It is with great sadness that much of the world woke today to the heartbreaking news that Anton Yelchin had passed. The actor, best known for his work in the rebooted Star Trek (2009) franchise, was tragically killed in a freak motor vehicle accident in his Studio City home, at the young age of 27. He has been remembered as a kind, compassionate and giving soul, who touched the lives of many. Yelchin was born in Russia to Soviet figure skaters, who immigrated to America looking to give their son a better life. The acclaimed actor got his first big break in the film The Man is Mostly Water (2000), before going on to star in 65 other credits, including Alpha Dog (2006), Charlie Bartlett (2007), Star Trek (2009), Terminator Salvation (2009), Like Crazy (2011), Fright Night (2011), Star Trek Into Darkness (2013), Only Lovers Left Alive (2013) and Green Room (2015). At the time of his death Yelchin still had five films listed as either completed, in post-production, or in pre-production, including next month's Star Trek Beyond (2016).
A statement from the LAPD regarding the incident said: 'A fatal traffic collision happened in Studio City. On Sunday, June 19 at 1:10 in the morning, a fatal traffic collision occurred. It was the result of the victim’s own car rolling backwards down his steep driveway, pinning him against a brick mailbox pillar and security fence. The victim was on his way to meet his friends for a rehearsal. When he didn’t show up, his friends went to his house, where they found him deceased by his car. It appeared he had momentarily exited his car leaving it in the driveway in neutral.'
Tributes from Yelchin's many friends flooded social media in the wake of his death, with Paramount, the studio he worked under regarding the Star Trek series stating; 'All of us at Paramount join the world in morning the untimely passing of Antony Yelchin. As a member of the Star Trek family, he was beloved by so many and he will missed by all. We share our deepest condolences with his mother, father and family.' Original franchise director JJ Abrams also took to Twitter, posting his thoughts in a handwritten letter on his Bad Robot production company page. 'Anton - You were brilliant. You were kind. You were funny as hell, and supremely talented. And you weren't here nearly long enough. Missing you - JJ.' While many have been left devastated and numb by today's news, there has also been a celebratory tone of the actor's array of achievements. Best friend, thoughtful, gifted, generous, passionate, courageous, talented, wise, and humble, are all words since attributed to him.
Today Cinematicism celebrates its first birthday.
As such, I need to say a big thank-you to everyone who made that possible. Those people who drove the site's views to more than 300,000. Those people who liked the incessant trivia tidbits, quirky quotes and trailers on our social media pages. Those who followed every news update we delivered. I’d like you to know something…
Frankly my dears, I do give a damn.
Because of all the film sites in all the internet, you clicked onto mine.
You proved you can handle the truth, and that if you build it, they will come.
You is kind, you is smart, and you is important.
While I have always depended on the kindness of strangers, I never thought they would go ahead and make my day.
There were many times all I wanted to say was ‘Houston, we have a problem’, to scream ‘show me the money’.
But I prevailed, because like mama says, ‘stupid is as stupid does’.
I just kept swimming.
So I seized the day, and asked myself one question – do I feel lucky?
And now? Well, Chewie, we’re home.
I may not be in Kansas anymore, but it was an offer I couldn’t refuse.
So, even if no-one pays attention to the (wo)man behind the curtain, I really do feel like I’m the king of the world.
I mean, it’s not like I’m going to look for you, going to find you, and going to kill you if you don’t pay attention.
Because I can take your life, but not your freedom.
And as for the future?
Well, to infinity and beyond.
I’ll be back, and if things go to plan, I might need a bigger boat.
But until then, that’ll do pig, that’ll do.
A new Twitter campaign is taking up the baton for whitewashing in Hollywood films, using the hashtag #StarringJohnCho. While an unconventional and hilarious method, in a era when equality is meant to be strongly represented in society and the arts, the lack of leading Asian-American is anything but a laughing matter. StarringJohnCho has become a Twitter handle, hashtag and website, with each platform hosting a number of photo-shopped posters of John Cho in leading male roles, to highlight the inequality in everything from big-budget movies right through to romantic comedies.
The website states: 'If studies show that films with diverse casts result in higher box office numbers and returns on investments, why doesn't Hollywood cast lead actors to reflect fact?' And it is an undeniable fact that Hollywood continue to cast white lead actors in roles that are traditionally Asian. From Emma Stone as Alison Ng in Aloha (2015) to Scarlett Johansson as Motoko Kusanagi in Ghost in the Shell (2017), studios continue to claim that there simply aren't any A-list actors of Asian ethnicity.
Sadly, it's a Catch-22 situation, because for actors to become A-list, they must first be cast in leading roles. And with only 1% of leading roles supposedly going to them, it's a losing fight. So New York strategist William Yu has sparked the discussion by removing the 'perception issue'. Will it work? Only time will tell. Until then, I'm hoping Yu continues his movement with a female version, to show that gender equality too is something Hollywood can work on.
It's not just his guitar gently weeping today, but the whole world; with the new that Prince has passed away at the age of 57. A musical maestro, Prince was renowned for holding a number of different titles: innovator, singer, song-writer, kind-hearted soul, flamboyant, fun. A man, a myth, a legend. He never let any of them define him though, proving himself a multi-faceted bestselling artist of all time. Kick-starting his career back in 1976, Prince had a string of successful hits including Purple Rain, I Wanna Be Your Lover, When You Were Mine, Little Red Corvette, Kiss, Song of the Heart, and When Doves Cry.
So prominent was his music that in his lifetime he sold over 100 million records worldwide, won 7 Grammy's, and even made a mark in the cinematic realm with a Golden Globe and Academy Award. The eccentric and elusive music industry figure passed away yesterday in his Paisley Home, in Minnesota, after he was found unresponsive in the elevator of the compound. Emergency workers tried to revive him, however he was pronounced dead a short time later. Reports have suggested he was in poor health in recent weeks, cancelling concerts and spending time in hospital. No cause of death will likely be announced until the coroner reports their findings.
The star's publicist, Anna Meacham, released an official statement following his passing, which reads; 'It is with profound sadness that I am confirming that the legendary, iconic performer, Prince Rogers Nelson has died.' Prince had a unique and ever-evolving sound, which he honed in his many ventures into the filmic world. In addition to lending his iconic songs to over 166 flicks, his IMDB page boasts eight acting credits including Purple Rain (1984), Under the Cherry Moon (1986), and Graffiti Bridge (1990). Most recently he made a guest appearance on New Girl (2011). His death marks yet another on a growing list of celebrities who have passed away this year, including David Bowie and Alan Rickman.
Here's a bit of light-hearted fun to kick off your count-down to the weekend - a new video of actor Tom Hiddleston announcing the weather for Fox 32 Chicago. Interrupting the network's regular presenter, Hiddleston stepped into frame to help explain the 'Godly' reason behind the fierce tornadoes and heavy downfalls the area has been experiencing. The star was originally there for an interview with Jake Hamilton on Good Day Chicago, promoting his upcoming slew of projects, however it seems at some point he was asked to try his hand at a little weather reading too.
'My brother from another mother has been misbehaving. The God of Thunder has brought his skill-set to bear on the local weather. So there is this huge storm-front coming in and all that means is Chris Hemsworth has taken his hammer and has smashed it on the surface of the sky and it's going to rain a hell of a lot. So good luck with that!
Hiddleston has been keeping himself very busy of late, making the rounds to promote his upcoming films I Saw The Light (2016) and High-Rise (2016), as well as the TV mini-series adaptation of John Le Carre's The Night Manager (2016). Along the way he's also been fielding questions about the rumour he may be stepping into the shoes of 007 spy James Bond. The response to the video, which was posted to Jake Hamilton Fox 32 Chicago's Facebook page, seems to be mostly positive, with quotes ranging from 'This is awesome' to my personal favourite, 'Cloudy with a chance of elevated estrogen levels'. Despite Hiddleston looking a little awkward (like he was kind-of asked at the last minute maybe...) the thespian pulled off the feat with aplomb. So if you need a little pick-me up in the form of a good looking guy discussing a Norse Gods elemental tantrum, then check out the video below.
The Jurassic Park (1993) franchise, begun by Steven Spielberg back in the early nineties, made a lot of its money on the back of its photo-realism. Never before had dinosaurs looked plausible and downright frightening. However, if a plan was hatched to bring back these ancient beasts back today (which thankfully archaeologists and other scientists have ruled out thanks to the good-old half-life of DNA), my belief is that society would not necessarily follow in the footsteps of the 'building a theme park' trope like the first and fourth movie, but would instead treat the world to a documentary on the Jurassic inhabitants.
So what would that look like? Well, wonder no more, with YouTube user Mashable Watercooler re-imagining the billion-dollar franchise as a Disneynature documentary. Channelling the style of The House of Mouse's original features Bears (2014), Chimpanzee (2012), and African Cats (2011), the video is titled 'Raptors' and has all the elements to make a successful documentary - including a likable protagonist name Littletail, a range of buzzwords to keep you interested (Love, Struggle, Wonder, Joy, Danger, Passion, Uncertainty), and of course a soaring musical score to elicit emotion at all the right moments.
Frankly, if it was a real film, I for one would watch the hell out of it. Especially with the next instalment of the beloved series not likely won't hit theatres for another 2+ years. So, if you need something to tide you over in the meantime, or simply want a reminder as to why Jurassic Park (1993) was so fun to begin with, make sure you check out the video below.
Marvel studios has listened to fans complaints about the lack of strong female superheroes on-screen recently, by adding Scarlet Witch to their cannon, but now they're also looking to improve the gender balance behind-the-scenes by creating a competition for science-minded young girls. Partnering with the National Academy of Sciences’ Science & Entertainment Exchange, the studio have organised a program for girls ages 15 - 18 to create projects that could, like the Avengers, change the world for the better. The designs must be submitted alongside a short video, which explains and demonstrates the potential for their idea.
To be considered the idea must also have relevance in STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics), thus encouraging other young women to pursue careers in this field. The campaign was launched this week, with a little help from Marvel stars Elizabeth Olsen and Emily VanCamp, who recorded a short introductory video to encourage young girls to apply. In the video, Olsen reiterated how their project should share in the ideals of the movies to make them a reality by showing; '[A] commitment to safeguard humanity, protect the earth at all costs and make the world a better place for future generations'.
The pool will be whittled down to five finalists, who will be flown to California to present their project in front of a panel of industry experts. They will also all hit the red carpet for the Captain America: Civil War (2016) world premiere on April 12, receive a $500 savings account, and get to tour the Walt Disney Studios. But the best news of all is that the lucky grand-final girl will win an exclusive internship at Marvel Studios. Applications and other information regarding the program can be found on their official website. You can also watch the video below.
With the 88th Academy Awards ceremony just mere days away, the season of spoofs has officially begun, and it's been kicked off in style by none other than The Screen Junkies' and their Honest Trailers. Published earlier today, their new video pokes fun at the pros and cons of the eight films vying for the Best Picture statuette, and poses a question that always makes a resurgence around February - 'what did win the Oscar last year?'
Beginning with the line 'In a world where a bunch of rich people dress up in fancy clothes to give each other trophies, these eight films will compete for Hollywood's highest honour', the trailer delves into each movie. The Big Short (2015) becomes 'No Money Mo Problems', The Revenant (2016) changes to 'Frozen', and Spotlight (2015) becoming 'Newsies: Might Want to Avoid These Houses'. What the Screen Junkies do best however, is their no-holds barred approach, saying that Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks' Bridge of Spies (2015) is not their best film, and seems to have been nominated purely because it's star-team are cinematic royalty.
They also remind us that The Martian (2015) for all its comedic lines, is still a harrowing tale of a man on the precipice of death and not what the Golden Globes declared 'Best Motion Picture Comedy'. And they affirm that they haven't seen it Brooklyn (2015) and we haven't seen it, and that's okay because 'you can only see so many movies'. The video ends with dimming lights, rising scores, and a rush of garbled names. The best of which would have to be 'Leonardo Datoscardoe'. You can check out the Honest Trailer video below, or over at the Screen Junkies YouTube Channel, before the main event airs around the globe this Sunday.
With the Academy Awards set to be handed out this weekend, the plague of diversity in Hollywood films is once again being called into question - this time in a recently released study. And it seems that having no actors or actresses of colour nominated in the Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Actor or Best Actress categories is just the tip of the iceberg. The report, released Monday, entitled 'The Comprehensive Annenberg Report On Diversion', comes from the Media, Diversity & Social Change Initiative at the University Of Southern California’s Annenberg School For Communication & Journalism.
It finds that the epitome of the Hollywood A-Class are white males, and that women, ethnic minorities, and LGBT people often fall within the realm of 'invisibility'. In the most honest and brutal terms Hollywood "still functions as a straight, white, boys club." Utilising data from 109 films released in 2014, as well as 305 scripted TV shows, the study focused on 11,000 speaking roles and 11,500 directors, writers, show-runners and executives. And it provided a stark look at the major studios of Disney, Sony, Paramount, 20th Century Fox, Universal, and Warner Bros.
Here's hoping Hollywood can do better next year, when The Academy's new steps will be put in place to secure greater diversity in their voting population, and hopefully on their winners podium too.
While fans wait the cold, long winter (or in Australia - the hot, dry summer) until HBO's Game of Thrones (2011) returns this April, they can enjoy a hilarious new mash-up video featuring US Republican Donald Trump to tide them over. The video, created by political satirist Huw Parkinson for the Australian Broadcasting Commissions show Insiders (2001), takes a mocking look at the Presidential candidate's fierce media exchange over comments to 'build a wall' to keep immigrants out of America.
Titled 'Game of Thrones: Winter is Trumping', the parody begins with Trump telling the Khaleesi and her Dothraki horde that he will not let them pass into the borders of Qarth, before going head-to-head with Jon Snow and the men of the Night's Watch to reinforce their boundaries. Lines like 'The people are with me. 100% are the people', simply reinforcing the profound stupidity of the situation.
It is not the first time Parkinson has created such genius political mash-ups either, with the producer also behind the viral 'Seinfeld in Australian Politics' and 'I'm a Fixer' Christopher Pyne parodies. The new video comes in light of Trump's increasing successes in early voting, with the ex-businessman knocking a bunch of well-established Republican candidates out of the race, including Jeb Bush. You can watch the parody video below.
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