It looks like the team-up of Spider-Man and Iron Man seen in Captain America: Civil War won’t be the duo’s last.
Robert Downey Jr., who plays the red and gold-armored Marvel character, has closed a deal to join the cast of Spider-Man: Homecoming, Marvel and Sony’s reboot of the web-crawling superhero, sources tell THR.
Tom Holland will star as Peter Parker/Spider-Man and is making his debut as the character in Civil War (and already garnering praise for his take on the role).
The movie establishes a key relationship between Tony Stark/Iron Man and Parker and Homecoming will continue that thread.
Homecoming has been casting up ahead of its June start of production. Marisa Tomei will play Aunt May, while Zendaya is one of the female leads. Tony Revolori, who starred opposite Ralph Fiennes in The Grand Budapest Hotel, and Laura Harrier, who appeared in the soap opera One Life to Live, are also boarding the production, which is being produced by Kevin Feige and Amy Pascal. Read the rest of this entry »
Librarian Tracks Sayings Misattributed to Founding Father; ‘A Fine Spiced Pickle’
Or did he? Numerous social movements attribute the quote to him. “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to U.S. Government and Politics” cites it in a discussion of American democracy. Actor Chuck Norris‘s 2010 treatise “Black Belt Patriotism: How to Reawaken America” uses it to urge conservatives to become more involved in politics. It is even on T-shirts and decals.
“On a hot day in Virginia, I know nothing more comforting than a fine spiced pickle, brought up trout-like from the sparkling depths of the aromatic jar below the stairs of Aunt Sally’s cellar.”
–Never said by Thomas Jefferson
Yet the founding father and third U.S. president never wrote it or said it, insists Anna Berkes, a 33-year-old research librarian at the Jefferson Library at Monticello, his grand estate just outside Charlottesville, Va. Nor does he have any connection to many of the “Jeffersonian” quotes that politicians on both sides of the aisle have slung back and forth in recent years, she says.
“Winston Churchill had so many sayings misattributed to him that one academic gave the phenomenon a name: ‘Churchillian drift.'”
“People will see a quote and it appeals to an opinion that they have and if it has Jefferson’s name attached to it that gives it more weight,” she says. “He’s constantly being invoked by people when they are making arguments about politics and actually all sorts of topics.”
A spokeswoman for the Guide’s publisher said it was looking into the quote. Mr. Norris’s publicist didn’t respond to requests for comment.
To counter what she calls rampant misattribution, Ms. Berkes is fighting the Internet with the Internet. She has set up a “Spurious Quotations” page on the Monticello website listing bogus quotes attributed to the founding father, a prolific writer and rhetorician who was the principal author of the Declaration of Independence.
“It’s a hopeless task. You would need an army of secretaries to reply to all these tweets. Twitter and Facebook have made it worse, because people glom onto these things and pass it on and there it goes.”
The fake quotes posted and dissected on Monticello.org include “My reading of history convinces me that most bad government has grown out of too much government.” In detailed footnotes, Ms. Berkes says it resembles a line Jefferson wrote in an 1807 letter: “History, in general, only informs us what bad government is.” But she can’t find that exact quotation in any of his writings.
Another that graces many epicurean websites: “On a hot day in Virginia, I know nothing more comforting than a fine spiced pickle, brought up trout-like from the sparkling depths of the aromatic jar below the stairs of Aunt Sally’s cellar.”
Jefferson never said that either, says Ms. Berkes. The earliest reference to the quote comes from a 1922 speech by a man extolling the benefits of pickles, she says.
“People will see a quote and it appeals to an opinion that they have and if it has Jefferson’s name attached to it that gives it more weight. He’s constantly being invoked by people when they are making arguments about politics and actually all sorts of topics.”
Jefferson is a “flypaper figure,” like Abraham Lincoln, Mark Twain, Winston Churchill and baseball player and manager Yogi Berra—larger-than-life figures who have fake or misattributed quotes stick to them all the time, says Ralph Keyes, an author of books about quotes wrongly credited to famous or historical figures. Read the rest of this entry »
Dave McNary reports: Marvel has unveiled a dozen of the licensees for next year’s “Captain America: Civil War” in the wake of Marvel-Disney’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron” grossing $1.35 billion at the worldwide box office.
Marvel gave retailers a first look Wednesday at Licensing Expo 2015 in Las Vegas with categories including apparel, accessories, footwear, core toys, sporting goods, consumer electronics, seasonal, costumes, party goods, stationery, food, home furnishings and collectibles.
“The Avengers team is both aspirational and hugely merchandisable, made up of multiple, unique heroes coming together with amazing skills, cool vehicles and a high tech headquarters. Captain America: Civil War’ not only gives us new storytelling for our favorite superheroes, but also introduces new ones allowing us to expand product lines for kids and fans.”
–Paul Gitter, senior VP of licensing for Marvel at Disney Consumer Products
Hasbro, Lego, Funko, Hot Wheels, Rubies, Mad Engine, C-Life, Jay Franco, Global Brand Group, Kellogg’s, Hallmark and American Greetings have signed on. The show will exhibit finished art and initial renditions of products, which will began landing on store shelves about eight weeks prior to the May 6 opening.
Paul Gitter, senior VP of licensing for Marvel at Disney Consumer Products, told Variety that the overall campaign will build of the success of licensed products for “Age of Ultron.” Read the rest of this entry »
It was 2:27 p.m. on March 30, 1981, and the Soviet Union was poised to invade Poland to suppress a labor uprising.
Reagan merely turned toward the press line and waved.
Fantastic lunchtime read. History of the days after Reagan was shot and how 41’s temperament served the nation well. http://t.co/EO0Guxyz0n
— Dana Perino (@DanaPerino) May 18, 2015
Next to Donaldson, a 25-year-old man in a trench coat flexed his knees and raised his hands in a marksman’s stance. With a revolver he had purchased at a Dallas pawnshop, John W. Hinckley Jr. fired six shots.
It was the 70th day of the Reagan presidency.
Accounts of the afternoon tend to be dominated by the sensational storyline of Secretary of State Alexander Haig’s declaration that “I’m in control here.” But Vice President George H.W. Bush’s pitch-perfect reaction to the crisis lies largely unexplored in the shadow of history. He had only recently been Reagan’s energetic opponent, a fact that was fresh in the memories of Reagan loyalists. The steady hand he showed after the assassination attempt would linger in the minds of his admirers as one of the defining moments of his public career.
Now 90, Bush consented to an email interview for this story. His comments, along with hours of tapes from inside the White House Situation Room, never seen photographs taken aboard Air Force Two and interviews with participants in the crisis shed new light on the day Reagan became the fifth sitting president to be shot and the only one who lived.
Read the rest of this entry »
Superheroes return in Marvel’s effects-and wit-filled sequel
John Anderson writes: Those truly committed to the Kremlinology of Marvel Comics will find “Avengers: Age of Ultron” a revelatory piece of 3-D entertainment. Who knew that the evil Baron von Strucker (Thomas Kretschmann) had been working on the kind of robotics that would provide superhero/industrialist Tony Stark, also known as Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), the groundwork for developing an artificial intelligence that could threaten the existence of all human life on Earth? Who knew The Incredible Hulk could be a romantic lead?
For those more concerned with what “The Avengers” movies do best—outsize spectacle and wry comedy—“Age of Ultron” has to be declared a victory. “Victory should be honored with revels,” declares hammer-throwing Scandinavian elocutionist Thor (Chris Hemsworth). “Who doesn’t love revels?” answers snark specialist Stark. “Revels” is a good word to describe it all, if one tends to revel in effects-driven mass destruction for the good of mankind.
Director Joss Whedon, under the auspices of the almost supernaturally profitable Marvel-Disney alliance, has brought back the core of 2012’s “The Avengers”—Mr. Hemsworth, Mr. Downey, Scarlett Johansson (Black Widow), Mark Ruffalo (the Hulk), Chris Evans (Captain America), Jeremy Renner (Hawkeye)—along with several subordinate supervillains and heroes to embellish the plot and set up the sequel (well on its way, to judge by the closing moments of “Ultron”). They include the brother-sister act of Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch (Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Elizabeth Olsen), whose superpowers are the result of Strucker’s experiments and whose antipathy toward the Avengers is rooted in the devastation visited upon their native Sokovia by now-reformed war merchant Tony Stark.
If any of this seems complicated—the fictional Sokovia, for instance, or that there was also a Quicksilver in “X-Men: Days of Future Past”—you really have to just let it go, the momentum of the movie being too much for cogitation. Read the rest of this entry »
“Police has sustained broken bones after black Baltimore high schoolers calling for ‘The Purge’ struck them with heavy bricks, rocks, and pipes. One officer is unconscious, non-responsive. The city’s transportation has been crippled by the raging violence and residents are urged by city officials to avoid several, out-of-control areas.”
Katie McHugh reports:
UPDATE: 5:15 PM: The Rev. Al Sharpton plans to visit Baltimore on Monday to “push for answers” in the death of Freddie Gray. Sharpton also plans to organize a two-day march from Baltimore to Washington, D.C. From The Baltimore Sun:
Sharpton said the march from Baltimore to Washington is designed to call attention to Gray — as well as others before him, including Walter Scott, who was shot by a police officer in North Charleston, S.C. — to Loretta Lynch, the incoming U.S. attorney general.
“Ms. Lynch, in her new role that we all supported, must look and intervene in these cases,” Sharpton said. “Justice delayed is justice denied.”
UPDATE: 5:08 PM: Baltimore Police Capt. Eric Kowalczyk vowed to investigate the “lawless individuals” who are rampaging through Baltimore and attacking police officers.
“In 1963, my father Rev. AD King, after the firebombing of our home in Birmingham, Alabama, urged hostile protestors to abandon violence and turn to God in prayer instead. Thank God they listened to him, and the even greater voice of his brother, my Uncle MLK, during those turbulent days.”
“Now, you are inviting violence to your city? Who, Ma’am, will incur the moral and economic costs of picking up the pieces? The innocent taxpayers?”
— The niece of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., in a letter to Mayor Rawlings-Blake
“Right now our focus is making sure that the people [who] live in that community are safe and that our officers are safe. You’re going to see tear gas, you’re going to see pepper balls,” Kowalczyk said. “We’re going to use appropriate methods to ensure that we’re able to preserve the safety of that community.”
UPDATE: 5:04 PM: Police has sustained broken bones after black Baltimore high schoolers calling for “The Purge” struck them with heavy bricks, rocks, and pipes. One officer is unconscious, non-responsive. The city’s transportation has been crippled by the raging violence and residents are urged by city officials to avoid several, out-of-control areas.
Note, above: pic.twitter.com/gIA9bPwGQI
— Ian Tuttle (@iptuttle) April 27, 2015
UPDATE: 4:57 PM: Rioters have set a police car ablaze. Another common feature of riots, looting, has begun. But Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings maintains that the riots are “peaceful.”
UPDATE: 4:48 PM: Rioters are throwing pipes, chucks of concrete at police, and setting things on fire, according to a CNN reporter.
UPDATE: 4:44 PM: Seven police officers have suffered injuries, according to reports.
UPDATE: 4:37 PM: Baltimore Police Capt. Eric Kowalczyk informed reporters that criminals responsible for damages and assault will be put in jail.
UPDATE: 4:34 PM: The rioters continue to tear apart everything in their path, including a photographer and now a police car. Read the rest of this entry »
Imagine making your film debut in a movie that likely will gross more than $1 billion at the global box office. It sounds like a dream, but for South Korean model-turned-actor Claudia Kim, who has an important supporting role in Marvel‘s “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” it is reality.
“I’m just so grateful. I auditioned without knowing what kind of project it was,” the 30-year-old Kim told Speakeasy in a telephone interview earlier this month. “Really, I was excited that finally I could do a movie. I’m so happy how it turned out.”
Kim had previously appeared in Netflix’s “Marco Polo” series as well as several shows in her native South Korea, and now she is rubbing elbows with the likes of Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans and James Spader. In “Age of Ultron, she plays Dr. Helen Cho, a leading scientist who hangs with the Avengers but ultimately becomes a pawn in the villainous Ultron’s (Spader) plan to dominate the world.
“I’m just so grateful. I auditioned without knowing what kind of project it was. Really, I was excited that finally I could do a movie. I’m so happy how it turned out.”
— Kim, in a telephone interview with Speakeasy earlier this month
Yet, while Kim is pleased to be involved in a project of this size and popularity, she tries to keep her career in perspective. ”It’s still just another step for me, and it’s not because of this that I have such high expectations for the next project,” she said. “I’m just going to continue to think about what kind of films I want to do and what’s out there for me to audition for, and I love trying.”
Kim also talked about how she discussed South Korean cinema with Evans, who starred in South Korean director Bong Joon-ho’s “Snowpiercer,” and she revealed which “Avengers” cast member really went out of his way to make her feel comfortable on set. An edited transcript of the interview follows.
When you read the part of Dr. Cho, she is very involved with the Avengers, she’s hanging out at parties. Did you approach the part worried that you would be around all these big superhero types, or were you fairly confident in yourself?
Of course I was nervous and excited at the same time. I felt the same way on set, but everyone was so welcoming, they made me feel really comfortable. Personally, I loved the challenge.
What did you guys do on down time? Was there was a lot of talk? Did you have fun? Did you hang out?
What was so inspiring and something I wanted to learn was how comfortable they were on set. All together, they got along so well. They were just making jokes, and within that process they would think of something even more brilliant. I was just enjoying that process, really.
Was there any particular cast member that you felt you really connected with?
I can only say such nice things about everyone, but James Spader really — he’s such an established actor, and he has so much more experience, and I was so grateful because he would really take care of me. He would ask, “Where should Dr. Cho be in this moment?” Or, “How do you feel about this?” He would really talk to me from my perspective. He would really care for me, and I’m so thankful for that.
When you finally saw the movie, and you saw yourself in front of this 10-foot evil robot instead of James Spader, how did that make you feel? Read the rest of this entry »
Zach Epstein writes: It seems like Marvel can do no wrong these days. Every movie the company releases is a smash hit at the box office, and the upcoming film Avengers: Age of Ultron should end up being one of the studio’s biggest blockbusters of all time. Now, with the new Avengers movie inching ever closer to its premiere less than three weeks from today, Marvel has once again teased fans with a brand new clip from the film.
We’ve seen several Avengers: Age of Ultron trailers at this point, and Marvel has released a number of clips as well. We even have some great behind-the-scenes footage to enjoy from the upcoming superhero flick. And now, we can toss yet another tantalizing clip onto the pile….(read more)
Reverend Sam Mosteller: ‘Let me just say it this way, I am going to have to advocate at this point that all African-Americans advocate their Second Amendment right’Posted: April 1, 2015
President Of MLK Group Advocates For Second Amendment
Chuck Ross reports: The president of the Georgia chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference said Tuesday nonviolence is not working and African-Americans should ”avail themselves” to their Second Amendment rights.
Rev. Sam Mosteller made the statements during a press conference Tuesday in Atlanta. He and members of SCLC, which was co-founded by Martin Luther King Jr. in 1957, were protesting the recent shootings of two young black men in the state.
“You know, the SCLC stands for nonviolence, but nonviolence hasn’t worked in this instance,” Mosteller said, according to My Fox Atlanta.
“Let me just say it this way, I am going to have to advocate at this point that all African-Americans advocate their Second Amendment right,” he added. Read the rest of this entry »
NYT newsroom gathers to remember David Carr. pic.twitter.com/BHlhymdnXf
— Alastair Coote (@_alastair) February 13, 2015
Avengers: Age of Ultron hits theaters on May 1, 2015
The trailers for Avengers: Age of Ultron have so far given us hints of an epic, city destroying, to-hell-with-the-clean-up and insurance costs battle between the Hulk and Iron Man and a new TV spot teaser from Marvel gives us just that little bit more.
We still have no idea why Iron Man dons the Hulkbuster armor to take on his rage-filled fellow Avenger, but we do get to see more of Black Widow, Thor, Scarlet Witch, Captain America and Hawkeye and Nick Fury all look equal parts concerned, confused and a little afraid….(read more)
Hating evil is just as important as loving the good. Because if you don’t, you’re likely to give evil a pass
Rabbi Shmuley Boteach writes: American Sniper is a film of soaring patriotism and an ode to our courageous military. For too long Americans have lived with only two percent of the population losing arms and legs and dying so that the other ninety-eight percent can be safe and free. If we’re not going to copy the heroes of the military at least we can salute them. But the prerequisite of gratitude is knowledge and so few of us really know how much our military sacrifices that it’s hard to feel indebted. That’s what makes American Sniper a movie that portrays Hollywood at its best, telling the story of a valiant and selfless soldier with complexity, truth, and depth.
“What American Sniper is really about is the battle by decent men against truly dark forces of wickedness. The American soldiers who battle the terrorists in Iraq do not hide their contempt for the killers. They hate them, despise them, loathe them, and want to kill them.”
So why are so many people on the left attacking the film? What is their issue with a hero like Chris Kyle, who dedicated his life to saving Americans from murder and was himself killed when he tried to help a psychologically damaged marine?
“The most accurate standard in judging our commitment to humanity is the extent to which we fight to preserve life. For some that fight involves research in a lab to defeat cancer. For others it involves climbing a ladder in a terrible inferno to rescue a stranded child. And for some it involves going to war against barbarous terrorists so that they cannot blow up pregnant women.”
The answer lies in our failure to hate evil. What American Sniper is really about is the battle by decent men against truly dark forces of wickedness. The American soldiers who battle the terrorists in Iraq do not hide their contempt for the killers.
“Churchill spoke openly of his utter hatred of Hitler…And because he hated the beast he inspired a nation to fight him. The French, who did not hate Hitler, collaborated with him and sent Jews and many others to the gas chambers instead. But on the political left, hatred has gone out of vogue.”
They hate them, despise them, loathe them, and want to kill them. Not because they have any bloodlust and not because they enjoy violence. Rather, they are committed to life and are well aware of the fact that the only way to prevent the murderers from slaughtering the innocent is through the necessary evil of conflict.
“Hating evil is just as important as loving the good. To be truly righteous, it’s not enough to love good people. You have to hate—and fight—bad people.”
From time immemorial theologians have debated what makes a person truly righteous. How do we know when someone’s faith is sincere? Some say it is evidenced by a love of humanity. But I have met legions of confirmed atheists who are the finest human beings alive.
“We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the vitriolic words and actions of the bad people but for the appalling silence of the good people.”
— Martin Luther King, Jr.
Others argue that it is martyrdom and a readiness to lay down one’s life for a great cause. But suicide bombers blow themselves up in the name of their faith all the time. Still others argue that goodness is judged by religious ritual observance. But we all know religious people who are devout church and synagogue-goers but who are utterly unethical in other spheres.
Which brings me to this conclusion. Read the rest of this entry »
[VIDEO] Americans Forget Martin Luther King and What He Did – First African American to Walk on the Moon?Posted: January 19, 2015