I first saw this trailer (or something closely resembling it) at Cinemacon last March, but the online version zoomed right past when it popped six or seven weeks ago. It’s the kind of trailer that makes me feel I’ve already seen most of the movie, and that I’ll be catching the feature-length version in order to see what happens during the final third. The 20th Century Fox release opens on 10.6.17. Boilerplate: “A romance-disaster film, directed by Hany Abu-Assad and written by Chris Weitz and J. Mills Goodloe, based on the novel of the same name by Charles Martin. Idris Elba and Kate Winslet as a surgeon and journalist, respectively, who survive a plane crash and are stranded in High Uintas Wilderness with injuries and harsh weather conditions,” etc.
15 or 20 years ago Seth McFarlane‘s The Orville, a dry comedic riff on Star Trek mythology, would have been a feature in the same way that Galaxy Quest was. Or that Spaceballs was back in ’87. Now it’s a fucking Fox TV series, or will be starting this fall (Thursdays, 9 pm). The Wiki page says MacFarlane “originally wrote Orville as a spec script” — for theatrical? — [but that] it was picked up by Fox on May 4, 2016. The network ordered 13 episodes. It will be the first live-action TV series created by MacFarlane, as well as his first live-action starring role on television.”
I saw Brian Knappenberger‘s NOBODY SPEAK: Hulk Hogan, Gawker and the Trials of a Free Press towards the end of Sundance ’17. It’ll begin airing on Netflix on 6.23 with a new title — NOBODY SPEAK: Trials of the Free Press. At the very least it’s a smart, watchable, occasionally gripping doc about how billionaires wth an agenda (Peter Thiel, Sheldon Adelson, Donald Trump) have been financing covert schemes to shut down or de-ball press orgs.
The doc’s prime examples are Nick Denton‘s late Gawker website, shuttered because of the $115 million Hulk Hogan sex-tape judgment (later amended to $31 million) and the Las Vegas Review Journal, which Adelson bought in December 2015.
The default comment-thread response is “slimey, invasive, disreputable Gawker being shut down was not a tragedy so why should we care?” But the operative phrase is “if you do it to the least of mine, you do it to me.” However odious Gawker may have seemed to some, and however fair and just it may have seemed that it was forced to shutter over the Hulk Hogan thing, the bottom line is that the case probably wouldn’t have gone against them if it hadn’t been for the backing of Hogan’s attorneys by PayPal founder Peter Thiel, who wanted Gawker punished for revealing that he’s gay.
Gawker, in short, was financially muscled out of existence, and the next time a more reputable newspaper or news site could suffer the same fate.
There’s little in NOBODY SPEAK that struck me as revelatory, much less startling. It’s basically a comprehensive rehash of what you probably already know or have surmised. But it’s a fine, well-told yarn with eccentric characters. It’s fast and well-ordered and is explaining something that everyone ought to be wise to. I would watch it again, no problem.
Over 40 women have claimed that Bill Cosby drugged and had his way with them, and one or more persons on the nearly-all-white jury is refusing to find Cosby guilty in the Andrea Constand case?
Cosby has been charged with three aggravated indecent assault charges for the usual “while you were sleeping” routine (drugging victim, molesting her while she’s out). It would take a herculean act of denial to not comprehend that Constand’s account of what happened with Cosby is more or less identical to the many, many other accounts that have come forward from other victims, and yet one or more persons on that Constand jury is digging in and saying “Uhm-uhn…nope.”
The notion that it’s not just the Constand case but the cases of all the Cosby victims rolled into one — one or more jurors is rejecting this also.
Two Cosby jurors are black, one of them being”a woman in her 30s.” Nobody knows how many jurors are refusing to convict, and one can’t necessarily presume that the two black jurors are among the naysayers. But what are the odds that they’re with the majority?
Facts, evidence and likelihood be damned — it’s always been very hard to get a guilty verdict when a world-famous celebrity has been charged. Grim up, face the possibility — Bill Cosby could walk.
Variety account: “The jury in the sexual assault trial of Bill Cosby informed the judge Thursday morning that it is deadlocked on all three charges against the legendary entertainer, but the judge sent them back to the deliberating room to try again. ‘We cannot come to a unanimous consensus on any of the charges,’ the jury foreperson wrote in a note to Montgomery County Judge Steven O’Neill.
“Cosby, 79, stood and watched closely as the predominantly white jury of seven men and five women filed into the courtroom, most appearing weary and glum. The jury has been deliberating for about 30 hours and is now in its fourth day of deliberations. The judge denied a defense request for a mistrial. ‘It’s simply inappropriate at this time,’ said O’Neill.
“If convicted of all three charges, Cosby could be sentenced to up to 10 years on each count.”
From “Bill Cosby’s relationship with African Americans is anything but black and white,” a 6.16 Los Angeles Times story by Greg Braxton: “Some observers of the proceedings have drawn comparisons between the Cosby case and the murder trial of former football star O.J. Simpson.
“Inside that courtroom, race took center stage in several instances, particularly when Simpson defense attorney Johnnie Cochran maintained Simpson had been targeted by Los Angeles Police Department Det. Mark Fuhrman, who had been taped used racial epithets in the past. And the not-guilty verdict exposed the simmering rift between whites and blacks who felt the justice system had treated African Americans unfairly.
“Although the 12-member Cosby jury has just two African Americans, experts ranging from entertainers to scholars claim the Cosby case lacks a similarly sharp racial edge, largely due to allegations by more than 50 women who say Cosby drugged and sexually assaulted them.”
Opening Wikigraph: “The Algiers Motel incident occurred in Detroit, Michigan on July 25, 1967, during the racially charged 12th Street Riot. At the Algiers Motel, approximately one mile southeast of where the riots began, three black male civilians were killed while nine others, two white females and seven black males, were badly beaten by members of the Detroit Police Department, the Michigan State Police and the Michigan Army National Guard.
“The incident occurred after a report was received that a gunman or group of gunmen had been seen at or near the motel. One death has never been explained. Two deaths have been attributed to “justifiable homicide” or “self-defense.” Charges of felonious assault, conspiracy, murder and conspiracy to commit civil rights abuse were filed against three officers and one private security guard. All were found not guilty.”
A showing of Colin Trevorrow‘s The Book of Henry (6.16, Focus Features) opened the 2017 L.A. Film Festival last night. Inquiring minds were asking a two-fold why — why launch a still-struggling film festival with a movie that has been dogged by dreadful buzz since last spring and which currently has a 28% Rotten Tomatoes rating, and why a film that’s opening nationwide two days hence?
Aren’t film festivals supposed to show films, however good or bad, at least a week or two before they open? Don’t they need to offer festivalgoers a little breathing room between their own special viewing and subsequent ones by mongrel megaplex hordes?
In a 6.14 interview with Indiewire‘s Anne Thompson, LAFF director Jennifer Cochis says she used her old friendship with director Colin Trevorrow to book Henry as her opening-night flick. ‘We were festival buddies at Sundance,’ Cochis says. ‘He’s an ordinary guy that extraordinary things happened to.'”
She’s referring to Steven Spielberg having chosen Trevorrow to direct Jurassic World because they’d bro-bonded. Indeed, the enormously successful Jurassic World was a huge career boost for Trevorrow just as surely as The Book of Henry, a huge critical calamity, is a spear in his side.
You could almost describe the current situation by paraphrasing a sentence in Vincent Canby‘s review of Heaven’s Gate, to wit: “The Book of Henry fails so completely that you might suspect Mr. Trevorrow sold his soul to the Devil to obtain the success of Jurassic World, and the Devil has just come around to collect.”
From Susan Chira‘s 6.14 N.Y. Times piece, “The Universal Problem of Men Interrupting Women“:
“The spectacle [of] Senator Kamala Harris, Democrat of California, being interrupted for the second time in a week by her male colleagues, triggered an outpouring of recognition and what has become almost ritual social-media outrage.
“’I think every woman who has any degree of power and those who don’t knows how it feels to experience what Kamala Harris experienced yesterday,’ said Laura R. Walker, the president and chief executive of New York Public Radio. ‘To be in a situation where you’re trying to do your job and you’re either cut off or ignored.’
“Keep Fucking With Kamala Harris, Boys — You’re Making Her Stronger” — a 6.14 Wonkette piece by Evan Hurst.
“Senator Harris, a former prosecutor, assertively questioned Attorney General Jeff Sessions during his testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee. Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, interrupted and chided her to let Mr. Sessions answer her questions. Soon after that, Senator Richard Burr, Republican of North Carolina and the committee chairman, cut her off, saying her time had elapsed.
“Academic studies and countless anecdotes make it clear that being interrupted, talked over, shut down or penalized for speaking out is nearly a universal experience for women when they are outnumbered by men.