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Crazy Rich Asians was an absolute hit, earning over $238 million dollars worldwide. The romantic comedy was so big, Warner Bros. decided to renew the title for two sequels. But there is a problem. One of the two film writers, Adele Lim an Asian American, has left over a pay inequality claim.

Lim apparently was set to be paid $110,000-plus for the two films while her co-writer, Peter Chiarelli, was set to earn $800,000 – $1,000,000 for his effort.  Lim argues that regardless of the fact that Chiarelli’s resume boasts far more big screen experience than Adele’s, the size of the pay difference is too extreme given the fact that both worked on the initial hit project.

It has been reported that Lim apparently rejected a deal to split her counterpart Chiarelli’s salary with him, hoping to receive a salary closer to what he earns. Now it’s far lower than what that number would have been.

Adele told the Hollywood Reporter, “Pete has been nothing but incredibly gracious, but what I make shouldn’t be dependent on the generosity of the white-guy writer. If I couldn’t get pay equity after Crazy Rich Asians, I can’t imagine what it would be like for anyone else, given that the standard for how much you’re worth is having established quotes from previous movies, which women of color would never have been (hired for). There’s no realistic way to achieve true equality that way.”

With negotiations spewing out into the public light, the pressure is on Warner Bros. to either cut a new deal with Adele to bring her back or move on to find a new writer to keep the story culturally true. Unless Ms. Lim was doing the work of an assistant, rather than co-writer, she needs an increase.  It will be a shame to break up the team that was responsible for such a culturally important moment in entertainment history.  In the age of pay equity, Warner Bros. ought to step up

Unfortunately, nothing lasts forever, including good things like stunning movies on Netflix. September will see several great movies leave the service. Here’s a quick list of five great films to check out before they disappear.

1. A Clockwork Orange (1971)

The futuristic, dystopian crime film.  

2. The Fast and the Furious (2001)

About an LA cop struggling with his loyalties when he encounters the world of street racing.

3. Sweeny Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

  A humorous, high-quality musical which follows a murderous London hair cutter.

4. The Dark Night (2008)

 A Joker centered movie about Batman’s worst enemy.

5. Carol (2015)

  Already classic drama about an aspiring photographer’s relationship with an older woman.

Netflix is always bolstering its content and widening its audience.  A new series called Rhythm + Flow does both.  It’s a music competition program aimed at finding hip-hop’s next big stars. Similar to America’s Got Talent and American Idol of old, there will be a three judge panel that includes Chance the Rapper, T.I. and Cardi B.   The latter two have experience in the TV world, with T.I. has worked with MTV while Cardi B starred in Love & Hip-Hop: New York, before becoming the famous artist she is today. The first four of ten episodes will drop on October 9th featuring auditions in New York, Chicago, Atlanta, and Los Angeles. The next three episodes will be released a week later on October 16th. Rap battles, music videos, and ciphers will be used to narrow down the field. The final slate of three episodes will drop on October 23rd with a winner being declared at the end. This is the first music talent competition hosted by a streaming service.  If successful we can expect it won’t be the last.  Rhythm + Flow has been critically acclaimed as “hip-hop’s first legit TV competition,” which throws a little shade on Diddy’s Making The Band.

In a significant increase, Netflix has announced that it will release ten films in theaters this fall with the intention of competing for the Oscars. The service has made movies for the Oscars before including well respected films Beasts of No Nation in 2015, then Roma, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs and Mowgli in 2018.  The schedule for 2019 follows (First Date is Theatre Date, Second Date is Netflix Date):

  • The Launderette with Meryl Streep  – Sep 7  | Oct 18
  • Dolemite Is My Name with Eddie Murphy – Oct 4  | Oct 25
  • The King with Robert Pattinson – Oct 11 | Nov 1
  • Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman with Robert de Niro – Nov 1 | Nov 27
  • Earthquake Bird with Alicia Vikander –  Nov 1 | Nov 15
  • Marriage Story with Scarlett Johansson – Nov 6 | Dec 6
  • Klaus -animated – Nov 8 |Nov 15
  • I Lost My Body – French animated – Nov 15 | Nov 29
  • Atlantics – French drama – Nov 15 | Nov 29
  • The Two Popes with Anthony Hopkins and Jonathan Pryce – Nov 27 | Dec 20

 

A new study from the National Association of Latino Independent Producers (NALIP) shows that across the top 100 grossing movies from 2007-2018 only three percent of the films featured leads or co-leads with Latino or Latina actors. The study also found that there was a major shortage in Latino / Latina directors and producers. Given that the Latino community represents over 18 percent of the US population and 40 percent of the California population, why are they so under-represented in mainstream Hollywood films? In addition to the under-representation, Latinos are often depicted in roles of violence and hate.  It’s something that must change to bring to light the true beauty of the Latino culture and to bring a more balanced understanding of the Latin contribution to the broader American culture.

Chris Hemsworth is best known for his role as Marvel’s Thor, God of Thunder and for his incredible physique.  Hemsworth, 36, took to Instagram to show off his workout routine.  The videos are an abbreviated form of his paid fitness app Centrfit, which is called “666 Workout,” not to be mistaken for the devil, although some say the workout is like going through hell.

666 signifies – six repetitions of six sets of six exercises. The video in his Instagram post focused on his back and biceps.  Chris goes through numerous pull exercises; pullups, curls, rows, and deadlifts.

Despite all the traveling he does, he rarely misses a workout, but because of selfie hunters, he rarely trains in a public gym.  Instead he gets it done in his room.

Beyond the workouts, Chris follows disciplined, healthy eating habits. He says he tends to eat fish later in the day over meats as it helps him sleep better. His body digests fish protein better overnight than meat protein. While he doesn’t reveal any tips about growing flawlessly, god-like hair, his Centrfit app has a ton of great high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts and diet suggestions that can help the average Joe get on the path to becoming, if not a God of Thunder, at least a helper.  Check out Hemsworth’s Instagram for footage.

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.

1. Avengers: Endgame

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.

2. John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum

John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum took away $320 million worldwide.

3. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood already brought in $180 million worldwide in first couple weeks.

4. Dark Phoenix

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.

5. Men in Black: International

Men in Black: International earned only $ 79.5 million domestically and received bad reviews from Rotten Tomatoes.

6. Shaft

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.