Category Archives: Men in Arts

Henry Cavill Shaves His Mustache

It is a momentous occasion in film history today, as Henry Cavill has finally shaved his infamous mustache.

The actor posted a picture of himself, newly-shaven and staring in his mirror, on his Instagram account with the comment #ShavedButNotForgotten. He also referred to it as “King Stache” and says that he hardly recognizes his face without it.

This might have been minor news if the production of two films had not made the facial hair so notable. He grew the mustache for his role as August Walker in Mission: Impossible—Fallout and was contractually obligated not to shave it until filming was complete. This led to a problem when he was called to do reshoots for Justice League, where he played a clean-shaven Clark Kent/Superman. As such, the reshoots used CGI to remove his mustache in post, leading to a mouth that plunged directly into the Uncanny Valley.

The CGI lip was only notable for looking really weird, however; it also provided an easy way to track which scenes from the film were reshoots (done by replacement director Joss Whedon) and which were from the original filming (done by the first director, Zack Snyder). As such it revealed that very extensive alterations had been made in the middle of production, including almost every scene that included Superman. This has led to some controversy and helps demonstrate how disorganized the DC Extended Universe has been up until this point.

But the franchise will continue, with Aquaman coming out this December and Shazam and Wonder Woman following it next year, in April and November, respectively. There are rumors that the now-stache-less Cavill may reprise his role as Superman for Shazam, but beyond that his fate in the franchise is unknown; a Man of Steel 2 has been discussed but there are not firm plans for the sequel as of yet.

Stephen King’s The Bone Church Moves to the Television Phase

A rather intriguing new television series based on a work by Stephen King moves forward. King once wrote an offbeat poem titled The Bone Church. The Bone Church wasn’t written like a traditional Stephen King tome. This work was a strange poem, a poem that impressed fans and critics. Apparently, the source material also impressed television producers.

The Bone Church comes off as a variant of Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, but with the many King touches fans clamor for.

Stephen King is red hot once again. The legendary author never really experienced any career lulls. He’s been selling an incredible number of novels since the 1970’s. In terms of motion pictures, projects based on King’s works haven’t always been huge hits. The recent failure of The Dark Tower may have led some to wonder if King adaptions could do well at the box office. And then along came the fantastic remake of It. The second live-action version of The Losers Club vs. Pennywise the Clown earned hundreds of millions at the worldwide box office. Now, scores of studios are looking to produce new King projects. The Bone Church seems to be the most intriguing one so far. It isn’t the last, either. Several other Stephen King television projects seem to be moving forward.

In the 1980’s, there was a massive number of Stephen King movies produced. In time, the Stephen King name ceased to be an automatic ticket seller. Movie and TV projects continued with 1990’s version of It being a popular hit.

The sequel to It clearly stands as the most anticipated of all future King works. The Bone Church could make for perfect episodic television. Stranger Things proves dark and fantastic adventures can play out well in a well-written series. The Bone Church could even give Stranger Things a run for becoming the top fan-favorite fantasy program among genre enthusiasts.

‘The Greatest Showman’ Starring Hugh Jackman Is a Hit

Hugh Jackman has been a big star for a very long time. He has many hit movies to his credit. However, “The Greatest Showman” is certain to be one of the most successful films of his career when all is said and done. The movie is a musical that tells the life story of the legendary circus creator P.T. Barnum. The movie is very unique because it was been able to keep making money for a very long time. The film came out way back in December. Most films do not last 10 weeks in the theaters. However, “The Greatest Showman” earned $3.5 million in its 10th week of release. This brings its total in the United States to a very impressive $170 million.

Nobody in the movie industry expected this film to have this sort of staying power. It has been a pleasant surprise for everyone involved. Hugh Jackman is no stranger to musicals. He also starred in a film adaptation of “Les Miserables” that was also a big hit. “The Greatest Showman” has proven to be a big hit with both men and women. Jackman has always been an actor who has appealed to both male and female audiences in whatever movie he happened to be starring in. The reason that this film has continued to attract audiences 10 weeks after it was released is a mystery to people who work in the movie industry. There does not seem to be any formula to explain why films like this have staying power.

“The Greatest Showman” has been a passion project for Jackman. It was in development for quite some time. However, a lack of financing preventing it from being made several years ago. Jackman attaching his name to the project made several investors come forward to finance the project.

Max Hooper Schneider Hot On Art World Radar As Exciting Emerging Artist

Some describe his work as “apocalyptic terrariums.” Others say the creations of Max Hooper Schneider combine the natural and the artificial with a flair for the drama of theater that is disturbingly informed by the surreal.

Whatever the case, Schneider is an emerging artist that a lot of people are watching. He’s a new kind of talent who is, if not on the cusp of greatness, is definitely on the “cusp of the cusp of greatness” — as one art critic put it.

Max Hooper Schneider is seen as an unlikely entrant into the world of modern art. His formal education is in biology and architecture. He earned a Master’s degree in landscape architecture from Harvard University. At age 35, the Los Angeles native made art is full-time job, something he said was natural outcome of his past experience, interests, education and vision.

Some of Schneider’s works resemble large aquariums and/or terrariums that contain what he calls “trans-habitats.” Such a piece might be an aquarium choked thick with aquatic plants, but laced with neon lights and sundry pieces of refuse, such as razor blades, chunks of plastic, car parts and more.

One of his pieces resembles a 1950s-era dishwasher loaded with glassware that somehow comes to serves as a black-lit scene for an aquatic reef.

Art world observers say Schneider’s breakthrough into the realm of “respect” came after his 2014 exhibit at Jenny’s, a major Los Angeles art gallery. Other shows followed on the L.A. scene, but his work also has been on display in Paris, New York and Miami. One of his exhibits was shown in a Miami hotel in 2017 when that city hosted the international Art Basel event in 2017 – and Schneider became the “talk of the show,” according to the editors of Artsy.

Joss Whedon Wanted to Adapt Batgirl’s Original Comic

Joss Whedon has officially stepped down from plans to direct a Batgirl movie for the DC Extended Universe, but now word has leaked out that he was considering doing an adaptation of the character’s first comic book story.

Fans suspect several factors to explain Whedon’s exit from the project. Though he is well-known for creating nuanced and action-oriented female characters (mostly notably with Buffy the Vampire Slayer), many believe that a female-led film franchise should have a female director, especially after the success of Patty Jenkin’s Wonder Woman. His failure to completely fix Justice League may well have also played a part. However, Whedon’s own stated reason is writer’s block: excited though he was to create the film, he could not figure out a good story to tell with the character.

According to Variety, however, Whedon had at least vague plans to try and adapt “The Million Dollar Debut of Batgirl!,” which saw her premiere. In that story, Barbara Gordon (daughter of Batman’s ally Commissioner Jim Gordon) attends a charity masquerade ball in a female version of Batman’s iconic costume. At the event, however, she sees Bruce Wayne attacked by the villain Killer Moth and jumps in to help him. Her aid gives him enough time to slip away and change into Batman. This ultimately leads to the pair, plus Robin, uncovering the evildoer’s lair and defeating him.

This would have been an interesting choice to adapt, as so far the DCEU has taken most of its cues from the New 52, and an origin story would have taken another step into the franchise’s past. It remains to be seen if this film will ultimately get made, by whom, and what its new story line will be.

The Artist Who Painted President Obama’s Portrait.

On Monday, the portraits of President Obama and Michelle Obama that will be displayed in the National Gallery of Art were unveiled. There has been a great deal of comment regarding the portraits ranging from those who really like them to those who think that they are the worst portraits of a president and his wife ever done.

Kehinde Wiley is the artist who painted the portrait of President Obama. He did not paint the portrait of Michelle Obama. The portrait shows the former president seated and leaning slightly forward. In the painting’s background, President Obama is surrounded by green foliage and flowers of different colors.

Mr. Wiley is a well-known artist who is based in New York City. He has been working in the field of contemporary art for over 20 years, and some of his paintings have sold for well over $100,000.

Many of Mr. Wiley’s paintings depict prominent African-Americans in historical settings. For instance, one of Mr. Wiley’s more famous portraits depicts Michael Jackson dressed in the garments of King Philip II and riding a white horse. Wiley has painted portraits of LL Cool J and other hip-hop artists in various styles from the past. Several of Mr. Wiley’s hip-hop paintings were displayed in the National Gallery Art during a special exhibition.

Kehinde Wiley was specifically chosen by Mr. Obama to paint his official portrait. Mr. Obama met with the artist, and the two men discussed the way in which Wiley would depict the former president.

The portrait of President Obama is quite different from the portraits of the other past presidents. Most of the other portraits depict the former presidents in a more regal and stately manner. The painting of President Obama is unique in its background and overall color scheme.

Barack Obama’s Official Portrait Artist

Kehinde Wiley, based in New York City, is a portrait painter known for his highly naturalistic large-scale paintings of African-Americans. He was personally chosen by Barack Obama to paint his official presidential portrait which, along with one painted of Michelle Obama by a different artist, was unveiled on Monday, February 12, 2018, in a ceremony held at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C.

The portraits were well received as were the remarks given by the Obamas and the artists, especially when Barack thanked his wife’s artist for capturing the grace, beauty, intelligence, charm, and hotness of the woman he loves.

There are many subtle touches in the painting of Barack, with one of the interesting ones being the scattered flowers in the background of a beautiful lush green leaf wall that mirror his ancestral and personal past as well as a nod to nature and the Hawaiian spiritual connection with all living things. Those include jasmine representing his Hawaiian roots, blue lilies for the homeland of his father in Kenya, and chrysanthemums as the official Chicago flower representing his political career there and where he also met Michelle.

Born in 1977 and growing up in South Central Los Angeles before his move to Harlem, Kehinde’s later education included the San Francisco Art Institute and the Yale School of Art. He has a number of renowned paintings including “Napoleon Leading the Army Over the Alps” and his newest 72-by-60-inch “Portrait of Simon George II”. The latter was purchased by the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento for its exhibit to honor Black History Month, “Hopes Springing High: Gifts of Art by African American Artists,” set to open on Sunday, February 18. The Crocker, as the gallery is nicknamed, is a California Historical Landmark and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

Dr. Octagon is Back After 14 Years

After 14 years, Dr. Octagon is back. Dr. Octagon, the alter ego/persona of rapper Kool Keith has released the first track from his new album. The entire album, titled ‘Moosebumps: An Exploration into Modern Day Horripilation’, will be released on April 6th.

The released track, ‘Octagon Octagon’ fittingly opens with a series of headlines trumpeting Dr. Octagon’s return, after which Kool Keith details a list of Dr. Octagon’s various surreal branding concepts, spanning from cosmetic surgery to draperies to household pets. It’s a return to the familiar absurdist style the Dr. Octagon character was known for when Kool Keith introduced him more than two decades previous.

The new album features a collaboration between Kool Keith and his former partners DJ Qbert and Dan the Automator, the team responsible for his 1996 album ‘Dr. Octagonecologyst’. The 1996 album was mostly recorded over a 24 hour period, though this new one likely took a little longer to create.

Kool Keith put out another Dr. Octagon album in 2002, though its released ended up being delayed for a couple of years by legal issues, finally coming out in 2004. That was the last album created by the Dr. Octagon persona, though not the last Kool Keith created between then and now.

This new album follows a period of increased prominence for the Dr. Octagon character over the past year. First, Kool Keith reissued the original ‘Dr. Octagonecologyst’ album on vinyl, featuring a handful of previously unreleased tracks. Additionally, Kool Keith, DJ Qbert and Dan the Automator joined up to perform the first live shows Dr. Octagon had ever performed.

In the 21 years since the release of his first Dr. Octagon album and the resurgence of the character, Kool Keith has released 14 albums not counting this newest one, many under a variety of other personas and characters. The veteran Bronx-based rapper is known for a complex internal rhyme scheme and surreal and bizarre lyrics.

Dwayne Johnson Goes on a ‘Rampage’, Preps for BIG 2018.

We are at the point in our lives where Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson is the most bankable action star in the world. Johnson has worked his way up the Hollywood ladder through physical prowess, hard work, and endless charisma to become one of the biggest acting stars on the planet. Only, calling Johnson an acting star seems like an insult to Johnson and to the craft. He’s an entertainer at heart and fans flock to everything that he is doing, including the newly released ‘Rampage’ trailer. While fans prep for the release of the monster-action flick, Johnson has kept busy behind the scenes by getting yet another one of his projects sold — this time to Universal.

Johnson’s most recent film to be picked up is called ‘Red Notice’. The film is described as an action-comedy with a heist twist and it is written by a long-time collaborator, Rawson Marshall Thurber (Skyscraper, Central Intelligence). What makes this project particularly interesting is that it will be the first time that Johnson will get at least $20 million upfront to perform in the project. ‘Red Notice’ had to go through a bidding war which saw Warner Bros, Paramount and Sony Pictures all fall short to Universal. After the success that Johnson had with ‘Jumanji’, we can bet that Universal was happy to win that bidding war.

The slugline that was released to the press just mentions Interpol seeking a person ‘wanted for extradition’. We don’t know much about the film at this point, outside of the information mentioned above, but we do know that it will probably be yet another feather in DJ’s already filled-to-the-brim cap. We also can probably count on the film being relatively straight forward and bereft of any kind of big controversy. Johnson has established himself as a relatively family-friendly superstar who aims to make films with a broad appeal not just here at home, but abroad.

Is Ben Affleck’s Batman on the Way Out of the DCEU?

The superhero movie rumor mill swirls. Things don’t seem all that positive for those who enjoy seeing Ben Affleck in the role of the Caped Crusader. Reportedly, Affleck may not be playing Batman in future DC Extended Universe films. Nothing is confirmed right now. So, Affleck is still officially Batman. Based on rumors, Affleck isn’t being fired from the role. Instead, he’s pondering leaving due to creative differences and unhappiness.

Two major issues that bother Affleck involve the problems surrounding The Batman solo film and the reception for Justice League. Affleck has departed The Batman after unhappiness over Warner Bros. attempting to rush the film into production. The box office failure of Justice League combined with the film’s critical drubbing further disillusioned Affleck. Likely, the overall uneven nature of the DCEU doesn’t give the actor much to be enthusiastic about.

Of course, all these rumors could turn out to be overstated. Affleck may eventually agree to appear as Batman in a number of future films. No one really knows what the whole story is right now. Granted, few would be shocked to discover the rumors turn out to be true and Afflect departs the role. His tenure as Batman hasn’t exactly been all that positive. Every film in which he appeared as Batman received horrible critical reviews. The problems cannot be dropped totally on the shoulders of Affleck, though.

Affleck’s departure could prove either helpful or disastrous to Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment. If Affleck were to leave, the production companies gain the potential to revamp and revitalize the classic superhero. Reversing the downward momentum the character currently experiences wouldn’t be a bad thing. The public’s perceptions of Affleck’s departure, however, could be very bad. Impressions of the DCEU may worsen from the negative publicity deriving from admitting Affleck’s tenure was a failure.