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Remembered: My Personal Bond With Alan Rickman And Professor Severus Snape



Remembered: Alan Rickman as Severus Snape

Remembered: Alan Rickman

In 2001, I personally discovered Alan Rickman.

As sadly confessional as that sounds, I like to think that I discovered this un-known gem of an actor, although he obviously had some stage credits behind him. This was like my discovery of Liam Neesan after the release of Schindler’s List. I instantly figured I was the one who really discovered him and he was now bound in some distant way to my appreciation of his (until that moment) hidden talents. What an craftsman! What an actor! And what a voice!

But with Rickman, I had a secret connection with him and with Severus Snape, the dark and frightening teacher he played in eight Harry Potter movies.

OK, I discovered Rickman along with a few hundred million others, when he first personified Snape in “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” in 2001. But I was very, very late in the game. Rickman, who died this week of cancer at age 69, already had legions of adoring fans from a storied career on stage and in film. Along with comedic and leading man roles, he was one of Hollywood’s greatest bad guys in several films, including those eight Harry Potter features and the role of Hans Gruber in the Bruce Willis film Die Hard, which was not a film I ran out to see.

Emma Watson Condolences

Potter Co-Star Emma Watson Condolences

Yet, he could play both sides of the coin. He was such a devastating leading man that co-star Lindsay Duncan, who played opposite Rickman in Les Liaisons Dangereuses in London said those watching the show would leave the theater wanting to have sex “and preferably with Alan Rickman.”

The actress Helen Mirren, who played Cleopatra opposite Rickman’s Marc Antony, summed up his ability to play both adorable and evil characters by honing in on what many found his most compelling feature: His voice. Mirren said that his voice “could suggest honey or a hidden stiletto blade, and the profile of a Roman Emperor.”

Many other tributes are now pouring in for Rickman from colleagues who recognize talent when they see it. Rickman has countless fans, but he was an actor’s actor, loved by his peers, who describe him as a creative, funny, intelligent, generous and compassionate man.

Harry Potter co-star Daniel Radcliffe posted a lengthy tribute to Rickman online and said that the actor “was so encouraging of me both on set and in the years post-Potter. I’m pretty sure he came and and saw everything I ever did on stage both in London and New York. He didn’t have to do that.”

As one of the millions in the audience, what I saw in Rickman was an actor who really savored his lines, demanding the audience – and the students at Hogwarts – pay attention to every syllable as he honed the depths of Snape’s delicious loathing of Harry Potter and his impish friends. As Snape, Rickman was compelling and dark, cooking his menacing part to absolute perfection.

And how I pleaded with my kids while watching film after film, for Snape to become the heroic figure in the end! I had not read the books, so I did not know what was coming. Then, when Snape killed the beloved Hogwarts headmaster Dumbledore, I was devastated. I felt betrayed to my core!

The story is very, very personal. As a youngster, I was put in a position of choosing a teacher in a boarding school to represent me in an intense situation after another teacher, who was drunk at the time, had punched me a few times. I choose a young, hip, very likable teacher to go to bat for me and, despite his intentions, he wasn’t up for the challenge. In the end, perhaps unwittingly, he sold me out.

A few weeks later, a teacher I thought was frightening came up to me and said that he was disappointed I had not turned to him in my hour of need. His eyes were sad as he said this and a lesson was seared right then and there into my soul that has stuck with me ever since: People should be judged by their loyalties, not by their manners. As such, the frightening teacher Severus Snape, in film after film, was my guy all along.

And Rickman, who often played complex characters, was all that I needed Snape to be. I wish I’d known this man’s talent all along. As Snape, he was compelling, dastardly, dark, brooding, menacing, complicated and kind. In the end, it turns out, he had us fooled all along. And isn’t that what great acting is all about?

~ Anthony Hall


Movie Magic: The De-Aging Technique of The Irishman




Robert DeNiro de-agedHave you read Izzy yet? If so, you know that Izzy makes the apples that give the Gods their youth and immortality. It also seems Robert De Niro discovered one of Izzy’s apples too… In Martin Scorsese’s upcoming biographical film, he stars as Frank “The Irishman” Sheeran, a labor union leader and alleged hitman for the Bufalino crime family. The trailer for the movie, which will premieres NEXT WEEK (!), also features a “de-aged” De Niro. “We’re so used to watching them as the older faces,” Scorsese said in an interview on the A24 podcast. “Does it change the eyes at all? …If that’s the case, what was in the eyes that I liked? Was it intensity? Was it gravitas? Was it threat?…How do we get that? I don’t know.” Some might consider this magic and I for one can’t wait to see the impact of Izzy’s apples on screen for myself. ????

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Movie News

“Captain Marvel” Retains Top Slot at the Box Office



It’s no surprise that in its second weekend, the first Marvel Cinematic Universe of 2019 is still riding high. Captain Marvel, the latest in the MCU with Brie Larson starring as the lead, generated another $69 million over the weekend, placing its domestic total at $266 million. Tallying up the international box office, the film’s global total to date is $760 million. Despite the online controversy, the film is looking to be another strong box office smash for Disney and Marvel.

As for the premieres for the weekend, and there were plenty, they were all over the map. Just below Captain Marvel was the animated adventure Wonder Park, bringing in $16 million, another film with controversy when the director’s name was removed from the picture after sexual harassment charges. Five Feet Apart, the dying teen drama about a romance amid cystic fibrosis, only came in at #3 with a weekend gross of $13 million. And debuting the lowest in the top 10 for debuts was Captive State, a sci-fi dystopian tale, only making $3 million. The film debuted so low the little film No Manches Frida 2 was able to sneak about it at #6 with a gross of $3.8 million.

Drops were fairly low all around for the returning films, mostly because Captain Marvel was dominating the previous weekend. The only milestone worth noting is that The LEGO Movie 2, after six weeks at the box office, finally cracked $100 million. And the sun is now setting on Green Book’s post-Oscar run by coming in at #10 for the final weekend of its top 10 run over the past few weeks.

View the full top ten weekend box office results below:

Captain Marvel ($69,318,000)

Wonder Park ($16,000,000)

Five Feet Apart ($13,150,000)

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World ($9,345,000)

Tyler Perry’s A Madea Family Funeral ($8,085,000)

No Manches Frida 2 ($3,894,000)

Captive State ($3,163,000)

The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part ($2,135,000)

Alita: Battle Angel ($1,900,000)

Green Book ($1,277,000)

Next weekend, Captain Marvel may very well have some competition when Jordan Peele’s new horror film Us hits over 3,600 theaters.

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Movie News

“Dragon” Continues To Soar, “Funeral” Close Behind, “Green Book” Back



With little competition for the weekend, How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, the third in the animated fantasy saga, was able to secure the box office once more. In its second weekend, the animated epic made $30 million to push its domestic total to $97 million. So far the film has done about the same as the previous film and is on track to stay in the top 10 for a few more weeks in March.

Debuts this weekend were small with one big exception. Tyler Perry’s latest Madea film, A Madea Family Funeral, naturally made a relatively big splash with its dedicated audience. Starting at #2, the film made $27 million for its first weekend. No word on the budget yet but it’s most likely on a budget as most Tyler Perry productions are, so it’s safe to call this a success, especially for debuting with a box office so close to Dragon.

The rest of the premieres were not as strong at all. Greta, the new thriller starring Chloe Moretz, debuted all the way down at #8 with $4.5 million box office. To be fair, however, the film was in a constant battle for its spot as three other films also reported earnings around $4 million for the weekend. Of note, Green Book, fresh off winning the Academy Award for Best Picture one weekend ago, splashed back into more theaters to arise even higher in the top 10 with its domestic total now sitting at $73 million. Don’t count on it remaining there long as bigger blockbusters will be swooping as we plow through the last remnants of winter movies.

Check out the full listing of the top 10 box office weekend results below:

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World ($30,046,000)

Tyler Perry’s A Madea Family Funeral ($27,050,000)

Alita: Battle Angel ($7,000,000)

The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part ($6,615,000)

Green Book ($4,711,000)

Fighting With My Family ($4,691,284)

Isn’t it Romantic ($4,645,000)

Greta ($4,585,000)

What Men Want ($2,700,000)

Happy Death Day 2U ($2,516,000)

Next weekend is once again all about Marvel as their latest superhero solo film, Captain Marvel, will be appearing in 4,100 theaters.

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