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Preview: Seattle Post-Intelligencer: Movies

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Indian court acquits actor Salman Khan of using illegal arms

Wed, 18 Jan 2017 07:48:59 UT

Apart from the illegal arms case, police had filed three poaching cases against Khan during the shoot of one of his films in Jodhpur in 1998. [...] the actor challenged the verdict in a higher court, which said there was no evidence to suggest that the pellets recovered from the animals were fired from Khan's gun. The judges found that prosecutors had failed to prove charges of culpable homicide, in which they accused Khan of driving while intoxicated in 2002 and running over five men sleeping on a sidewalk in Mumbai, killing one of them.



Review: In 'The Founder,' cutthroat big business, supersized

Wed, 18 Jan 2017 03:16:47 UT

When Kroc (Michael Keaton), a struggling traveling salesmen selling milkshake mixers, first beelines to San Bernardino, California, in 1954 to get a look at Dick (Nick Offerman) and Mac (John Carroll Lynch) McDonald's burger joint, he stands agog at the counter. Kroc quickly recognizes the revolutionary power of the McDonalds' restaurant and becomes its franchise-driver and the pre-eminent proselytizer of an empire built on burgers. The arches, an invention of Dick's just like its other innovations, will spread "from sea to shining sea," Kroc vows. [...] the genius behind McDonald's lied largely with Dick McDonald, who engineered the "speedee service system" of its assembly line-like kitchen, designed its layout and focused its tiny menu. In the opening scenes, Kroc, struggling to eke out a living on the road, faithfully listens to Norman Vincent Peale's The Power of Positive Thinking. [...] The Founder," like its subject, is a little mechanical and a little too timid to really take a bite out of McDonald's. The bad taste of day-old McNuggets begins to form in our mouths as our hero turns villain, and a successful one at that. The Founder," a Weinstein Co. release, is rated PG-13 by the Motion Picture Association of America for "brief strong language.



Film about 1960s black mathematicians tops MLK weekend

Wed, 18 Jan 2017 00:36:46 UT

NEW YORK (AP) — "Hidden Figures," the uplifting film about African-American mathematicians at NASA during the 1960s space race, led the North American box office for the second straight week, selling $27.5 million in tickets over the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend, according to final studio figures Tuesday. Holdovers dominated the four-day weekend, while a number of high-profile new wide releases struggled badly. Ben Affleck's period crime thriller "Live by Night" managed a feeble $6 million, and Martin Scorsese's passion project, the Christian epic "Silence," earned a mere $2.4 million. Paramount's pricey family film "Monster Trucks," which cost $125 million, opened with just $14.2 million. In an unprecedented move, Paramount's corporate parent, Viacom, last year wrote off the film as a $115 million loss. The top 20 movies at U.S. and Canadian theaters Friday through Monday, followed by distribution studio, gross, number of theater locations, average receipts per location, total gross and number of weeks in release, as compiled Tuesday by comScore: "Monster Trucks," Paramount, $14,174,039, 3,119 locations, $4,544 average, $14,174,039, 1 week. Universal and Focus are owned by NBC Universal, a unit of Comcast Corp.; Sony, Columbia, Sony Screen Gems and Sony Pictures Classics are units of Sony Corp.; Paramount is owned by Viacom Inc.; Disney, Pixar and Marvel are owned by The Walt Disney Co.; Miramax is owned by Filmyard Holdings LLC; 20th Century Fox and Fox Searchlight are owned by 21st Century Fox; Warner Bros. and New Line are units of Time Warner Inc.; MGM is owned by a group of former creditors including Highland Capital, Anchorage Advisors and Carl Icahn; Lionsgate is owned by Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.; IFC is owned by AMC Networks Inc.; Rogue is owned by Relativity Media LLC.



The top 10 movies on the iTunes Store

Tue, 17 Jan 2017 20:54:54 UT

The top 10 movies on the iTunes Store iTunes Movies U.S. charts for week ending January 15, 2017: iTunes Movies US Charts: The Accountant (2016) Deepwater Horizon Café Society The Girl On the Train (2016) The Secret Life of Pets iTunes Movies US Charts - Independent: Blood Father The Autopsy of Jane Doe Kate Plays Christine A Man Called Ove Banking on Bitcoin



Mexico: no warrants for actress Kate del Castillo

Tue, 17 Jan 2017 19:05:53 UT

MEXICO CITY (AP) — The spokeswoman for Mexico's Attorney General's Office says there are no warrants for actress Kate del Castillo, but she has been "mentioned" in criminal investigations. Briseno said Del Castillo has been mentioned in organized crime investigations, but that doesn't mean she's a suspect.



Woody Harrelson goes live from London, talks 'Star Wars'

Mon, 16 Jan 2017 17:56:14 UT

The American actor plans to spend the early hours of Friday shooting a full-length film, called "Lost In London LIVE," which will be broadcast as it happens in over 550 U.S. theaters. Based on a relentlessly awful night out he really had in the British capital, Harrelson wrote and is directing the film that combines comedy and drama. Harrelson's co-stars are musician Willie Nelson and actor Owen Wilson, a close friend who also helped refine the script. Harrelson's breakthrough as an actor came on the 1980s television sitcom "Cheers."



DuVernay talks with Winfrey about Trump, race, her new film

Mon, 16 Jan 2017 17:24:49 UT

Winfrey moderated an hourlong conversation between DuVernay and political commentator Van Jones at the home of Netflix chief Ted Sarandos, who hosted the event with wife Nicole Avant under two tennis-court-sized tents in their backyard. Footage from Trump's campaign rallies appears in "13th," which connects the criminalization and jailing of black men in jail to a provision of the 13th Amendment that prohibits slavery except as a punishment for crime. Available now on Netflix, the film is among 15 documentaries shortlisted for Oscar nominations, which will be announced Jan. 24. In researching the documentary, DuVernay said she was most surprised to learn about the American Legislative Exchange Council, a conservative group that proposes policies and legislation based on the corporate interests it represents. The film also shows how political rhetoric about being "tough on crime" has historically translated to more policing in communities of color.



'Hidden Figures' keeps orbit at top; Affleck, Scorsese flop

Sun, 15 Jan 2017 20:49:45 UT

NEW YORK (AP) — Labors of love, one from Martin Scorsese, the other from Ben Affleck, proved costly at a casualty strewn weekend box office where the uplifting NASA drama "Hidden Figures" stayed on top for the second straight week. "Hidden Figures," about African-American mathematicians in the 1960s space race, sold a leading $20.5 million in tickets in North American theaters over the Martin Luther King Jr. Both Affleck's period gangster thriller "Live by Night" and Scorsese's Christian epic "Silence" bombed in their wide-release debuts. Paramount's "Silence," from Susaku Endo's novel of 17th century Jesuit priests in Japan, took in $1.9 million in 747 theaters. Written, directed and starring Affleck, it cost $90 million to make, though rebates and tax incentives lowered its budget to $65 million. [...] critics said "Live by Night" was a step backward for Affleck, who spent much of his publicity campaign fending off questions about his plans to direct a stand-alone Batman film for Warner Bros. The epitome of a passion project, "Silence," which Scorsese contemplated for nearly three decades, represents a culmination of the director's investigations into the nature of faith. While the film, starring Andrew Garfield and Liam Neeson, earned considerable respect from some critics, it failed to catch on in Hollywood's awards season. "Silence," never conceived as a particularly commercial release, cost about $50 million to make. Damien Chazelle's musical, starring Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, saw a considerable boost from last Sunday's Golden Globes, where it landed a record seven awards. Peter Berg's Boston Marathon bombing docudrama, "Patriots Day," took in a so-so $12 million in its first week of nationwide wide release. Open Road's "Sleepless," a vigilante revenge thriller starring Jamie Foxx, failed to make much of a dent. Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for comScore, said audiences were inundated with too many films, some of which struggled to keep attention as they went from limited to nationwide release. When you have so many platforming releases, aside from the top-performing ones, 'Hidden Figures' and 'La La Land,' the others have had a tough time getting traction or getting noticed within this sea of movies.



Lotter challenging Nebraska 3-judge method on death penalty

Sun, 15 Jan 2017 01:04:28 UT

(AP) — A man convicted in the murder case that inspired the 1999 movie "Boys Don't Cry" has joined a fellow death row inmate in challenging Nebraska's three-judge method for determining death sentences. The Nebraska attorney general's office has filed motions arguing that Nebraska's sentencing scheme allows jury participation and is not identical to the one struck down in Florida. In Nebraska when a defendant is convicted in a death penalty case, the jury that decided guilt also decides whether aggravating factors exist to justify the defendant's execution.



With no action heroes, Madoff movie landed at HBO

Sun, 15 Jan 2017 00:18:07 UT

(AP) — Makers of an upcoming HBO movie on Bernard Madoff initially wanted to make a feature film for theaters but quickly realized that today's movie industry had little interest in an intricate tale about a financial swindle. Major studios have their sights set on action heroes or comic books. An independent studio would have required a time-consuming effort to raise money and less exposure, said Jane Rosenthal, executive producer of "The Wizard of Lies," on Saturday.



Kidman says comments about Trump support weren't endorsement

Sat, 14 Jan 2017 23:06:38 UT

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Nicole Kidman says her comments that Americans should support President-elect Donald Trump were merely a statement of her belief in democracy, not an endorsement of the incoming president. The Oscar-winning actress's earlier remarks sparked both criticism and praise online after they were aired by the BBC earlier this week.



Brie Larson and Jennifer Hudson to announce Oscar nominees

Sat, 14 Jan 2017 17:57:49 UT

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Oscar winners Brie Larson and Jennifer Hudson will help announce this year's Academy Award nominees. The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences on Friday revealed the actresses will be among those who announce nominees in 24 categories on Jan. 24.



Uma Thurman, ex-boyfriend face off at custody trial

Sat, 14 Jan 2017 17:18:55 UT

The Oscar-nominated actress and the financier were in court Friday for the start of their custody trial. Thurman has two children with ex-husband and fellow actor Ethan Hawke.



Johnny Depp sues ex-managers alleging millions in losses

Sat, 14 Jan 2017 14:25:03 UT

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Johnny Depp sued his former business managers on Friday alleging they mismanaged his earnings throughout a lucrative period of his career, although the company says the actor's spending is to blame. Depp's lawsuit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court against The Management Group seeks more than $25 million, alleging its owners failed to properly pay his taxes, made unauthorized loans and overpaid for security and other services. Michael J. Kump, an attorney for The Management Group, calls Depp's lawsuit a "fabrication" and wrote in a statement that Depp never alleged any wrongdoing. Nicolas Cage sued his former business manager seeking $20 million for alleged mismanagement in 2009 and the manager in a countersuit cited the actor's spending for his financial troubles.



No plans to digitize Fisher in future 'Star Wars' films

Sat, 14 Jan 2017 03:33:08 UT

Making a rare foray into the sprawling world of "Star Wars" speculation, Lucasfilm said Friday night that there are no plans to digitally recreate Fisher to appear in future episodes of the movie saga. Episode VII — The Force Awakens," had finished shooting "Star Wars: The renderings of Fisher and Cushing, who died in 1994, were embraced by many fans but hated by just as many, who thought the characters looked cartoonish, distracting, or even spooky. John Knoll, the effects guru who came up with the idea of the revitalized characters, told Yahoo Movies on Friday that Fisher "loved" her appearance in "Rogue One," which consists of one short-but-significant shot, and a single word of dialogue.