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Disney CEO: 'Last Jedi' not changed due to Fisher's death

Disney CEO Bob Iger says the upcoming "Star Wars" sequel has not been changed due to the death of Carrie Fisher.

Fisher completed filming her role as Princess Leia in "The Last Jedi" before her death following a heart attack in December.

Iger said in an interview at a University of Southern California tech conference Thursday that Fisher "appears throughout" the film and her performance "remains as it was."

Iger says Disney is discussing "what could be another decade and a half of Star Wars stories."

Iger's remark came on the same day Disney ended speculation that he would retire this year by extending his contract one year to 2019. He says he and Disney's board thought they needed more time to work on a succession plan.

3-time Oscar-winning cinematographer being honored

A three-time Oscar-winning cinematographer is being honored by the George Eastman Museum in Rochester, New York, for his work with such Hollywood icons as Francis Ford Coppola and Warren Beatty.

Vittorio Stararo will be presented with the George Eastman Award during a ceremony Saturday night at the museum's Dryden Theater.

The 76-year-old native of Rome, Italy, won Oscars for Coppola's 1979 film "Apocalypse Now"; the Beatty-directed 1981 movie "Reds"; and Bernardo Bertolucci's "The Last Emperor" in 1987.

On Friday night, Stararo will provide the introduction to a screening of "Apocalypse Now Redux," Coppola's re-edited version of his epic. Saturday night's festivities includes a conversation with Storaro and a screening of a rare 35mm print of "Dick Tracy," the 1990 film Beatty also directed and starred in.

Review: 'Life' is a mediocre science-fiction thriller

In Daniel Espinosa's "Life," an international space station orbiting the Earth intercepts an automated capsule returning from Mars with samples: rocks, dust and, as it turns out, a tiny monocellular organism that proves the existence of life on another planet. The thing, though, about those monocellular organisms from Mars is that they grow up.

When Dr. Hugh Derry (Arioyon Bakare) injects the cell with glucose, it begins rapidly growing bigger, beyond its petri dish. (Yes, "Life" is, above all, a lesson in the dangers of too much sugar.) The crew — including Jake Gyllenhaal's troubled veteran, Ryan Reynolds' cocky engineer, Rebecca Ferguson's microbiologist and Hiroyuki Sanada's new father — celebrate their remarkable discovery and observe its development. "You're going to be a daddy," Reynolds' astronaut tells the proud Derry.

Derry, the biological expert of the bunch, hopes the organism — dubbed "Calvin" — will teach the scientists about the origin, the nature "and maybe even the meaning of life." Such glories, however, aren't in store. The harsh revelation that Calvin brings is that life — violently striving for survival — finds a way.

Unfortunately, "Life," the movie, doesn't. Once the alien lifeform strengthens and gets loose, "Life" surrenders to a tiresome chase away from not just its ravenous creature but from the movies "Life" so obviously takes it cues from. "Life" certainly can't come anywhere near the well-earned horrors of "Alien," nor does it boast anything like the silky splendor of "Gravity."

Espinosa ("Safe House," ''Child 44") claustrophobically encloses the drama in a fairly realistic space station that, lacking sufficiently cinematic production design, doesn't allow for much movement. Unlike Hollywood's recent, more ambitious sojourns into space, "Life" is a grittier, clunkier B-movie monster movie in zero gravity. An extraterrestrial Frankenstein is hunted with implausible dimwittedness by a bickering human crew.

Calvin (sadly there is no Hobbes in sight) grows in size and shape, but he mostly looks like a super-powerful, fearfully smart starfish. As he slithers this way and that, he almost resembles the alien cousin of Hank, the equally resourceful octopus of last year's "Finding Dory."

Penned by Rheet Reese and Paul Wernick ("Deadpool," ''Zombieland"), "Life" doesn't have much of the sarcastic wit the screenwriters have shown before. Instead, it's merely a terse, prickly cheap-thrill. Not until the film's final moments — finally free of the space station — does the movie find its own bite.

"Life," a Columbia Pictures release, is rated R by the Motion Picture Association of America for "language throughout, some sci-fi violence and terror." Running time: 102 minutes. Two stars out of four.

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MPAA Definition of R: Restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian

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Follow AP Film Writer on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/jakecoyleAP

Disney CEO Bob Iger gets contact extension to July 2019

Disney CEO Bob Iger is getting a one-year contract extension.

The Walt Disney Co. on Thursday ended any speculation that Iger would retire this year, extending contract to July 2, 2019.

Iger's base salary of $2.5 million will be unchanged, but he gets a $5 million signing bonus, according to filings with the Security Exchange Commission. He made a total of $43.9 million in 2016, when tacking on stock awards and other perks.

Speculation had been swirling over whether the 66-year-old Iger would extend his contract. There's no obvious successor at Disney since Iger's heir apparent, COO Tom Staggs, left last year.

Since taking the top role in 2005, Iger has acquired Star Wars owner LucasFilm, Pixar and Marvel and driven improvements in Disney's consumer products and parks division, most recently with the opening of Shanghai Disneyland in 2016.

In February, Iger indicated he was amenable to extending his contract.

"If it's in the best interest of the company for me to extend my term, I'm open to that," he said during a conference call with analysts.

Orin Smith, the lead independent director of Disney's board, said in a statement Thursday that Iger's "strategic vision" and successful record show that it is in the best interest of Disney to keep Iger aboard while they seek his successor.

US actor Gere compares West Bank town to 'Old South'

Actor Richard Gere has compared life for Palestinians in the West Bank city of Hebron to segregation in the United States.

The "Pretty Woman" star toured Hebron this week with Breaking the Silence, a group of Israeli ex-soldiers who criticize Israeli policies in the West Bank.

During the visit, Gere said "it's exactly what the Old South was in America," according to a clip aired Wednesday by Israel's Channel 2 TV.

About 850 Israeli settlers in Hebron live in heavily-guarded enclaves, surrounded by tens of thousands of Palestinians.

Much of the animosity in the biblical city is over a holy site known to Jews as the Tomb of the Patriarchs and to Muslims as the Ibrahimi Mosque. The city has been a flashpoint in the recent wave of Israeli-Palestinian violence.

Review: Big-screen 'CHIPS' a tawdry, sexist disappointment

Reimagined by writer, director, producer and star Dax Shepard, the big-screen "CHIPS " is a tawdry, testosterone-fueled tale built around penis jokes and endless evaluation of women's appearances.

The two main characters discuss the looks of almost every woman on screen. Calling someone "a 2" might be a forgivable comic misstep, but making such remarks a major part of a movie's humor is reductive and gross, not to mention outdated and uninspired. Maybe you need to look like Kristen Bell (Shepard's wife, in real life and this film) or have a Y chromosome to find it funny.

News flash: Women don't exist to be beautiful for men. Doesn't everyone know that in 2017 — particularly Shepard, who has two young daughters?

The best thing about "CHIPS" is some classic Southern California scenery and superb motorcycle riding, complete with stairwell tricks, airborne stunts and long shots of that beloved mecca for local bikers, Angeles Crest Highway.

But overall, the film is an uncomfortable eye-roll. Shepard and co-star Michael Pena have plenty of charm, but not enough to support the feeble story and tasteless jokes.

The film opens with the words "The California Highway Patrol does not endorse this film — at all," and it's easy to see why.

Shepard is Jon Baker, a former motocross champ trying to reinvent himself and save his marriage by joining the CHP. The 40-year-old rookie is paired with Frank "Ponch" Poncherello (Pena), an FBI agent working undercover to root out potentially crooked officers within the CHP. But this Jon and Ponch are so inept, so distracted by hot chicks and pseudo-philosophical conversations about "homophobia" and "closure," that buying them as actual law enforcement is too much of a stretch. They're more like frat guys doing cosplay.

And guy humor is one thing, but this is just dumb. One repeated gag involves Shepard in his underpants and Pena's discomfort at being around his near-naked partner. "You face-planted my bag!" Jon says to Ponch.

That kind of low-brow stupidity could be redeemed by a strong story or well-developed characters, but "CHIPS" offers neither. Ponch and Jon are caricatures, and even the crime they're investigating lacks punch because the crooked cops' motivations are never explained.

And the objectification of women here is brutal. There are several close-ups of women's butts in yoga pants, and Ponch openly lusts after them — so much that it's a problem and he has to quickly steal away to masturbate. I'm not kidding. Even the CHP chief, played by Jane Kaczmarek, is reduced to an object: Ponch and Jon discuss her body ("It was tight") after Ponch discovers she's secretly sex-crazed. (Of course she is.)

Only Maya Rudolph, who makes a brief cameo to reunite with her "Idiocracy" co-star, escapes objectification. She is just a police officer who happens to be female. Josh Duhamel and the original Ponch, Erik Estrada, also make cameos, though unfortunately Estrada gets in on the lady lust.

Made before the U.S. elected a president whose crude, caught-on-tape remarks regarding women inspired a nationwide conversation about "locker-room talk," there's no shortage of a "locker-room" tone toward women in "CHIPS." That's not just tired and unfunny, it's potentially alienating to half the population.

The TV series was from a different era, to be sure, but affording basic respect regardless of someone's looks or gender is timeless.

"CHIPS," a Warner Bros. Pictures release, is rated R by the Motion Picture Association of America for "crude sexual content, graphic nudity, pervasive language, some violence and drug use. Running time: 101 minutes. One star out of four.

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MPAA Definition of R: Restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.

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Follow AP Entertainment Writer Sandy Cohen at www.twitter.com/APSandy .

Greta Garbo's former NYC apartment on market for $5.95M

Film legend Greta Garbo's former longtime apartment in New York City is up for sale for nearly $6 million.

The New York Times reports (http://nyti.ms/2nFMaXm ) that the Swedish-born star's seven-room Manhattan co-op overlooking the East River is on the market for $5.95 million, with monthly maintenance of nearly $9,100.

The co-op is located on the fifth floor of the 14-story Campanile building, located on East 52nd Street. Garbo lived there from 1954 until her death in 1990 at age 84.

The apartment is being sold by the family of Gray Reisfield, Garbo's niece and sole heir to the actress's estate. Reisfield and her husband occupied the co-op from around 1992 to 2013 before relocating to San Francisco.

Garbo was one of Hollywood's biggest stars in the 1920s and '30s.

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Information from: The New York Times, http://www.nytimes.com

Onetime defendant in legendary Lufthansa heist is rearrested

An aging mobster who beat a charge that he took part in a legendary heist retold in the hit film "Goodfellas" was accused Wednesday in a less noteworthy crime — getting a group of gangsters, including John "Dapper Don" Gotti's namesake grandson, to torch a car that cut him off in traffic.

Vincent Asaro, an 82-year-old third-generation member of the secretive Bonanno crime family, was ordered held without bail after pleading not guilty to the 2012 arson in federal court in Brooklyn.

Also pleading not guilty to the same arson and an unrelated bank robbery was John J. Gotti, the 23-year-old grandson of the late Gambino crime family boss John Gotti.

The defendants "are charged with committing an assortment of violent crimes — arson to exact punishment for a perceived slight and robberies to unjustly enrich themselves," acting U.S. Attorney Bridget Rohde said in a statement announcing the arrests.

Outside court, Asaro's lawyer questioned the timing and the point of the government's decision to again go after her client, who was leading a quiet life until FBI agents came to his door Wednesday.

"I think he's frustrated," said the attorney, Elizabeth Macedonio.

The new case was a harsh reversal of fortunes for Asaro, who was last seen at the same courthouse raising his arms and shouting "Free!" after a jury found him not guilty of charges he orchestrated the Lufthansa robbery with James "Jimmy the Gent" Burke, the late Lucchese crime family associate who inspired Robert De Niro's role in the film.

At the time, the heist was called one of the largest cash thefts in American history, with gunmen looting about $5 million in untraceable U.S. currency that was being returned to the United States from Germany, along with about $1 million in jewelry, from the airline's cargo terminal.

Asaro later survived a bloodbath portrayed in "Goodfellas," with De Niro's character going ballistic over fellow mobsters' purchases of flashy cars and furs and, fearing they would attract law enforcement attention, having them whacked. Prosecutors — relying on the testimony of turncoat mobsters that the defense labeled as opportunistic liars — claimed Asaro collected at least $500,000 from the score but had a gambling problem and squandered it away at the racetrack.

Prosecutors now say that three years before his arrest in the Lufthansa case, Asaro ordered the arson to avenge getting cut off by another motorist in the Howard Beach section of Queens. He provided the home address of the driver to a Bonanno associate, who recruited Gotti and another man to douse the motorist's car with gasoline and torch it, court papers said.

The arsonists fled in a Jaguar sedan driven by Gotti that briefly led a police car on a high-speed chase before officers "terminated the pursuit for safety reasons due to Gotti's reckless driving," prosecutors said.

Earlier this month, Gotti was sentenced to eight years in state prison after pleading guilty to selling oxycodone pills. His grandfather died in prison in 2002.

If convicted on the federal charges, Asaro and Gotti face terms of up to 20 years.

Subject of film 'Bernie' appeals lengthy sentence for murder

A former Texas mortician whose legal issues were the subject of the 2011 film "Bernie" is appealing his sentence of 99 years to life in prison in the killing of a wealthy widow.

Bernie Tiede (TEE'-duh) was resentenced last year for his 1999 murder conviction in the fatal shooting of 81-year-old Marjorie Nugent, whose body was found in his freezer.

In a petition filed Tuesday with the Sixth Texas Court of Appeals, Tiede's attorneys argue that his 1997 indictment was tainted by a biased grand juror and that the jury that sentenced him was "repeatedly exposed to outside influence" in the form of non-case-related publicity, including the film in which he was played by actor Jack Black.

They also say a previous plea agreement calling for a 20-year prison system was breached.

Prosecutors say Tiede stole millions of dollars from Nugent.

Movie of Vince Flynn's 'American Assassin' to debut Sept. 15

The late Minnesota author Vince Flynn's counterterrorism operative Mitch Rapp is coming to the big screen in September.

CBS Films and Lionsgate announced Wednesday that "American Assassin," based on Flynn's best-seller, will hit theaters Sept. 15 nationwide and in North America.

"American Assassin" stars Dylan O'Brien as Rapp and Michael Keaton as his mentor, Stan Hurley. Sanaa Lathan plays Deputy CIA Director Irene Kennedy, who pairs Rapp and Hurley on an investigation into attacks on military and civilian targets. That leads to Rapp and Hurley teaming up with a Turkish agent to prevent a world war from erupting in the Middle East.

Michael Cuesta (the film "Kill the Messenger" and Showtime series "Homeland") directs.

Flynn wrote a series of thrillers featuring Rapp. Flynn died in 2013 after battling prostate cancer.

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