I have to say that I remember really enjoying the Equalizer (2014) back when I saw it not that I didn’t complain but it was fun to see Denzel play an action hero. I have a major weakness for anti-heroes and Robert McCall (Denzel Washington) fit the bill. He was superhuman but without the cape and bats. He was Batman on steroids and I loved that he reminded me of my dad. McCall was an avenging angel taking revenge on men brutalizing a young white woman.
Now McCall was far from perfect since the punishment didn’t always fit the crime. Robbing a Home Depot doesn’t deserve the death penalty but it was nice to see a black man as the vigilante instead of the bad guy who gets comeuppence of a punishment at the end of a gun or baseball bat or whatever he could reach. Antoine Fuqua took the anti-hero action movie trope and bent it to his will from the slow walk away, explosions, carefully choreographed action scenes and great one liners.
But it’s four years later and I expected it to be bigger, badder and more equalizer. Instead it was a action spy movie with a super slow buildup that had a few surprises. It kept my attention but I didn’t walk out of the theatre thinking I’d love to see this again. I knew from the first smirk who was behind the murder of McCall’s BFF (et to Brutus) from the many commercials that gave away WAY too much!
It felt like everyone wanted some extra money in the bank and decided a sequel was a great idea but decided to half ass it with a meandering script and a ‘you can’t go home again’ backstory to ‘explain’. Also why does he pretty much only rescue white women from sexual violence? Black women get raped too and I gave the ‘save a white girl’ trope in the first movie but they just had to go back again and make a white woman the innocent victim who he HAS to play the knight in shining armor? They could have easily cast a black woman or a woman of color in the role and it would have been an interesting aside since a black woman accusing white men of rape being believe that they would rape her would have been an interesting storyline. I mean he’s a Lyft driver who mostly picks up non-POC I can say as one black woman all I use are ride share apps since cabs never want to pick me up. The Holocaust survivor’s (Orson Bean) fight for a family painting with a twist ending was so out of place I mean like startling out of place from the friendship to how he helped. Urghh did I mention that he saved TWO white girls? One (Rhys Olivia Cote) was from her ‘evil’ Turkish father (Adam Karst) gotta love the casual anti-Islamaphobia and the white worship that of COURSE he’d marry a white blond woman (Tamara Hickey) than get mad and abduct the child but yahoo Independent Bookshop???
Washington is a great actor surrounded by a cast that turn in a solid if by the numbers performance but I expected more. I wanted him to ‘save a black girl/woman’. I would have really liked more of an exploration of his life in the apt building and the friends (Sakina Jeffrey) he made. I really didn’t care for the gangbanger story (Ashton Sanders) since I’ve seen that before and done much better. Oh and that apt in NYC was HUGE more money than a Lyft driver could afford especially with the upgrades! The storm scene was really hard to see so it was kind of muddled. I wish they had spent a little money to make it look cleaner and closed up on his hand movements. Plus more hand to hand combat if you’re a badass former spy I expect you to fight better but I guess he’s getting old .
Now I don’t want to say that the movie didn’t have a few good quips and startling moments but not enough to justify the end that I would have liked to have more of a punch. Instead the film ends suddenly like running into a brick wall that you didn’t expect on a foggy day. It would have been better to avoid the face splat and spending my money to support a black lead actor and director who couldn’t be bothered to cast a black woman in a substantial role. McCall saved three white women, saved a white man, rescued a black kid and revenged the death of another white woman but I guess black women are again invisible to anti-hero McCall and Antoine Fuqua.
Watching the film I can’t help but wonder if they think this will be a Mission Impossible or Jason Bourne action series where they can churn out sequels or even pass off to a new hot actor. Well bless their hearts cause this is the last Equalizer movie ticket I’ll buy and will look side eye at Antoine AND Denzel’s next movie.
Driving While Black is a dark comedy which follows Dimitri, a young black man living in Los Angeles, as he is harassed by the LAPD while trying to get to a job interview. While the film will be in theatres on February 1st, it has already won 32 film festivals internationally and in the U.S. Watch the trailer below:Read more of this article »
Panels are an opportunity for fans to connect with their favorite creators. Los Angeles Comic Con took place on October 27-29 and offered dozens of panels for fans to attend when they were not walking the floor. The convention may have ended, but these panels left a lasting impression on me. Read more of this article »
The creators of Coraline, ParaNorman, the Boxtrolls and Kubo and the Two Strings have a Pop Up Exhibit for the 2017 San Diego Pride & San Diego Comic Con
OSCAR®-WINNING ANIMATION STUDIO LAIKA COMES TO SAN DIEGO FOR PRIDE AND COMIC-CON CELEBRATIONS JULY 14-23, 2017 with the Laika Experience Pop Up Exhibit. Fans will be able to see props, puppets, monsters and sets from Kubo and the Two Strings, The Boxtrolls, ParaNorman & Caroline. A signing with Travis Knight, Laika President & CEO, an exhibit of fan art, interactive experiences, photo ops, daily giveaway (pair of EXCLUSIVE LAIKA Nikes) and a shop with merchandise that you can take home! The pop up opens Friday, July 14th for San Diego Pride!!!!
Details below …..
WHAT TO SEE at The LAIKA Experience:
Sets, puppets, monsters, props from all four LAIKA films.
LAIKA merchandise available for purchase.
Daily drawing for pair of Nike’s customized shoes created for LAIKA films.
Photo ops with LAIKA costumed characters.
Saturday–Sunday, July 15-16 from 11 AM – 6:00 PM:
Watch for LAIKA walkaround costumed characters at the LAIKA GIF Photo Booth inside the gates of Balboa Park during the PRIDE Festival. Pose for a photo with ParaNorman’s “Mitch,” the first gay character ever featured in an animated film. Customized LAIKA headbands will be distributed.
Friday, July 21 from 2-2:30pm
Facebook Live/Media Partner WIRED Magazine: LAIKA President & CEO Travis Knight (director of Kubo and the Two Strings) will be joined by New York Times bestselling author Tony DiTerlizzi (The Spiderwick Chronicles; Star Wars: Luke Skywalker, Jedi Knight) for a Facebook Live tour of The LAIKA Experience. Travis will share LAIKA’s unique creative process with Tony as they take FB guests on a virtual tour of the pop up exhibit. Fans will be able to ask questions via facebook.com/WIRED.
Friday, July 21 at 3pm
Come for a chance to meet Travis Knight, President & CEO of LAIKA and director of Oscar®-nominated KUBO AND THE TWO STRINGS, at an autograph signing session of items purchased at the Pop Up. Autographs of merchandise (available at the Pop Up Shop in the Exhibit) will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. This is Mr. Knight’s only public appearance during the Exhibit.
WHEN: Friday, July 14 through Sunday, July 23, 2017
Fueled by the vision of its owner, Nike co-founder and former Chairman Philip H. Knight, and its President & CEO Travis Knight, feature film animation studio LAIKA was founded in 2005. Located just outside Portland, Oregon, LAIKA was awarded a Scientific and Technology Oscar® for its innovation in 3D printing in 2016. Its four films, Kubo and the Two Strings (2016); The Boxtrolls (2014); ParaNorman (2012), and Coraline (2009) were all nominated for Oscars® and PGA Awards as Outstanding Animated Film. Kubo, which marked the directorial debut of Travis Knight, also received an Oscar® nomination for Outstanding Visual Effects. Kubo won this year’s BAFTA Award as well as three Annie Awards, the National Board of Review and 19 regional and critics’ group awards. The Boxtrolls also earned Critics’ Choice and Golden Globe Award nominations and 13 Annie Award nominations, more than any other film that year. ParaNormangarnered BAFTA, Critics’ Choice, and GLAAD Media Award nominations and won two Annie Awards and was cited as the year’s best animated film by 14 critics’ groups. Coraline earned Golden Globe, BAFTA, and Critics’ Choice nominations, and was named one of the year’s 10 Best Films by the American Film Institute (AFI).
For more details and updated hours of operation visit www.laika.com
I’m so excited to learn of the 2016 Rockie Award Program Competition nominees from across the world. It will be a fierce battle with TV and digital content from around th wold. This year Banff World Media Festival (BANFF) has over 40 countries competing at the Program Competition Ceremony on Monday, June 13th at the beautiful Fairmont Baniff Springs. The beauty of the countryside is a perfect backdrop for content creators from around the world to show off their endeavors to showcase the talent from around the world.
Attendees will learn who will be be the winner in 22 categories that span drama, comedy, children’s, documentary, factual, digital and more.
“With the proliferation of television and digital content across today’s top global networks and platforms it’s important to recognize the companies and creatives who are breaking the mold to execute some of the most captivating projects and that’s what we strive to do with the Rockie Awards,” commented Ferne Cohen, Executive Director of the Banff World Media Festival. “We look forward to announcing the winners at our annual celebration in June.”
Netflix’s Making a Murder is the Program of the Year!
The Honorable Mélanie Joly Ministre du Patrimoine Canadien/Minister of Canadian Heritage will kickoff the 2016 BANFF with a presentation.
The Rockie Awards are one of the world’s largest program competitions. The program’s industry jury features more than 350 professionals and leaders from around the world working in entertainment and the media arena. Categories include Animation, Art and Performance, Children and Youth Fiction, Brand Content, Comedy Series, Digital Fiction Series, Drama Series, Environmental and Wildlife, Biological and History, Interactive, Interactive for Kids, Lifestyle, Melodrama, Music, Performance, Sketch and Variety, Reality, Science and Technology, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Action, Social and Investigative, and TV Movie.
The festival is open to all and has programs for content creators to established producers seeking distribution or media channels. The 2016 BANFF schedule is live and has panels that anyone in the business or wants to get in the entertainment field. The organizers have created a schedule that will provide attendees insight into a variety of content streams including scripted, unscripted, digital, banded content, kids and animation. A few of the programs that I would love to attend as a content creator hoping to network are:
YouTube will present an exclusive workshop for content creators detailing how to build a successful channel that will reach a global audience.
Our Brand + Content Exchange will feature a session of leading CMOs discussing their storytelling strategies and new opportunities for consumer engagement.
Jeanne Simon founder of SellYourTVConceptNow.com will have a seminar on how to deliver the perfect pitch in ten minutes or less with Mark Simon.
Opportunity to build a relationship with the Breakfast with a Decision Maker a highly popular program booked through CONNECT. The meetings are with key international buyers attending BANFF giving lucky attendees one one one with movers & shakers.
If you plan to attend examine the schedule and mark on your calendar what you plan to attend as well as have your pitch and a deck ready! You never know what opportunity will come around the corner at BANFF and you have to be ready to for your moment to pitch!
The Banff World Media Festival is the world’s largest and most important gathering of entertainment industry and digital media executives dedicated to media content development, production, broadcast and distribution within TV and digital media. BANFF provides a platform for the evolving media industry to develop its creative and business objectives – it serves as the leading destination for co-production and co-venture partners and is an unparalleled marketplace for over 2,000 international decision-makers to connect with new partners, learn from industry leaders and execute new business deals. The 37th annual BANFF World Media Festival will take place June 12–15, 2016 at the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel in Banff, Canada.
I am very excited about the upcoming the 14th Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles (IFFLA) on April 6-10, 2016 at the Arclight Hollywood. I was not able to attend last year but was mesmerized by the closing night celebration. I walked past a stage with a band playing and people laughing and talking and I thought ‘Hey, what’s that and I want to go!’ I don’t plan to miss this year with 26 films showing the diversity of Indian cinema. I know most people have seen at least one Bollywood movie and think that’s all India’s films have to offer but it’s not all song and dance (I must admit I LOVE singing and dancing)! This year IFFLA has a selection of films that showcases groundbreaking Indian cinema.
ANGRY INDIAN GODDESSES When a successful but frustrated photographer, a wannabe Bollywood actress, a high-flying workaholic executive and mother, a struggling musician, a prudish princess and a housekeeper with a dark secret all gather together in a quaint Portuguese villa in Goa on the eve of the host’s wedding, no subject is off limits for this spirited group of women. Love, sex, careers, marriage, friendship, sexism and the benefits of a super hot next-door neighbor are all up for debate. But it is ultimately tragedy and the power of unity in the face of institutional misogyny that binds these women together forever in this joyful yet powerful dramedy from 2014 IFFLA Audience Award winning director Pan Nalin (FAITH CONNECTIONS).
They’ve curated 26 films that show the direction of Indian cinema that shows the laughter, tears and drama from the country. IFFLA will be welcoming films that have been in film festivals around the world including Cannes, Berlin, and Sundance.
Highlights include the festival opener, ANGRY INDIAN GODDESSES, which screened in the Special Presentations section of the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival, and takes a refreshingly uncensored look at the issues facing women in contemporary Indian society while celebrating the uniqueness, talents, and flaws of each of its female characters. Festival closer, Anu Menon’s WAITING, is a poignant and stirring story that is as witty as it is heartrending. Veteran actor Naseeruddin Shah and the incomparable Kalki Koechlin reunite for the first time since they starred together in THAT GIRL IN YELLOW BOOTS, giving beautiful performances as two strangers who develop a deep connection in the hospital while their spouses lie in comas.
WAITING Young, outspoken, and impassioned Tara Deshpande receives tragic news: Her husband of only six weeks has slipped into a coma after a car accident. Despondent and desperate for answers in a situation where she has little control, Tara finds an unlikely friend in Shiv, a gentle and hopeful man who has become a regular in the hospital where his wife has been in a coma for over 8 months. They can relate to each other deeply, both isolated from other support and waiting for an optimistic outcome. However, as each reaches an important crossroads in caring for their spouses, Tara and Shiv realize that their fear of change is holding them back from making necessary decisions.
I used to bullseye womp rats in my T-16 back home. They’re not much bigger than two meters. – Luke, Star Wars: Episode IV A new Hope
Better keep Luke away from the new Star Wars Death Star Grill available for pre-order from TheFowndry for £99.99 (estimate $142.54 US) or he just might blow it up with a few of his rebel pals! <guffaw> This grill is for the carnivore AND vegetarian grill fan or just a Star Wars fanboy/fangirl that must own a Death Star the can fit in your home or apt patio area. Just make sure that the rebels don’t make off with Princess Leia before your down with the interrogation! I think this looks almost TOO good to use and would look great in my living room full of geek collectibles!
What will you cook in the Death Star? Let me know in the comments below and maybe I’ll swing by for a BBQ cookout!
Star Wars Death Star BBQ
Stock due week commencing May 31st. Please note: because of the automated payment service we use, your card will be charged when you order.
The Death Star Barbecue has the power to annihilate an entire chicken. Or, in the right hands, cook an al fresco feast in classic, sci-fi style.
That’s no moon… It’s the sun! And if it’s hovering over the house it means barbecue season is upon us. But don’t settle for your run-of-the-mill sputniks, dazzle your guests and terrorise the outer rim planets with the Death Star BBQ.
This officially licensed outdoor grill is made from stainless steel – so even if you’ve strafed it with a rebel sausage, it’ll still buff up like new. The intricate detailing isn’t just there for show either. Cleverly disguised as a devastating laser, the lid of the Death Star BBQ has an adjustable thermal vent – perfect for regulating heat. Just keep an eye out for X-wings.
Officially licensed Star Wars barbecue
Made from stainless steel
Adjustable air vents
Weighs approx 3.5kg (7.72 lbs.)
Stands 84cm (33″) tall
Boxed size: 39.5cm X 23.0cm X 41.0cm (15.5″ x 9.05″ x 16.14″)
Many of you will know Adam Yauch as a co-founder of the successful American hip-hop band The Beastie Boys. However, it is not very well known that he also directed many of the group’s music videos under the pseudonym Nathaniel Hörnblowér, a quirky Swiss film maker. Yauch was the driving force behind the ambitious and humorous videos that were at least as influential for the music video genre as the Beastie Boys’ music was.
The programme celebrates Yauch, who died in 2012, as an indie artist, who was neither bothered by style nor technique and certainly didn’t worry about good taste. All that counted for him were lunatic ideas, a fearless love for experimenting and the courage to produce creative trash, true to the motto “Fight For Your Right – to party”.
In association with “Independent Cinema USA” at the Kurzfilmtage Winterthur, Switzerland
SHADRACH (Nathaniel Hörnblowér [Adam Yauch], US 1989, 5 mins)
CIAO L.A. (Spike Jonze, US 1994, 7 min)
INTERGALACTIC (Nathaniel Hörnblowér [Adam Yauch], US 1998, 5 mins)
THREE MCS AND ONE DJ (Nathaniel Hörnblowér [Adam Yauch], US 1999, 5 mins)
A DAY IN THE LIFE OF NATHANIEL HÖRNBLOWÉR (Nathaniel Hörnblowér [Adam Yauch], US 2006, 26 mins)
DON’T PLAY NO GAME THAT I CAN’T WIN (SPIKE JONZE, US 2011, 11 mins)
FIGHT FOR YOUR RIGHT REVISITED (Adam Yauch, US 2011, 30 mins)
Mower are a London based band initially formed in 1999, and signed to Blur’s Graham Coxon’s Transcopic label. After a second album produced by Stephen Street (The Smiths), and tours with British Sea Power and more, they split in 2007. Tonight we welcome them back with a live set that will include some Beastie Boys covers.
I saw the film ‘Olympus is Falling’ a few years ago in the theatre because of Gerard Butler love <swoon> I have a weakness for a man in a suit and he always fills his out very well <chortle>. Reading the trades it did pretty well worldwide and wasn’t too expensive to produce but I hadn’t realize it did well enough to have a sequel but <yahoo> more Gerard but in LONDON! I’m sure the move will be a delight full of yummy British men with a co-star of London landmarks. Gramercy pictures will release ‘London has Fallen’ nationwide March 14, 2016. The film will star Gerard Butler, Aaron Eckhart, Morgan Freeman, Alon Moni Aboutboul, Angela Bassett, Robert Forster, Jackie Earle Haley, Melissa Leo, Radha Mitchell, Sean O’Bryan, Charlotte Riley and Waleed Zuaiter. The sequel is written by Creighton Rothenberger, Katrin Benedikt, Christian Gudegast and Chad St. John and the film takes place after the British Prime Minister passes away, his funeral becomes a target of a terrorist organization to destroy some of the world’s most powerful leaders, devastate the British capital, and unleash a terrifying vision of the future. The only hope of stopping it rests on the shoulders of the President of the United States (Aaron Eckhart) and his formidable Secret Service head (Gerard Butler), and an English MI-6 agent (Charlotte Riley) who rightly trusts no one. Morgan Freeman also stars as the Vice President of the United States.