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Cinema Chat: Amazon's $9 Billion Bid For MGM, New Film Releases, And A Classic Film Series Continues

Michigan Theater
Junfu Han
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The weather continues to warm, as does your local movie house. On this week's "Cinema Chat," WEMU's David Fair connected with Michigan Theater Foundation executive director Russ Collins to discuss the latest Hollywood news, the new movies hitting theaters, and the classics that will entertain you once again! 


Amazon spends billions on new movies and shows each year, but new content is only part of the streaming wars equation.

Amazon is looking to grow an even bigger presence in Hollywood. The tech giant is reportedly weeks into negotiations to acquire MGM for around $9 billion, according to multiple reports. MGM weighing acquisition comes as no surprise. Word broke in the fall that the studio was preparing for a sale and came after months of rumors and speculation that Apple could make a bid as it pours billions into its fledgling streaming service.

But it turns out its another tech player could win MGM. The Information first reported the MGM-Amazon negotiations. This comes on the same day that AT&T announced it would merge WarnerMedia with Discovery and spin off the new company in a $43 billion deal that bring together the likes of CNN, HBO, Warner Bros., HGTV, OWN Network, and Animal Planet. MGM has changed hands numerous times over its nearly century-long history. Its current iteration is a far cry from its dominance during the Golden Age of Hollywood. MGM’s upcoming releases include the Bond installment “No Time to Die.”

Before the streaming wars, studios were happy to license their movies to Netflix or HBO. Now the stakes are higher, and studios with their own streaming services generally want to keep their libraries to themselves.


To butter or not to butter? The choice is back at the Michigan and State!

At this time, masks will still be required at all times that you’re not in your seat enjoying your movie snacks and beverages.



An Australian mystery drama thriller directed byRobert Connolly, from a screenplay by Connolly and Harry Cripps, and starring Eric BanaGenevieve O'ReillyKeir O'Donnell, and John Polson is based on the 2016 book of the same name byJane Harper. Aaron Falk returns to his drought-stricken hometown to attend a tragic funeral. But his return opens a decades-old wound - the unsolved death of a teenage girl.


Experience the inspiring true story of Dream Alliance, an unlikely racehorse bred by small town bartender Jan Vokes (Toni Collette). With very little money and no experience, Jan convinces her neighbors to chip in their meager earnings to help raise Dream and compete with the racing elites. Their investment pays off as Dream rises through the ranks and becomes a beacon of hope in their struggling community.


A filmmaker forges an unusual friendship with an octopus living in a South African kelp forest, learning as the animal shares the mysteries of her world. The film shows how, in 2010, Foster began free-diving in a cold underwater kelp forest at a remote location in False Bay, near Cape Town, South Africa. The location was near Simon's Town on the Cape Peninsula, which is exposed to the cold Benguela current of the Atlantic Ocean.

He started to document his experiences and, in time, met a curious young octopus that captured his attention. He decided to keep visiting her, tracking her movements every day for a year to win the animal’s trust. They form a bond where she plays with Foster and allows him into her world to see how she sleeps, lives, and eats. In the film, Foster describes the impact of his relationship with the octopus on his life.

Foster describes the effect of this mentorship-like relationship the octopus provided him, teaching him a lesson on the fragility of life and humanity's connection with nature. This transfers to Foster creating a deeper bond with his son as his son develops as a diver and marine life student.

"A Quiet Place Part II" -- OPENS FRIDAY, MAY 28 AT THE STATE

A 2020 American horror film and the sequel to the 2018 film, both of which follow a family that is forced to navigate and survive in a post-apocalyptic world inhabited by blind monsters with an acute sense of hearing. The sequel was written and directed by John Krasinskiunder the studio Paramount Pictures. Emily BluntMillicent Simmonds, and Noah Jupe reprise their roles from the first film, and Cillian Murphy and Djimon Hounsou joined the cast. Krasinski also returns from the first film in a small role, seen in flashback sequences set before the first film.

"In the Heights" -- OPENS FRIDAY, JUNE 11 AT THE STATE

This is an upcoming American musical drama film directed by Jon M. Chu from a screenplay by Quiara Alegría Hudes. It is based on the stage musical of Lin-Manuel Miranda. The film stars Anthony RamosCorey HawkinsLeslie GraceMelissa BarreraOlga MeredizDaphne Rubin-VegaGregory Diaz IV, and Jimmy Smits.

Lights up on Washington Heights... The scent of a cafecito caliente hangs in the air just outside of the 181st Street subway stop, where a kaleidoscope of dreams rallies this vibrant and tight-knit community. At the intersection of it all is the likeable, magnetic bodega owner Usnavi (Anthony Ramos), who saves every penny from his daily grind as he hopes, imagines and sings about a better life.


This Week's Classic Films Coming Soon to the Michigan

Classic Films Coming Soon to the Michigan



"The Truffle Hunters"

Deep in the forests of Piedmont, Italy, a handful of men, seventy or eighty years young, hunt for the rare and expensive white Alba truffle—which to date has resisted all of modern science's efforts at cultivation. They're guided by a secret culture and training passed down through generations, as well as by the noses of their cherished and expertly-trained dogs. They live a simpler, slower way of life, in harmony with their loyal animals and their picture-perfect land, seemingly straight out of a fairy tale. They're untethered to cell phone screens or the Internet, opting instead to make their food and drink by hand and prioritizing in-person connections and community.

The demand for white truffles increases year after year, even as the supply decreases. As a result of climate change, deforestation, and the lack of young people taking up the mantle, the truffle hunters' secrets are more coveted than ever. However, as it soon becomes clear, these aging men may just hold something much more valuable than even this prized delicacy: the secret to a rich and meaningful life.


"Final Account"

This film is an urgent portrait of the last living generation of everyday people to participate in Adolf Hitler's Third Reich. Over a decade in the making, the film raises vital, timely questions about authority, conformity, complicity and perpetration, national identity, and responsibility, as men and women ranging from former SS members to civilians in never-before-seen interviews reckon with -- in very different ways -- their memories, perceptions and personal appraisals of their own roles in the greatest human crimes in history.

"Army of the Dead"

Following a zombie outbreak in Las Vegas, a group of mercenaries take the ultimate gamble, venturing into the quarantine zone to pull off the greatest heist ever attempted. (IMDB)


A criminal mastermind unleashes a twisted form of justice in this terrifying new chapter from the book of Saw. (IMDB)

"Those Who Wish Me Dead"

A teenage murder witness finds himself pursued by twin assassins in the Montana wilderness with a survival expert tasked with protecting him -- and a forest fire threatening to consume them all. (IMDB)

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— David Fair is the WEMU News Director and host of Morning Edition on WEMU.  You can contact David at734.487.3363, on twitter @DavidFairWEMU, or email him at dfair@emich.edu

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