LOREN ELLIOTT | Times
Early arrivals find their seats during Gasparilla International Film Festival's opening night at the Tampa Theatre.
After a year's hiatus, Tampa Theatre welcomed back the Suncoast Credit Union Gasparilla International Film Festival for its tenth opening night.
In 2015, the festival moved to Channelside, re-opening a failed multiplex.
For the first time, Gasparilla's opening night soiree was held outside the historic movie palace, in an adjacent parking lot under an industrial tent where several hundred VIPS snacked on shrimp, salmon and prime rib, sipping beer and wine.
After the reception, guests filed inside Tampa Theatre for opening remarks and director Gavin Hood's drone warfare drama Eye in the Sky, starring Oscar winner Helen Mirren and the late Alan Rickman. Hood introduced the screening and led a Q&A session afterward.
Earlier, Hood spoke with the Times at the Epicurian hotel in south Tampa about his film's opening night slot at Gasparilla.
"It's a great honor, and it's why we make films, so that we can engage with an audience. I'm just as excited to be able to talk to the audience after the screening. This is a film that begs for a questions-and-answers session afterwards." …Full Story
Daryl goes looking for Dwight, but finds more than he bargained for on Sunday's The Walking Dead.
Let's take a deep breath and address the last 30 seconds of "East" before getting to anything else that happened during this episode.
The Walking Dead just pulled another Glenn on us.
Daryl goes looking for Dwight after Denise's murder. He finds Dwight, but it's more like Dwight finds him. Daryl gets shot seconds after Dwight says "hi."
The episode ends at the exact moment Daryl's blood splatters the screen. I'm going to trust Dwight just this once when he utters "you'll be all right" when the screen goes black. IS IT DWIGHT TALKING OR IS IT DARYL? IDK.
STOP DOING THIS TO US.
Sincerely, a fan who refuses to believe Daryl sustained anything other than a minor flesh wound.
Now that everyone is booed up, it's time to break some hearts.
Carol left again. This time she left on her own accord, which is more infuriating than when Rick banished her from the prison.
Naturally, Rick and Morgan go after her while Glenn, Michonne and Rosita go after Daryl. …Full Story
Broad Green Pictures
John Leguizamo and Bryan Cranston star in The Infiltrator, partly filmed around Tampa Bay in 2015.
Bryan Cranston ain't afraid of no Ghostbusters.
Apparently, neither is Broad Green Pictures, with the announcement that The Infiltrator starring Cranston - and filmed around Tampa Bay - will now hit theaters on July 15. Variety reported the move Thursday,
That places the true crime drama in direct competition with Sony's reboot of Ghostbusters, expected to be one of 2016's top-grossing films.
On the surface, it seems like a risky move. However, pushing The Infiltrator into the heart of the summer movie season is also a sign of confidence in director Brad Furman's movie. The Infiltrator was previously slated to hit theaters on Aug. 31, the Wednesday before the Labor Day weekend, traditionally one of Hollywood's slowest box office stanzas.
Certainly a dark crime drama offers smart counterprogramming to a high-concept comedy. Not everyone is raring to see what Kristen Wiig and Melissa McCarthy do with the Ghostbusters legacy. …Full Story
New 52 Justice League Vol. 1: Origin
The number of comic book-based movies and TV shows hitting screens in the past couple years is overwhelming. Just thinking about the dozens yet to come can make anyone's head spin. Fear not, fellow nerds, head geeks over at the Times have you covered.
More than 20 movies based on comic book characters and storylines are planned to hit theaters between 2016 and 2020. Many of these characters have hundreds of different comics that explain their origins, their enemies and sometimes their downfalls.
It's not necessary to read the hundreds of Captain America comics before seeing Captain America: Civil War in May, or try to research the various origin stories for every villain in Suicide Squad.
We created guides to essential comics and graphic novels you should read before or after seeing the movies Marvel and DC will bless us with in the next four years.
Note: These lists are by no means comprehensive nor are they set in any particular order. They are simply staff favorites and recommendations from fellow comic book lovers.
In the movie and the comics, Batman and Superman not only battle each other, but those who seek to destroy them and see them not as heroes but as threats to society. …Full Story
Purse dogs and air kisses for everyone, darlings.
Comics from Chicago's famed Second City improv are bringing a satirical romp through Bravo TV's most recognizable reality franchise to the Straz Center for the performing arts this May.
The Realish Housewives of South Tampa: A Parody is a stage play that tells the story of the vaguely foreign baroness Rovanka, shady Claudia Louise, neck model Desiree, tycoon Brooke and Everyman Gwen as they try and live out their lives in Tampa's ritzy enclave.
Writers Kate James and Tim Sniffen pull from real Tampa headlines and gossip to flesh out their traveling mockumentary-show based on The Real Housewives tropes.
The production will run from May 31 to June 5 in the Straz's 312-seat Jaeb Theater.
Tickets range from $30 to $40 and go on sale 10 a.m. Friday at strazcenter.org, by calling (813) 229-7827 or visiting the box office at 1010 N W.C. Macinness Place.
Afterward, let's do brunch, dears. Full Story
Eugene makes some bold and cringeworthy moves on tonight's The Walking Dead.
Infiltrate the Saviors' compound. Check.
Rescue Maggie and Carol. Check.
Make sure the Saviors who took Maggie and Carol are dead. Check.
Make sure the Saviors are no longer a threat to Alexandria and the Hilltop by killing any remaining Saviors are dead, and kill their leader, Negan. Eh.
So close, but yet still so far from being safe.
Things are somewhat back to normal after Maggie and Carol's return.
People in Alexandria go back to their daily lives, but instead of working, going to school and spending time with family they're patrolling the fences, practicing their combat skills and restocking food and armory supplies.
Morgan is building a prison cell in his basement for whatever reason. He tells Rick "it'll gives us some choices next time." Why do we like this guy again?
Carol is back with her boo, Tobin, spending her days fiddling with her rosary and chain smoking cigarettes on a creaky porch swing.
Rosita has moved on from Abraham, and into Spencer's bed. But her attitude toward him says he's just something to warm her bed at night.
Daryl is happy to have his bike back, but laments not killing the people who took it from him. Still missing: his crossbow. …Full Story
You know who they are.
There comes a time in one's life when one must ask oneself certain important questions: Is it time to audition for a reality show? Do I have what it takes to live in a house with several oiled individuals and do shots until I forget there are boom mics overhead? Will it benefit my retirement fund to extract another woman's hair on camera while throwing a highball glass at the wall?
Now, it's Florida's turn for that kind of soul searching. Our resident strange Florida life expert Craig Pittman noticed today that producers behind Jersey Shore and Party Down South are sniffing for TV fodder around the Sunshine State. The show will so far be called Beach House.
Doron Ofir Casting and 495 Productions are looking for "true hedonists" in their 20s and 30s from Florida to live together in a house. What could go wrong?
"We are searching Florida statewide for the spiciest, hottest, wildest, sexiest, ripped bodies and beautiful faces to live together, love together and prove you’re from the hottest state on earth, brazen and bare for the world to envy," the casting website reads.
Why Floridians? Simple. …Full Story
Twentieth Century Fox
Eva Green stars in Tim Burton's Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, partially filmed around Tampa Bay.
Just over a year has passed since director Tim Burton filmed scenes around Tampa Bay for the supernatural adventure MIss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children.
He soon he forgets.
The first trailer dropped Tuesday for Burton's movie, based on a novel by Ransom Riggs, who grew up in Sarasota.
Tampa Bay was nowhere to be seen.
To be fair, Warner Bros. need to sell the extraordinary aspects of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, not the ordinary-ness Burton wanted to capture here. The story's young hero Jacob (Hugo's Asa Butterfield) needs something worth escaping to find adventure. A home in Belleair Bluffs obviously fit the bill, serving as home to Asa's ailing grandfather in February, 2015.
What made it into the opening salvo of marketing Burton's movie is, well, peculiar. We meet Miss Peregrine (Eva Green), and several members of her mutant household including an invisible boy, a kid with a movie projector eye, and a moppet with carnivore jaws on the back of her neck.
There's also a glimpse of Samuel L. Jackson as Barron, looking mighty evil with his corpse pallor and glowing eyes. …Full Story
Lauren B. and Ben are engaged and preparing to fade into obscurity.
Fact: Hearts are always broken on The Bachelor.
But this finale was brutal. JoJo, honey, we love you -- even if Ben doesn't.
Thanks for being the type of girl who asks the questions we all do when we break up with someone.
"Where did it go wrong?"
"What doubts do you have?"
"Why did you tell me you loved me?"
JoJo was so obviously in love with Ben that even his parents, Amy and Dave, felt impressed by her. "She has fallen in love with you and considers you almost a best friend," said Dave.
JoJo's feelings were never in question. Which made every moment of this episode cringe worthy. She put it all out there in a way that felt as real as any Bachelor confession ever.
And then he crushed her.
"I found (love) with somebody else more. I don't want to let go. I don't want to say goodbye. Even on a day like today I still don't question that I love you," Ben said. …Full Story
Maggie and Carol's captivity with the Saviors begins and ends on the kill floor of an abandoned slaughterhouse.
Where, oh where, did our cardigan-wearing killer Carol go?
She hasn't been the same since she documented her 18-plus kills in a bedside journal.
The reality of her actions is finally hitting her like a freight train and she doesn't seem to be able to carry the guilt.
At the end of last week's episode, Rick and his crew successfully slaughtered all of (supposedly) Negan's Saviors at an outpost and took another hostage. Unfortunately, Maggie and Carol were taken by survivors in the process.
Rick tried to make a deal with the woman on the walkie-talkie to give Savior Primo back in exchange for Maggie and Carol. The red-headed woman, Paula, was just "eh I'll think about it."
A short, blindfolded and duct-taped car ride later, Carol and Maggie are shoved into a machine room at an abandoned slaughterhouse by Paula, Molly, Donny and a younger, brunette woman who was a little too quick to shove her gun in their faces.
The place was a safe spot for the Saviors, though it wasn't free of walkers. When Paula drags a dead one out of the room, the walker's rosary gets caught on Carol's boot. The innocent strand of beads and crucifix was a prop for Carol's Oscar-winning performance. …Full Story
If you want the least expensive edition of Harper Lee's classic novel, buy it before April 25.
And the chipping away at Harper Lee's legacy continues.
Less than a month after the death in February of the beloved author of To Kill a Mockingbird, attorney Tonja Carter won a bid last week to have Lee's will sealed so the public would not know how much her estate was worth or who her heirs are. Lee never married or had children, but she did have several nieces and nephews. Carter has taken control of Lee's affairs since the author's older sister, Alice, who hired Carter to work in the Lee family law firm, died in 2014. Mockingbird has sold more than 40 million copies worldwide since it was published in 1960, and it was made into an Oscar-winning film.
Now comes the news that Lee's estate has notified publisher Hachette that its license to publish the best-known -- and least expensive -- edition of Lee's classic novel will not be renewed. …Full Story
All of us. For unto us a child will be born, a child so perfect that its beauty will be too much for our peasant corneas to bear. It is the future child of Behati Prinsloo and Adam Levine, winner of the genetic lottery, hopefully to be named something less ridiculous than Otter. Yes, the Victoria’s Secret Angel and Maroon 5 frontman are expecting, and it sounds like this baby will be the first of many. “I want to have 100 kids,” The Voice coach said in a 2014 interview with Ryan Seacrest. “I want to have more kids than would be socially responsible.” That’s probably because the Sugar singer does not fully understand the horrors of infancy, but still, bless these two for creating what we are sure will be a breathtaking addition to humankind. …
Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys play Elizabeth and Philip Jennings, KGB spies and loving parents, on the FX drama "The Americans."
Just like the show's spies, FX's The Americans seems to be TV's best kept secret. Ask any TV critic; it's most likely on his or her best list. Yet major award shows don't give the show and its actors recognition. But as dismal as the ratings are, FX has faith in the show, and The Americans begins its fourth season Wednesday night.
For those who are likely not watching, here's one more TV fanatic pleading with you to start.
The Americans are Philip and Elizabeth Jennings, played by Keri Russell (Felicity) and Matthew Rhys (Brothers & Sisters), Russian spies living a sham marriage in suburban Washington, D.C., in the 1980s. Their two young children, Paige and Henry, have no idea that their family is a lie. They think their parents are running a travel agency, but really the two KGB spies are on exciting missions for Mother Russia. …Full Story
Justin Kucsulain played Ethan alongside Xander Berkeley, Gregory, and Tom Payne, Jesus.
By the end of his day on set of The Walking Dead, Justin Kucsulain was covered in dirt, sticky fake blood and had wood chips in his beard and long, blonde hair.
He had just shot a pivotal scene with Andrew Lincoln (Rick Grimes) and Xander Berkeley (Gregory) in the show's new Hilltop colony in Senoia, Ga.
Last week Kucsulain sat down with the Times to chat about his career before and after Dead, and to share a delicious breakfast of "all the glutens" at his go-to Tampa diner, Nicki's Omelette & Grill.
Kucsulain's character, Ethan, had just come back from dropping a load of supplies to the Saviors, who deemed the load too light. Ethan had a message for Gregory, leader of the Hilltop: a knife in the stomach.
A loud, violent tussle landed Rick flat on the ground with Ethan holding a knife to his throat. Unfortunately, Rick quickly stabbed Ethan in the neck and basically coated himself in his blood.
"I was so nervous shooting this scene," Kucsulain said. "But I got a lot of support and guidance from the cast and crew."
When Kucsulain left the set later that day in October, he went back to his hotel to take three baths and two showers just to get the muck off himself. …Full Story
New Line Cinema
Racel McAdams and Ryan Gosling would look great filming The Notebook 2 on Clearwater Beach but it isn't happening.
An obscure celebrity fantasy site set hearts aflutter with "news" that The Notebook 2 starring Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams will be filmed in Clearwater.
It isn't true, folks. None of it.
AlyNews.com posted the hoax, which is apparently a product of the site's call for users to send local news stories that apparently can be made up.
Not everyone reads the site's contact page that clearly states: "ALY News is a fantasy news site. All news articles on alynews.com are satire or pure fantasy."
An e-mail request for comment from AlyNews.com failed in delivery to the e-address provided by the site.
AlyNews.com came to my attention through a reader's e-mail inquiring about extras being hired for The Notebook 2. Unaware of any such project, I contacted St. Petersburg-Clearwater film commissioner Tony Armer, who also knew nothing about it. "You're the second person who asked," Armer messaged.
Armer contacted Jacksonville's film office and reported by e-mail: "Appears to be gossip only with no basis in fact." …Full Story