How the LAPD describes the Will Smith and Chris Rock incident; Oscars ratings are better, but not good; Top Gun: Maverick salutes Val Kilmer’s Iceman; meet the Oscar short documentary filmmakers. All in today’s Movie News Rundown.
Out Today: The first episode of Moon Knight on Disney+. Reviews are good but I’m mostly curious if Paul Schrader will watch, given that stars Oscar Isaac and Ethan Hawke starred in his last two movies.
Hooray for Hollywood: This year’s Oscars ratings were the second-lowest ever, but Variety notes that they were up 58 percent from last year’s worst-ever ratings. Cinema is back!
No Charges: “LAPD investigative entities are aware of an incident between two individuals during the Academy Awards program,” the department told CNN recently about a thing that happened. “The incident involved one individual slapping another. The individual involved has declined to file a police report. If the involved party desires a police report at a later date, LAPD will be available to complete an investigative report.”
Meanwhile, at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences: An investigation of the thing will “take a few weeks,” according to The Hollywood Reporter.
May I Editorialize: No one is happy about “one individual slapping another,” but did anyone outside of the social media outrage machine seriously want criminal charges over this? Even people who think the slapper was 100 percent in the wrong… did they really want him arrested?
Also: Last night I was reading some armchair psychoanalysis of Will Smith that mentioned his memoir, Will, and decided to go straight to the source. Will, released last year, is really good, especially as celebrity memoirs go. One thing Smith stresses is that all his life, he was always afraid of being as coward, because he felt incredibly guilty about not defending his mother from his abusive father. After an excellent intro about building a wall, Smith starts his first chapter begins with these words: “I’ve always thought of myself as a coward.” He returns again and again to how that shaped him. It’s fascinating context for understanding the incident between two individuals during the Academy Awards program.
Should I Pay $125 to See Chris Rock in Boston Tonight? Is a thing I’m wondering.
The Iceman Cometh Back: There’s a lot of talk online about how the new Top Gun: Maverick trailer “teases” the return of Val Kilmer as Iceman, but… it’s just a picture of Iceman. At the 42-second mark. Here’s Val Kilmer tweeting about it:
— Val Kilmer (@valkilmer) March 29, 2022
There Are a Lot of Theories Online That Iceman is the Real Hero of the Original Top Gun: I could link to them, and ask you to read thousands of words, but maybe I can just summarize the theory like this: Iceman is the real hero of the original Top Gun. This theory will make perfect sense if you remember those words while watching the original Top Gun. You would 100 percent rather have Ice Man than Maverick as your wingman.
Daniel Kaluuya: The Oscar-winning actor will co-write the new Netflix dystopian thriller The Kitchen, about the divide between rich and poor. His past writing includes two short films, “Two Single Beds” and “The Swarm,” as well as episodes of Skins, the British show on which he also played “Posh Kenneth.” Deadline offers details herein.
The Queen of Basketball: The latest Factual America podcast features interviews with three nominees in the Oscars’ best short documentary category, including Ben Proudfoot, whose film “The Queen of Basketball” won the award. It tells the story of Lusia Harris, the first and only woman to be officially drafted into the NBA. You can watch on YouTube or listen on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts.
A Bully Looks Back: The episode also features Jay Rosenblatt, director of “When We Were Bullies,” whose film looks back on a bullying incident he took part in 50 years ago and now deeply regrets. He also talked to many others who took part in the bullying to see how they remembered the sad day.
Audible: And it also includes director Matthew Ogens, whose short documentary “Audible,” now on Netflix. follows football player Amaree McKenstry-Hall and his teammates from the Maryland School for the Deaf as they attempt to defend their winning streak on the field while dealing with the tragic loss of a close friend.
COVID: I have grown tired, of late, of vaxxed and boosted people announcing positive COVID results online as if they’ve been given two weeks to live. It feels a little “look at me,” to be honest. So kudos on this deft reimagining of the tired “I have COVID” genre by The New Yorker‘s Michael Schulman.
Well, I seem to have left Oscar weekend with a swag bag full of COVID. ????
— Michael Schulman (@MJSchulman) March 30, 2022
More Daniel Kaluuya: There’s nothing I’m looking forward to more this summer than Jordan Peele’s NOPE, which reunites Kaluuya with the Get Out writer-director.
Main image: Val Kilmer as the hero of the original Top Gun.