Bangarang!Want more stuff like this? Then again, time works differently in Neverland. Posted February 16, 2017 by Kelly WooThis Lost Boy wants to be found again.Dante Basco, who played wisecracking Rufio in the 1991 film “Hook” opposite the late Robin Williams, has been trying to make a follow-up movie about his character for some time. Like us on Facebook. Now, he’s opened a Kickstarter campaign to raise $30,000 for a short film titled “Bangarang” that would explore Rufio’s origin story.As the Kickstarter’s page says, the short would be a prequel set in the modern day focusing on a 13-year-old Rufio “before the mohawk, before Neverland, before he was The Pan.” The tough Filipino foster kid finds a ragtag group of friends as he tries to “escape his ill fate, find his happy thought and fulfill his destiny.”It’s unclear how the story is set in the modern day, since “Hook” was set in 1991.



He entered a VHS video competition. It’s always been that, and we always laugh, because if you look at the staff of “Robot Chicken,” my first sold scripts were dramas with Geoff Johns as my writing partner. I actually think it’d be fun. It’s a tightrope that you walk, and as long as you’re aware of it, you’re allowed to do a little more with it.Matt and Zeb, how long have you guys worked together?Wells: Off and on, for 10 years now. I’m friends with these people, and I know that’s a dangerous thing and people say not to do it, but I like going to work and smiling every day. Then it comes to us, and we’re reading it, giving notes, or reading it in the booth doing it. Ask Warren Buffett: “All right, Warren, what’s your secret?” He goes, “Well, just make more right decisions than wrong ones.” I swear to God that’s what he says. I know that Vince [Gilligan] wouldn’t do anything that would damage the overall brand that he’s worked so hard to develop on a stunt-cast kind of thing. Whoever is more stubborn wins.Senreich: When you know someone for as long as we’ve known each other, it doesn’t feel like there’s ever a wrong way to play it out. You could. So the bottom line is, I would do it in a second. Sometimes an actor saying, “This doesn’t feel right to me either.” That’s happened with Bryan, it’s happened with Yvette [Nicole Brown]. And having sequences where the superheroes go shopping and do household chores was a really good idea.What did the success of the first season give you permission to do with Season 2?Wells: It was seeing how well exploring the humanity of the characters ended up working. It happens. It was beyond flattering. Then you’re like, “OK, I had that in the back of my head that that might be wrong. It’s just fun to walk through that.Zeb Wells: And it was important to us that you didn’t have to know a bunch of comic book superhero references to find the jokes funny. It’s really fun.Senreich: We saw how pairing certain characters together worked or didn’t work, in certain ways, and what conflict built from their politics and their boyfriend-girlfriend relationships.Does animation give you an advantage in discussing controversial topics that live-action does not?Senreich: Yeah, I think you can get away with a lot more animation than you can in live-action. In fact, to me, the best storytelling is not universally loved by every single person. It’s like, “That’s not supposed to happen in the Stoopid Buddy Stoodios, watching an animatic for one of our shows!”Cranston: That happens to you when you watch animated porn, too. We’re not positive. It allows you to over-dramatize certain relationships to get to that point you want to make.It just allows for you to push the envelope a little bit more, but it’s dangerous to go too far. It’s been a nice romantic interlude.Cranston: Matt is really one of the bosses — and he brought on Zeb to take over this show, and even though the guy who brought on the guy doesn’t agree with everything, he gave the power over to Zeb to say, “You know what? There are times when I’m directed to punch certain things, and I go, “Oh, yeah, I see! And I’ll say for men, too. You’re the showrunner, so go and do what you think is best.” That’s pretty remarkable.Wells: We try to run it like a relationship, where it depends on how passionate either one of us is about something. Then I think, “Well, what if it’s just a brush-by? If you work hard, you have a better chance of producing something that you’re proud of. Posted February 16, 2017 by Scott HuverSure, you’re following all of the Marvel- and DC-related comic book superhero shows, but if you’re not watching “SuperMansion’s” League of Freedom, you might be missing the funniest — and maybe even the most poignant — take on the cape and costume crowd.As the stop-motion-animated series returns to Crackle for a second season of misadventures from the over-the-hill, dysfunctional crimefighting team, co-creators Matt Senreich and Zeb Wells (“Robot Chicken”) joined leading voice actor and executive producer Bryan Cranston for a press roundtable tackling an array of predictably silly surprisingly deep subjects.What do you bring of yourself to this character?Bryan Cranston: I don’t need boner pills! We wanted the characters to be funny in their interactions and have very human conflicts, and have that be the basis of the comedy.Matt Senreich: You have these insane superpowers, but that’s irrelevant. It’s “SNL” using action figures. It’s like, very odd selection of people who have worked with “Robot Chicken.”But this lets you tell a story where you actually can sit down, and it puts us back to our roots where we’re like, “OK, we can actually find characters, we can go into their history, we can deal with their relationships,” and that’s something that we’ve always loved to do.Wells: For me, there’s an animatic for a later episode, and it’s a scene between Jillian [Bell] and Bryan. That always mixes in fine. And that’s no different. Art business is a little different. We think this is the strongest choice. He’s just really upset.” And then I have to figure out why.It’s because he’s losing his sense of relevance. Zeb comes from the comic book world and was working in comic books for a while. What does he want? The more you humanize superhero characters, the more they’re relatable. I do believe in the people that I work with. We think, OK. If it’s keeping Matt up at night and I just think it’s a slightly bad decision, I’ll just let him have it. Are those ripe? I don’t want to work with people I don’t like.Titanium Rex is searchingfor relevance as he gets older. But the idea of a household full of superheroes who are perhaps past their prime and trying to hold on to what’s left of their dignity and abilities appeals to me. If it’s just two guys in a market. And to me, I think you water down the efficacy of the work itself.Is there any chance we’re going to see Walter White on “Better Call Saul”?Cranston: I don’t know. He won that competition, and I just stayed in touch with him ’cause I thought he was a talented fella. Let’s get that out there! Had it never happened, I’d still be a working actor and be fine, and not know what you miss.I don’t think life or this business owes me anything, so you reap what you sow. If you don’t, you won’t. I don’t know.” We don’t even register that we knew each other three years before we see each other again. And that goes both ways. Then some suggestions, and they’ll take two or three different ways of doing something.Wells: Or if we were unsure about something … We have two playwrights. If you see those things in real life, you’re going to be taken aback. Let’s go on that track!” I’ll do certain things or make certain sounds that the guys will respond to and go, “Oh, that’s good!” Early on, as we were feeling through the character, I think it was Zeb that said, “I don’t know, it just feels better when he’s really angry. We’ve just been goofing around, ever since. He’s more upset at this point.”And then, there are times when I bring in my own personality and they go, “Oh, that’s good! What does he feel? I have not been approached by it. And it’s really simple. I was probably 25, at the time, and Zeb was 20. It’s as engaging as live-action development.Did you have to learn a lot about the superhero culture, tropes and references for this?Cranston: I’ve never been a comic book guy, so I look at it just from the justification of the character’s emotional sense. Who does he want to be around? It’s about always knowing where that limit is. Then, I don’t know how we solve it. So I’m certainly the recipient of that good fortune, and I’m appreciative of it. He feels it slipping away, so he’s desperately clutching onto these things. We were really able to take the brakes off and do high-stakes superhero adventures. It’s different for men. Senreich: We were afraid to ask him. With the second season, we could push the drama a little bit and trust that the characters we’d created and that the actors helped us create would make those situations funny.So if you look at Season 2 on paper, some of the episodes would sound more dramatic and that the stakes are a lot higher, but they’re all just as funny because we still have this band of idiots. The more they have a vulnerable point, whether it’s emotionally or their superpower, or whatever, we relate the superpower or the loss of a superpower to their emotions. You go, “That’s it?” He goes, “Yep, that’s it.” Wow. You, ironically, have become more relevant later in life, Bryan.Cranston: Try telling that to my wife! This is what we try to do at work. There’s more opportunities for men. What is he losing? Do you feel that way when you thought about what the projects were going to be?Cranston: It’s a nice, difficult position to be in. We wrote the part, and in the script, it says, “A Bryan Cranston type.” We had our buddy, Seth Green, play the part for the temp animatic, and we realized that voice wasn’t good. It doesn’t have to be revered by everybody. Yeah, the bar was raised with the quality of writing on that show, and you want to see if you can match that anywhere you go, and I do. I want to make this show with you.” It just took off from there.Cranston: For me, if it didn’t have an interesting story to it, I wouldn’t be sitting here. That’s life.It’s actually very honest. I want to make sure that what I do has specific purpose, and not just throwing a dart at something to keep busy.This is an example of just that: that good storytelling doesn’t have to be in the form of the classics. You’re running the show. If you think it’s wrong as well, then let’s sit down and change it.” And you have to be open to that. When you go back to Tom and Jerry, it plays a lot better. He just turned to us and lectured us on how we’re very chicken and we should just reach out to Bryan.To Bryan’s credit, we sent him the role and within 24 or 48 hours, we got a call back. The real problem is when we’re both equally passionate. It’s about humanizing them and grounding them in a way that we can all relate to.Matt and Zeb, what made you think of Bryan for this role? It’s a little different. If Vince wanted me to be on the show, I’d be on the show.What’s been the unique pleasure of doing this show, distinct from the “Robot Chicken” experience?Senreich: For me, “Robot Chicken” is a sketch comedy show. There are certain topics that are too far, so it’s about where is it too far and how do you make it funny while at the same time not, and also teaching a lesson while going through a situation like that. He was like, “I don’t want to just play this part. And then, when Robot Chicken started up, I brought him on to write with us, and that was since Season 3. And we were watching an animatic, and I got choked up watching it. That made it easier for me.It doesn’t matter if it’s animated or live-action, you’re still developing a character, you want to be consistent with that character and you’re contributing to the storylines. You have to be open to the happy accidents and discovering that stuff, where it doesn’t feel as alive, and you’re missing out on great stuff.Bryan, your “Breaking Bad” co-stars Aaron Paul and Betsy Brandt told me recently that if there’s any downside at all to be a part of that series it’s the high level of work that you got to do, making it hard to decide what to do next. You know, it’s similar to doing live-action, in the sense that when an actor takes on a character, it’s a marriage of words and ideas to what the actor’s sensibility is, and you find where that is. There really is. We’ve known each other longer.Senreich: I found Zeb when I was working at a magazine called Wizard, back in the day. Make more right decisions than wrong ones.And it’s like, yeah, I think all of us try to do that every day. I come from the comic book and action figure world, where violence is funny in animation. Who is he afraid of?



Bayona (“A Monster Calls”). Posted February 16, 2017 by Kelly WooVeteran actor James Cromwell has been tapped to join the cast of “Jurassic World 2.”According to The Hollywood Reporter, Cromwell will appear in the sequel alongside stars Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard and under the direction of J.A. Like us on Facebook. Details of Cromwell’s character were not revealed, but it’s easy to picture him as a weary, but sage scientist or a righteous animal rights activist seeking to protect the InGen dinosaurs on Isla Nublar. Cromwell is an animal rights activist in his real life; he’s a longtime vegan and has advocated against farm animal cruelty after starring in 1995’s “Babe.”And Colin Trevorrow, who directed the first movie and co-wrote the sequel, previously said, “”The dinosaurs will be a parable of the treatment animals receive today: the abuse, medical experimentation, pets, having wild animals in zoos like prisons, the use the military has made of them, animals as weapons.””Jurassic World 2” is set to open in theaters June 22, 2018.Want more stuff like this?



At the time, she told Variety that she wasn’t driving in the flick, but would be spending time with Statham’s character.”I had always had a secret hankering to do ‘Fast and Furious,’ because I love driving cars,” Mirren told the trade at the time. But conversation briefly turned to Evans’s “Fast” role, in which he played Owen Shaw, the younger brother of Jason Statham’s character, Deckard Shaw, and whether or not the “Fast” foe could return to the series someday.While answering that query, the actor spilled the beans about Mirren’s part.”People come around from comas, so who knows?” Evans told Yahoo! Movies about his new role as haughty villain Gaston in Disney’s upcoming “Beauty and the Beast” remake. Movies. But their British connection — and Mirren’s reference of scene partner Statham — heavily implies the actor is correct.Fans will find out for themselves when “The Fate of the Furious” hits theaters on April 14.[via: Yahoo! Movies] I was in the back of an ambulance with Jason Statham.”Studio Universal declined to comment on Evans’s remarks, so we can’t be 100 percent sure who Mirren is playing just yet. “Of course, when I finally got my chance, I wasn’t driving the bloody car. Posted February 16, 2017 by Katie RobertsOscar winner Helen Mirren is adding some serious pedigree to the cast of the eighth “Fast and Furious” flick, “The Fate of the Furious,” and now, fans know who the celebrated British actress will be playingActor Luke Evans, who last appeared in the “Fast” franchise back in 2013’s “Fast & Furious 6,” recently chatted with Yahoo! “He’s in a military hospital because he’s the most wanted man in the world, but he’s got a very powerful brother, and he’s now got a mum as well, who’s played by Helen Mirren.”Mirren playing the mother of the villains — but not necessarily getting behind the wheel herself — jibes with what the actress herself said about her part in an interview last fall.



Posted February 16, 2017 by Katie RobertsOne of the biggest changes audiences will notice in Disney’s upcoming live-action remake of animated classic “Beauty and the Beast” is that the film spends much more time developing Belle’s backstory than the 1991 original did. I think that happens a lot with women, and a lot with young girls.”For more from Watson, check out her interview with Entertainment Weekly. Breaking the washing machine is symbolic of not just them breaking something she spent hours working on, but them really trying to break her spirit, and trying to kind of push her and mold her into a more acceptable version of herself. The new version of “Beauty” turns Belle into a quirky inventor, assuming some of the traits that her father, Maurice (played by Kevin Kline in the new movie), displayed in the first film. They’re deeply suspicious of intelligence … “Beauty and the Beast” opens on March 17. Part of the motivation behind her inventions — like devising a rough prototype for a washing machine, powered by a donkey walking in a circle — is so she can spend less time doing chores, and has more free time to read.But when Belle dares to use her machine to help other little girls in the village, and starts teaching them to read, too, the townsfolk react by smashing her invention to bits. It’s a jarring scene, Watson told EW, because it can easily be applied to women today.”They don’t think women should read, and it goes further than that,” the actress explained. And according to star Emma Watson, that was an important part of the reason why she wanted to play the role.In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Watson explained how much it meant to her to imbue Belle with more of a personality, delving deeper into the origins of her awkward relationship with the people in her provincial village. and they don’t like anything that’s foreign and unknown that might be beyond their realm of experience. ” …



#rednosedayactually day 1 of filming. pic.twitter.com/G7ihyTViw1
— emma freud (@emmafreud) February 16, 2017Olson in particular looks unrecognizable (Freud notes that the actress appears “slightly older than she did in the original film”), and it’s extremely jarring to see Brodie-Sangster standing next to his movie dad, nearly as tall as Neeson. Liam Neeson and Thomas Brodie-Sangster (Daniel and Sam) filming the Love Actually sequel for #rednoseday in London TODAY!!!!! on May 25.[via: Emma Freud, Red Nose Day] But Freud saved the best photo for last, featuring a recreation of the famous scene from the flick in which Daniel and Sam have a heart-to-heart while sitting on a bench on the bank of the Thames.So this just happened. 😀😍😝❤🔴 #behindthescenes #loveactually #excited #liamneeson #thomasbrodiesangster #london #celebrity #amazing Photo @sarahmlee47A post shared by Red Nose Day (@rednoseday) on Feb 16, 2017 at 5:48am PSTWe can’t wait to see the finished product. Day 1. Might have cried a tiny bit. The pair look like they’ve been returning to this bench for 14 years, as if no time has passed at all.Stop everything…. Posted February 16, 2017 by Katie Roberts”Love Actually” fans were doing their best Hugh Grant-style dancing this week in celebration of the announcement that most of the cast would be reuniting to film a mini sequel for the upcoming Red Nose Day fundraiser. Yum. #RedNoseDayActually update… on March 24, and in the U.S. pic.twitter.com/DQ3GxNSwLp
— emma freud (@emmafreud) February 16, 2017″Might have cried a tiny bit,” the editor tweeted of the special reunion. And now, we have our first look at a few of the actors back in action.Emma Freud, partner of “Love Actually” director Richard Curtis and the film’s script editor, posted a few behind the scenes photos from filming on her Twitter account, featuring Liam Neeson (who played recent widower Daniel), Thomas Brodie-Sangster (who played Daniel’s adorable, lovesick step-son, Sam), and Olivia Olson (who played Joanna, Sam’s crush who belted out a jaw-dropping version of “All I Want for Christmas Is You” at the school pageant).Oh hello #rednosedayactually cast member looking slightly older than she did in the original film…. A photo shared by the official Red Nose Day Instagram account, capturing the moment head-on, also made us a little misty. pic.twitter.com/6OY7SHP9dc
— emma freud (@emmafreud) February 16, 2017#rednosedayactually shoot. The Red Nose Day special airs in the U.K.



Posted February 16, 2017 by Katie RobertsWhat are parents to do when their daughter gets into a prestigious university, but they can’t afford to pay the tuition bill? Nah. Or will they get busted long before then? It seems that the latter is the likelier option, but it looks like it will be a hilarious ride either way.”The House” hits theaters on June 30. Take out a student loan? Desperate for a solution, the duo is approached by their neighbor, Frank (Jason Mantzoukas), who has the idea to open up an illegal casino in his house, promising they can earn four years’ worth of tuition in a month.Of course, Scott and Kate get in way over their heads with the scheme, suddenly finding themselves running a fight night and strip club in addition to the casino (and accidentally chopping off part of a cheating patron’s hand). But it’s not all unwelcome chaos, either: Kate gets to wield a flame-thrower (Poehler has never looked more badass — or more delighted), and Scott clearly has a ball donning expensive Italian sunglasses indoors.Can they keep up the business long enough to make enough cash for Alex’s college fund? They should open an underground casino instead.That’s the premise of “The House,” starring Will Ferrell and Amy Poehler as Scott and Kate Johansen, who lose their daughter Alex’s (Ryan Simpkins) college fund.



When asked during a Q&A whether the situation was “getting close to a deal, or is it a first date?” the director replied, “It’s kind of a first date.”News first broke on Wednesday that Gibson was among a handful of candidates Warner Bros. Stay tuned to see how this shakes out.[via: YouTube, Deadline, The Hollywood Reporter, Variety, Justin Kroll, h/t ComicBook.com] had been circling for the gig, with Deadline reporting that the actor-turned-director has had “conversations” with the studio about possibly directing the follow-up. to helm “Suicide Squad 2.”Gibson responded to a series of reports stating that he was being courted for the job while appearing at a screening of his latest film, Best Picture nominee “Hacksaw Ridge,” in Santa Monica on Wednesday night. But the studio is not being passive and is also looking at other directors, Daniel Espinosa [“Safe House”] among them.According to Variety, other candidates Warner Bros. Posted February 16, 2017 by Katie RobertsThe upcoming sequel to “Suicide Squad” may have landed a high-profile director: Mel Gibson has confirmed he’s in talks with Warner Bros. The trade cautioned that things were still in the early stages, something several other trades also reported later in the day on Wednesday.Here’s what The Hollywood Reporter had to say about the news:No official offer has been made nor has any commitment.Sources say that Gibson is familiarizing himself with the material. Reporter Justin Kroll later tweeted that Gibson is the studio’s first pick (“if Mel wants it, it’s his,” Kroll wrote), and that Gibson has been wanting to work with “Suicide Squad” star Will Smith for years, going back to early development of the 2016 WB flick “The Accountant.” (That film ultimately featured the pairing of star Ben Affleck and director Gavin O’Connor.)It’s too early to say whether or not Gibson will take the gig, though he’d certainly be an intriguing — and unlikely — choice. is considering for the job are Ruben Fleischer (“Zombieland”) and Jonathan Levine (“Warm Bodies”).



The meme is shared by folks who claim not to care about movies or about the political statements that out-of-touch actors will make at the podium, even though the very act of sharing indicates that they care much more than they’ll admit.Actually, in 89 years, the Oscars have never been canceled, though they’ve been postponed briefly after such events as the assassination attempt on President Reagan in 1981. With the ballots due on Feb. (He never has been, which says something about the BAFTAs’ blind spots.) Neither was Isabelle Huppert (“Elle”), currently the only Best Actress Oscar nominee with a shot at stopping “La La Land”‘s Emma Stone.About the only time the BAFTAs may have influenced the Oscars was back in 2002, when Russell Crowe won the Best Actor prize for “A Beautiful Mind” but then punched out a BAFTA ceremony producer whom he blamed for cutting short his acceptance speech. But scrapped altogether? They know that, for the trophy to be so highly coveted, it has to measure excellence by more than just ticket sales alone.Even so, the notion that the Academy goes out of its way to pick obscure movies that regular people don’t buy tickets to see is especially untrue this year. They may see this year’s progress, including the Best Picture nomination for “Lion,” as an incremental step, not a giant leap.And while this year’s Oscar winners are almost certain to mention Trump from the podium, the movies themselves don’t necessarily have much to do with contemporary politics. 13. And while the Academy would surely like for some populist smashes to be among the nominees in order to increase rooting interest and TV viewership of the ceremony — indeed, that’s why it expanded the Best Picture category to include up to 10 nominees in recent years — the Academy also knows that the Oscars are not the People’s Choice Awards. 26 awards show.All nine of the nominees — even “Moonlight,” which is the lowest earner, with $20 million — are in the 85th percentile of domestic box office receipts among all of 2016’s theatrical releases. Oscar voters made sure that boorishness wasn’t repeated stateside by giving the trophy to Washington for “Training Day.”Myth 3: The relatively low box office of this year’s Best Picture nominees suggests that Academy voters are out of touch with popular taste.Reality: It’s true that huge blockbusters like “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” or “Titanic” are more the exception than the rule among Oscar winners. Sure, there are themes in “Hidden Figures,” “Fences,” “Moonlight,” “Lion,” and even sci-fi drama “Arrival” that may echo current issues, but the only nominee that addresses current events directly (specifically, the foreclosure crisis) is “Hell or High Water,” and it does so in the context of a cops-and-robbers thriller.For all the backlash that’s arisen in recent weeks against “La La Land,” it’s still the front-runner for most categories, and the only politics on its mind are cultural politics (the future of jazz, the cookie-cutter sameness of mass-appeal studio filmmaking).The likeliest scenario sees “La La Land” winning Picture, Actress, Director, and Original Screenplay, while “Moonlight” wins Adapted Screenplay and Supporting Actor (for Mahershala Ali) and “Fences” wins Actor and Supporting Actress. In other words, a split between the escapist (and predominantly white) musical and the poetic African-American dramas.You could try to make ideological sense of that, or you could acknowledge that this year’s Oscars might actually be as much about merit as about political correctness. The five-award sweep for “La La Land,” or the Viola Davis victory for Supporting Actress for “Fences,” don’t mean much, since everyone already expected similar results at our own Academy Awards.Casey Affleck’s win for Best Actor for “Manchester by the Sea” means even less, since his chief Oscar rival, “Fences” star Denzel Washington, wasn’t even nominated. All nine are profitable, and the fact that none of them has done Marvel-sized numbers should disappoint no one or suggest to anyone that these films lack popular appeal.Myth 4: This year’s nominees are sops to political correctness, an overreaction to last year’s #OscarsSoWhite controversy.Reality: Things don’t work that fast in the film industry, where it can take two years or more for a feature to go from greenlit idea to theatrical release.As many observers noted last year, the Academy Awards come at the end of the process; it takes decision-making at the beginning of the process, in Hollywood’s executive suites, to put more inclusive films into the pipeline in the first place. There’s too much money at stake and too many viewers watching worldwide, so, not a chance.Myth 2: The British Academy Awards (BAFTAs), handed out over the weekend, are an important predictor of the Oscars.Reality: There are a lot of Anglophiles in Hollywood, but it’s not clear that any of them will be influenced by the the selections of BAFTA voters.No one even cared about the BAFTAs until 16 years ago, when they moved up their calendar to take place before the Oscars. After all the guild awards and prizes from groups that are Not the Academy, this is the vote that finally matters. And as far as inclusivity goes, Hispanic and Asian and other viewers are still waiting to see movies about people who look like them. That there are a wealth of black acting nominees and movies about the lives of African-Americans this year seems fortuitous, but there’s no guarantee that it will happen again next year, or ever.There are also just two or three movies among the nine (“Hidden Figures,” “Arrival,” and arguably “La La Land”) that have female protagonists. Posted February 16, 2017 by Gary SusmanIt just got real.Final ballots went out to Oscar voters on Feb. “Arrival” will probably cross the $100 million line before the Feb. Myth 1: There’s a growing movement in Hollywood to cancel the Oscars this year, as a way of protesting the new presidency.Reality: This movement exists only in conservative memes, spread by wishful thinkers who’d like to see Hollyweird’s biggest annual spectacle of self-congratulation vanish. The biggest hit among the Best Picture noms, “Hidden Figures,” has earned $132 million, while “La La Land” is close behind with $126 million. 21, five days before the envelopes open at the ceremony, it’s time to sort through all the noise — four Oscars 2017 myths, debunked.



9. Amazon has an estimated 65 million US Prime members. KU costs $9.99/month and is strongly dominated by self-published books—none of the major publishers participate. In partnership with Porter Anderson, I write and edit The Hot Sheet, an industry newsletter for authors. 6. 8. 5. In 2016 alone, it’s believed Amazon Publishing released more than 2,000 titles. In 2014, AmazonCrossing surpassed all other US imprints and publishers in releasing translated fiction. The most popular Prime feature remains free two-day shipping in the United States. Ebook sales at Amazon increased by 4% in 2016 (again, as estimated by Author Earnings),   despite Big Five ebook sales declining. KU’s biggest US competitor is Scribd. 4. Eight of the top 20 Kindle sellers in 2016 were from Amazon’s own publishing imprints. In 2015, it published 75 translated books, 50 more than the next biggest publisher, Dalkey Archive Press. Prime memberships are now believed to account for $7 billion in revenue each year, and a recent survey showed that Prime memberships are popular with the more affluent. Audible’s customers are estimated to have listened to 2 billion hours of programming in 2016, double the 2014 figure. Barnes & Noble’s sales declined by 6% in 2016, and sales from mass merchandisers (Target, Walmart, etc.) also declined. All the books are face out, so the emphasis is on curation, and no prices are listed. Amazon owns and operates three bricks-and-mortar bookstores, with five more on the way in 2017. If you enjoyed this post,   take a look at The Hot Sheet and sign up for a 30-day trial. 1. To the extent that print is “back,” one can connect it to Amazon’s discounting. They’re relatively small (3,500 square feet); the average Barnes & Noble is ten times that size. 2. Amazon’s print book sales grew by 15% in 2016—as estimated by Author Earnings. 7. Meanwhile, other bricks-and-mortar retailers are suffering. 3. Kindle Unlimited (KU), Amazon’s ebook subscription program, is estimated to represent about 14% of all ebook reads in the Amazon ecosystem (according to Author Earnings). However, print book sales have grown   largely because Amazon sold more print books. This gain was primarily driven by Amazon’s own discounting on print. If print is back, it’s partly because consumers are unwilling to pay more (or about the same price) for an ebook. 1 retailer in the US of audiobooks. Nielsen’s Jonathan Stolper said at Digital Book World, “Price is the most important and most influential barrier to entry for ebook buyers, and the increase in price [at publishers] coincided with the decrease in sales.” Any talk about digital fatigue, the consumer’s nostalgia for print, or a preference for the bookstore experience isn’t supported by the sales evidence—which Author Earnings’ Data Guy was eager to point out. Amazon now has 13 active house imprints. Over the last year, here are some of the most important things we shared   about Amazon that every writer should know. Since 2013, the traditional book publishing industry has enjoyed about a 3% increase in print book sales. Amazon is adding   100,000 jobs   in the next 18 months. (Audible is owned by Amazon.) Audiobooks are the largest area of growth for the book publishing industry, and Audible is the No. Furthermore, Amazon is the largest publisher of literature in translation. Prices are variable and depend on whether the customer is an Amazon Prime member. When it comes to print book sales for the major publishers,   Amazon represents roughly 50% of the pie; wholesalers, libraries, and specialty accounts are 25%; Barnes & Noble is in the teens; and independent bookstores are about 6-8% of the print book market. Read more about this trend in the New York Times.



Ostensibly, they’re trying to locate some of David’s more problematic memories, which they do, but it also taps into an ability David has to see what is going on in the present, just elsewhere. Now, we know that David has some form of dissociative personality disorder, and there is a lot of this episode devoted to the “voices” that David hears and the question of whether or not they’re real, imagined, or from some other timeline (like when he heard Amy at the end of the episode). I have a theory, though, about this star story: that David is actually talking about a time Professor X brought him into Cerebro, the giant mutant-finding device that Xavier designed to track down similarly gifted individuals.Cerebro is often visualized as a large spherical dome, so if it was dark enough, it would look very much like the night sky, and when it finds mutants, they light up, like stars in that same sky. They had a friendship before they were institutionalized, which included fun things, like trying new street drugs together. Yes, I feel comfortable saying that. The font is perfect and the whispering voices are creepy and strange. David takes all of this rather reassuringly, in a calm and elegant way.Afterwards, he told her all he wanted to do was hug her. Posted February 15, 2017 by Drew TaylorAnd we’re back! Not sure if this will be a part of every episode (I haven’t watched ahead), but damn is it neat.What Happens in This Episode (Mostly)?Much like the pilot, which was structured around a series of interrogations or therapy sessions — some at the hands of doctors at Clockworks (where David was institutionalized), some as childhood therapy sessions, others at the hands of a villainous Division 3 agent (Hamish Linklater, missed dearly) — so too is this episode.David is taken to Summerland, the group’s base of operations, and asked to do “memory work” with some of the other mutants, which is kind of a “Star Trek”-y mind meld, mixed with Scientology auditing (you grab onto metal cones and pray). But he hasn’t shown up yet. Meanwhile, a group of paramilitary thugs, now known as Division 3 (which explains their cool logo from last week), are on the hunt for David and the band of misfit mutants. What is even more fascinating is that, later in the episode, he describes his father taking him to look at the stars. So once again I’m going to recap this week’s excellent episode (once again written by series mastermind/all-around genius Noah Hawley) in the form of a series of questions.Let’s get to it!Where Were We?When we last left “Legion,” David (Dan Stevens), a supernaturally powerful psychic, was on the run with a group of renegades led by Doctor Bird (Jean Smart), along with his body-swapping love interest Syd (Rachel Keller, who it turns out is the beating heart of the show), and a host of other weirdos. At the end of the episode, the other Summerland inhabitants are shocked to see the CAT scan machine fully transported out into a courtyard — David’s doing, of course.David makes an attempt to leave the facility, knowing that Amy is in trouble. “Why can’t I see his face?” David asks, while inside his memory spectrum. The fact that David could hear them talking is even more telling — he was reaching out to those other mutants and communicating with them, possibly boosted by Cerebro’s computing power, but most likely because he’s incredibly gifted himself.What About Syd’s Big Confession?The other biggest moment in the episode, at least in my eyes, was Syd confessing that a lot of what happened in the back half of the previous episode actually happened to her, and not David. Something tells me that the true story of how they wound up in Clockworks is going to be super fun, and that she’ll continue to make appearances in some kind of altered dreamscape (or something) throughout the rest of the season.Wait, Was That a Weird Naked Person Covered in Swastikas?I think it might have been.Bonus Question for Next Episode: Where Is Jemaine?We know that Jemaine Clement, the insanely talented New Zealand actor and comedian from “What We Do in the Shadows” (he was also the giant crab monster in “Moana”), is a part of the cast, playing Dr. There is an uncommon amount of flashback time given to young David being read to by his father, whose face is shrouded in shadow. But “Legion,” based on a specific corner of the “X-Men” universe, is also arguably the most confusing (in an agreeably abstract sort of way) show on television. Maybe next week! Bird’s goofball husband. He’s transported, psychically, back to Clockworks, where his sister Amy (Katie Aselton) is frantically looking for him. Just like I feel comfortable wearing jeans to formal events. This leads David and some of the others to physically enter his memories, whether it’s a time when he and Lenny (Aubrey Plaza) were doing a new drug called “vapor” (released via a frog-shaped nebulizer) or a moment when he was visited by The Yellow-Eyed Devil, the grotesque monster that haunts him.An additional wrinkle is introduced when David goes under for a kind of wiggly CAT scan, administered by Summerland kook Cary (the wonderful Bill Irwin). Eep.So, What About His Father?Ah yes. Another interesting element of this episode, which I would be remiss to forget about, is the fact that David and Lenny were pals before being locked up (or whatever) in Clockworks. Syd stops him, saying that he still needs training. (Remember their “Freaky Friday” body swap?) As it turns out, it was Syd who ended up killing Lenny at Clockworks and getting recruited, at least initially, by the Summerland folk. Oh, and they probably have a mutant on their side too — his name is The Eye (Mackenzie Gray) and he’s got a really bad perm.What About That Title Card?Can we talk about how cool the title card is? (David’s father is reading him a gory children’s book hilariously titled “The World’s Angriest Boy in the World.”) While the question of David’s parentage is an intriguing mystery for viewers of the show, the hardcore nerds out there (myself included) and casual comic book fans know exactly who his father is: Professor Charles Xavier, the leader of the X-Men (played by Michael Fassbender and Patrick Stewart, respectively, in the increasingly nonsensical movie franchise).On the show, his face could have been obscured because they’re waiting for a big reveal or they’ll simply never get around to showing the character or addressing that element of the story at all. That was a deeply affecting, human moment, that all of the narrative fireworks can’t diminish. When he asks her how she knows Amy will still be OK, Syd shoots back, “Because she’s bait.” As the show closes, we see Amy, now in the presence of The Eye (and some eels or leeches or something). With what is certainly the coolest show on television. (His father was an “astronomer,” he says.) David says that he looked up at the stars and the stars spoke to him.



The actress recently discussed her experience on the show so far with TVLine and EW, and she acknowledged the strange position she’s in.Die-hard “Calzona” shippers are loath to see anyone else potentially winning the heart of Arizona (Jessica Capshaw), and unfortunately for Dominczyk, that means some fans aren’t too happy with her. It hasn’t exactly been an ideal start.There’s going to be tension, especially as the doctors have to deal with her for Phase 2 of her teaching methods in the upcoming episode, Dominczyk told EW.”It’s going to take a little bit of arm twisting to get there,” she said. … “Not many of them like Eliza.”In spite of the real and fictional hostility, Domincyk seems to be enjoying her stint on the show. It’s a fact she’s well aware of but doesn’t let bother her.”‘Calzona’ fans are crazy,” Dominczyk told TV Line. It’s been super fun playing her,” she told TVLine.”Grey’s Anatomy” airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. The hospital’s attendings are wary of her, and for good reason. Posted February 15, 2017 by Stephanie Topacio LongLife as a “Grey’s Anatomy” guest star isn’t easy, especially when you come in to play a not-so-popular character.For both Marika Dominczyk and her character, Eliza Minnick, the greeting hasn’t been exactly warm. Not only did she replace Richard (James Pickens, Jr.), she was responsible for Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) being suspended. She doesn’t know when it will end yet, but her hope is later rather than sooner.”I hope Eliza sticks around … ET/PT on ABC.[via: TVLine; EW] “I really appreciate their passion. And I’m so happy to be a part of it, even if it’s on the [negative] receiving end.”Meanwhile, Minnick is getting an even harsher welcome at Grey Sloan.



He and Kimmel play off each other well, and Molly is a good sport for taking part in their antics.”The Great Wall” hits theaters Feb. Posted February 15, 2017 by Stephanie Topacio LongMatt Damon recently stopped by “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” to promote his upcoming film, “The Great Wall,” and he did it in an unexpected way: claiming he is the father of the late-night show host’s unborn child.Damon and Kimmel took the joke to absurd extremes, putting together a hilarious video that involves a confrontation at the doctor’s office, an appearance on the talk show “Maury,” and even Kimmel’s pregnant wife, Molly. 17, and “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” airs weeknights at 11:35 p.m. Damon taunted Kimmel for being an “Emmy loser” and claimed he’s lacking, er, important baby-making equipment.The video tells us nothing about Damon’s work on “The Great Wall,” but it does serve as a great reminder of just how darn likable the actor is. There was also plenty of entertaining trash talk along the way. ET/PT on ABC.



“My first reaction was, like, I don’t know that person! like Milo Ventimiglia’s facial hair.After showing off a ’70s-style mustache as Jack Pearson on the hit NBC series, Ventimiglia decided to go clean-shaven again. Ventimiglia spent years playing Jess on “Gilmore Girls” with a mustache-free face. His decision surprised fans and co-stars alike. His new (old) look might take some getting used, but we bet that everyone will soon be too distracted by Jack’s dramatic story again to care about dearly departed mustache.”This Is Us” airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.[via: People] In fact, Mandy Moore, who plays his onscreen wife, told PeopleStyle that they’ve all been texting about it.”We have like a gigantic cast text chain, and we’re like, Who is that young man?!” Moore said. Posted February 15, 2017 by Stephanie Topacio LongThe “This Is Us” cast has important things to talk about … That is not my husband, that is not the person I fell in love with!”Even though some of his co-workers may barely have recognized him, the look isn’t so unfamiliar.