Wilford Brimley, ‘Cocoon’ and ‘Natural’ actor, dies at 85

By LYNN ELBER

LOS ANGELES  — Wilford Brimley, who worked his way up from movie stunt rider to an indelible character actor who brought gruff charm, and sometimes menace, to a range of films that included “Cocoon,” “The Natural” and “The Firm,” has died. He was 85.

Brimley’s manager Lynda Bensky said the actor died Saturday morning in a Utah hospital. He was on dialysis and had several medical ailments, she said.

The mustached Brimley was a familiar face for a number of roles, often playing characters like his grizzled baseball manager in “The Natural” opposite Robert Redford’s bad-luck phenomenon. He also worked with Redford in “Brubaker” and “The Electric Horseman.”

Brimley’s best-known work was in “Cocoon,” in which he was part of a group of seniors who discover an alien pod that rejuvenates them. The 1985 Ron Howard film won two Oscars, including a supporting actor honor for Don Ameche.

Brimley also starred in “Cocoon: The Return,” a 1988 sequel.

For years he was pitchman for Quaker Oats and in recent years appeared in a series of diabetes spots that turned him at one point into a social media sensation.

“Wilford Brimley was a man you could trust,” Bensky said in a statement. “He said what he meant and he meant what he said. He had a tough exterior and a tender heart. I’m sad that I will no longer get to hear my friend’s wonderful stories. He was one of a kind.”

Barbara Hershey, who met Brimley on 1995′s “Last of the Dogmen,” called him “a wonderful man and actor. … He always made me laugh.”

Though never nominated for an Oscar or Emmy Award, Brimley amassed an impressive list of credits. In 1993’s John Grisham adaptation “The Firm,” Brimley starred opposite Tom Cruise as a tough-nosed investigator who deployed ruthless tactics to keep his law firm’s secrets safe.

John Woo, who directed Brimley as Uncle Douvee in 1993′s “Hard Target,” told The Hollywood Reporter in 2018 that the part was “the main great thing from the film. I was overjoyed making those scenes and especially working with Wilford Brimley.”

A Utah native who grew up around horses, Brimley spent two decades traveling around the West and working at ranches and race tracks. He drifted into movie work during the 1960s, riding in such films as “True Grit,” and appearing in TV series such as “Gunsmoke.”

He forged a friendship with Robert Duvall, who encouraged him to seek more prominent acting roles, according to a biography prepared by Turner Classic Movies.

Brimley, who never trained as an actor, saw his career take off after he won an important role as a nuclear power plant engineer in “The China Syndrome.”

“Training? I’ve never been to acting classes, but I’ve had 50 years of training,” he said in a 1984 Associated Press interview. “My years as an extra were good background for learning about camera techniques and so forth. I was lucky to have had that experience; a lot of newcomers don’t.”

“Basically my method is to be honest,” Brimley said told AP. “The camera photographs the truth — not what I want it to see, but what it sees. The truth.”

Brimley had a recurring role as a blacksmith on “The Waltons” and the 1980s prime-time series “Our House.”

Another side of the actor was his love of jazz. As a vocalist, he made albums including “This Time the Dream’s On Me” and “Wilford Brimley with the Jeff Hamilton Trio.”

In 1998, he opposed an Arizona referendum to ban cockfighting, saying that he was “trying to protect a lifestyle of freedom and choice for my grandchildren.”

In recent years, Brimley’s pitchwork for Liberty Mutual had turned him into an internet sensation for his drawn out pronunciation of diabetes as “diabeetus.” He owned the pronunciation in a tweet that drew hundreds of thousands of likes earlier this year.

Brimley is survived by his wife Beverly and three sons.

___

AP Entertainment Writer Anthony McCartney contributed to this report.

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‘Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker’ takes on its biggest challenge. Does it succeed?

After 8 previous films in this series, as well as related movies, TV shows, cartoons, theme park attractions and one very special holiday TV special, you could be forgiven for having little hope that George Lucas’ Star Wars saga could be wrapped up in one film.

How could you hope to pull together story lines and fan theories about the original trilogy, loop in the useful parts of the trade-obsessed prequel trilogy, and somehow follow up the divisive “The Last Jedi” — which to some felt like it rejected the core myths and beliefs of the series and its predecessor “The Force Awakens” — with one single film that concludes its own trilogy and caps a trilogy of trilogies?

Well, we once had “A New Hope,” and with J.J. Abrams’ new “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker,” you could argue we have A Newer Hope.

Like a Tatooine farmboy who quiets the buzzing noise and bursting bombs around him to take an all-but-impossible shot, Abrams, his cast and his collaborators take theirs and succeed, delivering a thoroughly rousing final installment (or “final” until someone decides to do more) for the 42-year-old franchise.

“The Rise of Skywalker” delivers everything you want in a “Star Wars” film: action and adventure, lightsaber duels and blaster shootouts, sneaky spies and daring escapes, space chases and chaste kisses. Even a few long-standing fan gripes get moments of recognition in the film, a sort of “Yes, we heard you out there,” which is probably all most of the fangirls and boys ever wanted. There are some excellent callbacks to earlier films, and a few more forward-looking moments, including a more diverse cast and even some same-sex affection.

So what can we tell you about the story? Well, we will attempt to avoid any spoilers and just give you the basics. Like previous installments, the film starts with a crawl of yellow text that catches you up on the plot, and, if you read carefully, might offer a few hints about what’s to come. (No, we aren’t telling.)

In short, the story picks up with Adam Driver’s Kylo Ren (aka Ben Solo, son of Han Solo and Princess/General Leia) the new Supreme Leader of the First Order. The big emo overlord with the enflamed red lightsaber is conflicted, a fact reflected in his cracked helmet; its glowing scars resembling Japanese kintsugi, an art form that finds beauty in broken things. Ren is either crushing rebels hard or crushing hard on Daisy Ridley’s Rey, with whom he shares a bond that connects them even across distances great and small.

And what of the rest of the good guy crew, which includes old school characters such as Chewbacca and C-3PO and new heroes like Oscar Isaac’s Poe Dameron, Kelly Marie Tran’s Rose Tico and John Boyega’s Finn? They get up to the kind of intrigue you want in a “Star Wars” film (or even an Indiana Jones one): The word “mission” gets used a lot, there is some sneaking around past patrolling stormtroopers and they occasionally must decide whether to befriend or fight a new acquaintance.

The film is about a war between good and evil, truth and lies, freedom and fascism. The script offers lines and some Churchillian speechifying about not giving up even when you’re afraid and reminds the audience that there are more of “us” — that is, the good guys, the non-fanatics — than there are of the jackbooted extremists. You can make of that what you will.

Abrams’ film not only manages to handle the heavy lifting of reconnecting plotlines and characters and callbacks, but it’s also very funny, much funnier than some other installments and a reminder of how a good wisecrack can make a scene.

So “The Rise of Skywalker” is exciting, fun and finds ways to wrap up multiple story lines — isn’t that enough? — but it’s also fair to say it’s not a perfect movie. It’s a little stiff and unwieldy upon takeoff before it gets warmed up and zooms off into hyperspace.

But given the much harder task of ending a long-running series, Abrams & Co. do a terrific job.

Like all the best finales, there are nods to the past that will appeal to fans of the franchise, and we can only imagine that they will love it.

That should be enough to give anyone hope.

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Allison Mack, an actress with OC ties, pleads guilty in scheme involving sex slaves for a cult-like group in New York

NEW YORK — TV actress Allison Mack pleaded guilty Monday to charges she was involved in a scheme to turn women into sex slaves for the spiritual leader of a cult-like upstate New York group, a development that came on the same day jury selection began for a federal trial in the case.


FILE – This June 26, 2012, file photo shows television actress Allison Mack at a party in Los Angeles. (Photo by Todd Williamson/Invision/AP, File)

Mack, 36, wept as she admitted her crimes and apologized to the women who prosecutors say were exploited by Keith Raniere and the purported self-help group called NXIVM.

“I believed Keith Raniere’s intentions were to help people, and I was wrong,” Mack told a Brooklyn judge.

Mack – best known for her role as a young Superman’s close friend on the series “Smallville” – said that after months of reflection since her arrest, “I know I can and will be a better person.”

The actress is to be sentenced Sept. 11 on two racketeering counts that each carry maximum terms of 20 years in prison. However, it’s likely she would face far less time under sentencing guidelines.

After her arrest last year, a federal judge agreed to release Mack on $5 million bond and place her under home detention.  She planned to live with her parents at their home in Los Alamitos as she awaited further legal proceedings, The Associated Press reported.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Mack was born in Germany, where her father was an opera singer. The family later moved to Southern California and Mack graduated from the Orange County High School of the Arts in Santa Ana, now called the Orange County School of the Arts.

The Register contributed to this story.

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Comic-Con 2017: CW’s ‘Riverdale’ to undergo ‘civil war’ in dark, upcoming season

There’s one thing that the cast and crew of the CW Network’s “Riverdale” all agree on, the show is about to get much darker.

“‘Dark’ seems to be the buzzword that we’re all using for season two,” joked Cole Sprouse, who portrays Jughead Jones on the hit television series based on the “Archie” comic books. “It’s like the writers looked at Jughead, and we’re like, ‘Make him unhappy.’ And they were like, ‘Give him a treat and now pull him back again.’”

Sprouse was joined by fellow “Riverdale” castmembers KJ Apa, Lili Reinhart, Camila Mendes, Madelaine Petsch, Ashleigh Murray, Casey Cott, Hayley Law, Asha Bromfield, and Executive Producer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa Saturday at Comic-Con International in San Diego to discuss the upcoming season.

The Riverdale that comic readers came to know and love, isn’t going to be the same once the series returns this fall October 11.

“Riverdale is changing,” Apa said. “And there’s a civil war almost between the south side and north side of Riverdale, and eventually everyone picks a side.”

That divide will do more than fracture the town, it’ll also make relationships tense between Archie and the gang.

“The split between the north and south is going to take a toll on Jughead and Betty’s relationship,” Reinhart said. “It’s almost a Romeo and Juliet situation.”

Aguirre-Sacasa admitted that he finds it upsetting to write about the conflict of the characters he grew up with while reading the comics.

The producer said he’s been attempting to bring the comics to life for the past 15 years and hopes to one day expand the “Archieverse” like DC Comics has done with other CW shows, such as “Arrow” and “The Flash.”

“The reason I loved growing up with the Archie characters is because I wanted to be friends with those kids,” Aguirre-Sacasa said. “There’s always trouble, but I hope they’ll always come back together.”

Writing the conflicts wasn’t the only challenge the crew faced while putting together the second season. Both Apa and Sprouse said the second season has pushed them as actors.

The first episode of the new season was one of the toughest for Apa he said. The series is set to pick up right where it left off with a cliffhanger as Luke Perry’s character Fred Andrews is wounded in a not-so-random shooting.

“That first episode for Archie … He’s newly dealing with Fred being shot. So every single scene that we shot for that, for me especially, was challenging,” Apa said. “I was anxious before shooting that episode. When I first read it, I thought, ‘This is going to be really hard for me. This is going to be challenging.’ I think when you feel that way about something, when you’re nervous and anxious on set, it means that what you’re doing is good.”

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Comic-Con 2017’s Masquerade is what cosplay dreams are made of

Every year at Comic-Con International in San Diego cosplayers are given an opportunity to strut their stuff and really show off just how much work went into their creations.

In it’s 43rd year and presented by HBO, the Comic-Con Masquerade is more than just a cosplay fashion show.

  • The 2017 Comic-Con International Masquerade on day three of Comic-Con International in San Diego, CA., Saturday, July 22, 2017. (Staff photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher/Southern California News Group)

    The 2017 Comic-Con International Masquerade on day three of Comic-Con International in San Diego, CA., Saturday, July 22, 2017. (Staff photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher/Southern California News Group)

  • The 2017 Comic-Con International Masquerade on day three of Comic-Con International in San Diego, CA., Saturday, July 22, 2017. (Staff photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher/Southern California News Group)

    The 2017 Comic-Con International Masquerade on day three of Comic-Con International in San Diego, CA., Saturday, July 22, 2017. (Staff photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher/Southern California News Group)

  • The 2017 Comic-Con International Masquerade on day three of Comic-Con International in San Diego, CA., Saturday, July 22, 2017. (Staff photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher/Southern California News Group)

    The 2017 Comic-Con International Masquerade on day three of Comic-Con International in San Diego, CA., Saturday, July 22, 2017. (Staff photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher/Southern California News Group)

  • The 2017 Comic-Con International Masquerade on day three of Comic-Con International in San Diego, CA., Saturday, July 22, 2017. (Staff photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher/Southern California News Group)

    The 2017 Comic-Con International Masquerade on day three of Comic-Con International in San Diego, CA., Saturday, July 22, 2017. (Staff photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher/Southern California News Group)

  • The 2017 Comic-Con International Masquerade on day three of Comic-Con International in San Diego, CA., Saturday, July 22, 2017. (Staff photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher/Southern California News Group)

    The 2017 Comic-Con International Masquerade on day three of Comic-Con International in San Diego, CA., Saturday, July 22, 2017. (Staff photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher/Southern California News Group)

  • The 2017 Comic-Con International Masquerade on day three of Comic-Con International in San Diego, CA., Saturday, July 22, 2017. (Staff photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher/Southern California News Group)

    The 2017 Comic-Con International Masquerade on day three of Comic-Con International in San Diego, CA., Saturday, July 22, 2017. (Staff photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher/Southern California News Group)

  • The 2017 Comic-Con International Masquerade on day three of Comic-Con International in San Diego, CA., Saturday, July 22, 2017. (Staff photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher/Southern California News Group)

    The 2017 Comic-Con International Masquerade on day three of Comic-Con International in San Diego, CA., Saturday, July 22, 2017. (Staff photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher/Southern California News Group)

  • The 2017 Comic-Con International Masquerade on day three of Comic-Con International in San Diego, CA., Saturday, July 22, 2017. (Staff photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher/Southern California News Group)

    The 2017 Comic-Con International Masquerade on day three of Comic-Con International in San Diego, CA., Saturday, July 22, 2017. (Staff photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher/Southern California News Group)

  • The 2017 Comic-Con International Masquerade on day three of Comic-Con International in San Diego, CA., Saturday, July 22, 2017. (Staff photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher/Southern California News Group)

    The 2017 Comic-Con International Masquerade on day three of Comic-Con International in San Diego, CA., Saturday, July 22, 2017. (Staff photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher/Southern California News Group)

  • The 2017 Comic-Con International Masquerade on day three of Comic-Con International in San Diego, CA., Saturday, July 22, 2017. (Staff photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher/Southern California News Group)

    The 2017 Comic-Con International Masquerade on day three of Comic-Con International in San Diego, CA., Saturday, July 22, 2017. (Staff photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher/Southern California News Group)

  • The 2017 Comic-Con International Masquerade on day three of Comic-Con International in San Diego, CA., Saturday, July 22, 2017. (Staff photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher/Southern California News Group)

    The 2017 Comic-Con International Masquerade on day three of Comic-Con International in San Diego, CA., Saturday, July 22, 2017. (Staff photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher/Southern California News Group)

  • The 2017 Comic-Con International Masquerade on day three of Comic-Con International in San Diego, CA., Saturday, July 22, 2017. (Staff photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher/Southern California News Group)

    The 2017 Comic-Con International Masquerade on day three of Comic-Con International in San Diego, CA., Saturday, July 22, 2017. (Staff photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher/Southern California News Group)

  • The 2017 Comic-Con International Masquerade on day three of Comic-Con International in San Diego, CA., Saturday, July 22, 2017. (Staff photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher/Southern California News Group)

    The 2017 Comic-Con International Masquerade on day three of Comic-Con International in San Diego, CA., Saturday, July 22, 2017. (Staff photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher/Southern California News Group)

  • The 2017 Comic-Con International Masquerade on day three of Comic-Con International in San Diego, CA., Saturday, July 22, 2017. (Staff photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher/Southern California News Group)

    The 2017 Comic-Con International Masquerade on day three of Comic-Con International in San Diego, CA., Saturday, July 22, 2017. (Staff photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher/Southern California News Group)

  • The 2017 Comic-Con International Masquerade on day three of Comic-Con International in San Diego, CA., Saturday, July 22, 2017. (Staff photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher/Southern California News Group)

    The 2017 Comic-Con International Masquerade on day three of Comic-Con International in San Diego, CA., Saturday, July 22, 2017. (Staff photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher/Southern California News Group)

  • The 2017 Comic-Con International Masquerade on day three of Comic-Con International in San Diego, CA., Saturday, July 22, 2017. (Staff photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher/Southern California News Group)

    The 2017 Comic-Con International Masquerade on day three of Comic-Con International in San Diego, CA., Saturday, July 22, 2017. (Staff photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher/Southern California News Group)

  • The 2017 Comic-Con International Masquerade on day three of Comic-Con International in San Diego, CA., Saturday, July 22, 2017. (Staff photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher/Southern California News Group)

    The 2017 Comic-Con International Masquerade on day three of Comic-Con International in San Diego, CA., Saturday, July 22, 2017. (Staff photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher/Southern California News Group)

  • The 2017 Comic-Con International Masquerade on day three of Comic-Con International in San Diego, CA., Saturday, July 22, 2017. (Staff photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher/Southern California News Group)

    The 2017 Comic-Con International Masquerade on day three of Comic-Con International in San Diego, CA., Saturday, July 22, 2017. (Staff photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher/Southern California News Group)

  • The 2017 Comic-Con International Masquerade on day three of Comic-Con International in San Diego, CA., Saturday, July 22, 2017. (Staff photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher/Southern California News Group)

    The 2017 Comic-Con International Masquerade on day three of Comic-Con International in San Diego, CA., Saturday, July 22, 2017. (Staff photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher/Southern California News Group)

  • The 2017 Comic-Con International Masquerade on day three of Comic-Con International in San Diego, CA., Saturday, July 22, 2017. (Staff photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher/Southern California News Group)

    The 2017 Comic-Con International Masquerade on day three of Comic-Con International in San Diego, CA., Saturday, July 22, 2017. (Staff photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher/Southern California News Group)

  • The 2017 Comic-Con International Masquerade on day three of Comic-Con International in San Diego, CA., Saturday, July 22, 2017. (Staff photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher/Southern California News Group)

    The 2017 Comic-Con International Masquerade on day three of Comic-Con International in San Diego, CA., Saturday, July 22, 2017. (Staff photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher/Southern California News Group)

  • The 2017 Comic-Con International Masquerade on day three of Comic-Con International in San Diego, CA., Saturday, July 22, 2017. (Staff photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher/Southern California News Group)

    The 2017 Comic-Con International Masquerade on day three of Comic-Con International in San Diego, CA., Saturday, July 22, 2017. (Staff photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher/Southern California News Group)

  • The 2017 Comic-Con International Masquerade on day three of Comic-Con International in San Diego, CA., Saturday, July 22, 2017. (Staff photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher/Southern California News Group)

    The 2017 Comic-Con International Masquerade on day three of Comic-Con International in San Diego, CA., Saturday, July 22, 2017. (Staff photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher/Southern California News Group)

  • The 2017 Comic-Con International Masquerade on day three of Comic-Con International in San Diego, CA., Saturday, July 22, 2017. (Staff photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher/Southern California News Group)

    The 2017 Comic-Con International Masquerade on day three of Comic-Con International in San Diego, CA., Saturday, July 22, 2017. (Staff photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher/Southern California News Group)

  • Cosplayers pose in their “David Bowie” costumes during the Comic-Con 2017 Masquerade at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, CA on Saturday, July 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Cosplayers pose in their “David Bowie” costumes during the Comic-Con 2017 Masquerade at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, CA on Saturday, July 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Vera Vanguard poses in her “Showgirl Maleficent” costume during the Comic-Con 2017 Masquerade at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, CA on Saturday, July 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Vera Vanguard poses in her “Showgirl Maleficent” costume during the Comic-Con 2017 Masquerade at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, CA on Saturday, July 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Mike and Kelly Hecker pose in their “The Parting of Elrond and Arwen” costumes during the Comic-Con 2017 Masquerade at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, CA on Saturday, July 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Mike and Kelly Hecker pose in their “The Parting of Elrond and Arwen” costumes during the Comic-Con 2017 Masquerade at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, CA on Saturday, July 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Cosplayers pose in their “Batman vs Superman: Dawn of the Justice League” costumes during the Comic-Con 2017 Masquerade at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, CA on Saturday, July 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Cosplayers pose in their “Batman vs Superman: Dawn of the Justice League” costumes during the Comic-Con 2017 Masquerade at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, CA on Saturday, July 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Melynda Blanchard-Williams poses in her “Flight of the Hydrangea” costume during the Comic-Con 2017 Masquerade at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, CA on Saturday, July 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Melynda Blanchard-Williams poses in her “Flight of the Hydrangea” costume during the Comic-Con 2017 Masquerade at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, CA on Saturday, July 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Cosplayers show off their “A League of Their Own” costumes during the Comic-Con 2017 Masquerade at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, CA on Saturday, July 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Cosplayers show off their “A League of Their Own” costumes during the Comic-Con 2017 Masquerade at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, CA on Saturday, July 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Malis Vitterfolk poses in her “Dawnseeker Ix’kin, Arakkoa Sun Sage” costume during the Comic-Con 2017 Masquerade at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, CA on Saturday, July 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Malis Vitterfolk poses in her “Dawnseeker Ix’kin, Arakkoa Sun Sage” costume during the Comic-Con 2017 Masquerade at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, CA on Saturday, July 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Malis Vitterfolk poses in her “Dawnseeker Ix’kin, Arakkoa Sun Sage” costume during the Comic-Con 2017 Masquerade at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, CA on Saturday, July 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Malis Vitterfolk poses in her “Dawnseeker Ix’kin, Arakkoa Sun Sage” costume during the Comic-Con 2017 Masquerade at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, CA on Saturday, July 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Helen Simm poses in her “Dark Xena Warrior Princess” costume during the Comic-Con 2017 Masquerade at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, CA on Saturday, July 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Helen Simm poses in her “Dark Xena Warrior Princess” costume during the Comic-Con 2017 Masquerade at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, CA on Saturday, July 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Jason Aulocomo poses in his “Onslaught” costume during the Comic-Con 2017 Masquerade at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, CA on Saturday, July 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Jason Aulocomo poses in his “Onslaught” costume during the Comic-Con 2017 Masquerade at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, CA on Saturday, July 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Julia Jenkins, of Riverside, and Andy Holt, of Irvine, show off the articulating wings on their “Hawkman and Hawkgirl” costumes during the Comic-Con 2017 Masquerade at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, CA on Saturday, July 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Julia Jenkins, of Riverside, and Andy Holt, of Irvine, show off the articulating wings on their “Hawkman and Hawkgirl” costumes during the Comic-Con 2017 Masquerade at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, CA on Saturday, July 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Cosplayers show off their “John Snow and Daenerys Targaryen” costumes during the Comic-Con 2017 Masquerade at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, CA on Saturday, July 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Cosplayers show off their “John Snow and Daenerys Targaryen” costumes during the Comic-Con 2017 Masquerade at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, CA on Saturday, July 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Gaby Seligman poses in her “Supergirl” costume during the Comic-Con 2017 Masquerade at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, CA on Saturday, July 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Gaby Seligman poses in her “Supergirl” costume during the Comic-Con 2017 Masquerade at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, CA on Saturday, July 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Melissa Manhart poses in her “Dar Ember the Dragon Empress” costume during the Comic-Con 2017 Masquerade at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, CA on Saturday, July 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Melissa Manhart poses in her “Dar Ember the Dragon Empress” costume during the Comic-Con 2017 Masquerade at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, CA on Saturday, July 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Melissa Manhart poses in her “Dar Ember the Dragon Empress” costume during the Comic-Con 2017 Masquerade at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, CA on Saturday, July 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Melissa Manhart poses in her “Dar Ember the Dragon Empress” costume during the Comic-Con 2017 Masquerade at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, CA on Saturday, July 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Cosplayers show off their “Deanery Targaryen” costumes during the Comic-Con 2017 Masquerade at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, CA on Saturday, July 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Cosplayers show off their “Deanery Targaryen” costumes during the Comic-Con 2017 Masquerade at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, CA on Saturday, July 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Ashley Evans poses in her “Edward Scissorhands” costume during the Comic-Con 2017 Masquerade at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, CA on Saturday, July 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Ashley Evans poses in her “Edward Scissorhands” costume during the Comic-Con 2017 Masquerade at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, CA on Saturday, July 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Cosplayers show off their “Nothern Water Tribe” costumes during the Comic-Con 2017 Masquerade at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, CA on Saturday, July 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Cosplayers show off their “Nothern Water Tribe” costumes during the Comic-Con 2017 Masquerade at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, CA on Saturday, July 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Michelle Everett poses in her “Arenea Highwind” costume from Final Fantasy 15 during the Comic-Con 2017 Masquerade at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, CA on Saturday, July 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Michelle Everett poses in her “Arenea Highwind” costume from Final Fantasy 15 during the Comic-Con 2017 Masquerade at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, CA on Saturday, July 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Cosplayers show off their “Beauty and the Beatdown” costumes during the Comic-Con 2017 Masquerade at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, CA on Saturday, July 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Cosplayers show off their “Beauty and the Beatdown” costumes during the Comic-Con 2017 Masquerade at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, CA on Saturday, July 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Lisa Talamantes poses in her “Harley Quinn” costume during the Comic-Con 2017 Masquerade at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, CA on Saturday, July 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Lisa Talamantes poses in her “Harley Quinn” costume during the Comic-Con 2017 Masquerade at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, CA on Saturday, July 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Rebecca Ryan poses in her “Empress Fe’ier Battle Dress” costume during the Comic-Con 2017 Masquerade at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, CA on Saturday, July 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Rebecca Ryan poses in her “Empress Fe’ier Battle Dress” costume during the Comic-Con 2017 Masquerade at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, CA on Saturday, July 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Cosplayers show off their “Sleeping Beauty” costumes during the Comic-Con 2017 Masquerade at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, CA on Saturday, July 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Cosplayers show off their “Sleeping Beauty” costumes during the Comic-Con 2017 Masquerade at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, CA on Saturday, July 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Jennifer King poses in her original “Warrior Empress Bask” costume during the Comic-Con 2017 Masquerade at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, CA on Saturday, July 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Jennifer King poses in her original “Warrior Empress Bask” costume during the Comic-Con 2017 Masquerade at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, CA on Saturday, July 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Thomas Vera poses in his “Space Captain Hancock” costume during the Comic-Con 2017 Masquerade at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, CA on Saturday, July 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Thomas Vera poses in his “Space Captain Hancock” costume during the Comic-Con 2017 Masquerade at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, CA on Saturday, July 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Jose Davalos poses in his “Ursula the Sea Witch” costume during the Comic-Con 2017 Masquerade at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, CA on Saturday, July 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Jose Davalos poses in his “Ursula the Sea Witch” costume during the Comic-Con 2017 Masquerade at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, CA on Saturday, July 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Cosplayers show off their “DC Carnavale” creations during the Comic-Con 2017 Masquerade at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, CA on Saturday, July 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Cosplayers show off their “DC Carnavale” creations during the Comic-Con 2017 Masquerade at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, CA on Saturday, July 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Samantha Mansfield poses in her “Willie Scott at Club Obi-Wan” costume from Indiana Jones during the Comic-Con 2017 Masquerade at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, CA on Saturday, July 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Samantha Mansfield poses in her “Willie Scott at Club Obi-Wan” costume from Indiana Jones during the Comic-Con 2017 Masquerade at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, CA on Saturday, July 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Evan and Heidi Mack pose in their “Jolly Galaxy” costumes during the Comic-Con 2017 Masquerade at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, CA on Saturday, July 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Evan and Heidi Mack pose in their “Jolly Galaxy” costumes during the Comic-Con 2017 Masquerade at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, CA on Saturday, July 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Joshua David Sprague poses in his “The Legend of Samurai Link” costume during the Comic-Con 2017 Masquerade at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, CA on Saturday, July 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Joshua David Sprague poses in his “The Legend of Samurai Link” costume during the Comic-Con 2017 Masquerade at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, CA on Saturday, July 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Edgar Mayoral shows off his “Darkwraith from Dark Souls” costume during the Comic-Con 2017 Masquerade at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, CA on Saturday, July 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Edgar Mayoral shows off his “Darkwraith from Dark Souls” costume during the Comic-Con 2017 Masquerade at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, CA on Saturday, July 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Edgar Mayoral shows off his “Darkwraith from Dark Souls” costume during the Comic-Con 2017 Masquerade at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, CA on Saturday, July 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Edgar Mayoral shows off his “Darkwraith from Dark Souls” costume during the Comic-Con 2017 Masquerade at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, CA on Saturday, July 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Cosplayers show off their “Fantasia 2017: A Night on Bald Mountain” creations during the Comic-Con 2017 Masquerade at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, CA on Saturday, July 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Cosplayers show off their “Fantasia 2017: A Night on Bald Mountain” creations during the Comic-Con 2017 Masquerade at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, CA on Saturday, July 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Cosplayers get into position while posing for photos during the Comic-Con 2017 Masquerade at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, CA on Saturday, July 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Cosplayers get into position while posing for photos during the Comic-Con 2017 Masquerade at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, CA on Saturday, July 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Blair Heald shows off his “Samurai Jack” costume during the Comic-Con 2017 Masquerade at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, CA on Saturday, July 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Blair Heald shows off his “Samurai Jack” costume during the Comic-Con 2017 Masquerade at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, CA on Saturday, July 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Cosplayers show off their “Mayhem of the Music Meister” costumes during the Comic-Con 2017 Masquerade at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, CA on Saturday, July 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Cosplayers show off their “Mayhem of the Music Meister” costumes during the Comic-Con 2017 Masquerade at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, CA on Saturday, July 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Amber Bates wears her costume “Emma, from Miss Peregrine’s Home” during the Comic-Con 2017 Masquerade at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, CA on Saturday, July 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Amber Bates wears her costume “Emma, from Miss Peregrine’s Home” during the Comic-Con 2017 Masquerade at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, CA on Saturday, July 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Cosplayers show off their “The Force Awakens: Under New Management” costumes during the Comic-Con 2017 Masquerade at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, CA on Saturday, July 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Cosplayers show off their “The Force Awakens: Under New Management” costumes during the Comic-Con 2017 Masquerade at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, CA on Saturday, July 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Cap Santiago walks shows off his “Hawkman” creation during the Comic-Con 2017 Masquerade at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, CA on Saturday, July 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Cap Santiago walks shows off his “Hawkman” creation during the Comic-Con 2017 Masquerade at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, CA on Saturday, July 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Cap Santiago shows off his “Hawkman” creation during the Comic-Con 2017 Masquerade at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, CA on Saturday, July 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Cap Santiago shows off his “Hawkman” creation during the Comic-Con 2017 Masquerade at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, CA on Saturday, July 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Cosplayers show off their “Return to Skyrim” creations during the Comic-Con 2017 Masquerade at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, CA on Saturday, July 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Cosplayers show off their “Return to Skyrim” creations during the Comic-Con 2017 Masquerade at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, CA on Saturday, July 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Trinity Stewart and Julianne Tarr wear their “Ciri of Cintra and Geralt of Rivia” costumes during the Comic-Con 2017 Masquerade at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, CA on Saturday, July 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Trinity Stewart and Julianne Tarr wear their “Ciri of Cintra and Geralt of Rivia” costumes during the Comic-Con 2017 Masquerade at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, CA on Saturday, July 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Trinity Stewart and Julianne Tarr wear their “Ciri of Cintra and Geralt of Rivia” costumes during the Comic-Con 2017 Masquerade at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, CA on Saturday, July 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Trinity Stewart and Julianne Tarr wear their “Ciri of Cintra and Geralt of Rivia” costumes during the Comic-Con 2017 Masquerade at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, CA on Saturday, July 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Gabrielle Jones poses in her costume titled “Hanzo Shimada” during the Comic-Con 2017 Masquerade at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, CA on Saturday, July 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Gabrielle Jones poses in her costume titled “Hanzo Shimada” during the Comic-Con 2017 Masquerade at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, CA on Saturday, July 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Alyssa Morales poses in her costume titled “I am Borg” during the Comic-Con 2017 Masquerade at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, CA on Saturday, July 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Alyssa Morales poses in her costume titled “I am Borg” during the Comic-Con 2017 Masquerade at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, CA on Saturday, July 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

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“It’s an onstage event in the style of an amateur talent competition, with a Master of Ceremonies, a panel of guest judges, and impressive awards and generous prizes presented in assorted categories,” according to the Comic-Con website. “It’s more than just posing on stage, it’s about portraying the characters you are dressed as, creating moods, and sometimes a sense of story.”

Awards are given out in the categories of Best in Show, Judges’ Choice, Best Re-Creation, Best Original Design, Best Workmanship, Most Humorous, Most Beautiful, and Best Young Fan.

Read more about Comic-Con 2017’s Masquerade is what cosplay dreams are made of This post was shared via Orange County Register’s RSS Feed. Tustin Shredding Service near me

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Comic-Con 2017: ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ cast embrace diversity

“Star Trek: Discovery” plans to go boldly into the newest phase of the long-running franchise, and the series, which will premiere Sept. 24 on the digital CBS All Access, did so big time Saturday with a Comic-Con International panel discussion, a newly released trailer and a late afternoon press conference.

But by that time, star Jason Isaacs needed to leave.

  • Sonequa Martin-Green, left, reacts as Jason Isaacs looks on at the “Star Trek: Discovery” panel on day three of Comic-Con International on Saturday, July 22, 2017, in San Diego. (Photo by Al Powers/Invision/AP) ORG XMIT: CADA222

    Sonequa Martin-Green, left, reacts as Jason Isaacs looks on at the “Star Trek: Discovery” panel on day three of Comic-Con International on Saturday, July 22, 2017, in San Diego. (Photo by Al Powers/Invision/AP) ORG XMIT: CADA222

  • Doug Jones, left, and James Frain attend the “Star Trek: Discovery” panel on day three of Comic-Con International on Saturday, July 22, 2017, in San Diego. (Photo by Al Powers/Invision/AP) ORG XMIT: CADA223

    Doug Jones, left, and James Frain attend the “Star Trek: Discovery” panel on day three of Comic-Con International on Saturday, July 22, 2017, in San Diego. (Photo by Al Powers/Invision/AP) ORG XMIT: CADA223

  • Moderator Rainn Wilson, right, speaks with the cast and crew of “Star Trek: Discovery” panel on day three of Comic-Con International on Saturday, July 22, 2017, in San Diego. Pictured from left, Akiva Goldsman, Heather Kadin, Aaron Harberts, Gretchen J. Berg, Alex Kurtzman, Sonequa Martin-Green, Jason Isaacs, Doug Jones, James Frain, Mary Wiseman, Anthony Rapp, and Shazad Latif. (Photo by Al Powers/Invision/AP) ORG XMIT: CADA228

    Moderator Rainn Wilson, right, speaks with the cast and crew of “Star Trek: Discovery” panel on day three of Comic-Con International on Saturday, July 22, 2017, in San Diego. Pictured from left, Akiva Goldsman, Heather Kadin, Aaron Harberts, Gretchen J. Berg, Alex Kurtzman, Sonequa Martin-Green, Jason Isaacs, Doug Jones, James Frain, Mary Wiseman, Anthony Rapp, and Shazad Latif. (Photo by Al Powers/Invision/AP) ORG XMIT: CADA228

  • Sonequa Martin-Green speaks at the “Star Trek: Discovery” panel on day three of Comic-Con International on Saturday, July 22, 2017, in San Diego. (Photo by Al Powers/Invision/AP) ORG XMIT: CADA221

    Sonequa Martin-Green speaks at the “Star Trek: Discovery” panel on day three of Comic-Con International on Saturday, July 22, 2017, in San Diego. (Photo by Al Powers/Invision/AP) ORG XMIT: CADA221

  • Rainn Wilson speaks at the “Star Trek: Discovery” panel on day three of Comic-Con International on Saturday, July 22, 2017, in San Diego. (Photo by Al Powers/Invision/AP) ORG XMIT: CADA220

    Rainn Wilson speaks at the “Star Trek: Discovery” panel on day three of Comic-Con International on Saturday, July 22, 2017, in San Diego. (Photo by Al Powers/Invision/AP) ORG XMIT: CADA220

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The actor, who plays Capt. Gabriel Lorca, needed to leave early to make it to a friend’s wedding in Los Angeles during the press conference with his castmates and producers, including Rainn Wilson, James Frain, Doug Jones and more.

But before he left, Isaacs made it clear that he sees this newest iteration of the franchise as a force more powerful than just its ability to hit warp speed.

“The stories, the original stories, in the 1960s were told in a time of enormous turmoil and the civil rights movement,” said Isaacs, stressing that the value of the series’ point of view as the world “seems to be getting more divisive.” “Gene Roddenberry created a vision of the future where people have found solutions to divisions between people,” said the actor before dashing off.

Sonequa Martin-Green, who plays First Officer Michael Burnham, also stressed the show’s sense of embracing differences.

“We don’t have to let go of who we are in order to learn who you are,” said Martin-Green.

The actress, who has faced racist comments about her casting and about the show’s embrace of diversity, got choked up discussing how she felt honored and privileged to be part of the show and its history, especially the legacy of actress Nichelle Nichols from the original series.

But Martin-Green also said that the show tackles issues of diversity head-on.

“We do it so boldly, “ Martin-Green. “It is normalcy in this story.”

Actor Anthony Rapp echoed this with comments about his character, a gay man in a relationship on the show.

The theme was brought home by executive producer Alex Kurtzman.

“I think Roddenberry’s greatest contribution to race relations is that he never addressed them. It just was, and that’s what we’re planning on doing,” said Kurtzman.

Wilson, for his part, also tried to make news by blurting out that an old favorite might be appearing on the new show.

“Tribbles, yes!” he proclaimed.

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‘A Quiet Passion’ finds poetry in life of Emily Dickinson

There is something deeply funny and also beautiful about the idea that it would take a British man in his 70s to make the definitive film about one of America’s greatest female poets. But that’s what Terence Davies has done for Emily Dickinson in “A Quiet Passion,” a fiercely intelligent, handsome and affecting rendering of Dickinson’s extraordinary, ordinary life from her teenage years to her death in 1886.

It’s the kind of breath of fresh air experience that sneaks up on you and proves to be a welcome respite from the growing noise of early summer movies. Davies’ script is filled to the brim with witty observations and barbs that you’ll want to scribble down, remember and recite. How many movies can you say that about lately?

The film opens on a group of teenage girls, all primly dressed and hair parted down the middle as a stern headmistress asks for those who wish to be “Christian and saved” to move to her right, and those who remain and “still wish to be saved” to move to the left. One doesn’t move. A redheaded Emily (Emma Bell) stands firmly in the middle of the room and vigorously debates her elder.

“I wish I could feel as others do, but it’s not possible,” Emily says.

She’s the perpetual outsider, who doesn’t fit in the world at large, only at home with her mother, father, brother and sister. She leaves school, saying with a coy smile that she’s ill from an “acute case of evangelism,” and retreats to Amherst for the majority of her days.

The world is bright and full of possibility for young Emily. She asks her bemused father (Keith Carradine) for permission to stay awake and write her poetry in the quiet of the night. She spars with her conservative aunt with glee. She relishes in her otherness, taking pleasure in making those around her uncomfortable with her wry remarks and sharp tongue. But she doesn’t need others — she has her family.

And then age hits. Time passes, conveyed by an unsettling sequence showing the morphing of the Dickinson family’s faces into their older selves, and the sadness and eventually bitterness starts to creep in.

Cynthia Nixon now inhabits Emily, Jennifer Ehle is her sister Vinnie and Duncan Duff is her brother Austin. There is still vigor and energy in all, but life has tempered that a bit. Emily finds a lively companion in Vryling Buffam (Catherine Bailey), who is even more modern than Emily. But Vryling manages to delight in the silly constrictions of their society where Emily is deeply conflicted and tormented by pressures of piety, decorum and what she feels is right.

And the world only seems to disappoint Emily as time goes on. Some of her poems are published, but not enough. She falls madly in love with a married pastor, but he does not return her affections. Her married brother falls for another woman. Her health begins to fail. And then there’s death, which looms everywhere.

“A Quiet Passion” is a film of easy beauty — the palette favors soft blues, yellows, whites and greens. But while the visuals and steady shots are often relaxing, at the heart is a searing and soulful performance of an anguished artist born into the wrong time. Nixon gives a new life and a womanly dimension to someone who, beyond her haunting words, we only really know visually as a perpetual teenager. Her poetry is a backdrop, used like a well-placed music cue at key points in the story.

Davies, it turns out, was the perfect filmmaker to tell her story — poetically, humanely and unflinchingly.

‘A Quiet Passion’

****
PG-13: For thematic elements, disturbing images and brief suggestive material.
Starring: Cynthia Nixon, Jennifer Ehle, Keith Carradine, Jodhi May, Catherine Bailey.
Director: Terence Davies.
Running time: 2 hrs. 6 min.
Playing: Limited release.

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‘Free Fire’ takes aim at a whole warehouse of genre expectations

Stupid violence is sent up quite smartly in “Free Fire.”

It would be too much to call it a return to form for director Ben Wheatley and his frequent screenwriting collaborator, Amy Jump, but it is a nice move back to coherent storytelling. While the couple’s last two films, “High-Rise” and “A Field in England,” justifiably have their admirers, those projects’ cussed narrative incontinence felt like abstract detours from Wheatley’s sly, well-plotted earlier genre subversions, such as “Sightseers” and “Kill List.”

“Free Fire,” packed with chaos and surprises though it is, always makes a pulpy kind of sense while delivering barrages of mean-spirited entertainment and a consistent critique of thoughtless mayhem.

The real convention-challenging here resides in the visual plan – plan in this case being a word one is tempted to put quotation marks around or add “if you can call it that” to. Shouldn’t do that, though, because there really is a highly sophisticated shooting strategy that just happens to look like no one was sure where to point the camera.

More on that in a moment, but first the setup:

In 1970s Boston, a group of Irish Republican Army operatives arrange to buy a cache of automatic weapons from a South African arms merchant. The deal goes down in an abandoned waterfront warehouse that still has a lot of junk lying around.

The Irish group, composed of both Northern and Southy blokes, includes Cillian Murphy’s nice guy terrorist Chris, grumpy old Frank (Wheatley regular Michael Smiley) and junkie screw-up Stevo (Sam Riley). “District 9’s” Sharlto Copley – who else? – plays the South African Vernon, and his crew boasts the unfortunate membership of Harry (Jack Reynor), who easily loses control and has personal issues with a guy on the IRA team.

The American go-betweens are no-nonsense businesswoman Justine (Brie Larson) and sarcastic preppy Ord (Armie Hammer). When things head south and bullets start ricocheting around the large, enclosed space, each person takes a side on whichever faction seems most convenient for survival. Neither the terrorists nor the gun-runners can rely on Justine or Ord’s loyalty, of course. But as wounds proliferate and the firefight gets reduced to a game of crawling, then slithering, no one can be sure who on their team has their back – or might shoot them in it, either.

The viewer will be similarly disoriented. Usually, in primarily single set bloodbaths – “Reservoir Dogs” comes to mind – the cinematic rule is to carefully define everyone’s position and its relationship to others’ at all times. Wheatley’s go-to camera guy, Laurie Rose, doesn’t seem as concerned with that as he is with just prowling around to capture the coolest, most painful-looking mayhem, while Wheatley and Jump, who edited the film, deconstruct any notion of geographical consistency whenever they can.

Kind of amazingly, they prove that that stuff doesn’t matter. Especially when you’ve got strong, amusing characterizations and reams of nasty, clever dialogue to burn, but also by demonstrating there’s more than one way of making filmic space the star of a movie. It all plays much more smoothly than these aesthetic strategies, by any right, should. And by the end, “Free Fire” has spread out a wickedly entertaining takedown of idiot violence and challenged deeply embedded assumptions of how movie gunplay can be done (and I’ll use the ironic quotation marks here) “good.”

‘Free Fire’

/*/*/*1/2
Rated R: For violence, language, drug use
Starring: Brie Larson, Cillian Murphy, Armie Hammer, Sharlto Copley
Director: Ben Wheatley
Running time: 1 hr. 25 min.
Playing: In wide release

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Ben Affleck to appear at new autism film festival in Orange

  • Actor Ed Asner and son Matt Asner, current vice president of development for the Autism Society, will present the inaugural film festival AutFest at the AMC Orange 30. In addition to film screenings, the festival will honor actor Ben Affleck, Pixar filmmakers Pete Docter and Jonas Rivera and other advocates of the autistic community.

    Actor Ed Asner and son Matt Asner, current vice president of development for the Autism Society, will present the inaugural film festival AutFest at the AMC Orange 30. In addition to film screenings, the festival will honor actor Ben Affleck, Pixar filmmakers Pete Docter and Jonas Rivera and other advocates of the autistic community.

  • Ben Affleck plays an accountant on the autism spectrum who uncovers internal embezzlement in criminal organizations in the 2016 film “The Accountant.” Affleck will appear at Autfest, a new film festival in Orange spotlighting films about autism or made by autistic filmmakers. (Photo courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures)

    Ben Affleck plays an accountant on the autism spectrum who uncovers internal embezzlement in criminal organizations in the 2016 film “The Accountant.” Affleck will appear at Autfest, a new film festival in Orange spotlighting films about autism or made by autistic filmmakers. (Photo courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures)

  • From left, Anger, voiced by Lewis Black, Disgust, voiced by Mindy Kaling, Joy, voiced by Amy Poehler, Fear, voiced by Bill Hader, and Sadness, voiced by Phyllis Smith are the emotions inside an 11-year-old girl’s head in the movie “Inside Out.” The film will screen at Autfest, a new film festival in Orange that focuses on films with autism themes or created by autistic filmmakers. (Photo courtesy of Pixar)

    From left, Anger, voiced by Lewis Black, Disgust, voiced by Mindy Kaling, Joy, voiced by Amy Poehler, Fear, voiced by Bill Hader, and Sadness, voiced by Phyllis Smith are the emotions inside an 11-year-old girl’s head in the movie “Inside Out.” The film will screen at Autfest, a new film festival in Orange that focuses on films with autism themes or created by autistic filmmakers. (Photo courtesy of Pixar)

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Orange County will shed light on autism in a major way this weekend – the inaugural film festival AutFest “From Spectrum to Screen” will celebrate and bring awareness through films, panel discussions and some heavy star power.

Presented at the AMC Orange 30 on Saturday, April 22-23, the festival will screen more than 10 feature and short films that promote autism awareness or were made by autistic filmmakers, as well as honor those who have had a positive impact on the autism community. Among those honored will be Academy Award-winning director and actor Ben Affleck and Pixar Animation Studios filmmakers Pete Docter and Jonas Rivera.

The force behind the festival is Matt Asner, a former film producer, director and current vice president of development for the Autism Society, along with his father, actor Ed Asner. Matt said the Autism Society has had a strong partnership with AMC theaters for the past nine years, screening sensory friendly films throughout the country, but they wanted to do more to bring awareness.

“We wanted a way for people to see what autism is and see the amazing, creative work being done in film about autism or by autistic filmmakers; so we thought a film festival would be a great way to do just that,” said Asner.

The festival will feature director Gavin O’Connor’s 2016 action-thriller “The Accountant,” (5 p.m. April 23) which stars Affleck as an  autistic accountant who makes a living by uncovering internal embezzlement for criminal organizations. The Sunday screening will be followed by a Q&A panel with Affleck and a reception where he will be honored with an award from the society.

“I think Ben did an incredible job playing his role, because it definitely wasn’t an easy role to play. It was a bit controversial but it was so well-done, and it brought so much awareness to show these people who have autism and living life,” said Asner.

The Pixar film “Inside Out, (12:20 p.m. April 23), which tells the story of a young girl who is uprooted from her home and openly wears her emotions as she tries to navigate a new city, home and friends, will also be screened on Sunday. Directors Docter and Del Carmen will hold a Q&A after the film, and later will accept their award at a closing ceremony reception.

Other films include the documentary films “Asperger’s Are Us” (2:20 p.m. April 22) and “Swim Team” (3:50 p.m. April 22), both of which follow and show the struggles and triumphs of real adolescents who are on the autism spectrum.  Among the short films will be “Even in Death” and “The Adventures of Pelican Pete: A Bird is Born,” (10 a.m. April 22) which have autistic writers and directors.

The mission to bring awareness to autism hits home for Matt Asner, who is a father of six, three of whom are on the spectrum. He also grew up with an autistic brother, Charlie, and other family members who have been diagnosed on the spectrum.

Asner, who directed and produced the award-winning documentaries “100 Voices: A Journey Home” and “She Turned the World on with Her Smile: The Making of ‘The Mary Tyler Moore Show,’” began working with the Autism Society after a six-year tenure as executive director and, recently, director of corporate development, for the organization Autism Speaks.

“I kind of woke up one day and thought I need to do something about this, I need to make the world a better place to live for my kids, my brother and family; so it’s not just something I do, it’s something I have to do,” said Asner.

Actor Ed Asner and son Matt Asner, current vice president of development for the Autism Society, will present the inaugural film festival AutFest at the AMC Orange 30. In addition to film screenings, the festival will honor actor Ben Affleck, Pixar filmmakers Pete Docter and Jonas Rivera and other advocates of the autistic community.
Actor Ed Asner and son Matt Asner, current vice president of development for the Autism Society, will present the inaugural film festival AutFest at the AMC Orange 30. In addition to film screenings, the festival will honor actor Ben Affleck, Pixar filmmakers Pete Docter and Jonas Rivera and other advocates of the autistic community.

AutFest: ‘From Spectrum to Screen’

Where: AMC Orange 30, 20 City Blvd. West Suite E, Orange

When: 12:15-7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 22; 10:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday, April 23

How much: Film tickets range $10-$15; festival pass $185; VIP reception and festival pass $200

Online: autfestasa.com

Read more about Ben Affleck to appear at new autism film festival in Orange This post was shared via Orange County Register’s RSS Feed. Santa Ana Shredding Service

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‘Their Finest’ stylishly blends wit, romance in WWII

“Their Finest “ is a movie about making a movie, specifically a glossy propaganda film meant to bolster morale in Britain in the darkest days of the Second World War. It is also very much a movie-movie. Good-looking, finely acted, and well-told, director Lone Scherfig (“An Education”) has made a charming, witty and romantic gem. It is “Shakespeare in Love” in World War II.
Adapted by Gaby Chiappe from the novel “Their Finest Hour and a Half” by Lissa Evans, “Their Finest” is centered on Catrin Cole (a luminous Gemma Arterton), a copywriter hired by the government to help write the “slop,” or female dialogue, for a film meant to lift the spirits of a war weary citizenry. She’s a sort of proto-Peggy Olson whose talents and thick skin get her a place at the table alongside the men (although she is, they make sure to hammer home, paid less than her male counterparts).
Catrin takes the job out of necessity — her husband Ellis (Jack Huston) is a disabled and temperamental artist whose bleak industrial landscapes aren’t selling and thus not bringing in any money for their rent. Although Ellis tries to talk her out of the work, Catrin comes alive in the writer’s room, sparring with the egotistical lead writer Tom Buckley (Sam Claflin) as they try to meld minds to make a compelling story out of a newspaper account of twin sisters who stole their alcoholic father’s boat to rescue soldiers from Dunkirk.
It’s a relentlessly appealing take on the creative process, laced with humor and insight as Tom and Catrin bicker and banter about just who the hero should be (a man or the woman?), and how strictly they should adhere to the facts (not much, and, by the way, be sure to cut out the boring parts). What ends up being put into production, of course, is worlds away from reality, but there’s a lovely discovery of the truth at the heart of the sisters’ heroics that eventually makes it onto the screen.
Caiappe and Scherfig pack the film with fun side characters and pseudo showbiz insider jokes, like when they go out to the past-his-prime actor Ambrose Hilliard (Bill Nighy, always the scene stealer) for the “corpse role” of the drunken father who’s described as being a “shipwreck of a man” who is in his 60s but “looks older.” Ambrose of course thinks he’s being considered for the part of the hero and is stunned to realize otherwise.
They’re also, late in the game, instructed that they have to cast an American in the film because, in addition to British propaganda, the government now needs this film to persuade the U.S. to help out with the war efforts. The star they have in mind is a real Air Force pilot, Carl Lundbeck (Jake Lacy) — a Captain America type with golden locks and a million dollar smile. You can guess how that goes.
But just because some of the beats are predictable doesn’t mean that “Their Finest” is ineffective — quite the opposite. The elegantly composed script even begins to mirror the film within the film as the romantic tension grows between Catrin and Tom. Both need an ending, but what will it be?
Claflin in particular is a standout, ironically because he’s been made to look less glamorous than usual. His mousy brown hair, rounded specs and layers of tweeds and wool lets his real acting heft shine through. You actually believe he’s the underdog.
Without giving too much away, there is a beat (you’ll know it when it comes) that might sour things for some audiences, but it’s not enough to destroy all the good that’s there. Inspiring, funny and genuinely romantic, “Their Finest” is a solid, refreshing crowd-pleaser.

‘Their Finest’

***1/2
Rated R: For some language and a scene of sexuality.
Starring: Gemma Arterton, Bill Nighy, Sam Claflin.
Director: Lone Scherfig.
Running time: 1 hr. 50 min.
Playing: Areawide.

 

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