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Gloria Allred and groups including the National Organization for Women and California Democratic Party Women’s Caucus plan to hand-deliver an open letter to studio brass at MGM headquarters today urging them to release footage from The Apprentice. They believe the release of tapes from the reality show once fronted by Donald Trump is a civic duty and will hold a news conference at 11 AM PT outside the studio’s Beverly Hills building to urge producer Mark Burnett and MGM…
Over 48,000 people have signed a women’s advocacy group’s petition demanding MGM and NBC “stop protecting” Donald Trump and release tapes from “The Apprentice,” following allegations that the GOP candidate used the n-word on the show.
UltraViolet Action’s petition is just 1,300 signatures shy of its 50,000 goal, while a MoveOn.org petition has amassed over 73,000 signatures for the same issue. Both petitions — with a combined 121,000 signatures — will likely reach their goal today, the same day the organizations teamed up with over 3,000 sexual assault survivors to take out a full-page ad in the Washington Post, asking the Republicans to “stop enabling” Trump.
“If you thought the tape of Donald Trump bragging about sexual assault to NBC’s Billy Bush was bad, buckle up,” the identical petitions read. “Multiple TV producers are now saying there’s worse footage, much worse, of Trump saying sexually predatory and extremely racist things.”
“But NBC is refusing to release the footage. In fact for a year now, the network has been protecting Trump–from Matt Lauer’s biased presidential forum to Jimmy Fallon‘s softball interview with Trump,” the petitions continue. “With 29 days left until the election, voters deserve to know just how much of a racist, hate-filled serial sexual predator Trump is.”
On Friday, a video surfaced in which the Republican nominee for president boasted about kissing, groping and having sex with women, saying that “when you’re a star, they let you do anything.”
“I’m automatically attracted to beautiful women — I just start kissing them, it’s like a magnet,” Trump told “Access Hollywood” host Bush in a conversation that was caught on a hot mic in 2005.
“I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything,” he said. “Grab ‘em by the p—y.”
During the second presidential debate, Trump apologized for the conversation he described as “locker room talk.”
According to the New York Daily News, producer Chris Nee said Sunday that she heard producers of “The Apprentice” are sitting on footage in which the GOP nominee uses the n-word. While she didn’t work on the show, she claimed that she had signed a contract with lead producer Mark Burnett that would make anyone leaking the footage liable for a $5 million fine.
Her tweets referenced a comment made by Bill Pruitt, who tweeted Saturday that “there are far worse” comments than he made on the Trump Tapes.
— Bill Pruitt (@billpruitt) October 8, 2016
However, Burnett countered those claims in a statement from him and MGM, saying those claims are “unequivocally false” and adding that that he does “not have the ability nor the right to release footage or other material from ‘The Apprentice.’”
The Associated Press corroborated the notion that “The Apprentice” is sitting on the makings of an even bigger scandal than the 2005 tape. The outlet interviewed more than 20 former “Apprentice” contestants, crew members and editors who said Trump was regularly disparaging toward women and used sexist language.
“If there was a break in the conversation, he would then look at one of the female cast members, saying ‘You’re looking kind of hot today, I love that dress on you,’ then he would turn to one of the male cast members and say ‘Wouldn’t you sleep with her?’ and then everyone would laugh,” a former crew member said, speaking on the condition of anonymity because of a non-disclosure agreement.
“For years, NBC and Mark Burnett have protected Donald Trump and built his brand. But the 2005 leaked video of Donald Trump bragging about sexually assaulting women changes things,” said Nita Chaudhary, co-founder of UltraViolet Action. “NBC and MGM Studios need to stop protecting Donald Trump and release these tapes. The American people deserve to know if Donald Trump is a serial sexual predator and racist before heading to the polls this November.”
UltraViolet Action is an online community of over 1 million men and women who seek to fight sexism.
For those keeping score at home, “Shin Godzilla” (“Godzilla Resurgence”) marks the third reboot of Toho Studios’ legendary city-destroying monster, and that’s not even counting the regrettable U.S. versions. (In a nutshell: the original 1954-1975 movies fit in what’s known as the “Showa” period, followed by the “Heisei” era of 1984-1995 and the “Millennium” films of 1999-2004.)
In clearing the decks again on this iconic character, writer-director Hideaki Anno (“Evangelion”) and co-director Shinji Higuchi have taken a more realistic, nuts-and-bolts approach to the eternal question: How do you solve a problem like Godzilla? If the original 1954 “Gojira” was a metaphor about the atomic bomb and the destruction it visited upon Japan, “Shin Godzilla” feels very much like a post-9/11 movie that ventures into nearly “Veep”-ian levels of political satire.
Anno’s Japan does not leap into action with solutions and strategies like the heroes of previous films; instead, meetings are called and conferences are arranged, usually to organize more meetings and more conferences. Bucks are passed, and rigid protocols are followed, to the extent that no agencies seem willing or able to do anything for the citizenry; we’ve seen this sort of decorum before, but in the previous movies, eventually somebody springs into action. (“Shin Godzilla” constantly leaps from one agency to the next, and the on-screen chirons introducing new bureaucrats become hilarious with repetition.)
All this government non-response happens after unidentified steam eruptions in the bay cause a leak in an underwater highway tunnel. It soon becomes clear that these eruptions are biological and not geological, and that they’re caused by a large creature that makes it to land (despite government experts’ insistence that the monster won’t be able to support its own weight outside of water), only to begin evolving before everyone’s eyes.
Godzilla’s progress here follows the character’s evolution over the course of his cinematic career: he starts out as an ungainly, puppet-eyed beast but soon metamorphoses into a digitally-rendered and more recognizable version of the Big G that we’ve come to know and love over the years. But this is not the “friend to children” Godzilla; this thing turns purple with radiation and emits a beam that decimates cities in an instant.
The UN – led by the U.S., Russia and China – wants to nuke it, despite Japan’s tragic history with the bomb, and it’s up to a renegade group of “scientists, nerds, and pains-in-the-bureaucracy” (as the film calls them) to come up with an alternate solution. This crew is led by Rando Yaguchi (Hiroki Hasegawa, “Why Don’t You Play in Hell?”), the one person in the movie who’s cursed with having the right answer at every turn, even though it takes forever for his bosses to acknowledge this.
The key to making a great “Godzilla” movie is to provide more than just exciting monster sequences; there has to be something interesting happening when the title character is off-screen. (The most recent U.S. version was so frequently ho-hum because the love story and human derring-do were so uninvolving.) “Shin Godzilla” makes great points about how unprepared governments are to deal with mass evacuations and enormous disasters. (Don’t forget that it took 9/11 to make New York City realize that its fire and police departments couldn’t communicate with each other because they were on different radio networks.)
The editing (by Anno and Atsuki Sato) expertly jumps between institutional foot-draggers, renegade scientists and the panic in the streets; the movie could probably stand to be about 15 to 20 minutes shorter, but at least the action keeps hopping. And when Godzilla does his thing, it’s always terrifying – the destruction here is chillingly realistic and far removed from the crumbling cardboard skyscrapers of yore.
There’s one strange casting flaw: Satomo Ishihara (“Attack on Titan”) plays a Japanese-American representative of the U.S. government who was raised stateside and is not always on top of Japanese customs. When she speaks English, however, it’s clear that it isn’t her first language, a distraction for English-speaking audiences. (This same issue comes up in Jia Zhangke’s “Mountains May Depart.”)
Godzilla fans have no doubt already bought their tickets for the U.S. limited run of this latest adventure, but film fans who have foolishly dismissed the kaiju genre for being childish and simplistic may find themselves compelled by the ideas “Shin Godzilla” has to offer. Come for the city-flattening; stay for the political satire.
IMAX will launch the first IMAX VR center in Europe in partnership with ODEON & UCI Cinemas Group, IMAX announced Tuesday.
The center will be in Manchester, England, and is looking at a planned opening at the end of 2016. It will deliver immersive and multi-dimensional VR experiences for guests.
In addition, IMAX is working with Acer and Starbreeze AB to give users the next-generation headset-mounted display (HMD) technology for an extra-wide peripheral field of view. The center will consist of several pods, so multiple players can enjoy VR experiences at the same time.
The center will have VR experiences ranging between 5 and 15 minutes in length. According to the release, the companies are in advanced stages with content developers and several Hollywood studios to produce VR experiences for the center. Eventually, IMAX will incorporate the premium content from the virtual reality camera in development with Google.
“For nearly 50 years, IMAX’s mission has been to give audiences — of all ages and across generations — a reason to get off their couches and leave the comfort of home to go out to the cinema. Today’s agreement with ODEON marks an important milestone in our continued effort to deliver differentiated entertainment experiences – now through location-based VR,” IMAX Corp. CEO Richard L. Gelfond said in a statement.
“We are extremely pleased with the significant progress we’ve made on this initiative in this short period of time and believe this commitment from such a significant European exhibitor is a testament to the interest and potential of this offering. ODEON is a longtime partner that shares our vision in delivering guests the ultimate in premium experiences and we look forward to ushering in the next evolution of immersive entertainment with this test centre.”
IMAX is also in the process of launching its first showroom and pilot IMAX VR center in Los Angeles, with additional test facilities in China, Japan, the U.S., the Middle East and Western Europe in upcoming months.
It’s unfortunate that readers don’t stray from the three largest publishers more often, because there’s some interesting stuff happening in independent publishing right now. Black #1 (Black Mask Studios) is one of several books from Black Mask Studios that’s making waves and earning acclaim, along with titles like Kim & Kim, We Can Never Go Home, and Jade Street Protection Services. Black is premiering at the perfect time: Audiences are primed to read more books by and about black superheroes, particularly those confronting institutional racism and police violence.
The book drops readers immediately into the middle of the action as an NYPD officer is questioned about a police shooting she witnessed. Ellen Waters, who disappears from the pages fast enough to leave both skid marks and the hope she’ll return, describes the shooting of a young, unarmed black man by police officers, lamenting the lack …
Dust off your Violator T-shirts and get ready for some Music For The Masses, because synthpop stalwart Depeche Mode has just announced a new European tour and forthcoming album, for those of us unable to travel from Milan to Minsk. (Who are we kidding? We’re based in Chicago.) Anyway, the British trio will set off on a 32-city trek next spring in support of Global Spirit, its 14th studio album. The A.V. Club deemed Depeche Mode’s previous release, Delta Machine, a “potent combination of moody programming, focused songwriting, and subtle velocity,” so we’re cautiously optimistic about the latest effort. Our European Union and globetrotting friends can check out the list of dates below, but don’t worry, Stateside devotees: the band will hit up North and South America some time next year as well.
2017 Global Spirit Tour
5/5—Friends Arena—Stockholm, Sweden