May 23rd, 2017
|11:10 am - War for the Planet of the Apes, The Limehouse Golem, Home Again, Tramps, Woodshock|
War for the Planet of the Apes HD720p 88MB HD1080p 168MB
Final trailer for the the third chapter of the franchise reboot. Caesar (Andy Serkis) and his apes are forced into a deadly conflict with an army of humans led by a ruthless Colonel (Woody Harrelson). After the apes suffer unimaginable losses, Caesar wrestles with his darker instincts and begins his own mythic quest to avenge his kind. As the journey finally brings them face to face, Caesar and the Colonel are pitted against each other in an epic battle that will determine the fate of both their species and the future of the planet. Judy Greer and Steve Zahn are also part of the cast. Like the previous one, again directed by Matt Reeves (Cloverfield, Let Me In, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes).
Title seems very fitting. It really looks like a war movie.
The Limehouse Golem HD720p 11MB
Thriller set in 1880 in London's notoriously seedy Limehouse district. A serial murderer, whose horrendous acts soon have the city in a panic, is on the loose. The crimes are so disturbing that many attribute them to the shadowy golem of Jewish legend. An inspector (Bill Nighy) is brought in to solve the mystery and calm the population. Attending the trial of Elizabeth Cree (Olivia Cooke), a music hall performer accused of poisoning her husband (Sam Reid), he delves deep into the case and is soon hot on the trail of a deranged killer whose scribblings litter some of the books in the august British Museum. Douglas Booth, Eddie Marsan, Daniel Mays, Maria Valverde are also part of the cast.
Looks like a must-see for fans of Nighy.
Home Again HD720p 61MB
Modern romantic comedy in which a woman (Reese Witherspoon) who recently separated from her husband (Michael Sheen) decides to start over by moving back to her hometown of Los Angeles with her two young daughters. During a night out on her 40th birthday, she meets three aspiring filmmakers (Nat Wolff, Robb Derringer, Pico Alexander) who happen to be in need of a place to live. She agrees to let the guys stay in her guest house temporarily, but the arrangement ends up unfolding in unexpected ways. Her unlikely new family and new romance comes to a crashing halt when her ex-husband shows up, suitcase in hand.
It does have an unconventional premise.
Tramps HD720p 23MB
Deal-gone-wrong movie about an aspiring chef (Callum Turner) whose hustler brother asks him to complete a job for him. It all seems simple enough: meet a driver with a briefcase, proceed to a rendez-vous spot and exchange one briefcase for another. But he swaps the wrong bag, sending him and the driver (Grace Van Patten) on a two-day odyssey through the boroughs and suburbs of New York City.
I'm a bit late for this one, it is already streaming on Netflix. But I really wanted to mention it because there's actually a lot of nice to watch flirting and banter going on between the two leads while they run through the greater New York City area. I'm sure we'll see more of the them in the future.
Woodshock HD720p 68MB
Described as a hypnotic exploration of isolation, paranoia, and grief that exists in a dream-world all its own. It's about a haunted young woman (Kirsten Dunst) spiraling in the wake of profound loss, torn between her fractured emotional state and the reality-altering effects of a potent cannabinoid drug. Joe Cole and Pilou Asbæk are also part of the cast. Marks the directorial of sisters Kate and Laura Mulleavy, founders of the fashion label Rodarte.
Looks visually interesting. But too early to tell if it will indeed be "immersive, spellbinding, and sublime, becoming a singularly thrilling cinematic experience".
May 12th, 2017
|01:36 pm - The Endgame|
With the firing of FBI Director Comey I get the feeling that the endgame has begun. If the goal of the current US administration is to break norms and sow chaos, then they are certainly still right on track. Though in the last 48 hours it looks more like they currently lost control of the story. Interviews with the president should be broadcast and published at least once a week. The more the president and his cabinet members talk, the higher the chances they are digging their own (legal) graves.
The story is developing quickly, it's difficult to keep up with all the official lies that are being put out. By the time I would've put together a semi-coherent summary it would already been outdated. So here's just a link to an article that contains further links that sums up some of the recent events.
Though I want to point out one aspect of the optics of the firing of Comey. It took place on May 9th, the day of a big holiday in Russia, Victory Day where they hold a big military parade.
The next day the US President received a visit from Russian foreign minister Lavrov in the White House. It was held in the Oval Office at the personal request of Putin. US Press was not allowed. Only the Russian press delegation had permission to take pictures. With the minister was Ambassador Kislyak, the man no one from Team Trump remembered to have met during the campaign.
Now imagine working at the FBI or the US State Department. It certainly gives the impression that Olympus has fallen. I suspect many people working there are livid.
The question now is if the president has chosen a fight with the wrong agency.
At this point it is most likely that the FBI investigation into the connections of Russia and the Trump campaign will continue. So will the investigations by various US House and Senate committees. Maybe the current outrage will even lead to an independent investigator. But all of that will take a lot of time and I have no idea how it will end. On the other hand, the current administration is working hard on their agenda. Slowly but steadily they get rid of people in their way. If someone doesn't stop them soon, it may be too late.
Bright spots. Events of note that took place in recent days. CNN has confirmed the existence of grand jury subpoenas for associates of former National Security Advisor Flynn. Arguably the easiest target.
The Senate intelligence committee also has submitted a subpoena to Flynn.
I already previously have linked to the guardian article that said that western intelligence agencies provided intercepted conversations.
Here is another opinion piece that spells out what should be obvious. Because western agencies surveil Russian persons of interest, numerous recordings of Trump people must exist if they interacted with Russians. It also means, Russian intelligence has tapes from those meetings too. They can be leaked at any time.
On the non-traditional journalistic side. Always to be treated with caution. But from the twitter accounts that I follow I get the sense that the firing of Comey has set some things in motion.
Yesterday Claude Taylor wrote this series of tweets.
They refer to the execution of a FBI search warrant for a GOP fundraiser/consulting firm called Strategic Campaign Group in Annapolis. There are conflicting reports for the reason of that search. But a senior advisor of that firm called Dennis Whitfield is connected to Manafort and Stone. And they did work for a lot of PACs.
In recent days Taylor also has written about grand juries and the existence of numerous sealed indictments.
Also yesterday, Louise Mensch wrote another blog entry in which she lists possible allegations against the president, the vice president, the speaker of the House and the Republican Party as a whole. They are enormous in scope. I obviously have no idea if and how much of this will turn out to be true. But if only half of it will, after reading the article, you will have a head start for possible events in the coming weeks and months. And if not, you at least now know about the existence of a 'designated survivor'.
If you want to continue following the story on the twitter level, besides Taylor and Mensch, I also still recommend following John Schindler.
Lawfare is still an excellent site for real legal background.
I don't want to get my hopes up too high, but maybe the case is not yet over.
May 9th, 2017
|11:30 am - Blade Runner 2049, Dunkirk, Wonder Woman, Lost in London, Bon Cop Bad Cop 2|
Blade Runner 2049 HD720p 81MB HD1080p 149MB
First full trailer for the sequel that takes places thirty years after the events of the first film. A new blade runner, LAPD Officer K (Ryan Gosling), unearths a long-buried secret that has the potential to plunge what's left of society into chaos. K's discovery leads him on a quest to find Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford), a former LAPD blade runner who has been missing for 30 years. Very diverse cast includes Ana de Armas, Sylvia Hoeks, Robin Wright, Mackenzie Davis, Carla Juri, Lennie James, Barkhad Abdi, Hiam Abbass, Dave Bautista and Jared Leto. Directed by Denis Villeneuve (Arrival, Sicario, Incendies).
As mentioned before, usually I would nothing but roll my eyes at the thought of a sequel. But I was very impressed by Villeneuve's two most recent movies. And judging by the trailer, it should be worth a watch for the visuals alone.
Dunkirk HD720p 87MB HD1080p 162MB
Second full trailer for the latest movie written and directed by Christopher Nolan (Dark Knight trilogy, Interstellar, Inception). It is a war movie set during the Dunkirk evacuation in 1940 during World War II, when allied soldiers from Belgium, Britain, Canada and France were surrounded by the German army and evacuated during a fierce battle. Cast members include Tom Hardy, Mark Rylance, Kenneth Branagh, Cillian Murphy, James D'Arcy and Barry Keoghan.
War movies aren't exactly my favourite. But I very much appreciate it that Nolan makes another epic, stand-alone movie. In 2D.
Wonder Woman HD720p 96MB HD1080p 175MB
For completeness' sake, the final, action-packed trailer labelled "Rise of the Warrior" for the movie about Wonder Woman's origins, in which a WWI American hero fighter pilot (Chris Pine) crashes near a remote island inhabited by Greek female warriors. He is soon rescued by an Amazonian princess named Diana (Gal Gadot), who later decides to leave her secret sanctuary and return with him to his male-dominated world. Danny Huston, Robin Wright, Connie Nielsen, David Thewlis, Saïd Taghmaoui, Ewen Bremner, Lucy Davis and Elena Anaya are also part of the cast. Directed by Patty Jenkins (Monster).
Lost in London HD720p 19MB
A comic re-staging of one crazy night in Soho in 2002, that follows Woody Harrelson, playing himself, as he struggles to get home to his family after a scandal threatens to ruin his marriage. Run-ins with royalty, friends and the law all seem to conspire to keep him from succeeding.
Back in January, Harrelson directed and starred in an live feature-film event: a movie made on the fly, shot in real time in Central London in a single take and broadcast live to cinemas across the world. An interview and article about the film.
Bon Cop Bad Cop 2 HD720p 47MB
Short trailer for this action comedy sequel from Canada. Eight years after they first met, David Bouchard (Patrick Huard) and Martin Ward (Colm Feore) are once again forced to team up. The two police officers rediscover their friendship as they attempt to thwart a terrorist plot to export stolen cars transformed into bombs on wheels from Montreal to the United States.
Not really sure if the first movie was a hit outside Canada.
May 4th, 2017
|11:33 am - The Dark Tower, The Big Sick, Cars 3, The Nile Hilton Incident, Tulip Fever|
The Dark Tower HD720p 98MB HD1080p 186MB
First trailer for another adaptation based on a series of novels by Stephen King. The last Gunslinger, Roland Deschain (Idris Elba), has been locked in an eternal battle with Walter O’Dim, also known as the Man in Black (Matthew McConaughey), determined to prevent him from toppling the Dark Tower, which holds the universe together. With the fate of the worlds at stake, good and evil will collide in the ultimate battle as only Roland can defend the Tower from the Man in Black. Abbey Lee, Jackie Earle Haley and Dennis Haysbert are also part of the cast. Directed Nikolaj Arcel (A Royal Affair).
There's hope this will lead to a new franchise.
The Big Sick HD720p 42MB
Semi-biographical romantic comedy based on the real-life courtship between Pakistan-born comedian Kumail Nanjiani (Kumail Nanjiani) and grad student Emily Gordon (Zoe Kazan). The two connect after one of his standup sets. However, what they thought would be just a one-night stand blossoms into the real thing, which complicates the life that is expected of Kumail by his traditional Muslim parents. When Emily is beset with a mystery illness, it forces him to navigate the medical crisis with her parents (Holly Hunter, Ray Romano) who he's never met, while dealing with the emotional tug-of-war between his family and his heart.
Festival reviews are rave. A NYT article about Nanjiani.
Cars 3 HD720p 92MB HD1080p 171MB
A full trailer for this Pixar sequel. Blindsided by a new generation of blazing-fast racers, the legendary Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson) is suddenly pushed out of the sport he loves. To get back in the game, he will need the help of an eager young race technician, Cruz Ramirez (Cristela Alonzo), with her own plan to win, plus inspiration from the late Fabulous Hudson Hornet and a few unexpected turns. Proving that no. 95 isn’t through yet will test the heart of a champion on Piston Cup Racing’s biggest stage! The voices of Larry the Cable Guy, Cheech Marin, Bonnie Hunt and Tony Shalhoub also return. New voices will come from Armie Hammer, Kerry Washington and Nathan Fillion.
I so far found the marketing campaign very underwhelming. But I believe a big reason why the franchise still exists is because of the merchandise sales.
The Nile Hilton Incident HD720p 12MB
Noir crime drama inspired by true events, set just before the political protests in Egypt begin, that centres on a Cairo police detective (Fares Fares), an ordinary corrupt cop. He's handed the case of a singer found murdered in a Nile Hilton hotel room and soon discovers the dead woman’s secret relationship with the hotel owner - a wealthy developer and member of parliament. While searching for the only witness, an undocumented Sudanese maid, he’s abruptly ordered to close the case. But he continues, and the investigation leads to an “untouchable” elite who runs the country, immune from justice.
Familiar story, but unusual setting makes it interesting. Won the Grand Jury Prize in the World Drama section this year in Sundance.
Tulip Fever HD720p 73MB
A new trailer for this romantic drama set in 17th-century Amsterdam that follows a married woman (Alicia Vikander aka Lara Croft) who begins a passionate affair with an artist (Dane DeHaan) hired to paint her portrait. The lovers gamble on the booming market for tulip bulbs as a way to raise money to run away together. Christoph Waltz, Holliday Grainger, Jack O'Connell, Judi Dench, Matthew Morrison, Tom Hollander and Cara Delevingne are also part of the cast. Directed Justin Chadwick (The Other Boleyn Girl, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, The First Grader). Maybe also of note, screenplay adapted by Tom Stoppard.
Shot in 2014 and delayed multiple times, US release is now set for August.
Edit: No idea where that tag is coming from. But I'm unable to delete it. Edit2: With some help I was able to fix it.
April 26th, 2017
|11:44 am - Kingsman: The Golden Circle, Wakefield, The Bad Batch, One Week and a Day, Score|
Kingsman: The Golden Circle HD720p 63MB HD1080p 117MB
First trailer for the sequel, again directed by Matthew Vaughn (Kick-Ass, X-Men: First Class, Layer Cake). This time our heroes face a new challenge. When their headquarters are destroyed and the world is held hostage, their journey leads them to the discovery of an allied spy organization in the US called Statesman, dating back to the day they were both founded. In a new adventure that tests their agents' strength and wits to the limit, these two elite secret organizations band together to defeat a ruthless common enemy, in order to save the world, something that's becoming a bit of a habit for Eggsy (Taron Egerton). Colin Firth, Mark Strong and Sophie Cookson also return. Cast additions are Julianne Moore, Halle Berry, Channing Tatum, Jeff Bridges and Sir Elton John.
Wakefield HD720p 73MB
Darkly comedic drama in which a man wonders what his life would look like without him in it. Outwardly, Howard Wakefield (Bryan Cranston) is the picture of success. He has a loving wife (Jennifer Garner) and two daughters, a prestigious job as a Manhattan lawyer, and a comfortable home in the suburbs. Inwardly, though, he’s suffocating. One day, something snaps and Howard goes into hiding in his garage attic. Leaving his family to wonder what happened to him, he observes them from the attic window - an outsider spying in on his own life. As the days of self-imposed isolation stretch into months, he begins to wonder: is it even possible to go back to the way things were? Directed by Robin Swicord (The Jane Austen Book Club).
The Bad Batch Tsr HD720p 17MB Tlr HD720p 16MB
Teaser and trailer for this savage dystopian fairytale set in a Texas wasteland where society’s rejects are just trying to make ends meet. A girl (Suki Waterhouse) is one of thousands of Americans deemed unacceptable to civilized society. While wandering in her desert exile, she is captured by a community of cannibals. She manages to escape, soon ending up at a very different enclave of outcasts. Our heroine is safe here, but still does not quite feel that she has found her tribe. On an excursion beyond the gates of her new shelter, she encounters one of her former cannibal captors (Jason Momoa), who ends up requiring her help. Can she trust him? Keanu Reeves, Giovanni Ribisi, Diego Luna and Jim Carrey are also part of the cast, though the latter three have mainly cameos. Written and directed by Ana Lily Amirpour (A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night)
One Week and a Day - Shavua ve Yom HD720p 96MB
Low-key comedic drama from Israel that follows a middle-aged Israeli couple as the one-week ritual mourning period (shiva) for their cancer-stricken adult son comes to an end. The mother is all for returning to normal life asap, but the father is at a loss. After visiting his son's hospital room - and coming away with a bag of medicinal marijuana - he lets his neighbors' stoner son teach him how to roll a joint. Soon, the two men embark on a series of weed-enhanced encounters.
There's also an even funnier trailer from Europe, but I suspect that one's strongly overemphasising the comedic aspects: HD720p 15MB.
Score: A Film Music Documentary HD720p 93MB
Documentary that brings some of Hollywood's elite composers and directors together to give viewers a privileged look inside the musical challenges and creative secrecy of the world's most international music genre: the film score. Among the contributors are Hans Zimmer, James Cameron, Danny Elfman, John Williams, Quincy Jones, Trent Reznor, Howard Shore, Rachel Portman, Thomas Newman, Randy Newman and the late James Horner.
Reminder that I'm keeping a Dreamwidth mirror journal, please feel free to join there if you like.
April 21st, 2017
|11:01 am - The Little Hours, The Beguiled, The Man with the Iron Heart, Beatriz at Dinner, American Assassin|
The Little Hours HD720p 14MB
Redband trailer for this not entirely time period conform comedy about three medieval nuns (Aubrey Plaza, Alison Brie, Kate Micucci) who lead a simple life in their convent. Their days are spent chafing at monastic routine, spying on one another, and berating the estate’s day laborer. After a particularly vicious insult session drives the peasant away, Father Tommasso (John C. Reilly) brings on new hired hand Massetto (Dave Franco), a virile young servant forced into hiding by his angry lord. Introduced to the sisters as a deaf-mute to discourage temptation, Massetto struggles to maintain his cover as the repressed nunnery erupts in a whirlwind of pansexual horniness, substance abuse, and wicked revelry. Fred Armisen, Molly Shannon, Jemima Kirke and, Nick Offerman are also part of the cast. Written and directed by Jeff Baena (Life After Beth, Joshy).
It's probably not enough to last for a whole movie, but the trailer is very funny.
The Beguiled HD720p 98MB
Second trailer for the latest movie from Sofia Coppola (Marie Antoinette, Lost in Translation, The Virgin Suicides), a remake of a 1971 movie from Don Siegel that starred Clint Eastwood. It's a drama that unfolds in Virginia at a girls' school during the Civil War where the young women have been sheltered from the outside world. When a wounded Union soldier (Colin Farrell) is discovered and taken in, the house is taken over with sexual tension, rivalries and an unexpected turn of events. Nicole Kidman, Kirsten Dunst, Elle Fanning and Oona Laurence are also past of the cast.
Movie will take part in the official competition in Cannes next month. See the full festival selection here.
The Man with the Iron Heart - HHhH HD720p 34MB
Trailer from France for this historical thriller drama set in 1942: The Third Reich is at its peak. The Czech resistance in London decides to plan the most ambitious military operation of WWII: Anthropoid. Two young recruits in their late twenties (Jack O’Connell, Jack Reynor) are sent to Prague to assassinate the most ruthless Nazi leader - Reich-protector Reinhard Heydrich (Jason Clarke), Head of the SS, the Gestapo, and the architect of the "Final Solution". Rosamund Pike and Mia Wasikowska are also part of the cast. Directed by Cédric Jimenez (The Connection).
Movie covers the same events as the one last year that starred Cillian Murphy and was named after the operation. The European title HHhH is a Gestapo acronym that translated means "Himmler's brain is called Heydrich".
Beatriz at Dinner HD720p 94MB
Dramatic comedy in which Beatriz (Salma Hayek), an immigrant from a poor town in Mexico, has drawn on her innate kindness to build a career as a spiritual health practitioner in Los Angeles. Doug Strutt (John Lithgow) is a cutthroat, self-satisfied billionaire real estate developer. When these two opposites meet at a dinner party, their worlds collide and neither will ever be the same. Connie Britton, Chloë Sevigny, Amy Landecker and Jay Duplass are also part of the cast. Directed by Miguel Arteta (Cedar Rapids, Youth in Revolt, The Good Girl).
Movies tend to take a while until they are made, but a likeness to a so-called "president" is hard to overlook.
American Assassin HD720p 96MB
First trailer for this action thriller that follows the rise of a CIA black ops recruit (Dylan O’Brien) under the instruction of a Cold War veteran (Michael Keaton). The pair is then enlisted by a CIA Deputy Director (Sanaa Lathan) to investigate a wave of apparently random attacks on both military and civilian targets. Together the three discover a pattern in the violence leading them to a joint mission with a lethal Turkish agent (Shiva Negar) to stop a mysterious operative (Taylor Kitsch) intent on starting a World War in the Middle East. Directed by Michael Cuesta (Kill the Messenger).
Apparently meant to launch a new franchise. Not sure if O’Brien's fanbase is big enough for that.
April 18th, 2017
|04:36 pm - Active Measures|
Another month has passed, so I think it's time to take another snapshot of some of the highlights regarding the Trump-Russia story. The amount of stories is enormous. At times it feels like as if multiple seasons of "House of Cards" are unfolding at the same time.
At the hearing of the House Intelligence Committee in March FBI Director Comey revealed that since July there is an FBI investigation into the connections between Russia and the Trump campaign. Please let that sink in for a moment.
Subsequently, in an act of panic, the Republican chairman of the committee Devin Nunes went on a self-destructive, White House directed mission to divert attention. A former DoJ spokesperson described Nunes' press conference as "He basically poured gasoline all over himself & lit himself on fire." Nunes was forced to recuse himself from the Russia investigation and is now under investigation by the House Ethics Committee.
As further diversion, after slandering Barack Obama, the White House also did the same to Susan Rice.
The WaPo has confirmed the existence of a FISA warrant for Carter Page.
It was revealed - by former CIA director James Woolsey - that last September General Flynn, while getting paid by Turkey, took part in a meeting "to plan a covert operation to whisk away fugitive cleric Fethullah Gulen and hand him over to Turkey's authoritarian government". A few months later that man was made National Security Advisor by Trump. For a few days, then he had to resign.
Flynn's lawyer now has offered that Flynn is willing to cooperate with whoever is interested in exchange for immunity. The official reaction was summed up as "Nah, thanks, we're good."
BBC's Paul Wood, one of the reporters that first reported about the existence of a FISA warrant, wrote in a follow-up: "This is a three-headed operation," said one former official, setting out the case, based on the intelligence: Firstly, hackers steal damaging emails from senior Democrats. Secondly, the stories based on this hacked information appear on Twitter and Facebook, posted by thousands of automated "bots", then on Russia's English-language outlets, RT and Sputnik, then right-wing US "news" sites such as Infowars and Breitbart, then Fox and the mainstream media. Thirdly, Russia downloads the online voter rolls."
Read an article by Clint Watts who testified before the Senate intelligence committee on Russia's interference in U.S. politics. Take the time to watch this four minute clip from the hearing.
Last week the Guardian reported: "GCHQ first became aware in late 2015 of suspicious “interactions” between figures connected to Trump and known or suspected Russian agents". They say Germany, Estonia, Poland and Australia passed along information. Dutch and French services are also said to have contributed. "The alleged conversations were picked up by chance as part of routine surveillance of Russian intelligence assets."
The article ends with: "They now have specific concrete and corroborative evidence of collusion".
Two more quotes from politicians that I found noteworthy: Republican Sen. John McCain regarding the Russia investigation: "I think there’s a lot of shoes to drop from this centipede". And the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee Mark Warner describes the investigation as "the most important thing I've ever done".
Ivanka Trump is implicated in a hotel deal in Azerbaijan that's connected to Iran's Revolutionary Guard.
Jared Kushner is on the list of people to be interviewed by the Senate Intelligence Committee regarding the Russia investigation.
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman hired Howard Master, the assistant U.S. Attorney who led public-corruption prosecutions under US attorney Preet Bharara, who was recently fired by Trump. Schneiderman most recently sued Trump for his Trump University scam.
Louise Mensch continues to be the journalist who writes blog posts with the most concrete stories. It's always good not get hope up too high, but so far her track record is very good.
She says that Russians hacked the database of the Democratic National Committee to gain access of a list of democratic voters. Russians also hacked state voter registration databases. That data was sent to the Trump campaign as a basis for detailed voter targeting on Facebook and Twitter in order to send custom-made messages.
She also reports that there is a chance "Carter Page went to Moscow in early July carrying with him a pre-recorded tape of Donald Trump offering to change American policy if he were to be elected".
That's what you would call a "smoking gun". Read all of her articles, preferably in chronological order.
Now we are reaching the rumour section. Over the last few days, a flurry of twitter accounts cited infos from "sources" that a lot of people are under investigation and/or willing to cooperate with the authorities. Take it with a dose of scepticism, though, after following these people for some time, I will not dismiss their information out of hand.
Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell are an investigation target because of their knowledge about the Russian hacking and campaign financing.
Rudy Giuliani is allegedly cooperating with the authorities. This would be very helpful since he probably knows where a lot of dead bodies are buried in New York.
Given Trump's shady connections in the past, possible lines of attack for NY AG Schneiderman are emoluments, money laundering, tax evasion and RICO charges. The hope is that Comey and Schneiderman will carefully coordinate their campaigns.
There is more, but I think that's enough for now. I have no idea if some or all of those things will ever happen, though I'm increasingly confident that dominoes will start to fall.
It may make sense to get familiar with the United States presidential line of succession. If Trump gets impeached (or, more likely, resigns), next will be VP Mike Pence (doubtful), House Speaker Paul Ryan (doubtful), Senate president Orrin Hatch (in theory, the most likely).
For continued info I suggest following the twitter accounts of TrueFactsStated,
GuardianRover (Edit: better discard GuardianRover) and olgaNYC1211. If you read them you can find more accounts from there.
For topical (and also critical) tweet threads I recommend yottapoint. He's also keeping a website where he collects his threads. For further links and people to follow, have a look at previous politics entries.
April 15th, 2017
|11:05 am - Star Wars: The Last Jedi, The Hitman's Bodyguard, Detroit, Maudie, The Journey |
Star Wars: The Last Jedi HD720p 69MB HD1080p 128MB
First teaser trailer for the eighth episode, written and directed by Rian Johnson (Looper, Brick, Brothers Bloom), to be in theatres next Christmas. There isn't much yet in terms of official summary other than Rey continues her epic journey with Finn, Poe and Luke Skywalker. Many actors from the last few decades return, new additions are Laura Dern, Benicio Del Toro and Kelly Marie Tran. Last time it was Daniel Craig, this time imdb lists Tom Hardy as a possible stormtrooper.
Unsurprisingly, the footage doesn't reveal much, it mainly leaves clues for speculation. As it should be.
The Hitman's Bodyguard HD720p 24MB
Redband trailer for this action comedy in which the world's top protection agent (Ryan Reynolds) is called upon to guard the life of his mortal enemy, one of the world’s most notorious hitmen (Samuel L. Jackson). The relentless bodyguard and manipulative assassin have been on the opposite end of the bullet for years and are thrown together for a wildly outrageous 24 hours. During their raucous and hilarious adventure from England to the Hague, they encounter high-speed car chases, outlandish boat escapades and a merciless Eastern European dictator (Gary Oldman) who is out for blood. Salma Hayek, Elodie Yung, Joaquim De Almeida and Richard E. Grant are also part of the cast.
Usually, I should find such silly movies very appealing. But once the action reaches unrealistic slapstick territory it gets a bit difficult. The footage also looks as if Reynolds and Jackson spent more time in front of a greenscreen than on location. Should still be fun.
Detroit HD720p 92MB
Action thriller that tells the gripping story of one of the darkest moments during the civil unrest that rocked Detroit in the summer of ‘67. Cast members include John Boyega, Will Poulter, Jacob Latimore, Jason Mitchell, Hannah Murray, Kaitlyn Dever, Jack Reynor, John Krasinski and Anthony Mackie. Directed by Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker, Strange Days, Zero Dark Thirty), like Bigelow's previous two movies again written by Mark Boal.
Not sure if the action movie approach will serve the topic well.
Maudie HD720p 94MB
Biographical drama about an unlikely romance in which the reclusive Everett Lewis (Ethan Hawke) hires a fragile yet determined woman named Maud Lewis (Sally Hawkins) to be his housekeeper. Maudie, bright-eyed but hunched with crippled hands, yearns to be independent, to live away from her protective family and she also yearns, passionately, to create art. Unexpectedly, Everett finds himself falling in love. The film charts Everett's efforts to protect himself from being hurt, Maudie's deep and abiding love for this difficult man and her surprising rise to fame as a folk painter.
The Journey HD720p 17MB
Drama loosely based on historical events, set in 2006, amidst the ongoing, decades-long conflict in Northern Ireland, representatives from the two warring factions meet for negotiations. In one corner is Ian Paisley (Timothy Spall), the deeply conservative British loyalist; in the other is Martin McGuinness (Colm Meaney), a former Irish Republican Army leader who has devoted his life to the cause of Irish reunification. Opposites in every way, the two men at first seem to have little chance of ever finding common ground. But over the course of an impromptu, detour-filled car ride through the Scottish countryside, each begins to see the other less as an enemy. Toby Stephens, John Hurt, Freddie Highmore and Catherine McCormack are also part of the cast.
Reminder that I'm keeping a Dreamwidth mirror journal, please feel free to join there if you like.
April 13th, 2017
|12:32 pm - Atomic Blonde, Transformers 5, Book of Henry, All Eyez on Me, Queen of the Desert, Letters from Bagh|
Atomic Blonde HD720p 107MB HD1080p 201MB
Greenband trailer for this action-thriller based on a graphic novel that follows MI6's most lethal assassin through a ticking time bomb of a city simmering with revolution and double-crossing hives of traitors. The crown jewel of Her Majesty’s Secret Intelligence Service, Agent Lorraine Broughton (Charlize Theron) is equal parts spycraft, sensuality and savagery, willing to deploy any of her skills to stay alive on her impossible mission. Sent alone into Berlin during the Cold War to deliver a priceless dossier out of the destabilized city, she partners with embedded station chief David Percival (James McAvoy) to navigate her way through the deadliest game of spies. Eddie Marsan, John Goodman, Toby Jones, Sofia Boutella and Til Schweiger are also part of the cast. Directed by David Leitch (John Wick, the upcoming Deadpool 2, as well as the recent Deadpool short).
Still looks like lots fun. Especially if New Order and Depeche Mode make it into the film. Alternative UK version: HD720p 27MB.
Transformers: The Last Knight HD720p 107MB HD1080p 194MB
Another trailer for another instalment of the Transformers franchise, again directed by Michael Bay (Bad Boys, Pain & Gain, Vanilla Ice: I Love You). The movie shatters the core myths of the Transformers franchise, and redefines what it means to be a hero. Humans and Transformers are at war, Optimus Prime is gone. The key to saving our future lies buried in the secrets of the past, in the hidden history of Transformers on Earth. Saving our world falls upon the shoulders of an unlikely alliance: Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg); Bumblebee; an English Lord (Anthony Hopkins); and an Oxford Professor (Laura Haddock). Gemma Chan and Isabela Moner are new to the cast. Josh Duhamel, Stanley Tucci, Sophia Myles and John Turturro return.
The Book of Henry HD720p 94MB
Sometimes things are not always what they seem, especially in the small suburban town where the Carpenter family lives. Single suburban mother Susan (Naomi Watts) works as a waitress at a diner, alongside feisty friend Sheila (Sarah Silverman). Her younger son Peter (Jacob Tremblay) is a playful 8-year-old. Taking care of everyone and everything is Susan’s older son Henry (Jaeden Lieberher), age 11. Protector to his adoring younger brother and tireless supporter of his often self-doubting mother – and, through investments, of the family – Henry blazes through the days like a comet. Susan discovers that the family next door, which includes Henry’s kind classmate Christina (Maddie Ziegler), has a dangerous secret – and that Henry has devised a surprising plan to help. Directed by Colin Trevorrow (Jurassic World, Safety Not Guaranteed).
Not sure what to make of this one.
All Eyez on Me HD720p 88MB
Biopic that chronicles the life and legacy of Tupac Shakur (Demetrius Shipp Jr.), including his rise to superstardom as a hip hop artist, actor, poet and activist, as well as his imprisonment and prolific, controversial time at Death Row Records. Against insurmountable odds, Shakur rose to become a cultural icon whose career and persona both continue to grow long after his passing. Danai Gurira, Annie Ilonzeh, Jamal Woolard, Kat Graham and Lauren Cohan are also part of the cast.
Queen of the Desert HD720p 86MB
Letters from Baghdad HD720p 90MB
Biographical drama that tells the story of Gertrude Bell (Nicole Kidman) who, as historian, novelist and member of the British secret service, played a decisive role around 1920 in setting the course for the new political order in the Middle East. As an educated young woman, for whom no suitable husband can be found in England, she journeys to Tehran. After a tragic love affair with a diplomat and inveterate gambler (James Franco), she decides to give up on her private life and discover the region as an explorer. Before the backdrop of the disintegration of the Ottoman Empire she learns languages, translates literature, meets with Muslim dignitaries in Cairo, Basra and Baghdad and earns their trust through her pluck and respect. Damian Lewis and Robert Pattinson are also part of the cast, the latter playing T.E. Lawrence, the one of Arabia. Written and directed by Werner Herzog (Fitzcarraldo, The Bad Lieutenant, Cave of Forgotten Dreams).
Movie wasn't that well received and will now have a very late release in the US. However, there is also an upcoming documentary about Gertrude Bell narrated by Tilda Swinton, with a lot of actual historic footage (mixed with re-enactments which I'm usually not a big fan of). It may provide either an interesting addition, or alternative to learn more about Bell.
April 11th, 2017
|11:12 am - Thor: Ragnarok, Chuck, Return to Montauk, It, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword |
I'm going to mention it a few more times for infrequent readers. I'm keeping a Dreamwidth mirror journal, please feel free to join there if you like.
Thor: Ragnarok HD720p 67MB HD1080p 126MB
Hilarious first trailer for the third
Flash Gordon Thor movie. This time he is imprisoned on the other side of the universe without his mighty hammer and finds himself in a race against time to get back to Asgard to stop Ragnarok - the destruction of his homeworld and the end of Asgardian civilization - the hands of an all-powerful new threat, the ruthless Hela (Cate Blanchett). But first he must survive a deadly gladiatorial contest that pits him against his former ally and fellow Avenger - the Incredible Hulk (Mark Ruffalo)! Many of the cast members return, additions are Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie and Jeff Goldblum as Grandmaster. Directed by Taika Waititi (Hunt for the Wilderpeople, Boy, What We Do in the Shadows).
A-list actors doing cosplay. Enticing!
Chuck - The Bleeder HD720p 22MB
Boxing movie that tells the story of Chuck Wepner (Liev Schreiber), the man who inspired the billion-dollar film series Rocky - a liquor salesman from New Jersey who went 15 rounds with the greatest boxer of all time, Muhammad Ali. In his ten years in the ring, Wepner endured 2 knockouts, 8 broken noses, 313 stitches. But his toughest fights were outside the ring: an epic life of drugs, booze, wild women, incredible highs and extraordinary lows. Naomi Watts, Ron Perlman, Elisabeth Moss and Jim Gaffigan are also part of the cast. Directed by Philippe Falardeau (Monsieur Lazhar, The Good Lie).
Not a big fan of boxing movies, but the cast makes it interesting.
Return to Montauk HD720p 23MB
Trailer from France for this relationship drama about a writer (Stellan Skarsgård) in his early sixties, who travels to New York to launch his new book. His wife (Susanne Wolff) is expecting him; she has been working on the book's publication for the American publisher. His very personal novel tells the story of a great but failed love affair. He soon meets the woman who was the target of his affections at the time, German-born Rebecca (Nina Hoss), now a successful lawyer in New York. The pair return to Montauk for one winter weekend in this small coastal town at the end of Long Island where they were once so happy together. Niels Arestrup is also part of the cast. Directed by Volker Schlöndorff (The Handmaid's Tale, The Tin Drum, Death of a Salesman), co-written with Colm Tóibín (Brooklyn).
Festival reviews have been mixed. But I'm looking forward seeing two of Germany's best (theatre) actresses paired with Skarsgård. Sound of the trailer is a little overmodulated.
It HD720p 89MB
Trailer for the new adaptation of the Stephen King novel. When children begin to disappear in the town of Derry, Maine, a group of young kids are faced with their biggest fears when they square off against an evil clown named Pennywise, whose history of murder and violence dates back for centuries. Among the somewhat better known kid actors are Jaeden Lieberher, Wyatt Oleff, Sophia Lillis and Finn Wolfhard. Directed by Andrés Muschietti (Mama).
I know next to nothing about Stephen King's books and the many movie adaptations.
King Arthur: Legend of the Sword HD720p 92MB HD1080p 168MB
The, allegedly, final trailer for this studio attempt to recycle a familiar character. When the child Arthur’s (Charlie Hunnam) father is murdered, Vortigern (Jude Law), Arthur's uncle, seizes the crown. Robbed of his birthright and with no idea who he truly is, Arthur comes up the hard way in the back alleys of the city. But once he pulls the sword from the stone, his life is turned upside down and he is forced to acknowledge his true legacy whether he likes it or not. Astrid Bergès-Frisbey, Djimon Hounsou, Aidan Gillen, Eric Bana, Katie McGrath and David Beckham are also part of the cast. Directed by Guy Ritchie (Snatch., Sherlock Holmes, RocknRolla).
April 8th, 2017
|11:27 am - PSA Dreamwidth mirror.|
It looks like Livejournal's recent change of Terms of Service lead to another round of people leaving LJ for Dreamwidth.
I admit that the difficulty to log in earlier this week when not agreeing to the new terms made me question if now is a good time to let it all go. I mean
myspace LJ is pretty much dead for a while now. My guess would be that about a dozen people still read this journal, and half of them sometimes take the time to interact. My whole flist on average now posts about one entry per week.
The reason why I'm still here is because I like keeping contact with the few people that are left, and because I use my LJ as a rss reader.
Anyway, what I wanted to mention, because I think I never did so before. For a few years now I keep a mirror journal at Dreamwidth under the same name for the trailer entries (so far I didn't crosspost the occasional travelogue or the recent political entries). If you are still alive, and if you prefer DW over LJ, please feel free to follow me there.
April 7th, 2017
|11:26 am - War for the Planet of the Apes, War Machine, Message from the King, Their Finest, Graduation, Coco|
War for the Planet of the Apes HD720p 90MB HD1080p 169MB
Second trailer for the the third chapter of the franchise reboot. Caesar (Andy Serkis) and his apes are forced into a deadly conflict with an army of humans led by a ruthless Colonel (Woody Harrelson). After the apes suffer unimaginable losses, Caesar wrestles with his darker instincts and begins his own mythic quest to avenge his kind. As the journey finally brings them face to face, Caesar and the Colonel are pitted against each other in an epic battle that will determine the fate of both their species and the future of the planet. Judy Greer and Steve Zahn are also part of the cast. Like the previous one, again directed by Matt Reeves (Cloverfield, Let Me In, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes).
Will probably give Serkis his fifth Best Motion Capture Performance Oscar nomination.
War Machine HD720p 14MB
Absurdist war story of a born leader's ultra-confident march right into the dark heart of folly. It's about a successful, charismatic four-star general (Brad Pitt) who leapt in like a rock star to command NATO forces in Afghanistan, only to be taken down by his own hubris and a journalist's no-holds-barred expose. Emory Cohen, Topher Grace, Anthony Michael Hall, Scoot McNairy, Will Poulter, Tilda Swinton and Sir Ben Kingsley are also part of the cast. Directed by David Michôd (Animal Kingdom, The Rover).
Looks unfortunately more silly than funny. Will start streaming on Netflix May 26.
Message from the King HD720p 28MB
Trailer from France for this violent revenge thriller about a mysterious traveller from South Africa named Jacob King (Chadwick Boseman), combing the Los Angeles underworld for those responsible for the death of his sister. Rather than basking in the fabled radiance of the City of Angels he drifts, Dante-like, through a sprawling, infernal cityscape of fiercely territorial tribalism and dog-eat-dog savagery. Also part of the cast are Teresa Palmer, Luke Evans, Alfred Molina, Tom Felton and Natalie Martinz.
Festival reviews mostly weren't too kind. But the cast may make it worth a look. I wouldn't be suprised if a US release will be held back until after Black Panther.
Their Finest HD720p 89MB
US trailer for this drama with comedic elements set in the British film industry during World War II. An untried screenwriter (Gemma Arterton) lives with her struggling artist husband (Jack Huston) in London. Assuming she is applying for a secretarial post at the Ministry of Information, she is hired to write women's dialogue - the “slop” - for wartime propaganda shorts. Partnered alongside a fellow screenwriter (Sam Claflin) and an eccentric actor (Bill Nighy), the trio set off to make a film that will warm the hearts of the nation and inspire America to join the war. Richard E. Grant, Jeremy Irons, Helen McCrory and Eddie Marsan are also part of the cast. Directed by Lone Scherfig (An Education, Wilbur Wants to Kill Himself, One Day).
Graduation - Bacalaureat HD720p 83MB
US trailer for this drama from Romania about a physician living in a small mountain town in Transylvania, who has raised his daughter with the idea that once she turns 18, she will leave to study and live abroad. His plan is close to succeeding - she has won a scholarship to study psychology in the UK. She just has to pass her final exams - a formality for such a good student. On the day before her first written exam, she is assaulted in an attack that could jeopardize her entire future. Now he has to make a decision. There are ways of solving the situation, but none of them using the principles he, as a father, has taught his daughter. Written and directed by Cristian Mungiu (4 Months 3 Weeks & 2 Days) who won the Best Director Award this year in Cannes.
Coco HD720p 72MB
Two minute short called "Dante's Lunch - A Short Tail" that's related to the upcoming animated movie from Disney/Pixar that takes place in the stunning and colorful Mexican Land of the Dead.
April 5th, 2017
|11:27 am - Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, The Mummy, Ingrid Goes West, The Ticket, David Lynch|
Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets HD720p 90MB HD1080p 171MB
Second trailer for this sci-fi action adventure directed by Luc Besson (The Fifth Element, Lucy, Léon) based on a graphic novel. Valerian (Dane DeHaan) and Laureline (Cara Delevingne) are special operatives for the government of the human territories charged with maintaining order throughout the universe. Under directive from their Commander (Clive Owen), the two embark on a mission to the breathtaking intergalactic city of Alpha, an ever-expanding metropolis comprised of thousands of different species from all four corners of the universe. Alpha's seventeen million inhabitants have converged over time - uniting their talents, technology and resources for the betterment of all. Now unfortunately, not everyone on Alpha shares in these same objectives; in fact, unseen forces are at work, placing our race in great danger. Ethan Hawke, Rihanna, John Goodman, Herbie Hancock, Rutger Hauer and Mathieu Kassovitz are also part of the cast.
The Mummy HD720p 98MB HD1080p 186MB
Second trailer for the "spectacular, all-new cinematic version of the legend that has fascinated cultures all over the world since the dawn of civilization". Thought safely entombed in a tomb deep beneath the unforgiving desert, an ancient princess (Sofia Boutella) whose destiny was unjustly taken from her is awakened in our current day, bringing with her malevolence grown over millennia and terrors that defy human comprehension.
The charms of Brendan Fraser and Rachel Weisz will be replaced by Tom Cruise and Annabelle Wallis. Russell Crowe, Jake Johnson and Courtney B. Vance are also part of the cast. Directed by Alex Kurtzman who so far mostly has writing/producing credits with Roberto Orci for Transformers and Star Trek movies.
Ingrid Goes West HD720p 18MB
Redband teaser for this dark comedy about Ingrid (Aubrey Plaza), an unstable young woman with a checkered past of obsessive behaviour. She secretly moves to Los Angeles to get close to Taylor Sloane (Elizabeth Olsen) - an Instagram "lifestyle guru" with a fabulous artist boyfriend, a camera-ready terrier, and an array of new products and brands to promote to her followers. After Ingrid adopts a Taylor-made identity for herself, her machinations to prove she’s BFF material for her Insta idol are underway—that is, until she meets Taylor’s obnoxious brother Nicky, who threatens to tear down her façade. O'Shea Jackson Jr., Wyatt Russell and Pom Klementieff are also part of the cast.
The Ticket HD720p 68MB
Drama about a blind man (Dan Stevens) who inexplicably regains his vision and becomes possessed by a drive to make a better life for himself. However, his new improvements - a nicer home, a higher paying job, tailored suits, luxury car - leave little room for the people who were part of his old, simpler life: his plain wife (Malin Akerman) and his close friend (Oliver Platt). As his relationships buckle under the strain of his snowballing ambition, it becomes uncertain if he can ever return from darkness. Kerry Bishé is also part of the cast.
David Lynch: The Art Life HD720p 72MB
Documentary that looks at David Lynch's art, music, and early films, shining a light into the dark corners of his unique world and giving audiences a better understanding of the man and the artist. We're invited in and given private views from Lynch’s compound and painting studio in the hills high above Hollywood, as he tells personal stories that unfold like scenes from his films. Strange characters come into focus only to fade again into the past, all leaving an indelible mark.
March 29th, 2017
|11:06 am - Spider-Man: Homecoming, A Ghost Story, Black Butterfly, Small Crimes, Ferdinand|
Spider-Man: Homecoming HD720p 93MB HD1080p 172MB
Second trailer for the second Spider-Man reboot this decade, this time more aimed at the teenage crowd. A young Peter Parker/Spider-Man (Tom Holland) begins to navigate his newfound identity as the web-slinging super hero. Thrilled by his experience with the Avengers, he returns home, where he lives with his Aunt May (Marisa Tomei), under the watchful eye of his new mentor Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.). Peter tries to fall back into his normal daily routine - distracted by thoughts of proving himself to be more than just your friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man - but when the Vulture (Michael Keaton) emerges as a new villain, everything that Peter holds most important will be threatened. Zendaya, Laura Harrier, Tony Revolori, Donald Glover, Martin Starr, Bokeem Woodbine and Michael Chernus are also part of the cast. Directed by Jon Watts (Cop Car).
A Ghost Story HD720p 97MB
A ... ghost story that is more lyrical than narrative, in which a recently deceased, a white-sheeted ghost (Casey Affleck) returns to his suburban home to console his bereft wife (Rooney Mara), only to find that in his spectral state he has become unstuck in time, forced to watch passively as the life he knew and the woman he loves slowly slip away. Increasingly unmoored, the ghost embarks on a cosmic journey through memory and history, confronting life's ineffable questions and the enormity of existence. Written and directed by David Lowery (Pete's Dragon, Ain't Them Bodies Saints).
Certainly not for everyone, but it has gotten very favourable festival reviews.
Black Butterfly HD720p 83MB
Thriller based on a French TV movie. Outside a mountain town grappling with a series of abductions and murders, Paul (Antonio Banderas), a reclusive writer, struggles to start what he hopes will be a career-saving screenplay. After a tense encounter at a diner with a drifter named Jack (Jonathan Rhys Meyers), Paul offers Jack a place to stay, and soon the edgy, demanding Jack muscles his way into Paul's work. As a storm cuts off power to the isolated cabin, the two men begin a jagged game of one-upmanship that will bring at least one tale to an end. Piper Perabo is also part of the cast.
Small Crimes HD720p 16MB
Darkly comedic thriller in which, after serving time for the attempted murder of a District Attorney, disgraced former cop Joe Denton (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) returns home looking for redemption. An embarrassment to his parents and abandoned by his ex-wife, it seems as if things can’t get much worse. But then Joe finds himself trapped in the mess he left behind, in the cross fire between a crooked sheriff, the vengeful DA, and a mafia kingpin who knows too much. Gary Cole, Jacki Weaver, Robert Forster, Molly Parker and Macon Blair are also part of the cast.
Will start streaming on Netflix April 28th.
Ferdinand HD720p 87MB
First trailer for this animated family movie to be in theatres in December. Set in Spain, it tells the story of a giant bull (John Cena) with a big heart. After being mistaken for a dangerous beast, he is captured and torn from his home. Determined to return to his family, he rallies a misfit team on the ultimate adventure. Further voices will be provided by Kate McKinnon, Gina Rodriguez, Daveed Diggs, Gabriel Iglesias, Bobby Cannavale, David Tennant and Anthony Anderson. Co-directed by Carlos Saldanha (Rio, Ice Age 2).
March 27th, 2017
|11:35 am - Justice League, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri, My Cousin Rachel, Early Man, Baywatch|
Justice League HD720p 97MB HD1080p 178MB
After the Comic-Con footage from last year, the first trailer for DC Comics' desperate attempt to catch-up with Marvel's Avengers, directed by Zack Snyder (Man of Steel, 300, Sucker Punch). Fueled by his restored faith in humanity and inspired by Superman's selfless act, Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) enlists the help of his newfound ally, Diana Prince (Gal Gadot), to face an even greater enemy. Together, the two work quickly to find and recruit a team of metahumans to stand against this newly awakened threat. But despite the formation of this unprecedented league of heroes - Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman (Jason Momoa), Cyborg (Ray Fisher) and The Flash (Ezra Miller) - it may already be too late to save the planet from an assault of catastrophic proportions.
J.K. Simmons, Amy Adams, Connie Nielsen, Jeremy Irons, Diane Lane, Amber Heard, Joe Morton, Billy Crudup, Ciarán Hinds, Kiersey Clemons, Willem Dafoe, Jesse Eisenberg and Henry Cavill are already listed as cast member, plus rumours of even more appearances. I suspect the inevitable extended cut will be four hours of non-stop special effects.
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri HD720p 20MB
Redband trailer for the latest comedic drama written and directed by Martin McDonagh (In Bruges, Seven Psychopaths). After months have passed without a culprit in her daughter's murder case, Mildred Hayes (Frances McDormand) makes a bold move, painting three signs leading into her town with a controversial message directed at the town's revered chief of police (Woody Harrelson). When his second-in-command (Sam Rockwell), an immature mother's boy with a penchant for violence, gets involved, the battle between Mildred and Ebbing's law enforcement is only exacerbated. Peter Dinklage, John Hawkes, Abbie Cornish, Caleb Landry Jones and Lucas Hedges are also part of the cast.
Well, that escalated quickly.
My Cousin Rachel HD720p 97MB
US trailer for this dark romance, an adaptation of the novel by Daphne Du Maurier. It tells the story of a young Englishman (Sam Claflin) who plots revenge against his mysterious, beautiful cousin (Rachel Weisz), believing that she murdered his guardian. But his feelings become complicated as he finds himself falling under the beguiling spell of her charms. Holliday Grainger and Iain Glen are also part of the cast. Directed by Roger Michell (Notting Hill, Morning Glory, Hyde Park on Hudson).
Early Man HD720p 12MB
Early teaser for the upcoming Aardman Animations movie directed by Nick Park (Chicken Run, The Curse of the Were-Rabbit) to be in theatres next January. Set at the dawn of time, when prehistoric creatures roamed the earth, the film tells the story of courageous caveman hero Dug (Eddie Redmayne) and his best friend Hognob as they unite his tribe against a mighty enemy Lord Nooth (Tom Hiddleston) and his Bronze Age City to save their home. Further voices will be provided by Maisie Williams, Richard Ayoade and Timothy Spall.
Baywatch HD720p 74MB
Second trailer for the big-screen adaptation based on the popular TV series. It follows devoted lifeguard Mitch Buchannon (Dwayne Johnson) as he butts heads with a brash new recruit (Zac Efron). Together, they uncover a local criminal plot that threatens the future of the Bay. Alexandra Daddario, Priyanka Chopra, Rob Huebel, Kelly Rohrbach, Ilfenesh Hadera and Hannibal Buress are also part of the cast. David Hasselhoff and Pamela Anderson are expected to make cameos. Directed by Seth Gordon (Horrible Bosses The King of Kong, Identity Thief).
From a marketing point-of-view, pairing Johnson with Efron is pretty genius.
March 20th, 2017
|01:40 pm - May you live in interesting times.|
The reason why I currently sometimes make posts related to US politics is because I find the topic highly interesting. I think there's a good chance we are witnessing a major historical event, maybe the biggest since the fall of the Berlin Wall.
If the Trump administration continues its path, possible consequences are, continued undermining and discrediting of democratic rights and institutions (e.g. judiciary, free press, civil rights), the end of NATO, a global trade war, maybe real wars with Iran or North Korea. And those are only the "big picture" changes. So far they are certainly making good on their promise to destroy the "administrative state".
On the other hand, there's also the chance that we will experience an epic political scandal and witness the impeachment of a US president. Either way, chances are high that we are seeing a significant chapter in history unfold.
Regarding the latter option, since today is the start of public hearings of the House Intelligence Committee that will look into the Russian influence of recent US elections, here are a few links for information and people to follow that I find helpful (other than mainstream media like NYT, WaPo, Politico, etc.).
First, another overview with various graphics of the (so far) know connections between Trump and Russia: Sessions, Tillerson, Flynn. The advisors Carter Page, Roger Stone, Paul Manafort. Dubious figures like Dimitry Firtash and Felix Sater. Please note, these are only the connections of recent years since the political campaign began in earnest. For past business connections, please see the previous 'politics' entry.
Louise Mensch wrote an op-ed this weekend in the NYT about the people that should be invited to testify in front of the various committees that are now investigating the Russian influence, and what questions they should be asked.
Mensch is the journalist who wrote the article two days before the election about the existence of a FISA warrant. The story was later confirmed by the BBC. If you aren't familiar with the details, read those articles carefully. They are about a US warrant for Russian banks.
In all likelihood those articles built the basis for distorted articles published on right-wing media sites that the president likes to consume early in the morning instead of attending national security briefings. This in turn lead to a Twitter rant by Trump, accusing previous president Obama of a high crime, that he "wire tapped" Trump Tower. He also based his later accusation that the British GCHQ helped on articles from similar questionable sources.
Just to be clear, in order to deflect from his ties with Russia, based on articles on right-wing news sites, Trump accused a former president of a high crime without providing any evidence whatsoever. In the last two weeks it was interesting to see who was able to distinguish between a reported warrant and the accusation of wiretapping.
Mensch has a blog in which she occasionally writes about team Trump's Russia connections. She recently started a accompanying twitter account. Most recently, with the help of a former wikileaks activist, she uncovered deeply disturbing links between Julian Assange/wikileaks and Russia.
Following Mensch directly on twitter is not easy, she tweets and re-tweets a lot. Please keep in mind that blog writings and tweets are not necessarily (meant to be) on par with fact-checked articles on respected media outlets. Though considering how much those failed during the election, they aren't really better positioned either.
Back to the hearings. Most anticipated will be the testimony of FBI Director Comey. All sides will probably try to spin and interpret what he says (and not says). Benjamin Wittes, editor in chief of the Lawfare website, wrote a summary of what we may expect. Strangely enough, as a rule of thumb, the less he will say, the more dangerous it is for Team Trump. That's because if investigations are ongoing, he won't be allowed to talk. I've learned in recent weeks such details matter a lot.
You should also get acquainted with variations of the "Glomar response", which is that someone can "neither confirm nor deny" something because of secrecy restrictions. Because few people are allowed to talk, it leads to interesting articles about the attempts to interpret the reactions of people who actually have been briefed about developments by Comey in recent days.
If you are interested in precise legal background, I recommend the above mentioned lawfareblog. It helps to better understand legal terms and legal context (FISA warrant, executive orders, temporary restraining orders, foreign agent, etc.). They provide very timely articles about topics currently in the news.
For example an entry already pointed out weeks ago that what is needed for an independent investigation is a Special Counsel (and not a Special Prosecutor).
Despite the fact that the various upcoming hearings will be in some way fascinating, I suspect they won't reveal too many details because investigations are still ongoing. The best possible effect will probably be that they will reinforce the need for a Special Counsel. Needless to say, if there aren't any connections between Team Trump and Russia, they should welcome an investigation so that they can get the Russia topic behind them and then can fully focus their energy on destroying the administrative state.
Also worth following is the twitter of John Schindler. He formerly worked for the NSA. He writes articles about National Security for a website called Observer, a conservative-leaning news website. He apparently still has good connections to the Intelligence Community. His articles are worth reading.
Edit: I belatedly realised that observer.com is the surviving online version of the NY newspaper owned by the Kushner clan. Which I find pretty amusing considering the articles written by Schindler.
And if you want to monitor Trump's approval ratings, regularly visit the daily Gallup poll (three-day rolling average). Trump's approval/disapproval ratings started from historic lows. Until recently they held up well, no matter what he said and did so far, his supporters were still with him. I suspect this will have to change before the Republicans will turn on him in earnest, heightening the chances of impeachment.
March 16th, 2017
|05:19 pm - Coco, Despicable Me 3, Win it All, Truman, Life|
Coco HD720p 78MB HD1080p 152MB
First trailer for this animated movie from Pixar, co-directed by Lee Unkrich (Toy Story 3, Finding Nemo) and Adrian Molina, to be released Thanksgiving. Despite his family's baffling generations-old ban on music, Miguel (Anthony Gonzalez) dreams of becoming an accomplished musician like his idol, Ernesto de la Cruz (Benjamin Bratt). Desperate to prove his talent, he finds himself in the stunning and colorful Land of the Dead following a mysterious chain of events. Along the way, he meets charming trickster Hector (García Bernal), and together, they set off on an extraordinary journey to unlock the real story behind Miguel's family history.
Despicable Me 3 HD720p 99MB HD1080p 184MB
Full trailer for the third adventure of Gru (Steve Carell), Lucy (Kristen Wiig), their adorable daughters Margo, Edith and Agnes, and the Minions. The voices of Russell Brand and Steve Coogan will also return. The villain this time is Balthazar Bratt (voiced by Emmy, Tony and Grammy Award winner Trey Parker), a former child star who's grown up to become obsessed with the character he played in the '80s, and proves to be Gru's most formidable nemesis to date.
Win it All HD720p 16MB
Comedy about a small time gambler (Jake Johnson), who agrees to watch a duffel bag for an acquaintance who is heading to prison. When he discovers cash in the bag, he's unable to resist the temptation and winds up deeply in debt. When the prison release is shortened, he suddenly has a small window of time to win all the money back. Keegan-Michael Key, Joe Lo Truglio and Aislinn Derbez are also part of the cast. Directed by Joe Swanberg (Drinking Buddies, Happy Christmas, Digging for Fire), co-written by Swanberg and Johnson.
Likable cast, good festival reviews, but my tolerace for gambling addicts is pretty low. Will stream on Netflix starting April 7th.
Truman HD720p 51MB
Drama with comedic elements from Argentina that explores the intimacy and tenderness of a lifelong friendship headed towards its imminent end. Diagnosed with terminal cancer, Julián (Ricardo Darin) has decided to forgo treatment, and spend his final days tying up loose ends. When Tomás (Javier Cámara) pays his ailing friend an unexpected visit, he quickly realizes he won't be able to change his mind. During their final reunion, the two friends set out to finalize Julián's funeral arrangements, settle his accounts and, most importantly, find a home for his beloved dog, Truman.
It's a tough topic, but the movie handles it very well. Not too emotional but still very heartfelt with a touch of humour.
Life HD720p 23MB
Redband trailer for this sci-fi thriller that tells the story of the six-member crew (Jake Gyllenhaal, Ryan Reynolds, Rebecca Ferguson, Olga Dihovichnaya, Ariyon Bakare, Hiroyuki Sanada) of the International Space Station that is on the cutting edge of one of the most important discoveries in human history: the first evidence of extraterrestrial life on Mars. As the crew begins to conduct research, their methods end up having unintended consequences and the life form proves more intelligent than anyone ever expected. Directed by Daniel Espinosa (Safe House, Easy Money, Child 44).
I feel increasingly alienated.
March 12th, 2017
|11:28 am - Atomic Blonde, Baby Driver, Wonder Woman, The Fate of the Furious, Buster's Mal Heart|
Atomic Blonde HD720p 44MB HD1080p 88MB
Redband trailer for this action-thriller based on a graphic novel that follows MI6's most lethal assassin through a ticking time bomb of a city simmering with revolution and double-crossing hives of traitors. The crown jewel of Her Majesty’s Secret Intelligence Service, Agent Lorraine Broughton (Charlize Theron) is equal parts spycraft, sensuality and savagery, willing to deploy any of her skills to stay alive on her impossible mission. Sent alone into Berlin during the Cold War to deliver a priceless dossier out of the destabilized city, she partners with embedded station chief David Percival (James McAvoy) to navigate her way through the deadliest game of spies. Eddie Marsan, John Goodman, Toby Jones, Sofia Boutella and Til Schweiger are also part of the cast. Directed by David Leitch (John Wick, the upcoming Deadpool 2, as well as the recent Deadpool short).
Welcome to Berlin. That looks like fun. Can't wait to see for Schweiger to be beaten to a pulp by Theron.
Baby Driver US HD720p 93MB Intl HD720p 27MB
US and international trailer versions for this action heist movie written and directed by Edgar Wright (Hot Fuzz, Shaun of the Dead, The World's End) that premiered last night at SXSW. It's about a talented, young getaway driver (Ansel Elgort) who relies on the beat of his personal soundtrack to be the best in the game. When he meets the girl of his dreams (Lily James), Baby sees a chance to ditch his criminal life and make a clean getaway. But after being coerced into working for a crime boss (Kevin Spacey), he must face the music when a doomed heist threatens his life, love and freedom. Jamie Foxx, Jon Hamm Jon Bernthal, Eiza González , Sky Ferreira, Flea
Both trailers are good, the international one has more Radar Love.
Wonder Woman HD720p 89MB HD1080p 166MB
Third trailer for the movie about Wonder Woman's origins (trailer is also labelled "origin"), in which a WWI American hero fighter pilot (Chris Pine) crashes near a remote island inhabited by Greek female warriors. He is soon rescued by an Amazonian princess named Diana (Gal Gadot), who later decides to leave her secret sanctuary and return with him to his male-dominated world. Danny Huston, Robin Wright, Connie Nielsen, David Thewlis, Saïd Taghmaoui, Ewen Bremner, Lucy Davis and Elena Anaya are also part of the cast. Interestingly, directed by Patty Jenkins (Monster).
Welcome to jolly ol' London.
The Fate of the Furious HD720p 115MB HD1080p 215MB
Second trailer for the eighth movie in the family franchise, meant to be the start of another trilogy. Now that Dom and Letty are on their honeymoon and Brian and Mia have retired from the game - and the rest of the family has been exonerated - the globetrotting family has found a semblance of a normal family life. But when a mysterious woman (Charlize Theron) seduces Dom into the world of a crime family he can't seem to escape and a betrayal of those closest to his family, they will face trials that will test the family as never before. New to the cast are Scott Eastwood and Helen Mirren. After Justin Lin has defected to the Star Trek franchise, F. Gary Gray (A Man Apart, Straight Outta Compton, The Italian Job) takes over directing duties.
Needless to say, don't watch the trailer if you want there to be any surprises left when you see the actual movie.
Buster's Mal Heart HD720p 49MB
Very confusing looking thriller about Buster (Rami Malek) who was once Jonah, a hard-working husband and father whose job as the night-shift concierge at a hotel took its toll on his mood and, consequently, his marriage to the sensitive and long-suffering Marty (Kate Lyn Sheil) - until a chance encounter with a conspiracy-obsessed drifter (DJ Qualls) changed the course of their lives forever. As the sad and solitary present-day Buster drifts from house to house and eludes the local sheriff at every turn, we gradually piece together the events that fractured his life and left him alone on top of a snowy mountain, or perhaps in a small rowboat in the middle of a vast ocean - or both.
Festival reviews are very mixed, but it may be worth for the adventurous viewer.
March 9th, 2017
|11:41 am - Pirates of the Caribbean 5, Kong: Skull Island, Hampstead, Rough Night, Personal Shopper, Deadpool 2|
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales HD720p 93MB HD1080p 175MB
Full trailer for yet another sequel. Thrust into an all-new adventure, a down-on-his-luck Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) finds the winds of ill-fortune blowing even more strongly when deadly ghost pirates led by his old nemesis, the terrifying Captain Salazar (Javier Bardem), escape from the Devil's Triangle, determined to kill every pirate at sea ... including him. His only hope of survival lies in seeking out the legendary Trident of Poseidon, a powerful artifact that bestows upon its possessor total control over the seas. Geoffrey Rush and Orlando Bloom return. New to the cast are Brenton Thwaites, Kaya Scodelario, Golshifteh Farahani, and, I suspect to even out the former appearance of a Rolling Stone, Paul McCartney. Directed by Norwegian duo Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg (Kon-Tiki, Max Manus, Bandidas).
Kong: Skull Island HD720p 93MB HD1080p 175MB
Another trailer, allegedly the final one, for this "origin story" that transports us to the birthplace of one of the most powerful monster myths. When a scientific expedition to an uncharted island awakens titanic forces of nature, a mission of discovery becomes an explosive war between monster and man. Cast members include Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson, Brie Larson, John Goodman and John C. Reilly. Interestingly, directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts (Kings of Summer).
Hampstead HD720p 19MB
UK trailer for this feel good drama, inspired by a true story, that follows the unlikely romance between Emily (Diane Keaton) – an American widow who lives in a house on the edge of Hampstead Heath - and Donald (Brendan Gleeson) – a social recluse who has been living quietly and harmoniously in a ramshackle hut on the edge of the Heath for 17 years. With his home now the target of property developers, an unlikely friendship and then a romance blossoms between the two. James Norton, Lesley Manville and Jason Watkins are also part of the cast. Directed by Joel Hopkins (Last Chance Harvey, The Love Punch).
Rough Night Redband 720p 37MB Intl HD720p 26MB
R-rated comedy in which five best friends from college (Scarlett Johansson, Kate McKinnon, Jillian Bell, Ilana Glazer, Zoë Kravitz) reunite 10 years later for a wild bachelorette weekend in Miami. Their hard partying takes a hilariously dark turn when they accidentally kill a male stripper. Amidst the craziness of trying to figure out what to do, their night takes some hilariously unexpected turns.
I guess that's the result when you tell a software program to combine The Hangover with Bridesmaids. You can choose between a US redband and an international trailer version.
Personal Shopper HD720p 76MB
US trailer for this mysterious ghost story about Maureen (Kristen Stewart), mid-20s, who has a job she hates: seeing to the wardrobe of a media celebrity. She couldn't find anything better to pay for her stay in Paris. And wait. Wait for a sign from the spirit of her twin brother, who died a few months earlier. Until then, her life will stay on hold. Movie re-unites Stewart with writer/director Olivier Assayas who directed her in his previous film Clouds of Sils Maria for which Stewart won a César. Also reappearing from Sils Maria are Lars Eidinger and Nora von Waldstätten, Anders Danielsen Lie is also part of the cast.
Deadpool 2 HD720p 51MB
Filming for the sequel hasn't started yet, but here's the 4min short "No Good Deed" that's currently playing with screenings of Logan.
Edit: Alternative version HD720p 16MB.
March 1st, 2017
|11:33 am - Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Alien: Covenant, Norman, Carrie Pilby, The House|
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 HD720p 26MB
Full trailer for the sequel that will be set to the backdrop of Awesome Mixtape #2 and continue the team's adventures as they traverse the outer reaches of the cosmos. The Guardians must fight to keep their newfound family together as they unravel the mysteries of Peter Quill's true parentage. Countless cast members return, among them Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan and Glenn Close. Cast additions are Elizabeth Debicki, Nathan Fillion and Tango & Cash aka Kurt Russell and Sylvester Stallone. Again directed by James Gunn.
All the action and explosions are a little exhausting. I'll edit the post when higher quality files become available.
Edit: HD720p 89MB HD1080p 166MB
Alien: Covenant HD720p 84MB HD1080p 158MB
Full trailer for another instalment of the Alien franchise, again directed by Ridley Scott (The Martian, Gladiator, Kingdom of Heaven). The crew of the colony ship Covenant, bound for a remote planet on the far side of the galaxy, discovers what they think is an uncharted paradise, but is actually a dark, dangerous world. When they uncover a threat beyond their imagination, they must attempt a harrowing escape. Michael Fassbender, Noomi Rapace and Guy Pearce are listed to return from Prometheus. New to the cast are Katherine Waterston, Billy Crudup, Danny McBride, Demián Bichir, Carmen Ejogo, Amy Seimetz, James Franco and Jussie Smollett.
There's also an almost five minutes long clip entitled "prologue": HD720p 166MB.
Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer HD720p 17MB
While the trailer indicates an emphasis on lighter notes, festival reviews describe it more as a drama with thriller and comedic elements. It's about Norman (Richard Gere), a seasoned "macher", a man who knows the right people and gets things done. Like a gambler or a thief, his position is more vocation than profession, a confidence game requiring luck and a kind of societal sleight of hand. When an Israeli dignitary (Lior Ashkenazi) visits New York, Norman decides to make an impression by buying him some extremely expensive shoes. A gold-star connection is made, but three years later he winds up becoming Israel's prime minister and is suddenly hugely inaccessible. Norman's circle - his nephew (Michael Sheen), a rabbi (Steve Buscemi), his assistant (Dan Stevens), a treasury official from the Ivory Coast (Charlotte Gainsbourg) - begins asking him to write cheques he can no longer cash.
From what I've read, it doesn't reach the quality of a Coen Brothers movie. But Gere gives another strong performance that probably too few people will see.
Carrie Pilby HD720p 91MB
Coming-of-age comedic drama in which a precocious 19-year-old genius (Bel Powley) would rather stay in bed than deal with the immoral, sex-obsessed hypocrites who seem to overrun her hometown, New York City. She's sick of trying to be like everybody else. She isn’t! She's isolated, friendless, dateless and unemployed. So when her therapist (Nathan Lane) gives her a six-point plan to change her social-outcast status, she takes a hard look at herself ... agrees to try. Gabriel Byrne, Vanessa Bayer, Colin O'Donoghue and Jason Ritter are also part of the cast.
The House HD720p 88MB
Comedy in which, after Scott and Kate Johansen (Will Ferrell, Amy Poehler) lose their daughter Alex's college fund, they become desperate to earn it back so she can pursue her dream of attending a university. With the help of their neighbour (Jason Mantzoukas), they decide to start an illegal casino in the basement of his house. Directed by Andrew Jay Cohen, co-writer of Neighbors and Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates.