Robert Pattinson ‘Batman’ report is a dark night for some

(CNN)Gotham is shook.

According to Variety, the actor is close to sealing a deal to play “The Batman” in the forthcoming Warner Bros. superhero film that Matt Reeves is directing.
Warner Bros. is owned by CNN’s parent company, WarnerMedia.
    A representative for Warner Bros. told CNN, “We do not have a deal.”
    Not everyone was excited by the thought of the “Twilight” actor donning the iconic suit.
    “Robert Pattinson as Batman???” one person tweeted. “This exactly why Marvel is better in every way smh.”
    “Don’t make the Batfleck mistake again,” one petition implores.
    That, of course, refers to the controversy behind Ben Affleck taking over the role in “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice,” “Suicide Squad” and “Justice League” — a selection that did not go over well with someDC Comics devotees.
    But there is also plenty of support for Pattinson, with some pointing out there was similar hoopla surrounding Heath Ledger’s selection as the Joker in “The Dark Knight.”
    That performance earned Ledger, who died in 2008 from an accidental overdose, a posthumous Oscar.
    “The same people rolling their eyes when they heard #RobertPattinson was cast as the new #Batman are probably the same people who rolled their eyes when Heath Ledger was cast as Joker,’ actor A.J.Kirsch tweeted. “How about you be patient and give #TheBatman a chance?”
      Deadline also is reporting Pattinson is on a short list for the role along with “Tolkien” star Nicholas Hoult, but no decision has been made.
      “The Batman” is scheduled to hit theaters in June 2021.

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      How Courtney Love, ‘Spider-Man’ And ‘Showgirls’ Inspired ‘Her Smell’

      Music movies have taken center stage lately. With varying degrees of success, “A Star Is Born,” “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “Vox Lux,” “The Dirt” and “Teen Spirit” pose questions about what it means to be a pop star in this modern world. But with all due respect to Jackson Maine, the best of the bunch is “Her Smell,” an electrifying grunge epic in which Elisabeth Moss plays a Courtney Love type whose primary condition is chaos. 

      “Her Smell” gets at the heart of the pop-rock ethos, whether or not that ethos involves Top 40 charts: As a performer, what does it mean to live up to the public persona you’ve invented? For Moss’ character, Rebecca Adamcyzk, who performs in an all-female rock band under the stage name Becky Something, it’s mind-warping. Becky sorted out issues from her childhood by creating riot grrrl-style art and self-medicating with a cocktail of drugs and booze. In the film’s rowdy first three chapters, she spirals into addiction and disorder. In the starker final two, she deals with the repercussions ― the calm after the storm. Her story is at turns devastating, delicious and stimulating.

      In writing and directing the film, Alex Ross Perry, who also worked with Moss on the 2015 psychodrama “Queen of Earth” and the 2014 comedy “Listen Up Philip,” channeled everything from Lady Gaga, “Showgirls” and “The Phantom of the Opera” to Guns N’ Roses and “Spider-Man.” (Yes, “Spider-Man.”) A few weeks ago, Perry and I strolled around Brooklyn discussing “Her Smell” at length: its influences, its techniques, its go-for-broke energy. Our conversation will probably mean more to those who’ve seen the movie, which expands to additional theaters this weekend and next, especially because we get into some fairly thorough spoilers about the ending.

      How interesting that “Her Smell” arrives amid a wave of pop-star/rock-star movies.

      It’s certainly a coincidence. Maybe a happy coincidence? I don’t know. I haven’t watched this one yet, but I’m certain the closest kinship we have is with the Mötley Crüe biopic [“The Dirt”], because I feel like all the other movies are the right kind of story. They’re all the big, famous, multiplatinum-selling-artists story, or they’re the rags-to-riches, personal-fulfillment story. For whatever reason, the one thing there’ll never be enough to form a trend on is low, disreputable, grimy, underground-music movies. People can look at “Bohemian Rhapsody” and “A Star Is Born” and whatever and think, “That’s a $100 million idea.” No one will ever look at punk, metal or grunge and think, “That’s a $100 million idea,” because it’s not. It never was.

      It’s baked into the concept of those genres. They’re not meant to fill arenas.

      Right. I can only talk about it in terms of New York venues, but the biggest thing this band ever would have done is sell out Hammerstein Ballroom, not Madison Square Garden or anything like it.

      Elisabeth Moss and Alex Ross Perry on the set of “Her Smell.”

      Before you started writing, how much of the band’s career did you plot out? It’s amazing that we understand their entire arc without needing to see much of it as exposition. 

      I think a lot of that stuff appeared only vis-à-vis figuring out who the other characters were. Knowing this can’t be a movie with anything in it that I feel is a cliché scene that’s in all these other movies, that means there’s no scene where anyone from the record company sits you down and says, “Maybe this will be the next single,” or, “All of this album that you just delivered, we need to talk about it in a conference room.” I didn’t want any of those scenes, but I wanted chapters that represent that. You have Howard, the manager, but I don’t want the scenes that are in every other movie of, “Look, stick with me and I’ll take you to the top. Forget everything you thought you knew about yourself, we’re going to make you a star.” I just wanted the nuts and bolts: “We’ve been paying for this for eight months; here are the sacrifices I’ve made to pay for this,” in a way that the viewer is hopefully thinking, “Well, that feels very real,” instead of, “That feels like a dramatic construction necessary to sell me on the idea of who the lead is.”

      And yet everything in “Her Smell” is very detailed. We get a sense of the band’s rise to fame through fleeting references to their past.

      A lot of this came from reading the Rolling Stone commemorative Guns N’ Roses issue that they did when the Not in This Lifetime Tour was happening. It was every article about Guns N’ Roses that the magazine had published, just collected in one edition with no updates, and then one article at the end about the reunion tour. If you want to think about the narrative of a band removed from the trappings of a three-act dramatic structure, just read an article about them when they’re already famous. Guns N’ Roses being signed is not an interesting part of their story. 

      It gets mythologized as an overnight-fame thing, which is always so hyperbolic.

      Right, and you read these articles thinking, “The day they got signed wasn’t the most interesting day of that year.” The day that [frontman] Axl [Rose] got into a fight and got arrested was the most interesting day of that year, or at least that’s my impression now that I’m reading the article. Then you turn the page and it’s: How long are they going to be in the studio? How long is it going to take for “Use Your Illusion” to come out? And I’m just like, “Wow, that’s interesting.”

      One of my favorite Wikipedia pages is the recording history of “Chinese Democracy.” I used to read that all the time. Axl needed some instrument, and he had it rented and it was $5,000 a month and it sat there for four years and no one ever used it. That’s a detail that I’ll never forget, and that is more interesting to me than a guy leaning into a microphone during a recording session and going, “We need it to be sexier.” It’s more interesting to me to be like, “Wow, what an interesting waste of resources, and how weird is it that at no point was someone like, ‘Hey, can we return this? Can we get rid of this thing? It’s just sitting here.’” That’s what I was more excited by in doing my take on music.

      Each of the first three chapters is more cataclysmic than the last, but they tactfully outline the preceding years without hammering us with clichés. How did you decide how we’d meet Becky and the band, given you didn’t want to do the rise-to-fame thing so explicitly?

      I knew I wanted to start on a concert, which means I have to find a narrative reason to start on a concert. Then I want to keep going, so that means we have to have an encore. But then I don’t want the next part of the movie to still be about the tour, which means it should be the last show of the tour. I’m happier establishing in a 40-second prologue what the deal has been with this band and that they’re on the cover of Spin. I just wanted them to already be big.

      Have you seen all the new “Spider-Man” movies? Or even the new “Batman” movies? They’ve stopped telling you the origin. It’s just, “OK, this is Spider-Man; he’s a kid, he uses spider powers and a red and blue suit, let’s go.” I felt like, with a movie like this, I could just do that: “This is a band, here are their members, this is a song they’re playing together.” You get that they’ve come this far, this is not their first tour, this is not Madison Square Garden — you have all the information you need. It felt like that was the way to unlock the first part.

      Elisabeth Moss in “Her Smell.”

      And that leads you to this cavernous first act backstage after the concert. The camerawork and cacophonous sound reflect Becky’s mental state. It’s controlled frenzy. What was your tactic there?

      Concrete walls are very oppressive and very unsexy, as opposed to the elegant, beautiful wood paneling of the studio in Act 2. So I just wanted it to feel like you were inside this thing and it was being chewed up and digested like “Pinocchio” or something. It’s this panic attack of a score bouncing off of everything.

      The answer is it’s just one more way to create an entirely subjective experience for what you’re seeing and hearing as a viewer. This is what it feels like to be Becky — the camera, the intensity, the energy, the speed, the noise, the unrelenting sound of the echoes, the cars outside. And now you feel very headsick.

      Aside from a few swigs of brown liquor, we never see her do drugs or take substances, even though she is clearly high out of her mind. I was relieved because scenes like that can also seem hyperbolic or exploitative.

      That was very important to Lizzie because whatever is going on is something she could very much control as a performer, rather than saying, “That’s not how you act when you’re on that drug. We just saw her take speed? That’s not how you act.” It gave her the freedom to create whatever she wanted as a performer, rather than being tied to “so I take this, then X number of minutes later, this happens.”

      Did the two of you have a firm idea about the cocktail of substances she was on?

      Yeah, that was mapped out. Her and Agyness [Deyn, who plays bandmate Marielle Hell], as her druggie friend in the movie, really worked on figuring that stuff all out. They were looking at YouTube videos of “girl on ecstasy at Walmart” and “so and so does speed and goes on a Ferris wheel.” The character does a lot of stuff, but it’s not “Requiem for a Dream.” 

      It’s pretty amazing that we have as much sympathy for her as we do by the end.

      That’s the hope, and that’s the trick of the movie. If that is what happens, then it worked. It’s just my question of “can you take a character that is abrasive and energetic and abusive and sick and diseased, with all of her addictions, and subject an audience to 85 minutes of consistently abusive behavior and basically have them think that they’ve made up their mind on who this character is and who she’s going to be for the rest of the movie and how they feel about her? And is there a way to undo all of that in less than two minutes? To just see her alone, barely moving, dead silent, no makeup, barely dressed — sweatpants? Is there a way to just, as a narrative thing, take away 85 minutes of what you’ve been thinking in under 100 seconds?”

      The way you accomplish that, in my estimation, is by letting us see little pangs of emotion in the first three acts. Someone will say something raw to her, and she will react vulnerably for just a second before snapping back into hysteria.

      There’s a lot of that with Zelda [played by Amber Heard], the way she extends this offer to go on the tour. You see Becky pause and twitch.

      And when the Gayle Rankin character, Ali, says she’s been the one taking care of the band while Becky was taking care of herself.

      Yeah. There’s a lot with Virginia Madsen — little things that her mom says to her. You just kind of see for a second that the Rebecca almost comes through and then goes away. That’s all part of it, and that’s all Lizzie finding the performance in between the lines.

      Was it more Elisabeth than it was the script? 

      I think it was her following the script in her own performative interpretation. There’s definitely things written into some scenes that you’re talking about, where it says, “For a moment, Becky stops and thinks. We never see her do this. Generally she just reacts, but now she actually takes a second.” And there are certainly moments where it’s like, “Right now, Ania [the Madsen character] is talking to Rebecca, not Becky.” How she plays that is entirely up to her.

      Did you always know that it would end with Becky’s final depletion ― an “I’ve given all I can possibly give” moment, if you will?

      Not always. It’s relative to how the whole writing process went because I pitched her on the character, thought about it for a year, started writing it in the wake of Guns N’ Roses’ reunion and outlined the whole movie in five acts, which I’d never done before, only to write properly off the outline for Acts 1 through 4. Then I was just going to see, by the time I got there, what I felt now about Act 5.

      So I did Acts 1 through 4, then I did another draft of them. After my second draft, I looked at the outline for the first time in months, and I no longer felt connected to any of what I had previously thought Act 5 would be about. I became very excited about this because now my relationship with the characters and how they’ve gone on this journey was totally different than it had been when I just outlined the movie and had not spent time with them. 

      Alex Ross Perry and Agyness Deyn on the set of “Her Smell.”

      What was it originally?

      It was more of a Shakespearean five-act tragedy. A lot of people are basically lost to the story. Basically it just didn’t pick up at a point as it does now, where every single character starts Act 5 in a better place than where we last saw them. It kind of let people suffer more. That just came from my studying of five-act tragedy, which is that in Act 5 everything that’s been inevitable happens. But then by the time I wrote it, I thought, “Becky’s death, professional or literal, doesn’t need to happen, even though I’ve spent the whole movie pointing at it.” 

      It’s kind of interesting, now, to suggest hope, but only publicly. Then, privately, as soon as she’s offstage with just her core band family and her actual family, there’s this little extra suggestion of, “Well, the public just thinks, ‘Oh, my God, she’s back,’ and the next thing out of her mouth that only we know is the movie’s big ‘Phantom of the Opera’ influence.’” The last line of ‘Phantom’ is, “It’s over now, the music of the night.” And by the time I was writing Act 5, “Phantom” had become very influential and important to me. It all ties back from her being onstage at the very beginning: “It’s not over yet,” and then two hours later, “It’s over.” It’s all that circular dramatic structure that’s based ultimately on five-act tragedy, “Phantom of the Opera” and my belief in Becky by the time I got around to finish the script.

      That’s key, that you decided to believe in her.

      Very much so. And Lizzie had the same reaction, even reading earlier drafts of this first pass. It’s a win and a loss at the same time, instead of what I’d always thought, which is how most of my movies end, which is a loss and a loss.

      And when we see her at the end of the hallway, we’re stoking ourselves up for her to collapse onstage, maybe shoot herself or overdose.

      Yeah, that feeling lapses back into the same music you heard an hour ago and the same camera patterns. It’s mean to instantly give you that feeling that everyone feels around someone who’s struggling to get clean, which is, “Oh, my God, it’s happening again.”

      Dan Stevens in “Her Smell.”

      It’s interesting that you talk about the public display because so much of what we learn about her in those first three acts is the way she created the character of Becky for herself. The most fun part of that, and also the saddest and most harrowing, is when she has the documentary crew following her. She doubles down on the character. She’s performing this excess for the camera.

      Yeah, that was a blast to conceive of. Lizzie, as Becky, is just relishing that. When she realized that the whole point of that camera crew in the scene was to just play it up, she was like, “I want that camera right on me and I’m going to look at it the whole time and it’s going to be so huge.” It’s just a narrative reason for the character to act that ridiculous, because she’s like, “This is going to be great.” She even says to them, “Did you get that? Perfect. You got your ending.” She’s so aware of the performance at that point, and either unaware or completely disinterested in the effect it’s having on any other person.

      Where did the idea for the documentary crew come from for you? I know you watched a lot of music-related docs while prepping this movie. Did you feel like you were watching famous musicians doing that same performative thing for the camera?

      Yeah, I feel like in the ’90s, every band at some point had some documentary made about them. Some of them we have access to, and some of them turn up on YouTube now and it’s this amazing thing. The decision behind that, which is unspoken and entirely inferred, is she clearly hires these people; she wants them there. This is one of those things that, when you read about her big catastrophic collapse in Rolling Stone or Spin or you hear about it on MTV News, there’s this other part where they say, “And there was a documentary crew there, but the record company has suppressed the footage.” You’re always just like, “Man, some day that footage is going to get out and I want to see that.” You hear a lot about this: The band commissioned this documentary, then saw the way they looked in it and never let the footage be released. 

      And I assume you imagine that footage was never released?

      I imagine it was never released. I mean, it’s being filmed by community-college students, which is the other fun thing. Howard obviously never lets that footage be seen.

      Were you thinking of the movie “Opening Night” when making this?

      Never. We never talked about it or thought about it, and then as soon as we screened the movie in Toronto, our ambition to finally make a movie that no one compared to [John] Cassavetes went right out the window. In this case, we are never looking at his stuff. And then as soon as people said “Opening Night,” I was like, “Yeah, I guess that’s pretty much right in the DNA of this movie.” That would be a profoundly difficult sit of a double feature. Those movies would sing to each other. The movie’s questions about performance and being onstage are all in [“Opening Night”]. I never thought of it, but I’m happy for people to think of it. I could think of no better comparison.

      It’s not an insult, that’s for sure.

      We were looking at “Showgirls” and “Basic Instinct” and things like that, deliriously excessive, lurid, sweaty, sexual, wide-screen, neon-lit movies that are kind of lowbrow but also highly sophisticated in their filmmaking. 

      Something else that’s interesting is Becky’s intelligence. She’s a wordsmith. She’s hyperliterate and has this way of articulating herself that is so clever and astute, even when her mental state is awry. How did that come together in the writing?

      I just love writing dialogue like that. At some point, I thought finally I could hear Becky’s jingle-jangle, stream-of-consciousness patois. Talking to people who work with addicts or people who’ve worked with very over-the-top, chaotic, exciting women, everyone says the same thing: “You know, the thing about them is they’re really disarmingly smart.” And you look at the public persona and you’re like, “Huh, OK.” But you look at the work, and of course they’re smart. They’re savvy, they’re image-conscious, they’re talented at writing lyrics or making movies or whatever.

      It was very important for me, and then Lizzie once she picked up on this and gave notes on early drafts, that you need to feel in Act 1 that Becky is disarmingly smart, which is to say that her brain is so overflowing with everything she’s ever heard in her life. She hears a song once, she knows how to play it on the guitar and knows the lyrics. She sees a TV commercial and she quotes the slogan for a year. She watches “Heavy Metal Parking Lot” on her tour bus on VHS and she’s quoting “Heavy Metal Parking Lot.” She’s just full of stuff and it’s flowing out of her. Lizzie said, “If we do this properly, this is strong in Act 1 and as we go from 1 to 2 to 3, you just feel that hold that she has getting worse.” You sense, by Act 3, that sharpness, which is already not being taken care of, is now even duller because she’s abused her instrument, which is her mind, so much that that quickness and that well of resources is now just gobbledygook. And it’s fun to write and I knew she could nail it all. 

      Obviously the comparison you’ve gotten the most is Courtney Love. I’m specifically interested in whether you watched the home-video footage of her and Kurt Cobain where they seem to be high.

      Yeah, I really like that HBO Cobain documentary [“Montage of Heck”] that I think she was a producer on. It’s one of many beautiful artifacts of that era. Honestly, them in that movie feels more like “Heaven Knows What” than it does “Her Smell.” As a total consumer of that era, I watched that and the L7 documentary “Pretend We’re Dead.”

      Did you drift into some poppier documentaries? “Truth or Dare,” maybe?

      No, didn’t watch “Truth or Dare.” Lizzie really liked the Lady Gaga documentary. She was very into that. I don’t want to put words in her mouth, but I remember when we were talking about playing it up for the camera in Act 3, that and “Truth or Dare” I think were things that she [referenced]. She was like, “You can tell that [Gaga] is acting when the crew is there. Watching that helps me understand that there’s this woman who has created this persona, and now in this movie she has to play the persona but pretend that she’s at home.” I know that she studied that movie and “Amy” a lot. Neither of which I can say were particularly in my Rolodex of stuff, but that’s just fun that her and I were looking at different things.

      This interview has been edited and condensed.

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      Mark Hamill Nails Impression Of ‘Star Wars’ Co-Star Harrison Ford

      Nailed it, he has.

      Mark Hamill showed off his impression of “Star Wars” co-star Harrison Ford on Tuesday’s broadcast of “Late Night with Seth Meyers.”

      And, well, the mimicry is certainly strong with this one.

      While reminiscing about the early days on the set of the space opera movie franchise, Hamill delivered a pitch-perfect impersonation of Ford responding to his questioning of a scene.

      Hamill is, of course, a renowned vocal artist.

      In 2017, he famously read out President Donald Trump’s tweets in the style of the Joker, who he voiced in the animated “Batman” series.

      Check out the “Late Night” interview above, and one of Hamill’s takes on Trump’s tweets below:

      Read more:

      ‘Wonder Woman 1984’ isn’t a sequel, says producer


      Wonder Woman 1984, Patty Jenkins followup to the 2017 smash hit Wonder Woman, is already going to be one of the most anticipated films of 2020. And although there will be a couple of familiar faces between Gal Gadots Diana and Chris Pines Steve Trevor, dont call it a sequel.

      In a new interview with Vulture, Wonder Woman 1984 producer Charles Roven noted that avoiding the word sequel to describe the next Wonder Woman film came from Jenkins herself. And to frame the reasoning, he gives us a bit of a tease on what Wonder Woman 1984, which is currently in post-production, has in store when it debuts in theaters next year.

      She was just determined that this movie should be the next iteration of Wonder Woman but not a sequel, Roven explained. And shes definitely delivering on that. Its a completely different time frame and youll get a sense of what Diana-slash-Wonder Woman had been doing in the intervening years. But its a completely different story that were telling. Even though itll have a lot of the same emotional things, a lot of humor, a lot of brave action. Tugs at the heartstrings as well.

      According to a source close to Jenkins who spoke to Vulture, Jenkins doesnt believe that Wonder Woman 1984 isa sequel either. They compared it to other largely standalone series like Indiana Jones and James Bond, two franchises that don’t spend much time contemplating past films in the next one and don’t have much of a linkbeyond the main characters.Even though technically, what Roven is describing is a sequel.

      While Wonder Woman 1984 is not a direct continuation of Wonder Womans story and were unlikely to see what Diana has been up to in-between World War I and 1984, those two stories are still linked. Diana will be in it and she will presumably have those ties, even if there aren’t explicit links to the first film. Warner Bros. and DC Comics had already been de-emphasizing the interconnective universe, so making and selling a film that doesnt require you to have seen half a dozen films before it to understand whats going on (like some Marvel films can) may be a move to avoid alienating audiences. And so far, its biggest box office successes to date have been standalone films like Wonder Woman and Aquaman.

      But then theres the matter of Trevor. Although the character died at the end of Wonder Woman, Jenkins confirmed that Pine was returning to Wonder Woman 1984 and even released a photo of him in-character wearing a fanny pack. (She has remained mum on any context surrounding Pines return.) Will there be some sort of explanation as to why the character has seemingly risen from the dead? Or will he just pop up in Dianas life again like its nothing?

      Well find out for sure once Wonder Woman 1984 hits theaters on June 5, 2020.

      H/T Comic Book Movie

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      The Comedian With the Best Trump Impression? None of Them

      Turn on late-night TV on almost any night of the week and you'll find one: a President Trump impression. Seth Meyers does one on Late Night, so does Stephen Colbert on The Late Show. Saturday Night Live has had a rotating door of comedians impersonating the president. But which one is the best? Which one nails it?

      Alec Baldwin’s Trump Impression Is a Technical Marvel

    • Jennifer Lawrence's Russian Accent in Red Sparrow Wasn't Great

    • Batman Is Only Kinda Good at Crime Scene Investigation

    • Actually, maybe none of them.

      In the latest episode of WIRED's Technique Critique series, dialect coach Erik Singer analyzed a series of actors portraying US presidents and zeroed in on three comedians—Jimmy Fallon, Taran Killam, and Darrell Hammond— who have taken on Trump. His final word? "For a subtler, more multidimensional, more accurate, integrated, and authentic version of Trump the human being, I think we may have to wait a while." Welp, there you have it. (It's worth noting, though, Singer does think Alec Baldwin's Trump impression on SNL is pretty spot-on.)

      Trump, however, is still a relatively new president, and one that—so far—only comedians have really dug into. Movie and TV actors, on the other hand, have spent years portraying US presidents with much better results. And among those, Singer has found some gems, including Dennis Quaid's Bill Clinton impression in The Special Relationship, Josh Brolin's George W. Bush in W., and Greg Kinnear's John F. Kennedy in The Kennedys miniseries.

      Want more? Watch Singer's full analysis in the video above. For more Technique Critique, go to WIRED's new streaming channel on Roku, Apple TV, Android TV, or Amazon Fire TV.

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      Thunderbirds actor Shane Rimmer dies

      Image copyright Rex/Shutterstock
      Image caption Rimmer provided the calm voice of the oldest Tracy brother in Thunderbirds

      Actor Shane Rimmer, who provided the voice of Scott Tracy in Thunderbirds, has died at the age of 89.

      As well as voicing the heroic puppet pilot in the hit 1960s TV show, Rimmer also appeared in some of the biggest film franchises of all time.

      He starred in James Bond film The Spy Who Loved Me and had smaller roles in Star Wars, Superman and Batman movies.

      He was also a familiar face on ITV’s Coronation Street in the late 1960s as American GI Joe Donnelli.

      He returned to the soap in 1988 as another character, Malcolm Reid.

      Born in Toronto, Canada, Rimmer moved to London in the late 1950s.

      During his prolific career, he also appeared in TV shows like Doctor Who and The Saint, and in films including Dr Strangelove, Gandhi, Rollerball and Out of Africa.

      His management company Infinite Artists said: “Shane was always tremendous fun and an absolute delight to work with. He will be very much missed.”

      Follow us on Facebook, on Twitter @BBCNewsEnts, or on Instagram at bbcnewsents. If you have a story suggestion email [email protected].

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      Triple Frontier review military vets steal big in solid Netflix action thriller

      Machismo and money intersect in a glossy, mostly compelling film about a high-stakes heist in South America, starring Ben Affleck and Oscar Isaac

      At this stage, given their ever-increasing prolificacy, the very definition of what a Netflix original movie is has become a bit foggy. Unlike a smaller independent, whose library of titles might share surface-level similarities, the streaming giant has morphed into a bigger studio, churning out films across all genres, trying to do it all and sometimes, just sometimes, actually succeeding.

      Its latest, and one of its biggest to date, is Triple Frontier, an action thriller that feels very much like a glossy theatrical release, and one whose messy route through development hell reveals that for a long time, it was intended as such. Originally primed as a Paramount picture, to be directed by Kathryn Bigelow and with a rotating cast that has at times included Johnny Depp, Tom Hanks, Will Smith, Tom Hardy, Mark Wahlberg, Channing Tatum and Mahershala Ali, its a project that has been a hot property since 2010. In its small-screen incarnation (it will receive a small one-week theatrical window), its easy to see the appeal although even easier to see why it has ended up on Netflix.

      Pope (Oscar Isaac) is a special forces operative whos spent the last three years trying to catch a powerful drug lord close to the Triple Frontier, the border zone between Paraguay, Argentina and Brazil. When an informant reveals not only his whereabouts but that his house is where he keeps his many millions, Pope hatches a plan. Rather than do it by the book, he will corral his old colleagues, now back in the US trying to lead so-called normal lives, into helping him plan heist. While there are echoes of a greater good, the men are mostly driven by greed and as the plan unfolds, their loyalties to one another become tested.

      Rather like the characters themselves, the film-makers motivations are similarly straightforward. Directed by JC Chandor, whose work includes financial crash drama Margin Call and 80s crime saga A Most Violent Year, from a script he wrote with Mark Boal, Oscar-winning screenwriter of The Hurt Locker, one might assume from their prior credits that theyve tasked themselves with adding some weight to the films muscular framework. While there are throwaway references to PTSD and how poorly military veterans are treated by the US government, Triple Frontier is mostly concerned with providing unambiguous entertainment, an easily consumed adventure for a broad, undemanding Netflix viewership.

      Taken on these terms, its an enjoyable enough way to spend two hours but without any commentary or real depth, its in need of a bit more suspense or conflict to really oil the wheels, the film too often ambling along when it should be racing. The buildup to the heist is admirably detailed on the logistics but less so on characterisation, the men mostly interchangeable. They might not be quite as high-wattage as some of the names once attached, but Chandor has assembled a solid ensemble with Isaac surrounded by Ben Affleck, Charlie Hunnam, Garrett Hedlund and Pedro Pascal. While Hunnam strains to make his American accent believable once again and Affleck is stuck delivering lines in his comically over-egged Batman voice, the remaining team members help to fill in the many gaps left by the script while also making some of the clunkier, on-the-nose lines work (Its like they take the best 20 years of your life and then spit you out).

      Pedro Pascal (Catfish), Garrett Hedlund (Ben), Charlie Hunnam (Ironhead) and Ben Affleck (Redfly). Photograph: Netflix/Courtesy of Netflix

      Interestingly, the film is less focused on the heist itself and more on just how to transport so much money out of the middle of the jungle, which does lend a certain unpredictability to the unfolding drama. The titular location also provides Chandor and cinematographer Roman Yasyanov plentiful opportunities to contrast a number of stunning vistas, the film possessing a sleek and expensive, if somewhat anonymous, aesthetic. But as the men traverse from one locale to the next, the script isnt always able to keep up, the film in need of a few more setpieces or at least some juicier interpersonal conflict to make it roar.

      Its tough to imagine the majority of viewers who stumble upon Triple Frontier not gaining some enjoyment from what they experience, a slick, starry drama found by accident, devoured from the comfort of a living room. But its also harder to imagine it lingering in the memory for particularly long and ultimately, maybe thats what truly defines the majority of Netflixs original movies: easy to watch, hard to remember.

      • Triple Frontier is now on limited release in the US and will be available on Netflix on 13 March

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      What’s streaming on Hulu in March 2019

      'Pretty Little Liars, 'Batman Begins,' or 'Fear the Walking Dead'… pick your poison!
      Image: freeform / warner bros. / amc

      In the post-holidays, pre-summer slump that is this alleged “spring,” life can get pretty boring. Luckily, Hulu is here to bring on the drama with its March streaming. Here’s what’s available. 

      Often overshadowed by the sheer perfection that is its sequel The Dark Knight, Batman Begins is still more than worth a rewatch. Christian Bale coming into his own as Batman offers an excellent model for future Batman casting assessments and Cillian Murphy in anything is always creepy and delightful. 

      That being said, if you still find yourself missing The Dark Knight after your Batman Begins viewing, don’t fret — Hulu’s got that too. Both chapters of the Batman saga begin streaming 3/1.

      On the TV side of things, we’ve got two tense spinoffs worth the binge: Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists: Season 1 and Fear The Walking Dead: Season 4. Obviously, these two series cater to pretty different crowds, but considering how successful their predecessors were/are, we’re certain they’ll wiggle their way into plenty of queues. 

      Check out everything coming to and going from Hulu in March 2019 below.

      Top Pick: The Act

      From Netflix’s The Ted Bundy Tapes to Prime Video’s Lorena, 2019 has already been a successful year for true-crime series. 

      Now, Hulu is taking its latest crack at the genre with a disturbing dramatization of the murder of Dee Dee Blanchard.

      The details of this bizarre case easily lend themselves to a series, but achieving the right balance between exposition and character narrative could be tricky. Fingers crossed the talents of The Act‘s stars, Joey King and Patricia Arquette, deliver a project worth obsessing over.

      The Act begins streaming on Hulu March 20.


      8 Heads in a Duffel Bag (3/1)
      A Cam Life (3/26)
      A Frozen Christmas 3 (3/5)
      A Frozen New Year’s (3/19)
      Abduction (3/1)
      Ace Ventura: Pet Detective (3/1)
      Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls (3/1)
      Acrimony (3/12)
      Alex & Emma (3/1)
      American Beauty (3/1)
      An American Haunting (3/1)
      Assassination Nation (3/18)
      Astro Boy (3/1)
      Basic Instinct 2: Risk Addiction (3/1)
      Batman Begins (3/1)
      Black Sheep (3/1)
      Blast from the Past (3/1)
      Boomerang (3/1)
      Breakheart Pass (3/1)
      Bruce Almighty (3/1)
      Bushwhacked (3/1)
      Chef Flynn (3/30)
      Death at a Funeral (3/1)
      Deuces Wild (3/1)
      Dirty Work (3/1)
      Divide and Conquer (3/17)
      Double Jeopardy (3/1)
      Dudes (3/7)
      Easy Rider (3/1)
      Edward Scissorhands (3/1)
      Fire in the Sky (3/1)
      Free Solo (3/13)
      Girl Most Likely (3/20)
      He Named Me Malala (3/1)
      Heaven’s Gate (3/1)
      I Can Only Imagine (3/8)
      I, Dolours (3/1)
      Impostor (3/1)
      Inventing the Abbotts (3/1)
      Ironweed (3/1)
      It’s Arbor Day, Charlie Brown (3/1)
      JFK (3/1)
      Jumanji (3/1)
      Legally Blondes (3/1)
      Lego Batman: DC Super Heroes Unite (3/1)
      Lego DC Comics Super Heroes: The Flash (3/1)
      Like Water for Chocolate (3/15)
      Middle Men (3/10)
      Monsters and Men (3/27)
      Nacho Libre (3/1)
      No Way Out (3/15)
      Not Another Teen Movie (3/1)
      Office Space (3/1)
      Open Season (3/1)
      Open Season 2 (3/1)
      Open Season 3 (3/1)
      Open Season: Scared Silly (3/1)
      Ouija House (3/1)
      Ouija Séance: The Final Game (3/1)
      Perfect Creature (3/1)
      Rambo III (3/1)
      Reasonable Doubt (3/1)
      Red Corner (3/1)
      Red Dragon (3/1)
      Regarding Henry (3/1)
      Return of the Living Dead 3 (3/1)
      Return of the Living Dead 4: Necropolis (3/1)
      Return of the Living Dead 5: Rave to the Grave (3/1)
      River’s Edge (3/1)
      Rock ‘n’ Roll High School (3/7)
      S.F.W. (3/1)
      Saved! (3/1)
      Shaolin Warrior (3/1)
      Shoplifters (3/14)
      Small Soldiers (3/1)
      Suburbia (3/7)
      Summer Catch (3/1)
      Tapeheads (3/1)
      Tea with the Dames (3/16)
      The Chumscrubber (3/1)
      The Cider House Rules (3/1)
      The Closet (“Le Placard”) (3/5)
      The Crying Game (3/1)
      The Dark Knight (3/1)
      The Dogs of War (3/1)
      The Domestics (3/29)
      The Fog (3/15)
      The French Lieutenant’s Woman (3/1)
      The Ice Storm (3/1)
      The Last Race (3/21)
      The Mighty Quinn (3/1)
      The Party’s Just Beginning (3/11)
      The Piano (3/1)
      The Pope of Greenwich Village (3/1)
      Toys (3/1)
      Trigger (3/12)
      Tristan & Isolde (3/1)
      Two Weeks Notice (3/1)
      Vice (3/1)
      W. (3/1)
      Waterworld (3/1)
      What a Girl Wants (3/1)
      What Lies Beneath (3/1)
      What’s the Worst That Could Happen? (3/1)
      Where Hands Touch (3/5)
      Wings of the Dove (3/15)
      Witness (3/1)
      Yes Man (3/1)


      A.P. Bio: Season 2 Premiere (3/8)
      Abby’s: Series Premiere (3/29)
      American Gods: Season 2 Premiere (3/10) — available with STARZ premium add-on
      American Idol: Season 2 Premiere (3/4)
      Billions: Season 4 Premiere (3/17) — available with SHOWTIME premium add-on
      Black Clover: Season 1 (Dubbed) (3/10)
      Cardinal: Season 3 (3/22)
      Catfish: Season 7, Episodes 1-28 (3/24)
      Cosmos: Possible Worlds: Series Premiere (3/4)
      Dr. K’s Exotic Animal E.R.: Season 7 Premiere (3/26)
      Drifters: Season 1 (3/1)
      Fear the Walking Dead: Season 4 (3/19)
      For The People: Season 2 Premiere (3/8)
      Good Girls: Season 2 Premiere (3/4)
      Hang Ups: Season 1 (3/8)
      Into The Dark: Treehouse: Episode 6 Premiere (3/1)
      Juda: Season 1 (3/19
      Keeping Up with the Kardashians: Season 15 (3/9)
      MasterChef Junior: Season 7 Premiere (3/6)
      Mental Samurai: Series Premiere (3/6)
      Now Apocalypse: Series Premiere (3/10) — available with STARZ premium add-on
      Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists: Series Premiere (3/21)
      Rick Steves’ Europe: Season 10 (3/1)
      Shrill: Season 1 Premiere (3/15)
      The Act: Series Premiere (3/20)
      The Fix: Series Premiere (3/19)
      The Village: Series Premiere (3/20)

      Expiring on 3/31

      10 Years
      2 Days in the Valley
      9 to 5
      A Fish Called Wanda
      A Simple Plan
      Bad Santa
      Bangkok Dangerous
      Battle for Haditha
      Bend it Like Beckham
      Bulletproof Monk
      Capitalism: A Love Story
      Christmas Town
      Come Simi
      Dark Blue
      Deep Blue Sea
      Dirty Pretty Things
      Dream the Impossible
      East is East
      Fifteen and Pregnant
      Finding Neverland
      Fly Me to the Moon  
      Forces of Nature  
      Friday Night Lights
      Gentlemen Prefer Blondes  
      Gimme Shelter
      Grizzly Man  
      Into The West  
      Kiss the Dragon
      Kurt and Courtney  
      Lara Croft: Tomb Raider  
      Mortal Kombat
      Mortal Kombat Annihilation  
      New York Minute  
      Once Bitten  
      Pacific Warriors
      Patch Adams  
      Pet Sematary  
      Pet Sematary II
      Rain Man
      Right at Your Door
      Scent of a Woman
      Skipped Parts
      Stephen King’s Graveyard Shift
      Stephen King’s Silver Bullet
      Stephen King’s Thinner
      Stranger than Fiction
      Teaching Mrs. Tingle
      Three Kings
      To Grandmother’s House We Go
      Total Recall
      True Grit
      Wedding Crashers
      What’s Cooking?
      Wild Bill
      Words and Pictures 

      Read more:

      50 Dirty Jokes From Kid Movies That Are Going To Ruin Your Childhood
      Cataloged in TV + Movies

      50 Dirty Jokes From Kid Movies That Are Going To Ruin Your Childhood 

      You won’t believe these NSFW jokes from Ask Reddit were slipped into your favorite childhood movies.

      1. The scene where Farquad literally sets up to jerk it to the magic mirror.

      2. In , Mushu sees a whole bunch of men hurrying down to the lake where Mulan is skinny dipping, and panics “There’s a couple things I know they’re bound to notice!” That whole scene was one big adult joke.

      3. In , with Tom Hanks, when he gets propositioned by the woman he’s seeing to sleep over.

      “OK, but I get to be on top!”

      Saw this movie in its first run when I was a kid, and it was funny because, you know, bunk beds. Saw the movie a good 10 or 15 years later and… ohhhhh….

      4. In , Chel and Tulio are supposedly making out, except when Chel stands up, she was definitely not where his face was.

      5. , where Alfredo’s trying to explain to Colette that he has a rat doing his cooking for him.

      “I have a small…uh…” and he puts his thumb and forefinger together.

      Collette briefly glances down, then back up at him, and looks confused and slightly disgusted.

      6. .

      Héctor: (singing) And her… knuckles, they drag on the floor

      Chicharrón: Those aren’t the words!

      Héctor: There are children present.

      7. In , when the parents are discussing the sex of the new baby (who ends up being Dill) Angelica’s mom says “Well, yanno what they say: born under Venus, look for a…” before she gets interrupted.

      8. In when Judy arrests Nick for Felony Tax Evasion, and then proceeds to lay out how much he owes and says something like “I am just a dumb bunny, but we are good at multiplying.” The line is delivered super quick and kids won’t understand it

      9. Timon saving Pumba from Nala: ‘Why do I always have to save your a-AAAAAAAAAGHHH!’

      10. The head chef from says to Alfredo, “One can get TOO familiar with vegetables, ya know!” Still cracks me up every time I watch it.

      11. In the Ghostbusters theme song, one of the lines is “bustin’ makes me feel good!”

      12. In , Jack Black says, “I’ve been touched by these kids, and I’m pretty sure I’ve touched them.” Didn’t get it before, but it cracks me up now.

      13. Buzz Lightyear’s equivalent to a boner with his wings when he sees Jessie open the door from the racetrack.

      14. , after the daughter spills her drink on herself at the restaurant. Her school crush, working as a waiter, comes to the table to take their order. The dad laughed and says, “Sorry, my daughter is not usually dripping like this.” Genuinely laughed out loud.

      15.  where Dil is born, and the babies are singing about their short existence. One of the girl babies says, “They cut my cord!” and a boy baby replies something along the lines of, “Be thankful that’s all they cut!”

      16. In one of the movies: “Freeze, or I’ll choke the chicken!”

      17. In, Bo-Peep seductively tells Woody that she’ll have someone else watch her sheep that night. In the same movie: “The term you’re looking for is ‘Space Ranger’.”

      “No, the word I’m looking for I can’t say because there are preschool toys present!”

      18. : “Oh I’m sorry, am I being a little graphic? I’m sorry. Well, I hope you’re up for a little competition. She’s got a power tool in the bedroom, dear. It’s her own personal jackhammer. She could break sidewalk with that thing. She uses it and the lights dim, it’s like a prison movie. Amazed she hasn’t chipped her teeth.”

      19. Shrek when they get to Farquad’s castle: “Do you think he’s compensating for something?”

      20.  when Linguini asks the food critic what happens if he takes a bite of something he doesn’t like and the critic responds, “If I don’t enjoy it, I don’t swallow.”

      21.  when he loses his job and the littlest girl tells him, “It’s okay, you can just stay home and gamble online like Sally’s dad does!”

      22. In , Nemo’s little octopus classmate is showing off her “lucky tentacle”. All octopi have one tentacle that’s shorter than the others. It contains the genitals.

      23. I think Tony Stark saying something like, “You better not be playing hide the cucumber.” Is pretty raunchy and really slides under the radar. Every time I watch that movie I can’t help but wonder how the heck they slipped that into a kids movie.

      24. Jack Black holds up 3 fingers to a former band mate in and tells him to read between the lines basically giving him the bird.

      25. In the beginning of the cow says “yea they’re real, stop staring” and it’s talking about the cows mammary gland.

      26. I recently laughed pretty hard when I heard Mr Potato Head in say, “Hey, nobody takes my wife’s mouth but me!”

      27.  The adults are partying it up and the guys put their sets of keys in a bowl.

      28.. When Tim and the baby get a ride in a limo with some party girls for some sort of hen night and he throws away a drink saying “The people of Long Island do not know how to make an Iced Tea.”

      29. I was watching the other day, and Donkey was sleep talking. He said, “Oh you like that baby? Hop up in my saddle, I’ll give you a ride.”

      30. In where Anna is on the sleigh ride with Kristoff and they were talking about foot size. Anna says, “Size doesn’t matter.”

      31. In , the toy that’s a long pair of feminine legs attached to what looks like a fishing pole. It’s a hooker.

      32. In , they reference Breaking Bad, by saying, “Hurry, before Walt and Jesse get back.” while they are wearing yellow jumpsuits and harvesting the toxic blue flowers.

      33. The scene in when Puss In Boots is caught with “catnip.”

      34. In the where Robin says to Batman: “My name is Richard but my friends call me Dick.” And he responds: “Kids can be cruel.”

      35. The where Helga says about Arnold, “You make my girlhood tremble.”

      36. The new P has a scene that goes like: “I’m a horologist (studies the stars).”

      One of the sailors say, “Honest way to make a living (thinking whore-ologist).”

      Another sailor goes, “My mother was a whorologist.”

      Another: “A damn good one too.”

      37. In , Lightning wins a race and two girl cars flash their headlights at him

      38. In , when Hercules and Meg goes on a date and Hercules comments, “And that play, that Oedipus thing? Man, I thought I had problems!”

      39. : One of the dogs says “Son of my mom.”

      40. In , Mr Potato Head pulls his mouth off and slaps it against his behind inferring Slinky is a kiss ass for defending Woody.

      41. .

      Jenny: There!

      [waves flashlight at chandelier]

      Jenny: Well, if those are the teeth, and that’s the tongue, then that must be the uvula!

      Chowder: Oh, so it’s a girl house…

      Jenny: [looks at him] What?

      42. From : “Making the baby’s the fun part…”

      43. :

      “There are no bears in San Francisco.”

      “I saw a really hairy guy. He looked like a bear.”

      44.  movie with Jim Carrey.

      In the scene where it shows the baby’s being delivered in a basket:

      One basket lands on a front porch and the father comes out and alerts his wife “our baby is here!”. He then takes a closer look and says “it kinda looks like your boss”

      45.  (1982): “I present to you… Master Bates!”

      It was probably 20 years between when I first saw it as a kid and then again as an adult before I got that line and Richard Pryor’s response.

      46. Shaggy saying, “Mary-Jane is like my favorite name.”

      47. I’m fond of the bestiality joke in . “That thing with the reindeer/That’s a little outside of nature’s laws”

      48. In , George Washington gives Mr. Peabody a presidential pardon, Abraham Lincoln does the same, and Bill Clinton steps into the frame and says “I’ve done worse!”

      49. In :

      Ezekiel: [while reading a book] I think they’s thespians!

      Balthazar: Thespians? That’s illegal in seven states!

      50. Old one: . We desire children. Bus driver “may take me a couple of tries but I don’t think its going to be a problem.”

      Image Credit: Netflix

      is cataloged in ,

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