Film Review: Jojo Rabbit

Starring: Roman Griffin Davis, Taika Waititi, Scarlett Johansson, Sam Rockwell
Directed by: Taika Waititi
Rated: PG 13 
Running Time: 108 minutes
Fox Searchlight Pictures

I don’t know how a movie featuring an imaginary Adolf Hitler managed to be one of the most heartwarming films of the year…but it’s 2019 and every day actual reality gets more ludicrous, so that sounds about right. Taika Waititi’s Jojo Rabbit is a masterful satire that nails its tone with a kind of supernatural precision that most filmmakers can only dream of and a story still more wouldn’t touch with a ten foot pole.

Jojo (Roman Griffin Davis) is a small boy who lives with his mother Rosie (Scarlett Johansson) in a village in WWII Germany. His only ambition is to fight for Hitler just like his absent father. Lacking any real warfront nearby and too young to be conscripted, Jojo instead joins up with the local division of the Hitler Youth headed by the one-eyed Captain Klenzendorf (Sam Rockwell). It’s a lot like boy scouts if all the participants were extremely racist and whose bonfires consisted of banned books. Jojo plays tough but gains his titular nickname when the older scouts test how murderous Jojo actually is and the kid fails to kill a bunny in front of the everyone.

Jojo is not only disappointed with himself but he’s royally failing Hitler! Specifically the imaginary Fuhrer, played by Waititi himself, who follows Jojo around and goads on Jojo’s tough guy persona. To be clear, Waititi isn’t actually playing Hitler (in fact when asked about ‘researching’ his portrayal, the director says he didn’t because that guy was “a fucking cunt.” Yep.) Instead, he is playing an icon to a child, which is an entirely different prospect. In Taika’s take just about the scariest thing about him is the unnatural blue contacts. He’s a playground bully who spouts back all the vile lies about Jewish people the boy’s troop leaders are trying to drill into him. Jojo’s whole bubble is popped when he finds an actual living Jewish girl named Elsa (Thomasin McKenzie) in his mother’s attic.

With McKenzie’s arrival, the film begins to become something much more than the riotous comedy that Waititi achieves in laying out Jojo’s life in the scouts. (Although if this film had only given me a burnt out Sam Rockwell demonstrating deadly weapons to a group of small children, I would have still considered it a cinematic gift, but I digress.) No, rather than being fearful, Elsa leans hard into the gross mythos the Nazis are spreading about her people in order to intimidate the young Jojo. It’s one thing to tell a ten year old that Elsa is a demon, entirely another to ask him not to then be terrified when faced with her one on one. Their bond is the heart of the film and McKenzie wields what small power she has over Jojo with ferocity while Jojo steadily moves from fear into fascination and maybe even friendship. Mckenzie’s is a stunning performance that has me more excited to see her in Edgar Wright’s next feature. As for Davis, putting the weight of this movie on the ten year old is thematically fitting but a huge risk. However just like Hunt for The Wilderpeople’s Julian Dennison, Waititi’s casting of Davis proves to be spot on. 

Meanwhile these kids are surrounded by the grown actors putting in some truly beautiful work. Sam Rockwell’s one eyed captain is physically out of commission but maybe that’s not the only reason he’s not on the field. Considering there’s nothing remotely straight about him and second-in-command Finkel (Alfie Allen). Scarlett Johansson is fearless as Rosie who lovingly calls Jojo “Shitler” and whose drinking, smiling facade belies her own defiance. After all, her sheltering Elsa is a huge breech of the law. Still Rosie dances, she bike rides and she declares her dinner table neutral Switzerland. Johansson brings genuine depth and warmth to Rosie in both her bonds with Jojo and Elsa.

Jojo meeting Elsa and beginning to encounter the larger world is where Waititi really hits home. Rosie allows Jojo into the Hitler Youth only insofar as she is a single mother and there’s really no alternative daycare. But when face to face with his supposed enemy, Jojo’s whole worldview is challenged.  Hate cannot flourish without ignorance and it’s the ordinary people in this film whose small acts make the larger world better for all. Taika’s crafted a film that’s not only timely but manages to earn tears both from laughter and sadness.

“Caddyshack” Hits the Links in Omaha

The SHACK is back!

On Friday, November 8th, film historian Bruce Crawford will be presenting the 1980 comedy classic “Caddyshack,” starring Chevy Chase, Bill Murray and Cindy Morgan.

The event will be held at the Joslyn Art Museum, 2200 Dodge Street in Omaha, Nebraska.

In attendance at the screening will be actress Cindy Morgan, who played the beautiful and much sought after Lacey Underalls in the film.  Miss Morgan will speak before the screening and reminisce about the making of the film.  Fans can stay after the event for a meet and greet with Miss Morgan and autograph session.

2019 marks the 27th year of Crawford hosting an evening of classic film, along with members of the casts and crews who created them.

This event marks 27 years since Crawford started hosting film legends and the classic films on which they worked. He typically presents two movies each year, spring and autumn.

Tickets for the event (screening and meet and greet) are $24.00 and go on sale Thursday, October 3rd.  They can be purchased at the customer service counters of all Omaha-area Hy Vee food stores.   Proceeds will benefit HELP Adult Services. All tickets are a non-refundable donation.   Fans interested in just attending the screening may be able to obtrain complimentary tickets by calling 402 393 4884

For more information or to obtain tickets over the phone you can call (402) 341-6559  or click HERE.

 

 

Film Review: “Ad Astra”

AD ASTRA
Starring:  Brad Pitt, Tommy Lee Jones and Ruth Negga
Directed by: James Gray
Rated:  PG 13
Running time:  2 hrs 2 mins
20th Century Fox

Roy McBride (Pitt) is an astronaut.  He begins and ends every day with a diagnostic test, one that is given to ensure he has his emotions in check.  Roy is the only person who, despite the situation, can maintain a heart rate of less than 80.  This is put to the test when, during a routine maintenance mission on a space antenna, a tragedy happens, causing Roy to literally fall back to earth.  Despite the obvious adrenaline rush his heart rate remains low.  Which makes him perfect for his next mission…one to save the world.

Overly long (it feels like double the 2 hour run time) but beautifully filmed, “Ad Astra” rockets across the screen powered by one of Brad Pitt’s best performances.  Age has somewhat weathered his good looks, which is a good thing because there has been a fine actor under that face for years.  Roy’s mission is to head to Jupiter to find out what is emanating from the planet that is putting the Earth in danger.  Roy is shocked to learn that the cause may be his father (Jones), who was presumed killed in action during a visit to Jupiter many years ago.

A lot of the film is Pitt, alone with his thoughts, and he holds the story together as best he can.  Supporting players, like Negga, Loren Dean and a blink-and-you’ll-miss-him Donald Sutherland do well with what screen time they have.  The film is beautifully photographed so credit is due to the production people.  But the pace…Oy!  Pitt mentions in the film that his journey has covered 2 billion miles.  Believe me, it feels like you were along for every last one.

Film Review: “Villains”

VILLAINS
Starring: Bill Skarsgård, Maika Monroe, Jeffrey Donovan & Kyra Sedgwick
Directed By: Dan Berk & Robert Olsen
Rated: R
Running Time: 89 minutes
ALTER

A pair of thieves with dreams of living it up in Florida make a couple of big mistakes during a gas station holdup sending them down a wildly different road in Dan Berk and Robert Olsen’s Villains. First, they swear this is their “last job!”—always a no no where movie characters are concerned—and second, they forget to,  you know,  pump their escape car with any of the station’s gas. Thus they find themselves stalled out on the road and scouring the nearest secluded home for anything to help them in their journey. The home they find just so happens to have a small girl shackled in the basement. Suddenly the mission isn’t just for gas for the car but an all out battle with the unsuspecting homeowners. As I said, it’s a much different path than Florida.

Villains grabs you quickly and easily thanks to the charisma of its two leads, Jules and Mickey (Maika Monroe and Bill Skarsgård, respectively). They’re goofy as all get out—we’re introduced to them fumbling through their robbery in rubber animal masks—but it’s so obvious they’re head over heels in love with each other that you just want to root for them. Of course Monroe (It Follows) and Skarsgard (It & It Chapter Two) are no strangers to the suspenseful or violent elements Villains throws at them eventually, but as these two crazy kids they both show off a genuine knack for comedy. I can’t imagine a better time to see Villains than if you’re in need for some comedic relief after a dose of Pennywise.

Now let’s get back to that girl chained up in the basement. Turns out she belongs to the equally tight couple of Gloria and George (Kyra Sedgwick and Jeffrey Donovan), the homeowners who combat Jules and Mickey’s manic energy with nothing but civil hospitality. The thieves are ready to fight their way out of the house with the chained little girl, but George and Gloria disarm them long enough to chat about what’s going on. Donovan in particular revels in George’s southern salesman draaaaaaaaawl to calm everyone down. The unlikely clash of these couples is strongly supported by candy colored production design and a nifty musical score that keeps the proceedings tonally in sync until very near the end of the film. The resolution of the wildcard chained child isn’t quite as much fun as how we got there, but with a runtime just shy of 90 minutes, it’s hardly an issue.

The fun of this Villains is all down to the perfect casting. The couples are equally unhinged but operating by their own internal logic while being totally devoted to their partners. Mickey and Jules are like excitable puppies in their eagerness to please each other while George keeps up a veneer of civility even though it’s clear that Gloria is way out of touch with reality. Sedgwick too puts in a delightfully bonkers turn as Gloria that includes a striptease for Mickey. Everyone is chewing so much scenery it’s a wonder anyone has room for Gloria’s shepherd’s pie.

Film Review: “Official Secrets”

Starring: Keira Knightley, Matt Smith, Matthew Goode and Ralph Fiennes
Directed By: Gavin Hood
Rated: R
Running Time: 112 minutes
IFC Films

At just 29 years old, British translator Katharine Gun became the center of UK headlines when she leaked a memo from her job at the Government Communications Headquarters to UK publication, The Observer. The memo detailed a plot between the US and UK to illegally strong arm smaller UN member countries into signing off on the ill-fated war in Iraq. When she admitted to as much, Gun spent nearly a year before being formally charged under the Official Secrets Act of 1989. Meanwhile the US and UK invaded Iraq despite lacking the support of the nations in the memo. The film adaptation of this case as directed by Gavin Hood is a well crafted political thriller driven by a top notch performance from Keira Knightley.

I had concerns going into this film that it would play out like so many Newspaper Movies (as brilliantly parodied by Seth Meyers and Co, in case you missed it) and I wasn’t entirely wrong. The hallmarks of that trope are all still here –Phone Acting, clandestine meetings on benches, the obstinate paper editor–fortunately they’re performed by a charismatic ensemble led by Matt Smith, Matthew Goode and a very shouty Rhys Ifans. As the film goes on it adds additional strong players to the field with the likes of Tamsin Grieg and Ralph Fiennes when the legal drama starts to ramp up.

More importantly though is that all those subplots and their cliches take a back seat to Keira Knightley’s tightly wound performance. As Gun, she is resolute but not without fear. Some of the most thrilling sequences of Hood’s film come as the enormity of Gun’s act bears down on the wide-eyed Knightley and she realizes how much she has at risk by forging ahead. Having an immigrant husband in Gun’s situation as she does, for example, truly raises the stakes when contending with the government. Often Hood makes some smart choices to elevate Gun’s bravery by highlighting that relationship. How easy it would have been for Katherine, as her barista husband suggests repeatedly, to just do her job and leave the consequences to her higher ups.

Gun had so much to lose but recognized an opportunity to avert a disastrous war and chose to act for her people rather than a lying government. Gavin Hood’s film adaptation of her story comes at a time when relations between the press and politics are arguably even more fraught than 2003, making her story well worth hearing. 

Film Review: “Angel of Mine”

Starring: Noomi Rapace, Yvonne Strahovski, Luke Evans, Richard Roxburgh
Directed by: Kim Farrant
Rated: R
Running Time: 98 minutes
Lionsgate

Angel of Mine, based on the French 2008 film, L’Empreinte de L’ange, sees Noomi Rapace as a woman convinced that her neighbor’s daughter is actually her own long-dead child. It’s a thriller that drew me in with its strong cast but passes too far over into melodrama before the credits roll to warrant much interest. 

Rapace stars as Lizzie who drums up a tenuous relationship with the parents of one of her son’s friends (played by Yvonne Strahovski and Richard Roxburgh) for her own ulterior motives. Turns out the friend’s little sister Lola looks so much like her dead baby daughter to Lizzie that she is desperate to spend as much time around the child as possible. Lizzie’s obsession extends so far as her ingratiating herself with Lola’s parents by pretending to be interested in buying their newly listed house. This connection is already awkward but the film does not help itself by withholding the circumstances around Lizzie’s grief for so long in the film. Revelations over the loss of Lizzie’s daughter earlier in the film to the couple may have won some understandable sympathy points for allowing Lizzie around but as it is, it strains credulity as to why these parents would allow this random woman to have so many one-on-one interactions with their young child. Lizzie’s obsession with Lola is intriguing at first due to Rapace’s haunted intensity but without knowing much about her past, I found myself spinning off many different possibilities for where this could go and the ultimate resolution had me bored. Perhaps that’s on me for wanting something more outlandish or exciting while the film so wants to be grounded. It felt as though since director Kim Farrant wanted so much for Lizzie to be our sympathetic protagonist that they could not inject her obsession with a child with any sort of genuine menace. 

Still more irritating is that so much of the film’s run time is spent with husbands choosing to downplay their wives’ legitimate concerns. This goes for both Luke Evan’s Mike as Lizzie’s ex, shunning her where she clearly needs mental help in her grief, and infuriatingly Richard Roxburgh’s Bernard who is for some reason A-OK with a woman wanting to spend time with his seven year old while his own wife sees red flags all over. Why would he take Lizzie’s word over hers? How their story lines end up in relation to Lizzie and Lola after all this drama rings hollow–and also doesn’t seem legally feasible. 

I had been drawn in by the big name cast Farrant had assembled, particularly Yvonne Strahovski fresh off of her fantastic “Handmaid’s Tale” work (is there such a thing as ‘maternity battle’ typecasting?) but they’re working in service of a basic script that doesn’t throw anything more exciting at them than a Lifetime TV movie. 

Angel of Mine opens in limited release on August 30th

Behind the Screen: Why Does the “Rise of Skywalker” Trailer Make Me Cry?

I have to admit here that I wasn’t as anxious to see “Star Wars” as many of my friends were.  We were 16 when the film came out and I was more than a year into my love affair with “Jaws.”  Like my friends, I wrote away for, and received from 20th Century Fox, a very nice, full color campaign book.  Four decades later, I still have it.  I liked the film the first time I saw it but, as it got closer to edging out “Jaws” as the most successful film of all time, I began to dislike it.  I wanted to see it again but I didn’t want my $2,50 to be the money that put “Star Wars” on top!   Of course, like the rest of the world, I ended up seeing the film several times that summer.  Like “Jaws” it is an important part of my youth.  Something I could, and still can, share with my friends.  So when they first released the trailer for the upcoming ninth episode – “The Rise of Skywalker” – I watched the live stream so I could be among the first to see it.  And a funny thing happened.  When it was over, I noticed that I was crying.  Not sniffling but CRYING!  Maybe there was something in the air.  So I watched it again.  And I cried again.  I just watched it 10 minutes ago – four months after having first seen it – and guess what?  The tears began to flow.  Was there something wrong with me?  Had I hit some point in my advanced age where I couldn’t control my emotions.  Was this payback for bringing Richard Dreyfuss to tears when I moderated his Q & A?  

The Campaign Book

I’ve gone back and tried to analyze this.  I think what sets me off are the words “THE SAGA COMES TO AN END.”  That and the shot of Lando in the Falcon, which proceeds those words, trigger so many great memories for me.  Like the time we drove to Orlando to see “The Empire Strikes Back” in 70 mm.  We were so stoked when we left the theatre that we circled the shopping center and informed all of those waiting in line over the car’s CB/PA system that  (SPOILER ALERT) “Darth Vader is Luke’s father!”  OK, yes, it was a dick move.  But we were kids.  Sue us.  

I have a lot of great “Star Wars” memories.  Chief among them is being asked to moderate a Q & A a few years ago with a panel that included Gary Kurtz, Alan Dean Foster and Charles Lippincott.  I was honored to be asked to host this event and I brought the campaign book I had received in 1977 with me to get autographed.  When I opened it I was surprised to find a letter inside, telling me about how exciting “Star Wars” was going to be.  I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw that the letter had been signed by Mr. Lippincott.  He basically introduced the film to me and now, 40 years later, I’m helping him and the others introduce it to a new generation.  This memory makes me smile.  So why the waterworks?  

I think it’s the shots of Carrie Fisher that  have an effect on me.  Our Princess was taken from us way too soon.  “No one’s ever really gone,” Mark Hamill tells us in the trailer.  But Carrie Fisher is and that will continue to make me sad.  I commented on a friend’s Facebook post about this the other day and it finally hit me.  This film will officially put an end to my childhood.  I still, and always will, have the memories I’ve shared with friends while we sat in the dark and took on the Empire.  Sadly, many of those friends are no longer with us.  But when I leave the theatre after seeing “The Rise of Skywalker” I’m going to imagine that those friends, like Obi-Wan, Yoda, Qui Gon and Annakin, will be standing in the lobby and smiling as our 42 year journey comes to an end.

Metallica and The San Francisco Symphony’s “S&M²” Coming to Cinemas Worldwide

TRAFALGAR RELEASING TO BRING METALLICA AND SAN FRANCISCO SYMPHONY: S&M²  TO CINEMAS WORLDWIDE ON OCTOBER 9

CELEBRATING THE 20TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE 1999 PERFORMANCE AND GRAMMY-WINNING S&M ALBUM, METALLICA & SAN FRANCISCO SYMPHONY REUNITE FOR S&M². 

THE FILM WILL FEATURE THE FIRST LIVE PERFORMANCES OF S&M ARRANGEMENTS IN 20 YEARS PLUS RENDITIONS OF SONGS WRITTEN AND RELEASED SINCE ORIGINAL SHOW.

TICKETS ON SALE FROM AUGUST 7 FROM METALLICA.FILM

Trafalgar Releasing is excited to announce the forthcoming release of Metallica and San Francisco Symphony: S&M² in cinemas worldwide this October 9. Metallica and San Francisco Symphony reunite to celebrate the 20th anniversary of their original S&M (Symphony & Metallica) show with S&M², filmed at San Francisco’s new Chase Center. 

Tickets will be on sale on August 7 from metallica.film. 

The original S&M concerts were performed by Metallica and San Francisco Symphony and conducted by the late Michael Kamen in spring of 1999 at the Berkeley Community Theatre. 2019’s S&M² concert will feature the first live performances of these arrangements in 20 years, plus the first-ever Metallica and San Francisco Symphony renditions of songs written and released since the original concert, with new orchestral charts by Bruce Coughlin. 

Legendary conductor Michael Tilson Thomas completes the first week of his final season as San Francisco Symphony Music Director with a special appearance, conducting a portion of the show. 

Metallica’s first collaboration with San Francisco Symphony was documented by the Grammy-winning live album S&M

Kymberli Frueh, SVP for Programming and Content Acquisitions at Trafalgar Releasing has said: “Trafalgar Releasing is excited to give Metallica fans around the world a chance to celebrate this anniversary concert together in local cinemas in October.

The original collaboration between two San Francisco legends—Metallica and San Francisco Symphony became a true moment in music history two decades ago. Reuniting again to perform S&M² is a salute to the legendary collaboration and creates a special moment for Metallica fans to see this iconic pairing.” 

The event will be screened in cinemas around the world on October 9. More information can be found at metallica.film, where fans can sign up for event alerts including when tickets go on sale.This announcement follows a busy 2019 in music for Trafalgar Releasing with the upcoming release of Roger Waters Us + ThemRush: Cinema StangiatoThe 9th Annual Grateful Dead Meet-Up at the Moviescoming to cinemas worldwide for the first time ever and BRING THE SOUL: THE MOVIE, the latest film from K-Pop phenomenon BTS. Recent releases have included Tribeca documentary Between Me and My Mind about Phish front man Trey Anastasio, The Cure – Anniversary 1978-2018 Live in Hyde Park LondonKhalid Free Spirit and The Music Center presents Joni 75: A Birthday Celebration.

Nickelodeon Celebrates 20 Years of Spongebob With a 75-hour Dvd Collection of Nautical Nonsense “Spongebob Squarepants: The Best 200 Episodes Ever!”

30-Disc collection with special anniversary poster available exclusively on Amazon Prime Day on July 15, 2019. Available nationwide on August 27, 2019

NEW YORK – July 10, 2019 – Nickelodeon is celebrating twenty years of the worlds’ most recognizable yellow sponge with a special DVD release, SpongeBob SquarePants: The Best 200 Episodes Ever! This DVD collection, made up of two box-sets, will be available exclusively on Amazon Prime Day on July 15, 2019, followed by a nationwide release on August 27, 2019 wherever DVDs are sold. Each DVD comes with the special-edition 20th anniversary SpongeBob SquarePants poster, which was created specifically for Nickelodeon San Diego Comic-Con and features all 760 characters and creatures that have ever appeared on the show. 

This collection contains SpongeBob SquarePants: The First 100 Episodes & SpongeBob SquarePants: The Next 100 Episodes and features every deep-sea adventure from the first 200 episodes of the series. Get lost in the zany and wonderful world of Bikini Bottom and relive every “F.U.N.” episode from the first nine seasons including classic episodes such as “SpongeBob You’re Fired,” “It Came from Goo Lagoon,” and “Mermaidman Begins.”                         

SpongeBob SquarePants: The Best 200 Episodes Ever! fast facts:
Street Date: June 15, 2019 (Amazon Prime); August 27, 2019 (nationwide)
Catalog: 59207160000 (US); 59207161000 (CAN)
Running Time: 75 hrs 33 min
Audio: Dolby Digital English Stereo
S.R.P.: $76.99

The Filmmakers of YESTERDAY

Yesterday…or rather just about a month ago Danny Boyle’s new romantic comedy called Yesterday hit the red carpet as the closing night film of the Tribeca Film Festival. Written by romcom guru Richard Curtis (Love Actually, Four Weddings and a Funeral), the film follows Jack Malik (Himesh Patel) a struggling musician who wakes up one day in a world where the Beatles never existed. In this situation, Jack takes the music world by storm reintroducing classics like “Yesterday”, “Let it Be” and “Hey Jude”.

I got to speak with the talented filmmakers at their premiere about the impact the Beatles had in their own lives and shooting some epic concert scenes.

“Just think how often life has been sort of softened and sweetened by [The Beatles]” – Richard Curtis

Lauren Damon: Soundtracks are so integral to your movies, does it pain you to imagine the world without the Beatles?

Screenwriter Richard Curtis: I think it would be worse! I mean certainly my life would have been worse. You just think how often life has been sort of softened and sweetened by them. When I was living here in America, I was terribly aware of how often you heard Frank Sinatra and I was thinking, ‘God, wouldn’t all these shoe shops be worse without Frank Sinatra to make it less painful?

LD: For the concept of this film did you ever consider other bands being gone?

Curtis: No. No and it’s interesting, is there another band? And I don’t know that there is. A lot of this movie came about was because every time I would go to see my kids’ school plays they would always end with a Beatles song. You know, William the Conqueror would hold King Harold’s hand and they would both sing “We Can Work it Out.” Or you do something about the environment and they sing “Here Comes the Sun.” So I do think at the moment that the Beatles are the most comprehensive band of all.

LD: Did you get to speak to Paul or Ringo about this concept?

Curtis: Well they know about it now. I wrote to Paul asking him if it would be okay to call it “Yesterday” And he wrote back and suggested we call it “Scrambled Eggs” which was the original name of “Yesterday” And he said ‘I think that would be the better title, but if you haven’t got the courage to call it “Scrambled Eggs”, then I don’t mind you calling it “Yesterday”

Film Composer Daniel Pemberton

Film Composer, Daniel Pemberton: Paul and Ringo were very aware of the film. But with this we took a step back because the thing is in this world the Beatles don’t exist…And we kept having to say ‘the Beatles do not exist in this film’ so you have to pretend Paul and Ringo don’t exist.

LD: When you’re starting with a film that’s based around The Beatles when you go in to compose for it, do you draw strains for them? Or is it from scratch?

Pemberton: Yeah, the score element of this film has been massively influenced by the Beatles. So that’s everything from–I tried to approach the score in a way where we would use the sort of sonic landscape the Beatles created. So that would be everything from the instruments, like the mellotron…We actually used some of the actual instruments that the Beatles recorded on. So we recorded at Abbey Road all the score. And so we used things like the Mrs. Mills piano–the piano from “Lady Madonna”. And those are the actual pianos they used on the recordings. We’d also use a similar kind of bass guitars that Paul McCartney plays. We used the same mixing desks and the same recording techniques. But then we tried to write a different score that wasn’t just a pastiche of the Beatles but just had the elements of their work. Almost as if the Beatles had scored this movie, what would it sound like?

Himesh Patel (“Jack Malik”)

Lauren Damon: What was your casting process like to go from tv into this big lead in front of thousands of extras?

Himesh Patel (“Jack”): I mean the casting was kind of just like anything else to be honest. I just got a breakdown and then I did the self-tape and then I met Danny [Boyle] and Richard. And then I met Danny again and then waited a long time and then I got a call.

LD: Do you have a singing background?

Patel: Not in any sort of professional way, no. I did a little bit on the stage in a play I did a couple of years ago. And I’d some, you know, for myself, youth theater and that kind of thing but nothing like this.

LD: What was it like recreating songs like this? Such important and monumental songs?

Patel: It was thrilling, you know but also a little bit nerve-wracking. The people I was working with, the people we got on board with were really great and so I never felt the pressure of what we were doing. And we had a little bit of leeway because narratively the songs don’t exist. So we could make them our own.

LD: Do you have a favorite?

Patel: A favorite…I mean, one of the ones I love singing was “Long and Winding Road.” I think it’s a really beautiful song…and where it sits in the movie is so beautiful too.

Yesterday is out this weekend in theaters

“Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!” Limited Edition 50th Anniversary Mystery Mansion – Available September 3, 2019

SCOOBY-DOO, WHERE ARE YOU!:THE LIMITED EDITION 50TH ANNIVERSARY MYSTERY MANSION RELEASED BY WARNER BROS. HOME ENTERTAINMENT SEPTEMBER 3, 2019 FEATURES ALL EPISODES OF THE ICONIC SCOOBY-DOO WHERE ARE YOU! SERIES ON BLU-RAY FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER!

Four-Disc Collection Includes 41 Episodes Packaged in a Limited Edition Collectible Mystery Mansion Giftset that Features Enhanced Content Plus Unique Memorabilia Including an Exclusive Scooby-Doo Funko Keychain and A Mini Scooby-Doo Encyclopedia!

BURBANK, CA (June 25, 2019) – Warner Bros. Home Entertainment (WBHE) salutes that lovable Great Dane, Scooby-Doo and the Mystery Inc. gang with the release of Scooby-Doo, Where are You!: The Complete Series Limited Edition 50th Anniversary Mystery MansionAvailable in stores on September 3, 2019, this release is packaged in an eye-catching, limited edition collectible mystery mansion giftset that includes all 41 episodes of the original series, Scooby-Doo! Where are You!, released on Blu-ray™ for the first time, as well as a Digital Copy of the series. This must-own box set has some fun extras. The set contains all-new HD content and Scooby-Doo collectibles including an exclusive Scooby-Doo Funko keychain, and a mini Scooby-Doo Encyclopedia. Scooby-Doo, Where are You!: The Complete Series Limited Edition 50th Anniversary Mystery Mansion will retail for $89.99 SRP.                   

 For 50 years, the Mystery Inc. gang has entertained Scooby-Doo fans with zany hijinks, action-packed adventures and engaging mysteries that have captivated viewers of all ages. What started as a Saturday morning cartoon, exploded into an enormously successful franchise encompassing multiple spin-off series, original animated and live action films, consumer products and much more. Now fans have the opportunity to enjoy the original series which launched Scooby-Doo into worldwide stardom. Scooby-Doo follows the adventures of four teens, Fred, Daphne, Velma, Shaggy and his lovable, but cowardly Great Dane, Scooby-Doo, as they travel far and wide in their stylish van, the Mystery Machine, to solve mysteries involving ghosts, monsters and other supernatural forces. Their entertaining adventures are always filled with hilarious hijinks and sometimes even catchy musical moments. Through teamwork and clever investigation, the teen sleuths solve case after case, while unmasking the villains who are usually behind each of the mysteries they encounter.  “We are thrilled to celebrate the golden anniversary of Scooby-Doo, with the release of this gorgeous, limited edition, collectible set,” said Mary Ellen Thomas, Vice President Family & Animation Marketing. She added, “The original Scooby-Doo! Where are You! series is an iconic cartoon that has captivated audiences for generations. We are delighted to release the series on Blu-ray™ for the first time ever. Scooby-Doo fans and collectors won’t want to miss the chance to own this unique, classic animation collectible.” Brand-new Bonus Content:

  • My Life with Scooby – Frank Welker’s Animated Journey (Featurette):
    Frank Welker is the only voice actor to work on Scooby-Doo in its many incarnations, since the very first series debuted in 1969. Welker has been the voice of Freddy since the beginning and has provided the voice of Scooby-Doo since 2002. My Life with Scooby is a personal look at the seminal voice actor’s five-decade body of work on Scooby-Doo, complete with personal stories and fun memories from the recording booth.
  • A Scooby-Doo for Everyone (Featurette):
    The iconic look and feel of the original Scooby-Doo cartoon is a beloved classic… and within 50 years of animated adventures, WB Animation has created a host of different versions of the series for each new generation.  From the kid-friendly approach of A Pup Named Scooby-Doo to the envisioned look of Be Cool Scooby-Doo, WB Animation has consistently reimagined the characters in fun and exciting ways over five decades.  Interviews with the animators behind the many different Scooby-Doo versions, reveal the compelling creative process.
  • 50 Years of Scooby Snacks (Featurette):
    A narrated history of the cultural impact of everyone’s favorite mystery-solving gang over the last 50 years.  This fun-filled featurette is brought to life by interviews with creatives and cultural historians, plus clips from the TV series, films, toys lines, Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi Scooby-Doo ride, and upcoming animated feature…Scoob.
  • Scooby-Doo and the Lost City of Gold Trailer: 
    A sneak peak of the all-new Scooby-Doo! Live stage production.

Bonus Content (Previously Released):

  • Scooby-Doo’s Ultimate FansHail the Gang’s Followers and Memorabilia Collectors
  • Get the Picture: How to draw Scooby-Doo and the Gang.
  • Funky Fashion
  • America Loves Scooby-Doo: Music Video
  • Scooby-Doo Street Smarts: Favorite cases of Scooby-Doo Fans
  • Take the Scooby-Doo Challenge
  • Hanna-Barbera: From H to B: Uncover how the studio’s artists and animators collaborate internally and connect with fans externally.
  • Scooby-Doo The Whole World Loves You!: It’s a fun-filled exploration of the world’s on-going love affair with all things Scooby-Doo.  With interviews with actors, writers, and directors of various Scooby-Doo TV series and movies from the last 50 years.
  • The Eerie Mystery of the Scooby-Doo HistoryThis featurette talks about the beginnings of Scooby-Doo and how the show came to exist from the point of view of the executives and creative team behind the show.
  • The Scooby-Doo Gang: In Their Own Words: This featurette talks about the original voice cast of Scooby-Doo and how they originated the characters’ distinctive voices.

Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!:The Complete Series Limited Edition 50th Anniversary Mystery Mansion Featured Episodes

1.What a Night for a Knight
2.A Clue for Scooby-Doo
3.Hassle in the Castle
4.Mine Your Own Business
5.Decoy for a Dognapper
6.What the Hex is Going On?
7.Never Ape and Ape Man
8.Foul Play in Funland
9.The Backstage Rage
10.Bedlam in the Big Top
11.A Gaggle of Galloping Ghosts
12.Scooby-Doo and a Mummy, Too
13.Which Witch is Which?
14.Go Away Ghost Ship
15.Spooky Space Kook “That crazy spaceman, yeah!”
16.A Night of Fright Is No Delight
17.That’s Snow Ghost
18.Nowhere to Hyde
19.Mystery Mask Mix-Up
20.Scooby’s Night with a Frozen Fright
21.Jeepers, It’s the Creeper
22.Haunted House Hang-Up
23.A Tiki Scare Is No Fair
24.Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Werewolf?
25.Don’t Fool with a Phantom
26.Watch Out! The Willawaw!
27.To Switch a Witch
28.A Creepy Tangle in the Bermuda Triangle
29.The Creepy Case of Old Iron Face
30.A Highlight Fling with a Monstrous Thing
31.A Scary Night With a Snow Beast Fright
32.The Tar Monster
33.Jeepers, It’s the Jaguaro
34.The Creepy Creature of Vulture’s Claw
35.Who Was That Cat Creature I Saw You With Last Night? (a.k.a. Make A Beeline Away From That Feline)
36.The Diabolical Disc Demon
37.Scooby’s Chinese Fortune Kooky Caper
38.A Menace in Venice
39.Don’t Go Near the Fortress of Fear
40.The Beast is Awake in Bottomless Lake
41.The Warlock of Wimbledon

Digital – Scooby-Doo, Where are You!: The Complete Series is now available to own on digital. Digital ownership allows consumers to instantly stream and download all episodes to watch anywhere and anytime on their favorite devices.  Digital movies and TV shows are available from various digital retailers including iTunes, Google Play, Vudu, and others.  

The Credits – About Warner Bros. Animation Warner Bros. Animation (WBA) is one of the leading producers of animation in the entertainment industry, producing and developing projects for multiple platforms, both domestically and internationally. WBA’s TV series include Teen Titans Go!, Unikitty!, DC Super Hero Girls and the upcoming ThunderCats Roar for Cartoon Network; Bunnicula, Dorothy and the Wizard of Oz, The Tom and Jerry ShowNew Looney Tunes, Wacky Races and the upcoming Scooby-Doo! and Guess Who? and Yabba Dabba Dinosaurs for Boomerang; Mike Tyson Mysteries for Adult Swim; Green Eggs and Ham for Netflix; Harley Quinn and Young Justice: Outsiders for DC UNIVERSE; Animaniacs for Hulu; and the upcoming Looney Tunes Cartoons content initiative. Theatrically, WBA’s full-length film, Teen Titans GO! to the Movies, released in summer 2018. As home to the iconic animated characters from the DC, Hanna-Barbera, MGM and Looney Tunes libraries, WBA also produces highly successful animated films — including the DC Universe Animated Original Movies — for DVD, Blu-ray® and digital media. One of the most-honored animation studios in history, WBA has won six Academy Awards®, 35 Emmy® Awards, the George Foster Peabody Award, an Environmental Media Award, a Parents’ Choice Award, the HUMANITAS Prize, two Prism Awards and 20 Annie Awards (honoring excellence in animation). 

About Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Inc.Warner Bros. Home Entertainment (WBHE) brings together Warner Bros. Entertainment’s home video, digital distribution and interactive entertainment businesses in order to maximize current and next-generation distribution scenarios. An industry leader since its inception, WBHE oversees the global distribution of content through packaged goods (Blu-ray Disc™ and DVD) and digital media in the form of electronic sell-through and video-on-demand via cable, satellite, online and mobile channels, and is a significant developer and publisher for console and online video game titles worldwide. WBHE distributes its product through third party retail partners and licensees.

“Toy Story 4” Summer Road Trip Rolls into Kansas City on June 23rd

 Attention “Toy Story” fans, this announcement is for YOU!

  On Sunday, June 23rd, the “Toy Story 4” Summer Road Trip will be making a stop in the Kansas City area. A “Toy Story 4”-themed RV will roll into Kansas City, featuring photo opportunities for fans, film-themed prizes, carnival games and lots of family-friendly fun.     

Local “Toy Story” fans are invited to take part in the activities. Two film ambassadors will be on hand to share details about fan-favorite characters—Woody, Buzz, Bo Peep—as well as new characters coming to the big screen—Forky, Bunny, Ducky and Duke Caboom, among others—learn more about this all-new adventure.     

The event will be held at the AMC Town Center 20, 11701 Nall Ave. in Leawood, Kansas and will run from 10:00 am through 3:00 pm.

2019 Summer Movie Preview

As Memorial Day has come and gone, it’s time once again to take a look at some of the films being offered to us for our air conditioned enjoyment. As always, special thanks to our friends at the Internet Movie Database for some synopsis information. Opening dates shown are subject to change at the whim of the studios.
(*) denotes a film that one of Media Mikes’ critics are especially looking forward to.

MAY 31st

*ROCKETMAN
Starring: Taron Egerton, Jamie Bell and Bryce Dallas Howard
Directed by: Dexter Fletcher

At first I was shocked when I heard about this film. Harlan Williams playing Elton John??? Then I realized it was a different Rocketman. Following in the footsteps of “Bohemian Rhapsody,” this bio-pic tells the story of one Reginald Dwight, who the world knows as Sir Elton John. Director Fletcher took over for Bryan Singer on “Bohemian Rhapsody” and early reviews say this film is equally good.

GODZILLA: KING OF THE MONSTERS
Starring: Godzilla, Rodan, Mothra
Directed by: Michael Dougherty

The big guy is back and he’s bringing his pals with him.

MA
Starring: Octavia Spencer, Juliette Lewis
Directed by: Tate Taylor

The Podcast gang spent a lot of time trying to come up with the plot to this one. Give it a listen and let us know if we got it right.

JUNE 7th

DARK PHOENIX
Starring: Sophie Turner, James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender
Directed by: Simon Kinberg

Jean Grey begins to develop incredible powers that corrupt and turn her into a Dark Phoenix. Now the X-Men will have to decide if the life of a team member is worth more than all the people living in the world. Though it’s being released by Disney, this was originally a 20th Century Fox property. Now that the MCU is ALMOST one big happy family, I’m curious if the X-men will show up in a future Avengers film.

*LATE NIGHT
Starring: Mindy Kaling, John Lithgow and Emma Thompson
Directed by: Nisha Ganatra

A late night talk show host suspects that she may soon be losing her long-running show. Kaling is always fun to watch and I’ve been in love with Emma Thompson since “The Tall Guy!”

*THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS 2
Starring the voices of: Kevin Hart and Patton Oswalt
Directed by: Chris Renaud, Jonathan del Val

Continuing the story of Max and his pet friends, following their secret lives after their owners leave them for work or school each day. Hopefully in this one, Hart’s Snowball isn’t homicidal.

JUNE 14th

AMERICAN WOMAN
Starring: Sienna Miller, Aaron Paul
Directed by: Jake Scott

A woman raises her young grandson after her daughter goes missing.

*MEN IN BLACK: INTERNATIONAL
Starring: Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson
Directed by: F. Gary Gray

The Men in Black have always protected the Earth from the scum of the universe. In this new adventure, they tackle their biggest threat to date: a mole in the Men in Black organization. Sadly, the newbies won’t be trained by agents J or K.

JUNE 21st

CHILD’S PLAY
Starring: Aubrey Plaza, Tim Matheson
Directed by: Lars Klevberg

Hollywood again picks the bones of a dead franchise and tries to breathe new life into it. The bad news: Brad Dourif is not the voice of Chucky. The good news: Mark Hamill is.

TOY STORY 4
Starring the voices of: Tom Hanks, Tim Allen
Directed by: Josh Cooley

When a new toy called “Forky” joins Woody and the gang, a road trip alongside old and new friends reveals how big the world can be for a toy. Disney’s movie about toys dolls is going to kick the crap out the Universal’s movie about a toy doll at the box office.

JUNE 28th

ANNABELLE COMES HOME

Starring: Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson
Directed by: Gary Dauberman

Determined to keep Annabelle from wreaking more havoc, demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren bring the possessed doll to the locked artifacts room in their home, placing her “safely” behind sacred glass and enlisting a priest’s holy blessing. But an unholy night of horror awaits as Annabelle awakens the evil spirits in the room, who all set their sights on a new target-the Warrens’ ten-year-old daughter, Judy, and her friends. The real Lorraine Warren recently passed away, for those of you keeping score at home.

*YESTERDAY

Starring: Himesh Patel, Lily James
Directed by: Danny Boyle

A struggling musician realizes he’s the only person on Earth who can remember The Beatles after waking up in an alternate timeline where they never existed. Written by the great Richard Curtis – who also wrote “The Tall Guy,” the movie I first fell in love with Emma Thompson with.

JULY 2nd

*SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME
Starring: Tom Holland, Jacob Batalon and Marisa Tomei
Directed by: Jon Watts

Following the events of “Avengers: Endgame,” Spider-Man must step up to take on new threats in a world that has changed forever. I’m guessing the start of Phase 3 of the MCU? Love Holland as Spidey and Batalon’s Ned is one of my favorite movie side-kicks ever.

JULY 12th

*STUBER
Starring: Kumail Nanjiani, Dave Bautista
Directed by: Michael Dowse

A detective recruits his Uber driver into an unexpected night of adventure. As someone that has driven for Uber I will admit I’m intrigued. The most exciting thing that ever happened to me was a woman breaking up with her boyfriend in the back of my car!

JULY 19th

THE LION KING
Starring the voices of: Seth Rogen, Donald Glover and Beyonce’
Directed by: Jon Favreau

For those of you who have been on Mars for the last 25 years: After the murder of his father, a young lion prince flees his kingdom only to learn the true meaning of responsibility and bravery. Favreau worked miracles with his version of “The Jungle Book” and Disney is hoping this is another “Aladdin,” not “Dumbo.”

JULY 26th

*ONCE UPON A TIME IN… HOLLYWOOD
Starring: Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio and Margo Robbie
Directed by: Quentin Tarantino

It’s the summer of 1969 and a lot of things are happening in Hollywood. Sex. Drugs. And Charles Manson. As advertised, this is the 9th film directed by Tarantino, who has always said he plans on making 10 and retiring. I challenge you to find a filmmaker that has made as many films as he has without making a dud. Even my favorite director, Steven Spielberg, has made a misstep (I’m looking at YOU, “Hook”).

AUGUST 2nd

FAST AND FURIOUS PRESENTS: HOBBS and SHAW
Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham and lots of cars
Directed by: David Leitch

When the eighth film in this franchise came out I joked on our Podcast that the next one would be called “Fine and Furious,” because “fine” rhymes with “nine.” However, to avoid paying me money, Universal has chosen this title. Lawman Luke Hobbs and outcast Deckard Shaw form an unlikely alliance when a cyber-genetically enhanced villain threatens the future of humanity. I’ve only seen the original and part 5. However, the addition of Idris Elba as the villain might pull me into the theatre for this one.

AUGUST 9th

*SCARY STORIES TO TELL IN THE DARK
Starring: Michael Garza and Austin Zajur
Directed by: André Øvredal

A group of teens face their fears in order to save their lives. Podcast co-host Loey Lockerby says that these books scared the hell out of her when she was a kid.

AUGUST 16th

47 METERS DOWN: UNCAGED
Starring: John Corbett, Nia Long
Directed by: Johannes Roberts

Four teen girls diving in a ruined underwater city quickly learn they’ve entered the territory of the deadliest shark species in the claustrophobic labyrinth of submerged caves. Why isn’t this being called “48 Meters Down?”

*WHERE’D YOU GO, BERNADETTE
Starring: Cate Blanchett, Kristin Wiig and Laurence Fishburne
Directed by: Richard Linklater

A loving mom becomes compelled to reconnect with her creative passions after years of sacrificing herself for her family. Her leap of faith takes her on an epic adventure that jump-starts her life and leads to her triumphant rediscovery.

AUGUST 30th

In Germany, our movie would be called “De Scheisse”

PLAYMOBIL THE MOVIE
Starring the voices of: Daniel Radcliffe and Kenan Thompson
Directed by: Lino DiSalvo

Animated feature film inspired by the Playmobil brand toys. Are you ****ing kidding me??? PLAYMOBIL THE MOVIE???? A movie about the little toys my grandchildren play with?? Quick, get me Hollywood…I want to make a movie about the game of Jacks! Believe it or not, Daniel Radcliffe was not only Harry Potter but did “Equus” on Broadway. How the mighty have fallen. Look for him to reprise the role of Harry Potter when he leads tours around Universal Orlando.

Look for our movie NEXT summer!

 
Related Content

Stellan Skarsgard and Emily Watson on HBO’s “CHERNOBYL”

Chernobyl filmmakers on the red carpet

In April 1986 the most catastrophic man-made incident the planet had ever seen occurred when reactor 4 of the Chernobyl nuclear plant exploded during what should have been a safety test. The effects of the accident still wreak havoc over the landscape and containing the fallout has become an industry unto itself. It’s a job which will require centuries of human support. Tonight on HBO, Craig Mazin’s five-part miniseries, CHERNOBYL, dives deep into the the accident as it happened and the human cost and bravery it required to ensure that this tragedy did not engulf still millions more.

This past week at the Tribeca Film Festival, Mazin and his talented cast debuted the first two episodes of the series on the accident’s 33rd anniversary. The premiere episode was nothing short of a nightmare as the series delves into, in brutal detail, the accident and the shocking mishandling of both the initial fire and the surrounding population in those crucial first hours and days of fallout. It was a tense first hour and a brilliant setup into the second which saw the introduction of the scientists and politicians who then had to set about handling what was to come. The second episode in particular sees a stellar performance from Stellan Skarsgard as he plays a man coming to grips with his own mortality and entreating fellow countrymen to show selflessness so that millions can be saved. I spoke with Skarsgard, who also offered brief comments on his upcoming work in DUNE, as well as co-star Emily Watson on the red carpet about their own knowledge of the accident as it happened and the timely message this series has to offer in regards to listening to scientists.

“I think it’s a parable for our times. I think you ignore the truth and scientists at your peril. ” – Emily Watson

Emily Watson plays Ulana Khomyuk, a character created for the show as an entry-point into the role of a collection of European scientists in the fallout of Chernobyl.

Lauren Damon: Your character isn’t one specific person, but represents a collection of people involved with the accident, did you speak to people who experienced this?

Emily Watson: No. It’s sort of in tribute to many of the scientists who worked on the discovery of what happened. So I kind of had a bit of a blank sheet really to make up what I wanted to do. But Craig had written the character as coming from Belarus, which is a place that suffered terribly in the second world war. And she would have been a young child at that time, so that gave me a sense of just finding someone who was very very tough. It made her the perfect person really to go after the truth and find out what happened.

Do you remember when you were first aware of the Chernobyl accident in your life?

Watson: Yeah, I was a student at university and I remember there were students at my college who were on a year out, away in Kiev, and they all had to come home pretty quickly, it was very scary.

Did you have any misconceptions about the event going into this project that the script changed for you?

Watson: Oh my god, when I started reading the script, I had no idea that sort of within a few days–sort of 48 hours after the first explosion–there could have been one that was ten times worse. That would have taken out half of Europe.

In theory you could have been in range of those effects?

Watson: Definitely in range of radiation fallout…But yeah, it could have been much much worse. It was due to the heroism of the people on the ground who contained it and prevented it from being much worse.

What’s the biggest take away you’d like viewers to get from this series?

Watson: I think it’s a parable for our times. I think you ignore the truth and scientists at your peril.

Stellan Skarsgard plays Boris Shcherbina, the Deputy Head of the Soviet Government at the time.

What did you find surprising from hearing about Chernobyl originally in 1986 and then from working on this project?

Stellan Skarsgard: What I knew from ’86 was what you got from news media, which gave you a sort of superficial idea of what actually happened. What we learned through working with this material is I know now what technically went wrong, how the reactor works and what the mistakes they made were.

You also learn about it [was] more grave, the sort of the political system–the impact that had on the accident. When you have a system that is supposed to be perfect, you cannot allow any dissent in terms of somebody criticizing anything you do or any flaws cannot be accepted. And that then means that the truth was suppressed. It was all over the Soviet Union at the time. I mean truth is suppressed also for other reasons in the west now. I mean when you talk about Fukushima that was money that suppressed truth and created disaster there. In Boeing, you sent planes that are not fit for flying because you want to make money. So another way of suppressing truth and science. I think it’s important, an important film because it–not only because it talks about what we’re doing to this planet, the environment, which is really scary, but it also talks about how important it is that we listen to people who know what they’re talking about.

Facts are facts. They are not just individual ideas. Some facts you have to deal with and you have to accept and we have to listen to scientists. I mean 98% of the scientists in the world say that we are heading for a catastrophe in terms of global warming. We cannot ignore that. Do not ignore that.

Tell us about your character

Skarsgard: My character I’m playing Boris Shcherbina who was a minister in the government and who got the responsibility for cleaning up the mess. And he’s a man who spent his entire life working within the system and defending the system and he ends up realizing that this accident is a result of the system. And he has to question the system and he also has to decide whether he should keep on defending the system that is flawed. Or if he should start defending the truth.

Skarsgard’s next film role is in the highly anticipated adaptation of Frank Herbert’s sci-fi classic, DUNE, where he’ll play the villainous Baron Harkonnen

Lauren Damon: Have you begun work on DUNE as Baron Harkonnen?

Skarsgard:I haven’t started shooting yet, we’re still doing prosthetics work

That’s what I was wondering! Because the Baron is such a grotesque character but when you were cast I remember looking at a shot of you as Bootstrap Bill [Skarsgard’s heavily barnacled Pirates of the Caribbean role] and thinking ‘This man can handle anything they put on him!’

Skarsgard: [Laughs] That’s very nice of you! Thank you. I will probably spend probably six to eight hours a day in makeup and it will look fantastic.

“I will probably spend probably six to eight hours a day in makeup and it will look fantastic.” -Stellan Skarsgard on his upcoming DUNE role

What are you most excited about in doing that project?

Skarsgard: It’s a great story. It’s a fantastic world and Denis Villeneuve is a director that I’ve always wanted to work with. So I’m really happy, he’s a wonderful man and a great director. So I think–except for the eight hours in makeup–I think I’ll have a fun time.

Chernobyl airs tonight at 9pm on HBO

Michael Biehn and “Aliens” coming to Omaha

The month of May is known for many things. Flowers. The first beginnings of summer. And, here in the Midwest, another great Classic Film Screening presented by Omaha film historian Bruce Crawford.

Over the years, Bruce has put together some amazing screenings, including “Jaws,” “The Godfather,” “Young Frankenstein” and many more. On May 24th Crawford will present a special screening of James Cameron’s sci-fi classic “Aliens,” with the film’s co-star, actor Michael Biehn, in attendance.

The screening will be held on Friday, May 24, 2019 at the beautiful Joslyn Art Museum, 2200 Dodge Street in Omaha. Mr. Biehn will address the audience prior to the film and will have a meet and greet autograph session with fans after the show.

Tickets go on sale Thursday, May 2nd for $24 each and can be purchased at the customer service counters of all Omaha-area Hy Vee food stores. Proceeds will benefit the Nebraska Kidney Association. Tickets are not sold by the Joslyn Art Museum. For more information  call (402) 932-7200 or (308) 830-2121 or click HERE.

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