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Robin Williams Death Raises Awareness About Suicide and Hotlines

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Robin Williams Suicide

Since Robin Williams’ death on Monday, August 11, 2014, calls into crisis hotlines around the country have surged. Physicians, public health officials and mental health advocates hope the death of Robin Williams will bring new attention to suicide.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline reported that they saw the greatest number of calls in its history on Monday, the day that Williams’ death was announced. Lifeline calls increased even more Tuesday, to double the usual daily volume, or about 7,500 calls, says John Draper, project director at the lifeline.

Draper says the increase in crisis calls is likely due to publicity about the national hotline — 1-800-273-TALK (8255) — which has been promoted by the news media since covering Williams’ death.

“Depression is a growing problem,” says Carla Sofka, professor of social work at Siena College in Loudonville, N.Y. “This discussion around Robin gives people permission to talk about something that they otherwise might be too afraid to discuss.”

“People have to realize it could happen to anybody,” said Dr. Steven Sharfstein, CEO of the Sheppard Pratt Health System in Towson. “Depression is a very common human experience.”

Every forty seconds, someone commits suicide. In the United States, it is the tenth most common cause of death in people over ten years of age, far more common than death by homicide or aneurysm or AIDS.

Nearly half a million Americans are taken to the hospital every year because of suicide attempts. One in five people with major depression will make such an attempt; there are approximately sixteen non-lethal attempts for every lethal one. The rate of suicide is going up, especially among middle-aged men.

Robin Williams was found dead Monday in his Marin County home. A county coroner said Tuesday that he appeared to have hanged himself. Friends and associates said he had struggled for decades with depression, and the coroner said he had been seeking treatment.

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Arts & Entertainment

LOOK: ‘Cats’ Musical Trailer Released And Fans Are Confused

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Photo: electrictuesday | Flickr.com | CC BY 2.0

Universal Studios dropped a full-length trailer of the live-action film adaptation of the 1981 musical Cats.

The movie, directed by Tom Hooper, is set to be released in December 2019. Hooper is known for his work with The King’s Speech and The Danish Girl.

The musical adaptation stars Idris Elba as Macavity, Rebel Wilson as Jennyanydots, James Cordon as Bustopher Jones, Jennifer Hudson as Grizabella, Judi Dench as Old Deuteronomy, and Ian McKellen as Gus the Theatre Cat.

Aside from the actors, the movie will feature artists like Jason Derulo and Taylor Swift, playing Rum Tum Tugger and Bombalurina, respectively. Francesca Hayward, a ballerina in the Royal Ballet, will be featured as Victoria. In the movie, Hayward’s shy cat character will have a ballet solo.

Cast members like McKellen and Swift promoted the release of the trailer in their social media platforms. McKellen encouraged fans to check out the trailer released on Friday. Swift posted a photo of the glittery bottle with a catnip label with a caption “Friday,” adding a tag of the movie’s official Twitter account.

The musical is all about a tribe of cats called Jellicles. The group comes together and works on an annual life-changing ball. Once a year, the leader of the clowder chooses one cat who will be reborn based on their belief that cats have nine lives.

Cats is one of the longest-running Broadway musicals. It brought to life songs like Memory, The Rum Tum Tugger, and Mr. Mistoffelees. The music was composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber based on T.S. Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats.

The musical was a worldwide success for its great composition and ensemble performances. In 1994, it earned over $2 billion worldwide.

CGI Scare

In Broadway or West End production, actors don heavy amounts of make-up and lavish costumes to portray real-life cats. The costumes make use of fur to have the feel and look of our feline friends.

However, in the trailer released, the director and the studio forewent extensive costumes and opted for computer-generated imagery or CGI. According to Time, Hooper referred to it as an all-important “digital fur technology.”

Fans have long-awaited the film adaptation. However, not all were pleased with Hooper’s “digital fur” vision. Fans took to Twitter about their thoughts on the newly-released trailers. Twitter users have already created memes using screenshots from the trailer.

Comments about the actors’ faces being disfigured from too much digital modification. Some say that you need to take a second look to identify who the actors were in the movie.

Others criticized the film adding digital breasts on the characters, which is a ploy to make the characters look “sexy.” Others also pointed out that the cats were too small when scenes showed them inside a house and a theater.

Broadway Musicals with Film Adaptations

Cats is not the only musical film adaptation that received criticisms from fans.

In 2007, the film version of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street was criticized for casting Johnny Depp before the movie’s released. Fans feared that Depp’s amateur singing would greatly affect the outcome of the film. However, because of the theme’s dark tone, Depp’s portrayal of the twisted demon barber overshadowed any expectations of his singing.

This was not the case for Russell Crowe when he got the role of Javert in Les Miserables. Fans criticized Crowe’s singing and wrong interpretation of the character. A film critic said that when Javert is supposed to shout with a booming voice, Crowe decides to speak in whispers.

Hooper also directed Les Miserables. Fans are quite intrigued if Cats will be the director’s redeeming chance with musical adaptations.

Despite not hitting all highs with Broadway fans when it comes to film adaptations, fans keep on clamoring for more.

Recently, Hollywood has taken on this trend of creating live-action film adaptations. Disney has released musicals such as Beauty and Beast and Aladdin. The studio’s live-action take of Lion King has just been released.

However, Broadway musicals have been adapted to film way before the Disney trend. Notable Broadway performances such as Rent, The Sound of Music, and West Side Story have been adapted for the silver screen.

Other than Cats, Broadway hit Wicked is also rumored to have a film adaptation.

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Tom Cruise Unveil Top Gun: Maverick Trailer At SDCC

Tom Cruise is returning to the Top Gun franchise after almost 3 decades since the first installment and introduce modern innovations to aviation in the movie.

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Source: Paramount Pictures

Brace yourselves; Tom Cruise is making his latest return to the big screen in the upcoming Top Gun: Maverick movie, which he introduced as a surprise during a panel at the San Diego Comic-Con.

People attending Paramount/Skydance’s panel at the flooded Hall H in SDCC was shocked when Cruise suddenly walked on stage to talk about Top Gun: Maverick that’s set to be released next year — but the show was far from over when the panel unveiled the film’s first trailer. Shortly after it aired in Hall H, the Maverick trailer was released online 

Initially, Hall H was reserved to be a panel discussion solely about Tim Miller’s Terminator: Dark Fate. The director and stars of the movie talked about their Terminator return and introduced some new footage to the crowd.

“Thirty-four years ago, I made a movie in San Diego and shot across the street in a restaurant,” Cruise told the crowd. “I was always asked, ‘When are you going to do another one?’ Well, you’ve been very patient with me. I felt like it was my responsibility to really deliver for you.”

Mr. Cruise was last seen in the Top Gun franchise back in 1986, where he reprised the role as the United States Navy’s elite fighter pilot Lieutenant Pete “Maverick” Mitchell.

Based on the latest trailer, he will be playing the same character, but a lot older. There’s still a lot of high-flying in fancy new jets, more drama, and risk-taking. There’s also glimpses of Cruise’s iconic bomber jacket and Ray-Ban sunglasses.

Other than that, the 2020 addition to the Top Gun franchise will see the latest innovations in aviation. Top Gun: Maverick is said to be set in a world of drone technology and fifth-generation fighters, along with exploring the end of the era of dogfighting. Maverick is now a flight instructor, who takes Bradley Bradshaw (played by Miles Teller), the son of Maverick’s late partner Nick “Goose” Bradshaw (initially played by Anthony Edwards), under his wing.

Furthermore, Maverick is seemingly still a high-flying captain, whose superiors want him to climb the career ladder as quoted from the trailer: “30 plus years of service, combat battles, citations, only man to shoot down 3 enemy planes in the last four years yet you can’t get a promotion, won’t retire, and despite your best efforts you refuse to die. You should at least be a two-star admiral by now yet here you are… Captain. Why is that?”

Based on that, Maverick will also be going over the answer to that question. Would it be because of the death of his long-time partner and co-pilot, Goose? That’s something that has yet to be discovered.

Jennifer Connelly, Cruise’s love interest in the movie, also has a significant role to play. Similarly, Miles Teller who will play Goose’s son and Maverick’s new protege will do too while Val Kilmer will reprise his role as Tom “Iceman”  in the sequel. 

In addition to the return of Cruise and Jennifer Connelly to the Top Gun franchise, the Maverick trailer also introduces several new actors to the fold such as Jon Hamm, Glen Powell, and Ed Harris. Jay Ellis of Insecure will also appear in the film as a pilot trainee

The film is directed by Joseph Kosinski, who also directed the 2010 Tron sequel, Tron: Legacy, as well as Oblivion, in which Cruise was also starring. 

Furthermore, Top Gun: Maverick is a screenplay by Peter Craig, Justin Marks, Ashley Edward Miller, and Zack Stentz. While Mission: Impossible – Fallout director, Christopher McQuarrie, oversaw the film’s reshoots.

Meanwhile, Jerry Bruckheimer, who produced the first movie with the late Don Simpson, will produce the 2020 installment with Cruise and Skydance CEO David Ellison.

Deadline reported that Cruise would appear on Conan O’Brien’s Late Night on Thursday night to discuss the movie.

Top Gun was first released on May 16, 1986, and saw massive success in the box office after grossing more than $350 million worldwide on a $15 million budget.

Four weeks after release, the number of theaters showing it increased by 45 percent. The film maintained its popularity over the years and earned an IMAX 3D re-release in 2013.

Additionally, the film won an Academy Award for Best Original Song for “Take My Breath Away” that was performed by Berlin.

Upon its release, however, the film received mixed reviews from critics but generally received praise for its action sequences, effects, and aerial stunts. Cruise and McGillis’ performance also received praise.

In 2015, the United States Library of Congress selected the film for preservation in the National Film Registry, finding it “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.

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It: Chapter 2 Takes A Darker Twist (New Trailer)

Mr. Pennywise has been waiting for the Loser Club and this time, he’s ready to terrorize them in much darker ways.

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Source: Warner Bros. Pictures

Amidst the bustling events in the 2019 Comic-Con: San Diego, Warner Bros., and New Line Cinema had their bubble with the adjacent “ScareDiego,” where they revealed the latest trailer for their upcoming horror film, It: Chapter 2.

The majority of the first trailer released last May offered a glimpse between the interaction of Beverly, played by Jessica Chastain — as she returns to her old home in Derry, Maine with the seemingly adorable Mrs. Kersh. That is until she says that “no one who dies here really dies” and turns into a monster in the dark.

The new trailer, however, ramps up the pace, intensity, and reveals. Featuring different scenarios, more characters, and dialogues that will surely help shape our imagination on what’s to come for It: Chapter 2 in September.

The latest installment to the horror franchise sees the Loser Club return to their creepy old home town of Derry, Maine precisely 27 years after their first gruesome encounter with the shape-shifting monster who often took the form of the evil clown, Mr. Pennywise (played by Bill Skarsgård).

Recalling the events from the first movie, It, in the end, the seven middle school children made a blood oath to return to their creepy hometown in 27 years to see if the demonic force known as Pennywise had risen from the depths of the sewers to terrorize a new generation of kids.

As the movie’s logline goes: “Because every 27 years evil revisits the town of Derry, Maine, It Chapter Two brings the characters—who’ve long since gone their separate ways—back together as adults, nearly three decades after the events of the first film.”

One thing is for sure: Mr. Pennywise is back, and he is back with a vengeance, as he was seemingly waiting for the Loser Club’s return. However, there’s something wrong with the original band of misfits who fought Mr. Pennywise: they don’t remember the traumatic events of their childhood — the summer of 1989 — where they spent it in the sewers fighting for their lives. 

“Something happens to you when you leave this town,” adult Mike Hanlon, now played by Isaiah Mustafa, says. “The farther away, the hazier it all gets. But for me, I never left. I remember all of it.”

The upcoming movie will feature the adult versions of the original seven kids. Now, there’s James McAvoy/Jaeden Lieberher as Bill, Jessica Chastain/Sophia Lillis as Beverly, Jay Ryan/Jeremy Ray Taylor as Ben, Isaiah Mustafa/Chosen Jacobs as Mike, James Ransone/Jack Dylan Glazer as Eddie, Andy Bean/Wyatt Oleff as Stanley, and Bill Hader/Finn Wolfhard as Richie.

The first It was a coming-of-age story about the power of friendship, but according to director Andy Muschietti, the second chapter is a lot darker as it explored the halls of “trauma” for the then-kids who experienced and lived Mr. Pennywise’s demise.

“We’ll discover things we didn’t know about the Losers that started that summer in 1989,” he said at New Line Cinema’s third annual ScareDiego presentation.

For Bill, who still feels a lot of guilt over his little brother Georgie’s death, that means reckoning with his “survivor’s trauma,” McAvoy said at the presentation. And for Beverly, she will have to confront the years of abuse she experienced as a child.

Based on the trailer, It: Chapter 2 will likely follow the formula from It—which made it into the record-breaking horror movie success that it is today. As we recall, It was a slow menace where Pennywise terrorized each of the kids in turn before climaxing into trapping them inside a creepy house as a group.

In the latest trailer, we get to see glimpses of that same pattern happen to each of the characters, but with the darker twist of involving their unresolved trauma as seen with McAvoy’s role in a window glass room with his little brother.

According to actress Jessica Chastain and director Andy Muschietti, who both spoke at “ScareDiego,” the horror sequel may set a record in the end for the most on-screen blood used in a single film. Over 4,500 gallons of fake blood were used during one particular scene, most of it on Chastain. She even said that she encouraged Muschietti to use more. “Let’s make Carrie on steroids,” she said.

Stephen King’s original It novel took place in 1957 and 1985, while the miniseries took place in 1960 and 1990. Chapter Two takes place 27 years after the events of the first chapter, which took place in 1989.

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