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More sad news on the Coronavirus front as several actors and artists have passed away from the deadly disease sweeping the globe. Actor Jay Benedict died Monday from the disease at age 68. He is best known in the states for roles in 1986's classic sci-fi thriller Aliens and 2012's blockbuster hit The Dark Knight Rises. Overseas he is perhaps best known for his starring role in the U.K. TV series Emmerdale.
The news of Jay Benedict's death was first reported by TCG Artist Management's Kristin Tarry. She has represented the actor for over twenty years. She had this to say about his death on Monday.'It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our dear client Jay Benedict, who this afternoon lost his battle with COVID-19. Our thoughts are with his family.'
Jay Benedict's role in Aliens was greatly expanded in James Cameron's director's cut of the 1986 box office hit. He played Newt's father, with a major scene featuring the actor returned in a later version of the movie. In The Dark Knight Rises he played Rich Twit for director Christopher Nolan. On Emmerdale, he played Doug Hamilton in the series, which has aired in the UK. since 1972. He made his first appearance on the show in the late '90s.
The actor is survived by wife Phoebe Scholfield and their two sons Freddie andLeopold. Friend Pierce Brosnan posted a lengthy tribute on Instagram to the late actor. He had this to say about Jay Benedict.'My dearest friend Jay Benedict, brother in this life, has passed on... we were friends for so many years, forty years and change. This is a photo taken last May outside the stage door of the Lyric theatre on Shaftesbury Avenue London. Jay and I played brothers in a Franco Zeffirelli production of Filumena... Life was so much fun with Jay, on stage and off, we laughed a lot at the world around us, at our selves, saw the funny side of life always.' 'He was a courageous man of handsome life force, that shone its light in every room he walked into, down every road he traveled, he shared his joyful radiance of kinship with all who knew him, a fine mind of intellect and compassion, he gave of himself in every way to the craft of acting, but above all else, he gave us all his great love of life, himself.'
Vicki Michelle, who co-starred with Benedict on Emmerdale, also had fond words for her friend, which she posted on twitter.
Jay Benedict was also remembered by actor David Menkin, who went onto say, 'Jay Benedict - one of the greats - passed away today. If you work in ADR, dubbing, voiceovers, theatre or film in London, you know why we're heartbroken; a big voice and even bigger personality has left us.' Benedict is the most recent in a list of celebrities, actors and artist who have lost their lives to the deadly virus sweeping across the globe at this time. Patricia Bosworth succumbed to the disease on Thursday at 86. She acted opposite Audrey Hepburn but was perhaps better known for...
Look, we’re all cooped up inside for the foreseeable future and we could all use a little more heroism in our lives right about now. So here’s some welcome good news: the digital comics service ComiXology is currently offering 12 Marvel superhero comic book collections for free. That’s zero dollars and zero cents for the Avengers, Black Panther, Captain Marvel, the Fantastic Four, Spider-Man, the X-Men and more, with some classic runs available alongside more recent work. Here’s what you have to do.
First of all, thanks to Slick Deals for calling this to our attention. Second of all, you’re going to need a ComiXology account to take advantage of this deal, but that’s easy enough. Signing up for an account is free and you can do so right here. Once you have an account, follow the links below to add the titles to your Amazon quart and voila – you now own those comics and can read them on the device of your choice via the ComiXology mobile app.
These comics are also currently available to read for free on Marvel Unlimited, the comic book subscription service.
Here’s what available:Amazing Spider-Man: Red Goblin Avengers: Kree/Skrull War Avengers by Jason Aaron Vol. 1: The Final Host Avengers vs. X-Men Collection Black Panther by Ta-Nehisi Coates Vol. 1 Collection Black Widow Vol. 1: S.H.I.E.L.D.’s Most Wanted Captain America: Winter Soldier Ultimate Collection Captain Marvel Vol. 1: Higher, Further, Faster, More Civil War Fantastic Four Vol. 1: Fourever Thanos Wins by Donny Cates X-Men Milestones: Dark Phoenix Saga
All together, that’s $170 worth of Marvel comics you can own for free right now! And while storylines like Dark Phoenix and Civil War are well-known and have inspired major movie adaptations, allow me to recommend some of the other collections available here.
First: that Black Widow run here from writer Mark Waid and artist Chris Samnee is one of my favorite pure action comics in recent years. It’s so good and so well-constructed and so complete that it should’ve been the chief inspiration for the upcoming movie.
Second: the Fantastic Four collection is the opening arc of the current ongoing run and it’s nothing short of wonderful. Writer Dan Slott and his team of artists brought back Marvel’s first family after a series of behind-the-scenes business decisions benched them for years and it’s charming, funny, sad, whimsical, and powered by a genuine sense of adventure.
Third: the Captain America collection comes from writer Ed Brubaker’s acclaimed run with the character and, in addition to being the chief inspiration for much of the character’s MCU adventures, is one of the greatest superhero stories ever told.
The rest range from pretty good to kind-of bad, but I’ll leave...
With large swathes of the population sitting at home, audiences have a chance to catch up on films that were released years ago and find new insights into their narrative. Recently, a fan who had been watching Suicide Squad with his family reached out to the film's director David Ayer to ask about the meaning behind the scene where the Joker is lying in the middle of a room lined with a circle of knives, guns, and baby clothes. Denying that the baby onesies were trophies after an infanticide spree on the part of the cackling psychopath, Ayer provided the following explanation for the scene instead.'No it's more innocent. Harley wanted a normal family with Joker hence the baby in her vision. I figured she would have endlessly pestered Mr. J about having a kid. So he had Mr. Frost buy some onesies. The circle represents how he sees Harley.'
The scene under discussion comes up early in the story. Harley Quinn, played by Margot Robbie, is locked up in Arkham, and we see Joker, played by Jared Leto, in his mansion mourning her absence. He has also shown to have drawn a grin across his face using a sharpie, which according to David Ayer, is because...'He was having a hard time smiling without Harley so gave himself some help with a sharpie.'
This introduction sets up the fact that this Joker is unlike any other live-action portrayal of the supervillain as a man who is missing his demon lover. The onesies we see lined up on the floor next to the Joker later make an appearance in the scene where the Enchantress offers Harley her heart's desire, and she imagines a life of domestic bliss with her beloved Mistah J, with their babies wearing the onesies.
How the circle of knives represents Harley in the mind of the Joker is up for debate. Perhaps he fears that his affection for Harley makes her dangerous to him, and thus views her as a circle of knives drawing closer, threatening to destroy him.
This sentiment of Joker being attracted towards Harley and simultaneously hating the fact that she has made him care for her is also played out in the scene where Harley willingly throws herself into a pit of acid on Joker's command. After trying to walk away from the whole thing, Joker almost unwillingly jumps in after her and rescues her, proving that she means more to him than he can bring himself to admit.
From his explanation, it is clear that Ayer had a solid backstory and reasoning behind the script for Suicide Squad, which unfortunately did not translate very well to the big screen. But now that James Gunn has taken over directorial duties on the sequel, there is a chance to see a Suicide Squad film that gets critical acclaim in addition to minting money at the box office. David Ayer on Twitter brings us this news.
The 2006 Oscars will forever be remembered as the infamous ceremony where “Crash” beat “Brokeback Mountain” for Best Picture. Ang Lee’s groundbreaking gay romance was the critical favorite and it won three of the eight Oscars it was nominated for that year: Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Original Score. Headlining actors Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal both earned Oscar nominations for their performances. The actors were asked to present during the 2007 Oscars telecast, but Gyllenhaal revealed in a recent interview with Another Man magazine via NME that Ledger turned down the opportunity because it would mean making jokes at the expense of the gay “Brokeback” love story.
“I mean, I remember they wanted to do an opening for the Academy Awards that year that was sort of joking about it,” Gyllenhaal said. “And Heath refused. I was sort of at the time, 'Oh, okay... whatever.' I'm always like, ‘It's all in good fun.’ And Heath said, 'It's not a joke to me — I don't want to make any jokes about it.’”
Gyllenhaal, “That's the thing I loved about Heath. He would never joke. Someone wanted to make a joke about the story or whatever, he was like, 'No. This is about love. Like, that's it, man. Like, no.'”
Ledger was nominated in the Best Actor category but lost to “Capote” star Philip Seymour Hoffman. Gyllenhaal lost to George Clooney in “Syriana” for Best Supporting Actor. “Brokeback Mountain” marked the first Oscar nominations for both actors. Ledger would go on to be nominated and win his Oscar in the Best Supporting Actor race for his role as the Joker in Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight.” Ledger received the Academy Award posthumously. “Brokeback” remains Gyllenhaal’s sole Oscar nomination to date.
Gyllenhaal has previously spoken about Ledger’s disdain for “Brokeback Mountain” jokes, but this is the first time the actor has revealed his late co-star turned down the Oscars. Gyllenhaal told “Today” in July 2019 that “Brokeback” marked a pivotal moment in his career. “It opened tons of doors,” he said. “It was crazy. It was amazing. It's defined my career in different ways. [But the film] is bigger than me...It has become not ours anymore. It's the world's.”
Read Gyllenhaal’s latest interview in its entirety on the Another Man website.