Avengers: Endgame Review | Cherry at the Movies SPOILER FREE

It’s the end of the MCU as we know it but the Avengers: Endgame brought old friends, cameos, call backs, laughter and a few sniffles

My spoiler free review is keeping it vague on details but we all know Avengers: Infinity Wars ended on a snap. Of course MCU began in 2008 with Iron Man and for true comic book purists Blade the comic book movie that ignited a universe of the genre.  But the Avengers are still standing sort of with Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) in charge for some reason, Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Clint Barton/Hawkeye still under house arrest, Bruce Banner/Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), James Rhodes/War Machine (Don Cheadle), Steve Rogers/Captain America (Chris Evans), and temporary/honorary members Rocket the Space Raccoon (Bradley Cooper), Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel (Brie Larson) and Nebula (Karen Gillian). It’s such a mission impossible I expected Tom Cruise to make an appearance. They come up with a scheme to destroy Thanos, get the six Infinity Stones and try to restore balance.  It’s a long, long, LONG road from the plan to closing credits and I do mean LONG since the movie clocks in at THREE hours <yikes> with NO bathroom breaks!

Thanos was able to succeed to wipe off half of all living creatures in the universe out of a sense of strain on the ecology (over population, pollution, and that sentient creatures are awful). Thanos (Josh Brolin) was able to make this villain a depth that painted various shades of pitch black to shade (he wants to kill everyone so not an anti-hero). Anthony and Joseph Russo worked really hard to bring all the storylines into a cohesive thrilling movie. It’s a huge project and didn’t succeed a 100% but wrangling cats is hard so they get an A for effort for even trying to conclude the many stories and timelines. 

I don’t want to reveal any major plot points but it’s a rollercoaster ride from the surviving Avengers and general populace ‘stuck’ unable to get their minds around the absence that Thanos created. I suppose one of the things that disconcerting is the flippancy towards PSTD/depression for one of the characters. It was played for laughs but for me it made me sad and a little frustrated that what could have been an enriching storyline was treated so dismissively. I saw a preview and everyone else laughed so maybe it bothered me more because of my experiences. Endgame jumped through time as it tied up and explained what happened. The Russo’s also made time to concentrate on all the major characters so fanboys/fangirls will be ecstatic seeing favorite characters able to really shine. It’s surprisingly serious MCU movie at times but had great one liners and lots of visual Easter eggs for hardcore comic book and MCU movie fans. We got to say goodbye to Stan Lee for the last time <sob>.

Endgame isn’t perfect and in my opinion would have benefited from editing it down to 2 ½. But I understand that the MCU has a lot of stories to tell and goodbyes so the Russo Brothers didn’t want to miss anything.  It’s not a perfect movie but it’s perfect to end the MCU as we know it. 

Fast Color Review | Cherry at the Movies

Ruth is on the run from her past, her powers and to her family to fix what’s broken. It’s a dissolute barren landscape where water is the ultimate commodity and the power that Ruth has puts a target on her back. Fast Color is a quiet film focused on three generations of women (a child on the cusp of girlhood) who have a special ability making them a target of nefarious government operatives.

The film opens with Gugu Mbatha-Raw saying, “The world’s gonna die—I can feel it coming.” It’s a slow methodological  build up of an hour and forty minutes exploring women who are far from perfect trying to survive in a dry wasteland in the near future.

It hasn’t rained in eight years and water is a commodity that is more precious than diamonds. Ruth (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) is running and decides that it’s time to go home. To try to better harness her abilities and to see the daughter she left behind as an addict trying to still the tremors. Bo (Lorraine Toussaint) is the matriarch who is the keeper of secrets raising Lila (Saniyya Sidney) a child that has inherited the ability from her mother, grandmother, great grandmother and is being kept hidden from the world. It had an eerie feeling of genetic mutations that learned long ago to keep the secret ‘us against’ the world but as the world comes to an end desperate government officials will try to harness them even not really understanding what they can do or how it can help. 

 “A new world is coming,” says Grandma, “this is only the beginning.” 

I’m a geek with a weakness for origin stories. I found Fast Color to be an interesting movie that made you think about freedom vs common good and how ignoring a problem doesn’t make it go away. Gugu puts in a solid portrayal of a woman who selfishness puts her entire family in danger. Toussaint is able to keep her secrets and as an consummate actress can speak volumes with a look at the rebellious Lila. The final scenes where she peels back the layers of the history of the family makes me want to learn more about Fast Color and if they can save the world. 

I do love a geeky movie and a film that sparks my curiosity and conversation with other people after the movie is over says so much about Julia Hart and the characters I want to see again. It’s a thoughtful film that meanders like a river that ends at an unexpected waterfall bringing us crashing into a pool. 

Digital Entertainment World Conference for creators

If your in the tech, startup, entertainment, music, and creator/influencers field the upcoming 2019 Digital Entertainment World (DEW) is the place to be if you are creating or monetizing digital entertainment content. This year DEW is focusing on ‘The Power of Creativity and Influence’ with a list of speakers, breakout sessions and opportunity to network with the movers and shakers of numerous fields.

The two-day conference includes five tracks: Video/TV/Movies; Brands/Advertising; Games/Interactive; Music/Rights; and Creators/Influencers. Sponsors and and media partners include Akamai, McLaren Beverly Hills, Jam City, Sheppard Mullin, CloudFlare, O’Melveny & Myers LLP, StackPath, Dataclef, Exactuals, Rumblefish, Eurofins – Digital Media Services, Variety, Fusicology, ITA (Interactive Television Alliance), CMO Asia, Westside Digital Mix, Digital LA, Hypebot, The Game Audio Network Guild (G.A.N.G.), Parks Associates, Canadian Music Week, Dialoguefeed, WITI (Women in Technology International), Virtual Reality Reporter, VR/AR Association, IGDA (International Game Developers Association), AListDaily, IAEL (International Association of Entertainment Lawyers), Innovation & Tech Today, and WIGI (Women In Games International).

 

This year attendees will listen to what creators, brands and platforms look towards the future from audience, to fan engagement, and how platforms are changing entertainment. DEW is being held at the Marina del Rey Marriott just steps from the beach and located in the heart of LA’s thriving Silicon Beach with easy access to Santa Monica, Venice and Playa Vista. The event includes keynotes, fireside chats, presentations, panel discussions, tech demos, startup competition, innovative exhibitions, daily DJ music and performers and the best networking in the hotel’s Sinder Lounge.
DEW includes more than 75 unique sessions and 200 speakers on topics essential to the future of video, music, brands, marketing, gaming, AR/VR, and AI.
Speakers include:
Confirmed Keynotes & Fireside Chats:
Celiena Adcock, Head of Streaming-Entertainment, Facebook
Benjamin Grubbs, Founder & CEO, Next 10 Ventures
Jason Lake, CEO and Founder, Complexity Gaming
Gerrit Meier, CEO, Red Bull Media Network
Halsey Minor, Founder & CEO, Live Planet
Katie Nelson, Executive Producer, News Content, ABC News
Andrew Wallenstein, Co-Editor-in-Chief, Variety

Confirmed Speakers:
Wesley A’ Harrah, Founder, Hyper Orange
Karen Allen, President, Karen Allen Consulting
Fabian Alsultany, Director of Business Affairs, RChain Cooperative
Rene Amador, CEO, ARwall
Ray Annes, Marketing Director, Sony Music Entertainment
Lauren Apolito, SVP of Strategy & Business Development, HFA/Rumblefish
Kimberlee Archer, Head of Development Marketing AR/VR, Facebook
Russell Arons, SVP, General Manager, Machinima
Jonathan Azu, Senior Manager, Red Light Management
Tom Bash, VP, Product, ChefsFeed
Noah Becker, President, AdRev
Dwayne Benefield, Vice President, Head of PlayStation Vue, Sony Interactive Entertainment
Nancy Bennett, Chief Creative Officer, Two Bit Circus, Inc.
Eric Berman, Head of Business Development and Content Partnerships for VRV,  Ellation
Lisa Bilgrei, Branded Content Expert, Google
Lauren Bissell, Producer and the Founder, Immutable Music
David Bloom, Consultant and Columnist, Tubefilter, Forbes
Dae Bogan, Co-Founder and CEO, TuneRegistry
Hale Boggs, Partner, O’Melveny & Myers LLP
Chris Borelli, VP, Brand Partnerships, IMGN Media
Tripp Boyle, SVP, Connekt
Josh Brooks, SVP, Brand Strategy & Marketing, Jam City
Antony Bruno, Director of Communications, Royalty Exchange
Beau Bryant, GM of Talent, Fullscreen
Shelita Burke, Popstar
Jacob Carlson, Venture Capital & Senior Manager, Manatt Digital
Teri Nelson Carpenter, President & CEO, Reel Muzik Werks LLC
Jayne Charneski, Founder, Front Row Insights and Strategy
Jesús Chavez, CEO, Vertical Networks
Kevin Chernett, EVP – Global Partnerships & Content Distribution, Live Nation
Dawn Chmielewski, Technology Editor, Deadline Hollywood
Ted Cohen, Managing Partner, TAG Strategic
Jenni Cook, Head of Development, Dreamscape Immersive
Greg Cross, Chief Business Officer, Soul Machines
Eric Dahan, CEO and Cofounder, Open Influence
Kevin Day, VP Business Development & Strategic Relationships, Sound Royalties
Franco De Cesare, Director of Global Console & Online Gaming, Facebook
Robert DeFranco, VP, Sales and Development, The Future Group
Hayley Delaine, Founder, Trending All Day
Casey Dickinson, CEO, FTX Games
Colin Dixon, Founder and Chief Analyst, nScreenMedia
Allison Dollar, CEO, ITV Alliance
Tony Emerson, Managing Director, Worldwide Media & Entertainment, Microsoft
Zaid Farooqui, Product Manager for Stream, Cloudflare
Samantha Fernandez, Senior Director, AEG Global Partnerships
Rafi Fine, CEO, Fine Brothers Entertainment
Aubrey Flynn, former Chief Digital Officer and SVP, REVOLT Media & TV
Sid Fohrman, Partner, Sheppard Mullin
Javon Frazier, EVP, Strategy and Business Development, Studio71
Andi Frieder, Global Head of Industry, Entertainment, Spotify
Rob Gelick, Executive Vice President and General Manager, CBS Entertainment Digital
Jon Giegengack, Founder, Hub Entertainment Research
Gayle Gilman, CEO & Co-Founder, Ripple Entertainment
David Grant, President, POPSUGAR Studios
Keatly Haldeman, CEO, Riptide Music Group
Minard Hamilton, Managing Partner, Driver Ventures
Ann Hand, CEO & Chairman, Super League Gaming
Phil Hickey, EVP Brand and Marketing, Seriously
Hilary Hoffman, Global Executive Vice President Marketing, NBC Universal
Adam Hua, VP of Partnerships, CitizenNet, a Condé Nast company
Dick Huey, Head of Partnerships, Jaxsta
Mike Hurst, CEO & Co-Founder, Exactuals
Katie Ioffe, Director of Marketing, Digital Strategy, Mattel
Chauncy Jackson, CEO/Founder, Siri Music Group
TQ Jefferson, Vice President of External Development, FoxNext
Mike Johns, Executive Producer, Tech This Out
Ewan Johnson, Chief Creative Officer, Arcturus Studios
Gigi Johnson, Executive Director, UCLA Center for Music Innovation
Jocelyn Johnson, Startup Advisor
Kat Jones, Founder, Motiv PR
Brittani Kagan, Head of Talent, Portal A
Greg Kampanis, SR VP Business Development and Operations, Blue Ant Media
Gabrielle Kessler, VP of Experiential, Future Plc
Chang Kim, CEO & Founder, Tapas Media
Sam Kling, SVP, Creative Operations, SESAC Holdings, Inc.
Albert Kugel, Strategy Director, Giant Spoon
Harry Lang, VP of Product, Hallmark Labs
Folayo Lasaki, VP, Marketing, SoulPancake
Damon Lau, Head of Esports, United Talent Agency (UTA)
James Leaverton, VP of Ecosystems and CoFounder, StackPath
Kamiu Lee, CEO, Activate
Max Levine, Cofounder, MC Projects
Jim Louderback, General Manager, VidCon
Dave Madden, SVP, Global Brand Partnerships, Electronic Arts
Ashley McCollum, General Manager, Tasty
Yvette McDowell, Board Member, CCIA (California Cannabis Industry Association); Former LA City Prosecutor
Kate McGuire, Talent Manager, Fullscreen
David McTiernan, Director, Label Relations, Vevo
Marco Mereu, CEO, Framerate
Mickey Meyer, President of Network, Group Nine Media
Grant Michaelson, VP, Business Affairs and New Media, ABC Entertainment
Halsey Minor, Founder & CEO, Live Planet
Chris Misner, President of International, Roblox
David Mok, Director of Developer Partnerships, Skillz
Julia Moonves, VP, Sales & Business Development, pocket.watch
Karen Morgan, Co-Founder & Creative Director, Soma Innovation Lab
Helene Muddiman, CEO & Founder, Hollywood Elite Music & Media
Candice Mudrick, Senior Client Director, Newzoo
Dan Murray, President, Skybound Interactive
Vickie Nauman, Founder/Owner, CrossBorderWorks
Doug Neil, Executive Vice President Digital Marketing, Universal Pictures
Kym Nelson, SVP, Client Strategy, West, Twitch
Teri Nelson Carpenter, President & CEO, Reel Muzik Werks, LLC
Lisa Ong, Chief Culture Officer, CIVIC
Adam Ostrow, Chief Digital Officer, TEGNA
Panos Panay, VP, Innovation and Strategy, Berklee College of Music
Verena Papik, CMO, TuneMoji
Tony Parisi, Head of AR/VR Ad Innovation, Unity Technologies, Inc.
Sahil Patel, Media Editor, Digiday
Jennifer Perri, Vice President, Univision Creator Network
Tim Peterson, Senior Reporter, Digiday
John Petrocelli, CEO, Bulldog Digital Media
Chris Petrovic, SVP & Head of Corporate Strategy, M&A and Business Development, Zynga
Tina Pukonen, Head of Entertainment Strategy, Pinterest
William Quigley, CEO, Clearstone Ventures, OPSkins, and WAX
Neeta Ragoowansi, SVP. Biz Dev & Legal Affairs/Co-Founder, NPREX
Thai Randolph, EVP & General Manager, Laugh Out Loud
Phil Ranta, Head of Creators, Mobcrush
Leif Cervantes de Reinstein, Partner, Sheppard Mullin
Nelson Rodriguez, Global Director, Media Industry Strategy, Akamai Technologies
Carter Rogers, Principal Analyst, SuperData, A Nielsen Company
Jeff Rosenfeld, VP of Product, Music Audience Exchange (MAX)
Jessica Rovello, CEO, Arkadium
Ira Rubenstein, Chief Digital & Marketing Officer, PBS
Tom Ryan, Co-Founder and CEO, Pluto TV
Tracy Ryan, Founder & CEO, CannaKids
Johanna Salazar, EP & Head of Content, Strategy and Production, Two Goats
Robert Schefferine, VP Production, ABC Entertainment Marketing, Disney ABC Television Group
Ted Schilowitz, Futurist, Paramount Pictures
Russell Schneider, Head of Brand Partnerships, 9GAG
Lori Schwartz, Governor, Interactive Media, Academy of Television Arts & Sciences
Janice Scott, Chief Operating Officer & Head of Sales. Dataclef
Ari Segal, President & COO, Immortals LLC & Los Angeles Valiant
Michal Shapira, SVP of News Content Partnerships, Turner Ignite
Sephi Shapira, Founder & CEO, Escapex
Bennett Sherman, Co-Head, Digital Ventures, Gaming, ICM Partners
Ned Sherman, Partner, Manatt Digital; Founder, Digital Media Wire
Ketaki Shriram, Co-Founder, Chief Technology Officer, Krikey
Clark Stacey, CEO, WildWorks
Curtis Stafford, Former Head of Business Development, NCIA (National Cannabis Industry Association)
Steve Stewart, CEO & Co-Founder, Vezt
Jackie Subeck, CEO, Hey Jackpot!, Door Number Six
Chris Sumner, Senior Vice President, Business Development & Strategy, Refinery29
Josh Swartz, COO, Popdog
Daniel Tibbets, President & GM, El Rey Networks
Peter Trinh, Managing Director, International and Independent Film | Esport Groups, ICM Partners
Jay Tucker, Executive Director, Center for Media, Entertainment & Sports, UCLA Anderson School of Management
Rasty Turek, CEO, Pex
Benoit Vatere, Founder & CEO, Mammoth Media
Chrystine Villarreal, President, MIXhalo
Mia von Sadovszky, SVP / Group Strategic Planning Director, RPA
Mike Vorhaus, President, Vorhaus Advisors
Tina Walsh, VP Content Strategy, Tongal
Dan Weinstein, President, Studio71
Chris M. Williams, CEO & Founder, pocket.watch
Shelley Zimmerman, Co-Head, Awesomeness
To register, please go to http://www.dewexpo.com/registration/.
For information on limited sponsorship opportunities, please contact Tinzar Sherman at tinzar@digitalmediawire.com.

The X-Files Returns to Fox

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Long-time fans will be familiar with this image Property of FOX

The cult-classic television series The X-Files is returning to Fox on January 3, 2018, 17 years after its original cancellation. This should not come as a surprise, as the show was officially revived in 2016 for its tenth season. The second preview for the season was released on December 8th. The question is, does the series need this eleventh season?

        The previous season aired to a lot of disappointment and criticism in 2016. I watched the new season out of nostalgia like I assume most viewers did. It was an honest-to-god hassle to finish an episode (Miller and Einstein? Not as charming as the show wanted them to be). The idea of adding 10 more episodes to an already lackluster attempt at revival is not appealing.

I said all of that to say that I am excited. This season looks much more on-brand with the series I fell in love with.

        I binge watched The X-Files on Netflix in 2013. I watched all 202 episodes in just under three weeks, and I’ve re-watched the series several times since then. Most fans agree that The X-Files hasn’t been in its prime for about 18 years. Season 3 is where the series begins to pick up, it struggles in Season 7, and I dreaded watching Season 9. Not because the show was over, but because it had become so uninteresting. Finishing Season 9 was a chore. I already watched over 180 hours of this show, and I’m no quitter was my mentality. Scully and Mulder were no longer the main characters, and like most fans, their relationship was the main attraction for me (Reminder that X-Files fans created fanfiction).  

        I was excited for the 2016 premiere of the tenth season. I didn’t have cable and made my way to my best friend’s house to watch it on her family’s shared television. Really.

        I was disappointed when the series wasn’t as charming as I remembered. The show felt forcefully campy and like fan-service, which to be fair, it absolutely was. I also was not a fan of four out of the six episodes being Monster of the Week, not mythology episodes.

        Perhaps it was just my nostalgia, or maybe it’s just hard to keep a show running and good for over 20 years. As far as the eleventh season trailer, Gillian Anderson is beautiful and talented as always. Skinner and CSM have always been some of my favorite recurring characters. Mulder has always been my favorite character, and I passed David Duchovny at LAX last week, which is cool! I think the variation from 6 episodes to 10 will allow the series to better explore the lore and wrap up loose ends, hopefully.  

2016 ROCKIE AWARD PROGRAM COMPETITION NOMINEES ANNOUNCEMENT

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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 Screen Shot 2016-05-03 at 10.21.44 PMperfect 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.

 

For the full nominee list: http://banffmediafestival.com/rockie-awards/program-competition/

 

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:

 

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!

 

For additional information about the Banff World Media Festival visit: http://www.banffmediafestival.com/ or connect with us onTwitter and Facebook.
 

 About the Banff World Media Festival

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 1215, 2016 at the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel in Banff, Canada.