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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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Taraji P Henson: ‘Hollywood didn’t grasp my talent’

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Harvey Weinstein obstructed her rise now, with her new film What Men Want, she is calling the shots. But what does she make of her Empire co-star Jussie Smolletts hate-crime controversy?

“On a December morning in Los Angeles, the sun blazes down on a large and abundantly decorated Christmas tree in the parking lot at Paramount Pictures. It is upstaged, though, by the actor Taraji P Henson, who swans past wearing an ensemble that calls to mind the futuristic fashion of the 1970s: steampunk sunglasses, a black tracksuit under a puffy gilet and chunky grey, orange and lime sci-fi pumps, possibly with rocket boosters in the soles. Her hair is arranged in tight braids, some piled on her head, others swishing around her shoulders.

As we take our seats in a brightly lit office upstairs, she removes from her flowery backpack a tub of beige mush. What is that, mashed banana? Nuh-uh, she says between mouthfuls. Its an oatmeal alkaline thing. Its got quinoa in it. I gotta be careful because I dont digest a heavy grain. She takes a sniff and laughs. It smells like dirt, it really does. She went vegan last year after a doctor told her it could reduce the chances of getting stomach cancer. You can do it if you have a good chef, she says encouragingly. I make a mental note to have a chat with mine……………………………………………………………………….”

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/film/2019/mar/08/taraji-p-henson-hollywood-didnt-grasp-my-talent-what-men-want

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Netflix vs. Steven Spielberg is a battle over the future of the movie experience

Charmaine Blake

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“New York (CNN Business)Netflix wants to change how you watch movies. Steven Spielberg wants to preserve the theatrical experience. Those two points of view are clashing, with Netflix pushing back against a plan that Spielberg reportedly has to create rules that could block the streaming giant from future Oscars contention.

Netflix on Sunday night responded to Spielberg’s reported plans by tweeting from its film unit’s Twitter account, “We love cinema.”
The company said in its tweet that it “also loves…Access for people who can’t always afford, or live in towns without, theaters; letting everyone, everywhere enjoy releases at the same time; giving filmmakers more ways to share art.”
“These things are not mutually exclusive,” Netflix Film tweeted.
Netflix did not mention Spielberg by name, but the tweet came after Hollywood trade publication IndieWire reported last week that the Oscar-winning director was “devoted to ensuring that the race never sees another ‘Roma’ — a Netflix film backed by massive sums, that didn’t play by the same rules as its analog-studio competitors.”
It’s not clear what rule changes Spielberg might be planning to propose at the Academy’s annual board of governors post-Oscar meeting. But a spokesperson for Spielberg’s production company, Amblin, told IndieWire that “Steven feels strongly about the difference between the streaming and theatrical situation.” A spokesperson for Amblin declined CNN Business’ request for comment………………………………………………….”

Read more: https://www.cnn.com/2019/03/04/media/netflix-steven-spielberg/index.html

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Luke Perry: forever the thrillingly cool teen pinup

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Perry never quite escaped the shadow of Beverly Hills, 90210. But this was not a failing it was proof of how seminal the show, and Perrys handsome rebel Dylan McKay, was to a generation

“Teen pinups who free themselves of their TV origins can be counted on one hand with fingers to spare: Ron Howard. Michael J Fox. Zac Efron.

Luke Perry never quite made it to those ranks, but thats no discredit to him. Despite working pretty regularly until the day he died which is more than a lot of teen stars can say he always knew his obituaries would read Dylan McKay has died, referring to the bad(ish) boy he played in the original series of Beverly Hills, 90210 from 1990-1995, and then again in 1998-2000 when he gamely, if through somewhat gritted teeth, revived the character. And so it has proved to be the case.

It
It turned our TV dreams from black and white to colour … Beverly Hills 90210. Photograph: Moviestore/REX/Shutterstock

That Perry could never escape the shadow of 90210 as all its fans called it was not a failing on his part. None of the original cast could, and its a testament to how seminal, for a whole generation, that TV show was. In the age of streaming, when teenagers can watch pretty much any TV show they…………………………………………………………….”

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2019/mar/04/luke-perry-beverly-hills-90210-dylan-mckay-forever-the-thrillingly-cool-teen-pinup

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