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Preview: Seattle Post-Intelligencer: Movies Movies


Armed with faith: Gibson film shows WWII feats of medic

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 16:31:18 UT

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — When Desmond Doss climbed up Hacksaw Ridge — a 400-foot high escarpment on the island of Okinawa with a wall of dug-in Japanese soldiers at the top — he carried his Bible, his combat medic supplies and the weight of his moral convictions, but no weapon. When the wounded American Army private eventually came back down for good, he was credited with repeatedly braving harsh enemy fire to treat fellow troops, carry them to the cliff's edge and lower them to safety. [...] he wanted to serve his country and ended up in a combat infantry unit, tending to the wounded under some of the war's most dangerous conditions. The movie details how his fellow troops — initially extremely suspicious of Doss — came to admire his moral and physical courage. Doss' Medal of Honor citation describes how his unit was driven back down the cliff by a barrage of mortar, artillery and machine gun fire but Doss voluntarily stayed behind, evacuating the wounded by rope over the cliff, all under intense enemy fire. [...] like the other troops in the movie, Vaughn's character comes to respect Doss' moral courage even before his brave feats on Okinawa. Vaughn, who has made repeated visits to Afghanistan and Iraq to visit American troops stationed there, said they screened the movie for some veterans who found it "very cathartic" and praised it for bringing awareness to post-traumatic stress disorder through the character of Doss' father, playing by Hugo Weaving. Weaving's character is a troubled, heavy-drinking World War I vet who frequently visits the graves of men he served with in France.

Filmmaker claims self-defense in San Francisco killing

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 16:10:12 UT

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A San Francisco filmmaker arrested on suspicion of murder earlier this week says an intruder was shot and killed in self-defense. Prosecutors decided Tuesday not to file charges, at least for now, suggesting evidence of self-defense was a consideration.

Review: 'Into the Inferno' is a lazy, meandering mess

Wed, 26 Oct 2016 20:45:19 UT

Even better, swashbuckling director and writer Werner Herzog is the filmmaker, so it's sure to be a hair-singing descent into the fiery heart of volcanos. The legendary filmmaker's "Into the Inferno " — not to be confused with the new Tom Hanks film "Inferno" — is actually a lazy, meandering mess that gives off no heat. Herzog takes us to steaming, scary volcanic mountains in North Korea, Indonesia, Iceland, Ethiopia and the Pacific island nation of Vanuatu but never really connects them thematically or narratively. [...] in Indonesia, we have an excruciating discussion with volcano tech monitors about electronic distance measurements and gas emissions. What does his investigation on Vanuatu about the cult surrounding the mythical figure of John Frum have to do with lava? According to the TV Parental Guidelines, a rating of PG-TV means parents may find material unsuitable for younger children.

Review: Tom Hanks returns as Robert Langdon in 'Inferno'

Wed, 26 Oct 2016 20:36:46 UT

"Inferno" is the third Robert Langdon film, with Tom Hanks reprising the role of the Harvard "symbology" professor whose parlor trick is solving elaborate criminal plots by deciphering great works of art. The filmmakers have skipped one book in the series, perhaps wisely since Brown's "The Lost Symbol" enlists Freemasons as its conspiracy-du-jour, following escapades with the Catholic church and self-flagellating albino monks in "The Da Vinci Code" and the Illuminati in "Angels & Demons." The film begins with him waking up in a Florence hospital, his recent memory wiped clean by a head wound and his mind haunted by apocalyptic visions. When a pursuer turns up and starts shooting, Langdon and the doctor on hand, Sienna Brooks (Felicity Jones), flee and begin piecing together Zobrist's plot, one concocted with heavy shades of Dante and Botticelli's Map of Hell painting. Inferno," a Columbia Pictures release, is rated PG-13 by the Motion Picture Association of America for "sequences of action and violence, disturbing images, some language, thematic elements and brief sensuality.

Small World animatronic doll part of new Disney auction

Wed, 26 Oct 2016 17:45:41 UT

Van Eaton Galleries announced Wednesday that the items will be among myriad pieces of Disney memorabilia available at the "Souvenirs of Disneyland" auction next month. Other lots include an animatronic sparrow from the Enchanted Tiki Room and original concept art for the Pirates of the Caribbean ride.

Correction: Oscars-Nicholl Fellowships story

Wed, 26 Oct 2016 16:41:38 UT

The organization that presents the Academy Awards is dedicating a performance of promising new screenplays to late actor Anton Yelchin LOS ANGELES (AP) — The organization that presents the Academy Awards is dedicating a performance of promising new screenplays to late actor Anton Yelchin. Yelchin's "Star Trek" co-star John Cho, as well as actors Cary Elwes, Aja Naomi King and Alia Shawkat are set to perform selected scenes from this year's five winning screenplays on Nov. 3 at the film academy's headquarters in Beverly Hills, California.

San Francisco filmmaker won't face criminal charges

Wed, 26 Oct 2016 06:59:40 UT

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A well-regarded San Francisco filmmaker and community activist arrested in connection with a fatal shooting won't immediately face criminal charges, prosecutors said. The district attorney's office found insufficient evidence to immediately press charges against Kevin Epps, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Tuesday ( ). Polk was a registered sex offender with a history of drug abuse and prior convictions for attempted robbery and domestic battery.

The Latest: Filmmaker won't be charged in homicide

Wed, 26 Oct 2016 03:44:01 UT

Prosecutors won't file criminal charges against a San Francisco filmmaker and community activist who was arrested in connection with a fatal shooting. The San Francisco Chronicle reports ( ) Tuesday that the district attorney has found insufficient evidence to immediately press charges against Kevin Epps.

Oscar-nominated costume designer Janet Patterson has died

Tue, 25 Oct 2016 23:17:22 UT

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Costume designer Janet Patterson, a four-time Oscar nominee for period films like Bright Star, ''The Portrait of a Lady and The Piano, has died. The press shy Patterson frequently collaborated with directors Jane Campion and Gillian Armstrong, and became known for her sumptuous 19th century costume creations.

Kate Beckinsale's husband files for divorce in Los Angeles

Tue, 25 Oct 2016 21:12:43 UT

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Kate Beckinsale's husband has filed for divorce from the "Underworld" actress after 12 years of marriage. Court records in Los Angeles show that writer and director Len Wiseman filed for divorce on Friday, citing irreconcilable differences. The pair married in May 2004 and has no children together. Beckinsale stars in the upcoming film "Underworld: Blood Wars," which Wiseman helped write and produce. Wiseman directed Beckinsale in the first "Underworld" movie, which was released in 2003. The divorce was first reported Tuesday by celebrity website TMZ.

The top 10 movies on the iTunes Store

Tue, 25 Oct 2016 19:28:27 UT

The top 10 movies on the iTunes Store iTunes Movies U.S. charts for week ending October 23, 2016: iTunes Movies US Charts: Bad Moms Central Intelligence Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates iTunes Movies US Charts - Independent: Swiss Army Man

Celebrities of all types are fanning out for Clinton

Tue, 25 Oct 2016 16:40:14 UT

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — For television actress Busy Philipps, campaigning for Hillary Clinton isn't always glamorous. [...] the exuberant blonde spoke to about 20 women in the cavernous Des Moines skywalk, encouraging them to vote early on their lunch break. Clinton's celebrity lineup shows she long ago locked up most of the entertainment industry. Despite starring in a reality television show, Donald Trump has drawn few celebrity endorsements, though he counts "Charles in Charge" actor Scott Baio and musician Kid Rock among his supporters. The campaign considers the performer's fan base, putting Philipps before young women, for example, or Astin on college campuses, where he has a following from his roles in "The Lord of the Rings" movies as well as in "The Goonies" and "Rudy" from long ago. [...] Curtis has stayed involved, introducing Clinton at some events in California and calling in to campaign offices to offer encouragement. [...] she said.

Mirren, Bates, Nyong'o share life lessons at Elle dinner

Tue, 25 Oct 2016 15:15:49 UT

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Lupita Nyong'o, Helen Mirren and Kathy Bates shared life lessons with three generations of actresses at Elle magazine's Women in Hollywood awards. Mirren imparted general life tips such as "at the blackjack table, always split aces, eights and nines," and "ignore anyone who judges the way you look." The three Oscar winners were recognized alongside Amy Adams, Felicity Jones, Anna Kendrick, Aja Naomi King and Kristen Stewart on Monday at the magazine's 23rd annual celebration of women's creative contributions in Hollywood. Nyong'o was introduced by her former mentor, director Mira Nair, and the actress talked about the experience of becoming a mentor herself. While starring in Nair's latest film, "Queen of Katwe," Nyong'o found herself guiding the young actors on set in Uganda — particularly Madina Nalwanga, who plays the title character. "Show young women than building community is stronger than the individual instinct to survive," Nyong'o said.

Review: 'The Eagle Huntress' is a heartwarming all-ages tale

Tue, 25 Oct 2016 14:25:42 UT

There is an ancient tradition of falconry practiced by the people of Mongolia where burkitshi, or "eagle hunters," train golden eagles to respond to their call and hunt hares and foxes in the frozen landscape. Aisholpan helps out with the chores at home and is a top student who hopes one day to become a doctor. There is an obvious girl power message in the film that's spelled out loud and clear by both the narration and the framing of Aisholpan's accomplishments. [...] there's an overriding level of artifice to "The Eagle Huntress" that's hard to shake. Bell opts for reality show techniques to up the drama throughout, like a cut of Aisholpan removing her hat at a competition to reveal she's a girl juxtaposed with a shot of a man looking aghast while the music crescendos. "The Eagle Huntress," a Sony Pictures Classic release, is rated G by the Motion Picture Association of America.

Tokyo festival produces heartwarming trilogy of Asian films

Tue, 25 Oct 2016 12:56:27 UT

TOKYO (AP) — Cannes-winning Brillante Mendoza is among the three directors tapped by the Tokyo International Film Festival to create "Reflections," a trilogy that depicts the intertwining of stories among Asian nations. Be it a Filipino worker in Japan or a Japanese bureaucrat in love with a Cambodian woman, the main characters are old and lonely, caught in an Asian nation other than their own, in films that reflect the real-life erasing of barriers in this region. The close-ups of actor Lou Veloso's forlorn face, speckled with the snowflakes of northern Japan, which he would never see in his tropical home, are tragically majestic. Because we need to live together. Yukisada noted that funding from outside Japan, such as China, and filming with non-Japanese staff and actors, are increasingly becoming part of his life, an experience that's feeding into his directing. Kenji Ishizaka, professor at Japan Institute of the Moving Image, who oversaw the trilogy, insists independent Asian filmmaking has strengths and appeal, and the festival plans to produce another in 2018, with new directors.