James Cameron on the”Avatar” sequel that’s always a day away

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Photo (cc) by Steve Jurvetson

Do you remember a little film called “Avatar” from back in ? Yah, me neither.

The film exploded during it’s debut, breaking the Word Record for highest-grossing film of all time, which was previously held by Cameron’s “Titanic,” and changing the film industry fundamentally and permanently.

And yet it’s been seven years and there’s been no sequel and little buzz. The cinematic giant has shrunk into the background while series like the MCU and the “Star Wars” films have owned the decade in its place.

But, as a reminder that the saga of Pandora is coming back someday to take over theaters again, James Cameron spoke about the sequel at the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers’ Centennial Gala last week, where he was awarded an honorary membership.

“I’m going to push,” he said about the sequels. “Not only for better tools, workflow, high dynamic range and high frame rates — the things we are working toward. I’m still very bullish on 3D, but we need brighter projection, and ultimately I think it can happen — with no glasses. We’ll get there.”

His speech comes after several years of delays on the film, which was first slated for 2016.The film is now expected in 2018.

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Inside Northeastern University’s Co-op Application Process

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Photo (cc) by ksparrow11

As a Northeastern University student, I’ve experienced the process of applying to the co-op program for myself twice. Northeastern has an unusually strong focus on co-op, with many students taking more than five years to graduate in order to do multiple six-month placements. The co-op application process for the Spring semester is at its height in October, so I spoke with two searchers and a current co-op to get their stories. This video examines the process many students at Northeastern are participating in right now.

“Will and Grace” may be coming back into your lives

 

Photo (cc) by David Shankbone
Photo (cc) by David Shankbone

We live in an age where death is no longer permanent. That is, if you’re a TV show.

Following the long, long line of recent revivals in reboots in TV and film, TVLine reported  yesterday that NBC is considering bringing back sitcom “Will and Grace.”

The NBC reboot would be have a limited run. An online reunion video for the show came out in September.

Yesterday, star Debra Messing tweeted a picture of herself and her former cast mates reuniting for a Hillary Clinton event.

Meanwhile, fans were using Twitter to respond to the rumor:

Other recent revivals include “Arrested Development,” “The X-Files” and the upcoming “Gilmore Girls” films.

Donald Glover Lands Lando in new “Star Wars”

Photo (cc) 2011 by Loxy!!
Photo (cc) 2011 by Loxy!!

Lando Calrissian is the forgotten hero of “Star Wars.” Added the the original saga in “The Empire Strikes Back,” he gets off to a rocky start by betraying Leia and Han (though it’s to protect his people, which is an important, oft forgotten detail), but by the “Return of the Jedi” he’s become a fully entrenched and accepted member of the Skywalker and friends gang. He even has the honor of piloting the Millennium Falcon in the final battle, and he’s included in the last, celebratory cast shot of the film with the other stars. He’s one of the gang, a solid fourth to Luke, Leia and Han, but still an important fourth.

I have therefore always been sad that history seems to have given him the short end of the stick. As a “Star Wars” fan, I never hear anyone talk about him. He’s not in any modern merchandise. Billy Dee Williams’ absence from “The Force Awakens” isn’t even given an throw away line of explanation.

It’s no surprise then that I was ecstatic when it was announced that everyone’s favorite rapper/actor/comedian Donald Glover would be playing Lando in the prequel film set to follow a young Han Solo. It makes sense, since Lando was the original owner of the Falcon and a friend of Han’s from back in the day, and it’s a great moment for the few of us out there who love Lando.

IGN quickly posted a video explaining why they liked the casting:

Since this was about “Star Wars” and a famous actor, the Twitterverse naturally had lots to say:

A (Rocky) Night of Horror

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Photo (cc) Ingrid Richter and 20th Century Fox

For the cult of people out there who love the one-of-a-kind Tim Curry-fronted musical of the ’70s, prepare to be either excited or disappointed: as of tonight, it’s a little less one-of-a-kind.

Tonight on Fox, Laverne Cox (“Orange is the New Black”) will take over the role of Frank-n-Furter in a new adaptation of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show”, which also stars Victoria Justice, Adam Lambert, Annaleigh Ashford and Tim Curry, who narrates this time around.

Cox, who is transgender, told OUT Magazine that “…in so many ways [The Rocky Horror Picture Show] was the beginning of me allowing myself to fully be.”

However, some in the trans community are worried about trans tropes being reinforced in tonight’s film.

Mari Brighe, who is a trans woman and a journalist, said this about the casting:

“With her playing the lead role, there’s a subtle but potentially very damaging conflation of crossdressers with trans women. In an era where trans people (and trans women in particular) are still consistently struggling to shed the social view that we are little more than men in dresses, the once sexually subversive Rocky Horror Picture Show becomes simply a tool for the re-entrenchment of oppressive and harmful tropes about transgender people.”

The film can be seen at at 8 p.m. tonight on Fox, or, if you’re in Boston and old enough, at club Machine’s viewing party.

Before you head out, however, it’s important to note that the reviews are in, and they aren’t as gold and shiny as the movie is.

Vulture’s Jesse Green had this to say:

“The director, Kenny Ortega, known for the High School Musical trilogy, seems to think that by mixing overbusy sequences with others that have almost no content or momentum he can achieve a nice average. That didn’t work; I found myself alternately falling asleep and squinting at the visual mess. (If you ever wondered whether you could get too much of the theatrical costuming genius William Ivey Long, the answer is yes.) And though Laverne Cox, as Frank N. Furter, brought some amusing intonations and an undeniable queer spark to the proceedings — she is transgender — most of the cast, drawn from film and television, could not sell the material, especially the songs, no matter how much electronic help was provided.”

The Guardian’s Bryan Moylan was a little lukewarm but somewhat positive.

“Faithful, fast-paced, and largely entertaining, this new Rocky Horror Picture Show is neither the calamity fans like myself were fearing nor the triumph that we were all hoping for. While some of its interpretations don’t quite hit the mark, it is still good enough to get first-time viewers pumped to see the original movie. 

I personally don’t understood why this project wasn’t done as live Halloween theater, given the recent rise in televised live musical on the broadcast networks. Since Rocky Horror started as a stage musical, it seems like it would have been a fun return-to-roots.

But we must live with what we have, which, in this case, is a possibly subpar remake of the film. So, all together, folks:

Let’s do the time warp…again.

You can now go see Michael Moore’s movie about Donald Trump

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Photo (cc) 2011 by David Shankbone

You all remember Michael Moore, right? Most people know him as an edgy, liberal documentarian and the man behind “Fahrenheit 9/11.” It turns out, he’s also a stage star.

Last month, the director announced that he was working on a a political film, “Michael Moore in Trumpland.” It’s not one of his typical documentaries; instead, it’s a filmed one-man stage show.

Moore explained that the theater he had chosen for the show in swing-state Ohio had turned him down because conservatives on their board were afraid the director was trying to convince people to vote for Clinton.

“Well, they got that right. They aren’t stupid,” he said on Facebook.

Moore was able to find a contingency plan, and the film was shown last night for free in New York City. He had this to say about his goals:

“This election is going be decided by whether people will stay home. I hope I can light a fire and get it out in the next weeks to millions of people‎.”

The New York Times published a review today titled ‘“Michael Moore in Trumpland” Isn’t About Trump,” and it’s not exactly glowing. Here’s a excerpt:

“Mr. Moore has basically made an earnest but not very entertaining pro-Clinton campaign film, occasionally funny, momentarily heartfelt when he takes up the subject of universal health care and the lives lost for lack of it. Against the rest of his work (“Bowling for Columbine,” “Roger & Me”) it’s fairly tepid stuff.”

Tonight marks to official start of the film’s non-preview run in New York’s IFC Center.

The Real-World Dangers of Fame, From Kardashian to Hadid

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Photo (cc) 2011 by Eva Rinaldi

Our world is, as a rule, obsessed with keeping up with the Jones, and, more recently, keeping up with the Kardashians. Our obsession with the so-called “beautiful people” and the rich and famous is often viewed a vapid and pointless, but it’s impacts can be anything but.

I wrote about our culture’s celebrity cult last week in regards to the election. The point of that post was that our celebrity-worship can have consequences for the general public. Today I’d like to examine the consequences that the general public can have on the celebrities.

Annoying paparazzi and a lack of privacy are established and expected prices of fame, but there have been multiple recent cases of models being put into legitimate danger because of their popularity and notoriety.

The most terrifying example is the Kim Kardashian’s recent robbery in Paris. The apartment where she was staying was broken into my armed men, who tied her up and stole her valuables.

What Kardashian endured was the most extreme recent example of the dangers, but her younger sister is also facing an alarming situation. The Huffington Post report Friday that “amid [Kardashian/Jenner] family’s security crisis,” model Kendall Jenner went to court and testified against Shavaughn McKenzie. McKenzie allegedly entered Jenner’s driveway in August and then followed her. 

“I was crying, I was screaming, I was freaking out. I didn’t know what his intentions were,” Jenner said.

In another recent violent incident, Jenner’s friend and fellow model Gigi Hadid was grabbed from behind by a man, Vitalii Sediuk, in Milan, Italy on September 22. Hadid fought him during the attack.

“Practicing self-defense is important so that when you’re in the moment, reacting from muscle memory comes more naturally to you than freezing up. Confidence in your own ability to defend yourself comes with educating yourself about it, and is a massive advantage when in an unsafe situation,” Hadid told Lenny Letter. 

These attack, while shocking and violent, are not unusual in our culture, and they obviously did nothing to stop the obsession around the parties involved. Shortly after, the Mirror posted an article titled “Shaken Kim Kardashian looks unrecognizable as she’s spotted for the first time in Los Angeles after gun point robbery,” with accompanying paparazzi pictures of a hooded Kardashian. The cycle continues.