Author Archives: Benny Bellagio

Life of Pi – Movie Review

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  Finally, Leonardo DiCaprio gets his Oscar

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leonardo_oscar After decades of waiting Leonardo DiCaprio finally got to walk home with an Oscar. there were so many occasions when Leonardo came close to winning an Oscar with other films, but the award always seemed to evade him. It was finally through The Revenant when this 41-year-old got to grab his first Oscar. even though this award came through his tough role in The Revenant, it can be argued that this award came along as a result of the many years of hard work in his many other fantastic films. The actor was the party – head in The Wolf of Wall Street, he was the young and energetic actor in Titanic, who fell in love with disaster stroke, he was the great Howard Hughes in the film The Aviator, and the crazy plantation owner of the famous Django Unchained. All these were some of the films which could have easily won Leonardo an Oscar, but somehow there was always someone who stole the party and took home the award instead. The actor made his debut on big screens almost 25 years ago in the Critters 3. Over the decades, he got nominated several times, but he always had to wait. The Revenant, which was marked with a lot of bear mauling and a vengeance filled frontiersman helped Leonardo add a well, – deserved Oscars medal in his cabinet. After walking up into the stage, Leonardo gave a heartfelt speech. His acceptance speech was not only about the movie and what the award meant to him but also had a few tips about the climate. He first of all started by thanking everyone who was involved in the making of the film. He thanked all the directors he has ever worked with. He then went ahead to give a warm thank you to his friends and family who he thanked for their unending support that they give him. Leonardo is well known for his passion for the matter about climate and leadership. This is why he was also thoughtful enough to talk about climate change and how it is a serious issue that leaders need to look into. He talked about how climate change if not taken care of will affect the many unprivileged people in the worldwide and the impact it will have for the coming generations. At one point he talked about how “…Unprivileged people who will be most affected by this (climate change) for our children’s children…” He then spared a moment and talked about the minority groups whose voices remain unheard and are still suffering from bad politics in their countries. He said “those people out there whose voices have been drowned out by the politics of greed” He completed the climate talk with an excellent statement that helped to show how much he appreciated winning the award “let us not take this planet for granted. I do not take tonight for granted.” Winning an Oscar has always been a very hard task not just for the actors but also to producers and directors as well. Leonardo’s friend Martin Scorsese, for example, had to wait for decades before he finally bagged the best director Oscar award which he won with the film The Departed. Other actors have been nominated for the awards for so many times but just like DiCaprio they had to wait for so long before actually winning it. A good example of such actors is Meryl Streep. Meryl holds the record of being the thespian to have received the most Oscars nomination, 19 nominations! However, there is a massive gap of almost 30 years between her winning the first Oscar in 1983 for Sophie’s Choice as best supporting actor and the next Oscar which she won in 2012 for the film The Iron Lady. The best chance that DiCaprio had previously of winning this award was in 2005 for his outstanding Hughes portrayal. The award, however, slipped him and landed on Jamie Foxx for the film Ray where he acted as Ray Charles. The other chance he had was way back in 1994 for his impressive performance on Gilbert Grape. Again, he got upended by Tommy Lee for the best supporting actor on the mission film The Fugitive. The Revenant significantly helped to show the world about Leonardo’s other side. In this movie unlike many of the previous Leo’s films was not about his good looks or the charming character type of roles that he used to play. The Revenant was a rather silent – movie about Glass, who watched helplessly as his son got murdered, a man who survives a bear attack, a man who slept inside corpses of a horse and almost died due to harsh weather conditions before finally finding redemption. It was a difficult and arduous journey getting to the Oscars for DiCaprio but what matter now is that he finally has the award. All the trolls that he used to face for not winning an Oscar are now quietly fading away because, at the moment, he’s the king!

Best and Worse of 2016 Grammy Award

Plagued by snoozy moments and audio issues, 2016 Grammy Awards had its best and worst moments. 2016 15th Feb show the Grammy awards bring the hottest stars in the music industry to Los Angeles. As usual, there were great and memorable moments in the red carpet as celebrities looked their best. Grammy Awards 2016 Fans were treated with wide arrays of dresses with the likes of Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift, and Selena Gomez. There were some great dresses, some bad and some leaving questions to be asked.

At times, the awards were at their best with tributes being paid to the numerous musical celebrities who lost the lives in 2015. Some of the worst moments had seen Adele suffer audio issues while Rihanna was forced to cancel her performances due to technical issues. There were great moments in the Grammy with Alabama Shakes and Kendrick Lamar giving the audiences a show stop performances. Join us as we look deeper into the 2016 Grammy awards and break down the good and bad moments.

Best moments

The Racially charged performance from Kendrick Lamar

Kendrick Lamar was one of the bright spots of the night with his charged performances that left people asking for more. Lamar was not just a winner of several trophies for the night, but his performances were among the best. The image of Kendrick in chains was among the best highlight of the night. The image was set on fire as a show tribute to Trayvon Martin, who died on Feb 26th.

Steve Wonder moment for reading the winners envelope

This was a pure moment of ingenuity and creativity when Stevie Wonder was asked to read the winner for the song of the year. For those of you wondering how did it, of course, it was written in braille. The move was very practical allowing Stevie Wonder to read the winner and he never stopped to make the delight of it. He delighted the audience with the fact that he was able to read, and most of the people in the audience would not read. He went on to say how he wished everything was made accessible to people with disabilities.

The Hamilton Killer performance

For most people, this was the first time they ever got to see Hamilton perform live on stage. Fans had a chance to see and hear the Broadway Musical via a satellite feed that filmed all the way from Richard Rodgers Studio in New York. He stared with “Alexander Hamilton” one of his musical hit and went on to win an award for the best musical theater.

Alabama Shakes

The Soul Rockers were expecting to win the album of the year, but that did not mean they never had a great night. The Alabama Shakes a great rock and roll band took home three Grammy awards and gave out some of their best performances. The band took the stage with storm led by the indomitable frontwoman Brittany Howard. They reminded the world why rock and roll remains a major music genre and they the capes need to make a comeback.

Lady Gaga Tribute to David Bowie

Not many celebrities would be able to give a proper tribute to the wild geniuses of David Bowie, but Lady Gaga showed many she still had it. Gaga looked like she was born for the moment as she flamed her orange hair. She was amazing rocketing through the oeuvre of Bowie from space to oddity before ending it all with heroes. The star man looked impressed across the board. Her attention to detail was on point as she captured the spirit of the man throughout his working career.

Taylor Swift’s not so secret handshake

Her shock explosion with one of her haters was so big to hide. “Oh shit, let’s just hug” was some of the highs for the night.

Worst moments

Rihanna canceling her performance

Rihanna canceling her performances capped some of the worst moments for the Grammy Awards 2016. Her whole “I serve the vocals” reinvention started roughly in last year’s Grammy award, and everybody was looking forward to seeing her perform. There were rumors she had been suffering from bronchitis for the last few days and was responding well to antibiotics.

Fans might have missed some of the best songs from her album “Anti” but then she even failed to attend the event as a whole.

Not so entertaining performances from Taylor Swift

The Grammy 2016 was not Taylor Swift’s best as she kicked the ceremony with some of her worst performances. Her “Out of the Woods” song had some very bad sounds with the best verse of the song being omitted. This was not one of the best ways to start a three and half hours event. The only good thing about her was how she ended the night with some memorable note.

Adele’s audio rolling into trouble

She had the best-selling album in 2015, and there were high expectations for her performance. All went wrong with the audio failing. Dissonant tones and poor sound mixing summarized her performance on stage. The guitar notes were as if a fork had been dropped on a guitar with volume drops that even surprised the singer. The guitar sounds felt like the piano mics had fallen had fallen on the guitar strings. She soldered on, but it was a huge disappointment for the entire management of the Grammy Awards.

Hollywood vampires

Everything went wrong the Hollywood Vampires in the Classic Rock. The rock and roll seemed stripped of its context and rendered impotent. They served the reason people see rock and roll as something secondary to the poor performance of the night.

Lauryn Hill missing her duet with the weekend

Much has been talked about her late career surge but more on how long she takes to get to the stage. This was supposed to be her best moment as she would have had the surprise in the weekend “on the night.” It would have been nice to see her interpret Michael Jackson’s homage.

There were worse moments with Pitbull performances in a hails taxi was not going so well. The pitbull and co-performance ending the night were not one of the ends in years. To the Grammy 2016, all we can say is adieu and hope for better planning next year.

'Wolverine' Helmer James Mangold to Direct Disney's 'Captain Nemo'


The project is centered on the iconic character from ‘20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.’

James Mangold, who directed 2013’s The Wolverine and the upcoming sequel, will direct Captain Nemo for Disney.

The film is based on the main antihero in 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. It’s an original story rather than an adaptation of Jules Verne’s 19th-century novel. Sebastian Gutierrez is working on the latest draft.

Disney previously adapted the book into a 1954 film directed by Richard Fleischer and starring Kirk Douglas, James Mason and Paul Lukas. Mason played the character of Captain Nemo, a mysterious genius who explored the sea in his submarine.

Mangold previously directed Walk the Line (2005), 3:10 to Yuma (2007), Knight and Day (2010) and Girl, Interrupted (1999). His next film, the currently untitled Wolverine sequel starring Hugh Jackman, will hit theaters in March 2017. Mangold is repped by WME and Management 360.


J.K. Simmons Joins Mark Wahlberg in Boston Bombing Film ‘Patriots’ Day’


Peter Berg is directing the CBS Films and Lionsgate project about the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing.

Oscar winner J.K. Simmons is joining Mark Wahlberg in the Boston Marathon bombing film Patriots’ Day.

Peter Berg will direct the drama, which focuses on the events surrounding the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing. Wahlberg stars as a composite Boston Police Department officer who is central to the investigation and manhunt, while Simmons will play Sergeant Jeffrey Pugliese of the Watertown Police Department, who distinguished himself in combat with Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. 

Scott Stuber, Wahlberg, Hutch Parker, Dylan Clark, Stephen Levinson and Michael Radutzky are producing the film.

“Beyond his considerable talents, J.K. Simmons is a person who respects the solemn trust that these real-life heroes are putting in our hands,” Berg said Thursday in a statement. “This is an actor who will represent the role in the best way possible.”

CBS Films is handling production and marketing of the project, while Lionsgate is taking care of distribution. Filming is slated to begin next month in Boston.

Simmons won an Oscar last year for Whiplash, and has since been on a roll with new projects. He’ll be seen in The Meddler with Susan Sarandon and Rose Byrne, which is due out in April, and will reunite with Whiplash writer-director Damien Chazelle for his next film, La La Land. The actor also has a slew of projects in post including The Accountant with Ben Affleck, Bastards with Owen Wilson and Ed Helms and The Snowman with Michael Fassbender.

Simmons is repped by Gersh.