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.

      Read more: https://www.cnn.com/2019/05/17/entertainment/robert-pattinson-batman/index.html

      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.

      Read more: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/her-smell-alex-ross-perry-interview-elisabeth-moss_n_5cc1eccce4b066119de37c34

      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: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/mark-hamill-harrison-ford-star-wars-impression_n_5cb70e3de4b082aab08f39e8

      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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      Read more: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-47750524

      Mail order knife site linked to murder

      Image copyright Cambridgeshire Police
      Image caption Police believe a knife seen in Ashraf Hussan’s lap before the murder was bought from an online store

      A mail order website selling machetes, swords and a knife “mystery box” has been criticised by police who believe one of its blades was used in a murder.

      Ashraf Hussan was pictured with a knife police believe he bought from the website hours before he and a teenager fatally stabbed a man in Cambridge.

      Det Ch Insp Alan Page, who investigated the murder, was “aghast” at how easy it was to buy dangerous weapons.

      The store said: “All products we sell are legal and we abide by all laws.”

      Hussan, 20, had purchased “numerous” knives from the website, including a folding knife on 13 July, Cambridgeshire Police said.

      Twelve days later officers believe county lines drug dealer Hussan used that knife when he and Juned Ahmed, 18, both from Newham in east London, murdered Peter Anderson.

      The pair are due to be sentenced later.

      Image copyright Cambridgeshire Police
      Image caption Peter Anderson was stabbed to death in Stourbridge Common, Cambridge, in July

      The knife sales company, which is based in a residential estate in Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire, sells axes, “Rambo” knives and other weapons glamorised in films, such as Batman throwing knives.

      It also offers the chance for customers who “can’t decide” to “make it a surprise” and purchase an unknown knife in a mystery box – a concept Det Ch Insp Page labelled strange.

      “Surely if people are going online to buy a knife to use in gardening or some sort of maintenance they know what knife they are looking for,” he said.

      Image caption The BBC purchased a spring-assisted knife using ID with a doctored age and a debit card

      The website requires purchasers to prove they are 18 or over but the detective called for legislation to include further background checks when people purchase knives.

      “Yes, people can get access to kitchen knives, but why make it so easy to get these “Rambo” knives and hunting knives?” Det Ch Insp Page said.

      “Fair enough if someone is a tree surgeon and needs it for a legitimate reason, but someone who lives in a flat in London with no garden and no employment – you’ve got to ask yourself why do they need a knife such as that?

      “I think it’s because they’re going to use it for a criminal purpose.”

      The company asks for a driving licence and for payments to be made on a pre-paid credit card which can only be owned by those aged 18 or over.

      But the BBC purchased a spring-assisted knife from the website using a licence with a doctored age and a debit card, which can be owned by under-18s.

      Company director Joseph Wheeler said there were no flaws in the firm’s age verification process.

      Image caption Det Ch Insp Alan Page called for more background checks on the sale of knives

      The government has plans to ban the sale of bladed articles online to residential addresses and the knife sales site said it was “implementing delivery to collection points for age verification checks in person”.

      In a statement, Mr Wheeler added: “Knives are used for thousands of legitimate purposes by law-abiding citizens.

      “(We) are extremely careful with our age verification checks, this is our number one priority.

      “Trading standards do regularly check this, and we follow all their age verification guidelines thoroughly. All products we sell are legal and we abide by all laws.”

      Related Topics

      Read more: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-cambridgeshire-47280242

      Incredible images show bat drinking nectar from a flower

      A British pensioner captured these stunning pictures of tiny Long Tongue bats licking nectar from a flower while he was on holiday in Costa Rica. (Credit: SWNS)

      Holy nectar, Batman.

      A British retiree managed to capture a stunning image of a Long Tongue bat licking nectar from a flower while he was on vacation in Costa Rica.

      72-year-old John Hudson was touring a nature reserve while on vacation and managed to come across the bats by chance, SWNS reports. From there, he set up a makeshift hideout and began capturing pictures of the animals using their elongated tongues to sip the sweet nectar inside.

      ‘OMEN OF EVIL’ BABY AYE-AYE LIVES IN DENVER ZOO

      Hudson said he spent three hours crouched taking the pictures, a remarkable feat because bats are nocturnal and only feed at night.

      John Hudson, 72, a semi-retired hypnotherapist, was touring a nature reserve late at night when he came across the bats by chance. He spent three hours crouched in a makeshift hide to capture the pictures of the animals using their tongues to lap up the nectar. (Credit: SWNS)

      “The shots were taken around 11 p.m. somewhere up in the highlands on a nature reserve in Costa Rica,” Hudson said in comments obtained by SWNS.

      He continued: “The bats are quite common to the country but are nocturnal so they are very hard to photograph in the pitch dark. The night before some sugar water was put out in a feeder in the hope of catching hummingbirds feeding – but none came.”

      Hudson, who added that he’d traveled to the country to snap pictures of birds using his DSLR Canon 5D Mark IV, said he got very lucky and was amazed at what he’d been able to photograph.

       The extraordinary snaps are almost never seen with the naked eye because bats feed at night and are notoriously difficult to spot. (Credit: SWNS)

      CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

      “I’ve been a keen photographer since I was 14 and I have a particular interest in things like hummingbirds,” Hudson said. “You have to set the equipment up to trigger a photo automatically when a bat flies across because you really can’t see anything. When I saw what I’d captured I was amazed. They are a lovely set of pictures which are rarely seen.”

      Follow Chris Ciaccia on Twitter @Chris_Ciaccia

      Read more: https://www.foxnews.com/science/incredible-images-show-bat-drinking-nectar-from-a-flower

      3D-printing dad goes from arms to bikes

      Image copyright Adam Dengel
      Image caption Adam Dengel was inspired to start helping other children through experiences with his son

      A dad who builds 3D-printed arms in his garage workshop has created a specially adapted bicycle for children missing an upper limb.

      Adam Dengel, 30, created his first DIY limb in his bedroom for son Thomas, four, who was born without a hand.

      He has since set up a charity and made superhero-themed prosthetics free of charge for children around the world.

      For his latest project, he plans to surprise four children with their own custom-made bikes.

      They cost £220 to make and are fitted with an ergonomic cup which allows the rider to reach the handlebars without leaning.

      Mr Dengel said the modification makes the bikes safer to ride than a normal model.

      The parts, like the arms, are created on Mr Dengel’s 3D printer in the garage of his home in Royston, Barnsley, which he has converted into a workshop.

      “These kids haven’t had the best start in life and we wanted to help boost their confidence,” he said.

      “Plus this gets them outside, riding bikes with other youngsters, and helping them to make friends.”

      Image copyright Adam Dengel
      Image caption The design means children with missing upper limbs do not have to lean to reach the handlebars

      Mr Dengel, 30 and his wife Katie were inspired to help others through their experiences with their son.

      Thomas was born with a short forearm and missing his hand due to amniotic band syndrome – a rare condition where stray bands of tissue wrap around the limbs of an unborn baby and cut off blood flow.

      Unhappy with the basic NHS prosthetic, the couple started looking at alternatives and found a charity which made Thomas his first mechanical arm.

      This led him to buy his own printer and set about creating a number of colourful, comic book-inspired hands for his son – including his latest Batman-themed prosthetic.

      Image copyright Adam Dengel
      Image caption The bike adaptations and arms are built by 3D printers
      Image copyright Adam Dengel
      Image caption Son Thomas has a selection of superhero arms thanks to his father’s efforts

      Through the couple’s charity LimbBo Foundation, Mr Dengel has so far built 33 personalised arms for children, including youngsters in America and Holland.

      “To say we the charity started out as an idea on the sofa we’re thrilled with how things have gone,” he said.

      “We only ever wanted to help other kids like Thomas and it gives us so much pleasure to know we’re doing that.”

      Related Topics

      Read more: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-south-yorkshire-46607396

      What films will you watch in 2019?

      Image copyright Disney/Fox/Paramount
      Image caption Clockwise from top left: Brie Larson in Captain Marvel, Taron Egerton in Rocketman, Olivia Colman in The Favourite and Samuel L Jackson in Glass

      As 2018 prepares to shuffle away like a pensionable usherette and 2019 gets ready to throw open its doors like a brand new 28-screen multiplex, it’s time to cast our eyes over next year’s cinematic offerings.

      From Oscar hopefuls and musical biopics to superhero sequels and blockbuster remakes, there’s something for almost everyone over the next 12 months.

      Here’s a by no means exhaustive preview of coming attractions.

      January/February/March

      With the Oscars taking place on 24 February, the first few months of 2019 will see a large number of film awards contenders jostling for attention.

      It all kicks off on New Year’s Day with quirky royal drama The Favourite staking its claim as the one to beat.

      It’s early days, but many are already tipping its leading lady Olivia Colman to be the latest queen-playing Brit to take home an Oscar.

      Image copyright Fox
      Image caption Emma Stone (left) and Rachel Weisz (right) compete for Colman’s affections in The Favourite

      Other candidates in the mix include drug addiction tear-jerker Beautiful Boy, gay conversion therapy drama Boy Erased, Nicole Kidman crime thriller Destroyer, two racially-charged period pieces (Green Book and If Beale Street Could Talk) and another royal saga in Mary Queen of Scots.

      There is also a slew of biographical dramas tackling such diverse subjects as William Shakespeare (All is True), French author Colette, comedy duo Stan and Ollie, literary forger Lee Israel (Can You Ever Forgive Me?), war reporter Marie Colvin (A Private War) and ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev (The White Crow).

      Fans of American politics, meanwhile, can gorge on portraits of former US vice-president Dick Cheney (Vice), one-time presidential hopeful Gary Hart (The Front Runner) and supreme court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (On the Basis of Sex).

      Image copyright Disney
      Image caption Bruce Willis, Samuel L Jackson and James McAvoy as they appear in Glass

      Elsewhere in January, director M Night Shyamalan will be hoping Glass proves as shattering as the previous two instalments in his Unbreakable trilogy.

      And there’ll be more superheroics in March with the arrival of Captain Marvel, the first female heroine from the MCU (that’s Marvel Cinematic Universe to you) to get a stand-alone vehicle.

      Image copyright Disney/Marvel
      Image caption Brie Larson has a train to catch in Captain Marvel

      Animation fans can look forward to two high-profile sequels in How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World and The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part, not to mention manga-inspired action in Alita: Battle Angel.

      Another classic animation will get the big-budget live-action makeover treatment when Tim Burton brings Dumbo back to the big screen.

      April/May/June

      The superhero bandwagon rolls on into April with the debut of Shazam!, the return of Hellboy and Marvel’s Infinity War follow-up Avengers: Endgame.

      May sees an evil superhero crash-land on Earth in Brightburn, while June brings us another batch of super-powered mutants in X-Men: Dark Phoenix.

      Image copyright Warner Bros
      Image caption Detective Pikachu’s yellow fur has been a hair-raising topic for many fans

      Pokemon’s Detective Pikachu gets his own big-screen vehicle this spring, while the Men in Black will be back – minus Will Smith – in Men in Black International.

      Toy Story 4 and The Secret Life of Pets 2, meanwhile, will keep the little ones entertained – as will new animations Missing Link and Wonder Park.

      Elton John’s rise to fame will be recreated in musical biopic Rocketman, while the music of the Beatles will infuse the latest (and still untitled) comedy fantasy from Love Actually’s Richard Curtis.

      Image copyright Paramount
      Image caption Taron Egerton plays Elton John in Dexter Fletcher’s Rocketman

      And then there is Aladdin, another live-action Disney remake starring Will Smith as the Genie. We knew he’d turn up somewhere, and he’s reassured fans he will be blue, just like his animated predecessor.

      July/August/September

      There are six letters in summer and six letters in sequel. Coincidence? Probably, but there’s no doubt they go together like Wallace and Gromit.

      You only have to look at this year’s offerings for proof, with everything from Spider-Man: Far From Home and Gerard Butler actioner Angel Has Fallen to It: Chapter 2 and Fast and Furious spin-off Hobbs and Shaw ensuring it will be déjà vu all over again at your local picture palace.

      But wait! Who’s this? Why it’s only Quentin Tarantino, back to bring us a dose of Manson-era mayhem in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.

      Image copyright Sony
      Image caption Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio dress to impress in Tarantino’s latest

      There are also big-screen versions of two British telly favourites – Downton Abbey and Horrible Histories – plus yet another Disney remake in The Lion King.

      Yes Sir Elton, we can feel the love tonight.

      October/November/December

      More TV staples reach the big screen towards the end of the year via new versions of Charlie’s Angels, The Addams Family and Masters of the Universe.

      We’ll also see Joaquin Phoenix give his version of Batman’s nemesis in Joker, not to mention Arnold Schwarzenegger in the latest iteration of the Terminator franchise.

      Image copyright Paramount Pictures
      Image caption Natalia Reyes, Mackenzie Davis and Linda Hamilton as they appear in the next Terminator film

      Frozen 2 and Star Wars: Episode IX will bring down the curtain on what’s certain to be a bumper year for the Disney empire.

      And we’ll end with something paws-itive and purr-tinent – the all-star film version of moggy mews-sical Cats, arriving on 20 December to ensure we’re all feline groovy next Christmas.

      Tabby or not tabby? That is the question.

      All release dates are subject to change.

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

      Read more: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-46596753

      ‘Aquaman’ sails along on waves of fun and spectacle

      (CNN)In their zeal to catch up with Marvel, DC and Warner Bros. plunged into the super-team waters before establishing individual building blocks, creating a high degree of difficulty. While not on par with “Wonder Woman,” “Aquaman” is a step toward restoring equilibrium, creating a sprawling undersea world that most closely resembles the Thor franchise in terms of scope, majesty and happily, humor.

      In a sense, Wan brings the same eye that “Batman v Superman” director Zack Snyder possesses in adapting comic-book images to the screen, without drowning his protagonist in angst. The result is a movie that’s fairly buoyant, and to use a term that might seem out of place when describing a special-effects-laden blockbuster, generally fun.
      After two appearances in earlier films (one, admittedly, silent and brief), Aquaman finally gets a full-blown origin story, including the tale of how his mother (Nicole Kidman) — a runaway Atlantean princess — washed ashore and met his dad (“Star Wars” alum Temuera Morrison), hanging around long enough to give birth to a son, Arthur.
        Forced to return to Atlantis and its elaborate society hidden beneath the waves, she leaves the boy to grow up with his dad, a youth that’s complicated when those extraordinary abilities manifest themselves.
        Back to present day, a threat arises in the form of Arthur’s half-brother, Orm (Patrick Wilson), who is determined to declare war on the surface-dwellers. Aquaman is enlisted to stop the plot by another rebellious Atlantean princess, Mera (Amber Heard), who is putting her own status at risk — and potentially alienating her father (Dolph Lundgren) — by siding with him.
        What amounts to a quest ensues, one necessary to give Arthur a fighting chance against the forces arrayed against him. That also creates a little too much opportunity for Aquaman and Mera to squabble and of course bond, while crisscrossing the globe in pursuit of a trident imbued with fantastic powers.
        There’s no escaping that the dialogue feels strained in places — it’s not easy taking a villain seriously who yearns for the title “Ocean Master” — and “Aquaman” requires a certain degree of buy-in, perhaps especially from those whose familiarity with the character begins and ends with “Super Friends.” Wan compensates for that, however, with the enormously intricate civilization that he conjures, from the fantastic beasts to the towering spires of Atlantis.
        The action, similarly, is both kinetic and mounted with the kind of scale where a submarine can be thrown around like a toy. And while the idea of a reluctant hero tasked with fulfilling his destiny is hardly a new one, Momoa alternately makes him irascible and actually kind of goofy — the first member of this DC universe with whom you might actually like to throw back a beer or three.
          Perhaps foremost, Wan offers a giant spectacle that, while sporadically unwieldy, sails along briskly enough (despite running well over two hours) and proves consistently interesting visually. In an cinematic age where part of the challenge is motivating people to see movies during their theatrical window, “Aquaman” feels like a master of that domain.
          “Aquaman” premieres Dec. 21 in the U.S. It’s rated PG-13. Like Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment, CNN is a unit of WarnerMedia.

          Read more: https://www.cnn.com/2018/12/11/entertainment/aquaman-review/index.html

          Deontay Wilder vs. Tyson Fury: The fight for salvation for two heavyweights

          (CNN)Tyson Fury bought a convertible Ferrari in 2016 and made the decision to drive it off a bridge at top speed.

          At the time, Fury had it all: a loving wife and children, and was the heavyweight champion of the world.
          But he says he was “frozen in 2015” — the time of his greatest triumph when he shocked Ukraine great Wladimir Klitschko.
            The three-year thaw has been long and painful, but in theory, it will reach its climax with another world title shot against Deontay Wilder in Los Angeles on Saturday night.
            In the intervening time, Fury has very publicly dealt with his demons of drugs, drink and depression.
            It was “the lowest low that anyone could ever have,” he recalled of that moment behind the wheel of the Ferrari where “I gave up on life.”
            Thoughts of his children wrestled him back to sanity, and he quickly sought help.
            A psychiatrist warned family members he was an imminent death risk. The slow climb back to physical and mental health began when fellow boxer Billy Joe Saunders, his cousin and best friend, lured him to his boxing camp in Marbella, Spain.
            Going in, Fury topped the scales at a whopping 392 pounds. By the end of the Spanish camp, he was already 28 pounds lighter.
            Now back on the brink of another heavyweight title, the 30-year-old’s resurrection is almost complete.

            ‘Quick fix’

            Boxing has also been Wilder’s salvation. The American picked up the gloves at the age of 19 — far older than most of his peers — after his daughter Naieya was born with spina bifida. He thought the sport would offer a financial quick fix to help pay for treatment.
            “All I was thinking about was the money,” he said. “I thought everyone made a lot of money by just stepping into the ring. My focus was to do whatever I could to support my daughter.”
            Naieya remains his guiding light in the ring, and he has a tattoo on his hand with the words “Road to Success” to remind him of his personal journey.
            Branding himself a leader, king and soldier, the 33-year-old Wilder has a contrasting boxing background to that of Fury.
            The son of a pastor, the family were just $50 away from going broke on a number of occasions.
            At his parents’ behest, he worked hard and became a college basketball star before getting his then girlfriend pregnant with Naieya and quitting college for a life within the ropes.

            Shed ‘a welterweight’

            In contrast, Fury’s name alone meant he was born to box. As he said back in 2014, “While other kids watched cartoons, I watched video tapes of boxing.”
            But it was not his namesake Mike Tyson that he aspired to emulate, instead Michael Spinks, renowned for his skilful boxing and footwork.
            Born into the traveling community prematurely at little more than a pound, for a time Fury was the self-styled “Gypsy King” in the ring. Undefeated in his 27 fights, Fury insists the greatest threat to his own thrown has always been himself.
            As he has said repeatedly this week, “The only one to stop me being successful as a boxer is me.”
            The turnaround has been remarkable. “I’ve come back from wanting to commit suicide and 28 stone [392 pounds) to as fit as a fiddle and in a great place mentally,” he said.
            Fury has shed nearly 140 pounds — akin to an entire welterweight — and much of his return to form and fitness is down to the relatively unknown trainer Ben Davison, who was working initially with Saunders in Marbella.
            Shedding that weight has only been part of the fix. Post-Klitschko, Fury took cocaine and drank heavily. On the road to recovery, religion has been key. At his lowest ebb, he prayed to God. There are still days where he thinks “this is shit.”

              Anthony Joshua on Tyson Fury & Deontay Wilder

            Getting inside Klitschko’s head

            The one major blot in his own salvation story is a positive test for a banned substance in February 2015 for which he received a two-year backdated ban from UK Anti-Doping, which left him free to box again in December 2017.
            But there is no doubting his self-belief as a boxer. Against Klitschko, no one gave him a chance but he completely outboxed the Ukrainian.
            The secret to that success lay in the build-up. Famously turning up as Batman to one press conference, Fury was a conundrum the normally methodical Klitschko could not work out.
            It was the same in the ring — one sparring partner likened Fury to an octopus, with attacks coming from everywhere, making him immensely difficult to prepare for.
            As one of Wilder’s team, Mark Breland, put it: “Even Tyson Fury doesn’t know what he’s going to do. If he doesn’t know, then how can his opponent know? Tyson is the most awkward guy in the division, he’s the hardest to figure out.”
            The evidence of Wednesday’s final press conference would suggest Fury has got inside Wilder’s head, such was the vitriol from the American. The alternative, cynical view would simply be that two men had millions more to be made from the pay-per-view audience — the thinking being no publicity is bad publicity.
            For his part, Wilder is adamant he won’t fall into the same traps as Klitschko: “This is not Klitschko. I looked him in his eyes at the first press conference and said I’m not Klitschko, you can’t get in my head.”
            Trying to assess the fight is nigh-on impossible. Fury has added Manny Pacquiao’s trainer Freddie Roach to his corner, either an astute bit of business or a late sign of panic from Fury and Davison, depending on your take.
            Wilder is the No.1 ranked American, Fury Britain’s No.2 behind Anthony Joshua, who is primed to face the winner in April in London.
            “Either of them that’s ready, if you’re serious, talk about me post-fight all you want, but if you’re not really serious about fighting, leave me out of it so I can focus on fighting someone else,” said Joshua.
              A Joshua fight would finally unify the division. First, comes Saturday night in front of Wilder’s home crowd, although Fury insists home advantage will have little impact with Wilder not heralded in the same way as Mike Tyson and the past American heavyweight greats.
              Either way, it is a salvation for both; Fury for his mind, Wilder for his child.

              Read more: https://www.cnn.com/2018/11/30/sport/tyson-fury-deontay-wilder-boxing-world-title-spt-intl/index.html