Is NSYNC Going on Tour? All About the Boy Band’s Reunion as Justin Timberlake Reveals Music Collab




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NSYNC fans rejoice! The beloved boy band reunited for their first new song in over 20 years. The group dropped “Better Place” as part of the Trolls Band Together soundtrack on September 29, 2023. While it’s not certain what other projects will come of the reunion, it’s certainly exciting to see Justin Timberlake, JC Chasez, Lance Bass, Joey Fatone, and Chris Kirkpatrick singing together again. Not only that, but the band collaborated on the song titled “Paradise” on Justin’s 2024 album, Everything I Thought I Was.

Along with the new music, fans are clamoring to see the boy band take the stage again! It’s been over a decade since the group’s last musical reunion, and it’s been even longer since their last full-blown tour. Lance did hint that there was some hope for an NSYNC reunion in an appearance in the online game show Rent FreeHollywood Life has all the details for you, below.

NSYNC announced that they’d release their first song in over 20 years on Sep. 14. (Erik Pendzich/Shutterstock)

NSYNC Reunite for New Music

Reports that NSYNC had gotten back in the studio for the new song had surfaced back in August. Before announcing the track, the boy band took the stage at the 2023 MTV VMAs to present Taylor Swift with the Best Pop award. “Over 20 years ago, we were just kids when we won Best Pop Video for ‘Bye Bye Bye.’ It was our first VMA, and it meant the world to us. It validated our hard work,” Justin said at the start of the presentation.

Ahead of the official track announcement, the band had lip-synced along to the audio from a Friends scene asking “Do you know something?” It was later revealed that “Better Place” would be a part of the Trolls Band Together soundtrack. Snippets of the band singing the new track can be heard in the trailer. Justin voices the Branch character in the movie.

Justin also dropped the track list for his 2024 album, which includes one collab with NSYNC titled “Paradise.”

Is NSYNC Going on Tour?

While nothing official has been announced, Lance did hint that he hoped to have more to tell fans in the near future during the Rent Free appearance, per Page Six“Look, we are talking about it — and I hope to have some good news, at some point,” he said when talking about the reunion.

Joey Fatone had spoken to Hollywood Life about the possibility of a reunion in an exclusive interview in November. He said that he hoped to have a definite answer for fans in the near future. “I don’t mind answering, because of the fact that hopefully soon, I will get an answer,” he said. “Whether it be yes, whether it be no, I hate saying, ‘I don’t know yet,’ but it is true.”

Joey also expressed some hope for a reunion so that his daughters could get to experience what the band was like. “My kids have never really seen me perform with NSYNC. So for people that are fans that grew up listening to us, I feel almost the same way. It sounds weird, but it is true because I want my kids to see what I did,” he said.

Earlier, Lance said that the quintet isn’t planning on a reunion tour, in an Entertainment Tonight  interview. As the interviewer mentioned that fans have been clamoring for a tour, he said that there’s nothing on the horizon. “Hopefully in a perfect world, that might happen one day, but again, no plans right now,” he said.

While there’s nothing set in stone, Lance did seem open to the idea. He admitted that the group were listening to the fans. “I’ve been telling the fans: we don’t have solid plans right now, because we’re waiting for the strike to end. We’ve got things to do, but they’re definitely shaping our future,” he told ET. Ahead of Lance’s interview, a report from TMZ said that they didn’t plan on touring, releasing an album, or doing a residency.

Most recently, Justin appeared on The Kelly Clarkson Show on January 30, 2024, and confirmed that he and his pals have been working on new music together. “And also as it pertains to harmonies… I’ve spent some time with four other guys doing a lot of harmonies,” he said during the talk show appearance.

J.T. also touched on their 2023 reunion. “That was fun,” he said to Kelly Clarkson. “It’s kind of crazy, like, there’s so much that just picks up right where it left off as far as the chemistry.” Additionally, Justin reassured NSYNC fans that something is coming soon. “We’ve been in the studio, so there may be a little something in the future, too,” he added. Despite the exciting tease, Justin did not reveal if he and his bandmates will release a new album or if they will head on tour this year.

Earlier NSYNC Reunions

While NSYNC split up in 2005, the boy band has gotten together on a handful of occasions over the years for both musical and non-musical reunions. When Justin earned the Video Vanguard award at the 2013 MTV VMAs, the group was part of his medley performance, singing “Girlfriend” and “Bye Bye Bye.”  When the group was given a star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame in 2018, they all got together for the ceremony and appeared on Ellen together.

The group has also had a few occasions that they’ve had partial reunions. All of the members except Justin joined Ariana Grande on stage for her 2019 headline set at Coachella, where they sang her song “Break Up with Your Girlfriend, I’m Bored” and their own “Tearin’ Up My Heart.” In April 2022, Joey, Lance, and Chris gave an impromptu performance at Ryan Cabrera and Alexa Bliss’ wedding.

When Was the Last Time NSYNC Toured?

While there have been a handful of performances since the group split up, the boy band’s final tour was in 2002 to promote their album Celebrity. The tour ended in April 2002, and the band began a hiatus, which they never returned from. The members’ final appearance as NSYNC was in 2005 at the “Challenge for the Children,” but they didn’t perform. They released a greatest hits album that same year.

While the band has not toured together in over 20 years, Justin has set out on numerous tours as a solo artist. His most recent time on the road was in 2019 for his The Man of the Woods tour. 

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New on Disney+Hotstar in March: ‘Showtime’, ‘96th Academy Awards’, ‘Taylor Swift | The Eras Tour’, ‘X-Men ‘97’, and more

INDIAN TITLES

Showtime (March 8)

Starring Emraan Hashmi, the movie attempts to be an epic saga of legacy and ambition. It tries to offer a glimpse behind the multimillion-dollar industry of Bollywood, nepotism and power struggles at the top. The film also stars Mouni Roy, Naseeruddin Shah, Mahima Makwana, Rajeev Khandelwal, and Shriya Saran.

96th Academy Awards (March 11, English)

The 96th Oscars will be streamed in India at 4:00 am. The Oscars executive producer and showrunner Raj Kapoor and executive producers Molly McNearney and Katy Mullan announced members of their production team for the Academy Awards, hosted by Jimmy Kimmel. The 96th Oscars will be held on Sunday, March 10, at the Dolby Theatre at Ovation Hollywood and will be televised live on ABC and in more than 200 territories worldwide.

MARVEL TITLES

X-Men ‘97 (March 20) (Season 1) (English)

The film revisits the iconic era of the 1990s as The X-Men, a band of mutants who use their uncanny gifts to protect a world that hates and fears them, are challenged like never before, forced to face a dangerous and unexpected new future.

A still from ‘X-Men ‘97’.
| Photo Credit:
Marvel Entertainment/YouTube

DISNEY TITLES

Renegade Nell (March 29) (Season 1) (English)

Nell Jackson returns from war to her family in Tottenham. Aided by plucky sprite Billy Blind, who gives her fighting superpowers, Nell takes on the local landowner’s bullying son Thomas Blancheford but finds herself framed for murder. Forced on the run with her sisters Roxy and George, Nell becomes a highwaywoman. But as word of Nell’s extraordinary power spreads, she attracts the attention of the sinister Earl of Poynton who is hatching a magical plot against the Queen of England.

Madu (March 29) (English)

The film follows 12-year-old Anthony Madu as he leaves his family and community in Nigeria to study at one of the most prestigious ballet schools in the world in England. Having never left his home outside of Lagos, Anthony finds himself thrust into a new world where his wildest dreams are suddenly within reach.

OTHER TITLES

Wonderful World (March 1) (Season 1) (Korean)

A successful psychology professor and renowned author, Soohyun enjoys a perfect life, but when she loses her son unjustly, she takes matters into her own hands by confronting the perpetrator. Suffering from a loss of zest for life, Soohyun is comforted by a fellow inmate she meets in prison and slowly begins to open her heart. Upon her release, Soohyun searches for the victim of the accident caused by her fellow inmate and meets Seonyul, who shares the same pain as her.

Queens (March 4) (Season 1) (English)

The wildest places on the planet have always been home to powerful leaders, but this is a story of a new hero – fierce, smart, resilient and … female. The series features matriarchies and female leaders around the world to tell a story of sacrifice and resilience but also of friendship and love. Guided by award-winning actress Angela Bassett’s powerful narration, the series rings the natural world into focus through the female lens for the very first time.

Extraordinary (March 6) (Season 2) (English)

After the surprise revelations at the climax of Season One, the gang find themselves poised for their best attempts at being proper adults. Jen finally enrolls at the clinic, determined to take her journey to find her power seriously. She is embarking on a proper relationship with Jizzlord, and they’re trying their best at going steady, but not without hiccups.

Building Impossible with Daniel Ashville (March 11) (Season 1) (English)

Daniel Ashville travels the world, joining teams in creating some of the world’s most amazing structures: tunnels, bridges, skyscrapers, transport in the air and on the sea. Taking hard work, science, technology, and human ingenuity to new heights

Coppola, El Representante (March 15) (Season 1) (Spanish)

Coppola, the Agent tells the story of Guillermo Coppola, a famous “bon vivant”, and his struggles juggling a hectic private life with the demands of being the agent of Diego Armando Maradona, the world’s most famous soccer player.

Taylor Swift | The Eras Tour (Taylor’s Version) (March 15) (English)

The concert film in its entirety for the first time includes the song “cardigan” and four additional acoustic songs. The history-making, cinematic experience from 14-time Grammy-winning artist, the film directed by Sam Wrench, grossed more than $260 million worldwide at the global box office, making it the top selling concert film of all-time.

Grey’s Anatomy (March 15) (Season 20) (English)

The high-intensity medical drama, now approaching its 20th season, follows a team of doctors at Grey Sloan Memorial who are faced with life-or death decisions on a daily basis. They seek comfort from one another, and, at times, more than just friendship. Together they discover that neither medicine nor relationships can be defined in black and white.

A still from ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Season 20.

A still from ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Season 20.
| Photo Credit:
ABC

Lucrecia: A Murder in Madrid (Season 1) (March 20) (Spanish)

A poor, black immigrant woman is shot and killed in an abandoned nightclub in Madrid. The crime shocks Spanish society and triggers an unprecedented social reaction. Who killed Lucrecia? Why? The first clues point to far-right groups. Beneath the image of a modern and democratic country that Spain projects to the world with the Olympics and Expo ‘92, a disturbing movement ascends to themes of extremism, racism, and violence.

Photographer (March 24) (Season 1) (English)

From Academy and Emmy Award-winning filmmakers E. Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin, the seriestakes us on a journey with the world’s most extraordinary visual storytellers, pairing them with today’s leading documentary filmmakers for an exhilarating and dynamic international adventure. Each hour-long episode follows the story of an iconic photographer — Cristina Mittermeier and Paul Nicklen, Dan Winters, Campbell Addy, Krystle Wright, Muhammed Muheisen, and Anand Varma — while they work to make iconic images that stand the test of time.

Science Fair: The Series (March 25) (Season 1) (English)

Inspired by the Sundance Festival favorite and SXSW Audience Award-winning documentary directed by Cristina Costantini and Darren Foster, the series showcases students working to solve the world’s most complex and pressing issues using science while competing for a coveted spot at the International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF), the most competitive science fair on the planet. The series follows competing students in their relentless pursuit of excellence as they tackle contemporary topics in various areas of science: teen suicide prevention, wound care monitoring systems, high-efficiency alternatives to induction motors and more.

Desejos S.A. (March 27) (Season 1) (Portuguese)

An unattainable prize, the hidden truth, an attraction for someone already committed. Even the most difficult wishes can be fulfilled with just one call to the company Whatever, Whenever, which provides whatever you want, whenever you want. The price is low, but the cost is high: helping with another customer’s order – no questions asked, whatever it may be.

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#DisneyHotstar #March #Showtime #96th #Academy #Awards #Taylor #Swift #Eras #Tour #XMen

Crocodile Dundee: Revisiting one of the biggest movies of the 80s

We take a look back at one of the biggest hit movies of the 1980s, Crocodile Dundee, starring Paul Hogan. How does it hold up?

Let’s jump back to the year 2020, infamously known now as the year of Covid-19. One Friday morning, I’m at home, doing my work, when I get a phone call from Australia, with the voice on the other side of the line being unmistakable. Ah yes, that accent that all my childhood friends and I imitated as we called each other “mate” and said, “that’s not a knife – that’s a knife.” It was none other than Paul Hogan, who was promoting his film, The Very Excellent Mr. Dundee, which was kind of a mockumentary starring Hogan as himself getting “cancelled” on the eve of his knighting. Jacob Elordi from Euphoria played his son. The movie wasn’t great, but Hogan himself was amazing to talk to, with him chatting with me much longer than he had to, telling me stories, such as when he was hiking in LA and came across some folks being menaced by a snake they all assumed – incorrectly – that he would be able to deal with.

Naturally, we spent a lot of time talking about Crocodile Dundee, a movie I watched over, and over, and over again as a kid, and am still incredibly fond of.

People may not realize it now, but Crocodile Dundee is one of the most profitable films ever made. It was shot for only 8 million dollars in Australian currency and made $336 million at the global box office, equal to about $800 million now. It was the second highest-grossing film of 1986, after Top Gun. It led to an American fascination with Australia that was memorably lampooned on one of the best Simpsons episodes ever, and it got two sequels, one of which, Crocodile Dundee 2, was another huge blockbuster.

Paul Hogan became a pop culture icon, with Crocodile Dundee one of the most instantly recognizable heroes of the 80s, up there with Indiana Jones and Rambo. Yet, Hogan’s Mick Dundee is a gentler and perhaps misunderstood hero. For all its stereotypical Australian trapping, such as a love of drinking Foster’s and hellraising, with the sprawling Outback a treacherous but exciting playground for Mick and his love interest, the American Sue Charlton (played by Paul Hogan’s eventual wife Linda Kozlowski), to fall in love with, it’s forward-thinking in a lot of ways people don’t appreciate. For one thing, Dundee is shown to love and appreciate Australia’s Aboriginal population, which, in both films, are portrayed heroically and non-stereotypically. 

The movie also has a strong anti-poaching message, which becomes even more pronounced in the sequels. One of the most famous scenes shows a bunch of businessmen going crazy in the bush and shooting up a bunch of kangaroos. Mick grabs his rifle, and using a kangaroo corpse he calls Skippy as cover, he shoots up the poachers, sending them home licking their wounds. He doesn’t kill anyone, though. Even in the sequel, which is more of an action film, Dundee never takes a life. The only one who actually kills anyone in the second is Sue, who, in a recurring gag from the films, is presented as a better shot than Mick. As Hogan himself told me, “That was the thing – to make a hero character who didn’t kill people. He didn’t have any superpowers other than he had a good sense of humor. It’s like the famous knife scene. In a lot of movies, he would have pulled the knife out and stabbed a few people, but he didn’t. He dismissed the situation with humor. That was the intention.”

Ok, so Dundee never kills anyone, but I maintain that Hogan throws the best punch of the eighties, with amazing foley work backing up sequences where he punches out bullies, high society types, and even a vicious pimp and his goons. 

Indeed, Crocodile Dundee works on a lot of levels. It’s a really interesting take on the fish-out-of-water comedy, with Sue the naive one in the movie’s first half, but Mick takes the role in the second half as he goes to New York. Hogan never presents Dundee as too ultra-macho. There’s a great scene early in the film where he dismisses a brawl by kissing a guy on the lips (something no other leading man would have done), and little throwaway moments, like when he pretends to shave with his knife but has a plastic BIC razor hidden that he prefers. 

There are so many great scenes in Crocodile Dundee, especially when Mick gets to New York and tries to win over Sue, who’s torn between her love of Mick and her desire to marry into high society. She seems to be playing some cruel games with him early on, with her flirting and romancing him, only to surprise him that she’s engaged to another man. It all comes to a great ending, though, with Sue coming to terms with the fact that Mick is the man for her, and it ends with her having to win him back, in a nice role reversal.

Now, it should be noted that certain things about the movie haven’t aged well, such as Mick’s  -let’s say curiosity – when he meets a few trans characters, but it could be argued that his intentions are naive and not malicious. As Hogan told me when I asked him about jokes that haven’t aged well, “There are some attitudes that have been around forever and shouldn’t be. But, I never do anything with bad intentions. The object is to make people laugh and forget their troubles. But, you don’t want anyone crying in the back of the audience because you said something they consider hurtful.” It should be noted that he toned down that type of humour significantly in both sequels, although some of the racier jokers are funny, such as when he mistakes a cokehead for a guy with a cold, and accidently ruins his stash. It’s interesting because the first film is very casual about drugs. Still, the sequel is very much a product of the War on Drugs, with Hogan taking on a Pablo Escobar style baddie and leading him to his doom in the outback and him and his aboriginal pals have their way with him. 

Overall, Crocodile Dundee remains a favorite movie of mine, as its just so damn positive. It’s definitely a product of its time, but what movie isn’t? If you can get over that, it’s a great movie. One of the things I always liked about these movies is how Dundee’s superpower isn’t how well he hurts people but rather the fact that he makes friends so easily. They come to his rescue when needed, such as the great sequence at the end of the movie when his chauffeur, played by a pre-Die Hard Reginald Vel Johnson, beats up the pimps that get the upper hand on Mick. I can’t help but love this movie, so if you haven’t seen it in a while, give it a watch!

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The disruption of AI and why Streamers Need to Go for Quality | FilmInk

While the future of documentaries is already uncertain, due to an extremely difficult distribution and financing landscape, the sector faces an even bigger challenge with the ethical questions raised by the technology, which will impact every aspect of non-fiction.

Ahead of his AIDC session, Brave New World: Documentary and Artificial Intelligence, we spoke with optimistic producer Chris Kamen.

Your background spans producing, finance, distribution, legal and business affairs. What impacts have you noticed AI has had on the industry, from those perspectives? 

“ChatGPT has become a pretty popular tool for helping with writing grant applications, making that a bit easier, writing treatments and proposals. And also, I think image generative AI is really becoming popular for image generation for pitch decks, because we can actually specifically brief, we want this particular type of image with the right type of tone, it can be often hard to find existing image references. So, AI is becoming a really great tool for creating just the image that you want. And then all the way through into production. I’m working on a film at the moment where, it’s a microbudget film, so we don’t have money to buy much stock footage, so we’re using generative AI video clips, because they’re free, or very cheap to make.

“On the audio side, voice cloning technology is really coming in now, because you can create amazing voice clones with not much audio. And so, I’m working on a film at the moment that’s going to have a lot of narration in it, and I think we are interested to explore the use of a voice clone during our editing process. Using AI is a really quick and easy way to create temp voiceover. And then, once it’s locked, we’ll go back to the original artists and get them to voice it properly in a studio.

“So, I think AI is quickly becoming a fantastic tool in the filmmaker’s tool set”.

Are you optimistic about AI, despite the issues surrounding its use?

“I’m an optimist generally, but, I’m a bit of a techie. I love technology. I love playing with new tools, and I’m excited by the possibilities that AI is going to really increase productivity across lots of industries, not just media production, but I think, with great power comes great responsibility. So, I’ve been reading and researching and learning about the problems that already exist and problems that we will confront in the years to come as AI gets more powerful.

“I think as a filmmaker, I really just am seeing a lot more tools that are coming that will help us be more productive and more effective and will help us raise production values. I mean, as an audience, there are questions about authenticity and accuracy and what can be trusted these days …

“So, this panel that we’re doing at AIDC on Sunday, we’re going to be looking at deepfake porn, abusive imagery, which is just another extension of revenge porn, sexual abuse more broadly. So, it’s a new type of sexual abuse and it’s already a really big problem. And, we need to find ways to combat people using this technology for these kinds of nefarious ends, that are really damaging to people.

“One of the big issues with AI, unlike other transformative technologies over the years, is that it’s inherently democratised, it’s cheap and easy to access. And one of the major reasons why it’s such a huge risk is how do we contain it? How do we control the use of such powerful technology?”

Would you say that the biggest challenge for you as a documentary producer is distribution, at the moment? 

“I see it all as one. It’s actually financing, but financing is distribution. I’m currently making a Mongolian horse herding film called Winter Herd. And it is intentionally targeted for a global art house audience. And we’ve had many conversations with sales agents and international distributors, but no one’s willing to put money down on a table. It’s incredibly hard to finance a feature documentary, but that is because it’s very hard to distribute one. If there was a functioning distribution market for feature docos, then they would be able to put money on the table, but they can’t because the distribution landscape for features is bleak. As a filmmaker myself, I’m really focusing more on trying to win commissions and get commissioned content; from broadcasters and streamers, to get them to pay for stuff upfront. I think that has always been and still is the most viable business model.

“I think generally we’re blessed with incredible government support for filmmaking across the board. In terms for documentaries, I am concerned that documentary might be excluded from the streaming quota regulations that are coming in. I think that’s a big thing that the documentary communities should be focusing on…”

In 2022, Franklin became the second highest-grossing Australian theatrical documentary for the year. What did you learn from the success of Franklin

“Even though Franklin was a success in our view, it’s only returned a bit of revenue; not enough to make the whole business model “sustainable” without lots of funding support. For me, it’s underscored that the business model for feature documentaries is just incredibly tough in Australia. I’d been working towards Franklin for seven years. When we were financing it, we were blown away with how successful the crowdfunding campaign went and how the community, all the original activists kind of came out of the woodwork to support the crowdfunding campaign, which was just beautiful. And that really set the film up for success.

“There are huge challenges trying to get a niche documentary into cinemas because there are few exhibitors that will support an indie doco. You’re fighting tooth and nail to get placement on screens in the first place, and then to get decent slots at those sites. You’re really up against it trying to do a theatrical release. But it sets a film up for other platforms.

“You have to be really smart and surgical with your marketing spend. We worked really closely with our distributor, Bonsai, to make it a success. We were super involved in the marketing and publicity impact campaigns. And, when it works, it’s a virtuous circle between publicity and marketing and impact. It’s all achieving the same ends, often distributors don’t care about the impact side of it all. They just care about the marketing side. So, it can be hard to align sometimes, but on Franklin, we were very much in synch and it all went really well.

“I think it underscores the importance for producers and filmmakers to be involved in the marketing of their films. And producers should really understand how to market their film, who their audience is, and how to reach them. Because often, distributors, especially with niche audiences, are looking after many, many films and they don’t have the time or resources to go really bespoke on every film release. Whereas, producers have spent a lot more time with their film and their subject matter and the audience and thinking about the audience. I think often producers can really zero in on the right type of niche audience and how to get to that audience.

“We were able to deliver a mailing list and an audience to our distributor. And, the way I see distribution, the way I think producers and distributors should work together, is that I think it’s the producer’s job these days to not only know who your audience is, to have already started growing that audience whilst you’re making the film. It doesn’t have to be a very big audience, but you need to have started to identify, whether it’s on social media or building an email list, or having a website, at least starting to build the seed of what that audience is going be. So that once you get to the distribution stage, you can work with your distributor to go, ‘okay, here’s our audience. This is how we can get to them’. And then ideally, all your distributor has to do then is just put money into the machine and, and scale it up. I think that’s how filmmakers and distributors can really work well together; the filmmaker brings the beginnings of an audience to the table, and then a distributor comes and applies their resources just to make it bigger.”

How important is it that documentaries are included in streaming quotas?

“I think it’s vital that documentaries are included in the streaming quotas because there’s a double whammy happening. As audiences move away from broadcast to streaming, the nature of streaming and algorithmic programming is it allows more niche content to be programmed on a streaming platform for a global audience. So, there’s more opportunity, I think there’s more opportunities for quality documentary on streaming platforms. And that’s hastening the decline of documentary on broadcast platforms. So, people complaining that the traditional broadcasters are commissioning less classical, quality premium documentaries, and there’s more of an emphasis on the lowest common denominator for broadcast because they’re losing audiences. They’re desperately just going for lowest common denominator and going for more reality or more celebrity driven stuff or more formattable stuff where you can run out hundreds of hours of a concept.

“So, there’s less room in that broadcast market for quality one-offs or limited series. But inversely, the opportunity is growing in the streaming space because once-offs and limited series can perform quite well on streaming platforms because having to choose something on a streaming platform means you’re going for quality. Whereas when you’re just flicking through channels of free to air, you just go for whatever catches your eye and you’ll watch it. That’s why it’s even more important that documentary is included in the streaming quota so that Australian filmmakers have a seat at the table and can have reasonable chances of pitching ideas into those global streaming platforms.”

Are you optimistic about the landscape for documentaries, despite the challenges? 

“I’ve been in this industry for over 20 years now, and it feels like the Australian industry’s always been in crisis. I feel quite immune to the cries of crisis because it’s the norm for me. I’m just constantly looking for the opportunities and I think the opportunity for us is to participate in the global English-speaking market. And the rise of streaming and the rise of global streamers is the embodiment of the globalisation of the industry and the opportunity for us Australians, to have a crack at that global market.”

What else is on your slate?

“I work part-time at CJZ and I work part-time at Media Stockade. And I’m excited to be developing a number of projects at Media Stockade. So, there’s Winter Herd, which is a co-production with Repeater Productions in Adelaide and will launch at MIFF in 2025. And then, there’s FORTITUDE, which is a documentary about the space industry that I’ve been working on for a couple of years with Torsten Hoffmann. And that’ll come out this year probably on streaming platforms.”

Brave New World: Documentary and Artificial Intelligence is on at ACMI Cinema 1, 10:30 – 11:30, Sunday 3 March 2024.



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Kate Winslet interview: On raising hell with ‘The Regime’ and more

Kate Winslet is noticeably concerned (even more than I am) that my Internet connection during our Zoom call is all over the place. I succeed finally at keeping it stable, all the while apologising profusely. I need not have fretted; Kate — looking incredibly regal — is quick to assures us that she is not inconvenienced at all. 

The Oscar-winning English actor is talking to us from London, where she’s doing press for her latest project, HBO’s six-part limited series The Regime.

In a riveting career that has spanned 30 years (her feature debut was with Peter Jackson’s Heavenly Creatures in 1994), the British actor has sunk her teeth into several flawed female characters who have disturbed and enthralled in equal measure; from a Nazi concentration camp guard in The Reader to a troubled housewife in Revolutionary Road. There, of course, have been other acclaimed performances in blockbuster titles such as Titanic,Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and The Holiday.

But could her latest role be the most fascinating one of them all? The upcoming dark satire stars Kate as Chancellor Elena Vernham, an authoritarian leader of a fictional country, whose grip on the regime (and her mind) turns unstable after she falls for a volatile soldier, Herbert Zubak. Increasingly paranoid by the minute as Zubak’s influence over her continues to grow, Elena’s desperate and eccentric attempts to retain her power result in complete chaos all around her… and her people.

Kate Winslet in a still from ‘The Regime’

After having won Emmys for the period drama Mildred Pierce and detective thriller Mare of Easttown, much is expected from the 48-year-old’s most recent television turn. “It’s a twisted love story about two people who should never have fallen in love,” laughs the actor.

Created and co-written by showrunner Will Tracy, The Regime is directed by double Oscar nominee Stephen Frears (The Queen) and Emmy-winning director Jessica Hobbs (The Crown). The international ensemble cast also includes Matthias Schoenaerts (Rust and Bone) as the troubled Herbert Zubak, Guillaume Gallienne (Me, Myself and Mum) as Elena’s husband, Andrea Riseborough (To Leslie) as Agnes who runs the household staff, as well as Hugh Grant as Elena’s defeated political rival Edward Keplinger in a delightfully-wicked cameo.

Excerpts from a conversation:

It looks like you contributed largely to developing your character in ‘The Regime’; how much freedom did you have towards shaping her personality, especially the eccentricity? 

It was a team effort; the large group of writers who had written all of these six episodes had done so much research and preparation in terms of creating this imagined country, somewhere in middle Europe. 

This gave us enormous freedom as actors to go far down the road in the direction of the absurd to play with the comedy as much as we really wanted to, and see how far we could push that at times. In the later episodes, it becomes more interesting, as things begin to fall apart, and the love story becomes more intense and kind of twisted. 

But my job as the person playing this female dictator was to try and create a real person behind the mask. I felt it was important that she should look almost too perfect, so that it felt uncomfortable; as though this is someone that you can’t trust.

This image released by HBO shows Kate Winslet, center, and Matthias Schoenaerts, left, in a scene from ‘The Regime’

This image released by HBO shows Kate Winslet, center, and Matthias Schoenaerts, left, in a scene from ‘The Regime’

It was also important to keep giving myself opportunities to unravel who she was. We had those really interesting scenes in the mausoleum when she’s talking to her dead father’s corpse (!); that gave me so much insight into her childhood and how much trauma she carried. That then impacted on how I wanted to let that trauma live in her body, how she moves, how she talks and how she is with people. There are some things that she copes with and some things that she just can’t cope with at all; she had to feel extremely vulnerable and fragile, but fearless and abrasive as well. So I just had to be brave enough to try everything, quite honestly. 

The directors of the show — Stephen Frears and Jessica Hobbs — remarked that when they first heard you speaking in Elena’s distinctive voice, it made complete sense and you reminded them of what an ‘old-fashioned movie star’ is. What is your definition of the term in this time and age when the idea of what stardom means keep changing?

My definition of an old-fashioned movie star… is definitely not me! It’s very kind that Stephen and Jessica said that; they probably only said it because they just couldn’t find other words. They probably would have been better off using words like deeply insecure, troubled, experimental. That’s how we all felt around that table readthrough. 

This image released by HBO shows Kate Winslet, left, and Guillaume Gallienne in a scene from ‘The Regime’

This image released by HBO shows Kate Winslet, left, and Guillaume Gallienne in a scene from ‘The Regime’

So, what is my definition of a movie star now? To me, quite honestly, the term ‘movie star’ is almost an invention in many ways. It is the way that we describe people who have achieved certain successes, doing the job that they do. For me, I just try to do my job well. Try and stay humble. Try to be kind, and try to be grateful for everything that I have. And most importantly, to remember that when you’re a woman and when you’re getting older… it’s a good thing, not a bad thing. Those are qualities that I think help anyone really in a high profile position in this industry.

“I just try to do my job well. Try and stay humble. Try to be kind, and try to be grateful for everything that I have. And most importantly, to remember that when you’re a woman and when you’re getting older… it’s a good thing, not a bad thing.”Kate Winslet

There are a lot of political references and subtext in the narrative that could be relevant to the goings-on in the world today. What does the series tell us about the current crazy world we live in? 

I always appreciated that the script is completely agnostic in terms of any real life depictions. It is an imagined universe; a fictional country in middle Europe which is not a part of history. It isn’t a documentary, and absolutely not a real telling of real life events. It is a geopolitical satire, and understandably, people will take from it what they want.

What I loved was that it’s a female dictator, playing a woman leading this small country and doing what she can, but I wanted to dig into who the person is behind the mask, because everything about Elena Vernham really does feel like a front. 

Kate Winslet as Elena Vernham in ‘The Regime’

Kate Winslet as Elena Vernham in ‘The Regime’

As a creative team, we really lent on the delusional side to her; the dark humour and the fact that you feel very uncertain about what she’s going to do next all the time. We all contributed to how she looks, the clothes that she wore, how she moved physically, and so on.

She clearly has hidden trauma from her childhood having been raised by something of a tyrannical father who clearly terrified her. But for whatever reason, she still seeks approval from his corpse of all things! I mean, it is so insane. You almost feel like well, how could someone write that? But someone did write that and I tried to play that part to the best of my ability and hopefully make it interesting. And more than anything, make it funny.

Your accent on the show is really hard to place… 

We deliberately didn’t want accents for any of these characters, so that you couldn’t identify exactly where they’re from. It was fun actually allowing all of the actors to just have their own accents, so that it feels like a very eclectic group of individuals within the walls of the fictional palace. That was a choice made by the directors. 

From whatever you’ve told us, Elena seems to live in a bubble of sorts, where she’s the center of the universe, and no one wants to say no to her. Did you relate to any part of the character at all?

No, not at all! I’m very fortunate that I had a very loving family growing up; I have three siblings and very kind, good parents. I’ve always been extremely rooted in the real world and in reality, and becoming a successful actress has been a huge surprise to me. I never imagined that for myself or the opportunities that have come my way. I am grateful for every day of my life. But I’m just one person on that huge film set, and my job is no more important than the person behind the camera, or the person who’s bringing the actors coffee. We all have a place and we all have to look out for each other and work as a team. 

Kate Winslet arrives for the premiere of HBO’s ‘The Regime’ at The Museum of Natural History on February 26, 2024, in New York City

Kate Winslet arrives for the premiere of HBO’s ‘The Regime’ at The Museum of Natural History on February 26, 2024, in New York City
| Photo Credit:
CHARLY TRIBALLEAU

“I’ve always been extremely rooted in the real world and in reality, and becoming a successful actress has been a huge surprise to me.”Kate Winslet

As an actor, how did you find that perfect balance between a humorous and serious approach? You can’t cross an invisible line, lest it becomes farcical…

Yes, I agree… you just can’t play the humour card all the time. With a character like Elena, it can become a little exhausting, and I was very aware of that. I would say this to myself, ‘I mustn’t be like John Cleese in Fawlty Towers’. Because even though he is so brilliant, it’s almost overwhelming to watch because you feel like he’s gonna hurt himself all the time. You feel that something is gonna go wrong, and it becomes really kind of frightening to watch. 

I knew that I had to get the audience to that place with Elena. But I can’t take them there in episode one, I have to kind of let it spread out over the six episodes so that by the time that we get to six, hopefully you have been completely reeled in by her story and who she is, her vulnerability, charm, charisma and her confusion with the world. 

Did it ever cross your mind that depicting a female leader in a negative light could come off the wrong way or cause backlash of some kind?

You just can’t think like that when you’re an actor asked to play the role of an invented female dictator who is completely delusional, living in an isolated world in complete paranoia. My job was simply to try and lift off what was on the page and bring it to life. 

This image released by HBO shows Kate Winslet, left, and Matthias Schoenaerts in a scene from ‘The Regime’

This image released by HBO shows Kate Winslet, left, and Matthias Schoenaerts in a scene from ‘The Regime’

We all just felt lucky as actors that the group of writers who had put the script together had completed the story before we all even read it. So the whole thing was complete. We could just jump in and really explore these characters. The satirical darkness hopefully is going to amuse people and entertain them.

The Regime is set to premiere on JioCinema on March 4

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#Kate #Winslet #interview #raising #hell #Regime

Laapataa Ladies Review: Emotionally Engaging Film Laced With Doses Of Wry Humour

A still from Laapataa Ladies. (courtesy: YouTube)

Kiran Rao returns to the director’s seat well over a decade after her debut film, Dhobi Ghat (2011), with a work that strikes the right notes. She does away with marquee names in Laapataa Ladies, produced by Aamir Khan Productions in association with Kindling Pictures, and employs three first-timers in a lively tale of two brides caught in a terrible mix-up.

Laapataa Ladies puts hinterland women front and centre and makes its points about gender equality unambiguously. The screenplay is, however, neither screechy nor shrill. It may not be entirely subtle about what it is driving at, but it does not overplay its hand in any manner.

Two newly married village girls who find themselves in a serious crisis. It isn’t of their making. In looking for an end to their troubles, they learn, each in her own way, that there are ways to dispel the darkness around them.

It is 2001. In fictional Nirmal Pradesh, two brides, on their way home with their respective husbands, get swapped in a passenger train. In the unsettling but life-altering chaos that ensues, they discover themselves and are never the same again.

Phool Kumari (Nitanshi Goel), barely out of her teens, is left stranded at a railway station when her husband Deepak (Sparsh Shrivastav) alights from the train holding the hand of another man’s identically attired and veiled bride (Pratibha Ranta) travelling in the same compartment.

When Deepak reaches his village home with the woman who is not his wife, he and his family are confronted with the repercussions of the embarrassing slip-up. The bride introduces herself as Pushpa Rani. Deepak has no clue where Phool, the girl he married, has disappeared.

He and his mates search high and low for the missing bride over the next few days. They lodge a complaint at the local police outpost but Inspector Shyam Manohar (Ravi Kishan) is not a man given to swinging into action. If anything, he only aggravates matter.

Pushpa, on her part, does not appear overly bothered that she isn’t where she should be. She even begins to develop a bond with two women in the family – Deepak’s mother Yashoda (Geeta Agrawal Sharma) and his sister-in-law Poonam (Rachna Gupta). And thereby lies a tale that contains the seeds of a rebellion.

Phool and Pushpa (both are Hindi words for flower) are temperamentally different. The former is grief-stricken, a bit of a babe in the woods who cannot even name the village she was headed to. The latter has her wits about her. She makes the most of the freedom that a home where she does not belong unintentionally grants her. Pushpa is a bride without the attendant shackles because she isn’t in the right place.

For poor little Phool, left to fend for herself in an unfamiliar, even perhaps unsafe, place, surviving in one piece is a challenge. She finds help in the form of a chirpy Chhotu (Satendra Soni), who does odd jobs for a rail platform tea and snacks kiosk run by the feisty Manju Maai (Chhaya Kadam).

Manju Maai, who has rid herself of an alcoholic husband and a parasitic son and has no qualms about it, takes Phool under her wings and begins to impress upon her the importance of not letting matrimony become a millstone around a girl’s neck.

The contrast may seem a touch contrived at first flush. But look deeper and the two incipient mutinies, one by a woman who has a reason, the other by an ingenue who has no option, begin to make sense. The lost ladies are two facets of assertion in the face of a grave crisis.

Adapted from a story by Biplab Goswami and scripted by Sneha Desai (who has also written the dialogues with additional inputs from Divyanidhi Sharma), Laapataa Ladies is a social satire with a pronounced feminist accent that gives the film its rationale.

The film is breezy and light on its feet. It is never, therefore, in danger of being bogged down by the weighty issues that it addresses. Its simple clarion call is in favour of the rights of women who are robbed of their dreams post-marriage and it is couched in simple methods that do not seek to draw too much attention to themselves.

Admittedly, the film isn’t saying anything particularly radical but the manner in which it articulates its concerns is informed with commendable thrust. One thing that Laapataa Ladies certainly isn’t is heavy-handed. It eschews excess. It says what it has to and moves on.

The threat that looms over Phool and Pushpa – part of it emanates from the police inspector hell-bent on cashing in on the distress that Deepak is in as a consequence of the accidental swap – exists only on the edges of the world that the laapataa ladies inhabit.

The social satire hits home because it is not only emotionally engaging, it also laced with doses of wry humour. Laapataa Ladies is an ‘issue’ film that does not fail to be entertaining. Without playing down the gravity of Phool and Pushpa’s predicaments, it finds space for hope in the bleakest of situations. That apart, the film throws well-directed punches at patriarchy, the evil of dowry, domestic violence and gender roles thrust upon women in wedlock.

The three young leads are wonderfully cast. Nitanshi Goel conveys a combination of fragility and optimism with minimum effort. Sparsh Shrivastav (of Jamtara fame) is solid. Pratibha Ranta is a show-stealer.

Among the supporting actors, Ravi Kishan as the cop whose role in the story goes beyond just policing is terrific. Geeta Agrawal Sharma, cast as Deepak’s spunky mother, is, as always, pitch-perfect. And what does one say of Chhaya Kadam? She radiates brilliance.

Several of the tertiary actors are also noteworthy. Irrespective of how much footage the film apportions to them collectively and individually, they stand out. Satendra Soni, Rachna Gupta playing Deepak’s sister-in-law and Durgesh Kumar as a slow-on-the-uptake constable contribute their mite to the film.

Laapataa Ladies gets so much right that a blip here or a blemish there can do no damage to the way it shapes up.

Cast:

Nitanshi Goel, Pratibha Ranta, Sparsh Shrivastava, Ravi Kishan and Chhaya Kadam

Director:

Kiran Rao

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#Laapataa #Ladies #Review #Emotionally #Engaging #Film #Laced #Doses #Wry #Humour

WTF Happened to Hulk Hogan?

When you hear the words “professional wrestler,” whose face comes to mind? “Well, let me tell you something, brother…” there may be no more iconic figure in the world of professional wrestling than Terrence Gene Bollea. But you may know him as Hulk Hogan. 

So WTF happened to Hulk Hogan? With a career that spans over 45 years, a lot. Let’s start at the beginning. But before we do, let’s keep in mind that the source of a lot of what follows is Bollea, himself. The complete record of Terry Bollea’s life is My Life Outside the Ring, his 2009 autobiography, which is more exhaustive than 2002’s Hollywood Hogan. In an industry stocked full of duplicitous people, Hulk Hogan’s long been considered to have perhaps the most strained relationship with the truth of any of them. But neither should we let the truth get in the way of a good story. 

Terry Gene Bollea was born on August 11, 1953 in Augusta, Georgia to the humble home of Pete and Ruth Bollea. The family soon after moved to Port Tampa, Florida. A talented musician and baseball player (Bollea says he could have gone pro in either), he grew interested in wrestling at a young age. He was especially enamoured with Dusty Rhodes, who was coming into his own as a fan favourite in the Florida region at the Ome, and “Superstar” Billy Graham, who would greatly inspire the Hulkster’s look and persona when he became a wrestler himself. 

When Bollea was in his early 20s, prominent professional wrestlers working in the area took notice of him at the bars where he played music gigs and especially at the gym where he worked out, Hector’s Gym in Tampa Bay. Mike Graham, son of legendary National Wrestling Alliance or NWA president Eddie Graham, and brothers Gerald and Jack Briscoe convinced Bollea to give professional wrestling a try in 1976. They connected him with accomplished trainer Hiro Matsuda. As Bollea tells it, at their first training session, Matsuda dryly asked, “So you want to be a wrestler?” and promptly intentionally broke Bollea’s leg. This manner of hazing was not uncommon in the industry, at this time and for some time after. Hogan was initially turned off by Matsuda’s approach but returned and had his first professional match against Brian Blair in Fort Myers, Florida, on August 10, 1977. 

Promoter Vincent McMahon, who gave Bollea his first shot in the World Wrestling Federation or WWF in late 1979, is usually credited with at least the “Hogan” part of the Hulk Hogan name, if not the entire thing. McMahon saw Hogan as a champion for the Irish members of the audience despite Bollea being of Italian and French heritage. As Bollea tells it, the Hulk portion of the name was inspired by an appearance on a Mobile, Alabama morning show alongside The Incredible Hulk TV series actor Lou Ferrigno, during which the host and his friends backstage propped Bollea up as being even bigger than the massive bodybuilder and Hulk actor. I mean, sure, yeah, let’s go with that. 

Hogan was given a title shot against WWF champion Bob Backlund right away and rekindled a feud with larger-than-life Andre the Giant that would later become one of the most important in professional wrestling history and legitimize professional wrestling as a national spectacle. Hulk claims credit for selling out Shea Stadium with Andre on August 9, 1980, but the real draw at the Ome was Bruno Sammartino vs. Larry Zbyszko. 

Hogan’s work to that point caught the eye of Sylvester Stallone, who cast him as “Thunderlips the Ultimate Male” in 1982’s Rocky III. This remains his biggest role in Hollywood, but perhaps not his biggest Hollywood role. More on that in a bit. Wrestling promoters tend to be control freaks. Vincent McMahon didn’t appreciate Hogan taking the prominent role outside of the WWF, especially when kayfabe, the presentation of wrestling shows as real events, was held in high regard. 

Hogan’s falling out with the elder McMahon led to him working primarily with the American Wrestling Alliance or AWA and New Japan Pro Wrestling or NJPW from 1980 to 1983. Remember when I said wrestling promoters tend to be control freaks? The AWA’s Verne Gange supposedly wanted a cut of Hogan’s international bookings and even for him to marry into the Gange family before coming to Hogan as champion. Hogan also says he wasn’t happy with the cut from merchandise he was going in the AWA. The dissolution of this relationship set the stage for HULKAMANIA, brother. 

Vincent Kennedy McMahon purchased the WWF from his father in 1992, with aspirations of turning what had traditionally been a regional product into a national one. He saw Hulk Hogan as the man to be the face of the company and lead it into the future. Hogan made his TV return to WWF on December 27, 1983. He quickly became the company’s top babyface or fan favourite, defeating The Iron Sheik on January 23, 1984, for his first WWF Championship. Rumor has it that AWA’s jilted Verne Gange offered the Iron Sheik $100,000 to break Hulk Hogan’s leg legitimately, but that the Iron Sheik refused out of loyalty to Vince McMahon. 

Immediately after the match, commentator Gorilla Monsoon declared, “Hulkamania is here!” Hogan’s fans came to be known as “Hulkamaniacs”. You might be wondering, “How did Hogan and the WWF get away with using the name Hulk without Marvel getting their purple shorts in a twist?” They…didn’t. 

In 1985, Marvel contacted the WWF about their infringement on the Hulk trademark. The sides agreed to licensing terms. Reports vary, but even a small amount for each appearance and a small percentage of merchandise sales likely earned Marvel millions between 1985 and 2005. It was in 2005 that Marvel and the WWE, who had since lost a lawsuit against the World Wildlife Fund over the WWF initials, were involved in a $35 million lawsuit over the Hulk trademark. Marvel lost the suit, but according to Hogan, was able to avoid paying the WWE by allowing ownership of the Hulk Hogan name and all associated trademarks to Hogan for market value, which was somehow only $750,000. The Hulkster paid that gladly and rebuked offers from Vince McMahon to buy it from him. 

The reach of Hulkamania cannot be overstated. The WWF drew live audiences, television ratings, and pay-per-view buy rates bigger than ever before or since. Hogan’s popularity helped turn professional wrestling from a niche, regional product into a national pop culture staple. His merchandise was in mainstream outlets all over the country. He was featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated, TV Guide, and People, co-hosted Saturday Night Live, and appeared on the Tonight Show

A major part of Vince McMahon’s push into national prominence was the Wrestlemania pay-per-view, the company’s landmark annual event that began in 1984, an unprecedented spectacle in the wrestling business. To promote Wrestlemania I (1), Hogan appeared with his friend and tag partner Mr. T on Hot Properties, hosted by comedian Richard Belzer, who is perhaps best remembered for his portrayal of DetecOve John Munch in Homicide: Life on the Street and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. Belzer repeatedly insisted Hogan put him on a wrestling hold. Hogan decided upon a front chin lock, which caused Belzer to pass out. Hogan, unaware Belzer had gone limp, dropped the unconscious host, who then flopped down, his head loudly smacking the floor. Belzer, who woke up in a pool of his own blood, ended up needing 8 stitches. He would sue Hulk Hogan for $5 million, receiving $400,000 in an out-of-court settlement. Ever the comedian, Belzer said he used the money for a down payment on a chateau in France, which he would name “Chez Hogan”. 

Hogan would headline 7 of the first 8 Wrestlemanias. Wrestlemania III on March 29, 1987, held the record for live attendance for a wrestling event in the United States until 2016. Wrestlemania III, at the Pontiac Silverdome, was headlined by a renewed rivalry between Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant. Leading up to the event, a Saturday Night’s Main Event show featuring Hogan and Andre earned the highest rating of any show ever done in the time slot. Soon after, Wrestlemania III (3), a rematch between Hogan and Andre, drew in 33 million viewers, a record for a professional wrestling show. 

Hogan starred in the movie No Holds Barred in 1989 and would go on to star in Gremlins 2, Suburban Commando, Mr. Nanny, Thunder in Paradise, which somehow got two sequels, Spy Hard, The Secret Agent Club, Santa with Muscles, Assault on Devil’s Island, 3 Ninjas: High Noon at Mega Mountain, which is a different movie from Assault on Death Mountain, The Ultimate Weapon, Muppets from Space, Gnomeo and Juliet, and even episodes of Baywatch and Walker, Texas Ranger. And that’s enough about Hulk Hogan’s acting career. He was certainly…prolific as an actor, if nothing else. 

Vince McMahon was brought under trial for illegal distribution of steroids in 1994. Hulk Hogan, although he had moved on from WWF by then, was kind enough to offer testimony that, while he and other wrestlers did receive their steroids at WWF headquarters, Vince McMahon himself never compelled him to take steroids or bought any for him. Vince was found not guilty. In 2003, the WWE ignited a feud between McMahon and Hogan by presenting that Vince was mad at Hogan for testifying against him in 1994, which is the opposite of what actually happened. But neither should we let the truth get in the way of a good story. 

Hulk Hogan signed with WWF rival World Championship Wrestling (WCW) in June 1994. 

In the summer of 1996, Hulk Hogan found his second wind. Hulk Hogan became “Hollywood Hogan.” The nWo storyline legitimized a grittier, more adult-focused approach to storytelling in professional wrestling that would reflect onto WWE. Both companies experienced a boon like they hadn’t since the peak of Hulkamania 10 years earlier. 

Hogan would end up suing WCW for breach of contract and defamation. This guy loves his lawsuits, as you’ll come to see. 

Hogan would return to the WWF in February of 2002 in his Hollywood Hogan character to feud against The Rock, who you may have heard of. Hogan later wrestled under the thin disguise of “Mr. America” for an time, which reignited the real-life feud between the WWE and Marvel for its similarities to Captain America. Hogan would quit WWE again in 2003 due to frustrations over money and creative. 

Hulk Hogan returned to the WWE for his Hall of Fame induction in 2005. This conveniently aligned with promoting his reality show “Hogan Knows Best,” which ran from 2005 to 2007. The show centred around Hulk’s relationship with his daughter Brooke. 

Hogan would take time off from wrestling to deal with the fallout of severe car accident his son Nick was involved in on August 26, 2007. Nick’s friend, John Graziano, suffered severe brain damage from the accident, and Nick faced criminal and civil trials as a result. Nick was sentenced to eight months in county jail and five years of probation. The Hogan family would settle with the Graziano family for $1.5 million. 

Hogan also took this time to get treatment for his back issues brought on by decades of punishment as a professional wrestler, especially landing square on his back over and over for his signature Atomic Leg Drop. Hogan sought out a traditional spinal fusion procedure before being convinced to undergo a series of more minor but ineffective procedures at the Laser Spine Center. He would eventually get the fusion surgery and return to work three months later. Hogan learned a couple of years later, in 2011, that others had lobbied complaints against the Laser Spine Institute, which granted him the confidence to sue them for medical malpractice in 2013. I’m kidding. He would have sued them, anyway. This guy loves lawsuits. Hogan would settle with Laser Spine Center for an estimated $10 million. 

Hulk Hogan joined TNA in October of 2009 and worked there until October 2013 as a decision-maker and a performer. During this time, Hogan would work with many faces from his past, including Eric Bischoff, who ran WCW during its peak, Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake, Ric Flair, Scott Hall, Kevin Nash, Jeff Jarrett, and Sting. 

Hogan returned to the WWE in February 2014 as a host and hype man, before his frequent collaborators, controversy and lawsuits, would necessitate a temporary parting of ways. 

This particular controversy actually stemmed from a sex tape that was released in 2012 and posted by internet news outlet Gawker in October of that year. The tape features Hogan having sex with Heather Clem, who was the wife of Todd Clem, better known as radio host Bubba the Love Sponge. Hogan would settle with the Clems for $5000 and sue Gawker for $100 million. 

Hogan’s adamance, especially the amount of the lawsuit, was met with skepticism at the time. It wasn’t until July 2015 that Hogan and his team’s vigilance was justified. RadarOnline and the National Enquirer leaked audio from another sex tape with Hogan and Heather Clem where Hogan goes on a tirade against his daughter’s then- boyfriend, referring to him as the n-word repeatedly. As if that wasn’t enough, Hogan also used homophobic slurs in the video. 

Hogan would immediately go on an apology tour, most famously on Good Morning America, but WWE understandably released Hogan from his contract and removed mention of him from their website. 

Hogan would win the lawsuit against Gawker, being awarded $115 million plus $25 million in corrective damages. This would effectively bankrupt Gawker. But time heals all wounds, especially when there’s money to be made, and WWE would gradually reintroduce Hogan to their programming by 2018. 

In February of 2019, a Hogan biopic directed by Todd Philips and starring Chris Hemsworth was announced, though the pandemic and other factors would land it in development hell. Hogan was married for the 3rd time to Sky Daily in September of 2023. In December of 2023, Hogan and his new wife were baptized at Indian Rocks Baptist Church in Largo, Florida. Gives a new meaning to “my brother in Christ”. 

Hulk Hogan is undeniably one of the most important figures in the history of professional wrestling. Pro wrestling historian Dave Meltzer said of Hogan, “You can’t possibly overrate his significance in the history of the business…He sold more tickets to wrestling shows than any man who ever lived, and I don’t expect anyone to ever sell more tickets than he did ever.” Whatever name you call him, Terry Bollea, Hollywood, Hulkster, The Immortal Hulk Hogan’s story and influence are forever etched into the annals of pop culture. 

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The most violent moments in the Halloween franchise | FilmInk

Michael obviously missed his craft in four years and the franchise presented us with even more sophisticated scenes of violence. But which murders from the past installments make the whole body shudder the most? I’ve compiled my top 5 Myers atrocities. The only condition is that we ignore the events after the original series, using only the 1978 entry and the new trilogy. In the last two films, Michael is so active and sophisticated that it was possible to make two or even three selections, but I tried to fit into one, taking into account the fact that there are scenes that are remembered and stored in memory the most.

The Death of Bob, Halloween (1978)

The fifth place opens with an episode from the original 1978 film, which I just couldn’t help but pay tribute to in this collection. As a child, Halloween was not really scary with murders or cruelty, but with the image of an antagonist who silently and frighteningly watched his victims. By the way, online casinos in Australia also offer games dedicated to this story.

Pictures about Michael were usually shown on TV at night, after watching it was even afraid to look out the window, so as not to see psychopaths in a white mask there. In this case, the episode with Laurie’s friend’s boyfriend Bob is for me the most remarkable in the original picture. At this moment, Michael’s strength and steadfastness are vividly demonstrated, which, combined with his composure, looks pretty creepy. Of course, with the release of extreme films, Bob’s murder does not look so terrifying, but in the old days this scene did not leave anyone indifferent. By the way, you can read more about this film here.

Spontaneous murder, Halloween (2018)

40 years after the outrages over the first picture, Michael is shown to us as a guest of one of the psychiatric hospitals, who escapes as a result of a car accident to wreak havoc in his beloved Haddonfield. For many years, Myers had been storing up evil in himself, so that one day he would take it out on innocent people. In fourth place, I put the scene where Michael catches up with an unsuspecting girl in her house in the middle of a holiday. This scene is remarkable, because it shows that Michael’s cruelty has absolutely no boundaries. This moment is also notable for the fact that the girl who fell victim to the maniac was not in his way, like the previous victims, and was killed as if to fill Myers’ own needs.

The episode scares you because no matter where you are, your house is not your fortress, and if Michael takes it into his head during a walk to just go in and replenish his crime counter, he will not pass by. The director tried to convey to us that absolutely everyone can be next, and it doesn’t matter what relation they have to the story, whether it’s the main character or ordinary passersby. This criterion applies to most positions in this list, but it is in this fourth pick, that it is particularly pronounced. By the way, you can read more about this film here.

Michael kills the doctor, Halloween (2018)

But the next hero is absolutely not a pity, but on the contrary. In third place was a scene with Michael’s doctor, who was obsessed with Monica. After the death of Dr. Loomis, who, by the way, wanted to end Michael, considering him evil in human form, the march over Myers passed to Sartan, who was a student of Samuel. Sartan’s unhealthy desire to save Michael in order to continue studying the nature of evil led to insane acts, the result of which was a brutal fatality from Michael.

How long was the doctor going to study his subject, if he hadn’t said a word for 40 years, is a good question. Who knows how the fate of this character would have turned out if not for his attack on Officer Hawkins. Maybe he didn’t finish it so cruelly. But the murder of Sartan in my collection deservedly ranks third in terms of entertainment. Although this method is not new to slashers, which does not make it any less disgusting, we move on to the second place. By the way, you can read more about this film here.

The massacre of Cameron, Halloween kills (2021)

I spent a long time choosing from two episodes, which one to put in the first place. I chose the leader by a small margin, but in both of them we continue to make sure that evil has no pity and Michael’s cruelty knows no bounds. The second pick is rightfully occupied by the scene with the murder of the boyfriend of Alison Cameron’s granddaughter in Halloween Kills.

You can throw hate at me, but I sincerely do not understand the criticism towards this part of the franchise, which shows mostly insignificant events for the history of one night. All this is made up in full for one of the main goals of a good slasher – a colourful massacre, which at some point simply grew in scale and became more spectacular. Cameron’s death was an obvious and logical outcome as soon as the couple crossed the Myers house. But the way, Michael treating the kid with sophistication deserves a separate nomination. It is worth remembering most of the atrocities of a psychopath and realising that Cameron was fairly bullied.

Basically, Myers doesn’t spend a lot of time on victims and he only needs one manipulation to complete the case, but not in the case of Alison’s boyfriend. At first, the poor guy repeatedly stumbles upon a knife, then his arm is broken, a wooden railing is pierced with his head and his neck is twisted. All this in front of Strode’s granddaughter, whom, by the way, Michael repeatedly felt sorry for. What did the guy do to deserve such a terrible outcome?

This is a separate issue. I went to the cinema for Halloween Kills and Cameron’s death especially shocked me and stuck in my head with its sophistication. It was as if Michael saw how much the guy was dear to Alison and therefore decided to approach the matter with maximum cruelty. I can’t help but note that this act of the guys to poke into the house to fight with Myers causes facepalm and bewilderment. But the director coped with the entertainment completely.

The death of an elderly couple, Halloween kills (2021)

And finally, the first place in my selection. Topping the top is, of course, the insane and unprecedented scene with an elderly couple in the house in Halloween Kills. Yes, the extreme picture has given us a sea of violence, albeit sometimes absolutely senseless. This moment is on the same plane as the fourth position of the selection, but it strikes much more with Michael’s callousness.

An unremarkable evening of an elderly couple, which did not portend anything terrible, is overshadowed by the appearance of Myers. Was it possible to do without this scene? Of course, but the director decided to plunge us into lawlessness once again to remind us of Michael’s unscrupulousness. The death of pensioners strikes several times. Myers acts like a school bully who attacks helpless opponents by bullying them. This is also written here.

Neither cries for mercy nor age become an obstacle for a psychopath, and he in a sophisticated form deals with Phil on the kitchen table, while his wife, dying, watches this. To be honest, as a person who is a fan of horror films, this scene managed to surprise me and for myself I can call it the most brutal of all that I have seen in slashers. Here I pay tribute to the director, who not only put the squeeze on, but also squeezed the intensity of this episode. The scene is set in such a way that it acts mostly psychologically, exactly at the same moment with the knives that Michael stuck into Phil’s lifeless body.



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Timeline: How Kapil Sharma And Sunil Grover Reunited After Infamous Fight On Flight

Kapil Sharma shared this image (courtesy: kapilsharma)

New Delhi:

Comedians Kapil Sharma and Sunil Grover are finally reuniting for the Netflix project The Great Indian Kapil Show. Sunil Grover previously featured in Kapil Sharma’s shows such as Comedy Nights With Kapil and The Kapil Sharma Show. However, Sunil Grover left the show following an alleged incident where Kapil Sharma reportedly mistreated him during a flight from Melbourne in 2017. Since then, the two have not worked together. On Tuesday, Kapil Sharma and Sunil Grover were together at Netflix’s event titled “Next on Netflix: Blockbuster Entertainment Ka Next Level.” 

Here’s a recap of the journey from Kapil Sharma and Sunil Grover’s conflict to reconciliation:

1. Fight on the flight and Sunil’s exit from the show

In March 2017, during a flight back to Melbourne, Australia, to India, Kapil Sharma had allegedly verbally abused Sunil Grover. Following this incident, Sunil chose not to return to The Kapil Sharma Show. Subsequently, other co-stars such as Ali Asgar and Chandan Prabhakar also left the show. However, Chandan later decided to return to the show after a few weeks.

In a 2017 interview with Bollywood Hungama, Kapil Sharma opened up about the flight incident. He had said, “I admit there was a problem. And I’ve paid a heavy price for it. But what was reported was grossly exaggerated and almost entirely fabricated. It was said that I asked that food be served to me first on the flight and that I got angry and I threw a shoe at Sunil. All these stories of shoe-throwing and tantrums were started in a section of the digital media.”

2. Kapil Sharma’s apology 

After Sunil Grover stopped appearing on the show, Kapil Sharma publicly apologised on X (formerly known as Twitter). The star wrote, “Paji Sunil Grover sorry if I hurt you unintentionally. You know very well how much I love you. I am also upset. love and regards always:)” 

After that, Kapil also posted a detailed note on Facebook. He wrote, “Hi.. good morning friends .. was celebrating my best time n suddenly I heard a news about me n sunil paji fighting.. first of all see where it is coming from.. what r the intentions behind this.. if I fought with him in the flight then who saw it n informed u.. is he trustworthy..? Some people enjoy these kind of stuff.. we eat together .. we travel together… I meet my brother once in a year.. n spending almost everyday with my team.. specially sunil .. I love him.. I respect him.. yes I had a argue with him.but r we not normal people..?I shouted at him first time in 5 years .. itna to chalta hai bhai. we will sit n talk that where is the problem.. I love him as a artist as a human being.. he is like my elder brother.. why so much negativity all the time.. I respect our media.. there r some other serious issues which we need to focus. Is me n sunil’s issue is so important n realted with the security of my country ..? We spend a lot of time together rather then our families .. n sometime it happens in family.. its our family matter.. we will sort this out.. zyada maze mat liya karoo.”

3. Sunil Grover’s response to Kapil Sharma’s apology

While responding to Kapil Sharma’s apology, Sunil Grover shared a note on X. He said, “Bha ji! Yes, You hurt me deeply. Working with you has been a learning experience. Just one advice start respecting human beings also apart from animals. All are not as successful as you are. All are not as talented as you are. But if they all are talented like you, who will value you. So, have some gratitude towards their existence. And also, If someone is correcting you, don’t abuse that person.” 

“Refrain from using foul language In front of women who have nothing to do with the stardom you carry, they are by chance just travelling with you. Thanks for making me realise it was your show and you have power to throw out anybody, anytime. You are the wittiest, and the best in your field. But don’t act like a ‘God’. Take good care of yourself. Wish you lot more success and fame,” Sunil Grover added.

4. Kapil Sharma’s birthday wish for Sunil Grover

In August 2017, on Sunil Grover’s 40th birthday, Kapil Sharma posted a note on X (then Twitter). The message read, “Wish you a very happy birthday Sunil Grover paji…May god bless you with all the happiness of this world. Lots of love always :).”

5. Kapil Sharma’s statement about how he “didn’t fight at all” with Sunil Grover

In October 2017, at the trailer launch of Firangi, Kapil Sharma clarified that he never actually fought with Sunil Grover. He stated, “When you move with such a huge team, you have to manage a lot of things and I am really bad at it, I will say that much. Touchwood, we have been working together for many years and I would like to repeat it one more time, I didn’t actually fight with Sunil Grover at all. It didn’t happen.”

Kapil went on to explain that he did have an altercation with Chandan Prabhakar. He elaborated, “When we reached Australia, since the first day, my mood was really bad. I was juggling so many things, I was shooting the show and for other things. During that time, my film’s artiste died. I was so nervous and turned so negative. I wanted to cancel the Australia show but couldn’t and before the show, a girl came to me complaining about a guy who happens to be my childhood friend, Chandan. I scolded him. I had to perform for one and a half hours and that girl and boy artiste had 10-minute stints. My whole thing was, ‘You are bothering me with this when I have such a long performance ahead’. I am a little impulsive. Chandan went missing for five days. I wanted to meet him and apologize because I didn’t listen to his side of the story. I saw him one hour before the Australia flight and I lost it again and I used cuss words again”.

6. Sunil Grover on not getting Kapil Sharma’s call

In March 2018, Sunil Grover, on X (then Twitter), shared a note expressing that he had not received any call from Kapil Sharma for his show. He mentioned, “Bhai aap jaise kuch aur log bhi mujhse same poochte hain. Lekin mujhe iss show ke liye KOI call nahin aaya. Mera phone number bhi same hai. Intezar kar Ke ab maine kuch aur sign kar liya kal. Aap logon ki duaon se ek achhe project Ke sath juda hoon. Jaldi aapke samne Aata hoon. [Brother, a few others have asked me the same question. But I didn’t receive any call for this show. My phone number is the same. After waiting, I have signed on for something else yesterday. With your blessings, I am associated with a good project. I will come in front of you soon.]”

However, Kapil Sharma commented, stating that he had called Sunil Grover “more than 100 times.” Click here to read all about it. 

7. Reunited at a wedding

In March 2020, Kapil Sharma and Sunil Grover were seen together at a wedding celebration. Kapil posted a glimpse of the event showing the duo sharing the stage alongside singer Mika Singh. In his tweet, Kapil wrote, “It was such a special and beautiful evening paji. Thanks for all the love and warmth. God bless the beautiful couple and congratulations to whole kumria family and friends.”

8. Sunil Grover’s birthday message for Kapil Sharma

In April 2020, Sunil Grover posted a birthday wish for Kapil Sharma. The comedian wrote, “Happy birthday pah ji. Wish you a long and happy life. Keep giving the world this medicine called laughter.”

9. Kapil Sharma on Sunil Grover’s surgery 

In February 2022, Sunil Grover underwent bypass surgery, which left Kapil Sharma deeply shocked and concerned. In an interview with E-Times, Kapil expressed, “I was totally shocked and I am extremely concerned about Sunil’s health. I had sent him a message but obviously he just got discharged yesterday, so I can’t expect a message back from him. He had to undergo a heart surgery at a very young age, but he will be fine soon. I have inquired about his health from our common friends. Working in the industry for such a long time, we have many friends and they regularly update me about his well-being and health.”  

10. Reunion for Netflix

In December 2023, Netflix India announced the on-screen reunion of Kapil Sharma and Sunil Grover. Sharing a video of the cast, Netflix wrote, “Dil thaam ke baithiye, jis ghadi ka intezar tha, vo aagayi hai! [Hold your heart, for the moment you’ve been waiting for, it has arrived!] Kapil Sharma and Sunil Grover BACK TOGETHER, coming soon, only on Netflix!”

Are you also super excited to watch the duo together again?



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Netflix India’s Full 2024 Slate: Among More, Amar Singh Chamkila, Murder Mubarak And Heeramandi

Stills from upcoming Netflix releases.(courtesy: YouTube)

New Delhi:

On Tuesday, Netflix India hosted a grand event titled “Next on Netflix: Blockbuster Entertainment Ka Next Level” in Mumbai to announce upcoming projects for the year 2024. The event, hosted by Monika Shergill, VP of content for Netflix India, was nothing short of a star-studded affair. From music maestro AR Rahman to  Parineeti Chopra and Diljit Dosanjh, celebrities added stardust to the show. In total, the OTT giant has announced 8 films and 14 series for the year 2024. Let’s take a look at these films and series one by one:

Films:

1. Amar Singh Chamkila

The biopic based on the life of legendary Punjabi singer Amar Singh Chamkila will release on April 12. The film features Diljit Dosanjh in the titular role, and Parineeti Chopra as his wife and singing partner. The Imtiaz Ali film promises to be a treat for music lovers. 

2. Do Patti 

Directed by Shashanka Chaturvedi, this upcoming thriller features a star-studded cast including Kajol, Kriti Sanon, Shaheer Sheikh, and Tanvi Azmi. While the film’s release date is yet to be announced, anticipation is high for this gripping tale that promises to keep audiences on the edge of their seats.

3. Maharaj 

Set in the 1800s, the movie tells the story of a journalist who challenges a powerful figure in society, seen as a hero by many. The film is directed by Siddharth P Malhotra.

4. Murder Mubarak 

Adapted from Anuja Chauhan’s novel Club You to Death, this film introduces viewers to a gripping murder mystery. The teaser showcases Pankaj Tripathi in the role of a skilled investigator. The suspects include Sara Ali Khan, Vijay Varma, Dimple Kapadia, Karisma Kapoor, Sanjay Kapoor, Tisca Chopra, and Suhail Nayyar. 

5. Phir Aayi Hasseen Dillruba 

After the success of Haseen Dillruba, Taapsee Pannu and Vikrant Massey are all set to appear in its sequel. The movie is directed by Jayprad Desai, but as of now, there’s no release date announced.

6. Sikandar Ka Muqaddar 

Neeraj Pandey directs this heist thriller that spans across 18 years. Don’t know about you, but we are still waiting to find out when this movie will be released.

7. Vijay 69

This Akshay Roy film is about a man, portrayed by Anupam Kher, who decides to compete in a triathlon at the age of 69. The project is produced by Maneesh Sharma for YRF Entertainment.

8. Wild Wild Punjab

The story follows a group of friends on a spontaneous trip to crash their friend’s ex’s wedding. Directed by Simarpreet Singh, it stars Varun Sharma, Sunny Singh, Manjot Singh, Jassie Gill, Patralekhaa, and Ishita Raj.

Series:

1. Dabba Cartel

Five ordinary women from Thane find themselves drawn into the drug trade through a “dabba” delivery business. As their secret operation grows, they must navigate alliances, evade the law, and confront inner conflicts, risking everything they hold dear.

2. Heeramandi: The Diamond Bazaar

In pre-independent India, an intense story unravels as enemies fight for dominance over Heeramandi, where courtesans rule as queens. Amidst power struggles and betrayals, Mallikajaan’s youngest daughter faces a crucial decision between love and admiration, set against the backdrop of the freedom movement.

3. IC 814: The Kandahar Hijack

Anubhav Sinha directs the harrowing tale of the longest hijack in Indian history when Indian Airlines flight IC 814 was commandeered to Taliban-controlled Kandahar. As negotiations ensue, passengers and officers face a race against time to bring them home safely.

4. Khakee: The Bengal Chapter 

Neeraj Pandey presents a riveting narrative set in 2003 in Kolkata, where two honest cops take on a dreaded don and his ruthless henchmen. 

5. Kota Factory Season 3

Students gear up for the tough IIT JEE exam while their mentor, Jeetu Bhaiya, goes on a journey to find himself in the third season of the much-loved series.

6. Maamla Legal Hai

This courtroom comedy takes a humorous look at the legal world through the lens of eccentric lawyers in Patparganj District Court. With a blend of humour, heart, and legal jargon, Maamla Legal Hai promises to entertain with strange and unbelievable cases inspired by real-life events.

7. Mandala Murders

Gopi Puthran’s thrilling series follows detectives Rea Thomas and Vikram Singh as they unravel bone-chilling murders orchestrated by a century-old secret society. In a dark world where villainy and justice collide, the intricate connections between villains, victims, survivors, and detectives promise a gripping narrative.

8. Mismatched Season 3

Dimple (Prajakta Koli) and Rishi (Rohit Suresh Saraf) navigate adulthood and new challenges in a brand-new city. As they confront obstacles and rediscover their bond, the question is – Can they stick together?

9. Yeh Kaali Kaali Ankhein Season 2

Sidharth Sengupta’s suspense series intensifies as Vikrant faces a deadly game of lies, greed and murder when his plan to eliminate his wife backfires. With new adversaries and hidden agendas, survival becomes paramount in a web of deception and betrayal.

10. Fabulous Lives vs Bollywood Wives

Three new divas from Delhi will join the lives of Bollywood wives. The show, produced by Karan Johar, will focus on Riddhima Kapoor Sahni, Shalini Passi and Kalyani Saha, along with the cast in previous seasons.

11. The Great Indian Kapil Show

The chat show, led by Kapil Sharma, promises laughter and entertainment as it brings together celebrity guests in the vibrant setting of an airport. With a mix of wit, humour, and classic Indian charm, the series aims to leave global audiences into splits.

12. The Greatest Rivalry – India vs. Pakistan

Chandradev Bhagat and Stewart Sugg’s docu-series delves into the passionate rivalry between India and Pakistan, both on and off the cricket field. With legends and emotions in play, it offers a unique perspective on the competitive spirit and camaraderie between the two nations.

13. To Kill a Tiger

The documentary, directed by Nisha Pahuja, tells the powerful story of Ranjit’s fight for justice for his daughter’s assault. The series talks about resilience, hope and unwavering love. It has also been nominated in the Best Documentary (Feature) category at the Academy Awards.

14. Yo Yo Honey Singh: Famous

Mozez Singh’s biopic delves into the enigmatic life of hip-hop artist Yo Yo Honey Singh, offering a rare glimpse into his personal journey and sudden disappearance from the limelight. With honesty and revelations, it promises to wow fans and industry alike.

Are you excited to watch all the films and series this year?

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#Netflix #Indias #Full #Slate #Among #Amar #Singh #Chamkila #Murder #Mubarak #Heeramandi