RIP Joel Schumacher

Joel Schumacher, costume designer-turned-director of films including “St. Elmo’s Fire,” “The Lost Boys” and “Falling Down,” as well as two “Batman” films, died in New York City on Monday morning after a year-long battle with cancer. He was 80. Born in New York City, the son of Marian (née Kantor) and Francis Schumacher. His mother was a Swedish Jew, whereas his father was a Baptist from Knoxville, Tennessee, who died when Joel was four years old.  Schumacher studied at Parsons The New School for Design before earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. He moved to Los Angeles, where he began his media work as a costume designer in films such as Woody Allen’s Sleeper and Interiors and developed his skills with television work studying towards a Master of Fine Arts from University of California, Los Angeles.

Schumacher’s first screenplay was for the musical drama Sparkle in 1976, which Schumacher had developed with Howard Rosenman before moving to Los Angeles. He also wrote the screenplays for the 1976 low-budget hit movie Car Wash, 1978’s The Wiz—an adaptation of the stage play of the same name—and a number of other minor successes. His film directorial debut was The Incredible Shrinking Woman in 1981, which starred Lily Tomlin. The Brat Pack films St. Elmo’s Fire and The Lost Boys were two of Schumacher’s biggest hits. Their style impressed audiences and their financial success allowed studios to trust him with ever-larger projects. He stated in the director’s commentary for St. Elmo’s Fire that he resents the “Brat Pack” label, as he feels it misrepresents the group.

Schumacher directed two adaptations of John Grisham’s novels: The Client (1994) and A Time to Kill (1996). Grisham personally requested that Schumacher return to direct A Time to Kill. Schumacher replaced Tim Burton as the director of the Batman film franchise when he directed Batman Forever in 1995. Val Kilmer replaced Michael Keaton in the title role. Despite a mixed critical reception, the film scored the highest-grossing opening weekend of 1995. It finished as the second-highest-grossing film of the year in North America, and sixth-highest worldwide. After this success, Warner Bros. hired Schumacher to direct a sequel, Batman & Robin, which was released in 1997. The film did not perform as well at the box office as its predecessors, and was critically panned; it is frequently considered to be one of the worst films ever made.

Schumacher decided to reinvent his career with darker, lower-budget fare like 8mm with Nicolas Cage, and Flawless with Robert De Niro. 8mm was entered into the 49th Berlin International Film Festival. In 2003, he released the controversial Phone Booth, in which he once again worked with Farrell. The film—about an unseen gunman tormenting a publicist—was also delayed for months due to the Beltway sniper attacks. It received generally positive reviews, earning a 71 percent “Fresh” rating on the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes. Buoyed by Farrell’s recently found fame, the film earned $98.7 million worldwide.

He directed a film version of the musical The Phantom of the Opera in 2004, an adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s original stage musical. Despite mixed reviews, the film earned $154.6 million worldwide (Schumacher’s biggest hit of the 21st century to date) and was nominated for three Academy Awards, as well as three Golden Globes, including Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy.

Schumacher directed The Number 23 in 2007, which was a critical flop but a moderate financial success. His next project was the vampire thriller Blood Creek, which was filmed in the spring of 2007 in rural Romania. It had a limited release. In October 2011, Schumacher released his latest film, Trespass. The action-thriller reunited Schumacher with stars Nicole Kidman and Nicolas Cage. Schumacher was openly gay throughout most of his career.

WWE Legend Undertaker Retires

WWE wrestling star The Undertaker has received an outpouring of support on social media after saying he had “no desire to get back in the ring”. The 55-year-old, whose real name is Mark Calaway, said in a recent documentary that there was “nothing left for [him] to conquer”. His words suggest plans to retire after a career spanning three decades. But neither Mr Calaway nor the WWE have formally announced his retirement from the league. The Dead Man, as he is nicknamed, made the comments during the new WWE biopic The Last Ride. He spoke about his most recent match against wrestler AJ Styles, which ended with him burying his opponent and riding away on a motorcycle.

He said he would consider returning for one last match, but that “only time would tell”. Mr Calaway has been a multiple world heavyweight champion, six-time tag team title holder and winner of the Royal Rumble. He began his career with World Class Championship Wrestling in 1987, and moved to the WWE in the 1990s as a final member of Ted DiBiase’s Million Dollar Team. Mr Calaway is also known as a WWE pioneer. He was part of the first Casket Match at Survivor Series in 1992, the first Buried Alive match in 1996 and the inaugural Hell in a Cell match in 1997. Despite enormous popularity, however, he has not chosen to follow superstars like John Cena or Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson into movies. He told the BBC last month that he “had opportunities to do so” but had decided against it.

On Sunday, he tweeted a clip from The Last Ride and wrote “you can never appreciate how long the road was until you’ve driven to the end”. His revelation has prompted a wave of supportive messages on social media, using the hashtag #ThankYouTaker. AJ Styles said he would be “honoured” if their fight had been The Undertaker’s last. There has been speculation in previous years about his retirement. In 2017, after losing a match to Roman Reigns, Mr Calaway dropped his iconic gloves, hat and trenchcoat in the middle of the ring before walking backstage.

Although to be fair in the wrestling world retirements are seldom certainties so we might see him again.

Almost 9 To 9

Well this was the week when it was supposed to be normal. Finally I got the shift that we all crave and hope we get and usually don’t when we work directly for one of the projects that is in an international BPO. 9 am to 6pm or in this case 9:30 am to 6:30 pm which is almost the same. The much coveted, golden price, the Wimbledon of the shifts, the Stanley Cup of them all, the World Cup of the the work shifts!

I had such images of me singing “it’s a five o’clock world when the whistle blows” or Dolly’s “Workin’ 9 to 5, what a way to make a livin'” (again I know it’s not a 9-5 8 hour job but still it’s close enough) and dancing all the way to doing things I love and maybe even watching a movie. I might still get to do that in the upcoming days but it wasn’t the way things unfolded yesterday.

This is because to two 30 minutes or less (as per the invites) calls that extended to 45 minutes each yesterday. So by the time I ended the calls and shut off the system it was 8:45 pm. Where did my evening go? I then had to quickly order some chilli chicken (Indo-Chinese cusine) and waited for the 25-30 minutes before it reached me and I went down to the lobby to collect it.

I did not manage to watch the movie but instead by 10:45 pm put on episode 1 of season 2 of the X-Files but fell asleep quite quickly. I dunno why but I keep falling asleep quickly during these shifts.