 spin on their kiss below:
20 years after winning Best Kiss at the 2000 #MTVAwards….????#MTVAwards: Greatest of All Time honored @SarahMGellar and @SelmaBlair with the Legendary Lip Lock award for their famous kiss in ‘Cruel Intentions’ ???? pic.twitter.com/OBPf49oAnn
— Movie & TV Awards (@MTVAwards) December 7, 2020
Cruel Intentions arrived during the teen movie boom of the late ’90s but managed to stand out a bit because it embraced its R-rated tendencies and seemed like the “naughty” film you weren’t really supposed to see. In addition to Gellar and Blair, the film also starred Ryan Phillippe and Reese Witherspoon and was a modern-day adaptation of the 1782 novel “Les Liaisons dangereuses”, written by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos. The teen version, which already had been given the big-screen treatment with the more prestigious 1988 adaptation, Dangerous Liaisons, moved the action from 18th century France and set its story among wealthy teenagers attending high school in New York City. The film follows two vicious step-siblings of an elite Manhattan prep school that make a wager to deflower the new headmaster’s daughter, who happens to be a virgin, before the start of term. Despite receiving mixed reviews from critics, Cruel Intentions became a hit upon release, grossing $76.3 million worldwide on a $10.5 million budget. The movie has gone on to become a bit of a cult classic and it’s cool to see Gellar and Blair still having fun with the film all these years later.
What are YOUR memories of Cruel Intentions?
Tenet: Warner Bros. still planning theatrical release in NY & LA
November 6, 2020 by: Gaius Bolling
You would think that TENET‘S theatrical run was wrapping up relatively soon, especially since Warner Bros. announced the Digital, 4K Blu-ray Combo Pack, Blu-ray, and DVD release for the film on December 15, 2020, but despite that announcement, the studio is still keen on releasing the film in New York and Los Angeles even as COVID cases rise and there has been no announcement of those markets reopening.
Warner Bros. stated in a recent press release that they’re still planning to release the film theatrically in New York and Los Angeles. Some movie theaters in New York State have reopened with safety protocols in place but New York City theaters remain shuttered. The same is the case for movie theaters in Los Angeles and there really isn’t a reopening date in sight. It makes sense that Warner Bros. would want to take advantage of these two markets because they are the biggest box office markets in the States but how long is the studio willing to wait for their locations to reopen?
An NYC/LA release for TENET likely wouldn’t hurt but it may come too little, too late. Once the film is available for home consumption I doubt most people in those areas would take the time to see it theatrically. It’s possible that the press release is just wishful thinking on the part of Warner Bros. and they could be realistic that a wide release in those markets is unlikely. They could be shooting for a limited run for whenever those locations open just to see if they can make a little more money on the domestic front. As of this writing, TENET has grossed $53.8 million at the domestic box office, which is what the film probably could’ve topped on opening weekend in a normal box office climate. The overseas total has propelled the film to $347.1 million worldwide and Christopher Nolan recently stated he was “thrilled” with the film’s box office performance, but Warner Bros. is definitely thinking about what money was lost by choosing to release the film instead of delaying it. You can check out a snippet of the press release below where the mention of the theatrical release in NY and Los Angeles is highlighted:
Burbank, CA, November 5 – “Tenet,” the must-see motion picture event, playing now on the big screen wherever theatres are open, will arrive on 4K, Blu Ray, DVD and Digital on December 15 in time for the holidays. Written, directed and produced by acclaimed filmmaker Christopher Nolan (“Inception,” “Dunkirk”), “Tenet” opened globally beginning in August 2020 and has grossed $350 million to date, with the much-anticipated theatrical openings in the major markets of New York and Los Angeles still to come. “Tenet” will be available to preorder from digital and physical retailers beginning November 10.
Do YOU think Warner Bros. will still attempt a theatrical release for TENET in New York and Los Angeles?
AMC Theatres: Stock climbs 22% after announcement of New York reopenings
October 20, 2020 by: Gaius Bolling
In a sign that moviegoing could be coming back to life in New York, AMC Theatres announced that they will be reopening a dozen locations in New York state by October 23, 2020. The news comes after Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that movie theater locations in New York, but outside of New York City, could reopen under strict safety guidelines.
The news caused AMC's stock prices to surge by 22%, which is good news for the chain as they are on the brink of bankruptcy and speculating they could be out of cash by the end of the year. With the reopening of New York, AMC will be operational in 44 of the 45 states where it has theaters. The New York locations opening are in Long Island – which is part of the New York City DMA. AMC CEO Adam Aron had this to say about the reopenings in New York:
“The reopening of movie theatres around the country is essential to the theatrical industry and the entire entertainment ecosystem. It has become clear that movie studios are not willing to release blockbuster product until key major markets are open. Therefore, it is a monumental step in the right direction for our entire industry that theatres are starting to open across the state of New York. We thank Governor Cuomo and local leaders in our New York communities for allowing guests to return to AMC at several locations throughout the state. We continue to work closely with state and local authorities about the reopening of New York City, which we now hope with increasing confidence is not far away. We continue to see state and local governments all across the United States recognize the strong steps we have taken through AMC Safe & Clean to ensure that we are reopening responsibly and with a focus on the health and safety of our guests and associates are working exactly as intended.”
The reopening of movie theaters comes with precautions in place as audiences will be limited to 25 percent capacity, noted as up to 50 people per showing. Theaters will only open outside of New York City in counties that are below 2 percent COVID-19 positivity on a 14-day average and have no "cluster zones." Safety precautions also include the wearing of masks at all times except when seated and eating and drinking and social distancing between parties. Assigned seating will be required in all theaters. Governor Andrew Cuomo had this to say about the reopenings:
"We hit 160,000 tests in one day, which is a record number and the highest we've ever done. When you're doing that level of tests you get down to the block level. And then, when you start to see a cluster, you oversample in that cluster, so you get even more data. Beginning October 23, movie theaters outside of New York City will be allowed to reopen at 25 percent capacity with up to 50 people maximum per screen. This is outside of New York City in areas that have infection rates below 2 percent on a 14-day average and have no cluster zones."
AMC Theatres expects to have 530 of its 600 U.S. locations open by the end of the month and the chain also recently announced that they have recently started doing private theater rentals, which have done well for Cinemark and the Alamo Drafthouse in recent weeks. I'll take any good news for the movie theater experience and this is a step in the right direction for exhibitors. Hopefully, New York City isn't too far behind if these reopenings go well because that will be a true win for the industry as we head towards the end of 2020 and into 2021.
Spider-Man 3: Is filming swinging into action in New York City next week?
October 8, 2020 by: Gaius Bolling
Despite initial reports that the third MCU SPIDER-MAN film wouldn’t begin filming until early next year, it appears that cameras are preparing to roll in New York City as early as next week.
Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures is reportedly hiding the production under the title “Serenity Now,” with notices having been spotted all around New York City. The notice is asking people in Queens, NY to move their vehicles on Friday, October 16, because a film shoot is expected to begin there. You can check out some of the notices below:
— C-MC (@ArtiDulatahi) October 6, 2020
So how is it known that “Serenity Now” might be, in fact, SPIDER-MAN 3? It was announced at the beginning of the year that the working title for SPIDER-MAN 3 would be “Serenity Now’, which is a blatant Seinfeld reference. This isn’t the first time the new Spidey flicks have used Seinfeld for cover. HOMECOMING was labeled “Summer of George,” FAR FROM HOME went by “Fall of George,” and “Serenity Now” completes the trilogy.
Now, just because SPIDER-MAN 3 could be starting filming next week in New York City doesn’t mean that Tom Holland and the rest of the principal cast will be in attendance. This might be second unit work, picking up additional shots of New York City for the movie, seeing as SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME ended on quite a cliffhanger in the city that never sleeps. In all honesty, this could involve shooting that doesn’t require the main actors or even director Jon Watts to be on location but it’s promising that the film is gearing up to begin production.
Hardly anything is yet known about the plot of SPIDER-MAN 3, but we do know that Tom Holland will be back as Peter Parker, AKA Spider-Man, and he’ll be joined by Zendaya as MJ, Jacob Batalon as Peter’s best friend and confidante Ned, and Marisa Tomei as Aunt May. One shocking thing we know about the new film is that Jamie Foxx is reprising his role as Electro from THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2, a casting update that had fans in quite the tizzy. Foxx confirmed the news in a since-deleted Instagram post that read “can’t wait for y’all to check this new one. And I won’t be blue in this one. But a thousand percent badass!!! #swipeleft.” Even though Foxx deleted the post, the internet is very fast, and made sure to save it for all of us to see so you can check out an image of the post below from a fan’s Twitter page:
Foxx posted this on his Insta pic.twitter.com/ngaCQ0t7Is
— Daniel Richtman #BlackLivesMatter (@DanielRPK) October 2, 2020
So what do YOU guys think? Is “Serenity Now” the start of production on SPIDER-MAN 3?
Hercules in New York: Awfully Good Movies
October 5, 2020 by: Jesse Shade
Hercules in New York (1970)
DIRECTOR: Arthur Allan Seidelman CAST: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Arnold Stang, Deborah Loomis
What else can be said about Arnold Schwarzenegger? Bodybuilder, Terminator, Governor, environmental advocate, Starlord's father-in-law…and it all began 50 years ago when Arnold started his film career as a Greek demigod in the Big Apple, as Awfully Good Movies tackles its first ever Arnold movie–1970's HERCULES IN NEW YORK!
Much like his Mr. Olympia competitor Lou Ferrigno, Arnold first flirted with movie stardom by playing the superstrong superman after being encouraged to audition by his fellow bodybuilder and former cinematic Hercules Reg Park, with Arnold's agent telling the producers that he had years of "stage experience"…without mentioning that he was referring to the bodybuilding stage.
But Arnie's lack of acting prowess was hardly a problem for this low budget production, as the producers would change their star's name to the more pronounceable handle of "Arnold Strong" and dubbed over his thick Austrian accent with an uncredited voice actor, and while the film's initial release may have come and gone in the blink of an eye, it grew more successful after being rereleased in the wake of Arnold's success as Conan the Barbarian and the Terminator the following decade. And with Arnold's original audio track finally being unveiled on the movie's DVD release, we can finally come to appreciate the staggeringly sucky debut performance of Mr. Schwarzenegger–his monotone line delivery, his dead lifeless eyes, and his nearly incomprehensible mangling of the English language.
However, while Arnold's debut role may be a masterclass in unintentional hilarity, the movie around him is aiming to be an actual comedy and fails in ways previously thought impossible, as Hercules walks about New York with the help of a wisecracking pretzel vendor played by old-timey comic actor Arnold Stang, whose bug eyed reactions towards Herc's feats of strength will have you missing the subtlety of Danny DeVito. And as the film tries developing something of a plot involving Hercules falling in love with a professor's daughter, becoming a famous wrestler and getting tied up with some fedora-wearing gangsters, it fails even harder at proper film production than it does at comedy, as its on-location shoot in New York City obviously didn't involve a lot of permits, and we find Hercules beating up a bear that's clearly just some guy wearing his AnthroCon costume.
Oh wait, did I say he beats up a bear? I sure did, folks, and though it's nowhere as epic as Lou Ferrigno throwing a grizzly into space, it is just as hilarious. So wherever the next 50 years of Arnold's career take him, he can rest assured that his career can't end any worse than it began…unless, of course, he decides to do yet another TERMINATOR reboot.
Unless you want a 73-year-old Austrian man to come to your door and break your goddamn spine, you'd better put that cookie down and check out these past episodes of Awfully Good Movies…
And check out my voice cameo in 47cartoonguy's excellent video history of Hanna-Barbera cartoons RIGHT HERE!
Rick Moranis punched in the head in New York City in unprovoked attack
October 2, 2020 by: Steve Seigh
Oh hell no! Are you ready for this nonsense? According to law enforcement officials, SPACEBALLS actor Rick Moranis was mere steps away from his apartment building when out of nowhere, a stranger just up and duffed him in the head with their fist. Can you believe this garbage? We’re talking about Rick Moranis here, folks, a beloved actor who recently came out of a 23-year hiatus after losing his wife to liver cancer.
The unprovoked attack – which happened while Moranis was walking south on Central Park West near West 70th Street – was caught on camera, though the piece of human trash that slugged the GHOSTBUSTERS alum is still at large at this time. It must have been a solid connection, too, seeing as Moranis crumpled to the ground promptly after being hit. According to sources, Moranis is experiencing pain in his head, back, and right hip, after the altercation. He’s since gone to the hospital for evaluation.
You can watch the footage of Moranis getting slugged below:
— BNO News (@BNONews) October 2, 2020
After recently coming out of retirement to film a Mint Mobile commercial with Ryan Reynolds, Moranis is expected to reprise his iconic Honey, I Shrunk the Kids role, Wayne Szalinski, for a Disney+ sequel, titled Shrunk. For the new film, FROZEN and MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS actor Josh Gad will play Wayne Szalinski’s son, who follows in his father’s footsteps by not only becoming a scientist but also accidentally shrinks his children.
Please, if you’re in the New York City area and recognize Moranis’ assailant, be sure to give the cops down at the 20th precinct a heads up.
Movie theaters reducing hours or closing numerous days due to the pandemic
September 30, 2020 by: Gaius Bolling
Ever since movie theaters reopened, it has been an uphill battle for exhibitors as they do what they can to stay afloat during the global pandemic. What these exhibitors need is content and with many huge releases making a jump to other dates after 2020, many theater locations are moving towards reduced hours and some are even shutting their doors for multiple days during the week.
Many exhibitors, including AMC Theatres, Regal Cinemas, and Cinemark, the country's three largest chains, are beginning to limit the number of showtimes, as are scores of other chains and independent houses in order to reduce costs. Other locations, including Cinemark and Marcus Theatres, are going further and closing a small number of their cinemas on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. About 15 or so Marcus theaters and a dozen or so Cinemark sites in smaller or relatively quiet markets have been impacted. Whether other companies follow suit remains to be seen. A Cinemark spokesman had this to say about the reduced hours:
"Cinemark's reopening plan was thoughtfully and strategically designed with multiple contingencies in place to ensure we are able to be nimble and react as needed to the ever-changing environment. That said, we will evaluate opportunities to align with demand, including reducing operating hours while we await new studio content to encourage theatrical moviegoing."
The biggest dilemma for exhibitors right now is the lack of new content. There is nothing new hitting screens until November 20, 2020, when NO TIME TO DIE and Pixar's SOUL attempt to brave the new box office climate. Theaters reopened where they were allowed in time for Christopher Nolan's TENET, which opened over Labor Day weekend. However, without New York and Los Angeles in play, the $200 million event film has struggled, grossing $41 million domestically through September 27, 2020. Exhibitors had hoped that MULAN would follow TENET, but that tentpole was sent straight to Disney+ at a premium price in the U.S. over the Labor Day frame and it's a move that reportedly paid off for the Mouse House. Since these release changes, WONDER WOMAN 1984 vacated its October 2, 2020, date and shifted to Christmas Day while Marvel's BLACK WIDOW was moved off of November 6, 2020, to May 2021.
According to Comscore, there were 3,453 out of roughly 6,000 North American theaters back in operation over the weekend of September 18-20, as more jurisdictions allowed moviegoing. As of now, that number has been reduced to 3,350. Some exhibitors are optimistic that cinemas in Los Angeles may be allowed to reopen in the coming weeks with the same going for New York City. These two locations make up the two biggest box office markets in the States and having them open will definitely give the box office a boost.
Do YOU think 2020 moviegoing is a lost cause at this point? How have YOU movie theater experiences been since they reopened?
James Gray inking a deal with Focus Features for Armageddon Time
July 28, 2020 by: Steve Seigh
After taking audiences into the heart of the Amazon with THE LOST CITY of Z, and traveling among the stars alongside Brad Pitt in AD ASTRA, director James Gray has inked a deal with Focus Features for ARMAGEDDON TIME, a coming-of-age story about growing up in Queens in the 1980s.
Gray will write and direct the film, which features a star-studded cast that includes Cate Blanchett, Robert De Niro, Oscar Isaac, Anne Hathaway, and Donald Sutherland. According to The Wrap, ARMAGEDDON TIME will tell a coming-of-age story that explores friendship and loyalty while America is poised to elect Ronald Reagan as president.
“It’s really a dream come true for me, to do this kind of personal story, and to do it for such a wonderful partner in Focus Features. I could not ask for a better home for this film,” Gray said in a statement.
Production on the project is scheduled to begin near the top of 2021 in New York, with Gray, Anthony Katagas, and RT Features’ Rodrigo Teixeira producing. Additionally, RT’s Lourenço Sant’Anna and Rodrigo Gutierrez will executive produce.
As a child of the 80s who grew up making frequent trips to New York City, I’ll be curious to see how Gray represents the beloved borough of Queens in his new film. It’s a place that bursts with personality and potential, and to see it through the eyes of a child was quite the trip. I say bring it on, Mr. Gray, and help me remember when days were golden and the city grooved to a different tune than it does now.
NATO Chief believes movies should release in theaters despite the pandemic
July 22, 2020 by: Gaius Bolling
The head of the National Theatre Owners Association, John Fithian, declares that theaters need to stay open and he believes that studios delaying films in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic is not helping matters.
Movie theaters initially closed their doors back in March and recently things have gradually begun to change. Theaters in China have reopened recently but this was after opening after some believed was a bit too early which resulted in their closure again before opening again last weekend. Of the 5,000 or so theaters in the States, about 1200-1500 have reopened, with mostly drive-ins bringing in most of the business. More theaters were on their way to reopening but as the nation continues to hit record-breaking numbers in terms of cases and deaths due to the coronavirus, many states have forced the closure of theaters and other public venues. It's a very messy situation that has led to films like Christopher Nolan's TENET, delaying its release indefinitely.
John Fithian became the latest person to add fuel to this debate and it was sparked when he was asked by "Variety" about Warner Bros.' decision to move TENET from its August 12 release date to a presumed later date in 2020. Fithian emphasized that until a coronavirus vaccine is found, theaters cannot open to 100% capacity and he believes this is the reason that studios and theaters should begin to deal with the "new normal" and just open and release films as planned:
"Distributors should stick with their dates and release their movies because there's no guarantee that more markets will open later this year. Until there's a vaccine that's widely available, there will not be 100% of the markets open. Because of that, films should be released in markets where it is safe and legal to release them and that's about 85% of markets in the U.S. and even more globally. They should release their movies and deal with this new normal. Studios may not make the same amount of money that they did before, but if they don't start distributing films, there's going to be a big hole in their balance sheets. This is a $42 billion-a-year business. Most businesses would take 85% of that instead of zero, which will be what happens if they wait for all of the markets to open up."
On the one hand, I think he has a point. It seems like the studios are waiting for some kind of miracle where the big box office markets open up again and they can make the necessary money off their expensive tentpole releases. They're patiently waiting for Los Angeles and New York City to give approval for their theaters to open but that has yet to be the case, which is why TENET delayed its release again and will be likely why other releases will follow suit. It seems as if Fithian is saying that bringing in some money is better than bringing in no money so studios and theaters should maintain their dates and just adjust to whatever money can make until things gradually get back to normal again. Is this financially feasible for a studio to do this? Probably not but the longer they wait to open films, it's going to kneecap the theaters out there that are waiting to distribute these releases. AMC, Regal, and Cinemark seem to be banking on films like TENET in order to get back into the game but studios are clearly focusing their efforts on the markets that will make them the most money and with Los Angeles and New York City out of play as of now, they don't want to seem to budge until these players are part of the box office conversation again.
Do YOU agree that studios should maintain release dates and open films in theaters that happen to be open or is it smart to wait it out?
Beauty and the Beast tops box office on 18th week of movie theater shutdowns
July 21, 2020 by: Gaius Bolling
There are currently about 1200-1500 movie theaters back online across the U.S. that are mostly driven by drive-ins which continue to bring in significant money as the big three theaters (AMC, Regal, and Cinemark) mostly remain closed. On a weekend that originally saw TENET looking to dominate the box office, the number one movie in America is another catalog title and this time it’s from Disney.
BEAUTY AND THE BEAST led all movies this weekend with an estimated $467,000 at 527 locations. Disney/Marvel also claimed second place with IRON MAN grossing $430,00 at 462 sites. This is a far cry from the massive opening weekend of BEAUTY AND THE BEAST when it opened the weekend of March 17, 2017. The film still holds the March record for the best domestic opening with $174.7 million. BEAUTY AND THE BEAST has grossed $504.5 million to date.
In the 18 weekends that AMC, Regal, and Cinemark have been closed, drive-ins continue to lead the pack and are accountable for the bulk of the grosses that you will see. IFC continues to make its product work on the drive-in circuit with THE WRETCHED grossing $1.7 million to date and THE RELIC soon approaching $1 million as well. The leading drive-ins over the weekend include the Fort Wyoming in Dearborn, MI; Cine-Drive In Saint Eustache, Quebec; the Mission Tiki 4 in Montclair, CA; the Van Buren 3 in Riverside, CA; and the Starlight 4 in Atlanta, GA.
This still doesn’t mean we’re close to any box office normalcy. With TENET delaying its release indefinitely due to Los Angeles and New York City not providing a clear reopening date for their theaters, a lot of the box office remains in limbo. Other August releases like MULAN, UNHINGED, or BILL AND TED FACE THE MUSIC, could likely move as well if Los Angeles and New York City locations don’t come back online soon. Until then, a few throwback releases get a second life and give the box office what little pulse it has left.
Have YOU checked out any classic titles at the drive-in?
Gremlins actor thinks HBO Max animated series will lead to Gremlins 3
July 3, 2020 by: Gaius Bolling
GREMLINS star Zach Galligan has an idea that the upcoming Gremlins series that is set for HBO MAX, will be the set-up for the long-awaited GREMLINS 3. The actor shared the news before participating in a watch party for GREMLINS 2: THE NEW BATCH.
Galligan, who plays Billy Peltzer in the films, is still holding out hope that GREMLINS 3 will happen and he truly believes that it will. During an interview with “Syfy“, Galligan revealed that he thinks the animated series, Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai, will be the jumping-off point for our favorite little creatures to raise some hell on the big screen again:
“It seems like what they’re going to do is reeducate us on the mythology surrounding Gremlins and Gizmo and Mogwai and, of course, most importantly, the three nebulous rules. You have to figure that they’re using the animated series as a stepping stone to the larger endgame, which is a live-action Gremlins movie. That would be my assumption and it’s really not that much of stretch to think that that’s what they’re doing.”
GREMLINS has been an interesting franchise, to say the least. Beginning in 1984, the original film became a box office hit and pop culture phenomenon as it rode the line between children’s entertainment and a light horror film. GREMLINS did have its share of controversy because some parents really had issues with who the film was made because, on the one hand, you had the adorable Gizmo that looked made to sell toys mixed with these impressively created, but grotesque little creatures that were wreaking havoc every time they were on screen. Despite all this, the film grossed $153 million at the box office and became a bit of a surprise hit. The film did spawn a sequel, GREMLINS 2: THE NEW BATCH, and it played up the comedy much more than the original with a more biting satire that might’ve been a bit ahead of its time. The sequel wasn’t nearly as successful, mostly because being released in 1990 it was just too big of a gap between the momentum the original created. Even though the film only grossed $41.4 million during its theatrical run, the sequel has gone on to become a cult classic, and some diehard fans actually enjoying the sequel more than the original. As for a third film, Galligan is certainly on board to return to the franchise that gave him his big break:
“I would like to see some kind of reunification with Billy and Gizmo. The relationship between them is kind of the heart and soul of both movies. I would also like to see some expansion of some pivotal ideas in the series…I think we should see more misapplications of the rules; I’d like to see what happens as various liquids hit Mogwais, if it causes strange things to happen or mutations.”
In the original film, a boy inadvertently breaks three important rules concerning his new pet and unleashes a horde of malevolently mischievous monsters on a small town. In the 1990 sequel, the Gremlins return, and this time they’ve taken control of a New York City media mogul’s high-tech skyscraper and of course, hijinks ensue.
I’m down for a GREMLINS comeback. Sometimes I’m against more sequels but I think more than enough time has passed to make it interesting to revisit this universe again and honestly think it could be pretty fun if done right. Hopefully, the animated series does well enough that they will push to finally get the third film made.
Are YOU excited for a third GREMLINS film?
Chris Miller says Spider-Verse 2 will make the first look visually quaint
July 1, 2020 by: Kevin Fraser
Following Miles Morales (Shameik Moore) as he became the new Spider-Man and joined other Spider-People from various dimensions in order to save New York City from Kingpin, SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE was a very welcome surprise; not only was the story top-notch, but the animation was on an entirely different level. With it’s eye-popping colour and kinetic action, the film emulated a comic-book better than any of its predecessors.
Sony quickly got the ball rolling on a sequel, which officially swung into production last month, and producer Christopher Miller took to Twitter to tease that it’s going to make the first film look quaint in the visual department.
The development of new groundbreaking art techniques being done for the next Spider-Verse movie are already blowing me away. It’s going to make the first movie look quaint
The art-style of INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE was a bit of a departure from most big-budget animated films, and now that they know the public was into it, I could certainly see the team doubling down on that distinctive style for the upcoming sequel. I’m excited.
As far as what the SPIDER-VERSE sequel has in store for us in the story department, it’s hard to say at this point, but producer Amy Pascal has previously said that the sequel could explore a romance between Miles Morales (Moore) and Gwen Stacy (Hailee Steinfeld). In addition to the sequel, there’s also a SPIDER-VERSE spin-off in the works which will be centered around various Spider-Women and Amy Pascal confirmed that it will feature Spider-Gwen, Cindy Moon (Silk), and Jessica Drew (Spider-Woman). “I think it’s great that we’re going to be able to tell movies about female superheroes in this realm, and in the live-action realm as well, because I believe that there are going to be characters that really resonate for people,” Pascal said. “They’re funny and quirky and different, and heroic in all kinds of different ways that only animation allows you to do.”
SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE 2 is currently slated for a October 7, 2022 release.
Regal Cinemas postpones reopening until the end of July
June 30, 2020 by: Gaius Bolling
Following in the footsteps of AMC Theatres, Regal Cinemas has decided to push back the reopening of its screens until the end of July. Cineworld, the second-largest exhibitor in the world and owner of Regal Cinemas, will also hit pause on reopening locations in the UK as well until the end of the month.
The new re-launch date of July 31 pushes the chain from its planned return date of July 10. The news of the postponement comes on the heels of the release date shifts for Christopher Nolan's TENET and Disney's MULAN, which pushed the two tentpole releases from opening in July to August. TENET came off of its July 31 date, after previously being expected to open on July 17, and will now hit screens on August 12. MULAN, originally set for March before moving to July 24, will now head into battle on August 21. Movie theatre chains had been planning their reopenings around the release date of these films in particular and Cineworld released a statement that echoes the fact that watching those films shift into the next month, is the primary reason they decided to delay the reopening:
"In line with recent changes to upcoming film release dates, we have made the decision to move our re-opening date to 31st July. We hope that we will be able to re-open the doors of all Cineworld cinemas across the U.K. and Ireland at that time, subject to U.K. government restrictions. With the on-going pandemic, this new date remains subject to final confirmation. We know how much you’ve been missing the cinema and we are excited to welcome you back to Cineworld soon! With great films ahead, including Mulan, Tenet, A Quiet Place Part II, Wonder Woman 1984 and many more."
The reopening shuffle could possibly continue if these films are shifted again by their respective studios. While California has given the go-ahead for movie theaters to begin reopening, Los Angeles County hasn't approved movie theaters to open their doors again and, as of yesterday, the county decided to put movie theater openings on "hard pause" as a COVID-19 spike in the area has concerned health officials. New York City, as of last week, also didn't add movie theater openings to their Phase 4 plans of reopening their economy. These two locations represent the biggest box office markets in the U.S. and studios NEED these areas to open up to justify opening $200 million films like TENET or MULAN. I have an unpleasant feeling in my gut that if Los Angeles County and New York City doesn't make moves to open their theaters as we get closer to the new August release dates of these films, studios may push them further on the calendar which could lead to another stall on the part of chains like AMC and Regal.
Do YOU think Regal Cinemas will keep its relaunch date of July 31?
The Horror of Dolores Roach podcast adaptation in development at Amazon
May 6, 2020 by: Steve Seigh
Something wicked is coming to Amazon by way of Blumhouse's drama series adaptation of The Horror of Dolores Roach, a Gimlet podcast that for two seasons has terrified listeners with a macabre tale of Darwinian proportions.
After Blumhouse secured the rights to adapt the podcast last year, the entertainment outfit set up a virtual writers room to help bring the spine-tingling story to life for Amazon. Dara Resnik, co-creator of Apple’s Home Before Dark, will act as showrunner for the project as part of a partnership with podcast creator Aaron Mark, who has a first-look deal with Blumhouse.
The Horror of Dolores Roach is based on Mark’s one-woman play Empanada Loca, which starred Rubin-Vega as Dolores 'Magic Hands' Roach, a former prison inmate who upon returning to New York City finds the life she once knew in utter shambles.
As per Deadline's exclusive report, The Horror of Dolores Roach is a grotesque Sweeney Todd-inspired tale of Eat or Be Eaten; a macabre urban legend of love, betrayal, weed, gentrification, cannibalism, and survival of the fittest. It follows the indomitable Dolores Roach, who returns to a New York City neighborhood that has changed drastically during the sixteen years she has been in prison. Her boyfriend missing, her family long gone, Dolores is recognized only by an old stoner friend, Luis, who gives Dolores room and board and lets her give massages for cash in the basement apartment under his dilapidated empanada shop.
When the promise of her newfound stability is quickly threatened, ‘Magic Hands Dolores’ is driven to extremes to survive — leaving in her wake a string of strangled massage clients. In the face of unexpected professional success, Dolores and Luis become dangerously symbiotic, and Luis must unleash his own particular predilections. The Horror of Dolores Roach podcast stars Daphne Rubin-Vega and Bobby Cannavale.
Acting as the project's executive producers are Jason Blum, Marci Wiseman and Jeremy Gold of Blumhouse Television and Chris Giliberti and Justin McGoldrick of Gimlet Pictures.
Yikes! Did you read that synopsis? If you ask me, The Horror of Dolores Roach sounds rather spooky. Imagin being lulled into a false sense of comfort while being on the receiving end of a massage, only to then have your life ripped away mid-relaxation. As someone who used to attend monthly massage sessions before the coronavirus pandemic struck, the thought of my massage therapist twisting my neck muscles into a pretzel-like shape are now very real. Thanks, Dolores!
Have you listened to The Horror of Dolores Roach podcast? If you have, why not share your thoughts about it in the comments section down below?