Your Weekend: A Selective Guide

Movies: The lousy reviews for the new Captain Hook/Lost Boys story has earned it the description: “Pan-worthy.” “Steve Jobs” is an odd film, but worth seeing. Television: A Latin tribute to Michael Jackson? I’m there! Finally, I’m catching up to “The Great British Baking Show.” Great fun. Music: Have been listening a bunch to Janet Jackson’s latest, “Unbreakable.” Christine Goerke is one of opera’s reigning dramatic sopranos. Listen here. Books: Patti Smith’s new memoir, “M Train,” is a must-read. Never sampled the fiction of Elizabeth Bowen? Start here. Sports: Now that the Yankees are out of the playoffs I can devote myself fully to the Mets. Finally: It’s the nicest month of the year, so enjoy!

“Martian” Whitewashes Asian Roles

“The Martian” has been criticized by the Media Action Network for Asian-Americans for ‘white-washing’ Asian roles in his hit adventure “The Martian.” The film, which is based on the bestselling novel by Andy Weir, features a diverse set of characters, two of which are Asian yet are played by white and black actors on screen. “This feelgood movie, which has attracted Oscar buzz, shouldn’t get any awards for casting,” said Guy A0ki, MANAA founding president, in an open letter released on Thursday. The anger focuses on the character of Mindy Park, who is described as Korean-American in the book and played by white actor Mackenzie Davis, and Dr Venkat Kapoor, an Asian-Indian character who is a Hindu yet embodied by black actor Chiwetel Ejiofor and renamed Vincent.

“Star Wars” Sets Premiere Date

This is the December premiere you — if you are in the business or know someone who is — are looking for. Disney and Lucasfilm will unveilStar Wars: The Force Awakens” at a massive world premiere in Los Angeles on Dec. 14, The Hollywood Reporter has learned. From there, the sequel will jump into hyperspace and head for a premiere in London. From there: infinity and beyond!

Gwyneth Moans About Sexism

Sexism is real and pernicious in Hollywood, but the attacks against it would be more compelling if they weren’t delivered by the likes of Gwyneth. And Robert Downey, Jr.’s salary — which she moans about in this interview — isn’t the problem. If he’s in a big hit franchise, he’s worth whatever he can get. Gwyneth would be happy to have his check, believe me.

Pretty People Are Hardest To Draw

So says Chicago courtroom sketch artist Lou “L.D.” Chukman. He has drawn some of the biggest names to pass through Chicago’s unfathomably large court system. He’s been working as an artist since 1975, in courtrooms and doing caricatures and commissions. Chukman talks turkey here.

New Version Of Van Morrison Classic

Van Morrison fans are in for a treat from the archives with new editions coming out this month of his classic albums “Astral Weeks” and “His Band and the Street Choir.” The editions include previously unreleased versions of rarities such as the song “Give Me a Kiss.” The song is performed without piano, horns or backing vocals, which is being previewed exclusively here.

“Women In Love” Gets No Respect

Jeffrey Wells writes (and I agree!): ‘I was almost flabbergasted to discover that Ken Russell‘s “Women in Love” (1969) still has no Bluray and isn’t streamable on high-def. I don’t know what the hang-up is, but this is obviously a prime candidate for the Criterion or Kino treatment. This is a major landmark in the annals of sensuous cinema (the nude Read more »