Twenty years ago this week, Bryan Singer’s The Usual Suspects opened in theaters, and everybody lost their minds. It ended up redefining the “twist” ending, becoming a kind of shorthand for a left-field, eleventh-hour plot development that reconfigures everything that’s come before. But it was neither the first nor last movie to do that ending, or do it well. …Read More
Last Friday, The Daily Beast discovered yet another bombshell deep in the gigabytes of documents unearthed in the hacking of Sony Pictures by the so-called “Guardians of Peace.” The topic was the “points” (back-end compensation, bonus money if a film clears a profit) distributed among the marquee talent for last year’s Oscar nominee American Hustle, a breakdown that went thus: Director David O. Russell and stars Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, and Jeremy Renner each received nine percent, while stars Amy Adams and Jennifer Lawrence each received seven percent. Hmmmm. What makes those seven-percenters different from the nine-percenters?
A Treasury of Dumb Quotes About Whitewashed Casting From the People Responsible for ‘Exodus: Gods and Kings’
Let’s get this out of the way: I have not yet seen Exodus: Gods and Kings, Ridley Scott’s big-budget retelling of the Moses story, and God willing, I won’t have to. For starters, it looks like a yet another dirge-like epic on the order of his earlier Kingdom of Heaven, Robin Hood, and (yes, I’ll say it) Gladiator, a dull slog through the past from a director who works best in the present and the future. But the setting and story aren’t the only elements of Exodus that are tied firmly to the past, as considerable controversy has brewed around Scott’s old-Hollywood decision to cast this story of Egyptian pharaohs and prophets with a cast roughly as diverse as the industry seats at an Eagles concert. And now, facing a backlash from commentators and social media, the people responsible for the movie are in spin mode, prompting a spectacle surely more entertaining than anything Sir Ridley put on screen.
The Labor Day weekend doesn’t begin until end of day tomorrow, but c’mon, who’re we kidding — you’ve already checked out for the week, and it’s time to start making plans. And while we know some of you (shudder) sociable types will be heading out to lakes and barbeques and such destinations to enjoy the end of another summer, we’re catering (as usual) to the shut-ins, who’re taking the three day holiday weekend to catch up on some long-delayed nothing-doing. So here are a few of the recent(ish) additions to Netflix and Amazon Prime to add to your holiday weekend viewing lists; just click the title link to watch them right now.