THE BIG STORY:

24 Hours Toronto - - Entertainment - — BY BRIAN GASPAREK

Good­bye TWC?

Over the past week, Har­vey We­in­stein has been ex­posed as a piece of hu­man garbage for his decades of al­leged (and ad­mit­ted) sex­ual ha­rass­ment and ag­gres­sive be­hav­iour to­wards a grow­ing list of women in Hol­ly­wood, in­clud­ing ac­tresses like An­gelina Jolie, Ash­ley Judd and Gwyneth Pal­trow. (We­in­stein de­nies rap­ing any­one, how­ever, and that all sex was con­sen­sual to his knowl­edge.) Apart from Har­vey’s ob­vi­ous per­sonal and pro­fes­sional demise, it looks like The We­in­stein Com­pany could be toast, too.

With in­for­ma­tion leak­ing that TWC chair­man Bob We­in­stein and TWC COO David Glasser both likely knew about Har­vey’s de­spi­ca­ble be­hav­iour (um, duh) and that sev­eral TWC ex­ec­u­tives ac­tu­ally helped set up Har­vey’s “busi­ness meet­ings” with some of these women, no­body in Hol­ly­wood wants to be as­so­ci­ated with the com­pany. And it’s look­ing like TWC’s des­per­ate at­tempt to re­name it­self and to yank its cred­its from sev­eral up­com­ing pro­duc­tions won’t be enough to save its tar­nished rep­u­ta­tion. Net­works and cre­ative part­ners are al­ready try­ing to dis­tance them­selves from TWC al­to­gether. Out­lets like Ama­zon that have pro­duc­tion deals in place with TWC are try­ing to buy out and fi­nance the pro­duc­tions them­selves, so they no longer have any cre­ative ties with the be­smirched com­pany.

This, com­bined with a con­stantly slump­ing box of­fice could mean that win­ter is coming for TWC…and quickly. Let’s not for­get about how Har­vey’s de­spi­ca­ble be­hav­iour di­rectly af­fects us as movie fans. TWC has pro­duced a ton of Os­car-win­ning, di­verse and crit­i­cally lauded in­de­pen­dent flicks that were oth­er­wise lack­ing in Hol­ly­wood. If TWC croaks, we bet­ter hope that another studio can pick up their slack.

FLICK HITS: Rock out of touch?

I love The Rock, but could he ac­tu­ally be get­ting car­ried away with think­ing the Fast & Fu­ri­ous fran­chise is all about him (see Reel Talk be­low)? When dis­cussing his Fast spinoff this week (which is de­lay­ing Fast 9 by a whole year), The Rock said, “I want to use my spinoff plat­form to cre­ate new char­ac­ters that fans will ul­ti­mately love to have fun with in mul­ti­ple chap­ters and plat­forms. Film, TV, dig­i­tal, vir­tual re­al­ity etc., the more op­por­tu­ni­ties we can cre­ate the bet­ter for the fans. Smart busi­ness. Let’s have some fun and to quote Hobbs the boss, if you don’t like it, we’re happy to beat that a-- like a Chero­kee drum.” Cool. But what about your orig­i­nal Fast & Fu­ri­ous cast­mates that are wait­ing to shoot another film? Don’t for­get about Dom and the fa­milia, Dwayne.

A snarky take on ev­ery­thing trend­ing in the world of film

Hal­loween

It’s nice to see that David Gor­don Green and Danny McBride’s 2018 Hal­loween

re­boot/se­quel has its head screwed on cor­rectly. In ad­di­tion to wisely bring­ing back Jamie Lee Cur­tis as Lau­rie Strode and cast­ing Judy Greer as her daugh­ter, the film is tak­ing a smart stance in re­gards to all of the god-aw­ful se­quels (and ter­ri­ble Rob Zom­bie re­makes) that were pro­duced post-1978. Ac­cord­ing to cre­ator John Car­pen­ter, the new Hal­loween “picks up af­ter the first one, and it pre­tends that none of the other [se­quels] were made.” Bril­liant call. Com­pletely re­press the stinkers. I re­ally hope this flick will be great. (Ru­mours is Jamie Lee Cur­tis is coming back to be killed off, a la Har­ri­son Ford in Star Wars.)

gets wise

Sylvester Stal­lone

Dis­ney hacks Jack

Sad news, Dis­ney lovers. Gi­gan­tic, The Mouse’s take on Jack and the Beanstalk, due out in 2020, has of­fi­cially been scrapped mid-devel­op­ment. Word has it that the film doesn’t meet Dis­ney’s qual­ity stan­dards. Ac­cord­ing to Walt Dis­ney An­i­ma­tion Group pres­i­dent Ed Cat­mull, “some­times, no mat­ter how much we love an idea or how much heart goes into it, we find that it just isn’t work­ing.” Bum­mer. We’ll have to seek com­fort in the other 100 Dis­ney movies headed our way.

Rocky to helm Creed 2

Ryan Coogler’s Creed was a sur­pris­ingly solid film, but un­for­tu­nately for us, the di­rec­tor has moved on to richer things (Black Pan­ther) and won’t be helm­ing the se­quel. In­stead, his of­fi­cial re­place­ment is Sylvester Stal­lone. Oh. Is any­one else un­der­whelmed? I know Sly wrote and di­rected the ma­jor­ity of the Rocky fran­chise (which ranged from medi­ocre to de­cent), but this just feels like a dated and unin­spired choice.

BEST AND WORST IN THEATRES: Jackie gets badass:

For­eigner The

Who would have thought that at 63, Jackie Chan could still por­tray a le­git badass? (Es­pe­cially af­ter all those garbage come­dies.) Not me. Di­rec­tor Martin Camp­bell is be­ing praised for re­ju­ve­nat­ing the ag­ing ac­tion star, and flip­ping him into a som­bre, stone cold vengeance-seeker. Crit­ics are call­ing this take on Stephen Leather’s The Chi­na­man a strong ac­tion thriller. Think of it as a heav­ier, po­lit­i­cally driven Taken. If ac­tion is your beat, The For­eigner is your flick this week­end.

Goofy spooks:

Happy

Death Day

If you choose to see a B-hor­ror flick called Happy Death Day,

you know ex­actly what you’re get­ting. It’s go­ing to be a campy, corny, poorly acted af­fair, full of com­i­cally cheap scares. And that’s ex­actly what crit­ics are say­ing about this blood-soaked take on Ground­hog Day. But that’s not a bad thing if you’re look­ing for some light, laugh­able preHal­loween fun.

REEL TALK:

“You know push­ing our re­lease date back, it’s only hap­pened one time in the his­tory of

It’s when we lost our brother Paul Walker...so what’s the rea­son we’re push­ing the re­lease date back now? [The Rock’s

spin-off.] I just got a prob­lem with Dwayne when it ap­pears he’s be­ing self­ish. It ap­pears that he’s so fo­cused on fur­ther­ing his own self­in­ter­est; he’s mak­ing de­ci­sions from the seat that he’s sit­ting.” — Tyrese Gib­son vent­ing about how The Rock’s Fast & Fu­ri­ous spin-off is de­lay­ing the re­lease of Fast 9 by an en­tire year.

Dwayne John­son

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