New York, Apr 30 (AP/UNB) —Notable reaction to the death of "Boyz N the Hood" filmmaker John Singleton:
"Thank you John for being my friend, brother and mentor for 30 years. For believing in me when I was unsure of myself. Your passion for telling our stories from our point of view was more than an obsession, it was your mission in life. Your love for the black experience was contagious and I would never be the man I am without knowing you. On April 29, 1992 you were on TV warning the world what was to come. I'm sad today, cause on this April 29th who will warn the world what's to come. I love you and I miss you already brother." — "Boyz N the Hood" star and rapper Ice Cube, in a statement.
"You gave me my first movie role, my first Oscar nomination and so much more. Thank you for all you have given to the world through your work and all you have done for Black culture, women and young filmmakers. I will miss you John. Keeping your family in my prayers." — "Poetic Justice" star, pop star Janet Jackson, via Instagram.
"With His Passion, His Heart, The Way He Talked About His Love For Cinema And Black Folks I Could See John Would Make It Happen. And He Did. From Day One." — Spike Lee, via Instagram.
"So sad to hear about John. I met him way before he did 'Boys in the Hood.' He had more drive then anybody I've ever met." — Chris Rock, via Instagram.
"Thank you for all that you gave to the world the movies the messages the opportunities to so many people like myself to grace the big screen in a major role with major black actors you were and will allways be black excellence love you for life and beyond." — Snoop Dogg, via Instagram.
"Rest In Power, my friend. One of the greatest to ever do it. Thank you GOD for blessing us with this gift better known as John Singleton." — "Boyz N the Hood" actor Regina King, via Instagram.
"Mourning the loss of a collaborator & True Friend John Singleton. He blazed the trail for many young film makers, always remaining true to who he was & where he came from!!! RIP Brother. Gone Way Too Soon! — "Shaft" star Samuel L. Jackson, via Twitter.
"RIP John Singleton. So sad to hear. John was a brave artist and a true inspiration. His vision changed everything." — Jordan Peele via Twitter.
"The best life is when we leave a trail. We leave something on this earth bigger than us. John Singleton....you inspired a generation of Artists. We will shoulder on....'May flights of angels sing thee to thy rest". RIP" — Viola Davis, via Twitter.
"The youngest-ever Best Director nominee and an inspiration to us all. John Singleton, you will be greatly missed." — Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, via Twitter.
"This thing we call the cinema is over 100 years old and like most things it was a white man's world. Women weren't allowed into it. African Americans weren't allowed into it, other people of color. The working class, we don't go to film school, but people like John Singleton did. They forced their way in so that millions of Americans would have a voice, and he is a pioneer and one of the people responsible for that." — Filmmaker Michael Moore, at the 50th anniversary gala at Film at Lincoln Center.
"John is admired for putting a lot of people of color to work throughout his career. Our prayers are with his children and family members. He will be sorely missed." — Magic Johnson, via Twitter.
"The magnitude and world-wide impact that his ground-breaking film would have for society cannot be measured. Helping to bring awareness of what it takes to come to maturity as a black male in the 'Hood, or die trying..." — "Boyz N the Hood" actor Morris Chestnut, via Instagram.
"Today my heart breaks. #JohnSingleton was an innovator - he came to us with so much drive and clear creative vision in a time when people of color didn't have the visibility in cinema that we do today. He is and will always remain a beacon of light in our community, and today we celebrate the incredible legacy he left behind and the cultural contributions he has made. Rest well my friend, we've lost one of the good guys." — Halle Berry, via Instagram.
"Over the course of his illustrious career, John remained steadfast in telling stories that illuminate the daily challenges faced by African Americans, particularly those living in the inner city." — John Landgraf, chairman of FX Networks and FX Productions, in a statement.
"Cruel. Not what I want to say right now. But certainly how I feel. Cruel. Just... so cruel." — Barry Jenkins, via Twitter.
"There aren't many of us out here doing this. It's a small tribe in the grand scheme of things. He was a giant among us. Kind. Committed. And immensely talented. His films broke ground. His films mattered. He will be missed. And long remembered. Thank you, John. #RunIntoHisArms" — Ava DuVernay, via Twitter.
"This one cuts deep. You'll never be forgotten. Cause your work will live on." — Writer-producer Lena Waithe, via Twitter.
"Rest up John Singleton. We never met, but Remember The Time literally changed my life. Thank you so much. God Bless you" — Chance The Rapper, via Twitter.
"I made one of the best decisions of my career in buying the script of Boyz n the Hood and hiring John to direct it. Since then, I have been honored to call him my friend. Over the years he has sent me first drafts of his scripts, from which I always learned something new about our place as Americans, and as human beings. I will miss his friendship, our conversations, and his contributions to our industry." — Frank Price, former chairman of Columbia Pictures and current chairman of the USC School of Cinematic Arts Board of Advisers, in a statement.
"There was a time when I was struggling to pay my bills in film school and not sure this town was for me. And one day, not long after Boyz N The Hood exploded on the scene, my phone rang. It was John Singleton. John did not know me at all. But someone at USC had told him I was talented and he was kindly calling to offer me some words of encouragement. He told me to keep writing. I never forgot it. Praying for him and for his family now." — Shonda Rhimes, via Instagram.
"#johnsingleton Needless to say we go way, way back... There are no words to convey the absolute loss and sadness I feel right now. John was there for his fellow filmmakers, always. All we had to do was look up and he would be there smiling and applauding our efforts." — Filmmaker Julie Dash, via Twitter.
"He was early in the game and he broke through and because of him a lot of good stuff is happening today." — Filmmaker John Waters, at the 50th anniversary gala of Film at Lincoln Center.
"It's very tragic. I feel a big loss. Somebody innovative, incredible energy. ... We need our energized people, filmmakers, artists, and he was an important one." — Filmmaker Jim Jarmusch, at the 50th anniversary gala of Film at Lincoln Center.
This time last year, Avengers: Infinity War shifted the Marvel Cinematic Universe by introducing something it had been mostly lacking in: stakes. Set aside the power of the Infinity Stones that Thanos (Josh Brolin) collectively used to wipe out half of all life in the universe at the end of the film, every punch and kick delivered by the purple giant — and his capable minions — carried a real sense of threat throughout. Vulnerable, always a step behind, and ultimately over-powered, the titular team of superheroes and their allies were dealt a heavy loss. As its direct follow-up, Avengers: Endgame picks up on the natural next step after a defeat — reflection and grief. Here's Avengers: Endgame review by NDTV.
For Marvel fans, it's clear that the in-movie universe must return to a semblance of normalcy, for the studios involved need this ever-expanding project to live long and prosper. (Pardon the cross-fandom reference.) But Avengers: Endgame has time on its side — yes, it's the longest Marvel film ever with a runtime of 181 minutes — before it must bother putting things back in order. As such, it can take its own sweet time in letting the remaining ones process their emotions as they deal with the fallout of Infinity War. Failure isn't something they are used to — they aren't just heroes, they are superheroes — and this particular one has a special bitter taste to it.
No spoilers ahead, although there are mild suggestions and veiled references that Marvel diehards might wish to avoid. If you prefer to go in completely blind, come back after you've seen the film.
The entire first act of Avengers: Endgame gives us a peek at what coping looks for the original band of Avengers, who were conveniently left untouched by the universe-altering snap of Thanos' fingers. (It's impossible to properly talk about Avengers: Endgame without giving anything away, so we'll stick to vague descriptions.) Blaming others, some have ventured towards a peaceful existence while some are taking it out on the world, some are living in denial while asking others to move on, some wallow in their failure and do their best to serve the best they can, and others have virtually given up and let life take its course. Except for the last stage — acceptance — in the five stages of grief, all are accounted for here.
These scenes allow the actors to reach into a different side of their characters, which in turn expands our understanding of them and deepens how we feel about and for them. But thanks to its runtime, Avengers: Endgame can do a lot more than just that. It has a three-act structure like most films, but it can also be viewed as three movies in one. The first one offering a meditative reflection on grief and loss, the second giving them hope to get back up and come up with a plan, and a final third that delivers bucket-loads of fan service in true comic book-style fashion. Avengers: Endgame needs the three-hour runtime to honour all that, and along the way, it earns that crazy length.
Avengers: Endgame is also several films in one because of how it's meant to serve as a farewell tour for the original gang of six who headlined The Avengers: Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Captain America (Chris Evans), the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner). Since it's the final chapter for most, Avengers: Endgame is naturally built around them, so it can tie up and put a bow on their standalone arcs. And it delivers on most accounts, with a couple of tragic deaths, a dose of wish fulfilment, and even a possible tease of an enticing future. That does mean other characters, War Machine (Don Cheadle), Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) and Rocket (Bradley Cooper), aren't as well-serviced, others like Nebula (Karen Gillan) merely serve the plot, while the likes of Captain Marvel (Brie Larson) barely feature.
For what it's worth, that reduced focus allows Avengers: Endgame to go deep with most. It's testament to the directors Anthony and Joe Russo, working off a script by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely — the team of four have previously given us Infinity War, in addition to the Captain America chapters The Winter Soldier and Civil War — that the film balances its many elements. Avengers: Endgame will alternately make you shed tears, giddy at the possibilities, excited for what's coming, whoop when you witness it, and nostalgic for the MCU past. It succeeds in mixing the dramatic and the comedic moments, which serve to complement each other, while delivering some whole-hearted entertainment.
Interestingly, for a blockbuster franchise centred on individuals with varying abilities, the action in Avengers: Endgame — at least for most of its runtime — comes in spurts. It stitches together the convoluted narrative that makes up the Avengers' newest mission, which is more about stealth than all-out warfare. But one constant in Avengers: Endgame's action is the sheer fan service, which partly relies on foreshadowing, unexpected happenings, and an assemblage of female characters who haven't been given their due share — only two, the Wasp (Evangeline Lily) and Captain Marvel, have ever been part of a film's title yet and only one, the latter, has a solo film — which only serves to highlight one of the problems with Marvel's first decade.
Even then, the film always earns its moments. And that's the biggest thing about Avengers: Endgame. Marvel has put the work in to earn what it brings to the table here. Every piece of it connects to the past in one way or another, which helps the film and enriches the original work too. The writers have infused their script with payoffs that traverse the history of the Marvel universe, on the back of unexpected reunions and poignant meetings that help craft several emotional moments. And it builds on what we've seen before, like Iron Man and Captain America's dynamic from Civil War, Thor and Hulk's relationship from Ragnarok, and Hawkeye and Black Widow's personal history that has seen the two help each other through their worst.
So much of it works because we've lived with these characters, having been first introduced to some of them a decade ago. And by having brought them together over the years, Marvel has strengthened the bonds between them, which now serves Avengers: Endgame. The Infinity Stones mostly came off as gimmicks whenever they showed up, in the likes of The Avengers, Thor: The Dark World, Guardians of the Galaxy, Avengers: Age of Ultron, and Doctor Strange. But thanks to those breadcrumbs, even the terrible parts become useful and are much more resonant in Avengers: Endgame, which also stands on the shoulders of a few giants as it goes about its narrative work. Now, everything is part of a whole that's greater than the sum of its parts.
That's also why Avengers: Endgame is simply not meant for newcomers. While Infinity War was more welcoming and could be enjoyed by those who had only seen half a dozen Marvel entries, Avengers: Endgame references and touches upon a lot further into the back catalogue. The film does its best to explain away those moments for those that haven't seen the prior adventures, but admittedly, they work a lot better as call-backs and winks to the audience. Avengers: Endgame is then clearly a love letter to the existing fanbase, which at times feels like a reminder of the wonderful moments the MCU has given us. That said, it's never gratuitous — the inclusion is justified in its importance to the overall narrative.
In celebrating the past, Avengers: Endgame does more than just help bid goodbye to the original gang, some of whom pass the torch to the next generation before they walk off into the sunset. (After all, Marvel has the future to think of.) It allows the audience to reflect on their own emotions as well, for how the superheroes speak to them about responsibility, teamwork, and love among other things. Avengers: Endgame is the culmination of what is ultimately a blockbuster TV show on the big screen. The MCU is unique in what it has achieved here, and it makes you wonder if Marvel itself, let alone someone else, can create something like this again. For the time being, it leaves diehards with many questions for what's to come and how the universe will proceed after such a seismic event.
Rio de Janeiro, Apr 28 (AP/UNB) — A model participating in Sao Paulo's Fashion Week has died after getting sick and falling on the catwalk.
A statement from organizers said Tales Soares took ill Saturday while in a parade of fashion brand Ocksa. A medical team attended to him on the catwalk and Soares was later taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
The statement did not provide more details.
Daily Folha de S. Paulo reported that Soares tripped on his shoelace and fell. According to the paper, people in the crowd initially thought his fall was part of a performance.
A photo in the newspaper showed the model lying face down on the catwalk while paramedics attended to him. The paper reported Soares was 26 years old.
New York (AP) — "Avengers: Endgame" is crushing the competition by setting multiple records at the box office a day after its release.
The Walt Disney Co. says domestically the film opened Friday with a record $156.7 million (including Thursday previews), besting "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" ($119 million in 2015, though it played on fewer screens) and "Avengers: Infinity War" ($106 million in 2018).
Outside the U.S., "Avengers: Endgame" broke another record by grossing an estimated $487 million at the end of Friday, surpassing "The Fate of the Furious" aka "Fast & Furious 8" ($443 million in 2017).
The Marvel Comics superhero film also broke the record for the highest opening weekend globally of all time with $644 million at the end of Friday. The previous record holder was "Infinity War" with $641 million.
Los Angeles, Apr 27 (AP/UNB) — "Avengers: Endgame" has gotten off to a mighty start at the box office, earning a record $60 million from Thursday night preview showings in North America, according to the Walt Disney Co.
The previous record holder was "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" which earned $57 million from Thursday previews in 2015, though "Avengers: Endgame" was shown in more theaters.
Internationally, Disney said on Friday that "Avengers: Endgame" has already grossed $305 million in its first two days in theaters with over half of that tally coming from China.
Box office prognosticators are projecting that the film could earn anywhere from $260 million to $300 million domestically, and between $800 million and $1 billion globally when the dust settles and final numbers are reported Monday.