Michael Biehn cast in the second season of Disney+’s “The Mandalorian” (2019-)

 

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Filming for the second season of Disney+’s The Mandalorian (2019-) has recently wrapped production. (Image Courtesy: /Film).

 

Michael Biehn has been cast in the second season of Disney+’s The Mandalorian (2019-) as a bounty hunter from the titular Din Djarin’s (Pedro Pascal) past, according to /Film. A James Camron alumnus, Biehn has starred in The Terminator (1984), Aliens (1986), as well as The Abyss (1989), in addition to action movie classics such as George P. Cosmatos’s Tombstone (1993). Giancarlo Esposito is expected to reprise his role, Rosario Dawson will play fan-favorite Ahsoka Tano, and Bill Burr, Carl Weathers, and Gina Carano are all set to return; Baby Yoda (officially called “The Child”) is back also.

Garry Marshall’s “Pretty Woman” (1990) turns thirty

The Guardian critic Scott Tobias writes that Garry Marshall’s Pretty Woman (1990) may have been released in the 1990s, but it is very 1980s with its “greed is good,” Reaganomics materialism, as well as its ultraconservative sexual politics. After all, it is about a Hollywood Boulevard prostitute named Vivian Ward (Julia Roberts) – who is new to streetwalking, does no drugs, and doesn’t have a pimp – snagging a wealthy out-of-towner named Edward Lewis (Richard Gere), who innocently meets her asking for directions. According to Tobias, Roberts’s star-making turn, which made her America’s sweetheart overnight, elevates the film beyond its shortcomings.

In Florida, film industry is doing well

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First created under then-Governor Jeb Bush, the FFEAC is made up of former legislators, business executives, entertainment industry veterans, and community leaders volunteering to advise the Department of Public Opportunity on how to best develop, market, promote, and provide services to Florida’s entertainment industry. (Image Courtesy: Florida Politics).

House Bill 7039, as well as Senate Bill 1636, went before the Florida Legislature at this year’s Legislative Session, threatening to repeal the Florida Film and Entertainment Advisory Council, according to Florida Politics. Even though the Legislature declined to approve a new film production program for 2020, the film industry successfully spoke out against HB 7039 with an amendment to the bill sparing the FFEAC which now awaits Governor Ron DeSantis’s signature. Floridians in the trade earn an average of eighty-two thousand dollars per year, which is two-thirds greater than the state average for all jobs, not to mention the businesses and tourism supported by film and television productions, raking in tax revenues for the government.

Website lists ten greatest thrillers of all time

 

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The arbitrariness of truth and the infinity of human cruelty are key themes throughout thrillers, and shadows, dreams, crime, paranoia, conspiracy, and suspicion are key motifs. (Image Courtesy: The Manual).

 

The “thriller” is difficult to differentiate from the film noir, horror, action, or suspense, according to The Manual. In an effort to define the parameters of the genre, writer Eric Shorey listed some of the best movies considered to be thrillers. The website’s ten best thrillers are: Jonathan Demme’s The Silence of the Lambs (1991); Paul Verhoeven’s Basic Instinct (1992); Christopher Nolan’s Memento (2000); Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite (2019); David Lynch’s Mulholland Drive (2001); Park Chan-wook’s Lady Vengeance (2005); Rob Reiner’s Misery (1990); Nicholas Winding Refn’s Drive (2011); Sir Alfred Hitchcock’s Spellbound (1945); as well as Stanley Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut (1999).

“Ready or Not” directors attached to “Scream” reboot

Spyglass Media Group is rebooting Wes Craven’s Scream (1996) in partnership with Matthew Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett, who directed Ready or Not (2019), according to Variety. Bettinelli-Olpin and Gillett are part of filmmaking group Radio Silence with Chad Villella, who will serve as one of the producers behind the untitled Scream reboot; Radio Silence produced V/H/S (2012), Devil’s Due (2014), and Southbound (2015). As for Spyglass, they were organized a year ago with former MGM executive Gary Barber and Lantern Entertainment co-presidents Andy Mitchell and Milos Brajovic, who took over the rights to Scream from the Weinstein Co. in 2018.

How coronavirus is infecting an already sickly film industry

The accelerated spread of Covid-19 is crippling the entertainment industry, perhaps more so than any other, because the theatergoing experience as we know it is already vulnerable from the advent of streaming services, according to Quartz. After all, studios, as well as production companies, own offices and sets all over the world, and you can’t work from home on a film shoot. While this year’s global box office is projected to underperform (having lost as much as five billion dollars so far), if movie theaters in China and other major markets remain closed all year, they may not open again.

Max von Sydow dies at 90

Swedish film and stage star Max von Sydow, known for his collaborations with filmmaker Ingmar Bergman on stage as well as onscreen, has died at ninety years old, according to The Guardian. Born Carl Adolph Von Sydow to a family of academics in Lund, he was a Catholic school student before serving in the military, after which time, he attended the acting school at the Royal Dramatic Theatre in Stockholm from 1948 to 1951. He would go on to be nominated for two Academy Awards, for Bille August’s Pelle the Conqueror (1987) and Stephen Daldry’s Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close (2011).

The lesbian gaze in Céline Sciamma’s “Portrait of a Lady on Fire” (2019)

The Guardian contributor Róisín Tapponi writes that Céline Sciamma’s Portrait of a Lady on Fire (2019) eschews the male gaze in favor of “the lesbian gaze.” The film stars Noémie Merlant as the liberated Marianne, an artist secretly commissioned to paint a portrait of the sexually repressed Héloïse (Adèle Haenel) until the two women fall in love with each other. According to Tapponi, the difference between the male gaze and the lesbian gaze is touching versus looking – where male-directed lesbian romances are full of gratuitous sex, Portrait of a Lady on Fire is more about sensuality as well as intimacy.

How the lower budget for Leigh Whannell’s “The Invisible Man” (2020) saved Universal’s monster movies

At Blumhouse, Jason Blum produced Leigh Whannell’s The Invisible Man (2020) for seven million dollars (before marketing and distribution), so, when the science fiction thriller starring Elisabeth Moss opened to twenty-nine million dollars, it became a hit, according to Variety. For Universal, it was close to the thirty-one-million-dollar debut for Alex Kurtzman’s The Mummy (2017), but The Mummy cost three hundred fifty million dollars to shoot and promote, making The Invisible Man more profitable. Overseas, The Invisible Man even went on to gross an additional twenty million dollars at the international box office, in spite of the coronavirus outbreak.

Hulu review: Paul Verhoeven’s “Basic Instinct” (1992)

With only fifty-three percent of reviews aggregated through Rotten Tomatoes praising Paul Verhoeven’s Basic Instinct (1992), this Hitchcockian classic of its time is an underrated and misunderstood film.

If you don’t know what to watch next, Basic Instinct is available to stream on Hulu. The neo-noir erotic thriller was nominated for the Academy Awards for Best Film Editing and Best Original Score.

It was the fourth-highest-grossing release of its year, despite a divided critical reaction and public protests from gay rights activists.

Set in San Francisco, troubled homicide detective Nick Curran (Michael Douglas) investigates the murder of Johnny Boz (Bill Cable), who was stabbed to death with an icepick during sex with a mysterious blonde.

The prime suspect is crime novelist Catherine Tramell (Sharon Stone), Boz’s bisexual girlfriend, who wrote a book about the killing before it was committed and claims an obsessive devotee is setting her up.

As Catherine lures Nick into her world of sex and drugs and violence, his relationship with police psychiatrist Doctor Beth Garner (Jeanne Tripplehorn) grows increasingly deadly.

Douglas may get top billing, but Stone is the star of the show. She carries herself with confidence and intelligence and just the right amount of danger.

The most recognition she engendered for her star-making turn was a Golden Globe nod because audiences fail to take her seriously after the infamous interrogation scene.

Like Emilia Clarke in HBO’s Game of Thrones (2011-2019), Stone is more talented than people are willing to give her credit for, and there’s more to her performance than the beauty that meets the eye.

This is due to Verhoeven’s direction. Stone reprises her role in Michael Canton-Jones’s Basic Instinct 2 (2006), but even though it’s the same actor playing the same part, Catherine Tramell is borderline unwatchable in the sequel.

Verhoeven characterizes Tramell as the postmodern femme fatale, who seduces and kills with no loftier motive than that she looks good doing it.

The movie was controversial upon its release for its representation of bisexual women, and while there is something to be said about Hollywood’s lengthy history of demonizing lesbians, and while Basic Instinct exploits lesbianism for the male gaze, it is still ahead of its time sexually.

Catherine and her lover, Roxy Hardy (Leilani Sarelle), are both feminine.

Conversely, in Lisa Cholodenko’s The Kids Are All Right (2010), not only do Annette Benning and Julianne Moore conform to “butch” and “femme” gender roles, respectively, but the more feminine of the two also is the one to have an affair with Mark Ruffalo.

Narratively, though, Basic Instinct is overlong, convoluted, and repetitive. In the end, what the central mystery boils down to is an elaborate revenge plan the villain would have had to be nigh clairvoyant to cook up.

Logically, the drama demands more than its fair share of suspension of disbelief.

But Basic Instinct is more… well… instinctual than it is rational, and, for that, it is cinema at its most dreamlike.