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Preview: Seattle Post-Intelligencer: Movies

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'Alien: Covenant' clips are the stuff nightmares are made of

Thu, 30 Mar 2017 18:59:27 UT

Covenant that premiered Thursday at CinemaCon makes that alien bursting out of John Hurt's chest look tame in comparison. The hyperviolent sequences show new nightmares for the crew of the colony ship Covenant, with blood, shrieks and creatures emerging out of human backs and mouths.



Review: In 'The Boss Baby,' it's clear who wears the diapers

Thu, 30 Mar 2017 15:33:36 UT

The creators of "The Boss Baby " have obviously been mining the playwright's gritty, foul-mouthed "Glengarry Glen Ross" to build the title character, a ruthless, capitalist-minded newborn with pupils the size of saucers who insists that "Cookies are for closers." To make the connection even firmer, they've hired Alec Baldwin to voice the baby, reprising in cartoon version his motivational speaker from hell from the 1992 film version of "Glengarry Glen Ross." An army of animators — no, really, the endless end credits are staggering to sit through — have been employed to make a 12-course banquet out of a whimsical board book by Marla Frazee, which introduced the suit-wearing toddler. Directed by Tom McGrath, the director of the "Madagascar" franchise, "The Boss Baby" is best when it riffs off other action films, such as "The Matrix," ''Mary Poppins," ''Honeymoon in Vegas" and "Raiders Of The Lost Ark," to name a few. The animation and sound effects are so superbly rendered — the fantasy sequences have an entirely different and nifty flavor — that a drop of drool or a puff of baby powder seems to have real texture and feeling. The Boss Baby," a DreamWorks Animation release, is rated PG by the Motion Picture Association of America "for some mild, rude humor.



Evil Elsa? 'Frozen' producer reveals film's original ending

Thu, 30 Mar 2017 11:37:56 UT

Disney's animated phenomenon, "Frozen," may not have been a heartwarming tale of sisterly love if its creators stuck to the film's original planned ending. The drafts included a finale with Elsa using her powers to save the kingdom, but Del Vecho says the character's evilness gave them "no emotional connection" to her.



Visceral 'Dunkirk' footage gets hearts racing

Thu, 30 Mar 2017 03:28:09 UT

Nolan told the audience of theater owners that he wanted to tell the story in the most visceral way possible, putting audiences on the beaches, in the air and running with the troops. The "Interstellar" and "Dark Knight" director shot the film entirely on large format celluloid and said theaters are the only way to experience the suspenseful survival story. The film's large eclectic ensemble cast includes veterans like Kenneth Branagh and Mark Ryland, Nolan mainstays Tom Hardy and Cillian Murphy, pop star Harry Styles and a few newcomers like Fionn Whitehead.



'Wonder Woman' wows, Affleck makes appearance at CinemaCon

Thu, 30 Mar 2017 02:51:09 UT

New footage featuring actress Gal Gadot's lasso-wielding superhero stole the show Wednesday night at CinemaCon, which also featured some peeks at "Aquaman" and "Justice League." Even the new "Justice League" footage spotlighted Gadot's Wonder Woman as she breaks into Affleck's supposedly secured bat cave with ease and informs the caped crusader that they would need to assemble to defeat a threat.



First reactions from 'The Fate of the Furious' screening

Wed, 29 Mar 2017 22:21:08 UT

First reactions from 'The Fate of the Furious' screening Universal Pictures surprised CinemaCon audiences on Wednesday with an unannounced screening of the eighth film in the franchise and praise spread quickly on Twitter.



Vin Diesel on Paul Walker: We don't want to let him down

Wed, 29 Mar 2017 21:52:35 UT

The actor on Wednesday spoke to a packed auditorium at CinemaCon in Las Vegas about the eighth installment in the franchise, "The Fate of the Furious"— the first full film in the series made in the aftermath of Walker's death in 2013. After Walker died, his two brothers helped complete action scenes in "Furious 7," which earned more than $1.5 billion globally when it was released in 2015.



Horror, adventure, stunts on display in Cruise's 'The Mummy'

Wed, 29 Mar 2017 21:15:22 UT

The studio on Wednesday debuted footage from its upcoming adventure film The Mummy, which opens a monster universe drawing on Universal's vault of classic properties like Bride of Frankenstein, ''Invisible Man and Creature from the Black Lagoon. Tom Cruise stars in the Alex Kurtzman-directed "The Mummy," which is equal parts action and horror as Cruise's explorer Nick Morton attempts to combat an ancient evil that has been unlocked and threatens to destroy the world. Johnson laughed that when he would complain when he got hurt or bruised, Cruise would quip back: Yeah, we jumped off a building dummy.



Book: Angelina Jolie was drug-tested for 'Tomb Raider'

Wed, 29 Mar 2017 21:11:05 UT

The Hollywood Reporter on Wednesday released an excerpt from an upcoming biography of the former studio head Sherry Lansing, "Leading Lady." Then-Paramount production president John Goldwyn said the studio had Jolie undergo random drug tests.



No cellphones backstage for accountants after Oscar flub

Wed, 29 Mar 2017 20:39:04 UT

Film academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs sent an email to academy members Wednesday detailing the new protocols for announcing Oscar winners developed after the best-picture flub at last month's Academy Awards. The academy's Board of Governors discussed its ongoing relationship with PwC, formerly known as PricewaterhouseCoopers, and established the new controls at a meeting Tuesday night. Besides banning cellphones, the academy is adding a third balloting partner to the telecast, and bringing in PwC's U.S. chairman to provide oversight.



Thailand's ex-tourism chief gets 50 years for taking bribes

Wed, 29 Mar 2017 13:52:02 UT

A U.S. federal court in 2010 sentenced filmmakers Gerald and Patricia Green to six months in prison after they were convicted of conspiracy under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which prohibits making corrupt payments to foreign officials for business purposes. The courts found that the Greens paid bribes to Juthamas from 2002 to 2007, while she was governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand, to secure the film festival rights and tourism-related deals that earned them more than $13 million in revenue. Under the Greens, the Bangkok International Film Festival was able to attract A-list stars to its red carpet events, including director Stone and actors Val Kilmer and Colin Farrell.



Johnson says 'Baywatch' is summer's 'sexiest, funniest' pic

Wed, 29 Mar 2017 09:12:19 UT

The cast of "Baywatch" took the stage Tuesday afternoon alongside around two dozen scantily clad men and women sporting the classic red bathing suits to preview the film for exhibitors and theater owners at the annual convention. Star Dwayne Johnson told the audience of theater owners and exhibitors that their movie is going to be the craziest, sexiest, funniest R-rated comedy of the summer. [...] there was a fair amount of skin in the footage — including a naked male cadaver that Zac Efron's character has to inspect — which highlighted both its self-aware comedy and action/adventure on the beach. The studio, now under the new leadership of Jim Gianopulos, also made sure to highlight its more prestigious films on the slate, like "Ex Machina" director Alex Garland's "Annihilation," a sure to be mindbender starring Natalie Portman and Oscar Isaac, and Alexander Payne's "Downsizing."



First reactions to 'Pirates of the Caribbean 5' at CinemaCon

Wed, 29 Mar 2017 09:03:57 UT

First reactions to 'Pirates of the Caribbean 5' at CinemaCon Initial reactions from those in attendance, including press, theater owners and exhibitors, were largely positive, celebrating a return to form for the franchise and the well-done VFX. To date, the franchise has grossed over $3.73 billion worldwide for the studio, and there is some pressure on this fifth film to continue the enormous successes of the previous films while also redeeming its lagging reputation.



Movie studios look to young, diverse audiences for growth

Tue, 28 Mar 2017 20:07:50 UT

Higher ticket prices helped push the motion picture industry to a record box office total in North American theaters in 2016, but Walt Disney Studios distribution head Dave Hollis said attendance itself has remained nearly flat for a decade. Many of the major Hollywood studios are looking at the possibility of shortening the time between the theatrical release of a film and its availability on home video. Hollis challenged theater owners and exhibitors to keep aggressively competing for the attention of their young audiences through Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram and other technology and apps used by young people.



Family files lawsuit in Canadian filmmaker's Keys dive death

Tue, 28 Mar 2017 17:19:18 UT

According to the lawsuit, Stewart and dive organizer Peter Sotis both surfaced at the same time with apparent breathing difficulties, but Stewart didn't make it back on board the dive boat. The family "hopes the legal action will push out and/or change the ways of all irresponsibly operating diving businesses and help keep attention on Stewart's mission of ocean conservation," he added. According to the lawsuit, the dive was taking place at the wreck of the Queen of Nassau in about 230 feet of water and about six miles from the Islamorada coast.