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Preview: Seattle Post-Intelligencer: Movies

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At Tribeca, Bourdain reluctantly plays the role of activist

Mon, 24 Apr 2017 19:46:44 UT

The countless meals shared on his years of TV, from "No Reservations" to the soon-returning "Parts Unknown," are chiefly feasts — both through the food on the plate and the discussions held over them — of larger cultural conversation. [...] what was it that lured him into combating food waste? A lifetime in which the cooking principle "use everything, waste nothing" was instilled in him, and driven deeper by "one brutal kitchen regime after another." "The intent of this film happens to align with something that I feel very strongly from the point of view of just a classically trained cook who came up in a system where the whole idea of waste was abhorrent," said Bourdain. The film showcases those using creative solutions to the problem, like a beer called Toast made out of leftover sandwich bread, or a budget grocery store of donated excess foods. The film also preaches the flavor and thrift of dishes that use typically tossed parts of produce or animals. Most glaring, though, is the waste of supermarkets where aisles are intended to showcase abundance, even though that means stocking shelves with the intent to not sell all of it. "In order to have their aisles look a certain way and give an impression of abundance with only the freshest and best, they've deemed it necessary to waste tremendous amounts of food that in another situation would be vital to people," said Bourdain. Being a "film nerd," he says, is "a necessary qualification" for his "Parts Unknown" crew.



'The Fate of the Furious' laps new films at box office

Sun, 23 Apr 2017 19:16:53 UT

LOS ANGELES (AP) — "The Fate of the Furious" sped into first place at the box office again, leaving new thriller "Unforgettable" and historical drama "The Promise" in the dust. Universal Pictures' eighth installment in "The Fast and the Furious" franchise earned $38.7 million in North American theaters over the weekend, down 61 percent from its debut, according to studio estimates Sunday. Holdovers dominated the charts on this quiet weekend in theaters. Warner Bros. thriller "Unforgettable," starring Katherine Heigl as a jealous ex-wife and Rosario Dawson as the new fiancee, opened at No. 7 with just $4.8 million. "Unfortunately, the movie just missed the intended audience," said Jeff Goldstein, Warner Bros.' president of domestic distribution. The buddy comedy "Going in Style," starring Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine and Alan Arkin, is chugging along after three weeks in theaters, taking fifth place with $5 million. [...] the historical epic "The Promise," starring Oscar Isaac and Christian Bale, bombed with a mere $4.1 million from 2,251 theaters. The movie delves into the mass killings of Armenians in Ottoman Turkey that many countries and most historians call genocide. Turkey still denies genocide, saying the deaths stemmed from civil unrest and war. Made outside the studio system and distributed by Open Road Films, the point of "The Promise" was to raise awareness around a global event that many know nothing about, he said. Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to comScore. Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at international theaters (excluding the U.S. and Canada), according to comScore: 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.



Burt Reynolds makes rare public appearance at film festival

Sun, 23 Apr 2017 19:04:04 UT

Burt Reynolds makes rare public appearance at film festival NEW YORK (AP) — Robert De Niro helped Burt Reynolds onto the red carpet for the Tribeca Film Festival premiere of his new movie "Dog Years" Saturday night in New York. Reynolds was given a chair on the red carpet, so that he could speak to a limited number of press outlets about the film.



Hillary Clinton makes surprise appearance at Tribeca Fest

Sun, 23 Apr 2017 07:13:48 UT

NEW YORK (AP) — The premiere of a virtual reality short by Oscar-winning director Kathryn Bigelow was already a high-profile event at the Tribeca Film Festival on Saturday night. Before Clinton and the three other panelists were interviewed by Bigelow, the audience donned virtual reality headsets at their seats and experienced — in 360 degrees — what it's like to be one of the 200 rangers fighting well-armed poachers in the park the size of Delaware. The former Democratic presidential candidate noted that Saturday was Earth Day, "and we are marching on behalf of science," referring to marches throughout the U.S. on Saturday. "[...] part of science is understanding the intricate relationships that we share with all those on this planet and particularly large mammals like elephants, who have a role to play both in reality and in our imaginations," she said. The Tribeca appearance was one of a series Clinton has made lately in New York, including turning up at several Broadway shows, speaking at a recent women's conference, and accepting an award this week from an LGBT community group.



'Avatar' sequels now scheduled to start in December 2020

Sat, 22 Apr 2017 15:59:36 UT

The movie's Facebook page Saturday posted a photo of Cameron and his massive film crew, who have been working on all four films simultaneously. The original 2009 "Avatar" film has netted over $2.7 billion, centering on the conflict between humans and the blue-skinned alien race Na'vi of Pandora.



Actress Octavia Spencer to speak at Kent State commencement

Sat, 22 Apr 2017 13:55:43 UT

KENT, Ohio (AP) — Kent State University's first universitywide commencement will get a touch of Hollywood as Oscar-winning actress Octavia Spencer speaks to graduates of the northeastern Ohio school. The film tells the true story of several female African-American mathematicians at NASA key to the 1960's era space race between the United States and Russia.



Kathryn Bigelow on VR after her first try: 'I love it'

Sat, 22 Apr 2017 12:03:36 UT

NEW YORK (AP) — As a filmmaker drawn to the most visceral forms of cinema, it was probably inevitable that Kathryn Bigelow's high-adrenaline curiosities would lead her to virtual reality. The Oscar-winning director on Friday at the Tribeca Film Festival premiered her first VR experience, The Protectors: Bigelow directed it with Imraan Ismail, a virtual-reality veteran, and the two used the nascent, immersive medium to give a full sense of the dangers the 200 ragtag rangers face daily in guarding the Delaware-sized park, including its hundreds of perishing elephants, from the constant plundering of poachers and gunmen. "The most important thing was to put a human face on this issue," Bigelow said in an interview alongside Ismail in the back room of a Tribeca restaurant. Even in its brief eight minutes, viewers of "The Protectors" will readily recognize the same cinematic command Bigelow brought to her Academy Award winner "The Hurt Locker" and her most recent film, the Osama bin Laden hunt thriller "Zero Dark Thirty." Bigelow's virtual reality debut left her excited for its journalistic potential to inform and foster empathy. A number of big-name filmmakers have recently tried their hand at VR, including Jon Favreau and Alejandro Inarritu, who's to debut a virtual reality work next month at the Cannes Film Festival.



Greece's tireless king of slapstick comedy dies at 66

Fri, 21 Apr 2017 19:29:32 UT

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Stathis Psaltis, the gaunt, hyperactive Greek actor who gained a large following starring in dozens of low-budget comedy movies, has died in an Athens hospital. Fellow actors praised him Friday as a generous and talented colleague, whose standout performances in the theater and cinema never reached a wider audience.



De Niro to receive honorary fine arts degree from Brown

Fri, 21 Apr 2017 19:02:46 UT

The Ivy League school announced Friday the Oscar-winning actor is being celebrated "for the intensity he brings to each performance." Others to receive honorary degrees are rapper and actor Daveed Diggs; teacher Donald Hood; businesswoman Indra Nooyi; business executive Richard Parsons; and poet Rosmarie Waldrop.



Yo, Adrian! Pet shop from 'Rocky' films demolished

Fri, 21 Apr 2017 09:59:59 UT

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A Philadelphia storefront featured prominently in the "Rocky" films has been demolished. The building was home to the fictional pet store where Rocky courted his eventual wife, Adrian. It was featured in several of the films and was a frequent stop on tours designed for Rocky fans. Tour Guide Ben Caplan tells Philly.com (http://bit.ly/2oaZiFc ) he was taking a group there Thursday when he found construction crews tearing the building down. The building, once a real pet shop, had been empty for several years. ___ Information from: Philly.com, http://www.philly.com/



Harvey Weinstein complains of R rating for trans teen film

Fri, 21 Apr 2017 01:03:03 UT

NEW YORK (AP) — Harvey Weinstein knows he can be temperamental, and he knows he's not above a good publicity stunt, but he said Thursday his complaints over an R rating for his company's upcoming trans teen family story "3 Generations" are worth the effort on behalf of prospective young trans viewers. Starring Elle Fanning as a girl who wants to transition, the Motion Picture Association of America assigned the restrictive R based on strong language, including some sexual references. The MPAA released a statement Thursday saying the rating system is designed to give parents consistent information about the content in a film and that it does update the system as attitudes change. In this case, he said, an R rating would mean trans youth under 17 without adult accompaniment could not see the story of a New York family struggling with the transition of Fanning's character, Ray.



Review: An uneasy mishmash, 'Unforgettable' is forgettable

Thu, 20 Apr 2017 19:40:15 UT

Someone in a nearby row at the multiplex had thrown a roasted peanut toward the screen, in what I can only assume was frustration or scorn, and it landed on me. In plot setup only, "Unforgettable" shares something with the recent wonderful thriller "Get Out" — both involve sympathetic characters of color invited into their romantic partner's lily-white world, where, let's just say, things do NOT go as planned. Denise Di Novi, a veteran producer making her directorial debut here, seems to have had higher aspirations than pure camp, but she and screenwriter Christina Hodson don't help matters (or help Heigl) by making Tessa such a one-dimensional, cartoonish shrew. To show us she misses her husband, the film simply has Tessa watching her wedding video, tears pouring down her face. Or asking her daughter: "Do you miss when Daddy and Mommy lived together?" Maybe Tessa has inherited this lack of subtlety from her mother — poor Cheryl Ladd's role here is even less nuanced. Unforgettable," a Warner Bros. release, is rated R by the Motion Picture Association of America "for sexual content, violence, some language, and brief partial nudity.



A look at the 6 films exploring the LA riots, 25 years later

Thu, 20 Apr 2017 18:48:39 UT

All include the 1991 videotaped footage of a group of white police officers relentlessly beating unarmed black motorist Rodney King, and coverage of their acquittal the following year that touched off three days of unchecked violence, arson and looting. The Riots 25 Years Later (A&E): Produced by and featuring Oscar-nominated writer-director John Singleton, this film opens with video footage of the 2016 fatal police shootings of Philando Castile in Minnesota and Alton Sterling in Louisiana, along with the protests that followed the high-profile deaths of other young black men at the hands of police. Directors One9 and Erik Parker provide a mix of LAPD history, interviews with the men who attacked truck driver Reginald Denny and the perspective of a former lieutenant tasked with responding to the riot epicenter at the intersection of Florence and Normandie avenues. Interview subjects include neighborhood residents, police officers, jurors who served on the King beating trial, as well as victims, witnesses and perpetrators of the ensuing violence. The film relies on footage taken by neighborhood residents and Los Angeles Police Department cameras, along with audio from local radio station KJLH, which abandoned its traditional music format during the unrest to take calls from the community about their fears and concerns as the city was torn apart.



LA's violent uprising of 1992 returns to TV 25 years later

Thu, 20 Apr 2017 18:47:12 UT

The juxtaposition of the historic uprising with today's high-profile police shootings of black men and the Black Lives Matter movement is the crux of six separate documentaries marking the 25th anniversary of the LA riots, which exploded after four white police officers were acquitted of severely beating black motorist Rodney King. Oscar winner John Ridley and Oscar nominee John Singleton are among the filmmakers using the anniversary to re-examine the events that led to the unrest and contextualize them for a new generation. By comparison, two films were released around the riots' 20th anniversary in 2012. [...] Rodney King has died. Besides the six documentaries marking the riots' anniversary, a digital story archive and a virtual-reality project aim to make sense of the events for today's viewers. Anniversaries often inspire reflection, and the proliferation of outlets airing documentaries has created more opportunities for filmmakers interested in exploring the past, said Todd Boyd, a professor of cinema and media studies at the USC School for Cinematic Arts. Documentarian Sacha Jenkins saw his film "Burn Motherf-----, Burn" as a way to establish historical context for today's police shootings and demands for justice.



'Moulin Rouge' director Baz Luhrmann to speak at Princeton

Thu, 20 Apr 2017 18:12:25 UT

PRINCETON, N.J. (AP) — "Moulin Rouge" director Baz Luhrmann will speak to graduating seniors at Princeton. The Academy Award-nominated director, screenwriter and producer's films include "The Great Gatsby" and "Romeo + Juliet."