Film Review: ‘Milton’s Secret’

It takes about 13 minutes for Donald Sutherland to first appear in “Milton’s Secret,” and for those 13 minutes (and perhaps a few more), one can still hold out hope that something will rescue this televisual Canadian production from its terminal blandness. Alas, even a prickly pro like Sutherland can’t do anything to elevate a hokey self-help… Read more »

Capone takes a trip to the moon with OPERATION AVALANCHE writer-director-star Matt Johnson

Capone takes a trip to the moon with OPERATION AVALANCHE writer-director-star Matt Johnson

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Hey everyone. Capone in Chicago here. Writer-director-actor first made name for himself as an indie Renaissance man with the 2013’s deftly made THE DIRTIES about making a mock revenge comedy about high school bullies that turns scarily real. Three years later, using many of the same primary actors, Johnson returned this year with OPERATION AVALANCHE, which premiered at Sundance, and I caught at the SXSW Film Festival. This time around Johnson and friends play low-level CIA agents circa the late 1960s, who infiltrate NASA to discover if the space agency will indeed be able to deliver on the promise set for by President Kennedy to put a man on the moon by decades’s end. When they discover it doesn’t look like NASA is on target for such a task, they decide to film a fake moon landing to play on televisions around the world as the actual lunar lander is orbiting the moon. What starts as something of a fun adventure involving dressing like astronauts, building a full-scale lunar module, and Stanley Kubrick (who makes a brief appearance in the film…the real Stanley Kubrick, mind you) turns into something much more sinister, even dangerous. I had a chance to chat with Johnson recently, just before his Viceland series “Nirvanna the Band the Show” was about to premiere at Fantastic Fest. He’s a great guy to chat with and most importantly, he has incredible stories about getting his film made using the sneakiest means at his disposal. With that,

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HERC RADIO!! Tim Burton’s PECULIAR!! Plus DC, Marvel, Star Wars & Star Trek!!

HERC RADIO!! A TV Critic Evaluates DEEPWATER HORIZON & MAGNIFICENT SEVEN!! Plus DC, Marvel, Star Wars & Star Trek!!

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A gripping and moving nonfiction mashup of “The Poseidon Adventure” and “The Towering Inferno,” “Deepwater Horizon” recounts that one of history’s worst ecological disasters began by precipitating a boatload of very violent fatalities.
Director Peter Berg (“Lone Survivor”) and screenwriters Matthew Michael Carnahan (“State of Play,” “World War Z”) and Matthew Sand (“Ninja Assassin”) spend the first 55 minutes introducing us to the folks who inhabit and operate the titular vessel and explaining how everything works.
The rest of the movie is essentially the crew trying to minimize the mayhem and keep themselves alive among flying shrapnel and mammoth infernos.
Kurt Russell and Mark Wahlberg are terrific as the supervisors who keep warning their BP clients (the superb John Malkovich and Brad Leland) that safeguards are not where they want to cut corners.
Supercute Gina Rodriguez seems to be there to show us that she’s wasting her time winning TV awards for “Jane The Virgin” and needs to take on more movie work.
While not everyone dies in “Deepwater,” I can say without contradiction that “Sully” boasts a much happier ending.
“Deepwater” gets positive reviews from 60% of “top critics” polled by Rotten Tomatoes.

A surprisingly engaging remake of the 1960 Yul Brynner-Steve McQueen-Charles Bronson remake of Akira Kurosawa’s 1954 classic “The Seven Samurai,” the 2016 version of “The Magnificent Seven” comes to us from prolific director Antoine Fuqua, who earlier collaborated with Denzel Washington and Ethan Hawke on “Training Day” and with Washington again on 2014’s gratifyingly violent “Equalizer” remake.
The new movie is also significant in

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‘Miss Peregrine’ Rules No. 1 With $25M-$26M; ‘Deepwater Horizon’ Murky; ‘Masterminds’ Dumbs Down – Late Night B.O. Update

UPDATE, Friday, 11:50PM: Refresh for updates, chart coming  Wait until Saturday matinees. That’s what folks are saying about the opening weekend results for 20th Century Fox/Chernin Entertainment’s Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children which are currently at an estimated $8.8-$9M for Friday and $25M-$26M over three days.
Lionsgate/Summit/Participant Media’s Deepwater Horizon looks like it has mostly everything working for it: an 81% fresh Rotten Tomatoes rating and…

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Ava DuVernay’s ’13th’ Opens to Standing Ovation at New York Film Festival

Ava DuVernay’s “13th” opened the 54th New York Film Festival with a jolt of topical urgency, shaking up tradition as the first documentary to kick off the festival and addressing head-on the issue of mass incarceration and its historical roots. The crowd at the premiere screening rose to its feet when the credits rolled —… Read more »

Sean Penn Plugs Mysterious “Author” Pappy Pariah On HBO’s ‘Real Time With Bill Maher’

So who is Pappy Pariah and why is Sean Penn saying all those nice things about him? Little or no light was shined on the not particularly difficult mystery Friday when the actor appeared on HBO’s Real Time With Bill Maher. The guest spot was the two-time Oscar-winner’s second Pappy plug this week – he appeared Tuesday on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert – to promote the oddly-named author’s “mem-noir” Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff.
Penn narrates a free audiobook of the…

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DEADPOOL Hits HBO!! Margot Robbie Launches SNL42!! Paul Simon Launches ACL42!! VERSAILLES Premiere!!

DEADPOOL Hits HBO!! Margot Robbie Launches SNL42!! Paul Simon Launches ACL42!! VERSAILLES Premiere!! Saturday TV Talkback!!

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Premiering tonight: Austin City Limits (PBS) Life At Vet U (AP) Saturday Night Live (NBC) Versailles (Ovation)
 
Football was the most-watching thing last Saturday. This will change now that Margot Robbie is on the scene.
Saturdays, Sept. 3-24, 2016 (Adults 18-49; repeats in gray; previous weeks in parentheses) 1.3 (1.7) (1.9) (2.4) College Football 0.8 (0.7) (0.7) (0.6) 48 Hours 0.7 (—) (—) (—) This Is Us 0.6 (0.6) (0.6) (—) Dragon Ball Z 0.6 (0.6) (—) (—) NCIS LA 0.6 (—) (—) (—) NCIS NO 0.6 (0.6) (0.5) (0.5) One-Punch Man 0.6 (—) (—) (1.0) SportsCenter 0.6 (—) (—) (—) The Voice 0.5 (0.4) (0.4) (—) Mobile Suit Gundam 0.5 (0.3) (—) (—) UFC 0.4 (0.4) (0.4) (—) Hunter X Hunter 0.4 (0.4) (0.3) (—) Naruto Shippuden 0.4 (0.3) (0.3) (—) One Piece 0.3 (—) (—) (0.3) Cops 0.3 (0.3) (—) (—) House Hunters Reno 0.3 (0.4) (—) (0.3) MDE World Peace 0.3 (—) (—) (—) Parasyte

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On Sale Today!!
October 18!!
Blu At Last Next Week!!

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Nicholas Meyer, Ronald D. Moore, J.J. Abrams & Bryan Fuller Among Hollywood Army Endorsing TREK AGAI

Nicholas Meyer, Ronald D. Moore, J.J. Abrams & Bryan Fuller Among Hollywood Army Endorsing TREK AGAINST TRUMP!!

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I am – Hercules!!
J.J. Abrams, Bryan Fuller, Ronald D. Moore, Nicholas Meyer, Ira Steven Behr, David Gerrold, Michael Taylor, Michael Jan Friedman, Peter David, Walter Koenig, George Takei, Zoe Saldana, Brent Spiner, Chris Pine, Robert Picardo, Zachary Quinto, Denise Crosby, Bruce Greenwood, Marina Sirtis, John Cho, Kate Mulgrew, Scott Bakula, Naren Shankar, Justin Lin, and even the dirty foreigners Karl Urban and Simon Pegg have formed something called “Trek Against Trump.”
Others forming this new group backing Hillary Clinton include Adam Nimoy, Susan Nimoy, Eugene & Heidi Roddenberry, Sandra Piller, John de Lancie, Gates McFadden, Carel Struycken, Wil Wheaton, Jonathan Frakes, LeVar Burton, Nicole de Boer, Terry Farrell, Louise Fletcher, Armin Shimerman, Max Grodénchik, René Auberjonois, Chase Masterson, Andrew Robinson, Robert Duncan McNeill, Tim Russ, Ethan Phillips, Alex Kurtzman, Rick Berman, Brannon Braga, Linda Park, John Billingsley, Dominic Keating, Anthony Montgomery, Connor Trinneer, Herman Zimmerman and Leslie Parrish (Lt. Carolyn Palamas!).
No word yet on “Better Late Than Never” star William Shatner.
Can’t wait for Old Tribble-Head to start calling the Klingons “losers” and the Vulcans “lightweights”!
Find more about “Trek Against Trump” here.

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