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Why Is No One Talking About Tom Cruise and Scientology?

Charmaine Blake

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“Tom Cruise is many things. He is among our greatest living movie stars, in the traditional and best sense of that term, and a pleasure still, all these decades after his Risky Business breakout, to watch on screen.

At 56, he is a marvel of aging, a practical world wonder executing outrageous stunts of escalating danger, year after year (a flash of that dashing, confusingly youthful smile its own veritable human special effect).

He is the star of Mission: ImpossibleFallout, a film being gilded an action masterpiece, with critics straining their vocal chords cheering how it wows, thrills, and even fucks. It comes out this weekend, and it is very good!

Cruise is also a Scientologist. Did we remember that? I mean, of course we remember that. Its arguably the first thing someone thinks of when they think about Cruise at this point: his longtime stature as a high-ranking member and proponent of the Church of Scientology and his close relationship with its leader, David Miscavige. But Im just checking because, as Cruise takes his victory lap on this fawning press tour, the organization seems to be receiving nary a mention.

Listen, a person of Cruises stature and with such controversial baggage is never going to embark on a press tour that consists of anything but puff pieces and softball interviews adhering to warnings about forbidden questions and topics (chiefly: Scientology!). But that doesnt make its erasure any less aggravating, the media complicity in fostering an inaccurate image of an influential member of a reportedly oppressive organization any less irresponsible, and our collective willingness to accept all of this in the name of enjoying a badass movie any less damning.

For example, theres his appearance on Jimmy Fallons Tonight Show, which, I know, is not the venue that is going to interrogate Tom Cruise on the intricacies of Scientologys greatest atrocities, but is, you know, almost laughably endearing. He participated in a Mad Libs Theater bit with Fallon, and as headlines raved, couldnt keep a straight face! He can jump out of planes and save the free world from attackers, but Tom Cruise couldnt seem to hold it together on Mondays episode of The Tonight Show, wrote one recapper.

Then I came upon this weeks People magazine cover, which teases in its headline that it will take me Inside HIS PRIVATE WORLD for a revealing look at the life of Hollywoods most mysterious star. Oh snap! It turns out Cruise was even interviewed for the piece, a piece which opens with the actor saying, Ive wanted to make movies since I was 4 years oldTo be able to entertain an audience, that was my dream. Ohsnap……………..”

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Why the dance numbers in the new ‘Aladdin’ are so disappointing

Charmaine Blake

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‘Remember the steps. Remember your training. Do not embarrass us.’

Image: Daniel Smith/disney

“Disney’s highly anticipated Aladdin is here, but we know better than to expect anything groundbreaking from another needless live-action adaptation. While remake has pleasantly surprised most critics with colorful costumes and charismatic leads, Aladdin‘s signature songs are its biggest disappointment.

From Mashable’s own Angie Han: “Guy Ritchie and his team seem to have no idea how to stage and shoot a musical number,” which is precisely the opposite of what you want to hear about the director of a movie musical (much less one who was married to Madonna).

So, where and how did Aladdin botch its opportunities for movie musical greatness? Let us count the ways.

Image: giphy

Aladdin is tricky to negotiate from a representational standpoint because it was never based on one specific culture. The animated film was an amalgam of Middle Eastern and South Asian visual inspirations, and the live-action takes this at face value, doing the same and adding literally nothing to it. This piece references Bollywood dance numbers a few times, not because of any confusion about where Aladdin takes place, but because India has a booming film industry that thrives on movie musicals that Disney would’ve done well to study…………………………………………………”

Read more: https://mashable.com/article/aladdin-dancing/

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How The Blair Witch Project changed horror for ever

Charmaine Blake

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The movie’s marketing took advantage of trust in the early internet, but fake news isn’t what it used to be

“We will never get a movie like The Blair Witch Project again. Having said that, weve had dozens of movies like The Blair Witch Project. In the 20 years since its release, it has transformed the horror landscape, and more besides. Found footage is now a sub-genre in itself thanks to it. How many horror movies have we seen claiming: This all really happened, honest? How many occult symbols and folk myths have crossed our screens? How many gung-ho teens have set off on an adventure, never to return? And how many times has a gimmicky horror reaped rewards for virtually no outlay? Blair Witch did not invent all these tricks but it put them together to create a phenomenon. It is the 21st centurys Exorcist………………………………………………….”

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/film/2019/apr/08/how-the-blair-witch-project-changed-horror-for-ever

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Yes, ‘New Mutants’ is still coming, Probably.

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Jean Grey comes into her powers in ‘Dark Phoenix’.

Image: 20th Century Fox

“The X-Men are part of the Disney family now, and never has that felt clearer than at the studio’s CinemaCon presentation Wednesday.

Disney touted both Dark Phoenix and New Mutants as part of its upcoming slate, alongside the usual Avengers and Star Wars and Pixa

What exactly the X-Men’s future looks like at the Mouse House, though, remains unclear.

Deadpool clearly isn’t going anywhere. “You’ll be seeing more of Deadpool in the years ahead,” promised studio chairman Alan Horn, after sharing Ryan Reynolds’ cheeky tweet about Fox joining Disney.

And New Mutants, despite delayed release dates, reports of reshoots, and rumors of a straight-to-streaming distribution plan, does seem to be headed to cinemas — it was included on a slide of Disney’s 2019 theatrical releases.

But the core X-Men franchise led by James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, and Sophie Turner is evidently coming to a conclusion. Dark Phoenix, out this summer, was described by 20th Century Fox’s Emma Watts as “the perfect sendoff” to the X-Men series……………………………………………………….”

Read more: https://mashable.com/article/dark-phoenix-deadpool-xmen-disney-cinemacon/

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