Summary of “China’s next box office hit? A dark comedy about smuggling cancer drugs from India”

The words are spoken by an elderly Chinese leukemia patient to a policeman confiscating her smuggled cancer drugs in the movie Dying to Survive, which opens nationwide in mainland China today.
The unapproved drug was considered counterfeit under Chinese law, and in 2014, Lu was arrested and charged with selling fake drugs.
The issue of huge out-of-pocket drug costs is one many moviegoers in China will recognize.
Last year, China announced plans for reforms to reduce the drug burden on patients and cover more vital drugs under national insurance.
As of this year, China added a slew of patented drugs from multinationals to its national health insurance plan, securing massive price reductions in exchange for covering them.
Even as China exchanged threats of trade tariffs with the US this year, it scrapped tariffs on imported cancer drugs from May 1.
Previously import taxes varied from 3% to 6%. It’s not likely the pipeline between India and China will immediately dry up though-apart from price, because of a lengthy approval process it can take a long time for foreign drugs to become available in China.
Many Chinese people also travel to countries like Japan to scoop up basic, over-the-counter drugs, since drugs sold overseas are often perceived to be safer than those available in China.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Best Movies of 2018, So Far”

We’re six months into 2018, which means it’s time to take stock of everything we’ve seen so far this year-and determine which films released between January 1 and July 1 stand out most among the crowd.
Positioning an African superhero and his family and countrymen at the center of a big-budget spectacular, with a diverse array of talent behind the camera, Black Panther showed millions of people something they hadn’t seen before, an awfully late-arriving relief in a series that’s now 20-plus movies deep.
In exploring it, his movie offers one of the best recent analyses of what virulent racism, and how we tell the story of that racism, accomplishes.
It’s one of the most surprising films of the year-and, so far, the best.
What sets Let the Sunshine In apart from films of its ilk is the hot streak of intellectualism coursing through it: Denis has made a movie that’s as brutally concerned with how these people talk as it is with what they say, as focused on how desire manifests as on the fact that the desire is there to begin with.
The movie is docu-fiction; Zhao films it all with an airy alertness, combining scenes of the novice Jandreau “Acting” alongside scenes of him interacting with his own family and his own friends, one of whom is a paraplegic said, in the movie, to have been injured on the back of his horse.
So the movie is certainly not some pleasant distraction from the ills of the day-but Soderbergh’s calm, assured style is slick and winding enough to keep us more than engaged.
Claire Foy tosses Queen Elizabeth’s crown in the dumpster and hurls herself into her role, tearing through the movie with thrilling fury.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Star Wars Spinoffs on Hold at Lucasfilm”

It may be a while before we see any more movies like Solo: A Star Wars Story out of Lucasfilm.
Sources with knowledge of the situation tell Collider that Lucasfilm has decided to put plans for more A Star Wars Story spinoff movies on hold, instead opting to focus their attention on Star Wars: Episode IX and what the next trilogy of Star Wars films will be after that film.
The film scored $84.4 million on opening weekend and has grossed $192.8 million domestically in four weeks, which is nothing to scoff at but is far, far lower than the performance of other Star Wars movies at this benchmark.
To put it simply, while Solo did fine by blockbuster standards, it wasn’t the “Event” that Lucasfilm expected out of a brand new Star Wars movie.
One wonders how the film would have fared had Lucasfilm pushed Solo’s release to December instead. Regardless, we’re hearing that plans to revisit this A Star Wars Story format have been put on hold for the moment.
In addition to Episode IX, Lucasfilm has officially announced development on a new Star Wars trilogy focused on new characters from The Last Jedi writer/director Rian Johnson, as well as a new series of films written by Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss.
Lucasfilm’s main focus at the moment is planning the next trilogy after the Abrams-directed Star Wars 9, which is expected to conclude the story of Rey that began with The Force Awakens.
As with everything in Hollywood, it’s always possible that some filmmaker could come in and pitch an idea for a Star Wars Story spinoff that makes Lucasfilm rethink its approach, or opt to greenlight that idea as a one-off, but as of right now we’re hearing the studio’s focus has moved away from these spinoffs for the time-being and is squarely intent on getting Episode IX to the finish line and figuring out what the next trilogy of films will be.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Every Pixar Movie, Ranked”

What follows is the result of that process-The Ringer’s official ranking of every Pixar movie.
Finding Dory Ben Lindbergh: Thirteen years elapsed between the releases of Finding Nemo in 2003 and Finding Dory in 2016, which seems like a dangerous span of time between an animated movie and its sequel/spinoff: long enough that the kids who watched the former have aged out of the audience, but not long enough that they’ve created tiny Pixar consumers of their own.
Which reunited Nemo director Andrew Stanton and stars Ellen DeGeneres and Albert Brooks, did billion-dollar business, becoming the highest-grossing animated movie ever in the domestic market and ranking second behind Nemo in inflation-adjusted dollars on the all-time Pixar earnings leaderboard.
Monsters, Inc. Alison Herman: If your favorite SNL cast is inevitably the one that was on the air while you were in high school, your favorite Pixar movie is undoubtedly one released when you were between the ages of 8 and 12.
You’re young enough to have the intensity of feeling that can imprint a movie in your brain for decades to come, but just old enough to understand the emotional sophistication that comes with all the best Pixar projects.
To my mind, Monsters, Inc. is the movie that best exemplifies that Pixar blend, even if you remove the nostalgia factor.
In a profile of Inside Out director Pete Docter around the time of its release, the writer Lisa Miller noted that, “In my house, the movie has given us a new way to talk about how we feel.” While riding bikes, she asks her young daughter, “Who’s driving now?” Her answer is inspired by the movie: “Joy, and a little bit of Fear.” Talk about a mind-altering children’s movie.
I judge a Pixar movie by its ability to destroy me emotionally, and thus Up is, by my estimation, the best Pixar movie ever, a tale of sad widower Carl learning to live after losing his love, with the help of a child and a flying house.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Twenty Years Later, Everything Is The Truman Show”

Two decades ago, The Truman Show seemed preposterous.
Twenty years after Truman heroically exited the soul-deadening reality series that was his life … well, to quote co-star Holland Taylor, “Here we are.” In 2015 alone, there were roughly 750 reality series on television.
Added Linney, “The Truman Show is a very foreboding, dark movie-and our world had gone even way beyond that.”
The Truman Show would be Carrey’s first dramatic role, marking the beginning of what he seems to consider a more fulfilling stage of his career.
The woman grows hysterical, Truman hands the baby back, and the woman tells him, “Thank you, Truman.” Pleshette said that there was never any discussion of Oldman starring in the full feature, though; even the actor understood that The Truman Show’s high-concept idea had top billing.
Brian De Palma was at one point attached to direct-but he wanted to remove the dramatic reveal that made The Truman Show so clever.
“The Truman Show was made before video came out-when movies were still made on film,” explained Linney.
“It’s not unlike playing a character in a dream. It’s like sleight of hand, but sleight of mind … being in The Truman Show was a sleight-of-mind trick.”

The orginal article.

Summary of “Won’t You Be My Neighbor review: a subversive Fred Rogers documentary”

Generations of American children now have grown up watching Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, in part because it runs on public television, something that Fred Rogers himself was instrumental in saving.
Morgan Neville’s documentary Won’t You Be My Neighbor tackles him anyway, and comes to the benign conclusion that Fred Rogers was the guy he appeared to be.
Fred Rogers was a kind and gentle man who saw children as important, his work as ministry, and kindness as essential to human existence.
Won’t You Be My Neighbor is less about Rogers himself than the worldview he embodied The film opens with black-and-white footage of Fred Rogers in 1967, playing a piano and then using a musical metaphor to explain, in the familiar gentle cadence that somehow never comes off as patronizing, that one of his jobs is “To help children through the modulations of life.” What he means is helping children figure out how to express and regulate their emotions during exciting, scary, and confusing moments they encounter in life: dealing with bullies, experiencing parents’ divorce, feeling uncertain about the future, and going through frightening world events.
“The space between the TV screen and whoever is watching is ‘very holy ground,'” Rogers says in archival footage at one point.
As a number of critics have noted, what’s so startling about the movie is the revelation that Mr. Rogers was, as far as anyone seems to be able to tell, basically the person he presented himself to be onscreen.
If as a nation we were to make one of those lists, Fred Rogers would almost certainly be on it.
There’s a clip near the end of the film in which a talking head on Fox News decries Rogers and the “Narcissistic society he gave birth to.” I briefly expected the audience at my screening to riot, because it was such a plainly stupid response to what we’d just seen.

The orginal article.

Summary of “What if Star Wars never happened?”

Despite the decades that have passed since its release, it would be hard to argue that any film is as relevant to the way movies are made today than George Lucas’ 1977 space opera, Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope.
Kevin Feige, the Marvel head honcho who presides over what is the most lucrative and successful film franchise currently operating – including Star Wars – talks openly about how much of an impact the original trilogy had on him.
The subsidiary industries that Star Wars has spawned, from toys to novels to video games, has changed how the entertainment business works.
The release of Solo: A Star Wars Story just five months after that of The Last Jedi makes it clear that Star Wars has never been more ubiquitous than it is now; in fact, if Solo’s box office is any indication, audiences might actually be going a little sour on Disney’s attempts to turn the property from a touchstone of childhood and nostalgia into a never-ending modern-day cinematic universe like Marvel and its imitators.
Lucas brings the film in on time and just barely over budget, delivering a well-reviewed movie shot in cinema-verite style that draws comparisons to The Battle of Algiers and Z. But audiences are tired of the Vietnam War, which had finally ended in 1975, and when the movie comes out in 1976, it’s a modest success rather than a breakout hit like Graffiti.
Without Star Wars dominating screens, both William Friedkin’s Sorcerer and Martin Scorsese’s New York, New York gain enough of a foothold to become respectable hits.
Scorsese never hits rock bottom, which means he never deigns to adapt a book he has no interest in, Raging Bull; instead, with Marlon Brando available, he finally attempts to make a film based on the 1890 Wounded Knee massacre.
He never visits Hawaii on the weekend of the release of Star Wars with Lucas, which is when the pair would have come up with the idea for Raiders of the Lost Ark. Bereft after the failure of 1941 and without Raiders to distract him, Spielberg tries to make an adaptation of Blackhawk.

The orginal article.

Summary of “What Does It Take to Build a Successful Cinematic Universe?”

There is another successful shared cinematic universe out there: Fox’s X-Men films.
Both look like coherent artistic statements next to the nearly avant-garde incoherence of David Ayer’s Suicide Squad. These films were designed to usher in a cinematic universe to rival the MCU, with the optimistically titled, Snyder-directed Justice League Part One set to introduce a slew of new characters who would then appear in films of their own.
Not Everything Should Be a Cinematic Universe I can remember the long, seemingly permanent hiatus between Return of the Jedi in 1983 and the special edition rereleases in 1997.
“It was very much a classic prequel that explained stuff people didn’t want to know in the first place. It didn’t build off past movies; it drafted off past movies.” In other words, a cinematic universe is only as strong as its weakest entry, and without a strong connection to an ongoing story, Solo looked optional.
The Plans Take Precedence Over the Movies On May 22, 2017, Universal announced the name for its long-gestating series of films featuring classic monsters: The Dark Universe.
Universal essentially invented the idea of a cinematic universe in the 1940s when it discovered that teaming up its iconic monsters created new interest in the characters.
The only problem: The first and, to date, only Dark Universe entry, The Mummy, suggested that more energy had been expended planning the Dark Universe than filling it.
Maybe asking whether or not we’ll ever see another successful shared cinematic universe again isn’t the right question anyway.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Antony Beevor: the greatest war movie ever”

For a long time now, my wife has refused to watch a war movie with me.
In my view, the greatest war movie ever made is The 317th Platoon, a French film from 1965 set during the country’s first Indochina war.
My piece was spiked since it did not share the widespread adulation, and I still shake my head in disbelief when it is regularly voted the best war movie ever.
Spielberg said at the time that he sees the second world war as the “Defining moment” in history.
One also suspects that he wanted this film to be seen as the defining movie of the war.
He understood the national need, in the post-cold war chaos, to reach back to more certain times, seeking reassurance from that moment in history – the second world war – when the fight seemed unequivocally right.
Rew Marr rightly called The Patriot, set in the American war of independence, “a stinker”.
As he pointed out: “Black Americans, in fact destined to stay slaves thanks to the war, very many of whom enlisted with the British, are shown fighting shoulder to shoulder with their white rebel ‘brothers’. The British are portrayed as effete sadists and serial war criminals, just as in other American films. The huge support of the Bourbon French, who helped win the war, is airbrushed out. And the fact that most colonists actually sided with King George is airily forgotten.”

The orginal article.

Summary of “How 1960s Film Pirates Sold Movies Before the FBI Came Knocking”

Even the FBI couldn’t kill his obsessive love for collecting movies.
In 1974 and 1975, at the behest of the Motion Picture Association of America, the FBI was knocking down doors to shut down the film collectors who sold movies from New York to Los Angeles.
“I ended up being an usher, then a manager, then I ran a theater of my own,” Wise said, explaining how he came to fall in love with movies in his small Virginia town Franconia, right outside of Alexandria.
Wise would travel about an hour to the major movie studios’ offices in Washington, D.C., twice a week to pick up new movies.
The FBI had been tracking a number of film collectors, dealers, and pirates during that period and From Russia With Love just happened to be one of the movies that were being traded.
The file also includes an interview with one of the film collectors that Wise sold movies to through listings in the movie magazines of the 1960s.
The demand for movies in the US and Britain was enormous, so filmmakers were constantly stealing ideas, and sometimes just making a physical film copy of a flick.
Most people are familiar with the controversies that surrounded the emergence of VHS-it was quite the scandal in the early 1980s that Americans might be able to record TV programs and movies right off their own TVs. The movies studios insisted that if VCRs had a record button, people would never pay for content anymore.

The orginal article.