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Marvel President Kevin Feige To Receive Ryman Arts Visionary Award



The inaugural Marty & Leah Sklar Creative Visionary Award will be presented to Kevin Feige, Producer and President of Marvel Studios in recognition of his creative vision and role in Marvel’s critical and box-office success. This first-ever award honors Feige’s impactful contribution of bringing layered stories, visually compelling effects, and relatable heroes together to create unique film experiences for audiences.

“The Ryman Arts Board established the Marty & Leah Sklar Creative Visionary Award to honor Marty’s memory and to celebrate the legacy of two amazing founders of our organization. We are thrilled that the first recipient of the award, Kevin Feige, embodies the aspiration of the award so completely. Kevin has reimagined an entire universe of storytelling and introduced us to exciting new worlds through his creative leadership and vision,” stated Phil Hettema, Ryman Arts Board President and President and Creative Executive of The Hettema Group.

The Marty & Leah Sklar Creative Visionary Award will be presented at the annual Ryman Arts event, this year being held at the Majestic Downtown in Los Angeles on Wednesday, November 7, 2018. The evening kicks off with a VIP reception including a dynamic panel discussion on bringing the world of Wakanda to life and the creation of Black Panther featuring Writer Joe Robert Cole and Director of Photography Rachel Morrison. The exclusive VIP reception will be followed by general admission and award program with remarks by Kevin Feige and other special guests.

The MARTY AND LEAH SKLAR CREATIVE VISIONARY AWARD is presented annually to an individual or singular creative vision and leadership who has made a distinctive contribution to the creative community: illuminating, inspiring and expanding the impact, relevance and reach of the arts through their work and creative vision. It is named for two visionaries who were co-founders of Ryman Arts. Leah Sklar has been active in the community and educational initiatives throughout her life, including a critical role in the development of Ryman’s mission and program. Marty Sklar was the legendary vice chairman and principal creative executive of Walt Disney Imagineering (WDI), leading the creation of the Disney theme parks around the world.

RYMAN ARTS provides intensive studio art instruction along with college and career guidance to a diverse community of promising high school youth —all at no cost to the students. Almost all graduates go to college, many go on to work in the creative industries, and all are poised for personal success. A nationally recognized non-profit organization, Ryman Arts was founded in 1990 to honor the legacy of legendary Disney artist Herbert D. Ryman. It has served over 6,000 teens from 150 communities across Southern California in its core program, engaged over 20,000 inner-city students through outreach, and is committed to reaching students with the greatest need to ensure all young artists reach their full potential. KEVIN FEIGE, producer and president of Marvel Studios, is a hands-on producer and oversees Marvel Studios’ feature film productions. Under his leadership and guidance, the 20 films he has produced have all opened No. 1 at the box office and are all rated Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes. His forward-thinking approach to production, casting and globally resonant storylines make him one of the most exciting and relevant filmmakers of our time.

Since the inception of Marvel Studios, Feige has continually brought together a diverse group of talent for each of his films, seeking out unique and unexpected voices to bring the studio’s stories to life, from writers and directors to actors and below-the-line professionals. This effort reached its apex with this year’s release of the critically acclaimed “Black Panther.” The film became a global cultural phenomenon and a critical hit, proving that showcasing diverse voices can lead to enormous global success. The most successful domestic release of 2018, “Black Panther” earned more than $1.3B worldwide. Among the global hits Feige has produced are “The Avengers,” “Captain America,” “Iron Man,” “Guardians of the Galaxy,” “Thor,” “Doctor Strange,” “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” “Avengers: Infinity War” and, most recently, “Ant-Man and The Wasp.” Feige continues his advocacy of women and representation with the upcoming female-led “Captain Marvel” and storylines around major strong female characters from Black Widow to many more.

A graduate of the University of Southern California, School of Cinematic Arts, Feige first worked for Lauren Shuler Donner and Richard Donner at their Warner Bros.–based production company, which released the action-adventure “Volcano” and the hit romantic comedy “You’ve Got Mail.”

In summer 2008, Feige’s first foray as a full producer was the first fully developed and financed film from the fledgling Marvel Studios, the commercial and critical hit “Iron Man,” directed by Jon Favreau. Feige’s drive to put unique storytellers at the forefront helped to craft groundbreaking and hugely successful projects that became a showcase for unexpected talent both in front of and behind the camera. Feige has continued without breaking stride, breaking numerous box office records and expanding Marvel Studios’ slate to up to three releases per year.

This year in addition to “Black Panther.”Feige produced the long-awaited “Avengers: Infinity War,” which opened to critical acclaim and broke domestic and global box-office records on its way to becoming the highest-grossing Marvel Studios film thus far, as well as “Ant-Man and The Wasp,” which opened No. 1 at the domestic box office and is the 15th Marvel Studios film to surpass $600 million worldwide.

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No Question Mark Box Here; Super Mario Delivers a 1-Up in Theaters



If you were born in the ’80s, ’90s, or literally ANY decade after those, you know about Super Mario. A cultural phenomenon was brought to life on the big screen this last weekend. One that has not only stood the test of time but reinvented itself time and time again. This wasn’t even the first time it’s been made into a movie but, well, let’s be honest.. some of us choose not to acknowledge the LIVE action adaptation of the beloved game from 30 years ago. 

It was pretty bad… But this was animation. ILLUMINATION animation at that. The Universal company that brought us Gru and his Minions, showed us the Secret Life of Pets, and gave us a reason to SING! Still, I had my reservations and even some concerns, especially when the casting was announced. 

 Eyebrows were raised. As big of stars as they were on paper, could they really deliver on voicing characters from a staple of our childhood? They did.

Chris Pratt and Charlie Day may not be Italian, and Jack Black may not be a King or Turtle creature from the Mushroom Kingdom, but they make the characters their own all while paying homage to the lore of a video game. 

From the jump, the story reintroduces us to the brothers that just want to save Brooklyn one clogged sink at a time. We feel an instant connection and relate to these “underdogs of the plumbing world”. The movie is riddled with easter eggs, each of which tugs on the heartstrings of every generation of Mario fandom. And the soundtrack was beautifully put together to not only make us feel like we’re taking a walkthrough of the game but like an experience all its own with some familiar favorites thrown in.

Every word in the movie is pure eye candy for both those that are casual fans, and those analyzing every frame to see what they’ll catch next. Bowser’s ship, the Mushroom Kingdom, Kong’s arena, and the Rainbow Road.. They’re all meant to give us just enough of a “new” look at these amazing worlds, but stay true to how we remember them.

The movie itself moves along at the perfect pace. Although, if you don’t really know ANYTHING about the Super Mario Bros, you may have gotten a little lost and felt left behind in the green tunnel. But that’s ok! It’s an adventure of the imagination and a classic story of a boy that meets a girl and tries to save the world from a monster that wants to destroy it.

What’s funny is that you could easily say this is a story about two characters who couldn’t be more opposite if they tried, battling to win the heart of a princess. Who would’ve thought that the King of the Koopas was just trying to impress his crush?

And that song? Ohhh THAT song! It’s my new ringtone and deserves the Oscar for Best Original Song.

Back to the movie. 

Universal and Illumination clearly understood the assignment. Is it missing some things or could things have been done differently or even better? Absolutely! We’re the worst critics of the things we hold nearest and dearest to our hearts. But if you’re up for going on a 90-minute adventure through amazing worlds, with awesome music, and characters that’ll make you smile and laugh, then this is the perfect movie to spring you into that warm summer feeling.

Plus there’s the whole part with karts and shells, and banana peels and oh my goodness how amazing was that?? It’s enough to make you want to stand up and cheer, then go home and destroy your friends and family on your favorite track haha.

The bottom line, it pays homage in all the right ways to the little guy with the mustache, while giving us something new and exciting. Take the kids and go see Super Mario Bros. You’ll be glad you did!

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Warner Bros. Discovery Home Entertainment returns to WonderCon 2023



Justice League x RWBY: Superheroes & Hunters Opening Act Saturday, March 25 at 1:30 p.m. on North 200A. Talent confirmed so far to participate in the post-screening panel is Natalie Alyn Lind (Big Sky, The Goldbergs, Gotham) as Wonder Woman/Diana Prince and longtime RWBY cast member Lindsay Jones (Camp Camp) as Ruby, Kara Eberle ( RWBY: Ice Queendom) as Weiss, Arryn Zech (Detective Now Dead) as Blake and Barbara Dunkelman (Blood Fest) as Yang – along with Jeannie Tirado (Soul, Saints Row) as Green Lantern and Tru Valentino (The Rookie, The Cuphead Show!) as a cyborg. Also attending the panel will be producer/director Kerry Shawcross (series RWBY) and writer Meghan Fitzmartin (Supernatural, Justice Society: World War II).

Warner Bros. Discovery Home Entertainment returns to WonderCon 2023 with the big screen debut from DC Animated Films: highlights this year include the world premieres of the highly anticipated Batman: The Doom That Came To Gotham and Justice League x RWBY: Superheroes & Hunters Part One the weekend of March 24-26 in Anaheim, California. Both screenings will be followed by panel discussions with actors and creators. Batman: The Doom That Came To Gotham premieres at The Arena on Friday, March 24 at 6 p.m. Tati Gabrielle (Kaleidoscope, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Uncharted) as Kai Li Cain, Christopher Gorham (The Lincoln Lawyer, Insatiable) as Oliver Queen, David Dastmalchian (Dune, Suicide Squad, Ant-Man) as Grendon, producer/co-director Sam Liu (The Death and the Return of Superman), co-director Christopher Berkeley (Young Justice) and screenwriter Jase Ricci (Teen Titans Go! and DC Super Hero Girls: Mayhem Across the Multiverse).

Both films will have encore screenings in the Arena on Sunday, March 26. Justice League x RWBY: Super Heroes & Huntsmen, Part One will screen at 12:15pm, followed by Batman: The Doom That Came To Gotham at 2:00pm

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Marvel Studios’ Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3



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