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“Vice” Director Adam McKay to Receive 2019 Paul Selvin Award

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Acclaimed screenwriter-director Adam McKay (The Big Short) is set to receive the Writers Guild of America West’s 2019 Paul Selvin Award in recognition of outstanding achievement in writing for his audacious and subversively comedic film Vice, an unconventional, behind-the-scenes look at former Vice President Dick Cheney’s stealthy rise from Congressional intern to the most powerful man on the planet.

The WGAW’s special award is given for a script which “best embodies the spirit of the constitutional and civil rights and liberties that are indispensable to the survival of free writers everywhere.” McKay will be honored at the WGAW’s 2019 Writers Guild Awards L.A. show on Sunday, February 17.

Vice is that unique accomplishment of an exhaustively researched screenplay that wrestles with serious, complex questions of freedom and democracy, but never loses sight of the humanity (or lack thereof) of its characters. It is an inspiring piece of work, and the Paul Selvin Committee and the WGAW Board of Directors are thrilled to give Adam McKay this award,” said WGAW President David A. Goodman.

“I am thrilled to receive this tremendous honor on behalf of our film, Vice. Paul Selvin dedicated his life to shining a light on how essential constitutional rights and a free speech are to democratic societies. I hope we lived up to his spirit by making a film that depicts how misinformation, unchecked power and the erosion of civil liberties can lead to devastating and deadly consequences,” remarked Selvin Award honoree McKay.

Earning a 2019 WGA Original Screenplay nomination, McKay’s script covers half a century, challenging audiences as it mixes genres, breaks the fourth wall, includes a mock ending, and features a rogue’s gallery of acutely observed political figures who have regularly appeared in our nation’s collective news feed over the years: Donald Rumsfeld (Steve Carrell), Colin Powell (Tyler Perry), Condoleezza Rice (LisaGay Hamilton), Scooter Libby (Justin Kirk), and more.

An Annapurna Pictures release, Vice has garnered multiple accolades so far this awards season, including earning eight Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Original Screenplay for McKay. The film also received six Golden Globes nominations, including Best Screenplay and Director for McKay, and Best Motion Picture (Musical or Comedy), and earned a Golden Globe for Christian Bale, as well as two Critics’ Choices Awards for his lead performance (Best Actor and Best Actor in a Comedy), among the film’s nine BFCA noms; six BAFTA nominations (including Best Original Screenplay for McKay); a DGA nom for McKay (Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Motion Pictures); and a PGA nom (Outstanding Producer of Theatrical Motion Pictures).

Writers Guild Awards and Oscar-winning screenwriter-director-producer McKay first made his name in the comedy world as a founding member of the Upright Citizens Brigade. In 1995, McKay and actor Will Ferrell started on the same day at NBC’s hit late-night comedy sketch series Saturday Night Live, where McKay served as a writer on the show for six years, ultimately rising to Head Writer. During his time on SNL, McKay won a 2010 Writers Guild Award for Comedy/Variety Series, as well as earned two WGA noms for the series in 2001 and 2002, in addition to an Emmy nom (2001, Outstanding Writing for a Variety, Music or Comedy Program).

McKay and Ferrell’s time at SNL led to successful collaborations that established their unique style, starting with the modern comedy classic Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004, Written by Ferrell & McKay) followed by the hit Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby (2006, Written by Ferrell & McKay), both directed by McKay. Since forming the Gary Sanchez production company in 2006, McKay has continued to deliver a string of hit movies he has written (often with Ferrell) and directed, including Step Brothers (2008, Screenplay by Ferrell & McKay, Story by Ferrell & McKay & John C. Reilly), The Other Guys (2010, Written by McKay & Chris Henchy) and Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (2013, Written by Ferrell & McKay). He has also produced numerous comedies, including The Campaign (2012, which he shared story credit on), Get Hard (2015, for which he shared story credit), Daddy’s Home (2015) and Daddy’s Home 2 (2017), as well as indie films such as Welcome to Me (2015).

In 2015, McKay and Charles Randolph adapted Michael Lewis’s New York Times best-selling book, The Big Short, to create a smart, dense satire which dissected the financial crisis of 2007-2008. McKay and Randolph won Academy, Writers Guild, BAFTA, and USC Scripter Awards for their adapted screenplay, and the acclaimed film received Academy Award, BAFTA, and Golden Globe nominations for Best Picture. McKay also earned Oscar, Golden Globe, and BAFTA nominations for Best Director, and the picture earned a 2016 Producers Guild Award for Best Picture.

McKay’s additional screenwriting credits include co-writing 2015’s box-office superhero hit Ant-Man (Screenplay by Edgar Wright & Joe Cornish and Adam McKay & Paul Rudd, Story by Wright & Cornish). In 2017, McKay executive produced and directed the pilot for HBO’s Succession, and served as executive producer on the Hulu series I Love You, America.

Writing for television, McKay has earned three consecutive Emmy noms for his work on Drunk History (Outstanding Variety Sketch Series) in 2015, 2016, and 2017, as well as a 2009 Emmy nom for his work on You’re Welcome America: A Final Night with George W. Bush (Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Special).

His upcoming feature film projects include Bad Blood, starring Jennifer Lawrence as Elizabeth Holmes, founder of the controversial blood-test company Theranos, as well as Irredeemable, a Boom! Comics comic book adaptation.

Named after the late Paul Selvin, general counsel to the Guild for 25 years, the WGAW’s special achievement award is given each year to a WGA member(s) whose script best embodies the spirit of the constitutional and civil rights and liberties that are indispensable to the survival of free writers everywhere and to which Selvin devoted his professional life. Previous Selvin recipients include Tony Kushner, Margaret Nagle, Dustin Lance Black, Eric Roth, Alex Gibney, Tate Taylor, John McNamara, Susannah Grant, and most recently Liz Hannah and Josh Singer.

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Caesar’s Reign Comes To The Big Screen With New Trailer For Kingdom Of The Planet Of The Apes

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Director Wes Ball breathes new life into the global, epic franchise set several generations in the future following Caesar’s reign, in which apes are the dominant species living harmoniously and humans have been reduced to living in the shadows. As a new tyrannical ape leader builds his empire, one young ape undertakes a harrowing journey that will cause him to question all that he has known about the past and to make choices that will define a future for apes and humans alike. “Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes” is directed by Wes Ball (the “Maze Runner” trilogy) and stars Owen Teague (“IT”), Freya Allan (“The Witcher”), Kevin Durand (“Locke & Key”), Peter Macon (“Shameless”), and William H. Macy (“Fargo”). The screenplay is by Josh Friedman (“War of the Worlds”) and Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver (“Avatar: The Way of Water”) and Patrick Aison (“Prey”), based on characters created by Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver, and the producers are Wes Ball, Joe Hartwick, Jr., p.g.a. (“The Maze Runner”), Rick Jaffa, p.g.a., Amanda Silver, p.g.a., Jason Reed, p.g.a. (“Mulan”), with Peter Chernin (the “Planet of the Apes” trilogy) and Jenno Topping (“Ford v. Ferrari”) serving as executive producers.

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Masterchef Is Back! For Halo Season 2

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A quick recap – Halo is set in a war-torn 26th century, where humanity led by the United Nations Space Command or UNSC and their supersoldiers known as Spartans, fights against the onslaught of the alien conglomerate known as the Covenant. The full dust-up of Halo Season 1, can be found here. Onward into the introduction of Halo Season 2!

It’s been six months since the forced separation of Spartan Masterchief John (Pablo Schreiber) and Cortana (Jen Taylor), and the Silver Team has been sent on a mission to evacuate residents of the planet Sanctuary before the Covenant glasses the whole thing. This comes with its own set of challenges, given the resistance of the planet’s inhabitants, and it doesn’t help that Masterchef starts seeing things right in the middle of trying to save some marines. Or is he? Those energy swords the squad of Elites were carrying looked worryingly real.

Back on Reach, the Silver Team is entirely dismayed to learn they have a brand new Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) representative come in as the new boss, to finally replace the traitorous Halsey, James Ackerson (Joseph Morgan). And of course, Ackerson manages to immediately get under Masterchief’s skin, by not only expressing far too much interest in John’s relationship with Cortana but also apparently disbelieving of John’s report of his encounters on Sanctuary. That just means Masterchief has to go around, if not entirely over, Ackerson’s head.

Elsewhere, Soren (Bokeem Woodbine) is trolling the slave markets in his boredom, only to stumble across a soon-to-be indentured servant who claims he knows the whereabouts of the UNSC’s most hunted human, Catherine Halsey (Natascha McElhone). That should bring a huge bounty, but really, Soren should’ve known better by now.

Halo Season 2 premieres Thursday, February 8th, 2024, and will continue to air every Thursday, only on Paramount+!

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Reborn as a Vending Machine I Now Wander the Dungeon’: I look forward to your next use!  

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If the title of this delightful little isekai anime entry didn’t give it all away, our nameless protagonist is a vending machine fanatic who, after being killed by a vending machine, gets reincarnated in another fantasy-style world as one! 

Japan has a tendency to give birth to all sorts of crazed fads that can last for decades, and no one does better when it comes to the vending machine industry, too. These days there are vending machines that will serve you sushi you can actually eat, hot pizza in the box, wagyu steaks, freshly popped popcorn, and a whole mind-boggling array of tasty treats, and other non-edible but still useful items! Umbrellas! Condoms! Oxygen masks, sterile bandages, shoes, and emergency clothing! Actually, far more things that we use on an everyday basis, could be considered as technically a vending machine, and the anime explores that beautifully. Into the world of vending machine fanaticism, we dive! 

So our poor protagonist never gave a name, and inevitably when he’s discovered by his first official friend the starving hunter Lammis, she dubs him “Boxxo”. Like many isekai that seem to take inspiration from video games and RPGs, Boxxo discovers he ways he can communicate, level up his existence, and even evince magic-like powers and attack and defend against monsters and enemies. Though in the beginning, and as an underlying theme throughout the show, Boxxo is primarily concerned with providing unique never-before-tasted-in-this-world food and drink to the amazed folk, human and otherwise. 

Boxxo’s prices are entirely reasonable and hey, he can even choose to give out his wares for free on occasion, so his popularity immediately skyrockets. Lammis with her awkward charm and prodigious strength blessing, introduces Boxxo to other friends of Clearflow Lake Village and associates along the way – Director Bear, an actual bear-monster who’s the head of the Hunters Association; Lammis’ friend Hulemy, the insane genius magic item engineer; the Bearcats Suco, Pell, Short and Mikenne, cheerful hunters with astronomic appetites; even suspicious Kerioyl, leader of the Menagerie of Fools party. 

The show approaches the practicality and versatility of the true vending machine with amusement, but also with the love true fans display for things they’re passionate about. Certainly, things like a brothel needing a condom vending machine exist in our world, but to toss them into a potentially more innocent other-world isekai is a welcome and often hilarious treat. The show celebrates the cheerful idiocy and devotion of the fans to their chosen fandom, in this case, yes vending machines, but also the spirit of the lonely otaku finally finding their Tribe! 

Pay your coins to watch ‘Reborn as a Vending Machine’ on Crunchyroll now! 

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