Looking Back in Horror at 9/11

The horrible date has come again, the 16th  anniversary of the cowardly attacks on the World Trade Center by a handful of hate-filled religious maniacs.

I am once again reprinting my blog of remembrances of the sickening and inspiring –events of that day, as someone who was trapped in midtown Manhattan at the time. We must never forget…

I was awakened by an airplane early on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001. No, it wasn’t one of those jets; it was just a passing low-flying plane, the kind that zoom toward Westchester County Airport all the time. It was before my alarm was supposed to sound, so I tried to get another 15 minutes of sleep. When I did finally get up and venture outside to drive to the train station, I distinctly remember marveling at what a beautiful day it was: The sky was clear and such an amazing deep blue that I actually noticed it. The temperature was comfortable, with a light breeze, and I was sorry that I would have to spend such a gorgeous late-summer day in an office in Manhattan. I actually thought it was one of the most beautiful days of the year. How wrong I was…

The train I used to take arrived at Grand Central Terminal every morning at 8:35. With time before my shift started at Soap Opera Weekly magazine, I strolled through GCT, browsing the magazine racks or somesuch. Around 8:55, I realized I had lollygagged a little too long, and I had to get to the office. When I stepped out onto 42nd Street, I saw a gaggle of police officers – both street patrolmen and bicycle cops wearing shorts. They were talking animatedly. Suddenly a van pulled up and several of the bicycle cops clambered in the van. I remember the van pulling away while one guy was still trying to jump in. The uniformed patrolmen jumped into cars, and all the vehicles took off, lights flashing and sirens wailing. I had paused to watch all this action and wondered what was up. Over the ensuing decade, I have often wondered how many of those brave officers I saw rushing to help survived that day.
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‘Star Wars XIII’: Supreme Leader Snoke is Ready for His Close-up

As the release of Star Wars: Episode XIII — The Last Jedi draws closer, more and more information is leaking out, and the latest “reveal” relates to the appearance of Supreme Leader Snoke, the shadowy power behind the villainous First Order: He looks exactly like we figured he would.

An official trading card from Topps gives the first clear view of the Big Bad, seen in 2015’s The Force Awakens only as a bluish hologram. We can see that he has a giant scar on his head and a rather thin and drawn face. We don’t know if this is his species’ natural appearance or whether his face has been distorted by the Dark Side of the Force, as with Emperor Palpatine in the earlier films.

However, while his face has been drawn out of the shadows, Snoke himself will remain behind the scenes for one more movie. (This is only the middle part of a trilogy, remember.)  Director Rian Johnson told Empire magazine that Kylo Ren is main villain of Episode XIII and Snoke will remain a mystery for a while longer.
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Latest ‘Thor: Ragnarok’ Trailer Adds Dr. Strange, Removes Arena

The international trailer, released overseas to promote Thor: Ragnarok contains not only some shocking new revelations but a distinct shift in emphasis for Marvel’s superhero buddy/road flick and surefire fall blockbuster.

The latest promo clip reveals that Benedict Cumberbatch‘s Doctor Strange makes an appearance – obviously repaying the favor of Thor (Chris Hemsworth) showing up in Doctor Strange‘s post-credits sequence last fall.

But Doc’s appearance here seems meatier, with Cumberbatch’s basso profundo voice bearing an ominous warning for the God of Thunder about his new destiny. Doc is not generally known for fortune-telling parlor tricks, so the change he senses in Odinson’s future much be pretty significant.


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Wanna Drink Wine With Jennifer Lawrence?

Of course you do! Who wouldn’t?

Well, we’re all about to get our chance, thanks to Jennifer Lawrence‘s new partnership with Omaze  benefitting Represent.Us, a non-partisan organization that wants to  “fix America’s broken political system.”

While announcing the opportunity to win the boozy meet-and-greet, JLaw did a bit in which she tried to guess if a quote was from a wine review or a review of one of her movies. Hilarity ensued.


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Jennifer Lawrence Is Back in a New Thriller!

After a long absence – has it really been since last December’s Passengers?– Jennifer Lawrence, Oscar-winning actress and America’s Sweetheart, is returning to screens this fall in a psychological thriller/horror movie called Mother! (yes, the exclamation point is part of the title).

It’s written and directed by Darren Aronofsky, who did the masterful Black Swan, so we should expect lots of mind games from the script. Let’s take a look at the excellent, intriguing trailer:

My first impression is that the trailer is very tense, aided immeasurably by the music, which I don’t recognize. (This is a major plus, as modern trailers all seem to use the same five or so musical selections; boring.) Is it from the film? I hope so!
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‘Guardians 2’ Video Features The Hoff – Nuff Said!

Since the Guardians of the Galaxy is the most cosmic film franchise of them all, we cannot expect director James Gunn to make a pedestrian announcement about the Blu-ray release of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 – it has to bend reality!

And this does. Gunn has brought in no less a cosmic entity than David Hasselhoff to break the news of Guardians on home video with an original song, “Guardians Inferno.” Grab hold of something and roll video:


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Doctor Doom to Star in a Movie!

In the second-best news a Fantastic Four fan could possibly hope to hear — the best would be that the film rights to the franchise have returned to Marvel — signature villain Doctor Doom will star in his own live-action movie. Even better, that flick will be made by Noah Hawley, the brilliant auteur behind FX’s LEGION and FARGO!

Hawley declined to share any details about the project after announcing it at San Diego Comic-Con during his panel centered on LEGION.

Doom is the arch-enemy of the Fantastic Four — Mr. Fantastic, Invisible Woman, Human Torch and Thing — and his character has been butchered even worse than the superheroes’ in 20th Century Fox’s previous FF movies.

Face it, True Believer: He is the classic Marvel villain!

In the comic books, Doom is more of a tragic figure, the misguided ruler of the fictional European nation of Latveria who was horribly scarred by his own experiment in college. In the Fox movie universe, Doom is depicted as a hanger-on to the title quartet who just happened to be mutated in a bad way while the others got to be heroes. Ugh.
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