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Shameik Moore talks ‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’ role

Credit: Sony Pictures Animation. © 2018 CTMG, Inc.(NEW YORK) — Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse hits theaters today, and with it, Shameik Moore makes history by voicing Miles Morales, the first ever bi-racial Spider-Man in the new animated feature Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.

“This kid could be white, black, Asian, Hispanic. He just happens to be black and Hispanic,” Moore told Popcorn with Peter Travers. “It doesn’t matter what his race is. He just happens to be black. And I love that about the movie itself. It reflects what New York looks like, what the world looks like today.”

You know the story by now: A high school kid is bitten by a radioactive spider. Soon mysterious powers appear and he transforms into Spider-Man. But Inside the Spider-Verse includes a wide range of new Spideys from alternate universes — including Miles Morales.

“What’s interesting about this movie is that they kept everything about Spider-Man that we know and love,” Moore said. “They kept Peter Parker. But there’s a new Spider-Man in another dimension learning from the Spider-Man that we know that just grew old. He’s older. He’s 40 years old this time, and his life has been kind of ruined by the stress that comes with being Spider-Man.”

Moore said there’s also an important message in the film.

“That thing that makes you different, that you’re insecure about or don’t like to show people, maybe you’re a kid and people made fun of you,” Moore said, “That thing that makes you different, that’s something that connects us all. It’s something everybody goes through. But that thing, that unique thing about you, is what makes you Spider-Man.”

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is in theaters everywhere.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Actress Sondra Locke, dead at 74

Bob Riha Jr/WireImage(NEW YORK) — Actress/director Sondra Locke, who was nominated for an Academy Award for her first film role in 1968’s The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter and went on to co-star in six films with Clint Eastwood, has died.

The actress passed away November 3 of cardiac arrest stemming from breast and bone cancer. She was 74.

Locke’s films with Eastwood — with whom she had a contentious, 13-year romantic relationship — include The Gauntlet, Bronco Billy, the Dirty Harry film Sudden Impact, Every Which Way but Loose and its sequel Any Which Way You Can.   Locke also guested on such 1970s hit TV series as The F.B.I., Cannon and Barnaby Jones.

After Eastwood and Locke ended their romantic relationship, she won $1.5 million in a 1989 palimony suit against Eastwood, whom she later accused of blacklisting her at Warner Bros., with whom she won a production contract as part of that suit.  She filed suit against Eastwood again in 1995 for fraud, breach of financial duty to her and interference in her work.  She settled that suit for an undisclosed sum.

Locke appeared on screen infrequently later in her life, with just three acting credits after 1986 listed on IMDB.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Liam Neeson reflects on impact of ‘Schindler’s List,’ 25 years later

L-R: Embeth Davidtz, Steven Spielberg, Liam Neeson, Sir Ben Kingsley and Caroline Goodall attend the “Schindler’s List” 25th anniversary cast reunion at the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival; Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Tribeca Film Festival(NEW YORK) — Steven Spielberg’s groundbreaking film Schindler’s List marks its 25th anniversary Saturday.

The movie, which first hit select U.S. theaters on December 15, 1994, stars Liam Neeson as Oskar Schindler, a German businessman who saved the lives of more than one thousand Jewish people during the Holocaust.

“I’m glad I was part of it, very definitely so,” Neeson tells ABC Radio, reflecting on the film’s impact 25 years later. “It was great to work with Steven Spielberg who’s one of the master storytellers in cinema. The horror of what happened still is within me. I find myself still reading books on Holocaust literature.”

He adds, “I can’t believe it’s 25 years.” 

Ben Kingsley co-starred in the film as Schindler’s Jewish accountant Itzhak Stern and Ralph Fiennes played the Nazi S.S. officer, Amon Göth.

Schindler’s List took home seven Oscars in 1994, including best picture and best director for Spielberg.

On December 7, a digitally re-mastered version of the film was re-released in theaters for a limited engagement in honor of the 25th anniversary milestone.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

‘Beale Street’ star Regina King says she’s ready for rest & relaxation during holidays

ABC/Paula Lobo(NEW YORK) — Regina King has been on a roll. After winning her third Emmy this year for her role in Seven Seconds, the talented actress is now nominated for two Golden Globes, including one for her work in the upcoming James Baldwin novel adaptation, If Beale Street Could Talk.

But with the holiday season upon us, King tells ABC Radio she’s ready to put award season on hold and focus on two simple things: rest and relaxation.

“I am T-I- tired,” she laughs. “So when we wrap for our holiday break in Atlanta, when I tell you it’s gonna be socks, nothing but socks to my… Well, something else maybe, but…  Nah, I’m just kidding, ya’ll. Socks up to my knees, cooking and drinking and relaxing. I’m going to be watching screeners. I will have a plate of food on my belly.”

All jokes aside, King admits the holidays are very important to her. It’s the one time of the year that she really can connect with all her loved ones.

“I really plan to just relax and enjoy family and friends and kind of have the house be an open house and visit with people I haven’t gotten a chance to see in a while because I’ve been in Atlanta,” she says. “The holidays are really about fellowship and celebrating the gift of loving on each other.”

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

‘Dancing with the Stars’ tour will have justice for Juan Pablo, a fresh start for ‘Grocery Store Joe’

ABC(NEW YORK) — Dancing with the Stars won’t be back until next fall, so if you want to see all your dancing favorites before then, you’ll have to catch them on tour.

The Dancing with the Stars tour kicks off Saturday, featuring pros including real-life couple Val Chmerkovskiy and Jenna Johnson, as well as some contestants from last season like winner Bobby Bones, Juan Pablo Di Pace and ‘Grocery Store Joe’ Amabile.

If you’ll remember, Juan Pablo was prematurely cut from the competition even though he was arguably the best performer. So will there be justice for Juan Pablo on tour?

“I think he’ll be able to really shine on tour and show the audience that he got a little bit robbed,” Johnson tells ABC Radio. “I think the people that were really rooting for him will get to see him live and that will be great for them.”

In contrast, ‘Grocery Store Joe’ was probably one of the worst dancers, but somehow managed to make it to the semi-finals. Johnson, who was his partner on the show, thinks he’ll fair better on tour, where the pressure is off.

The tour will have them dancing through the holidays and into the beginning of next year, wrapping up on March 9.

“Our fans are our family so every night is a holiday celebration with them,” Chmerkovskiy says. “I think we have Christmas off so we’ll get to hang out with family but other than that yeah, this is it.”

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

‘Superman: The Movie’ turns 40

Röhnert/ullstein bild via Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Although the Man of Steel turned 80 this past spring, the original — and some say most comics-faithful — big-bow of Superman turns 40 years old Saturday.

Superman: The Movie featured a pitch-perfect performance from the late Christopher Reeve in the tights and cape of the Kryptonian hero, as well as the eyeglasses of his mild-mannered reporter alter-ego, Clark Kent.

Director Richard Donner called the shots on the acclaimed film, which also boasted performances from Oscar winner Marlon Brando as Superman’s dad, Jor-El; another Academy Award winner in Gene Hackman as Lex Luthor; and the late Margot Kidder as intrepid reporter Lois Lane.  And of course, its stirring soundtrack and theme were provided by Oscar-winning legend John Williams.

Mario Puzo of The Godfather fame wrote the screenplay, and Brando himself made upward of $20 million for just 12 days of work.

Made for $55 million — at the time, the most expensive movie ever made — Superman went on to make $300 million worldwide and spawned three sequels starring Reeve. The second, 1981’s Superman II — is still considered one of the genre’s finest, even in a day and age where superhero movies are commonplace.

Superman was nominated for three Academy Awards — Best Film Editing, Best Sound and Best Original Score — and won the Academy’s special achievement award for Visual Effects, for making people believe, as the movie’s poster claimed, “that a man can fly.” 

The Library of Congress recognized Superman in 2017 by inducting it into the National Film Registry.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’ and ‘The Mule’ among this week’s new releases

Credit: Sony Pictures Animation. © 2018 CTMG, Inc.(LOS ANGELES) — The following movies open nationwide on Friday:

* Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse — Miles Morales/Spider-Man — voiced by The Get Down‘s Shameik Moore — juggles high school life and superheroics, as he enters the “Spider-Verse,” where he learns he’s one of many Spider People. Chris Pine, Hailee Steinfeld, Mahershala Ali, Brian Tyree Henry, Lily Tomlin, Nicolas Cage and Liev Schreiber provide additional voices. Rated PG.

* The Mule — Clint Eastwood directs and stars in the drama based on the true story of Leo Sharp — a World War II veteran in his 80s who became a drug dealer and courier for a Mexican drug cartel. Also starring Bradley Cooper, Laurence Fishburne, Michael Peña, Dianne Wiest and Andy García. Rated R.

* Mortal Engines — This action/adventure film, from Lord of the Rings writer/producer Peter Jackson, follows two people — played by Hera Hilmar and Robert Sheehan — who try to stop a conspiracy in a post-apocalyptic world where motorized cities on wheels prey on one another to survive. Rated PG-13.

Opening in limited release on Friday:

* If Beale Street Could TalkMoonlight writer/producer Barry Jenkins’ adaptation of the James Baldwin novel follows Tish, a Harlem woman — played by KiKi Layne — desperately scrambling to prove her fiancé innocent of a crime while carrying their first child. Also starring Michael Beach, Diego Luna, Pedro Pascal, Brian Tyree Henry and Regina King. Rated R.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Watch now: ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ drops new season two trailer

CBS(NEW YORK) — With just one month to go before its premiere, CBS All Access has dropped a new and what will probably be final trailer for Star Trek: Discovery‘s second season.

Like previous trailers, this one is mostly built around the arrival of Mr. Spock, played here by Ethan Peck, who tells everyone a mysterious presence known as the Red Angel has told him “someone or something is going to end all sentient life in the galaxy.”  So that’s fun.  The crew of the Discovery joins forces with Captain Christopher Pike of the Enterprise to investigate the phenomenon and stop the end of the world as we know it.

We also get more of Crazy Rich Asians star Michelle Yeoh’s strutting as the deliciously nasty Philippa Georgiou, who’s now been assigned to Starfleet’s top-secret black ops division, Section 31.  Plus, there are more Klingons, which means more fighting.  Also fun.

Set about ten years before the events of the original Star Trek series, Star Trek: Discovery stars Sonequa Martin-Green, Anthony Rapp, Doug Jones, Mary Wiseman and Shazad Latif.

Star Trek: Discovery returns January 17 to CBS All Access.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved. 

Miss Universe announces all its judges this year will be women

Miss Universe 2018 contestants; NARONG SANGNAK/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — The Miss Universe Organization has announced that for the first time in its history, its upcoming competition will have an all-women panel of judges.

The judges will be comrprised of entrepreneurs, business leaders and industry experts, according to a statement from the organization, which added that some of them will also be former Miss Universe titleholders.

“This new format will allow our selection committee to really get to know each of the contestants in the coming days,” Paula M. Shugart, president of The Miss Universe Organization, said in a statement. “Each committee member is an inspiring woman who reflects our commitment to improving opportunities for our titleholders personally and professionally year-round, and are role models to these young women who are our leaders of tomorrow.”

Some of the women on this year’s panel include U.N. Goodwill Ambassador and Miss Universe 1988 Bui Simon, fashion designer Monique Lhuillier, Moroccan-American entrepreneur Iman Oubou, and CEO of Platinum Skies Aviation Richelle Singson-Michael.

While there will other  changes to this year’s pageant, one thing that won’t change is Steve Harvey, who will return to host this year. Model and body-positive activist Ashley Graham will also be back this year as a host from backstage, to give viewers a behind-the-scenes look at the competition.

The groundbreaking judges change to this year’s Miss Universe competition comes amidst a post-#MeToo shakeup in other pageants as well.  Earlier this year, the separate Miss America pageant announced that it was scrapping its iconic swimsuit competition, and would no longer judge contestants based on physical appearance.

The 2018 Miss Universe competition will air on Fox on Dec. 16 from Bangkok, Thailand.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Watch ‘Aquaman’ star Jason Momoa’s intimidating dance at movie’s premiere

Kevin Winter/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) — Leave it to Aquaman star Jason Momoa to celebrate the movie’s premiere with a little red carpet song and dance.  So to speak.

Momoa and some friends turned up the heat at the movie’s Los Angeles premiere Wednesday by performing the haka [hah-kah], the ceremonial dance and chant traditionally performed by New Zealand’s Maori people.  It can be used to welcome friends or intimidate enemies.  In Momoa’s case, we’re going with the former, despite the fearsome spectacle.

Momoa paced back and forth on the red carpet in front of cheering fans, his Aquaman trident in hand, before stopping front and center and leading a group in the haka.  He even broke the trident over his knee at one point as fans ate it up.

While Momoa, 39, isn’t of Maori descent himself, his father is a native Hawaiian and his mother is of Irish, German and Native American ancestry.

This isn’t the first time Momoa as publicly performed the haka.  He famously performed it as part of his Game of Thrones audition that landed him the role of the fearsome Dothraki warlord Khal Drogo.  Poke around on YouTube and you’ll find the audition.

Aquaman so far is getting generally good reviews, with most critics saying Momoa’s surfer-bro depiction of the Atlantean hero king is the movie’s highlight.  Also starring Amber Heard, Nicole Kidman, Patrick Wilson, Willem Dafoe and Temuera Morrison, Aquaman opens nationally December 21.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.