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Archives for: February 24, 2018

Advance Reviews Indicate the Force Is With “The Last Jedi”

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“Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi” will make its debut on December 15, and critics are already giving it multiple thumbs up. Some have called it the best “Star Wars” movie since “The Empire Strikes Back,” which was made way back in 1980. “The Last Jedi” is the sequel to 2015’s “Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens” that had introduced characters like Rey (Daisy Ridley), Finn (John Boyega), and Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) to fans of the series. The ninth and final installment is expected to premiere in 2019.

“The Last Jedi” will pick up where “The Force Awakens” left off with Rey meeting Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill). It will introduce new characters like Admiral Holdo (Laura Den), Rose Tico (Kelly Marie Tran), and DJ (Benicio del Toro). It will also serve as the swan song for the late Carrie Fisher’s General Leia Organa. Rian Johnson took over the directing duties from J.J. Abrams, and he also did the writing.

Now that the filmmakers have lifted their embargo, the first reviews have been posted online. Most of the few complaints have to do with the film’s pacing with the middle feeling particularly busy. The critics praise the film’s special effects and action set pieces, and most were pleased by “Last Jedi’s” homages to earlier installments in the series. Kristy Puchko of “CBR” appreciated Fisher’s performance as Leia, describing her as “fiery as ever, yet regal, and all around glorious.” She was similarly impressed with Hamill.

Joshua Yehl, writing for “IGN,” calls “The Last Jedi ”the “quintessential Star Wars movie.” While he does complain about some of the pacing, he gives the movie props for having a satisfying ending – which is no mean feat for the next-to-last film in a series. All signs indicate that “Last Jedi” will do very well, both critically and commercially. When Abrams returns to direct “Star Wars: Episode IX,” he could have a lot to live up to.

Tom Hanks to Star as Television Legend Mr. Rogers

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One of the most beloved actors of his generation is set to star in a biopic about one of the most beloved television personalities of all time. Two-time Oscar-winner Tom Hanks will take on the role of Mr. Rogers in what is sure to be a crowd pleaser.

Debuting in 1968, “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” aired for 31 seasons, most prominently on the Public Broadcasting Service in the United States. Starring the lovable Fred Rogers, the educational show was targeted at children. The final episode of the show aired in 2001, and Rogers died of cancer in 2003 at the age of 74.

Due to the success of Rogers’ program that spanned more than three decades, several generations maintain warm feelings toward him because he played a big part in their childhoods. There was an outpouring of emotion both when Rogers retired and when he died, so there is sure to be a strong desire to see the kind grandfather figure brought to life on the big screen.

The makers of the film, titled “You Are My Friend”, have struck gold in casting Hanks in the iconic role. Not only are the “Forrest Gump” star’s acting chops second to none, but he is also a hugely bankable star. Like Rogers himself, Hanks is a popular culture legend to multiple generations of people worldwide.

A perennial awards nominee, Hanks was nominated for a Golden Globe for his recent work in “The Post”, but he surprisingly failed to garner an Oscar nomination this year. The “Saving Private Ryan” star will have a good chance during next year’s awards season after audiences get a look at him as Mr. Rogers.

Fans will have to wait patiently to see “You Are My Friend”, as the film does not yet have a release date.

Big Little Lies Returning for a Second Season

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It’s official: HBO has announced that Big Little Lies will return for a second season, and another 7 episodes.

The show, which stars Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon, is based on the eponymous novel by Liane Moriarty. It has been both a critical and commercial success, and has won 8 Emmy awards and received 16 nominations. It has further scored a 92% rating from review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, based on 94 reviews. What’s more, the show garnered on average well more than a million viewers, with the season finale receiving almost 2 million.

While the network confirmed that Kidman and Witherspoon will definitely be back, the status of the rest of the cast is less certain. All they would say is that “most of the cast is expected to return.” They also indicated that writer David E. Kelley would return and write all of next season’s episodes. He will further continue his role as executive producer of the show, along with Kidman and Witherspoon, and director Andrea Arnold.

As to plot details for the second season, HBO is keeping that under wraps. All they would say is that the show would explore the subjects of lies, friendship, marriage and parenting.

The show was originally marketed as a 7-episode miniseries, but its stars expressed great excitement about continuing for a second season.

Witherspoon said that she hoped that second season would provide an opportunity to go “deeper into the lives of these intriguing and intricate Monterey families and bring more of their stories back to the audience who embraced and championed them.” Kidman added that she was appreciative that she was able to “keep exploring these female characters and make this series with my friends.”

Another Look at the Huge Avenger’s Event Film

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The days are getting closer to the upcoming Avengers: Infinity War. As time gets closer, people are taking more of a look at the film through the trailers and other content that is available on the film. One thing that people are looking at are the changes that the characters are going through in the film. Another thing to look at is all of the changes that are coming to the MCU after the fourth film. However, this is a little far ahead in the future. As of right now, these are the following differences that the characters are facing as a result of their time.

Captain America is no longer the clean cut person that he is known as in the comic books. While he was the person who has been the clean cut do-gooder, the events that he has experienced has shown that sometimes what is right is often going to be opposed by the very people who support it. Another person who is going through a change is Vision, who is teased as getting an Infinity Stone removed from his forehead. There is also a shot of him in a more human form with Scarlet Witch embracing him.

One thing about the upcoming Avenger’s film is that it is supposed to be one of the most emotional and dark comic book films. At the same time, it is likely to end on a cliffhanger which will likely leave people hoping for more. One can only imagine what Avenger’s 4 is going to have for people when it comes out. This may turn out to be the biggest period for the MCU and comic book movies in general.

Gwyneth Paltrow Reveals “Infinity Wars” Spoiler?

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Gwyneth Paltrow posted some pictures on her Instagram account which hint at her greater involvement in Avengers: Infinity War.

Paltrow plays Pepper Potts, the love interest of Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark/Iron Man. Over the course of his trilogy, she goes from his personal assistant to the CEO of his company, all while the two bond and fall in love. In Avengers: Age of Ultron we are told that they apparently broke up off-screen; nevertheless, they are apparently back together in the new film, and even engaged to be married. (Assuming they both survive, of course.)

Her pictures imply that she will be more than just Tony’s fiancé in this story, however. She seems to be wearing a motion capture suit, which means that she will need some full-body CGI for the film. This, in turn, means that she may be donning her own armor, becoming an Iron Woman beside her Iron Man beau.

This was theoretically set up in Iron Man 3, when she was infected with Extremis, a form of nano technology that gave people healing and other enhanced abilities. In the comics, however, Tony was infected himself and manages to modify the technological virus so that his armor fused with his body, allowing him to essentially turn into Iron Man at will.

Could the same be true of Pepper? Even if not, she has used “normal” powered armor in the comics at times, becoming the hero Rescue during emergencies. The attack of Thanos and his Black Order would certainly qualify.

No matter what, fans will likely be happy to see his popular character return. She made people love her just as a love interest, and if she becomes a hero in her own right now, that is even better.

The Completeness of Zack Snyder’s Version of Justice League

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There has been a lot of talk of the Zack Snyder cut of the disastrous Justice League. Many people who were involved in the project have stated that there is not enough footage or progress for the Zack Snyder cut of Justice League. However, there are reports that the Zack Snyder cut of Justice League is a lot more complete than may be realized. After all, there was news for reshoots. At the same time, Zack Snyder has taken time off of the editing process which suggests that every bit of footage needed for a complete film has been shot.

Joss Wheden has added tons of shots and the studio has cut tons of the shots that have been featured in trailers. While it is common for trailers to have at least one shot not end up in the final film, it is actually negligible in cases. They tend to be different takes of a similar scene. Sometimes, the same scene is shown in the film, but edited in a different way. However, the trailers for Justice League show a much different film given that there have been tons of scenes in the trailer that have not wound up in the final film.

This isn’t the first time that the DC movies have been chopped up to the point of being a mess. Batman V Superman is known for having a choppy release. However, a director’s cut has been released with more scenes and edited in a way that makes the film a lot better. Suicide Squad did not fare as well. While there has been roomers of deleted scenes and more than 5 different versions of the film, the only version other than the theatrical version that has been released is just a slightly extended version of the theatrical version.

The global efforts of the American Institute of Architects

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     In 1981 Robert Ivy, an American Architect, began working as a principal for Dean/Dale, Dean & Ivy. Before this he was educated at Sewanee: The University of the South and Tulane University. He worked as a principal through 1996. The same year he became the Editor in Chief for a monthly design and architecture publication called Architectural Record. While Ivy worked for Architectural Record, the magazine won several awards and honors, such as the premier magazine journalism award and seven Ozzies: Folio Design Awards.

Next, Mr. Ivy Was made Vice President and Editorial Director of a media company called McGraw-Hill Construction. It was here that Ivy oversaw the publication of a number of architect and design magazines, such as Constructor, ENR, and Architectural Record: China.

In 2001 Ivy published a biography of Fay Jones titled Fay Jones: Architect. The subject of the book, Fay Jones, was an apprentice of Frank Lloyd Wright. The book was praised by the Art Library Society of North America.

The American Institute of Architects made Ivy their Executive Vice President and CEO in 2011. He holds this position currently. In this job, Ivy oversees the Washington D.C. office of the American Institute of Architects, its headquarters. Ivy’s office has 206 employees and a budget of $56 million. This office works with the nearly 300 organization chapters located around the globe.

The American Institute of Architects was created in 1857 and currently has over 90,000 members. The organization aims to provide education, community volunteering, and government advocacy. The members of the American Institute of Architects follow a code based on ethical and professional practices and conduct. This code is in place to strengthen the trust between the public and architects.

In his position as Executive Vice President and CEO, Robert Ivy ensures that the goals of the American Institute of Architects are met. This means that Ivy ensures that all members are meeting the requirements of the organization’s code. He is also responsible for spreading public awareness of the importance of architecture and design.

Mr. Ivy has been applauded for his hard work. He received the Crain Award from American Business Media in 2009, and in 2010 he was named a Master Architect of Alpha Rho Chi, an architectural fraternity.

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Batman to Appear in

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The upcoming Titans may have flashbacks to Dick Grayson’s youth, which seem like they will include Batman as well.

The series, to be released on DC Comics’ own streaming service, will focus on a team of young adult superheroes. Brenton Thwaites (of The Giver and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales) will play Dick Grayson, the now-grown Robin, who based on the comics will presumably be the group’s leader.

Casting calls for the show have been released. While they use fake names to avoid spoilers, the description of “YOUNG JOHN CROSSLAND” is almost certainly meant to be a younger Dick Grayson, given the basic physical description and a note that he is “not afraid of heights.” (Dick grew up in a circus, training with his parents as a trapeze artist.) The role is listed as recurring, implying that there will be multiple flashbacks to Dick’s earlier days in the show.

Meanwhile, another recurring character listed, “Dave Story,” seems to be hinting at Bruce Wayne/Batman. It asks for a Caucasian male in his 30s-40s who is “polished” and “unwavering.” Specifically, it compares him to a young Jack Nicholson.

In most versions of the Titans origin, Dick started the team after fighting with his adoptive father and mentor. Though the two would eventually reconcile, it makes sense that any appearances by Batman in this series, at least early on, will be flashbacks, explaining how Dick became a superhero and what caused the Dynamic Duo’s falling out.

Alternatively, this character could be the Joker, who was played by Jack Nicholson in the 1989 movie. However, the rest of that description does not quite fit the Clown Prince of Crime as well as it does the Caped Crusader, making it likely a little joke.

Jay Z Receives The Most Grammy Nominations

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Shawn Corey Carter, better known as “JAY-Z”, took home no 2018 Grammy Awards from the televised music awards ceremony last night. However, he could claim the honor of receiving more nominations this year (eight) than any other musical artist attending the event. His nominations covered several coveted categories, including Album of the Year, Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best Rap Performance. His album 4:44 has generated a lot of attention. It figured prominently in the nominations.

A Merit Award

JAY-Z attended the Clive Davis celebration conducted the day before the actual Grammy Awards. He did receive the President’s Merit Award at that gala. His fellow nominee in the Best Rap Song category, Lamar Kendrick, announced support for “Jay for President” during his Grammy acceptance speech.

A Successful Rap Career

Born in Brooklyn in 1969, JAY-Z will probably not miss the lack of Grammy Awards during 2018. He has already accumulated 21 of them over the course of an illustrious career in rap music and recording. A high school dropout from an impoverished neighborhood, he admitted during an interview several years ago to a rough youth exposed to cocaine dealing and violence. His music often reflects his familiarity with harsh living conditions.


In 1995, JAY Z joined with others to form an independent record label. Subsequent distribution deals enabled his rap albums to reach a wide audience. He soon expanded his business holdings. He reportedly received three years probation in 2000 after pleading guilty to stabbing record producer Lance Rivera at a party in 1999. JAY Z has toured extensively and performed on stage at many concerts. He married Beyoncé. The celebrity couple appeared at a Cleveland campaign event on behalf of Democrat Hillary Clinton in 2016.

Henry Cavill on “Rebirth” of Superman

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In an interview for the tie-in book Justice League: The Official Collector’s Edition, Superman actor Henry Cavill talks about the research that he did for the role, and specifically mentioned DC Comics’ current “Rebirth” initiative.

“I do indeed—especially with Rebirth, which has just come out,” he said. “I’ve been really diving into that. It’s fun to see where the DC Comics Universe is going, and to see how closely our movie universe is matching it.”

This will no doubt be interesting to fans, as it demonstrates how the films have mirrored both the mistakes and corrections of the comic books.

So far, the DC Extended Universe has largely been based on the “New 52” reboot, which began in 2011. Meant to simplify continuity and modernize the stories, they proved divisive for their darker and grittier take on the subject matter. For example, Superman destroying that jerk’s truck in Man of Steel matches the Superman who beat up an abusive husband in Action Comics #1; his brooding, likewise, matches the New 52 Superman, who feels detached from non-powered humans.

After about five years, the New 52 was deemed largely unsuccessful, and Rebirth began as a deliberate “back to basics” approach. Much of the old continuity returned, and it turned out that the Superman from the New 52 was a different version of the old Superman, who came back (from a different timeline… or dimension… or something, it’s a bit confusing) and resumed his old mantle. This Superman is also happily married to Lois—see the smiling Clark who greeted her in Justice League.

Unfortunately, the shift in that film was too abrupt and proved divisive with fans; hopefully, the franchise can be “Rebirthed” better as it moves forward.