Dhaka, July 14 (UNB) - Disney has released a featurette on the voice cast of the upcoming The Lion King. The film is an updated version of the 1994 animated feature that featured a young lion called Simba who is driven away from his home by his uncle Scar who also murders Simba’s father and his brother, the reigning King Mufasa, reports The Indian Express.
The film is technically photorealistic and not live-action, since it recreated the characters in a lifelike fashion but does not use actual animals.
“With this film, we wanted to honour the past, but we also wanted to do something fresh,” Favreau, who is also known for playing the role of Happy Hogan in the MCU, explains. Donald Glover, who plays Simba says, “I really love the Lion King, so I feel really blessed to be a part of it.”
“Jon gave JD (McCrary, who voices young Simba) and I so much freedom to create that great relationship between young Nala and young Simba,” says Shahadi Wright Joseph, who voices the young Nala. She is best known for Jordan Peele’s horror feature Us.
The Lion King has divided critics. It has scored 60 per cent at Rotten Tomatoes, which is just above average. The consensus reads, “While it can take pride in its visual achievements. The Lion King is a by-the-numbers retelling that lacks the energy and heart that made the original so beloved–though for some fans that may just be enough, reports The Indian Express.
Directed by Jon Favreau (who also helmed 2016’s The Jungle Book), The Lion King features James Earl Jones returning from the original as Mufasa. Donald Glover voices the adult Simba, with Chiwetel Ejiofor giving his voice to Scar. Seth Rogen, Alfre Woodard, Billy Eichner, John Kani, John Oliver, Beyoncé also lend their voices.
The Lion King releases on July 19.
Dhaka, July 13 (UNB) - It has been over two months since Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Avengers Endgame released in theatres, and so many days have passed since the audience left cinema halls with a bittersweet feeling after bidding farewell to one of their favourite superheroes, Iron Man aka Tony Stark,reports The Indian Express.
Robert Downey Jr, who essayed the iconic character for a decade, recently opened up on life post the completion of the Infinity saga during an interview with Off Camera with Sam Jones.
Speaking about the same, the Endgame star said, “I have not been forced to explore the new frontier of what is my creative and personal life after this.”
Explaining that he is now exploring uncharted territory post his long stint as Iron Man, the actor added, “There’s always a dependency on something that feels like a sure thing. It’s the closest I will ever come to being a trust fund kid.”
The actor, who received worldwide fame and made a fortune from the box office collection of the MCU movies, said that sometimes due to his very close association with the company, he would fear losing his identity as an actor.
“I am not my work. I am not what I did with that studio. I am not that period of time that I spent playing this character. And it sucks, because the kid in all of us wants to be like, ‘No. It’s always going to be summer camp and we’re all holding hands and singing ‘Kumbaya’,” the star concluded.
On the work front, Downey Jr is looking forward to the release of The Voyage of Doctor Dolittle. The actor also has Sherlock Holmes 3 in the pipeline.
Beijing, July 13 (Xinhua/UNB) -- "The Lion King," a new live action-style remake, topped the Chinese mainland box office on Friday, with a strong first-day performance, China Movie Data Information Network reported Saturday.
The film, with prominent CGI special effects, raked in 95.13 million yuan (about 13.83 million U.S. dollars) at the box office, accounting for nearly half of the daily total.
A Chinese anti-drug action film grossed 60 million yuan (8.72 million U.S. dollars), accounting for 29.13 percent of the daily ticket sales.
"Spider-Man: Far from Home," the latest installment of the acclaimed Marvel Cinematic Universe, fell to third place, generating around 14.6 million yuan.
New York, Jul 13 (AP/UNB) — In 1964, Stanley Kubrick, on the recommendation of the science-fiction author Arthur C. Clarke, bought a telescope.
"He got this Questar and he attached one of his cameras to it," remembers Katharina Kubrick, the filmmaker's stepdaughter. "On a night where there was a lunar eclipse, he dragged us all out onto the balcony and we were able to see the moon like a big rubber ball. I don't think I've seen it as clearly since. He loved that thing. He looked at it all the time."
Space exploration was then an exciting possibility, but one far from realization. That July, the NASA's Ranger 7 sent back high-resolution photographs from the moon's surface. Kubrick and Clarke, convinced the moon was only the start, began to toil on a script together. It would be five years before astronauts landed on the moon, on July 20, 1969. Kubrick took flight sooner. "2001: A Space Odyssey" opened in theaters April 3, 1968.
The space race was always going to be won by filmmakers and science-fiction writers. Jules Verne penned "From the Earth to the Moon" in 1865, prophesying three U.S. astronauts rocketing from Florida to the moon. George Melies' 1902 silent classic "A Trip to the Moon" had a rocket ship landing in the eye of the man in the moon. "Destination Moon," based on Robert Heinlein's tale, got there in 1950, and won an Oscar for special effects. Three years before Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on the lunar surface, "Star Trek" began airing.
It's no wonder that the moon landing seemed like the stuff of movies. Some conspiracy theorists claimed it was one: another Kubrick production. But the truth of the landing was intertwined with cinema.
Audio recordings from Mission Control during Apollo 11 capture flight controllers talking about "2001." The day of the landing, Heinlein and Clarke were on air with Walter Cronkite . Heinlein called it "New Year's Day of the Year One."
The landing was a giant leap not just for mankind but for filmmaking. The astronauts on board Apollo 11 carried multiple film cameras with them , including two 16mm cameras and several 70mm Hasselblad 500s. Some cameras were affixed to the lunar module and the astronauts' suits, others they carried on the journey. Their training was rudimentary, but they were filmmakers. Armstrong, Aldrin and Michael Collins were all later made honorary members of the American Society of Cinematographers.
Those images, broadcast live on television, were crucial proof for the mission. Filmmaker Todd Michael Douglas, whose archival-based "Apollo 11" has been one of the year's most acclaimed and popular documentaries, believes they constitute some of the most important images in cinema history.
"How could you argue with Buzz Aldrin's landing shot with a 16mm camera using variable frame rate and shutter exposures out the lunar module window?" marvels Douglas. "I mean, come up with a better shot in cinema history than the landing on the moon. And likewise, Michael Collins in the command module seeing the lunar module come off the surface of the moon. They're incredible shots on their own and they're also technically astute."
The possibility of traveling to the moon had long invigorated the dreams of storytellers. But the realization of that vision, and the images it produced, opened up entirely new horizons. The moon landing inspired films that greatly expanded the realm of science fiction and began an ongoing dance between the space program and the movies: two sunny industries driven by technological discovery and starry-eyed daydreams.
Many of the foremost filmmakers then coming of age turned to space. George Lucas debuted "Star Wars" in 1977, the same year Steven Spielberg released "Close Encounters of the Third Kind." Ridley Scott's "Alien," suggesting a less harmonious universe, came out two years later.
Science fiction runs on its own parallel timeline. It resides beyond contemporary reality while at the same time being informed by it. It's built on future dreams past. Lucas was inspired by the 1936 serial "Flash Gordon." Spielberg, who later made Kubrick's "A.I.," referred to "2001," not the moon landing, as the genre's "big bang."
But, unmistakably, a new frontier opened when Apollo 11 landed. Philip Kaufman purposefully began his 1983 Oscar-winning epic "The Right Stuff," based on Tom Wolfe's book about the daring test pilots of the space program's early days, with Chuck Yeager (Sam Shepherd) on a horseback.
"'The Right Stuff' is right from the beginning a continuation of the Western," Kaufman says. "The hero of 'The Right Stuff' is a spirit. It's called the Right Stuff and it's something that's ineffable. It's the ultimate modesty in a way. It's in the great laconic characters of the Western. You don't brag. You do your task in the best way possible. And maybe, as in 'The Searchers' or 'Shane,' you walk away at the end."
The extraordinary height of achievement of the moon landing has ever since been a measuring stick for America. The partisan reception to last year's "First Man," with Ryan Gosling as Armstrong, was its own reflection of the country's present. Kaufman, 82, imagines an ongoing search for "the right stuff."
"How do we refresh that sense of adventure?" he wonders, citing the touristy lines on Mount Everest. "How do we memorialize the landing on the moon not just with parades and self-congratulation but a sense of reverence for the greatness of the people who did it?"
Ever since the moon landing made fantasy real, a strain of science-fiction has ridden scientific accuracy for big-screen spectacle. Ridley Scott's "The Martian" (2015) and Christopher Nolan's "Interstellar" (2014) took physics-based approaches to tell reasonably plausible tales of space travel, with scientists as consultants. NASA helped extensively on Ron Howard's Oscar-winning "Apollo 13" (1995). Weightless scenes were filmed 25 seconds at a time on NASA's KC-135 plane, in momentary zero gravity.
Margaret Weitekamp, curator of space and science-fiction history at the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum, sees a reciprocal relationship between filmmakers and scientists, with ideas flowing between the two — often to the benefit of NASA.
"When you see films in the post-Apollo era that really capture the spirit and triumph and the glory of human space flight, like 'The Right Stuff' and 'Apollo 13,' you see a direct increase in approval ratings for NASA and human space flight," Weitekamp said. "After 'The Martian,' NASA had one of the largest recruiting application pools that they've ever had for the astronaut program."
Other filmmakers saw something different, and lonelier on the moon and the potentially lifeless reaches of space. Russian filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky, who found "2001" too sterile, sought to make a more human space drama in "Solaris" (1972). The space station was shabbier, the emotions more earthbound. The French filmmaker Claire Denis, in this year's "High Life" with Robert Pattinson, similarly went to space only to wrestle with many of things she always has: sex, violence, parenthood.
"A lot of science fiction films are about conquest," Denis says. "In that void, that huge universe, there's not many things to fight, unless you do 'Star Wars' and there's an alien living there."
As has been often said, we went to the moon and ended up seeing the Earth more clearly. For Kubrick, glued to the Apollo 11 broadcast 50 years ago, that was literally true.
"I remember very clearly when we first saw a picture of our Earth, Stanley was immediately disappointed and depressed that he hadn't gotten the model of the Earth in '2001' the right color," Katharina recalls. "In the film, it's very pale blue and misty and cloudy. But we hadn't really seen it yet. We didn't know how clearly we'd be able to see it. He just said, 'Oh gee, I should have made it bluer.'"
Dhaka, July 12 (UNB) - Yesterday movie review: Richard Curtis and co-writer Jack Barth keep the film light, easy and fun, with of course great music to keep it all rolling, reports The Indian Express.
Yesterday movie cast: Himesh Patel, Lily James, Kate McKinnon, Meera Syal, Sanjeev Bhaskar, Joel Fry, Ed Sheeran
Yesterday movie director: Danny Boyle
Yesterday movie rating: 3 stars
What if the Beatles were one of us? Really, a slob like one of us. Brown, mildly talented, living with endearing but irritating parents, and as McKinnon’s exaggerated American agent puts it, someone who can be bafflingly “skinny but round at the same time”.
Director Danny Boyle and co-scriptwriter Richard Curtis, with many a crowd-pleaser film between them, present an interesting subversion here. One night, as Jack (Patel) is returning from yet another failed singing gig, and has just told his amazingly supportive manager (James) that he is calling it quits, there is a solar flare, a global blackout, and an accident. When Jack comes to his senses, it’s with two teeth missing and to a world with no memory of the Beatles. It’s only he who remembers one of the world’s greatest singing sensations and the songs that got them there.
As Jack strums those numbers, everyone believes it is he who is writing and setting music to them, rendering him an overnight sensation. So one of Britain’s most famous contributions to the world now is a desi lad with curly hair, paunchy middle, Malik for surname and Meera Syal and Sanjeev Bhaskar of The Kumars at No. 42 (as good as ever, answering a constantly ringing doorbell still) for parents.
Boyle, thankfully, doesn’t take the Slumdog Millionaire route, neither is Yesterday about race etcetera. Jack is just another Paul, John, George or Ringo in this world, surrounded by normal friends and a normal life. Curtis and co-writer Jack Barth keep the film light, easy and fun, with of course great music to keep it all rolling.
However, they never make it to the next level. Beyond the Beatles and a loving ode to them, what is Yesterday about? It doesn’t turn out, sadly, about whether music can indeed surmount all boundaries of looks, race, nationality, and colour. It hints but doesn’t explore what would happen should the Beatles debut now, with the millennials, their micro attention spans, and the marketing. It is not about Britain’s whole-hearted acceptance of its largest and fastest-rising immigrant population. And it’s not about, finally, even life after fame.
What it turns out to be is an improbable love story, with a girl like James pining openly for a boy like Jack, and he barely responding. Till he even more improbably does. While both Patel, who does a good rendition of the Beatles hits, and James are convincing and likable individually, and even have a good friendly vibe, their romantic scenes are awkward, even cringy — though even cringier is a surprise cameo right at the end.
Still, Yesterday does give us Ed Sheeran playing Ed Sheeran, who sportingly sings a number and lets Jack get all the applause. That, plus the Beatles, plus some appealing actors (bar McKinnon, tragically), plus the alluring thought of whether Jack can remember all the lyrics of all the Beatles hits (particularly and hilariously of Elenaor Rigby), given that all traces of the songs have been wiped clean, may make you say, let it be.