Dhaka, Jun 23 (UNB) - After Zero’s failure at the box office, there were rumours that Shah Rukh Khan will take over the silver screens once again with Rakesh Sharma’s biopic Saare Jahaan Se Accha. Later, he was also rumoured to have met Sanjay Leela Bhansali for his directorial project based on the life of Sahir Ludhianvi. But all the reports were put to rest by the man himself, reports the Indian Express.
“I have no film with me right now. I am not working on any film. Usually what happens is when your one film is coming to an end, you begin work on your next film and I get involved within 3-4 months. But this time I am just not feeling like…My heart doesn’t allow me to..I just felt that I should rather take time out, watch films, listen to stories and read more books,” Shah Rukh told Filmfare.
“Even my kids are in their college stage…my daughter is going to college and my son is about to finish his studies. So I just want to spend more time with my family,” the actor added.
However, Shah Rukh is keeping himself busy with his production ventures. He is producing Bard of Blood for Netflix. Recently, he announced that he would be dubbing for Mufasa while his son Aryan Khan will be voicing Simba in Disney’s upcoming live-action version of The Lion King.
Los Angeles, Jun 23 (AP/UNB) — Academy Award-winning actor Geena Davis says achieving gender parity on screen is simple, and it could happen overnight.
"Just go through (the script) and cross out a bunch of male first names and put female first names. That's all you have to do," Davis told the audience during a panel Saturday at AT&T's SHAPE media conference in the Los Angeles suburb of Burbank.
Davis joined fellow actor Mayim Bialik on stage at the conference to discuss how gender parity in media can create social change. The conversation revolved around the need for diversity on screen to break stereotypes and encourage young people to pursue careers they might otherwise have felt were off limits to them.
"Of course, why wouldn't we need to see people who are like us to be able to imagine what we could become?" Bialik said.
The panel was born from a study conducted by the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media that found women felt encouraged to pursue scientific, medical and engineering (STEM) careers because of "X-Files" character Dana Scully, an FBI agent and medical doctor. Of the women surveyed in the study, 63 percent of those working in a STEM field said Scully served as a role model for them growing up.
Bialik, who also holds a doctorate in neuroscience and recently wrapped her time playing the role of neuroscientist Amy Farrah Fowler on "The Big Bang Theory," said seeing characters like Scully on screen and having real-life mentors is crucial for young women to pursue careers in science, medicine and engineering.
"I was raised in a climate where if you didn't learn things as fast as the boys, it meant that it wasn't for you," Bialik said. It's important "to have a mentor, to have someone that you can see is living the life of a scientist and also has a social life — all the things that the lone scientist in the laboratory stereotype doesn't give us."
"You're seeing the full, complicated, amazing woman living life as a scientist," Bialik said of characters like Scully and Fowler. "That's what I needed as a young girl that wasn't there for me."
This doesn't just apply for gender, either. The panelists said that all forms of diversity on screen are necessary, pointing to films like "Hidden Figures," which is about the key role a group of African-American women played in the U.S. space program, as leading the way for more complex stories on people of any gender or race.
"As much as people think Hollywood is liberal and open-minded and progressive thinking, they're doing a worse job of reflecting society than the abysmal numbers in real life," Davis said. "If we show it, it will happen in real life."
Washington, Jun 22 (AP/UNB) — No one arrived in a horse-drawn carriage. But there was valet parking for the guests invited to a "mini-ball" held at the Library of Congress in honor of the Disney film "Cinderella."
The Thursday evening event featured a costumed Cinderella character, who descended the library steps to the cheers of a crowd of children and adults, including some members of Congress and their families.
Before Cinderella made her grand entrance, hundreds watched a screening of the Disney classic animated movie, released 70 years ago. The Library of Congress recently added the film to the National Film Registry.
Attending a brief ceremony to mark the honor were Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden and Mary Walsh, director of the Disney Animation Research Library.
Walsh says though "Cinderella" is 70 years old, it has a message that still resonates today, calling it "a story of perseverance and resiliency." She notes of the movie's heroine, "her life was not easy and she found it within herself to continue to have the strength and determination to hold on to her dreams, no matter what was going on and she did it with kindness and respect."
Walsh notes that despite the harsh treatment Cinderella endured, she chose not to retaliate. And she says that "sends a strong message" about enduring under duress, one that is "as important today as it was 70 years ago."
After the ceremony, Cinderella posed for pictures with a long line of children and adults. For guests seeking to create their own fairy tale images, there were a series of photo backdrops, including one that gave guests the chance to slip their feet into a replica glass slipper.
New York, Jun 22 (AP/UNB) — Harvey Weinstein's lawyers sought Friday to toss out the sex trafficking claims of an actress the disgraced movie-making mogul maintains is trying to capitalize on the legal success of other women.
The lawyers filed papers in Manhattan federal court to try to persuade a judge to reject Wedil David's trafficking claims.
David's lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles in 2017 and moved to New York, said Weinstein raped her in late 2015 after using the promise of a role in a television series, "Marco Polo," to lure her to a Beverly Hills hotel.
According to the lawsuit, David met Weinstein at a 2011 party, and he offered to assist her acting career. It said he invited her to awards show parties for several years afterward.
The latest Weinstein filing in the lawsuit asks a judge to reject her sex trafficking claims, which followed similar claims made by women that other judges have approved. Weinstein is appealing those rulings.
The lawyers urged a judge to stop "the further improper expansion of the laws against human trafficking."
They argued that the sex trafficking act was established to criminalize slavery, involuntary servitude and human trafficking for commercial gain.
"Attempting to apply the Act to this case is an utter perversion of the legislative intent behind the statute," they wrote. "There are no allegations of slavery, involuntary servitude, or human trafficking in the instant case."
They said Weinstein denies even meeting David. Weinstein has denied sexually assaulting any of the women who have made claims against him. Any sex that occurred, his representatives have asserted, was consensual.
The lawyers said David was trying to "draw further headlines and get her case in the public eye by adding a Sex Trafficking claim for no other reason than because other plaintiffs are doing it too."
Douglas H. Wigdor and Kevin Mintzer, lawyers for David, did not immediately comment Friday after Weinstein's lawyers filed their papers.
Wigdor and Mintzer issued a statement last month to say David "steadfastly rejected" a proposed $44 million deal designed to resolve over 15 lawsuits brought by multiple women against Weinstein.
The lawyers said the proposed settlement would let Weinstein and the men who enabled him escape liability and accountability without contributing any money to the deal themselves.
"Our client does not begrudge any victim who accepts a settlement that she finds acceptable. But she will not participate in a process that is fundamentally flawed and unfair," they said.
The Associated Press does not usually identify people alleging sexual assault, but David has spoken publicly about her claims.
New York, June 22 (AP/ UNB) - There are two movies opening this weekend that feature iconic anthropomorphic dolls. Be very careful which one you choose.
“Toy Story 4” has the usual gang of lovable toys led by Woody and Buzz. (Bring tissues.) Then there’s the remake of “Child’s Play,” which has Chucky, the freckle-faced homicidal doll who likes stabbing things. (Bring a strong stomach.)
The reviews for “Toy Story 4″ are pretty good and you might be surprised to find that the ”Child’s Play ” reboot is actually pretty solid, too. It’s a winking, self-aware horror movie that will make you laugh even when things are drenched in blood.
The original “Child’s Play” came out in 1988 and featured the nightmare-creating concept of your dolls coming to life and harming you. It was a fairly straight-ahead horror flick with a dash of commentary on consumerism. But the franchise — six sequels — gradually grew camp, most recently with “Cult of Chucky” in 2017.
The reboot this summer has sidestepped Chuck’s real dad — the writer and director Don Mancini — and freshened the concept for 2019: Chucky is no longer possessed. Now he’s a cloud-connected, self-learning AI doll with wide powers: He controls the lights, TVs, Roomba, cars and other electronic devices. Underneath the gleeful horror is a commentary on our dependence and the interconnectivity of our devices.
Director Lars Klevberg and screenwriter Tyler Burton Smith don’t pretend the killer doll trope hasn’t been done before. They fully dive into it, gently mocking the genre as they exploit it and signal to the audience all along what they’re doing. “You’re my best friend,” says Chucky when he’s taken out of the box. To which his new owner naturally says: “It’s kind of creepy.”
This time, Chucky is created by the nefarious Kaslan Corporation, which has a range of interconnected products. A sweatshop worker in Vietnam tasked with assembling the dolls disconnects one of its security protocols in a fit of pique. It ends up in the hands of a single mother (Aubrey Plaza) and her lonely son, Andy (Gabriel Bateman). Chucky tries to understand human behavior but stumbles at subtlety. He’s imprinted to Andy and lashes out at anything that Andy dislikes, whether that’s the family cat or his mom’s new boyfriend.
The filmmakers have left little Easter eggs throughout the film, from references to “The Texas Chain Saw Massacre” to “Office Space.” They have a jokey tendency to use old-school lightning whenever they want to signal something ominous is happening. The final climactic fight scene happens in a dark basement sporting industrial spinning fans with light and smoke pouring out of them. At one point, there’s a “Star Wars” joke that is extra funny because Mark Hamill is voicing Chucky.
There’s so much tongue-in-cheek humor that even though the body count mounts — and some in the audience may be surprised that death comes to animals and beloved figures alike — there’s really no dread. Somehow, despite “Silence of the Lambs”-level carnage, the gore level doesn’t shock, inoculated as we are by being in on the joke. Riffing off that, composer Bear McCreary leans in on “Omen”-like, ever-building horror music.
The film’s tautness comes and goes, to be honest, never really building to edge-of-your-seat stuff. And it could have had more glee messing with our love of digital convenience. But it takes care of fans of the franchise. The doll comes up with the name Chucky for itself, even though plenty of other options are available. It’s owning its past.
Plaza, known for her comedic chops on “Parks and Recreation,” shows off a winning dramatic side, while Bateman proves to be an actor to watch, able to play alienated teen, surrogate brother, aghast victim and vengeful son. Brian Tyree Henry once again makes the most of his small role as a kindly cop. And Hamill goes to his creepiest place to say things like “Are we having fun now?”
Surprisingly, we are having fun. While most of the oxygen will be taken up this weekend with “Toy Story 4,” credit goes to “Child’s Play” for turning in a solid valentine to the darker side of what “Toy Story” also does — including movie posters that drag the bigger franchise.
“Child’s Play,” an Orion Pictures release, is rated R for “bloody horror violence and language throughout.” Running time: 88 minutes. Three stars out of four.