All posts by david nicksay

PITCH PERFECT 3 – Bellas for life !

Now graduated from college and out in the real world where it takes more than a cappella to get by, the Bellas return in Pitch Perfect 3, the next chapter in the beloved series that has taken in more than $400 million at the global box office. After the highs of winning the World Championships, the Bellas find themselves split apart and discovering there aren’t job prospects for making music with your mouth. But when they get the chance to reunite for an overseas USO tour, this group of awesome nerds will come together to make some music, and some questionable decisions, one last time.

Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Hailee Steinfeld, Brittany Snow, Anna Camp, Hana Mae Lee, Ester Dean, Alexis Knapp, Chrissie Fit, Kelley Jakle, Shelley Regner, Elizabeth Banks and John Michael Higgins all return and are joined by additions including John Lithgow and Ruby Rose. Pitch Perfect 3 is executive produced by David Nicksay, Jason Moore and Scott Niemeyer, produced by Paul Brooks of Gold Circle Entertainment and Max Handelman & Elizabeth Banks of Brownstone Productions, and is directed by Trish Sie (Step Up All In).

www.pitchperfectmovie.com

Happy Birthday, John Lithgow!

It’s John Lithgow’s birthday, and he is celebrating by publishing a crossword puzzle in the New York Times! 

The multi-talented actor has earned two Tonys, six Emmys, two Golden Globes, three SAG awards, and four Drama Desk awards, as well as having been nominated for two Oscars and four Grammys.

Now he’s added Puzzle Constructor to the list of accomplishments. John Lithgow, with his collaborating puzzle constructor, the veteran puzzlemaster Brendan Emmett Quigley. Photo: NYTimes

When asked by the Times to name his favorite word, he declines at first, but ultimately “comes up with ‘eldritch,’ an intriguing word that means sinister and eerie.” Fitting for a man born twelve days before Halloween!

Here’s his puzzle:

Lithgow appears as Fat Amy’s dad in PITCH PERFECT 3. “I didn’t know how to handle the job offer when it came in. I hadn’t seen the Pitch Perfect movies,” John told Hollywood Life.

“It was very hard to squeeze it into my schedule so I told my agent, ‘Let’s not even try for this.’  He said, ‘Okay, but just watch Pitch Perfect 2, so you know what you’re turning down.”

John then revealed that as soon as he saw Rebel Wilson as Fat Amy, he couldn’t stop laughing at the movie. “I called my agent and said, ‘Get me back in this! I want to do this,’” adding he immediately started doing an Australian accent and saying, “I want to be close to my daughter!”

PITCH PERFECT 3 stars Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Hailee Steinfeld, Brittany Snow, Anna Camp, John Lithgow, DJ Khaled, Hana Mae Lee, Ruby Rose, Chrissie Fit, Ester Dean, John Michael Higgins and Elizabeth Banks. Opens December 2017.

 

BEHIND THE SCENES: THE AWESOME KUNG FU IN BIRTH OF THE DRAGON

Get a behind-the-scenes look at all the action from Birth of the Dragon, the film inspired by the epic fight between Bruce Lee and Wong Jack Man, in theaters now.

The fight is ON. See the story behind the epic CONTROVERSIAL fight in San Francisco in 1964. Inspired by a true story.

PLEASE GO SEE THIS FILM!

THE BRUCE LEE FIGHT NOBODY KNOWS ABOUT

Bruce Lee fought Wong Jack Man in one of the most controversial fights of all time. Above is the all-new trailer for BIRTH OF THE DRAGON, inspired by this true event, in theaters August 25th.

The outcome of this fight is passionately disputed among martial artists, yet most people have never heard about this secret match in 1964. Michael Dorgan writes about the event on taichisanjose.com.

Dorgan calls it “Bruce Lee’s Toughest Fight.”

His account begins, “As a 30-year-old freelance journalist with more than 10 years of training in Okinawan Karate and Korean Taekwondo, I moved to San Francisco from the Midwest in 1978 primarily to learn Chinese martial arts. The teacher I found there was Wong Jack Man, and from his students and other martial artists I began to hear whispers of an epic fight he had had with Bruce Lee. Master Wong himself, however, never mentioned the fight. But after a lot of cajoling, he finally agreed to give his first public account of the battle, which was published in the July, 1980, issue of Official Karate magazine.” Wong Jack Man, 1964. 

Dorgan sets the stage: “It may have been the most savagely elegant exhibition of unarmed combat of the century. Yet, at a time when top fighters tend to display their skills only in huge closed-circuited arenas, this battle was fought in virtual secrecy behind locked doors. And at a time when millions of dollars can ride on the outcome of a championship fight, these champions of another sort competed not for money, but for more personal and passionate reasons.

“The time was late winter, 1964; the setting was a small kung fu school in Oakland, California. Poised at the center of the room, with approximately 140 pounds packed tightly on his 5’7″ frame, was the operator of the school, a 24-year old martial artist of Chinese ancestry but American birth who, within a few years, would skyrocket to international attention as a combination fighter/film star. A few years after that, at age 32, he would die under mysterious circumstances. His name, of course, was Bruce Lee.”Bruce Lee, 1964

Dorgan continues, “Also poised in the center of the room was another martial artist. Taller but lighter, with his 135 pounds stretched thinly over 5’10”, this fighter was also 24 and also of Chinese descent. Born in Hong Kong and reared in the south of mainland China, he had only recently arrived in San Francisco’s teeming Chinatown, just across the bay from Oakland. Though over the next 15 years he would become widely known in martial arts circles and would train some of America’s top martial artists, he would retain a near disdain for publicity and the commercialization of his art, and consequently would remain unknown to the general public. His name: Wong Jack Man.”

Wong Jack Man, 1964

Dorgan elaborates: “What happened after the fighters approached the center of the room has become a chapter of Chinatown’s “wild history,” that branch of Chinese history usually anchored in fact but always richly embellished by fantasy, a history that tells much about a time and place with little that’s reliable about any particular incident. Exactly how the fight proceeded and just who won are still matters of controversy, and will likely remain so. But from the few available firsthand accounts and other evidence, it is possible to piece together a reasonably reliable picture that reveals two overriding truths. First, considering the skill of the opponents and the complete absence of referees, rules, and safety equipment, it was one hell of a fight that took place that day in December. And second, Bruce Lee, who was soon to rival Mao Tse Tung as the world’s most famous Chinese personality, was dramatically affected by the fight…”

The events of the fight differ in accounts from the time. Even the outcome is unclear: who really won? Both sides claim victory.

But this much is undisputed: Bruce changed his fighting style after the showdown, created a new martial art form called Jeet Kune Do, and landed his first starring role in Hollywood as Kato on the Green Hornet. He went on to become a huge star and an everlasting icon of pop culture — the Dragon. Bruce Lee, 1966  

So come see the movie August 25 and witness the BIRTH OF THE DRAGON !

 

 

 

NEW TRAILER: BIRTH OF THE DRAGON — IN THEATERS AUGUST 25

BlumHouse Tilt and WWE Studios have just released the new trailer for BIRTH OF THE DRAGON.

Collider reports:

“One of the most dramatic and controversial fights of Bruce Lee‘s career did not take place on the silver screen or even in front of a cheering crowd but rather behind closed doors, a private mano a mano contest between martial arts masters. Believed to have stemmed from a conflict over Lee teaching Chinese martial arts to Caucasian men, the tension escalated to the point that Lee and instructor Wong Jack Man came to blows in a bout for honor. A new trailer for Birth of the Dragon sets up this story in dramatic fashion.

To be clear, this film isn’t a straight biopic of Lee’s life and career but rather takes inspiration from this legendary fight. It took place before Lee’s Hollywood star status really took off, though he had already been acting in Chinese films from an early age. A couple of years after this match, he would star as Kato on both The Green Hornet and in a few episodes of Batman before embracing his feature film status.”

Bill Murray sings “Happy Street”

Bill Murray is back to put a smile on your face. This time he’s doing it by chirping out a catchy tune with old pal Paul Shaffer.

“When he’s not busy having dinner with David Letterman,” writes Ryan Bort in Newsweek, “former Late Show band leader Paul Shaffer is making new music of his own. The late-night icon on March 17 is releasing an album called Paul Shaffer & The World’s Most Dangerous Band that’s filled with guest appearances from some of Shaffer’s favorite musicians, and also Bill Murray.

Bort continues: “Rhino, the label behind the album, on Wednesday released an animated video for “Happy Street” that features Murray singing lead vocals. “When life is feeling sweet / It has a certain beat / Everything’s groovy when / You’re walking down happy street,” the song begins. The video feature a number of nods to Murray’s career, referencing films such as The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou, Scrooged and Stripes.”

“When things ain’t cool / Here’s my real simple rule / Why not just change / Your point of view,” the actor sings.

SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE 40TH ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL — Pictured: (l-r) Paul Shaffer, Bill Murray during the Marty and Beyonce skit on February 15, 2015 — (Photo by: Theo Wargo/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

Bob Dylan’s Nobel Speech: “I Never Asked, ‘Are My Songs Literature?’ “

 

reprinted from nobelprize.org.

This is the text of the banquet speech by Bob Dylan, delivered by the United States Ambassador to Sweden Azita Raji, at the Nobel Banquet, 10 December 2016:

“Good evening, everyone. I extend my warmest greetings to the members of the Swedish Academy and to all of the other distinguished guests in attendance tonight. I’m sorry I can’t be with you in person, but please know that I am most definitely with you in spirit and honored to be receiving such a prestigious prize. Being awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature is something I never could have imagined or seen coming. From an early age, I’ve been familiar with and reading and absorbing the works of those who were deemed worthy of such a distinction: Kipling, Shaw, Thomas Mann, Pearl Buck, Albert Camus, Hemingway. These giants of literature whose works are taught in the schoolroom, housed in libraries around the world and spoken of in reverent tones have always made a deep impression. That I now join the names on such a list is truly beyond words.

“I don’t know if these men and women ever thought of the Nobel honor for themselves, but I suppose that anyone writing a book, or a poem, or a play anywhere in the world might harbor that secret dream deep down inside. It’s probably buried so deep that they don’t even know it’s there.

“If someone had ever told me that I had the slightest chance of winning the Nobel Prize, I would have to think that I’d have about the same odds as standing on the moon. In fact, during the year I was born and for a few years after, there wasn’t anyone in the world who was considered good enough to win this Nobel Prize. So, I recognize that I am in very rare company, to say the least.

“I was out on the road when I received this surprising news, and it took me more than a few minutes to properly process it. I began to think about William Shakespeare, the great literary figure. I would reckon he thought of himself as a dramatist. The thought that he was writing literature couldn’t have entered his head. His words were written for the stage. Meant to be spoken not read. When he was writing Hamlet, I’m sure he was thinking about a lot of different things: “Who’re the right actors for these roles?” “How should this be staged?” “Do I really want to set this in Denmark?” His creative vision and ambitions were no doubt at the forefront of his mind, but there were also more mundane matters to consider and deal with. “Is the financing in place?” “Are there enough good seats for my patrons?” “Where am I going to get a human skull?” I would bet that the farthest thing from Shakespeare’s mind was the question “Is this literature?”

When I started writing songs as a teenager, and even as I started to achieve some renown for my abilities, my aspirations for these songs only went so far. I thought they could be heard in coffee houses or bars, maybe later in places like Carnegie Hall, the London Palladium. If I was really dreaming big, maybe I could imagine getting to make a record and then hearing my songs on the radio. That was really the big prize in my mind. Making records and hearing your songs on the radio meant that you were reaching a big audience and that you might get to keep doing what you had set out to do.

“Well, I’ve been doing what I set out to do for a long time, now. I’ve made dozens of records and played thousands of concerts all around the world. But it’s my songs that are at the vital center of almost everything I do. They seemed to have found a place in the lives of many people throughout many different cultures and I’m grateful for that.

“But there’s one thing I must say. As a performer I’ve played for 50,000 people and I’ve played for 50 people and I can tell you that it is harder to play for 50 people. 50,000 people have a singular persona, not so with 50. Each person has an individual, separate identity, a world unto themselves. They can perceive things more clearly. Your honesty and how it relates to the depth of your talent is tried. The fact that the Nobel committee is so small is not lost on me.

“But, like Shakespeare, I too am often occupied with the pursuit of my creative endeavors and dealing with all aspects of life’s mundane matters. “Who are the best musicians for these songs?” “Am I recording in the right studio?” “Is this song in the right key?” Some things never change, even in 400 years.

“Not once have I ever had the time to ask myself, “Are my songs literature?”

“So, I do thank the Swedish Academy, both for taking the time to consider that very question, and, ultimately, for providing such a wonderful answer.

My best wishes to you all,

Bob Dylan”