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Cinema Chat: The latest on the Hollywood strikes, plus 'Shortcomings' and 'Ninja Turtles' open in theatres

Michigan Theater Lobby
Michigan Theater
Michigan Theater Lobby


14 Top Stars Donate at Least $1 Million Each to SAG-AFTRA Foundation for Strike Fund

In the past three weeks, the Foundation’s Emergency Financial Assistance Program for struggling actors has raised over $15 million, with the vast majority of that contributed by 14 top stars (seven of them Oscar winners) who each contributed at least $1 million. Most of SAG-AFTRA’s striking membership earns an average of $26,000 a year, after all.

Those donating at least $1 million are: George and Amal Clooney, Luciana and Matt Damon, Leonardo DiCaprio, Hugh Jackman and Deborra-lee Furness, Dwayne Johnson, Nicole Kidman, Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck, Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively, Julia Roberts, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Meryl Streep, Oprah Winfrey

Actor’s/Writer’s Strikes Delays Many Film Releases

Sony Pictures has significantly upended its theatrical release slate for the remainder of 2023 and into 2024, including pulling the third “Spider-Verse” movie “Spider-Man: Beyond the Spider-Verse” until an unspecified date. The changes come as Hollywood is in the midst of dual strikes, including the actors strike that prevents stars from promoting studio releases.

Other sequels and tentpoles have also been dramatically shifted, including a second “Ghostbusters” movie with Paul Rudd, this summer’s “Gran Turismo,” “Kraven the Hunter,” and a new “Karate Kid” movie. Also removed from the theatrical release slate for now is “They Listen” starring John Cho and produced by Jason Blum. It was meant to open August 30, 2024.

“Madame Web,” another Sony universe movie of Marvel characters that stars Dakota Johnson, has moved up by just two days to Valentine’s Day weekend, but its counterpart, the R-rated “Kraven the Hunter” that was meant to predate it on October 6 this year, will now not open until Labor Day weekend of 2024, opening August 30.

The untitled “Ghostbusters” movie is set for March 29, 2024, Easter weekend, after it was supposed to open this Christmas. And a “Karate Kid” sequel movie is now set for December 13, 2024, a six-month delay from June 7, 2024.

The release date shifts as a result of the strikes are not the first and won’t be the last, especially if both SAG-AFTRA and the WGA remain on the picket lines for an extended period. Already movies like MGM’s “Challengers” starring Zendaya have dropped out of festival debuts at Venice and are delaying until next spring, while Searchlight’s Yorgos Lanthimos film “Poor Things” starring Emma Stone has been pushed to December after it was meant to open this September.


"Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem"— OPENS FRIDAY, AUGUST 4 AT THE MULTIPLEX

A 2023 American computer-animated superhero film directed byJeff Rowe from a screenplay he co-wrote with Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg, Dan Hernandez, and Benji Samit. It is the seventh theatrical Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film and a reboot of the series. The film stars the voices of Micah Abbey, Shamon Brown Jr., Nicolas Cantu, and Brady Noonas the titular team alongside a supporting ensemble voice cast that includes Hannibal Buress, Rose Byrne,John Cena, Jackie Chan, Ice Cube, Natasia Demetriou, Ayo Edebiri, Giancarlo Esposito, Post Malone, Seth Rogen, Paul Rudd, and Maya Rudolph.

After years of being sheltered from the human world, the Turtle brothers set out to win the hearts of New Yorkers and be accepted as normal teenagers. Their new friend, April O'Neil, helps them take on a mysterious crime syndicate, but they soon get in over their heads when an army of mutants is unleashed upon them.


Get ready for the ultimate adrenaline rush this summer in this literally larger-than-life thrill ride that supersizes the 2018 blockbuster and takes the action to higher heights and even greater depths with multiple massive Megs and so much more! Dive into uncharted waters with Jason Statham and global action icon Wu Jingas they lead a daring research team on an exploratory dive into the deepest depths of the ocean. Their voyage spirals into chaos when a malevolent mining operation threatens their mission and forces them into a high-stakes battle for survival. Pitted against colossal Megs and relentless environmental plunderers, our heroes must outrun, outsmart, and outswim their merciless predators in a pulse-pounding race against time.


A 2023 American comedy-drama film directed and produced byRandall Park, from a screenplay by Adrian Tomine, based upon his comic of the same name. It starsJustin H. Min, Sherry Cola, Ally Maki, Debby Ryan, Tavi Gevinson, Sonoya Mizuno,Jacob Batalon and Timothy Simons. It had its world premiere at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival on January 21, 2023.

Ben, a struggling filmmaker, lives in Berkeley, California, with his girlfriend, Miko, who works for a local Asian American film festival. When he's not managing an arthouse movie theater as his day job, Ben spends his time obsessing over unavailable blonde women, watching Criterion Collection DVDs, and eating in diners with his best friend Alice, a queer grad student with a serial dating habit. When Miko moves to New York for an internship, Ben is left to his own devices and begins to explore what he thinks he might want.

Randall Park is an American actor, comedian, and writer best known for his role as Louis Huang in the ABC sitcom "Fresh Off the Boat" (2015–2020), and for the character Steve, a prank replacement of Jim Halpert (dubbed "Asian Jim") in an episode of the NBC sitcom "The Office" and starring in the recurring role of Governor Danny Chung in the HBO comedy series "Veep".



Part of the Summer of Studio Ghibli 2023 series

Rarely seen outside of Japan, this film is a subtle, poignant and wonderfully detailed story of adolescence and teenage isolation. Taku and his best friend Yutaka are headed back to school for what looks like another uneventful year. But they soon find their friendship tested by the arrival of Rikako, a beautiful new transfer student from Tokyo whose attitude vacillates wildly from flirty and flippant to melancholic. When Taku joins Rikako on a trip to Tokyo, the school erupts with rumors, and the three friends are forced to come to terms with their changing relationships.

The film was the first Studio Ghibli film directed by someone other than studio founders Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata, as director Tomomi Mochizuki led a talented staff of younger employees in an adaptation of Saeko Himuro’s best-selling novel. Language: Japanese with English subtitles.


Part of the Late Nights at the State series

Celebrating its 50th anniversary!

Lady Snowblood was raised from birth for one terrible and vengeful purpose - to murder those who raped her mother and left her to rot in a women's prison, where she died in childbirth. From director Toshiya Fujitaand starring Meiko Kaji. Language: Japanese with English subtitles


Part of the Summer of Studio Ghibli 2023 series

As the Empire of the Sun crumbles upon itself and a rain of firebombs falls upon Japan, the final death march of a nation is echoed in millions of smaller tragedies. This is the story of Seita and his younger sister Setsuko, two children born at the wrong time, in the wrong place, and now cast adrift in a world that lacks not the care to shelter them, but simply the resources. Forced to fend for themselves in the aftermath of fires that swept entire cities from the face of the earth, their doomed struggle is both a tribute to the human spirit and the stuff of nightmares. Beautiful, yet at times brutal and horrifying.

Based on the retellings of survivor Nosaka Akiyuki and directed by Isao Takahata (co-founder, with Hayao Miyazaki, of Japan’s legendary Studio Ghibli,) this film has been universally hailed as an artistic and emotional tour de force. Now digitally remastered and restored, it is one of the rare films that truly deserves to be called a masterpiece. Language: Japanese with English subtitles.


Part of the Summer Classics film series

A young mouse named Fievel Mousekewitz (Phillip Glasser) and his family emigrate from Russia to the United States by boat after their home is destroyed by cats. During the trip, a fierce storm throws Fievel from the ship, and he loses contact with his family. Luckily, he manages to sail to New York in a bottle. There, Irish mouse Bridget (Cathianne Blore), an Italian mouse named Tony (Pat Musick) and a kindly cat named Tiger (Dom DeLuise) help Fievel search for his loved ones. From director Don Bluth ("The Land Before Time", "Anastasia").

"The Blues Brothers" — PLAYS SUNDAY, AUGUST 6 AT 1:30 PM AT THE STATE

Part of the Summer Classics film series

After his release from prison, Jake (John Belushi) reunites with his brother, Elwood (Dan Aykroyd) -- collectively known as the "Blues Brothers." Jake's first task is to save the orphanage the brothers grew up in from closing, by raising $5,000 to pay back taxes. The two are convinced they can earn the money by getting their old band back together. However, after playing several gigs and making a few enemies, including the police, the brothers face daunting odds to deliver the money on time. From writer/director John Landisand also starring Aretha Franklin, James Brown,Carrie Fisher, Cab Calloway, Ray Charles, andJohn Candy.


Part of the Films We Love series

During the approach of the most powerful storm in decades, university professor Dr. Jo Harding (Helen Hunt) and an underfunded team of students prepare the prototype for Dorothy, a ground-breaking tornado data-gathering device conceived by her estranged husband, Bill (Bill Paxton). When Harding tells Bill that Dorothy is ready for testing -- and that their privately funded rival Dr. Jonas Miller (Cary Elwes) has stolen the idea and built his own -- Bill rejoins the team for one last mission. From directorJan de Bont ("Speed").


Presented with live accompaniment from Andrew Rogers and FREE and open to the public.

In this silent comedy, college boy William Canfield Jr. (Buster Keaton) reunites with his boat captain father in a Mississippi River town. Though he's flummoxed by Willie's citified appearance, the elder Canfield seems to have found an ally to help him compete with fellow riverboat owner John James King (Tom McGuire). Willie finds himself falling for King's daughter, Mary (Marion Byron), but he has more pressing concerns when the weather turns bad and his father is arrested. Directed by Charles Reisnerand Buster Keaton.

Presented with Buster Keaton's short film "The Blacksmith."

Ann Arbor Film Festival Presents: "Huahua's Dazzling World and its Myriad Temptations"— PLAYS TUESDAY, AUGUST 8 AT 7 PM AT THE STATE

Huahua, an eccentric and exuberant woman who livestreams herself dancing, singing, and chatting with fans for a living. Cellphone screens, beauty filters, and digital soundscapes reveal a world that Huahua creates with her own image.


"Theater Camp"

A 2023 American comedy film directed by Molly Gordon and Nick Lieberman in their directorial debuts, from a screenplay by Gordon, Lieberman, Ben Platt and Noah Galvin. A feature-length adaptation of the 2020 short film of the same name, the film features an ensemble cast that includes Galvin, Gordon, Platt,Jimmy Tatro, Patti Harrison, Nathan Lee Graham, Ayo Edebiri, Owen Thiele,Caroline Aaron and Amy Sedaris. Will Ferrell serves as a producer under his Gloria Sanchez Productions banner. It had its world premiere at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival. It received positive reviews from critics.

As summer rolls around again, kids are gathering from all over to attend AdirondACTS, a scrappy theater camp in upstate New York that's a haven for budding performers. After its indomitable founder Joan falls into a coma, her clueless “crypto-bro” son Troy is tasked with keeping the thespian paradise running. With financial ruin looming, Troy must join forces with Amos, Rebecca-Diane, and their band of eccentric teachers and students to come up with a solution before the curtain rises on opening night.


A 2023 fantasy comedy film directed by Greta Gerwig, who wrote it with Noah Baumbach. Gerwig collaborated with her partner Noah Baumbach on several films, including "Greenberg" (2010) and "Frances Ha" (2012), for which she received a Golden Globe Award nomination, "Mistress America" (2015), and "White Noise" (2022). She also appeared in many other films including as a voice actor in Wes Anderson's "Isle of Dogs" (2018). As a solo filmmaker, Gerwig has written and directed the coming-of-age films "Lady Bird" (2017) and "Little Women" (2019), both of which earned nominations for the Academy Award for Best Picture.

The film stars Margot Robbie as Barbie and Ryan Gosling as Ken, who go on a journey of self-discovery after their expulsion from the utopian Barbie Land. Appearing in supporting roles are America Ferrera, Kate McKinnon, Issa Rae, Rhea Perlman, and Will Ferrell.

The was first announced in September 2009. Following multiple writer and director changes and the casting of Amy Schumerand later Anne Hathaway in the titular role, Sony lost the rights, which were transferred to Warner Bros. Pictures in October 2018, with Robbie being cast in 2019. Gerwig was announced as director and co-writer with Baumbach in 2021. Gosling and the rest of the cast were announced in early 2022. Filming took place primarily at Warner Bros. Studios, Leavesden in England from March to July 2022. Barbie premiered at The Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles on July 9, 2023.

After being expelled from the utopian Barbie Land for being less-than-perfect dolls, Barbie and Ken go on a journey of self-discovery to the real world. OR to live in Barbie Land is to be a perfect being in a perfect place. Unless you have a full-on existential crisis. Or you're a Ken.


An epic biographical thriller film written, produced, and directed by Christopher Nolan, based on the 2005 biography "American Prometheus" by Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin, about J. Robert Oppenheimer, the theoretical physicist who helped develop the first nuclear weapons. The film stars Cillian Murphyas the title character, with a supporting ensemble cast including Emily Blunt, Matt Damon, Robert Downey Jr., Florence Pugh, Josh Hartnett, Casey Affleck, Rami Malek, and Kenneth Branagh.

The film was announced in September 2021 when Universal Pictures won the bidding war. Filming began in late February 2022 and wrapped that May. Cinematographer Hoyte van Hoytema shot the film in a combination of IMAX 65mm and 65mm large-format film—including, for the first time, sections in IMAX black-and-white analog photography. As on his previous works, Nolan utilized extensive practical effects and minimal computer-generated imagery. The film premiered at Le Grand Rex in Paris on July 11, 2023. It is Nolan's first film not to be distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures domestically or internationally since "Memento" (2000).

"Asteroid City"

This is a 2023 American comedy-drama film directed and co-produced by Wes Andersonfrom a screenplay by Anderson and a story by Anderson and Roman Coppola. The film features an ensemble cast that includes Jason Schwartzman, Scarlett Johansson, Tom Hanks, Jeffrey Wright,Tilda Swinton, Bryan Cranston, Edward Norton, Adrien Brody, Liev Schreiber, Hope Davis, Steve Park,Rupert Friend, Maya Hawke, Steve Carell, Matt Dillon, Hong Chau, Willem Dafoe, Margot Robbie, and Jeff Goldblum. Its metatextual plot simultaneously depicts the events of a Junior Stargazer convention in a retro-futuristic version of 1955, staged as a play, and the creation of the play.

The film had its world premiere at the 76th Cannes Film Festival on May 23, 2023. The film received an extended standing ovation from the Cannes Film Festival audience and positive reviews from critics.

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