Winchester

Christopher Nolan Takes Seat With the Greats, With Stirring Movie ‘Dunkirk’

Christopher Nolan’s “Dunkirk” takes off like a rocket. After a few introductory messages onscreen, bullets start flying almost immediately as British soldiers struggle to escape to England ahead of the advancing Germans. With strong performances from Mark Rylance, Cillian Murphy, Kenneth Branaugh and top-lining Fionn Whitehead, moviegoers not only hear and see, but also feel every blast, every wave, every airplane attack....

Gal Godot Not Your Mother’s Wonder Woman in New Film (video)

Gal Gadot hits the big-screen as “Wonder Woman” this weekend adding another female superhero in lead role to Hollywood’s Parthenon, where they have have been under represented in movies for years. Gadot will join Melissa Benoist, who stars in the CW’s “Supergirl” television series, as the only superhero women in lead roles. The film also stars Robin Wright, Chris Pine, Danny Huston, David Thewlis, Connie Nielsen and Elena Anaya....

King Kong: Scull Island: Not Your Dad’s Or Grand Dad’s Monster Movie (Video)

“King Kong” is a timeless tale about beauty and the beast, whether it’s Fay Wray in the original 1933 film, Jessica Lange in the 1976 remake or any of the six other movies featuring the monster. Now, Kong is ready to take another bow in “King Kong: Scull Island.” The ensemble cast includes Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson, John Goodman, Brie Larson, Jing Tian, Toby Kebbell, John Ortiz, Corey Hawkins, Jason Mitchell, Shea Whigham, Thomas Mann, Terry Notary and John C. Reilly....

Grammy Awards Had More Than a Few Highs and Lows; Here They Are

So, was Sunday’s 59th Grammy she-bang good, great or just an also-ran? David Bowie went five-for-five, so in my book, that’s a solid win. Here are some other highs and lows of the music industry’s annual self-congratulatory gathering. Adele won best album, record and song and showed herself to be a classy performer in every way. Her re-start on the George Michael tribute was astonishingly good … class all the way...

Will Smith Fights Through Sappiness to Keep ‘Collateral Beauty’ Real (video)

It can’t be easy being Will Smith. His latest movie, “Collateral Beauty,” puts him back in the spotlight in one of his more nuanced roles. The part is a far cry from his out-sized characters in blockbusters like “Men in Black,” “Independence Day” and “Suicide Squad. “Collateral Beauty’s ensemble cast gives the movie high hopes. It includes Kate Winslet, Keira Knightley, Helen Mirren, Edward Norton, Jacob Latimore, Michael Peña and Naomie Harris....

Eddie Redmayne Makes Believers in Fantastical World of ‘Fantastic Beasts’

Eddie Redmayne and Katherine Waterston, daughter of “Law & Order’s” Sam Waterston, turn in two extraordinary acting performances in “Fantastic Beasts,” a movie that captures the spirit and the adventure of the entire Harry Potter, J. R. Rowling saga. Colin Farrell, as Percival Gravess perfect as well. Also on board are Ezra Miller, Samantha Morton and Dan Fogler. ...

‘Edge of Seventeen’ Lifts Teen Angst Back to Head of the Class (video)

“Edge Of Seventeen” is an able-bodied companion piece to the triptych of great John Hughes teen comedies–“16 Candles” (1984), “The Breakfast Club” (1985) and “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” (1986). If Hughes was king of teen angst, then Kelly Fremon Craig is the new pretender to the throne. The cast includes Haley Lu Richardson, Woody Harrelson, Alexander Calvert, Eric Keenleyside, Blake Jenner and Kyra Sedgewick. ...

Ben Affleck Crunches the Numbers in ‘The Accountant’ With Uneven Results

Ben Affleck’s “The Accountant,” is a taut thriller, with an excellent cast, that starts out in superb fashion (almost like “LA Confidential”), then suffers about an hour of poor, narrative mishmash, before rebounding for a stellar climax. The action thriller, directed by Gavin O'Connor and written by Bill Dubuque, stars Ben Affleck, Anna Kendrick, J.K. Simmons, Jon Bernthal, Jeffrey Tambor and John Lithgow....

Sully Reveals Price of Heroism in ‘Miracle on the Hudson’ Plane Crash

“Sully,” a Clint Eastwood film starring Tom Hanks, is one of the most compelling movies of the year. Hard to believe the “Miracle on the Hudson” happened seven years ago. Even harder to believe is the cruel second-guessing faced by Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger and co-pilot Jeff Skiles following their heroic actions. The backstory is almost as compelling as the landing itself. The subtle message is the airline would rather he tried to save the plane....

Light Between the Oceans Dark, Haunting and Stunningly Beautiful

“The Light Between The Oceans,” written and directed by Derek Cianfrance is a delicious piece of filmmaking at every juncture. Stunningly beautiful photography, stunning locations and brilliant acting are woven into an intricate, yet thoroughly satisfying narrative, based on the best-selling tearjerker by M.L. Stedman. Michael Fassbender and Alicia Vikander, a couple in real life, play newlyweds Tom and Isabel Sherbourne....

‘War Dogs’ Captures Agony, Ecstasy of Arms and the Dudes (Video)

“War Dogs” is a smart, snappy comedy about two friends in their early 20s (Jonah Hill and Miles Teller), who exploit a little known government program that takes them on a rollicking and dangerous joy ride in war-torn Iraq and Afghanistan. Real life Efraim Diveroli (Hill) and David Packouz (Teller) are friends from college who re-unite. The picture also stars Bradley Cooper and Ana de Armas. ...

Elton John Finds His Inner Happiness in New ‘Wonderful Crazy Night’ (video)

Elton John has just released his 33rd album, Wonderful Crazy Night. The songs are all high value targets. John’s collaboration with Bernie Taupin never sounded better, or more focused. But the catch with this album is Elton’s upbeat, almost playful mood. You can immediately tell from its title and artwork. The feeling permeates his work. It’s unquestionably his best collection since 2001’s Songs From The West Coast....

David Bowie Seemed Immortal in the Eyes of His Fans — An Appreciation

David Bowie passed two days ago and I am still quite shattered. Truth is, I never even considered a world without David Bowie. His music was timeless across the decades and his influence just as far reaching. His nanny even noticed something supernatural about him when he was born. That made his death, after an 18-month battle with cancer, so shocking and poignant. He told very few people about it and continued making art until the very end....

Ron Howard’s ‘In the Heart of the Sea’ a Finely Crafted Tale of Obsession

Ron Howard’s movies are always beautifully made and beautifully told, with flawless photography and solid casting. His newest epic, “In The Heart Of The Sea,” scores on all counts. It tells the tale of Herman Melville and the journey that led him to write his epic 19th century novel “Moby Dick.” Directed by Ron Howard, the film stars Chris Hemsworth, Benjamin Walker, Cillian Murphy, Tom Holland, Ben Whishaw, and Brendan Gleeson....

Sylvester Stallone Fights for Title Again in Rocky Spin ‘Creed’ (video)

Sylvester Stallone’s “Creed,” the latest end-run on his Rocky mythology, ebbs and flows, but mostly delivers the “Rocky” ethos thanks to direction by “Fruitvale Station’s” Ryan Coogler and a sensational performance by Michael B. Jordan. Jordan, who also starred in “Fruitvale,” essays Adonis Johnson, the son of famous boxer Apollo Creed, who battled Rocky in earlier films. The picture also stars Tessa Thompson as Bianca, a local singer who becomes involved with Adonis and Phylicia Rashad as Apollo’s widow. ...

Sandra Bullock Lifts ‘Our Brand Is Crisis’ Above Stale Political Satire

Sandra Bullock delivers perhaps the performance of her career in her new movie “Our Brand Is Crisis,” and that’s saying a lot, given her Oscar-winning performance in 2010’s “Blind Side,” and Oscar nomination for her role in last year’s “Gravity.” Despite mixed early reviews, I loved it. The strong supporting cast includes Scoot McNairy, Billy Bob Thornton, Joaquim de Almeida, Anthony Mackie and Ann Dowd....

Johnny Depp Redeems Himself as ‘Black Mass’ Gangster Whitey Bulger

Johnny Depp returns to form in “Black Mass,” the stylish, sinewy story about infamous gangster Whitey Bulger. His criminal exploits were at the epicenter of corruption, drugs, extortion and murder in South Boston for four decades. “Black Mass” could land Depp in solid Oscar contention along with stellar performances from Joel Edgarton, Kevin Bacon, Rory Cochrane and Benedict Cumberbatch. Director Scott Cooper keeps the focus on the story and keeps it moving in a brisk, workmanlike fashion....

Isabela Moner Hits Crossroads: Is She Next Miley Cyrus or Selena Gomez?

Isabela Moner plays perky teen CJ on the hit Nickelodeon series “100 Things To Do Before High School.” But at 14, she’s about to take the first step toward a career transition, with the release of her first album. What path will she take? Her new 12-track album Stopping Time debuts Sept. 18. The first single, “Dream About Me,” is already climbing the charts. This is no teenie bopper record. She covers such adult hits as Beyonce’s “Halo” and Oasis hit “Wonderwall....

‘The Man From U.N.C.L.E’ Tight, Nimble and Remarkably Good Fun

“The Man From U.N.C.L.E” made me cry uncle… I liked it, so much! Full Disclosure: I was a huge devotee of the TV series which was a massive hit for four seasons (1964-1968), so I was perfectly prepared to dis the movie as a cheap knock-off. I have never been a fan of Henry Cavill or Armie Hammer (exactly what did he do in “Lone Ranger?”). But after their performances here, count me in the club. ...

Dwayne Johnson Is a Rock, Literally, as California Crumbles in San Andreas

Dwayne Johnson’s new film “San Andreas” takes a plausible possibility like a major California earthquake, and stretches it into an unimaginable calamity, in the grand tradition of disaster movies like The “Poseidon Adventure” (1972) and Roland Emmerich’s “Independence Day.” Paul Giamatti, Carla Gugino, Alexandra Daddario and Archie Panjabi–Kalinda from TV’s “The Good Wife”–round out the supporting cast....

‘Mad Max: Fury Road:’ Dystopian Hell-on-Wheels Escapism at Its Best

The original “Max Max” movie in 1979 may not have given birth to the post-apocalyptic, anti-hero action film, but it certainly put the genre on the map. Now, the new reboot “Mad Max: Fury Road,” is being screened at the 68th Cannes International Film Festival. Who knew? Miller is the master of the post-apocalyptic, hell-on-wheels genre, and he delivers in his latest outing, starring Tom Hardy in place of Mel Gibson and Charlize Theron as his love interest....

Eric Clapton, Rock’s Premiere Guitarist, Celebrates 70th Birthday in NYC

It was billed as Eric Clapton’s 70th birthday celebration (his birthday was in March), but the Madison Square Garden gathering Sunday night was more a reaffirmation of Clapton as one of rock’s premier guitarists ever. From John Mayall, Cream and Blind Faith to Derek and the Dominoes and numerous superb solo efforts, Clapton is the soundtrack of our lives for the rock and roll generation that came of age in the 1960s and 1970s. The Sunday night show, a follow-up to a Friday’s performance, included standout performances by Doyle Bramhall II, John Mayer, Derek Trucks and Jimmie Vaughan....

Clint Eastwood’s ‘Jersey Boys,’ Adaptation More Hits Than Misses

Clint Eastwood was a wild card choice to direct the big screen adaption of Jersey Boys, the wildly successful Broadway musical, and the movie is a miasma of both hits and misses. Eastwood’s decision to use Jersey Boys vet John Lloyd Young to essay lead singer Frankie Valli (nee Castelluccio) was both a bold and smart. The rest of the group, Vincent Piazza, Michael Lomenda and Erich Bergen, are brilliant as well....

Tom Cruise Meets His Match; Emily Blunt Kicks Ass in Edge of Tomorrow

Tom Cruise’s new movie “Edge Of Tomorrow” is one of the best things he’s ever done on film, thanks to Director Doug Liman (“The Bourne Identity”). But Emily Blunt steals the picture. It’s her first action role, and she comes across as one major bad ass. And that’s saying a lot given Cruise’s usual over-the-top performance. It’s on par with his roles in “The Color of Money” and “The Fourth Of July.” Acting stalwarts Bill Paxton and Brendan Gleeson are superb here as well....

Jennifer Aniston, We’re the Millers a Perfect Mix of Sizzle, Snark

Jennifer Aniston, at 44, is amazing in her hard-core strip scene in her new movie “We’re The Millers.” It’s a revelatory moment for the actress; it sort of fits in with the narrative, but at the same time, deserves its own movie. You can’t take your eyes off her. In the new film, which veers between “Hangover 1″ and “National Lampoon’s Vacation,” Sudeikis’ character, drug dealer David Clark, puts together a fake family to disguise a drug-run to Mexico as a family vacation. He recruits stripper Sarah “Rose” O’Reilly (Aniston) to play his wife, while street urchin Casey Mathis (Emma Roberts) and nerdy neighbor Kenny Rossmore (Will Poulter), play the children....

Winchester

Winchester has been an entertainment insider for several decades. He’s served as an agent; manager and PR strategist for some of the biggest acts in entertainment. His coterie of inside sources is virtually unmatched. Hence the need for a certain anonymity to protect the innocent and informative.

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