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Desert Radio AZ LIVE!

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Movies

Batman Who? Ruby Rose's Batwoman Gets Her Time to Shine in "Elseworlds" Teaser. "Batman is an urban legend." "That's not Batman... " No, Barry Allen/Green Arrow, it is not. In a new preview for Elseworlds, the Arrow-Flash-Supergirl crossover, viewers are introduced to Batwoman (Ruby Rose) aka Kate Kane. This is the first time a member of the Batfamily, and DC Comics' Gotham City will be seen as part of The CW's Arrowverse. She looks like she jumped right out of the comic books. The promo says, "Destiny will be rewritten," hence Grant Gustin playing Green Arrow and Stephen Amell playing The Flash... and maybe a Batwoman existing in place of Batman? We've got some serious questions. In the first part of "Elseworlds," Barry Allen (Gustin) and Oliver Queen (Amell), wake up one morning and realize they have swapped bodies with each other. They set off to find out what made the shift in the timeline, however Team Flash doesn't believe them. They then seek out Supergirl's help (Melissa Benoist) and travel to Smallville where they meet Clark Kent (Tyler Hoechlin) and Lois Lane (Elizabeth Tulloch). Viewers will also meet LaMonica Garrett as The Monitor in part one of "Elseworlds." In part two, airing Monday, Dec. 10, Oliver and Barry make their way to Gotham City to find John Deegan (Jeremy Davies) with Supergirl in tow. In the third and final part, Supergirl, The Flash, Green Arrow and Superman engage in one epic -- and potentially final -- battle. The three-night crossover begins Sunday, Dec. 9 on The CW. (Eonline)

This Year's Oscar Race May Become a Battle of the Blockbusters. Black Panther,' 'A Star Is Born', 'A Quiet Place' and even 'Mary Poppins Returns' have emerged as strong contenders, which could prevent smaller titles from capitalizing on the season's awards buzz. Backstage at the Academy Awards press room in early 2010, there was an audible gasp when The Hurt Locker won best picture instead of Avatar. An indie film, which earned a mere $17 million in the U.S. and $49 million worldwide, had toppled the top-grossing movie of all time at $2.8 billion, not adjusted for inflation. It wasn't the first time a specialty title had beaten a studio juggernaut. Since an indie film wave began almost two decades ago, specialty titles like Birdman and The Artist have often relegated major studio movies to the awards sidelines. Along the way, Oscar telecast ratings have plummeted, with viewership hitting an all-time low in February when Guillermo del Toro's art house fantasy The Shape of Water won the top prize. But this year is looking very different. A pack of commercial hits from the Hollywood majors is holding its own in the awards conversation, and it's happening as the overall 2018 box office heads for record levels. To date, this year has seen a 10.2 percent increase in revenue from $9.7 billion to $10.7 billion and a 7.3 percent increase in attendance since 2017. In early August, the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences went so far as to announce plans for a "popular" best picture category. While the Academy quickly shelved the idea and retreated after backlash, the idea of a popular Oscar may be taking hold organically. (That is, unless Netflix makes history and Alfonso Cuaron's Roma becomes the first best picture in history to have zero reported grosses.) "Many have blamed the [Oscar telecast's recent] low ratings on the fact that the lion's share of the best picture nominees -- even in the wake of the shift to 10 possible contenders -- have been either too esoteric or less accessible to mainstream audiences," says box office analyst Paul Dergarabedian of comScore. "This year has seen a preponderance of films that have [both] critical acclaim and crowd-pleasing popularity at the box office." The last billion-dollar grosser to win the top Academy Award was The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King in 2004. The only major Hollywood studio to have won the Oscar for best picture in the last decade was Warner Bros., for Ben Affleck's Argo in 2013. And for a time, studios seemed content to let the indies and their specialty divisions pursue Oscars while they chased tentpoles. But now the studios increasingly covet awards as they try to justify green-lighting midrange movies, make top filmmakers happy and keep them from bolting to Netflix or other streamers. Studio executives and veteran insiders say that newer, younger Academy members are more open to commercial fare. And most are invested in saving the Oscars from oblivion. The list of Hollywood studio titles popping up on potential best-picture lists include Disney's Black Panther, Ryan Coogler's superhero film that has earned $1.34 billion since its release in early February, including becoming only the third film in history to cross $700 million domestically. And Warner Bros.' Bradley Cooper-Lady Gaga crooner A Star Is Born has earned a rousing $353.3 million worldwide to date after debuting at the Toronto Film Festival, an incubation lab for best picture contenders. That's already 81 percent ahead of the $195.2 million grossed globally by Fox Searchlight's Shape of Water during its entire run. Disney's Mary Poppins Returns, opening in theaters Dec. 19, is also being touted by awards pundits who have seen the Emily Blunt-Lin-Manuel Miranda musical directed by Rob Marshall. So too is Paramount's John Krasinski-helmed A Quiet Place, which grossed $340.7 million worldwide this year. At Warners, president of worldwide marketing Blair Rich says films shouldn't be counted out solely because of their popularity, even if the proposed idea of a "popular Oscar" category was widely derided this year. "A Star Is Born has been seen by a lot of people and deservedly so, because they connect on an emotional level," says Rich. "Surely that merits being part of the awards conversation." But if major studio films such as A Star Is Born keep garnering the majority of the Oscar buzz, films like Fox Searchlight's period dramedy The Favourite or Annapurna's If Beale Street Could Talk (opening Dec. 14) and Vice (Dec. 25) could find it tough to partake in the bounty that goes along with a robust awards run. Numerous insiders say voters could still favor a specialty title such as Beale Street, Barry Jenkins' follow-up to his Oscar-winning Moonlight. And several studio movies have lagged at the box office so far but are still vying for Oscar glory, including First Man and Green Book, both from Universal, and Fox's Widows. But a shift is being felt. "At this time last year several awards contenders, like Lady Bird, Call Me by Your Name and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, were already in release and the indie buzz was deafening. That's not the case this year, with only The Favourite seemingly living up to awards hype," says Jeff Bock of Exhibitor Relations. Over Thanksgiving weekend, The Favourite landed in four theaters, posting the best location average ($105,633) since La La Land nearly two years ago. Searchlight co-chairman Steve Gilula, who intends to roll out the film slowly, says this season is playing out differently in terms of the impact of the majors. "At this stage of the awards conversation, it feels like the major studios are much more significant in the mix," Gilula says. "It's a pendulum that swings. Critically and commercially, they've had a very good year. This isn't necessarily a trend; it's a cycle." (Hollywood Reporter)

Johnny Depp Thought He Was Being Replaced By Tom Hanks on 'Edward Scissorhands'. "It was one of the most frightening moments in my career," the star once reminisced. Johnny Depp was positive he was going to be fired off Edward Scissorhands and replaced with Tom Hanks. In a 1999 interview with Charlie Rose unearthed by Heat Vision, the star said that while he loved working with director Tim Burton, he always had the feeling of insecurity, especially with Edward Scissorhands, which was released the first week of December 1990. Depp explained that for Scissorhands, Burton rehearsed the rest of the cast, except for him, which was a double-edged sword. "He didn't know exactly what I was going to do when I walked on the set, the same thing with Ed Wood," Depp told Rose. "In fact, I spent the first two weeks of Ed Wood, and Scissorhands and Sleepy Hallow thinking I was going to be fired, that I was going to be replaced. But luckily Tim was happy with the stuff, and I didn't lose my job." Rose did not believe Depp was serious, to which Depp responded, "I swear to you." He then told his Hanks story. "I can remember when we were doing Scissorhands we were living in this sort of resort, some kind of country club thing, and there was a knock on the door ... one afternoon while everyone was off rehearsing," Depp said. "There were two young girls at the door and I thought, 'Oh, they found me and maybe they want me to sign something, I don't know.' So, I opened the door and said, 'How do you do?' and they said, 'Hi. Is Tom Hanks here? Does he live here?' I said, 'What? No. Not yet.' And I was convinced that Hanks would be replacing me. I was convinced. It was one of the most frightening moments in my career." Edward Scissorhands went on to be a critical and box office success, helping to make Depp and Winona Ryder bigger stars. The film also garnered an Oscar-nomination for best makeup. Depp is currently starring in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. (Hollywood Reporter)

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