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The summer is coming to an end soon. For film, this summer has seen many big box office hits despite an overall industry decline compared to last summer. Disney in particular was a winner with successes including The Lion King, Avengers: Endgame, Captain Marvel, Aladdin and Toy Story 4. Here’s a quick list of box office winners and losers from summer 2019. Avengers: Endgame took in a record breaking $357.1 million on its domestic opening.  In total, worldwide revenue reached $2.8 billion, the all-time box-office record without adjusting for inflation. John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum took away $320 million worldwide. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood already brought in $180 million worldwide in first couple weeks. Dark Phoenix has only taken in $66 million domestically. Disney’s CEO said the film was the primary cause for Fox’s operational loss last quarter. Men in Black: International earned only $ 79.5 million domestically and received bad reviews from Rotten Tomatoes. Shaft took in a mere $21 million.
Kareem Abdul Jabbar, the legendary, retired basketball player, who had a close relationship with Bruce Lee, the dead, champion martial arts actor, is protective of Lee’s legacy.  He’s unhappy with how Quentin Tarantino portrayed his friend in the new film Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. In the middle of the film, Brad Pitt’s character fights Bruce Lee.  Jabbar described Tarantino’s depiction of Lee as being “sloppy” and “somewhat racist.” Jabbar was unhappy with what he perceived as a bigoted machismo in the way that Pitt’s character defeated Lee in the fight scene. Bruce Lee’s family has also spoken out about Bruce’s portrayal in the film. Lee’s daughter Shannon was particularly frustrated with the portrayal of her father. She thought that he was unfairly portrayed as cruel and arrogant. All Quentin Tarantino movies are controversial…it’s the nature of the beast; someone’s going to be unhappy.  Sorry Kareem. Sorry Shannon.
Looking to make a couple extra bucks for a family vacation, pay the bills, or having some extra gas money? Well, you could look into selling some old VHS tapes. Yup, thats right, VHS tapes have carved out a little market for themselves in the online trading world of eBay, and you will be shocked for how much some of these tapes are going for. Apparently out of Australia a report stated that a 1999 Special Edition copy of Mulan in mint condition was sold for over $20,000! A set of seven Disney classics, Black Diamond edition, which included Bambi and Aladdin sold for $18,000. A 1990 VHS of the Little Mermaid sold for $15,000 and 1992 version of Beauty and the Beast Black Diamond edition sold for $10 G’s. New data has revealed that almost 250,000 VHS tapes have been sold online over the last year, and over $3 million dollars has been spent on VHS tapes in that time. Why the sudden spike in value and demand for these classic films. Well for starters, Disney has been cranking out remakes of their old movies like Fords on an assembly line. This alone has raised the value of older tapes that will never be produced again in the VHS versions like the originals. While very few people these days even own a VHS player, that shouldn’t stop you from trying to make a couple extra bucks selling the tapes online.
Quentin Tarantino is known for crafting high-energy, violent, profane films that verge on the bizarre.  One of his common tricks is to cast actors who have not been seen in a long time as he did with Pam Grier and Robert Forster in Jackie Brown.  He does the same thing with music…he finds the songs we haven’t heard in a long time or obscure artists that are slotted in at just the right place in the movie.  It’s part of the Tarantino movie making style. Now, timed to coincide with the release of Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, he has complied 70 of his favorite songs from all his movies on Spotify.  Here’s a sample of the breathe of his choices:
  • George Baker’s “Little Green Bag” from the title sequence of Reservoir Dogs
  • Kool & The Gang’s “Jungle Boogie” and Chuck Berry’s “You Never Can Tell” from Pulp Fiction.
  • David Bowie’s “Cat People (Putting Out the Fire)” from Inglourious Basterds
  • The White Stripes’ “Apple Blossom” from The Hateful Eight.
Tarantino says immodestly that listeners can “sit back, relax and move into the soundscape of a Quentin Tarantino movie. You may never wanna leave.”  Once Upon A Time In Hollywood starring Leonardo Di Caprio, Margot Robbie and Brad Pitt (not obscure actors) opened to a strong box office and acclaim from reviewers.

Ariana Grande is about to work with Jim Carrey and she’s thrilled about it. The two will be working together on the second season of Kidding, a major Showtime drama series where Grande will be playing a guest role. She announced her role in a recent Instagram post that featured a black and white photo of Jim Carrey hugging the popster. Grande described herself as speechless about the news she would be working on the project; she also said that she adored Jim Carrey ever since she was a little kid.  She described Carrey as being more special, warm and generous in person than she ever imagined he could be. Season two of “Kidding” will premier on November 3rd.  Though it is about the host of a kid TV show, it is not for kids.

Hobbs & Shaw is a $200 million, star-studded, summer blockbuster that is some distance from its origins in the first Fast & Furious movie, a somewhat innocent version of cops vs robbers vs corruption featuring cool street cars straight out of a Need for Speed video game.  What started with Paul Walker (RIP) and Vin Diesel, second level stars at the time, has morphed into countless films featuring current first tier stars like Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Jason Statham, Eva Mendes and Kurt Russell.  F & F has evolved into a mighty movie franchise. In Hobbs & Shaw, The Rock and Statham team up to take on bad guys much to their chagrin. They try to save Shaw’s (Statham) sister (Vanessa Kirby) who is a M16 agent. The franchise may be bigger, but is it better?  Has it devolved into typical action movie with fighting, guns, good guys vs. bad guys, cars, and other wild and crazy vehicular scenes; aerial, on the ground or by the sea?  To insure its appeal, the film throws in Ryan Reynolds, Idris Elba, Rob Delaney, and Kevin Hart. Question: How far can $200 million take you?