Former Sony Pictures boss Amy Pascal has opened up about her departure from the film company, confirming reports she was fired after ill-advised emails, which took aim at Angelina Jolie and U.S. leader President Barack Obama, were leaked as part of last year's (14) studio hack attack. The outed co-chairman of the movie giant acknowledged her departure wasn't voluntary during Wednesday's (11Feb15) Women in the World conference in San Francisco, California.
Speaking to esteemed journalist Tina Brown, Pascal joked, "All the women here are doing incredible things in this world. All I did was get fired."
Sony executives announced Pascal was stepping down and would start a new production venture at the company earlier this month (Feb15).
The former movie boss admitted she's excited about the future, adding, "I'm 56. It's not exactly the time that you want to start all over again, but it's kind of great and I have to and it's going to be a new adventure for me."
Recalling the moment she first heard about the cyber hack of Sony's database, she said, "I kept calling them (technicians), like, 'They don't have our emails, right? Tell me they don't have our emails...' Well, then they did. That was a bad moment."
Pascal and producer Scott Rudin came under fire for leaked emails in which they joked about President Barack Obama's movie tastes and criticised Angelina Jolie's acting skills.
Angelina Jolie was not upset by the leaked email exchange in which she was branded a "spoiled brat" by movie bosses, according to former Sony Pictures Entertainment executive Amy Pascal.
The movie giant's computer network was hacked last year (14) and cyber criminals later published numerous private emails, as well as scripts, unreleased films and even celebrities' personal information.
An exchange between Pascal and Hollywood producer Scott Rudin was among the emails leaked online, and in the note they revealed Jolie was furious with them for passing her over for a directing job in favor of acclaimed moviemaker David Fincher. Rudin also blasted Jolie as a "minimally talented spoiled brat" and insisted they would be branded a "laughing stock" if they hired her. They both issued apologies following the publication of the messages, which also took aim at other stars, but Pascal is adamant her relationship with Jolie has not been damaged by the scandal.
During an appearance at the Women in the World conference in San Francisco, California on Wednesday (11Feb15), Pascal said, "Everybody understood because we all live in this weird thing called Hollywood. If we all actually were nice, it wouldn't work... Angie didn't care.
"There was this horrible moment when I realised there was absolutely nothing I could do about whether I'd hurt people, whether I'd betrayed people... I couldn't protect anyone... It was horrible because that's how I did my job."
Pascal is to step down from her post at Sony Pictures to start her own production venture with the company in May (15).
Julia Roberts has confirmed she's developing an adaptation of a documentary about a six-year-old Batman fan who took over San Francisco, California for a day.
Cancer survivor Miles Scott earned the name 'Batkid' in 2013 after organisers from the Make-A-Wish Foundation recruited 11,000 volunteers to turn the streets of San Francisco into the Caped Crusader's fictional Gotham City, so the child could live out his superhero fantasies.
Opening up about the project, Batkid Begins: The Wish Heard Around the World, at the Screen Actors Guild Awards on Sunday (25Jan15), Oscar winner Roberts told U.S. news show Extra, "We're just super excited, my sister and I have a production company, Red Om Productions, we were lucky enough to see this documentary and we loved it and I think it will be a really beautiful movie."
Julia Roberts is set to produce and star in a movie about a six-year-old cancer survivor who dressed up as Batman to "save" his city. Miles Scott earned the name of 'Batkid' in 2013 after organisers from the Make-A-Wish Foundation recruited 11,000 volunteers to turn the streets of San Francisco, California into the fictional Gotham City, where Batman fights crime, so the child could live out his superhero fantasies for a day.
The heartwarming story has since captured Roberts' attention and she will now help to adapt the documentary Batkid Begins: The Wish Heard around the World, which premiered on Saturday (24Jan15) at the 2015 Slamdance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, for the big screen through her production firm Red Om Films.
Documentary director Dana Nachman tells Variety.com, "It's thrilling to me that Ms. Roberts and her team watched our film and were so moved by it that they want to dedicate their time and creative capital to make sure the widest audience possible will know and love Miles' story and the spirit of this intimate special event that went global, as much as we do."
Cheer up, Paul Rudd. Pull off your hood, put down your gym bag, and turn that frown upside down... rather, cock the extremities of that brooding horizontal bracket a few degrees north. Just because your pal Edgar Wright was booted from the director's chair on the Ant-Man set, production has restarted over in San Francisco, and the public's once fervent faith in the developing Marvel movie is now in comparable to that for Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2, that doesn't mean you have to look so bummed in the first official pic for the upcoming superhero flick.
But maybe there's another reason that Rudd is down in the dumps. Though we can't exactly see what sour travesty is meeting the poor man's eyeline, we can begin to imagine a multitude of nightmares that might earn such melancholy from our dear, sweet Scott Lang. For instance...
A long wait for his favorite eatery...Hollywood.com/Marvel/Getty Images
The inability to post his #tbt...Hollywood.com/Marvel/Twitter
His team losing the World Cup...Hollywood.com/Marvel/Getty Images
The only new movie playing at his local theater is...Hollywood.com/Marvel/Warner Bros.
We're with ya, Rudd. Any of these would get us in a hood-frowny mood too. And to all those out there who know of this heartache, share your own Poor Paul Rudd images with us with a #poorpaulrudd hashtag. We'll share and link to your Twitter!
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If thinking about NBC's lackluster coverage of the last two Olympics fills you with a deep churning rage, you might as well get used to it because things aren't going to change for a long long while. The network just inked a deal with the International Olympic Committee for coverage of the game through, get this, 2032.
2032! That's a crazy future date! By 2032, Facebook will become self aware, San Francisco will lose its long-standing battle with the San Andreas fault, and the ghost of Steve Jobs will unveil the iPod 47S, which is only marginally better than the iPod 47. In general, things will be very different, which is why it's so surprising that NBC will still be providing their wildly incompetent coverage of the Olympics 18 years from now. Who knows if TV will still be a thing in 2032? NBC will probably be beaming curling and old episodes of Law and Order: SVU right into our brain folds by then.
So when can we actually expect a competently presented Olympics not presented by NBC, one that isn't full of tape delayed events, truncated closing ceremonies, and chatty presenters taking pot shots at other countries? Well, all these things have to happen first.
2015: Marty McFly travels back to the future in Back to the Future Part II. So we're definitely getting those Nikes and hoverboards next year, right?
2016: The world is supposed to end on February 16th of this year according to that one crazy lady in Ghostbusters.
2018: Forget soccer! Rollerball becomes the world's most popular sport.
2019: Richard Deckard battles replicants in Blade Runner.
2020: Christian Bale and a bald Matthew McConaughey fight for humanity in the middle of a dragon apocalypse in Reign of Fire.
2022: We turn poor people into yummy bite-size crackers in Soylent Green.
2025: Humanity uses giant Jaegers to fight against Kaiju in Pacific Rim.
2029: The T-1000 is sent into the past to kill Sarah Connor in Terminator.
2030: Ted tells his kids how he me their mother. The story takes a while.
2032: Sgt. John Spartan ponders the mystery of the three sea shells in Demolition Man.
Tribeca Film via Everett Collection
Palo Alto bleeds aimlessness in a lot of good ways. In the tradition of Dazed and Confused and The Last Picture Show, Gia Coppola's directorial debut lands us knee deep in the ennui of a self-contained society of small town teens, daring us to dive right into a neon cesspool vacant of hope or self-actualization. Keeping in step with the mentioned films, Palo Alto is far less interested in telling a story than it is in painting a picture. The spectacle that results is beautiful, piercing, and — quite definitely — Coppolian. But it hits some difficulty when it tries to move beyond its frame.
Adapted from the short stories of at-least-he's-always-interesting James Franco (who is featured in the movie as a sneakily lecherous soccer coach), Palo Alto tags us to the corroded souls of a gaggle of misguided high schoolers in suburban Central California. Emma Roberts is the ostensible lead; her April is a sullen young woman whose chief character trait is sympathetic disillusionment. Her paths cross here and there with Mr. B (Franco) and likewise wayfaring classmate Teddy (Jack Kilmer — son of Val, who has a brief part in the film as the space cadet stepfather to Roberts), who is lightyears away from appreciating the gravity in his drunk driving episode and subsequent community service.
Tribeca Film via Everett Collection
The highlight of the bunch is Teddy's pal Fred, a compulsively obnoxious clown who The Naked Brothers Band's Nat Wolff stuffs with palpable agony and confusion. Buried inside of him, April, Teddy, and the scattered secondary players who work to identify the core of the proper main character — Palo Alto itself — lives our story, never progressing in any direction thereon out. The film is a snapshot of the pangs, frustrations, misgivings, malfeasances, and so on of the kids, adults, and neighborhood in question. In this form, it glows.
But Palo Alto tries to drive its story forward, yanking April, Teddy, and Fred out from the stronghold of their communal desperation and throwing them into the beyond. It's this forward motion that brings our attention to the delicate seams of the film, its unpreparedness in handling the story as much more than a lasting glimpse. We feel the elements slipping away from Coppola as she attempts to set them on a motive course for the first time in the third act, and so we have a tough time staying adhered as we once were to the characters — the falter is doubled by the fact that this emancipation comes at the intended peak of their emotional journeys.
Although the film might leave off dabbling in undeveloped turns — feeling frayed, uneven, and incomplete (I suppose it's hard to insist that such qualities are inappropriate for the story at hand) — it spends the lion's share of its time in a remarkable establishment: a portrait as lifelike as it is dreamy and as funny as it is haunting. It might lose its balance when it grabs for agency, but it offers an image very much worthy of our eyes.
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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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The Amazing Spider-Man star Andrew Garfield joined a young leukaemia survivor at Disneyland in California on Monday (03Mar14) after a planned superhero segment featuring the pair was axed from the Oscars ceremony. The actor had initially been booked to appear as a presenter at the Academy Awards and producers wanted him to take part in a separate sketch, in which five-year-old Miles Scott, known as Batkid, would be made an official superhero.
The skit was cut from the live prizegiving on Sunday (02Mar14), and Garfield was a no-show at the high-profile event, sparking false reports suggesting he had dropped out of the gig and snubbed Scott.
However, a spokesperson from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the organisation behind the Oscars, has now cleared the story up, blaming time constraints for Batkid's absence.
The representative tells Foxnews.com, "Due to the nature of a live show, hard decisions sometimes must be made which require the Academy to cut segments due to the logistics of production.
"Andrew Garfield understood that his segment had to be omitted, and he drove to Disneyland on Monday to spend time with five-year-old Miles Scott and his family."
Scott hit headlines in November (13) when he took to the streets of San Francisco, California with more than 11,000 volunteers and organisers from the Make-A-Wish Foundation to turn the place into fictional Gotham City, where Batman fights crime.
The youngster, who was dressed up as a mini-Batman, teamed up with city officials to help 'save' San Francisco from ruin.
HBO’s Looking is in a strategic position to present a fresh perspective on gay men. It joins a roster of water-cooler behemoths like Game of Thrones, True Blood and Girls. It may bring a new view of gay men to the mainstream but it seems to unintentionally (or intentionally) bash other minority groups in the process. It exposes an underbelly of class, race, and sexual discrimination inherent in our culture. But the most offensive part is that it’s not bothering to make a point.
Looking follows the lives of three gay men in San Francisco. Jonathan Groff plays Paddy, the anti-Casanova, a dating-obsessed video game designer with verbal diarrhea. His friends are Dom, a slightly over-the-hill waiter and Agustín, an artist in a new relationship. Compared to its lead-in Girls, it’s notable that the cast has people of color. Agustín is played by Cuban-American actor, Frankie J. Álvarez. His boyfriend, Frank, is played by English bi-racial actor O.T. Fagbenle. Paddy’s co-worker Owen, played by Andrew Law, is Asian-American. Paddy even gets a love interest, Richie (Raúl Castillo), who is Mexican. Great, a show set in San Francisco actually acknowledges the racial make-up of the city’s residents. However, with great minorities come great responsibilities.
The series may be diverse on paper but it doesn’t present people of color as full-fledged characters. Instead, it panders to stereotypes. Owen, the Asian character calls Paddy a “Japanese schoolgirl” for using an emoticon and then offers, “I have some Pokemon cards if you want to borrow them.” Then he rolls back to his desk. Yes, the choice of the video game designer being Asian is a little trite but must he constantly reference his race? Is his character the Asian guy who Asians a lot? When Richie meets Paddy on the bus, Paddy first responds with fear and timidity because Richie’s a working class Latino. Why is he scared? Up to this point, he’s had two failed attempts at romance, what’s wrong with a guy flirting with him on the bus? He later describes Richie as not his “type.” Is it because he’s Latino? When he describes Richie to his friends he whispers the word “Mexican.” The show is trying to make gay people seem like everyone else but it seems to take time out of the show to reference race but not make a statement.
The Richie/Paddy relationship quickly degrades into unabashed sexual fetishization. Paddy is so love-starved that he tries to get into a deep conversation with an anonymous white sex partner that he later reveals he isn’t even attracted to. And yet, Richie is never considered a viable romantic candidate and instantly designated a prospective “f**kbuddy.” Paddy spends the entire episode fixated on the prospect of seeing his uncircumcised penis. Because we’re meant to believe that 99.9% of Latin men are uncircumcised. But, since Agustin says it, it’s not racist. A guy obsessed with seeing an uncircumcised penis is the making of a hilarious plotline. But why does it have to be an uncircumcised Latin penis? If you had any doubts about the racial connotations, Paddy does a Latin-specific Google search.
The wanton sexuality assigned to men of color seems like a throughline throughout the first three episodes. Despite the somewhat tame nature of the show, Agustín and Frank have sex twice in the premiere episode. #firstimpression Agustin starts to entertain the idea of becoming an escort. It's great if the show wants to take a sex-positive approach and/or explore the lives of sex workers. However, given the treatment of the Richie character, it seems like the series creators think Latinos are only good as sexual playthings. Why not have the Asian game designer moonlight as a gigolo? In a later scene set in a bathhouse, Dom is able to have a civilized conversation with another gay gentleman, Lynn (Scott Bakula), until he’s summoned by a masturbating Latino man.
The show continues into murkier waters. In “Looking at Your Browser History,” Agustín gets painted as a delinquent. When asked where he got their placemats he says he stole them from Target. (read: Latinos are thieves). Later, angry for no reason (read: Latinos are feisty), he unabashedly tells his boss how much he dislikes her work. Then, obviously, he gets fired. Is the implication that Latinos can’t keep jobs? Granted, that might seem like a huge leap, if a few minutes later Owen didn’t say “I’m Asian, alright. Our DNA rends itself apart when we lose our jobs.” The implication is, as an Asian person, he is less likely to take risks with his employment. So, via the transitive property, are we supposed to see Agustín as irresponsible with his job? Isn’t the definition of racism that certain value judgments or prejudices are assigned to different races?
The show does deserve some credit for diversity. In a post-Sofia Vergara media world, the main Latino character doesn’t have an accent. However, in an interview Álvarez reveals that his character was originally meant to have an accent, be Venezuelan, and have green card issues. Despite this somewhat progressive take on one character, Richie, the other Latino character, is flummoxed by the word “oncology.” Are we meant to laugh because Latinos mispronouncing words is funny (see: every episode of Modern Family)? Richie has had no problem eloquently flirting up to this point so why do they need to insert a Dangerous Minds moment with Paddy correcting his English?
It’s not Utopia. It’s HBO. Looking shouldn’t have to be crushed under the weight of political correctness. However, you can’t ignore the irony. The show tries to give voice and authenticity to gay men not normally represented in media. And yet, it implicitly subjugates people of color with the same stereotypes we see everywhere else. It would be fine if these borderline racist moments were germane to the plot or made a statement. It would be great if Paddy’s racism taught him a lesson as to why he’s so unsuccessful with men. But he may have been speaking for the writers when he flatly said, “I think I may be racist.”