Die Hard actor James Shigeta has died at the age of 81. The Asian-American actor passed away on Monday (28Jul14), but the cause of his death has yet to be revealed.
The Honolulu-born star studied acting at New York University before joining the United States Marines and serving during the Korean War.
His career initially started in Japan as a recording artist, but had his big break in 1959 noir film The Crimson Kimono. The following year, he won the 1960 Golden Globe for Most Promising Newcomer along with George Hamilton, Troy Donahue and Barry Coe.
He went on to become the top Asian-American actor in the 1960s, starring in such films as Walk Like a Dragon, Cry for Happy, Bridge to the Sun, and Paradise, Hawaiian Style with Elvis Presley.
Another one of Shigeta's memorable roles came in 1961, in the feature adaptation of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Broadway hit musical Flower Drum Song.
Later in his career, he went on to appear in hit movies such as Lost Horizon, Midway, Cage, Disney's Mulan, and Die Hard, in which he played ill-fated executive Joseph Takagi.
Shigeta also had roles on the small screen, including drama Medical Center, Little House on the Prairie, Fantasy Island, T.J. Hooker, The Love Boat, Magnum, P.I., Simon & Simon and Murder, She Wrote.
Orion Pictures via Everett Collection
It's been 30 years since The Terminator first hit movie screens. Not anticipated to do very much, the movie became a surprise hit, turning Arnold Schwarzenegger into a bankable star and launching the careers of director James Cameron and the original Sarah Connor, Linda Hamilton.
In the years since 1984, there have been multiple sequels and television projects that have built upon the lore of the time traveling cyborgs, but how much do you know about the one that started it all? Here are some fun facts about a modest movie that turned into one of the most influential hits of the last 30 years.
1. Cameron has said that he got the inspiration for a killer cyborg from a dream that he had while he was in Italy to promote his directorial debut, the justifiably forgotten Piranhas II: The Spawning. Just the same, science fiction writer Harlan Ellison sued the production claiming that the script plagiarized his work.
2. Franco Columbu appears briefly in the film in the sequence set in the future. Columbu is a former bodybuilder and one of Schwarzenegger's best friends. Besides The Terminator, Columbu appeared with Arnold in the documentary Pumping Iron, which first brought Schwarzenegger national attention, as well as Conan the Barbarian and The Running Man.
3. Schwarzenegger didn't want to say his iconic line "I'll be back." He was self-conscious about the way that he pronounced "I'll" with his Austrian accent and tried to convince Cameron that a futuristic cyborg wouldn't say something like that. Cameron, thankfully, refused to change it.
4. The "I'll be back" line represented three of the 58 total words that Schwarzenegger says in the film.
5. In a Sylvester Stallone/Rocky move, Cameron sold the script for the movie for exactly one dollar. The measly amount was agreed upon with the stipulation that he be allowed to direct. (Hey, what would you have done if your main claim to fame was Piranhas II?)
6. The studio originally wanted to cast O.J. Simpson in the role of the Terminator, but the director successfully argued that no one would buy the former football star as a killer.
7. In one of the early pitch meetings to get financing for the film, Cameron brought along his actor buddy Lance Henriksen dressed as the Terminator for effect. The character actor ended up playing Detective Hal Vukovich in the movie.
8. Schwarzenegger was originally considered for the role of Kyle Reese, the soldier sent back from the future to protect Connor. That role eventually went to Michael Biehn, an idea that Cameron reportedly hated. While he was taking the forced meeting with the former bodybuilder, the director made the actor stop talking so that he could sketch a picture of him with the new idea of making him the Terminator.
9. Bill Paxton had a small role in The Terminator as a blue-haired, switchblade-wielding punk who makes the mistake of messing with the time-traveling (and naked) Schwarzenegger. The actor earned a bigger role appearing with both Henricksen and Biehn in Cameron's follow-up project, the 1986 blockbuster Aliens.
10. The motorcycle that the Terminator rides to chase Sarah and Kyle is a used Honda CB750, utilized for no other reason other than it's what the production could afford. In the sequel, Schwarzenegger upgraded to a significantly cooler new Harley-Davidson Fat Boy.
11. Production had to be delayed so that Schwarzenegger could finish filming Conan. What did Cameron do while he waited? He helped Stallone complete the script for Rambo: First Blood Part II.
12. The movie had a budget of $6.4 million, not a particularly large amount even in 1984. It went on to gross just under $40 million at the box office in the U.S. and just short of $80 million worldwide, surpassing the expectations of everyone involved. Things wouldn't be so low-budget on the sequel. Seven years later, Terminator 2: Judgement Day had a budget of right around $100 million and grossed over $500 million worldwide.
Actor Neal Mcdonough is a dad again after his wife Ruve gave birth to their fifth child. The Captain America: The First Avenger star welcomed son James Hamilton on Monday (31Mar14).
He shared the happy news in a statement to Access Hollywood, which reads: "The family welcomed the newest addition with open arms and loads of hugs and kisses."
James Hamilton joins brother Morgan, eight, and sisters Catherine, six, London, four, and Clover, two.
For the bulk of every Rocky and Bullwinkle episode, moose and squirrel would engage in high concept escapades that satirized geopolitics, contemporary cinema, and the very fabrics of the human condition. With all of that to work with, there's no excuse for why the pair and their Soviet nemeses haven't gotten a decent movie adaptation. But the ingenious Mr. Peabody and his faithful boy Sherman are another story, intercut between Rocky and Bullwinkle segments to teach kids brief history lessons and toss in a nearly lethal dose of puns. Their stories and relationship were much simpler, which means that bringing their shtick to the big screen would entail a lot more invention — always risky when you're dealing with precious material.
For the most part, Mr. Peabody & Sherman handles the regeneration of its heroes aptly, allowing for emotionally substance in their unique father-son relationship and all the difficulties inherent therein. The story is no subtle metaphor for the difficulties surrounding gay adoption, with society decreeing that a dog, no matter how hyper-intelligent, cannot be a suitable father. The central plot has Peabody hosting a party for a disapproving child services agent and the parents of a young girl with whom 7-year-old Sherman had a schoolyard spat, all in order to prove himself a suitable dad. Of course, the WABAC comes into play when the tots take it for a spin, forcing Peabody to rush to their rescue.
Getting down to personals, we also see the left brain-heavy Peabody struggle with being father Sherman deserves. The bulk of the emotional marks are hit as we learn just how much Peabody cares for Sherman, and just how hard it has been to accept that his only family is growing up and changing.
But more successful than the new is the film's handling of the old — the material that Peabody and Sherman purists will adore. They travel back in time via the WABAC Machine to Ancient Egypt, the Renaissance, and the Trojan War, and 18th Century France, explaining the cultural backdrop and historical significance of the settings and characters they happen upon, all with that irreverent (but no longer racist) flare that the old cartoons enjoyed. And oh... the puns.
Mr. Peabody & Sherman is a f**king treasure trove of some of the most amazingly bad puns in recent cinema. This effort alone will leave you in awe.
The film does unravel in its final act, bringing the science-fiction of time travel a little too close to the forefront and dropping the ball on a good deal of its emotional groundwork. What seemed to be substantial building blocks do not pay off in the way we might, as scholars of animated family cinema, have anticipated, leaving the movie with an unfinished feeling.
But all in all, it's a bright, compassionate, reasonably educational, and occasionally funny if not altogether worthy tribute to an old favorite. And since we don't have our own WABAC machine to return to a time of regularly scheduled Peabody and Sherman cartoons, this will do okay for now.
If nothing else, it's worth your time for the puns.
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Executors for James Dean's estate have filed a lawsuit against Twitter.com bosses over an unauthorised tribute account. In 2009, a fan set up the page to salute the late actor, but executors for the estate are claiming the use of the movie icon's name and image constitutes a trademark violation.
CMG Worldwide CEO Mark Roesler tells ABC News, "We did not sanction the James Dean official Twitter account. There is no official Twitter site for James Dean because it's been misappropriated by an individual."
Bosses for CMG Worldwide are seeking unspecified damages in the lawsuit, which was filed in December (13) in Hamilton Superior Court in Indiana.
Attorneys for Twitter are working to have the case moved to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana because of the potential amount of damages that could be awarded and the trademark infringement issues.
Dean was killed in a car crash in 1955.
Former The O.C. star Ben Mckenzie is heading back to TV after landing the lead role in a new Batman spin-off. The former small screen heart-throb, who found fame opposite Mischa Barton in the teen drama, has signed up to play James Gordon, a police rookie who later rises to the rank of commissioner, in new superhero show Gotham.
The show will be based around the character and his police career before the emergence of Batman.
Commissioner Gordon has previously been portrayed by Neil Hamilton in the 1960s series about the Caped Crusader, while Pat Hingle played him in four films from 1989's Batman until 1997's Batman & Robin.
Gary Oldman most recently portrayed Gordon in Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight film trilogy.
Lions Gate via Everett Collection
When we last left our heroes, they had conquered all opponents in the 74th Annual Hunger Games, returned home to their newly refurbished living quarters in District 12, and fallen haplessly to the cannibalism of PTSD. And now we're back! Hitching our wagons once again to laconic Katniss Everdeen and her sweet-natured, just-for-the-camera boyfriend Peeta Mellark as they gear up for a second go at the Capitol's killing fields.
But hold your horses — there's a good hour and a half before we step back into the arena. However, the time spent with Katniss and Peeta before the announcement that they'll be competing again for the ceremonial Quarter Quell does not drag. In fact, it's got some of the film franchise's most interesting commentary about celebrity, reality television, and the media so far, well outweighing the merit of The Hunger Games' satire on the subject matter by having Katniss struggle with her responsibilities as Panem's idol. Does she abide by the command of status quo, delighting in the public's applause for her and keeping them complacently saturated with her smiles and curtsies? Or does Katniss hold three fingers high in opposition to the machine into which she has been thrown? It's a quarrel that the real Jennifer Lawrence would handle with a castigation of the media and a joke about sandwiches, or something... but her stakes are, admittedly, much lower. Harvey Weinstein isn't threatening to kill her secret boyfriend.
Through this chapter, Katniss also grapples with a more personal warfare: her devotion to Gale (despite her inability to commit to the idea of love) and her family, her complicated, moralistic affection for Peeta, her remorse over losing Rue, and her agonizing desire to flee the eye of the public and the Capitol. Oftentimes, Katniss' depression and guilty conscience transcends the bounds of sappy. Her soap opera scenes with a soot-covered Gale really push the limits, saved if only by the undeniable grace and charisma of star Lawrence at every step along the way of this film. So it's sappy, but never too sappy.
In fact, Catching Fire is a masterpiece of pushing limits as far as they'll extend before the point of diminishing returns. Director Francis Lawrence maintains an ambiance that lends to emotional investment but never imposes too much realism as to drip into territories of grit. All of Catching Fire lives in a dreamlike state, a stark contrast to Hunger Games' guttural, grimacing quality that robbed it of the life force Suzanne Collins pumped into her first novel.
Once we get to the thunderdome, our engines are effectively revved for the "fun part." Katniss, Peeta, and their array of allies and enemies traverse a nightmare course that seems perfectly suited for a videogame spin-off. At this point, we've spent just enough time with the secondary characters to grow a bit fond of them — deliberately obnoxious Finnick, jarringly provocative Johanna, offbeat geeks Beedee and Wiress — but not quite enough to dissolve the mystery surrounding any of them or their true intentions (which become more and more enigmatic as the film progresses). We only need adhere to Katniss and Peeta once tossed in the pit of doom that is the 75th Hunger Games arena, but finding real characters in the other tributes makes for a far more fun round of extreme manhunt.
But Catching Fire doesn't vie for anything particularly grand. It entertains and engages, having fun with and anchoring weight to its characters and circumstances, but stays within the expected confines of what a Hunger Games movie can be. It's a good one, but without shooting for succinctly interesting or surprising work with Katniss and her relationships or taking a stab at anything but the obvious in terms of sending up the militant tyrannical autocracy, it never even closes in on the possibility of being a great one.
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Game Of Thrones star Emilia Clarke, Brie Larson and Margot Robbie have emerged as frontrunners for the lead in the latest Terminator movie. Director Alan Taylor has already started screen testing the actresses for the role of young Sarah Connor in the prequel, in which Arnold Schwarzenegger will reprise his role as the title character.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Clarke and Larson will be tested next week (beg11Nov13), while sources tell the publication that producers are also interested in Robbie.
Connor was played by Linda Hamilton in the classic James Cameron-directed Terminator movies, while Clarke's Game of Thrones co-star Lena Headey played the freedom fighter character in TV spin-off Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles.
A new show based around the Batman franchise is coming to TV. Small screen bosses are working on a new series called Gotham, which will tell the story of Police Commissioner James Gordon and will be set long before Batman turns up to save the city from bad guys.
It is believed the Caped Crusader himself, who will be played by Ben Affleck in a new movie, will not feature in the show, which will be broadcast on U.S. network Fox.
Gordon was previously played by Gary Oldman in Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy, while Pat Hingle played him in four previous films and Neil Hamilton held the role in 1960s TV series Batman, all based on the DC Comics.
It is not known whether Oldman will return to the role for the new small screen project, which follows a rival Marvel show, Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D., onto the small screen.
Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D., which is based on the Avengers franchise, premiered in America on Tuesday (24Sep13).
After Dark Films
It seems a bit odd to take on a movie review of Courtney Solomon's Getaway, as only in the loosest terms is Getaway actually a movie. We begin without questions — other than a vague and frustrating "What the hell is going on?" — and end without answers, watching Ethan Hawke drive his car into things (and people) for the hour and a half in between. We learn very little along the way, probed to engage in the mystery of the journey. But we don't, because there's no reason to.
There's not a single reason to wonder about any of the things that happen to Hawke's former racecar driver/reformed criminal — forced to carry out a series of felonious commands by a mysterious stranger who is holding his wife hostage — because there doesn't seem to be a single ounce of thought poured into him beyond what he see. We learn, via exposition delivered by him to gun-toting computer whiz Selena Gomez, that he "did some bad things" before meeting the love of his life and deciding to put that all behind him. Then, we stop learning. We stop thinking. We start crashing into police cars and Christmas trees and power plants.
Why is Selena Gomez along for the ride? Well, the beginnings of her involvement are defensible: Hawke is carrying out his slew of vehicular crimes in a stolen car. It's her car. And she's on a rampage to get it back. But unaware of what she's getting herself into, Gomez confronts an idling Hawke with a gun, is yanked into the automobile, and forced to sit shotgun while the rest of the driver's "assignments" are carried out. But her willingness to stick by Hawke after hearing his story is ludicrous. Their immediate bickering falls closer to catty sexual tension than it does to genuine derision and fear (you know, the sort of feelings you'd have for someone who held you up or forced you into accessorizing a buffet of life-threatening crimes).
After Dark Films
The "gradual" reversal of their relationship is treated like something we should root for. But with so little meat packed into either character, the interwoven scenes of Hawke and Gomez warming up to each other and becoming a team in the quest to save the former's wife serve more than anything else as a breather from all the grotesque, impatient, deliberately unappealing scenes of city wreckage.
And as far as consolidating the mystery, the film isn't interested in that either, as evidenced by its final moments. Instead of pressing focus on the answers to whatever questions we may have, the movie's ultimate reveal is so weak, unsubstantial, and entirely disconnected to the story entirely, that it seems almost offensive to whatever semblance of a film might exist here to go out on this note. Offensive to the idea of film and story in general, as a matter of fact. But Getaway isn't concerned with these notions. Not with story, character, logic, or humanity. It just wants to show us a bunch of car crashes and explosions. So you'd think it might have at least made those look a little better.
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