Sunday, January 22, 2017

India's film censor board removed scenes of Vin Diesel drinking soda in xXx: THE RETURN OF XANDER CAGE

Oh god, this is a tough one. Do I hate product placement more or do I hate censorship more? I don't even know how to feel. This seems unnecessary. Can't they just rate the movie as 18+ and let it be as it is? Why censor alcohol and implied sexuality/ nudity if you could just prevent minors from seeing it?

Hugh Jackman says LOGAN is definitely NOT part of the X-Men universe

Source: Digital Spy

Hugh Jackman told Digital Spy that “Logan” exists outside the “X-Men” universe. 

“When you see the full movie you’ll understand,Not only is it different in terms of timeline and tone, it’s a slightly different universe. It’s actually a different paradigm and that will become clear.”

“We wanted to make something really different. Definitely tonally different, early on we had the idea for the title not having anything to do with Wolverine in it but just being about the man. And what the collateral damage of being Wolverine your entire life would be.”

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Robert De Niro still trying to convince Joe Pesci to join "The Irishman"

It seems like Martin Scorsese's next project will indeed be “The Irishman.” In an Associated Press interview with Scorsese’s longtime editor Thelma Schoonmaker (680 News), she has revealed that “The Irishman” might begin shooting as early as June.

What we're most interested in, however, is if Robert De Niro has finally convicned Joe Pesci to come out of retirement, but more specifically reunite with the incredible Scorsese/De Niro partnership he had in "Raging Bull," "Goodfellas," and "Casino." Producer Gaston Pavlovich puts it this way “I know he’s making an effort. There will be a time when we have to start that so I know he’s having those conversations with Joe and still trying to get him on board,” producer (Collider.)

Now one last thing. Scorsese has admitted that he is open to using CGI to make De Niro younger in his flashback scenes for "The Irishman." Pavlovich says that’s what will likely happen. “It’s a story that spans a lot of time, so some segments without prosthetics we’ll be able to get him to look like his ‘Godfather: Part II‘ part. Well, that age, anyway,” he said. “It won’t be a huge aspect of the movie, but sections. The technology can go from 20, 40, 60. Yeah. We’re still experimenting but [we] saw a test and it looked extraordinary.”
We were once wary of Scorsese going 3D, but “Hugo” turned out beautifully, so we’ll put our reservations aside for now.

The first great movie of Sundance 2017

All the superhero movies coming out 2017-2020

Friday, January 20, 2017

Sundance 2017

I Don't Feel at Home In This World Anymore 

Macon Blair has been an actor I've been keeping a watchful eye on the past few years, what with him being Jeremy Saulnier's muse in both "Green Room" and "Blue Ruin." Suffice to say that he takes quite a bit from Saulnier's visceral style of filmmaking for his feature directing debut "I Don't Feel at Home In This World Anymore," which loosely lends its name from Woody Guthrie's song of isolation "I Ain't Got No Home." Melanie Lynskey and Elijah Wood, both of which I will interview tomorrow, make a formidable team in this tale of isolation set in an ever-growing the "me, me, me" society. Lynskey's home has been broken into with some personal stuff stolen, including her grandmother's dining set and a box of personal immensely value. Wood is the weirdo neighbor that she teams up with to find the perpetrator of the robbery and he's the highlight of the film- engrossing, comic, frightening, lonely and armed with nunchucks, you have to check out this performance They make a formidable, comic team, but don't think this is a comedy. Blair has much more up his sleeve here than laughs and he is clearly influenced by David Lynch's "Blue Velvet" which depicted a dark underbelly of Americana that this film seems to wholeheartedly embrace, almost religiously. It ain't a perfect film, pacing issues which include an over-stretched finale could have used a bit of trimming, but there are many surreal and memorable moments in Blair's film.


It's a tough experience directing your first movie. Maggie Betts' feature film debut, for the most part, does not feel like the work of an amateur. The shot selection, framing, tone are all top-notch.Set in the early 1960s and during the era of the reform that would be known as Vatican II,a young lady, perfectly played by Diana Agron, decided to join the nunhood due to her unadorned love for God, her first love iff you will, but things get complicated. Self-questioning faith, a changing, more prrogressive church and sex, yes sex, start to interfere. The film has some truly powerful moments and others that feel more forced and by-the-books. It's a messy, sprawling 123 minute film that still hits your hard to the core and leaves you truly shaken when it hits its targets. A special shout out to Melissa Leo, stunning as the conflicted nun from hell.

The Incredible Jessica James ...

You know, sometimes a performance just elevates a moveie and in Jim Strouse's "The Incredible Jessica James" Jessica Williams lifts a standard romantic comedy into a real winner. Strouse's film is not groundbreaker, but Williams sure is.

Sundance: Al Gore & "An Inconvenient Sequel"

"An Inconvenient Sequel" is Al Gore's state of the union address, an important document of change and time. In fact the notion of time healing everything and making us realize our mistakes is a key theme in this film directed by Bonnie Cohen and Jon Chenk. I would go as far as to say that it is better than the 2006 David Guggenheim film, if, maybe, not as revoltuionary considering that film brought global warming to the forefront of the mainstream and changed the political spectrum when it came to the environment. If that 2006 film felt like a high school lecture/power point, and I'm not stretching it a bit here considering it is one of the most watched films in high schools nationwide, this sequel is more in the style of cinema verite and has Gore in a rather passionate and angry mood. The high point of the film has the former Vice-President manoeuvring chaotically/strategically to get
India onboard the 2016 Paris agreement, a key setting for the film which shows what can happen when world leaders come together to better the planet we live in.

Gore appeared post-screening to talk about the film stating:

“This movie gives me an extra burst of hope because I think …it really effectively tells the story of how much hope is our there for transforming our energy system to become much more efficient,” Gore told the crowd, almost all of who remained in their seats after the screening concluded. Gore added: “We are going to win this.”

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Adam Sandler's latest "opus"

There was a time when I really did try to defend Adam Sandler. I was trying to get people to truly appreciate and understand the sheer Jerry Lewis-like lunacy of the neurotic Jewish schlub in "The Waterboy," "Billy Madison," "Happy Gilmore," "The Wedding Singer," "Punch-Drunk Love" "50 First Dates," and, even, "Big Daddy." Those days seem to be gone. With the exception of "That's My Boy," which seemed to harken back to his comedic glory days of the '90s, yes I will defend it with every inch I could muster ... I mean, please do watch it, it's a hoot, Sandler been stuck in the kind of cinematic hell that makes me almost regret defending him some 20 odd years ago.

His Netflix fare has been unwatchable at best, and he seems to have lost an edge that would almost be instantly recognizable in his more succesful films. Oh well, will I still watch this? Probably. It is, after all, completely sacriligious as a critic to say you like Adam Sandler, but what do I really care. Isn't the whole point of the profession to be honest and truthful? Sandler was good at what he did and he made me chuckle more than a few times. Did I possibly lose a brain cell here and there? I would guess so, but you only live once. Again, please watch "That's My Boy."

"Logan" has brand, spanking new trailer

I don't look forward to many superhero movies. I was anticipating the Christopher Nolan "Batman" films, "The Avengers" definitely piqued my interest, but overall they always come armed with a marketing campaign and hype machine that just doesn't suit my tastes. Don't get me wrong, I do end up liking quite a bit of them, this is me giving some much needed love to "Iron Man 3,"but I can't really say a Marvel or DC movie fills me with excitement. "Logan," on the other hand, is a film that has peeked my curiosity ever since its black and white trailer appeared late last year with Johnny Cash's version of "Hurt" playing in the background. That was sheer brilliance, then again, I'm sure you can make a great trailer out of almost any drama by just using Johnny Cash's haunting song. Nevertheless, "Logan" passes the test with this new trailer which is in black and white, and which doesn't use Cash, by how eligiac and tragic the tone feels. This isn't a Marvel movie that will end on a cliffhanger, there's doom looming in every frame and director Jame Mangold (Cop Land, Girl Interrupted, Identity, Walk the Line, 3:10 to Yuma) that knows what he's doing.

“Logan” premieres at the Berlin Film Festival and opens on March 3rd. 

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Patrick Stewart will be playing Poop in the Emoji Movie

Finally, he's made it. This might be his big break.

Jack Nicholson is about to retire from acting according to good pal Peter Fonda

It has been rumored for a few years now that Jack Nicholson had retired from acting, but we never really got a confirmation from the man himself. Rumor had it that he couldn't quite remember his lines anymore, whereas others speculated that he was just tired of the industry. Who knows, but I'm still holding out hope that he might come back for one final gig. After all, the guy's last film was 2010's dreadful "How Do You Know." Yikes. Please don't go out on that note Jack.

I'm an unabashed, hardcore Jack Nicholson fan. The man is living legend and he basically owned the 70s and 80s with his charsimatic, loosely stylized acting. In many of his movies he was the sardonic drifter, the eternal outsider, a man that always rebelled against societal structure. 

The New York Post's Page Six has Nicholson's great pal Peter Fonda quoted as saying:

I think he is ­basically retired. I don’t want to speak for him, but he has done a lot of work and he has done very well as a person financially.”

"Sometimes ­people have a reason that you don’t know, and it’s not for me to ask. I don’t call him up and say, ‘Johnny,’ I call him Johnny Hop, ‘What are you doing?’ I would say, ‘How are you, how do you feel?’”

Favorite Nicholson? It's too hard for me to choose one, but I'll give you guys some of his greatest performances: "Easy Rider,"  "Five Easy Pieces," "The Last Detail," "Chinatown," The Passenger," "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest," "The Shining," "Terms of Endearment," "Prizzi's Honor," "Batman," "A Few Good Men," "As Good As It Gets," "The Pledge," "About Schmidt" and "The Departed."

Right there folks is one of the greatest actors of all-time.

A Dog’s Purpose accused of animal cruelty after disturbing footage emerges

Wasn't going to see this anyway, but now you can be damn sure I'll be telling everyone I know not to see it either. Let's make this movie flop hard and teach Hollywood a lesson. Consumers won't stand for this sort of thing.

I hope this gets upvoted and spread like wildfire. These stories so often come out long after a film has come out and have little impact. Only way to teach Hollywood is through their pocketbooks. This kind of behavior should be punished.

This is extremely upsetting to watch, particularly the last few moments. Especially when the book is all about how special and loving dogs are. People suck.
The Huffington Post has it this way:
"In a video obtained by TMZ and posted on Wednesday, a crew member or trainer for the film is seen forcing a German Shepherd to perform a “stunt” that seems extremely unsafe ― so much so as to call into question how animals were handled over the entire course of the film’s shooting."
"In the final version of the movie, the police dog appears to bravely rescue a young girl after she falls into a rushing river. But in the behind-the-scenes clip ― which was shot outside of Winnipeg, Canada, in November 2015 ― a trainer is seen pushing the scared German Shepherd into a rough pool of water as he tries to claw his way out. After much resistance, the dog eventually gets into the water, but ends up being submerged for so long that handlers yelled, “Cut it!” 
"At the start of the video, a person also can be heard saying, “Don’t worry, it’s warm water at least.
Amblin Partners and Universal Pictures, the companies behind the movie, shared a statement with TMZ after watching the video.
Fostering a safe environment and ensuring the ethical treatment of our animal actors was of the utmost importance to those involved in making this film and we will look into the circumstances surrounding this video,” the statement read

“A Dog’s Purpose,” which debuts on Jan. 27, stars Britt Robertson, Dennis Quaid and Josh Gad’s voice.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Akira Kuroawa's advice to young filmmakers

"It costs a great deal of money to make films these days, and it's hard to become a director. You must learn and experience various things to become a director, and it's not so easily accomplished. But if you genuinely want to make films then write screenplays. All you need to write a script is pencil and paper. It's only through writing scripts that you learn specifics about the structure of film and what cinema is. That's what I tell them, but they still won't write. They find writing too hard. And it is. Writing scripts is a hard job. Still .. Balzac said that for writers, including novelists, the most essential and important thing is the forbearance to face the dull task of writing one word at a time. That is the first requirement for any writer. When you consider Balzac's body of work with that in mind , it's just staggering because he produced a volume of written work that we couldn't finish reading in our lifetimes."

Criterion's April releases will include THE UMBRELLAS OF CHERBOURG and Coppola's RUMBLE FISH


I'm glad they're releasing Rumble Fish instead of The Outsiders. The former is the far better and artful S.E. Hinton adaptation. In fact, the difference in tone and style between the two is quite drastic, you would probably think that Coppola learned valuable lessons from filming "The Outsiders" and brought that experience to "Rumble Fish." It really is just night and day in terms of how different they are via tone, tempo, style, shot selection. It's probably the last watch-ably compulsive film of Coppola's career.

"The Umbrellas of Cherbourg" being released, in what will most likely be, a month or so after "La La Land" wins Best Picture is not a coincidence. Damien Chazelle has not been shy in mentioning "Cherbourg" as his biggest influence in making "La La Land." The colors, dancing, singing, surrealist aspect of Jacques Demy's 1960's masterpiece are apparent in every frame of Chazelle's great film.

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