April 23, 2014

Tag Archives: Central Intelligence Agency

Central Intelligence Agency says Kathryn Bigelow’s film “Zero Dark Thirty” is not accurate

The Central Intelligence Agency has issued a statement about Kathryn Bigelow’s film “Zero Dark Thirty.” This must be a first. I can’t remember a time the austere CIA said anything about a Hollywood film. But they are not happy. Of course this will probably create more interest in Bigelow’s film about the hunt for and killing of Osama Bin Laden.
Acting Director Michael Morell’s statement follows. He also calls the deceased crazed killer “Usama.” We like “Osama.” (Tomato, Tomatto, let’s call the whole thing off!)
Statement:
“I would not normally comment on a Hollywood film, but I think it important to put Zero Dark Thirty, which deals with one of the most significant achievements in our history, into some context. The film, which premiered this week, addresses the successful hunt for Usama Bin Ladin that was the focus of incredibly dedicated men and women across our Agency, Intelligence Community, and military partners for many years. But in doing so, the film takes significant artistic license, while portraying itself as being historically accurate.
What I want you to know is that Zero Dark Thirty is a dramatization, not a realistic portrayal of the facts. CIA interacted with the filmmakers through our Office of Public Affairs but, as is true with any entertainment project with which we interact, we do not control the final product.
It would not be practical for me to walk through all the fiction in the film, but let me highlight a few aspects that particularly underscore the extent to which the film departs from reality.
First, the hunt for Usama Bin Ladin was a decade-long effort that depended on the selfless commitment of hundreds of officers. The filmmakers attributed the actions of our entire Agency—and the broader Intelligence Community—to just a few individuals. This may make for more compelling entertainment, but it does not reflect the facts. The success of the May 1st 2011 operation was a team effort—and a very large team at that.
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Ben Affleck’s “Argo” earns raves after debut Telluride screening – AWARDS

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: Ben Affleck’s “Argo” has been building a steady stream of buzz behind the scenes from people in the know claiming that the seasoned actor and full-fledged filmmaker had a third consecutive hit on his hands. This afternoon, the political thriller held a not-so-secret debut screening at the Telluride Film Festival, and the response was off-the-charts positive.
“Terrific,” “outstanding,” “amazing,” “smart” and “absorbing” were the adjectives tossed around Twitter by scribes from sites like Variety, HitFix and The Playlist. Best Picture and Director nods seems very possible at this early stage of the game, as Affleck earned Academy cred with “The Town” (a Best Supporting nod for co-star Jeremy Renner) and “Gone Baby Gone” (a win for the great Amy Ryan).
By all accounts, Affleck has hit another home run with this true-but-strange story of a CIA operative cooking up a bizarre scheme to help extradite U.S. hostages from a compromised embassy in Iran. Affleck stars, and surrounds himself with an awards-worthy ensemble that includes John Goodman, Alan Arkin, Bryan Cranston, Kyle Chandler and Victor Garber.
The Telluride screening was a warm up for Affleck’s Gala screening in Toronto. That’s when I plan to get my first look at what sounds like a winner. We hope to cover “Argo” through the bulk of the awards season. Could this be the one that earn Affleck his well-deserved seat at the Best Director’s table? We shall see.

Read more of our exclusive Awards interviews:
Producer Harvey Weinstein
“Lawless” director John Hillcoat
“Writers” director Josh Boone
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Mc G’s This Means War trailer

HollywoodNews.com: There is nothing particularly wrong with this trailer per-se. It’s neat to see Tom Hardy in a comedy, Witherspoon looks stunning, and the general plot (two CIA agents clash when they realize they are dating the same girl) is fitfully amusing. But here’s the problem.

In the first 66 seconds, we meet the two spies (Hardy and Chris Pine) and the young woman they are both dating (Reese Witherspoon). We establish the conflict, toss off a few jokes and, with the opening action montage, establish that this will be a pretty big-scale action comedy. So, after about 1:06, we have all we need. Flash the title, maybe give a button gag, and then fade to black. The remaining 85 seconds merely exist to spoil gags from the film. And since we’ve established that this is a pretty expensive movie, it’s pretty much guaranteed that the film will only have maybe half-a-dozen or so major ‘give-and-take’ moments between the two would-be suitors.
The trailer sees fit to spoil three of them, plus a major action sequence between the two male leads. So basically all that is left for the movie to do is reveal whatever gags weren’t in the trailer and reveal the finale*. How wonderful would it have been for 20th Century Fox to merely leave the majority of the movie to our imagination, to merely cut to black at the 1:06 mark with the satisfaction of perfectly setting up the movie without actually giving anything away past the first twenty-minutes or so. Alas… Anyway, McG’s This Means War comes out February 17th, 2012 (better to capitalize on Valentine’s Day) and as always, we’ll see.
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Ben Affleck circling “Argo” for producer George Clooney

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: After “Gone Baby Gone” and “The Town,” we’ll happily report any news nuggets about Ben Affleck returning to the director’s chair.
If one film has a legitimate gripe of being left out of the 10 Best Picture nominees this year, it’s Affleck’s taut bank-robbing thriller, Maybe he’ll have a better shot with his next project, which we’re hearing might be “Argo.”
The politically themed story, based on an article written in Wired magazine, explains how the CIA fooled the Iranian government in 1979 as an effort to rescue six U.S. diplomats that were being held hostage.
“The CIA used a disguise expert and concocted a scenario that involved the six being a Hollywood crew scouting a movie titled Argo. Under those disguises, they were able to flee the country,” THR reports.
The trade says Affleck is “in early negotiations” to direct the film, which is supposed to have touches of humor (not surprising once you learn that George Clooney and his partner, Grant Heslov, are producing the political thriller).
It sounds like a film Affleck could handle, and it’s a step away from the 1970s-tinged crime thrillers that he has used to launch his directorial career to date. We’ll let you know if anything comes of “Argo,” and Affleck’s involvement.
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“Megamind” ends the weekend with $47.6 million

By Scott Mendelson
HollywoodNews.com: There weren’t a lot of surprises at the box office this weekend. “Megamind” opened right in line with most Dreamworks animated originals, with $47.6 million. The standard for non-sequels in the Dreamworks cartoon library is $43-47 million. Opening just above “A Shark Tale” ($47.6 million) and “Madagascar” ($47.2 million), the supervillain epic has the third biggest opening for a non-sequel in the Dreamworks animation catalogue, behind “Monsters Vs. Aliens” ($59.3 million) and “Kung Fu Panda” ($60.2 million). It was their seventh biggest animated opening overall. More impressive was the 3.8x weekend multiplier, which is their biggest weekend multiplier in recent memory.
The film didn’t open anywhere near the $56 million debut of “Despicable Me,” but Universal used the yellow minions to sell the film to the kids, while using the whole ‘root for a super-villain’ angle for the grownups. “Megamind” didn’t really have a kid-friendly angle, so it was up to the parents to drag their kids along. The film played 57% female and 52% over 25 and scored an A- from Cinemascore. 66% of the tickets were sold for the 3D version (7% in IMAX 3D), which says something as it was the first major 3D release in a long time where 2D options were plentiful. Point being, if you give audiences, especially large families with young children, a 2D option, they will take it. I can say that the film looks just fine in 2D, and Paramount bought just a little bit of goodwill for not making me have to track down a 2D theater not-so near me in order to take the family on opening night.
Where it goes from here is an open question. Thanks to “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part I” forgoing 3D conversion, “Megamind” will keep those 3D screens for at least an extra half-week (“Tangled” and “The Nutcracker” both open in 3D on the 24th). Still, “Harry Potter 7″ will still get the IMAX screens, and the film will be a brutal bit of direct-demo competition. Legs like “How to Train Your Dragon” ($43m opening/$217m finish = a stunning 5x weekend-to-final multplier) are unlikely, as the former film had no real kids competition (nor competition for IMAX and 3D screens) for a good two months, and the film was a more traditionally crowd-pleasing, heartwarming tale than the more aloof superhero/super-villain deconstruction comedy (that’s not a knock, “Megamind” is yet another [...]

Weekend Box Office Review: Megamind, Due Date, For Colored Girls open well, 127 Hours explodes in limited release

hollywoodnews.com: There weren’t a lot of surprises at the box office this weekend. Megamind opened right in line with most Dreamworks animated originals, with $47.6 million.
The standard for non-sequels in the Dreamworks cartoon library is $43-47 million. Opening just above A Shark Tale ($47.6 million) and Madagascar ($47.2 million), the supervillain epic has the third biggest opening for a non-sequel in the Dreamworks animation catalogue, behind Monsters Vs. Aliens ($59.3 million) and Kung Fu Panda ($60.2 million). It was their seventh biggest animated opening overall. More impressive was the 3.8x weekend multiplier, which is their biggest weekend multiplier in recent memory.
The film didn’t open anywhere near the $56 million debut of Despicable Me, but Universal used the yellow minions to sell the film to the kids, while using the whole ‘root for a super-villain’ angle for the grownups. Megamind didn’t really have a kid-friendly angle, so it was up to the parents to drag their kids along. The film played 57% female and 52% over 25 and scored an A- from Cinemascore. 66% of the tickets were sold for the 3D version (7% in IMAX 3D), which says something as it was the first major 3D release in a long time where 2D options were plentiful. Point being, if you give audiences, especially large families with young children, a 2D option, they will take it. I can say that the film looks just fine in 2D, and Paramount bought just a little bit of goodwill for not making me have to track down a 2D theater not-so near me in order to take the family on opening night.
Where it goes from here is an open question. Thanks to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part I forgoing 3D conversion, Megamind will keep those 3D screens for at least an extra half-week (Tangled and The Nutcracker both open in 3D on the 24th). Still, Harry Potter 7 will still get the IMAX screens, and the film will be a brutal bit of direct-demo competition. Legs like How to Train Your Dragon ($43m opening/$217m finish = a stunning 5x weekend-to-final multplier) are unlikely, as the former film had no real kids competition (nor competition for IMAX and 3D screens) for a good two months, and the film was a more traditionally crowd-pleasing, heartwarming tale than the more aloof superhero/super-villain deconstruction comedy (that’s not a knock, Megamind is yet another dynamite cartoon [...]

Bruce Willis prefers British women

HollywoodNews.com: ‘Red’ star Bruce Willis demands he only works with hot women in his movies.
While at the premiere for his new flick ‘Red’ in London, he told British newspaper the Daily Star: “I only want to work with attractive women in every film that I’m in, regardless of whether it makes sense. I want to do more comedy, I’d love to work with Jennifer Aniston again.”
Bruce also said what type of woman he goes for. He added: “I do prefer British girls – I married one. I look for beauty, charm and graciousness.”
‘Red’ is an action-comedy that follows the story of top CIA agents who are framed and must stay ahead of the game as they tackle one of the government’s biggest conspiracies.
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Source: Splash News

This Week In Movies – “Jackass 3D,” “Red,” “Conviction”

By Pete Hammond
HollywoodNews.com: Box office-wise this will probably be known as the week that clearly marked the decline of western civilization. With its near stunning $50 million gross Paramount’s scatological gross-out epic “Jackass 3D” exceeded expectations on about the same level as it managed to exceed any expectation of taste. The enthusiastic public reception to this third chapter in Johnny Knoxville and gang’s low brow exercise in vomit-inducing bodily pranks probably says more about what audiences crave than it does about the “filmmakers” who serve it all up in gut-blasting 3D. Want to see a dildo fly right into your face? This is the place. Want to watch a fat guy running on a treadmill wrapped in cellophane producing ‘sweat cocktails’ for adventurous drinkers? Line up now. Want to check out a hungry pig named Bob trying to extract an apple from the same fat guy’s rear end? Welcome to Knoxville’s own Fellini-esque vision of human debasement. It’s like watching The 3 Stooges on an acid trip, only there are 9 of these guys with names like Bam Margera, Ryan Dunn, Steve-O, Jason “Wee Man” Acuna, Preston Lacy, “Danger Ehren” McGhehey, Dave England and Chris Pontius whose self-induced torture of his male member (aided by a toy helicopter) deserves some sort of bravery medal. Some of it is undeniably funny but you’ll want to take a cold shower afterwards. Of course this kind of stuff is nothing new, it’s just more extreme. In the 60’s there were a series of shockumentaries such as Mondo Cane which promised such sights as people eating excrement etc. The difference now are 3D effects that allow the excrement to seem like it’s flying off the screen and into the theatre. You haven’t lived until you witness the outhouse bungi jump! Even with hiked prices for 3D the studio was taken by surprise by just how much of a craving moviegoers have for this kind of thing. Another “Jackass” is guaranteed and certain to go even further than this. These are the times we are living in.

The week’s other wide release also did quite well, if not even half the “Jackass” haul. “RED” could be dismissed as just another Bruce Willis action vehicle were it not for a supporting cast whose combined ages number into the several hundreds. This clever “geriaction” movie features the [...]

Hollywood Movie Roundup: ‘Jackass 3D,’ ‘Red’ duke it out

HollywoodNews.com: Box office bean counters are foreseeing another faceoff at the box office between Paramount’s MTV eight-year old franchise “Jackass 3D” and Summit Entertainment’s comic book shoot ‘em up “Red” starring Bruce Willis, Helen Mirren, Morgan Freeman and John Malkovich.
“Jackass” is predicted to bring in about $30 million, while “Red” could see north of $25 million.
“Jackass” follows Johnny Knoxville and his crew as they perform ridiculous ‘don’t do this at home’ stunts. The upside in this third installment: It’s all in your face. Paramount spent only $20 million on the film and it looks to be a huge cash cow for the studio.
Critics gave “Jackass” a kick in the butt with a 59% rotten score, but it doesn’t matter – the film isn’t for them, rather young guys. Variety’s Justin Chang actually likes the film, exclaiming, “Few suffer as cheerfully for their art as Johnny Knoxville and his band of scatological stuntmeisters, and the gut-busting pleasure they take in every act of self-humiliation proves as infectious as ever.”

“Red” is based on a DC comic book about a group of retired CIA agents and killers who are framed and forced to break into agency headquarters. Mary Louise Parker also stars. Summit is looking at their best film opening outside it’s “Twilight” franchise. The studio shelled out about $60 million for the film. Currently, “Red” is tracking to hook adults over 35. Critics are enjoying the explosions, awarding it a 69% fresh on the Tomatometer. John DeFore of the Hollywood Reporter praises “Red” saying “Although tailor-made for genre fans, it benefits from flavors of humor and romance that keep its appeal from being fanboy-only.”

Clint Eastwood’s Warner Bros. supernatural drama “Hereafter” unspools in six theaters in Los Angeles, New York and Toronto before going wide next weekend. The film, starring Matt Damon and Bryce Dallas Howard, follows a blue collar U.S. worker, a French journalist and a London school boy who are impacted by death in mysterious ways. Critics are giving it a 60% fresh score. Kenneth Turan of the Los Angeles Times says, “Hollywood once upon a time made films exploring these kinds of issues, but in today’s climate only a filmmaker like Eastwood, determined to never do the same thing twice, would have the nerve and the clout to take it on.”

Fox Searchlight is bowing in limited release “Conviction” [...]

’24′s’ David Dayan Fisher to host fundraising event for launch of “Puppy School”

HollywoodNews.com: Actor David Dayan Fisher (of NCIS, 24 and more) is hosting a book launch and fund-raising event in Hollywood to launch his new children’s book, “Puppy School,” while also benefitting In Defense of Animals (IDA).
By day he is a Russian terrorist, but by night, David Dayan Fisher is penning children’s books about puppies. A British actor who often plays villains in TV shows like 24, Fisher reveals his softer side in the children’s chapter book. After becoming a dog rescue advocate nine years ago, the book was literally a dream for Fisher.
“I was at dinner with friends one evening, and joked that their dog should go to puppy school since he was so wild,” says Fisher. “That night, I dreamt the story of Puppy School from start to finish, and immediately wrote it down the next morning.”
Burton and Monkey are two pups from very different backgrounds. Burton is a pedigree, a perfect chocolate lab, who, as part of the canine elite, goes to Puppy School. It’s a place where pedigree dogs earn their “dogree”. Monkey on the other hand is a mutt, whose coat looks like an “accident in a paint factory.” Despite being told that mutts do not attend Puppy School, he sneaks in anyway.
A heartwarming story of determination and equality, the two dogs go on to forge an unlikely friendship. Burton takes Monkey under his wing and, after several mishaps including a terrifying stay in the puppy prison, Muttly Manor, both pups end up earning their dogrees and learn they are not so different afterall.
David Dayan Fisher moved to Los Angeles nine years ago from London to make his acting dream come true. He has since earned starring roles in both TV and film, including National Treasure, The Librarian, Numb3rs and 24, and has been a regular guest star for four years on the hit show NCIS, as CIA agent Trent Kort. He is now a spokesperson for several dog rescue agencies.
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