Film Review: Chilean miners film resorts too often to formula
This photo shows Antonio Banderas as Mario
Sepulveda in Alcon Entertainment’s true-life drama “The 33,” a Warner Bros.
Pictures release. (Beatrice Aguirre/Warner Bros. Pictures via AP)
Los Angeles (AP) - Movies are forever trying to capture the essence
of the human spirit, and by that measure, it’s hard to imagine there was
ever a story more tailor-made for the movies than the incredible 2010
Chilean mine rescue. If the details are hazy in your mind, just go to
YouTube right now and watch the first miner reach the surface in that tiny
capsule they built. We dare you not to cry.
And that’s actually part of the problem with “The 33,” directed by Patricia
Riggen. The real-life saga was so visceral — and so visual, unfolding as it
did on live TV — that it’s tough to beat the memory. You could say that such
a movie writes itself, but that’s not true — a cinematic portrayal of an
event so recent needs to do something creative to move things forward,
present a new angle, offer a different perspective. “The 33” is
well-meaning, well-crafted and faithful to the source material, but
ultimately it feels disappointingly formulaic.
We begin with a happy scene, a festive retirement party. There, we meet many
of the men, including Mario Sepulveda (Antonio Banderas), the most
charismatic of the bunch; he asks supervisor Don Lucho (Lou Diamond
Phillips) if he can work the next day, though it’s his day off.
In the village, we also quickly meet Dario Segovia (Juan Pablo Raba), a
troubled miner with an addiction problem, and the caring older sister he
neglects, the empanada-seller Maria (Juliette Binoche, in an underdrawn role
that never quite seems to fit).
Alas, these hasty interchanges don’t give much meaningful insight into the
characters (indeed, the script’s thin characterizations are the weak link of
the film.) The next day, the men arrive at the mouth of the mine. “Is this
the only way in?” asks newcomer Carlos. “The only way in, and the only way
out,” replies Banderas’ Mario, doing the most with a line that’s a little
And then the mine collapses, with frightening violence. Now we have,
essentially, two dramas unfolding: Above ground, where the desperate
families have set up camp, and below, where 33 men are trapped 2,300 feet
down in searing heat. In the so-called “refuge,” food provisions consist of
a few cans of tuna, some cookies, a bit of milk. Don Lucho informs the men
that death is surely imminent. “It took 100 years for them to dig this
deep,” he says. “We’re too far down.”
On the surface, primary responsibility falls to the brand-new minister of
mining, Laurence Golborne (Rodrigo Santoro, whose face you know because he’s
the handsomest guy in any movie he’s in). It falls to Golborne to keep the
family members — particularly the feisty, insistent Maria — informed, and at
one point to convince even chief engineer Andre Sougarret (Gabriel Byrne,
also underused) that hope is alive.
The men are left to subsist on 100 calories per day. A bite of canned tuna
turns, in the film’s most interesting scene, into a dreamlike feast for each
one. This fantasy sequence is compelling but a bit jarring, too, considering
the film’s otherwise straightforward tone.
The men are close to starving when the drill finally breaks through and
they’re able to send up a note, in red paint, saying all 33 are alive. At
this point, moviegoer, you’ll need your Kleenex.
But it will take nearly two more months — to day 69 — to get the men out.
Fights erupt; egos clash. And then the first man is wedging himself into
that tiny capsule. The rescuers don’t know if it’ll work.
We end with real footage of the men today, together on a beach, and it’s a
moving sight. Their story will never get old. It would have been nice,
though, to see it told here with a little more imagination and a little less
“The 33,” a Warner Bros. release, is rated PG-13 by the Motion Picture
Association of America for “a disaster sequence and some language.” Running
time: 127 minutes. Two stars out of four.
MPAA definition of PG-13: Parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be
inappropriate for children under 13.
Adele’s ‘25’ lives up to all of its expectations
Singer Adele performs on stage in this Feb. 24,
2013 file photo. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
Can Adele even sing a B-level song?
Every track on her highly anticipated “25” sounds grand, from the piano tune
“Remedy” to “Water Under the Bridge,” which is layered and full of echoes
and sounds as if it was created just to be performed live.
And even when the singer collaborates with producers who at times sound
formulaic and radio friendly, she brings them to new levels. Max Martin, who
has created pop anthems for Katy Perry, Britney Spears and Taylor Swift,
sounds unrecognizable on “Send My Love (To Your New Lover),” which has Adele
on guitar. Bruno Mars and his producer cohorts, Philip Lawrence and
Christopher Brody Brown, work more than magic on the R&B-flavored “All I
Ask,” another piano tune that immediately grabs your attention.
And that’s just it: “25” not only meets incredibly high expectations, it
Adele’s growth is best heard on “Million Years Ago,” a touching, soft song
that is majestic and unforgettable.
“Sometimes I just feel it’s only me, who never became who they thought
they’d be, I wish I could live a little more, look up to the sky, not just
the floor,” she sings in her top-notch tone.
The 11-track album is not a far stretch from “21,” the singer’s best-selling
2011 album that helped her reach nearly impossible heights in contemporary
music. “Love In the Dark,” written with Sia collaborator Samuel Dixon, is
reminiscent of “Turning Tables” from “21”; she’s looking back on “When We
Were Young,” which sounds like a pop classic; and the drum-filled “I Miss
You” is eerie and moody — in a good way.
Even the top-selling single, “Hello,” continues to sound better and better
after each listen.
“Hello, can you hear me?” she sings.
Yes, Adele. And we’re so glad we do.
Enya returns with ethereal style she’s made her own
Singer Enya poses for a photo in New York to
promote her new album “Dark Sky Island.” (Photo by Drew Gurian/Invision/AP)
New York (AP) - The Irish singer Eithne Ni Bhraonain — known to the
world as Enya — has essentially created her own style of music and sold some
80 million CDs in three decades. Yet when she leaves a hotel after talking
about her first new work in seven years, chances are she will walk Manhattan
It’s an enviable place to be in a celebrity-soaked world.
“As a musician, I love the fact that the success was on the music,” she
said. “I always say that fame and success are two very different things. ...
I had a choice — and not a lot of people have this choice — of whether to
seek fame with this music or whether to stay back behind the music and let
the music speak for itself. And, really, that’s what I did.”
Enya’s music re-entered the spotlight last week, with the release of “Dark
Sky Island.” It debuted the same day another one-named powerhouse came out
with her new album — Adele with her “25.”
The music industry will be watching to see in this era of streaming and
sharing if Enya can replicate past success. Nielsen Music says she’s sold
23.8 million albums in the United States alone.
However, there is reason for added excitement: Enya fans are being teased
with the possibility that the 54-year-old singer, who rarely sings in
public, may actually be ready to take the stage.
“Performing is something I enjoy,” she said. “The way we put an album
together is very much a performance feel. We’re trying to capture that live
performance and that’s why I would know it would work on stage, and I would
love to perform it.”
So why hasn’t she done so in the past?
“Time,” she said.
Making Enya’s music takes a lot of it. She sang in the family band Clannad
in the 1980s until she, producer Nicky Ryan and his wife, lyricist Roma
Ryan, hit upon their signature style. A fan of producer Phil Spector and the
Beach Boys, Nicky Ryan uses Enya’s voice as an instrument, piling vocal
tracks on top of each other, usually on a bed of synthesizers. Often she
sings in her native Gaelic and other languages, even fictional ones.
Enya often wonders if it bothers her fans not to understand what she’s
singing about. “They all seem to pick up on the emotional performances of
the song and seem to interpret their own emotions with the music,” she said.
She’s not fond of the term New Age, but it’s the category the Grammys have
used to give her four awards.
Since the song “Orinico Flow” and album “Watermark” were hits in the late
1980s, Enya’s professional life has been consistent. She and the Ryans work
as a team in an Irish studio. The music is meticulously crafted; sometimes
Enya will record dozens, if not hundreds, of vocal tracks for a song, then
erase them if the idea doesn’t gel. Each album takes a minimum of three
years to make, with the gap before “Dark Sky Island” larger because she took
time to travel.
At the first sign of success, Enya’s record company suggested a concert
tour. Enya knew it would take a lot to present the music live — choirs,
maybe an orchestra. Her cost-conscious company wanted something smaller, so
instead she returned to the recording studio. A pattern was set and never
“Once I start an album, that’s all I will focus on,” she said. “But as soon
as I walk away, which was only recently, you start to think, ‘Is this the
album that we finally follow with live performances?’ Because we have such a
choice of songs from each album.”
She’s occasionally performed on television shows and describes the
experience as “wonderful.”
Cameron Strang, chairman and CEO of Warner Bros., her record label, admitted
he was surprised when Enya raised the possibility of performances with the
new record. “The assumption was that she wouldn’t be interested,” he said.
“We would love to see her tour,” he said. “I think that there might be some
surprising moments coming for people, which we’re excited about.”
Film Review: A stoner who can smoke ‘em down in ‘American Ultra’
John Leguizamo (left) and Jesse Eisenberg are
shown in a scene from “American Ultra.” (AP Photo/Lionsgate)
The likably awkward chemistry of Kristen Stewart and Jesse Eisenberg remains
intact in “American Ultra,” a violent stoner action-comedy that’s half
“Pineapple Express,” half “The Bourne Identity,” and not as good as either.
Stewart and Eisenberg, who starred together in the splendidly low-key summer
comedy “Adventureland,” again come together as an appealing, mutually
mop-headed tandem that matches Eisenberg’s stuttering unease with Stewart’s
They play a flannel-wearing West Virginia couple, Mike and Phoebe, happy
together despite Mike’s weed habit, perpetual apologizing and panic attacks
from just about anything that upsets his seemingly innate inertia. Looking
at a car that’s crashed into a tree, he wonders to Phoebe, placating and
devoted, if he’s the tree and she’s the car.
The small-town, low-stakes drama of “American Ultra” is convincing in the
beginning, thanks to the two stars. But it’s a setup.
Unbeknownst to Mike, a convenience store clerk, he’s an elite killing
machine trained by the CIA, a decommissioned government experiment. Few in
the movies would be a more unlikely secret agent than Eisenberg. Did the
program include Michael Cera? Was Woody Allen in charge?
Switching to Langley, the film, directed by Nima Nourizadeh (“Project X”)
and written by Max Landis (“Chronicle”), fills in the backstory. A petulant
young agent (Topher Grace) has risen in the ranks and now wants to eliminate
evidence of the experiment that gave Mike his secret talents, overseen by
Connie Britton’s more sympathetic Victoria Lasseter.
To prevent her former student’s death, she sneaks to the convenience store
and activates Mike with a few code words. When a handful of thugs come to
kill him, Mike is astounded to find himself expertly stabbing one with a
spoon. Afterward, he cowers behind a lamppost, looking at the bloody
wreckage: “I have, like, a lot of anxiety about this,” he tells Phoebe.
Much mayhem ensues, surprisingly violent and cartoonish in its extremes. The
small town comes entirely under siege. “American Ultra” is a stoner’s
paranoia come to life. A toothless Walton Goggins joins the strong ensemble
as the nuttiest of the CIA’s small army, along with John Leguizamo as a
local drug dealer.
The assembled talent could use more character development and a little more
wit in place of the sadistic, fun-draining comic-book action scenes that
increasingly co-opts the comedy, which is too dependent on the eventually
tiresome joke of Eisenberg as action hero.
But “American Ultra” has its simple genre charms, thanks significantly to
its entertaining cast and leading pair. Stewart, in particular, looks like
she’s punching below her weight class. As is often the case, Stewart’s the
best thing in the movie. And she and Eisenberg remain lazy losers we can
love, Bonnie and Clyde for a more laid-back generation.
“American Ultra,” a Lionsgate release, is rated R by the Motion Picture
Association of America for “strong bloody violence, language throughout,
drug use and some sexual content.” Running time: 96 minutes. Two and a half
stars out of four.
Jolie Pitt turns grief over mom’s death into ‘By the Sea’
Angelina Jolie Pitt arrives at the 2015 AFI Fest
opening night premiere of “By The Sea” on Thursday, Nov. 5, in Los Angeles.
(Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)
Los Angeles (AP) - “By the Sea” is a very personal film for Angelina
Jolie Pitt — and not just because it reunites her onscreen with her husband,
Brad Pitt. It’s not even because she wrote, directed, produced and stars in
“By the Sea” is personal because it was inspired by the grief of losing her
mother in 2007, Jolie Pitt said at the film’s premiere in Los Angeles
earlier this month.
She started writing it when she was missing her mother, without knowing
exactly what she was creating.
“When you write something from a blank page, it’s very hard to say, ‘This is
important,’ because you don’t know: It’s your own life. It’s your own
depression. It’s your own questions about your mother. Grief. Where to put
your pain,” Jolie Pitt said. “For me, it was important to try to do it. And
it was important to try to do it for my mother. It was important for myself.
And it was wonderful to work with Brad, and for us to be able to get through
it together, because we tested ourselves to see if we could do something
like this together.”
“By the Sea” is a slow, quiet drama about a wealthy American couple on a
French seaside retreat. Roland (Pitt) is there to write, but mostly just
ends up drinking. Vanessa (Jolie Pitt) is there to relax, but ends up
grumping around and popping pills. They avoid each other and their
relationship is clearly strained. Their dynamic begins to change when they
befriend (and secretly spy on) a newlywed couple on their honeymoon.
The camera lingers on Roland’s lean frame and Vanessa’s face and figure.
As in 2005’s “Mr. & Mrs. Smith,” the two stars play a married pair facing
serious relationship challenges. Only this time, the actors relied on the
strength of their real-life relationship to do it.
“It’s really no different than trying to get the kids to bed at night,” Pitt
said. “I mean, you know, it’s a tag team, Ultimate Wrestling kind of
endeavor. And here on set, again, we’re working together and solving
problems and making the thing work and figuring it out. And there’s just a
great collaboration. She’s just, she’s my wife.”
As for being directed by his spouse?
“She’s very decisive. She’s really intuitive,” Pitt said. “Her instincts are
really good with stories. So, I really trust her when she redirects a
Jolie Pitt loved working with her husband, too.
“You’re going to have a long life ahead of you and you’ve got to shake it up
and, sometimes, it’s really wonderful to test yourselves, to push each
other,” she said. “I talked to (actress) Gena Rowlands. She was talking
before, and how she and (director-husband) John (Cassavetes) would take the
rubber band and you stretch it as far as you can. And this is a part of
marriage and this is wonderful. So, that I loved. And that was what we did.”
Pattaya Music Festival going ‘international’ again in 2016
Pattaya plans to re-introduce the word “international” to its annual music
festival next year, inviting 10 artists from Southeast Asian neighbors to
celebrate the start of the Asean Economic Community.
A budget of 25 million baht has been set aside for the March 18-20 festival
with musical acts from Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar,
Philippines, Singapore, and Vietnam tentatively set to perform.
At a Nov. 3 planning meeting, city officials and business leaders discussed
optimal locations for three stages, with the decision made to place them at
the Dusit curve, Central Festival Pattaya Beach and at the mouth of Walking
Authorities will make sure that there is plenty of space for food stalls,
small product shops and tight security as well.
One highlight of the event will feature the Dutch Swing College Band, a band
that has proved very popular in Pattaya during their previous performances.
Other than that, many different styles of music will be available, including
world, country, and rock music.
Once a staple of the annual music fest, international acts were dropped
several years ago as the event downsized following 2011’s devastating floods
and delays caused in 2012 by a royal funeral and Songkran.
‘Spectre’ stirs, doesn’t shake old Bond formulas
Daniel Craig is shown in a scene from the James
Bond film, “Spectre.” (Jonathan Olley/Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures/Columbia
Pictures/EON Productions via AP)
Los Angeles (AP) - Where to go when 53 years of action-scene set
pieces have exhausted seemingly every exotic corner of the Earth? How much
globe can a globe-trotter trot?
The answer kicking off the latest James Bond film, “Spectre,” is a doozy.
Beginning with the words “the dead are alive” across the screen, director
Sam Mendes opens on a long shot through the Day of the Dead in Mexico City,
tracking Bond (Daniel Craig), masked but unmissable in a skeleton costume,
through the festive throngs. He ushers a woman (Stephanie Sigman) out of the
masses and into her bed, only to disrobe into a suit, step out the window
and stride down the ledge. Finally spying his real prey, explosions follow,
walls collapse and the resulting chase spins into a helicopter careening
over a mobbed Zocalo Square.
It’s a sequence of such startling audacity (some 1,500 extra were used) and
gorgeous black-on-sepia tones that a nagging desire to hit “rewind” persists
through the rest of “Spectre.” Handsome and riveting as it often is, the
film never again reaches such heights.
It’s not for lack of effort. Mendes, who helmed the last entry, the smash
“Skyfall,” has raised the bar on 007, pushing the budgets and the
grandiosity in a bid to not just reinvent the franchise but overwhelm it
with eye-popping craft.
“Spectre” is Craig’s fourth Bond movie and his muscular tenure has been
defined not just by his full embodiment of the character, but his overall
stewardship. His ability to attract top-notch talent, in front and behind
the camera, and to imbue the spy series with a seriousness of purpose reads
in every frame. His Bond may still sip martinis, but he’s stone-cold sober.
Having ushered 007 through the Eva Green highs of “Casino Royale,” the
overwrought lows of “Quantum of Solace” and the climactic extravagance of
“Skyfall,” ‘’Spectre” finds Craig’s Bond pursuing the videotaped orders of
Judi Dench’s late M in a more traditional 007 plot. Her instructions lead
him to a shadowy international criminal organization led by a longtime Bond
villain, Franz Oberhauser (Christoph Waltz).
The pursuit skirts the snowy peaks of Austria, the cloak-and-danger
cobblestones of Rome and the Mediterranean maze of Tangier, with enough
corresponding outfit changes to stock a runway show. Bond is operating
outside of MI5, where new head Max Denbigh (Andrew Scott) is overhauling the
intelligence services with digital surveillance that he says will render the
old-fashioned 00 program obsolete.
The surveillance reference is a mostly shallow attempt at political depth.
But such self-aware conflicts between new and old now constantly bounce
throughout Bond films. The mythology, fearful of showing its age, is
perpetually torn down and built back up again like an ever-rebooting
superhero. Every gesture (and drink order) is a winking comment on 007
traditions; even the opening recalls the New Orleans funeral march of “Live
and Let Die.” When it works, it’s refreshing; when it doesn’t, it’s merely
“Spectre,” scripted by John Logan, Neal Purvis and Robert Wade, feels more
like the latter. For the first time, all of Craig’s reinvention hasn’t
carried Bond all that much further than where the spy always was —
especially when it comes to the women that adorn “Spectre.”
First there’s Monica Belluci as the widow of the man Bond kills in Mexico
City. He sleeps with her after picking her up at the funeral. She’s quickly
dispatched for Madeleine Swann (Lea Seydoux), whose family connections bring
Bond closer to the elusive Oberhauser.
Seydoux, the French actress of “Blue is the Warmest Color,” gives the film a
jolt, but the romance between Swann and Bond is slight and the character is
little more than Bond’s usual love interest. That said, the seductive
Seydoux and the sinewy Craig make an attractive pair. When they eventually
arrive at a remote Sahara outpost, they could really just stay there,
handsomely smoldering in the dry heat like a Hemingway couple.
What’s missing most is the steely spine of Dench. The off-kilter menace of
Waltz would seem perfectly suited for “Spectre,” but his scenes pale in
comparison with Javier Bardem’s Raoul Silva in “Skyfall.”
Also with big shoes to fill is cinematographer Hoyte van Hoytema, stepping
in for Roger Deakins. He surrounds the film with shadows and reflective
mirrors, ably capturing Craig’s slinky stride in any locale.
“Spectre,” a Sony Pictures release, is rated PG-13 by the Motion Picture
Association of America for “intense sequences of action and violence, some
disturbing images, sensuality and language.” Running time: 148 minutes. Two
and a half stars out of four.
Film Review: ‘Sicario’ a searing, sad portrait of border drug war
Actress Emily Blunt is shown as Kate Macer in a
scene from the film “Sicario.” (Richard Foreman, Jr. SMPSP/Lionsgate via AP)
Los Angeles (AP) - The billion-dollar drug trade along the
U.S.-Mexico border is so bloody and lawless, the line between right and
wrong has become impossibly blurred.
Such is the dilemma in “Sicario,” a grisly, disturbing portrait of the
malignance and corruption inherent in the war on drugs.
Troubling, sad and deeply compelling, this film succeeds on every level:
story, performance, music and photography. But the subject and perspective
In his debut screenplay, Taylor Sheridan (best known for his recurring role
on “Sons of Anarchy”) explores the complicated legal and moral territory
tread by officials on both sides of the border. A Texas native, he visited
northern Mexico often as a kid and wanted to examine the anarchic violence
that now reigns there. He found a rocky landscape where even the most
righteous can find themselves doing wrong.
Director Denis Villeneuve skillfully brings Sheridan’s story to life,
setting finely tuned performances to a cacophonous soundtrack under Roger
Deakins’ masterful lens to create a searing and timely thriller.
Kate (Emily Blunt) is a by-the-books FBI agent invited to join a covert
operation after discovering a house full of corpses owned by a Mexican drug
cartel. On board the secret mission, she meets cocky government agent Matt
(Josh Brolin) and mysterious operative Alejandro (Benicio del Toro), both of
whom willingly bend the law as their needs dictate.
Told she’ll be traveling to El Paso, Texas, Kate is whisked into Juarez,
Mexico, the drug cartels’ blood-spattered battleground, where headless
bodies hang from bridges and gunfire rattles as background noise. She’s
hoping to arrest those responsible for the murders of the people in that
house, but Alejandro and Matt have bigger plans: They want the cartel
kingpin, and they’re not trying to arrest him.
Complicating things further, Kate learns that Alejandro doesn’t represent
the U.S. government, but works for the Colombian drug cartels, which stand
to benefit from a shutdown in Mexico’s business. He is vengeful and focused,
cryptic and poetic. To him, finding the cartel boss “would be like
discovering a vaccine” to the addiction, death and corruption drugs cause.
Curiosity and duty obligate Kate to continue the mission, to see how deep
the trouble goes. She desperately clings to her notions of justice as order
unravels around her.
Blunt and Del Toro each act with their eyes, which is perfect here. Hers
alternately convey interest, anxiety and determination. His half-mast glance
says Alejandro has seen more than he wanted to. As the story progresses,
Alejandro’s personal connection to the cartels becomes more clear, blurring
the shades of gray even more.
Deakins’ breathtaking photography is all about darkness and light and the
space between the two, a perfect visual expression of the story’s theme.
Dust in a beam of light somehow bodes ominously. The shadow of a plane, tiny
against Mexico’s vast desert, speaks to the scope of the war on drugs. At
times, the audience sees through grainy security cameras and thermal-imaging
goggles. After 11 nominations, let this be the film that finally brings
Deakins his Oscar.
The sense of doom in “Sicario” also comes through in Johann Johannsson’s
foreboding score, which goes from industrial grating to sounding like a fog
horn with bad intentions.
Villeneuve has crafted a compelling, unflinching look at the deadly and
complicated war on drugs sure to challenge even the most straight-edged and
law-abiding viewers, showing that what’s right and wrong isn’t always so
The director will take on that theme again in his next film, the sequel to
“Blade Runner.” ‘’Sicario” says he’s ready.
“Sicario,” a Lionsgate release, is rated R by the Motion Picture Association
of America for “for strong violence, grisly images, and language.” Running
time: 121 minutes. Three and a half stars out of four.
Daniel Craig won’t say whether ‘Spectre’ is his 007 swansong
Daniel Craig. (Photo by Joel Ryan/Invision/AP)
London (AP) - Is “Spectre” Daniel Craig’s Bond swansong?
We’ll have to wait and see.
The British actor makes his fourth appearance as suave secret agent 007 in
the Sam Mendes-directed film, which had its world premiere in London last
Speculation has swirled that it will be Craig’s last film as James Bond ever
since the actor told Time Out magazine that he would only make another Bond
movie “for the money.”
But in answer to the rumours, Craig said that “I love making these films.”
Asked by Britain’s Press Association about returning to Bond, Craig joked:
“Do I have a choice?”
Bond battles a shadowy international conspiracy in “Spectre,” which stars
Oscar winner Christoph Waltz as 007’s nemesis. The film opens in Thailand on
DiCaprio finds joy in Macau
project with De Niro, Scorsese
(From left) film stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert
De Niro and director Martin Scorsese pose for photos during a launching
ceremony of the Studio City project in Macau, Tuesday, Oct. 27. (AP
Macau (AP) - Leonardo DiCaprio says being able to work with his two
cinematic father figures on a short film commissioned for the opening of a
Macau casino resort was “a slice of heaven.”
He spoke in the Asian gambling mecca ahead of last week’s debut of “The
Audition,” which also stars Robert De Niro and was directed by Martin
Scorsese, who also attended the press briefing.
DiCaprio said that “for me the great joy was finally getting to be on set
with both of these guys.”
“To be able to have scenes with Bob and being directed by Marty is a small
slice of heaven for me as an actor,” DiCaprio said. He described the two as
like his “fathers in the world of cinema.”
The 15-minute film’s premiere is part of the star-studded lineup to launch
Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd.’s Hollywood-themed Studio City resort in
Macau. The casino’s ability to draw such star power attests to the rising
influence of the special Chinese region, which has grown into the world’s
top gambling market.
Scorsese described the film as “reality-based with some humor.” The plot has
DiCaprio and De Niro invited to Macau by Scorsese to compete for the same
part in a movie. Brad Pitt also appears in the film but did not attend the
Scorsese has directed multiple films with DiCaprio or De Niro, but “The
Audition” marks the first time the three, along with Pitt, have
Producer Brett Ratner said he hoped that the short could be turned into a
“It’s just a teaser. We come to Macau, Marty comes here, lives at the hotel
for three months, six months and we make a big event movie,” he said.
Q&A: On new album, Bocelli celebrates the music of movies
Bocelli poses for a portrait in New York, Oct. 29, 2015. (Photo by Drew
New York (AP) - Andrea Bocelli’s new album “Cinema,” a collection of
songs from movies, is the culmination of a longtime dream.
The classically inspired singer fell in love with many songs as a child that
he didn’t know came from the movies.
Now he has gone back to his childhood memories and recorded some of those
songs, including classics like “Moon River” and “Cheek to Cheek.” Pop star
Ariana Grande also appears on the song “E piu ti penso.”
Bocelli, fresh off a performance for Pope Francis in Philadelphia and ahead
of a U.S. tour in December, sat down with The Associated Press to discuss
the album and more last week.
AP: Why an album of movie songs?
Bocelli: The music of the movies is a very inspired and free and beautiful
music. It’s a music of freedom — like a big field where the composers can
gather and run wherever they want. And, finally, it is inspired by emotion.
AP: You’ve had a real crossover career — alternating between classical and
pop music. Is there a big difference in how you approach the different forms
Bocelli: I do my best in order to be a good inspiration for many people.
There is a difference from the point of view of expression. Because when you
sing opera you are very far from the people, you are onstage, and between
you and the people there is the orchestra. So you have to launch your
emotions very, very far. When you sing pop, you are singing very close — the
microphone is very close to your mouth. You can whisper your emotions into
AP: What’s your favorite movie song?
Bocelli: There are many masterpieces. I love very much for example “Moon
River” (from “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.”) But I can’t choose, it wouldn’t be
AP: You recently sang for Pope Francis in Philadelphia. What was that
Bocelli: The pope is a very special man. (Even) apart from religion, he’s a
AP: Did your children inherit a love of music from you? Can it be inherited?
Bocelli: Virginia, the last (youngest) one, sings every day. All day. The
other two study piano. I think you do (inherit it), but also there’s the
possibility of educating people to listen to music. Because if you don’t
have the possibility of listening to music, you can’t know if you love it.
AP: If you hadn’t become a singer, what career would you have chosen?
Bocelli: I studied law, and I was ready to be a lawyer in my country
(Italy). Probably it is better for many clients that I changed my direction!
But I was happy to study and I was a good student, I finished my studies.
And everything that you learn is useful in life.
Bieber quits concert because fans won’t listen to him
Copenhagen, Denmark (AP) -
Canadian pop star Justin Bieber says he stopped a concert in Oslo after one
song because fans got in his way as he tried to wipe up liquid on stage.
On Instagram, he wrote that he “chose to end the show as the people in the
front row would not listen.” Videos posted on social media show a visibly
irritated Bieber saying “Gimme a second. Guys, I am done. I am not gonna do
The 21-year-old singer removed his cap and headset as he walked off the
stage at Oslo’s Chateau Neuf concert hall before some 1,000 screaming fans.
Bieber, who earlier last week quit a radio show in Spain, blamed a rough
week, saying “I don’t always handle things the right way but I’m human.”