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Preview: Seattle Post-Intelligencer: Movies

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Actor John Boyega wanted to challenge self with "Detroit"

Mon, 24 Jul 2017 16:39:22 UT

[...] these are stories that reflect until today — especially police brutality, Boyega told The Associated Press during an interview Monday. The London-born actor was in Detroit promoting the film of the same name. Asked whether audiences should be excited about the new "Star Wars' film, Boyega laughed and said: "Should people be excited? Following the AP interview, Boyega and a few others actors from "Detroit" set about packaging food at Gleaners Community Food Bank, popping canned goods into plastic bags, all of which later will be distributed to families throughout the Detroit area.



Comic-Con hits: 'Black Panther,' Batman, 'Stranger Things'

Sun, 23 Jul 2017 23:22:29 UT

Nyong'o described her character as a spy who goes undercover to report back to the fictional isolated nation about what is going on in the rest of the world. Affleck refuted rumors that he would no longer play the character after ceding direction of "The Batman" to "War for the Planet of the Apes" director Matt Reeves. The actor also appeared alongside some of his "Justice League" costars, including Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman), Jason Momoa (Aquaman), Ezra Miller (The Flash) and Ray Fisher (Cyborg) as they showed footage from the film due in November. West was celebrated by his fans and collaborators at a heartfelt tribute that featured Kevin Smith, producer James Tucker, actor Ralph Garman and "Catwoman" actress Lee Meriwether. Smith said he learned morality from West's portrayal of Batman in the original TV series, and Meriwether said she was so dazzled by the actor during the making of Batman: "Stranger Things" also had a presence in downtown San Diego with an installation that resembled the show's set and a virtual-reality experience that brought guests into the home of the missing boy and face to face with the monster that haunts him. "Blade Runner 2049" also hosted a massive installation away from the San Diego Convention Center where fans could experience the Los Angeles of the future through virtual reality and replication of key sets inhabited by actors wearing actual costumes from the film. Steven Spielberg has spent more than two years adapting Ernest Cline's novel "Ready Player One" for the screen, and the filmmaker said he was proud to debut a new trailer inside Comic-Con's biggest exhibition hall. Civil rights icon U.S. Rep. John Lewis led about 1,000 people on a march through the crowded San Diego Convention Center following a discussion of his trilogy of graphic novels about his participation in nonviolent protests during the civil rights movement in the 1950s and '60s.



Victory for 'Dunkirk' and 'Girls Trip' at the box office

Sun, 23 Jul 2017 19:48:44 UT

Both original and well-reviewed films smashed expectations and enticed diverse audiences to the theaters, even though cumulatively summer remains down from last year. Christopher Nolan's World War II epic brought in an estimated $50.5 million to easily top the charts, according to Warner Bros., while the raucous comedy "Girls Trip" broke the R-rated comedy slump of 2017 with $30.4 million to take second place. [...] stellar reviews, awards buzz and hype around the film's large-scale production helped drive people to the theater and large-format screens. Audiences were 60 percent male and 76 percent over the age of 25 for the PG-13 rated film, while IMAX audiences represented 23 percent of the market share (or $11.7 million of the total grosses from only 402 screens). Drawing quite a different audience was the buddy comedy "Girls Trip," starring Regina Hall, Tiffany Haddish, Jada Pinkett Smith and Queen Latifah as a group of girlfriends who head to New Orleans for a weekend of fun. The Universal film drew in an audience that was 79 percent female and 50 percent under the age of 30. For Universal, the formula is more simple: "Girls Trip," unlike the aforementioned comedies, is resonating with audiences. "When the taste for entertainment and comedy has been somewhat underserved, it is not because people aren't interested in laughing, it's that they're waiting for something funny to come along," said Nick Carpou, Universal's president of domestic distribution. Not so successful was Luc Besson's nearly $180 million sci-fi epic "Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets," which earned $17 million from North American theaters over the weekend for a fifth-place start. EuropaCorp says 90 percent of the budget was already covered by foreign pre-sales, equity financing and tax subsidies. For comparison, his film "Lucy," starring Scarlett Johansson, opened to $43.8 million in 2014. Overall, the year remains around flat from last year, and the summer season looks unlikely to make up for its deficit through the end of July and August. 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.




Wonder Woman sequel gets a title: 'Wonder Woman II'

Sun, 23 Jul 2017 19:36:49 UT

Warner Bros. is not saying much about the inevitable follow-up to the smash hit, but the studio did flash a title card with the words "Wonder Woman II" during its Comic-Con presentation Saturday. There is no official word on whether or not Patty Jenkins will return to direct, who is penning the script or even when the film might hit theaters.



Comic-Con goes wild for 'Black Panther' at Marvel panel

Sun, 23 Jul 2017 03:47:12 UT

SAN DIEGO (AP) — "Black Panther" stole the show Saturday night at Marvel Studios' Comic-Con presentation, outshining the Ant-Man, Thor and even the ultimate Avengers team-up, "Infinity War." Set in an elegant, Japanese-inspired casino, the deal goes haywire and T'Challa and his security detail (Lupita Nyong'o and Danai Gurira) jump to action in their evening gowns to retrieve the precious goods. The clip was followed by the trailer for the film from "Creed" director Ryan Coogler and the 6,500 souls in the audience erupted into deafening cheers at the sight of T'Challa morphing into the Black Panther suit. Infinity War footage that the studio had previously shown to audiences at the Disney fan convention, D23, and made a few announcements regarding upcoming films: Michelle Pfeiffer will play Evangeline Lilly's character's mom Janet van Dyne in the "Ant-Man" sequel "Ant Man and the Wasp" and "Captain Marvel," Marvel's first female-driven superhero movie, will be set in the 1990s.



Michelle Pfeiffer joins 'Ant-Man and the Wasp' as Janet

Sun, 23 Jul 2017 01:12:54 UT

SAN DIEGO (AP) — Michelle Pfeiffer is joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Marvel Studios announced Saturday at Comic-Con that Pfeiffer has been cast in the "Ant-Man" sequel "Ant-Man and the Wasp" as Janet van Dyne, who is Hank Pym's missing wife. Pfeiffer will be starring alongside returning Ant-Man actors Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly and Michael Douglas in the film. Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige also announced that Randall Park and Laurence Fishburne were joining the sequel. "Ant-Man and the Wasp" will be directed by Peyton Reed and hits theaters on July 6, 2018.



Charlize Theron on equal pay, female action stars and Bond

Sat, 22 Jul 2017 23:06:57 UT

Charlize Theron on equal pay, female action stars and Bond Theron gave a wide-ranging talk at Comic-Con on Saturday in promotion of her upcoming film "Atomic Blonde" in which she addressed the Hollywood pay gap, her own pet peeves about female action star clichés and whether or not she'd be open to playing a female James Bond, now that even Doctor Who has been made into a woman. "Atomic Blonde" hits theaters on July 28 and is a project Theron has been developing for years. Going along with the theme of female empowerment, Theron also celebrated director Patty Jenkins' success with "Wonder Woman." Jenkins directed Theron in her Oscar-winning performance in "Monster" 17 years ago.



Ben Affleck to fans: I'm still Batman, despite rumors

Sat, 22 Jul 2017 21:53:56 UT

The actor shot down rumors that he would be hanging up his cape for the stand-alone Batman film, even though he recently ceded directing responsibilities. The report threatened to overshadow Warner Bros.' flashy Hall H presentation on Saturday, which was focused on hyping the studio's big superhero mashup film "Justice League," which hits theaters in November. With the cloud lifted, Affleck and his fellow "Justice League " stars Gal Gadot, Jason Momoa, Ezra Miller and Ray Fisher were left to talk about the upcoming film, which has had its own fair share of upheaval recently when director Zack Snyder exited for personal reasons and Joss Whedon took over the reshoots and completion of the film. A snippet of footage from the James Wan-directed film, showed fishermen who are quite surprised when something under the water catches on to the hook and starts dragging the boat along. If Batman and Wonder Woman weren't enough, Marvel Studios is primed to take center stage in Hall H on Saturday evening.



Spielberg debuts action-packed 'Ready Player One' footage

Sat, 22 Jul 2017 20:44:23 UT

The 6,500-person Hall H crowd gave the director a standing ovation and cheered heartily when the first images of "the stacks" appeared showing a bleak vision of the housing situation in Columbus, Ohio, in 2045. Eagle-eyed viewers spotted references to everything from "Tron" to "The Iron Giant" in the footage. Spielberg, who simply smiled at his gushing actors and collaborators, said that he was really proud of the footage, which gives "a slight taste of things to come."



Harrison Ford delights Comic-Con with gruff charm

Sat, 22 Jul 2017 19:51:47 UT

The actor delighted and toyed with excited audiences at Comic-Con on Saturday in promotion of "Blade Runner 2049." Ford reprises his role as Rick Deckard in the film, which hits theaters in October.



Lauren Hutton thrilled to get 'Mid-Life Achievement Award'

Fri, 21 Jul 2017 14:45:17 UT

WATERVILLE, Maine (AP) — Lauren Hutton has been honored with a Maine film festival's "Mid-Life Achievement Award." The organizers of the Maine International Film Festival decided to honor her for her work in films like "Paper Lion" and "A Wedding."



Late 'Batman' actor Adam West honored at Comic-Con

Fri, 21 Jul 2017 05:34:31 UT

Late 'Batman' actor Adam West honored at Comic-Con Filmmaker Kevin Smith, producer James Tucker, actors Ralph Garman and Lee Meriwether and about a thousand fans paid tribute to the late Adam West at the pop-culture convention Thursday night. West played Batman in the 1960s TV series and later voiced the character of Mayor West on "Family Guy." Smith said that when he shared those thoughts with West during his appearance on the "Fatman on Batman" podcast, West said: "That doesn't speak well of your parents." The presentation included highlight reels of West's work on "Batman" and "Family Guy," along with outtakes from the 2013 documentary "Starring Adam West," which was directed by his son-in-law. In those clips, West talks about meeting with fans and what he thinks his legacy might be.



Netflix makes Hall H debut with big budget Will Smith pic

Fri, 21 Jul 2017 03:17:07 UT

The film reunites Smith with his "Suicide Squad" director David Ayer and takes audiences to a gritty Los Angeles setting where two police officers, one human (Smith) and one orc (Joel Edgerton) have to contend with some mythical, evil forces plaguing the city. There is a difference between seeing a movie in a theater and seeing it on Netflix," Smith conceded, but added that he is "really excited" to see "whatever this new wave of entertainment is going to be. Netflix also trotted out the director and cast of its upcoming film horror pic "Death Note," which some Comic-Con attendees will get to see in full Thursday night before its Aug. 25 Netflix launch. Based on the manga series of the same name "Death Note" follows a high school student (Nat Wolff) who discovers a supernatural notebook that grants him the power to decide who dies and how.



'Blade Runner 2049,' 'Stranger Things' bring VR to Comic-Con

Fri, 21 Jul 2017 01:55:18 UT

The studios behind "Blade Runner 2049" and "Stranger Things 2" have created temporary installations in downtown San Diego where fans can soar through the Los Angeles of the future in a Spinner ship from "Blade Runner 2049" or visit the Hawkins, Indiana, house where Will Byers lives in "Stranger Things." The Netflix series centers on Will's mysterious disappearance and his friends' efforts to find out what happened to him.



Actor Red West, longtime Elvis confidant, dies

Thu, 20 Jul 2017 22:59:45 UT

Actor Red West, longtime Elvis confidant, dies (AP) — Actor and songwriter Robert Gene "Red" West, a longtime confidant of Elvis Presley, has died in Memphis. What Happened? The book, published shortly before Presley's death, included details about the singer's drug dependency and unhealthy lifestyle. Afterward, West became a full-time actor and appeared on TV shows and in movies.