RIP Louise Fletcher

Louise Fletcher, the imposing, steely-eyed actress who won an Academy Award, a¬†BAFTA Award, and a¬†Golden Globe Award for her role as the tyrannical Nurse Ratched in One Flew Over the Cuckoo‚Äôs Nest, died on Friday at her home in the town of Montdurausse, in Southern France. She was 88. The death was confirmed by her agent, David Shaul, who did not cite a cause. Ms. Fletcher also had a home in Los Angeles. ¬†She was also well-known for her recurring role as the Bajoran religious leader¬†Kai Winn Adami¬†in the television series¬†Star Trek: Deep Space Nine¬†(1993‚Äď99), as well as for her role as Helen Rosemond in the movie¬†Cruel Intentions¬†(1999).

Born in Alabama to two deaf parents, she was initially taught by her aunt. She was nominated for two Emmy Awards for her roles in the television series Picket Fences (1996) and Joan of Arcadia (2004). Her final role was as Rosie in the Netflix series Girlboss (2017). Fletcher began appearing in several television series including¬†Lawman¬†(1958) and¬†Maverick (1959) before her two guest roles in Perry Mason in 1960. She was a relatively unknown 40 year old when she was cast as Nurse Ratched in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975).

Since then he made several financially and critically successful films, while others were box-office failures. Her roles in more successful films such as Exorcist II: The Heretic (1977), The Lady in Red (1979), Firestarter (1984), Invaders From Mars (1986), Flowers in the Attic (1987), Two Moon Junction (1988), Virtuosity (1995) and Cruel Intentions (1999, as Sebastian’s aunt). Additionally, she played the character Ruth Shorter, a supporting role, in¬†Aurora Borealis¬†(2005), alongside¬†Joshua Jackson¬†and¬†Donald Sutherland, and appeared in the¬†Fox Faith¬†film¬†The Last Sin Eater (2007). She also was in tv movies but her most famous role on tv was as the recurring role in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine as the scheming Bajoran religious leader Kai Winn Adami.

Let me tell you something РI will always associate her as Adami (I have also watched her in Flowers In The Attic & Exorcist II: The Heretic. And I, like most people hate the character. That is a credit to her acting; she really played that role so well. Similarly in Flowers In The Attic she plays another character that I despise but man what a talented actress. I feel a profound sadness on the loss.

Aliens (1986)

Aliens is a 1986 science fiction action film written and directed by James Cameron. It is the sequel to the 1979 science fiction horror film Alien, and the second film in the Alien franchise. Set in the far future, the film stars Sigourney Weaver as Ellen Ripley, the sole survivor of an alien attack on her ship. When communications are lost with a human colony on the moon on which her crew first encountered the alien creatures, Ripley agrees to return to the site with a unit of Colonial Marines to investigate. Aliens features Michael Biehn, Paul Reiser, Lance Henriksen, and Carrie Henn in supporting roles.

Aliens is now considered to be among the greatest films of the 1980s, and among the best science fiction, action, and sequel films ever made, arguably equal to (or better than) Alien. The film is credited with expanding the franchise’s scope with additions to the series’ lore and factions such as the Colonial Marines. With its effect on popular culture and fan following, Aliens has inspired a variety of merchandise which includes video games, comic books, and toys. The film was followed by two sequels ‚Äď Alien 3 (1992) and Alien Resurrection (1997), neither of which were as successful, as well as the prequels,  Prometheus  (2012) and Alien: Covenant (2017). A standalone film in the Alien series is in development as of 2022.

Old (2021)

Old is a 2021 American thriller film written, directed, and produced by M. Night Shyamalan. It is based on the French-language Swiss graphic novel Sandcastle by Pierre Oscar Levy and Frederik Peeters. The film features an ensemble cast consisting of Gael García Bernal, Vicky Krieps, Rufus Sewell, Alex Wolff,  Thomasin McKenzie, Abbey Lee, Nikki Amuka-Bird, Ken Leung, Eliza Scanlen, Aaron Pierre, Embeth Davidtz, and Emun Elliott. The plot follows a group of people who find themselves aging rapidly on a secluded beach.

Shyamalan decided to adapt¬†Sandcastle¬†into a film after receiving it as a¬†Father’s Day¬†gift in 2017. The then-untitled project was announced in September 2019, with the filmmaker revealing a partnership with¬†Universal Pictures. The following year, filming took place in the Dominican Republic for three months, during the¬†COVID-19 pandemic, with cinematographer¬†Michael Gioulakis.¬†Old¬†premiered at¬†Jazz at Lincoln Center¬†in New York City on July 19, 2021, and was theatrically released in the United States on July 23. The film was a box office success, grossing $90 million worldwide against an $18 million budget while receiving polarized reviews from critics.

The Suicide Squad

The Suicide Squad¬†is a 2021 American¬†superhero film¬†based on the¬†DC Comics¬†team¬†Suicide Squad. Produced by¬†DC Films,¬†Atlas Entertainment, and¬†The Safran Company, and distributed by¬†Warner Bros. Pictures, it is a¬†standalone sequel¬†to¬†Suicide Squad¬†(2016) and the 10th film in the¬†DC Extended Universe¬†(DCEU). It was written and directed by¬†James Gunn¬†and stars an¬†ensemble cast¬†including¬†Margot Robbie,¬†Idris Elba,¬†John Cena,¬†Joel Kinnaman,¬†Sylvester Stallone,¬†Viola Davis,¬†David Dastmalchian,¬†Daniela Melchior,¬†Michael Rooker,¬†Jai Courtney,¬†Peter Capaldi,¬†Alice Braga, and¬†Pete Davidson. In the film, several convicts join a task force known as the “Suicide Squad” in exchange for lighter sentences. They are sent to the South American island nation of¬†Corto Maltese¬†to destroy all traces of the giant alien starfish¬†Starro the Conqueror¬†before it falls into the local government’s control.

The Suicide Squad¬†premiered theatrically in the United Kingdom on July 30, 2021. It was released in the United States on August 5, simultaneously in theaters and on the streaming service¬†HBO Max. The film received positive reviews from critics who praised Gunn’s script, direction, and visual style. Many found the film to be a significant improvement over its predecessor, and it became the most-streamed DCEU film on HBO Max. It was a box office disappointment and grossed just $168 million worldwide against a production budget of $185 million, which was attributed to factors such as the¬†COVID-19 pandemic, the film’s availability on HBO Max, and its relationship to the first¬†Suicide Squad.¬†Peacemaker, a spin-off television series starring Cena, debuted on HBO Max in January 2022. Two other spin-off series are in development for HBO Max.

Unthinkable (2010)

Unthinkable is a 2010 American thriller film directed by Gregor Jordan and starring Samuel L. Jackson,  Michael Sheen and Carrie-Anne Moss. It was released direct-to-video on June 14, 2010. The film is noteworthy for the controversy it generated around its subject matter, the torture of a man who threatens to detonate three nuclear bombs in three U.S. cities.

An American man and former Delta Force operator, Yusuf threatens to detonate three nuclear bombs in separate U.S. cities if his demands are not met. A special interrogator, “H” (Samuel L. Jackson), is brought in to force Yusuf to reveal the locations of the nuclear bombs; his methods don’t sit well with everyone as the cruelty shown is more than the rest of the team can adjust to.

Alien (1979)

Alien is a 1979 science fiction horror film directed by Ridley Scott and written by Dan O’Bannon. Based on a story by O’Bannon and Ronald Shusett, it follows the crew of the commercial space tug Nostromo, who, after coming across a mysterious derelict spaceship on an undiscovered moon, find themselves up against an aggressive and deadly extraterrestrial set loose on the Nostromo. The film stars Tom Skerritt, Sigourney Weaver, Veronica Cartwright, Harry Dean Stanton, John Hurt, Ian Holm, and Yaphet Kotto. It was produced by Gordon Carroll, David Giler, and Walter Hill through their company Brandywine Productions, and was distributed by 20th Century Fox. Giler and Hill revised and made additions to the script; Shusett was executive producer. The Alien and its accompanying artifacts were designed by the Swiss artist H. R. Giger, while concept artists Ron Cobb and Chris Foss designed the more human settings.

It was met with mixed reviews on release but was a box-office success, winning the Academy Award for Best Visual Effects, three Saturn Awards (Best Science Fiction Film, Best Direction for Scott, and Best Supporting Actress for Cartwright), and a Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation. Critical reassessment since then has made Alien widely considered to be one of the greatest science fiction and horror films of all time. In 2002, Alien was deemed “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” by the Library of Congress and was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry. In 2008, it was ranked by the American Film Institute as the seventh-best film in the science fiction genre, and as the 33rd-greatest film of all time by Empire.

Things Heard & Seen (2021)

Things Heard & Seen¬†is a 2021 American¬†horror film¬†written and directed by¬†Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini, based on the novel¬†All Things Cease to Appear¬†by Elizabeth Brundage. It stars¬†Amanda Seyfried¬†and¬†James Norton. It was released on April 29, 2021, by¬†Netflix, and received mostly negative reviews from critics. A number of landscape paintings from the¬†Hudson River School feature prominently throughout the film. An artist relocates to the Hudson Valley and begins to suspect that her marriage has a sinister darkness, one that rivals her new home’s history.

The Manhatten couple, a professor & an artist, want to have a slower pace of life and a chance for George to be a lecturer in a college. But is their idyllic life with the kid, all that it seems to be and what is that Catherine is experiencing and hearing in the house? Filming took place over a 34 day period during the fall of 2019 in New York’s Hudson Valley, where the plot is also set.

RIP ANNE HECHE

The US actor¬†Anne Heche has died, a week after she was critically injured in a car crash. The news was¬†confirmed by a representative for her family to the US online media outlet TMZ. On Friday afternoon representatives for Heche, 53,¬†confirmed she was ‚Äúbrain dead‚ÄĚ, which under California law is the definition of death. It was announced earlier in the day Heche would be taken off of life support. It is understood her heartbeat was being maintained in case appropriate organ donation could take place. The American actress who came to recognition portraying twins Vicky Hudson¬†and¬†Marley Love¬†on the soap opera¬†Another World¬†(1987‚Äď1991), winning her a¬†Daytime Emmy Award¬†and two¬†Soap Opera Digest Awards.

She came to greater prominence in the late 1990s with roles in the crime drama film¬†Donnie Brasco¬†(1997), the disaster film¬†Volcano¬†(1997), the slasher film¬†I Know What You Did Last Summer¬†(1997), the action comedy film¬†Six Days, Seven Nights¬†(1998), and the drama-thriller film¬†Return to Paradise (1998). Following her portrayal of¬†Marion Crane¬†in¬†Gus Van Sant’s horror remake film¬†Psycho¬†(1998), which earned her a¬†Saturn Award¬†nomination, Heche went on to have roles in many well-received independent films, such as the drama film¬†Birth¬†(2004), the sex comedy film¬†Spread¬†(2009),¬†Cedar Rapids¬†(2011), the drama film¬†Rampart¬†(2011), and the black comedy film¬†Catfight¬†(2016).

She received acclaim for her role in the television film Gracie’s Choice, which earned her a Primetime Emmy Award nomination, and for her work on Broadway, particularly Twentieth Century, for which she received a Tony Award nomination. Heche starred in the comedy drama television series Men in Trees (2006‚Äď08), Hung (2009‚Äď11), Save Me (2013), Aftermath (2016), and the military drama television series The Brave (2017). Anne has struggled with mental health issues. She was also known for her relationship with Ellen DeGeneres and the events following their breakup became subjects of widespread media interest.

In 2000, Heche reportedly left DeGeneres for Coleman “Coley” Laffoon, a cameraman whom she met the previous year on DeGeneres’s stand-up comedy tour. On September 1, 2001, she and Laffoon married. They divorced on March 4, 2009. She was found to be intoxicated on August 5th when she was involved in a sequence of two car crashes in the Mar Vista neighborhood of Los Angeles, first when the Mini Cooper she was driving hit a garage at an apartment complex, and second when she crashed into a house, resulting in a fire that left her severely burned. She leaves behind two songs – Heche‚Äôs eldest son, Homer, 20, released a statement on behalf of himself and his half-brother, Atlas, 13.

RIP Olivia Newton-John

Dame Olivia Newton-John, the British-Australian singer whose breathy voice and wholesome beauty made her one of the biggest pop stars of the ’70s and charmed generations of viewers in the blockbuster movie Grease, died on Monday, according to a statement from her husband. She was 73. The singer revealed in September 2018 that she was treating cancer at the base of her spine. It was her third cancer diagnosis, following bouts with breast cancer in the early ’90s and in 2017. She was a four-time Grammy Award winner whose music career included five number one hits and another ten Top Ten hits on the Billboard Hot 100, and two Billboard 200 number one albums, If You Love Me, Let Me Know (1974) and Have You Never Been Mellow (1975).

Eleven of her singles (including two Platinum) and 14 of her albums (including two Platinum and four 2√ó Platinum) have been  certified  Gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). With global sales of more than 100 million records, Newton-John is one of the best-selling music artists from the second half of the 20th century to the present. In 1978, Newton-John starred in the musical film Grease, whose soundtrack remains one of the world’s best-selling albums of recorded music. It features two major hit duets with co-star John Travolta. Her other major success is the 1980 film Xanadu, in which she also sung “Magic” and “Xanadu” (with the Electric Light Orchestra).

The UK born Olivia moved to Australia with her family when she was 6 and by her teenage years she started making a name for herself in the local music industry and her musical hits in the UK, Australia & the US would lead her to make a move to the US in the mid 70s. For 45 years, Olivia held the Guinness World Record for the shortest gap (154 days) by a female between new Number 1 albums (If You Love Me, Let Me Know > Have You Never Been Mellow) on the US Billboard 200 album charts until Taylor Swift in 2020 bested that record. Although she had little acting experience (and turned 29 during filming), Newton-John gave an indelible performance as Sandy, a sweet-natured Australian transfer student who romances Travolta’s alpha greaser Danny at a Southern California high school in the 1950s.

In 1981, she took her new, sexier persona a step further with “Physical,” a dance number with suggestive lyrics. Banned by several radio stations, it became her biggest hit, spending 10 weeks atop the Billboard Hot 100. In 1983 she teamed with Travolta again for “Two of a Kind,” a romantic comedy-fantasy, but it failed to recapture their “Grease” spark. Over a lengthy career Newton-John won four Grammy Awards and sold more than 100 million albums. Shealso faced her share of troubles and tragedy. Her breast cancer diagnoses forced her to postpone and cancel several tours. And in 2005 Newton-John’s then-boyfriend, Patrick McDermott, disappeared at sea while on a fishing trip off the coast of California. He was never found — an unsolved mystery that haunted the singer for years.

From her second marriage to Matt Lattanzi, she has a daughter – actor/singer Chloe Rose Lattanzi. Married twice before, Newton-John married John Easterling, founder and president of the Amazon Herb Company.

Black Widow (2021)

Black Widow is a 2021 American superhero film based on Marvel Comics featuring the character of the same name. Produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, it is the 24th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) and the first movie in The Muliverse Saga. The film was directed by Cate Shortland from a screenplay by Eric Pearson, and stars Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Romanoff / Black Widow alongside Florence Pugh, David Harbour, O-T Fagbenle, Olga Kurylenko, William Hurt, Ray Winstone, and Rachel Weisz. Set after the events of Captain America: Civil War (2016), the film sees Romanoff on the run and forced to confront her past.

Black Widow premiered at events around the world on June 29, 2021, and was released in the United States on July 9, simultaneously in theaters and through Disney+ with Premier Access. It is the first film in Phase Four of the MCU, and was delayed three times from an original May 2020 release date due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Black Widow broke several pandemic box office records and grossed over $379 million worldwide. The film received positive reviews from critics, with praise for the performances, particularly those of Johansson and Pugh, and the action sequences. In July 2021, Johansson filed a lawsuit against Disney over the simultaneous release, which was settled two months later.

Seven Facts About Nichelle Nichols

1. She was the first African‚ÄďAmerican actress to play a mainstay role on US television and paved the way for other African-American actors in the industry.

2. Nichelle influenced many intergalactic movies with her unique 60s fashion style of skirts and thigh-high boots.

3. Uhura and Captain Kirk shared a kiss on screen that was one of the first interracial kisses to be shown on US television.

4. Nichelle had partnered with NASA to recruit women and those belonging to minorities for their space programme.

5. Nichelle initially had left the cult show for a Broadway play but Martin Luther Jr. was the driving force that made her return to the show. According to Martin, the show portrayed a non-stereotypical character that inspired many that had never been seen on US television before. Nichelle got inspired by his words and decided to keep portraying the character.

6. Her character Uhura became a role model for minority astronauts Sally Ride and Colonel Guion Bluford who were a part of Nichelle‚Äôs space programme.

7. The late actress had a soulful voice and a musical resume. In one of the Star Trek episodes, Uhura partners with Spock to treat her crew members to a melodious song.