Saturday, December 24, 2016
It seems harder and harder for a director to have himself an acting muse in this day and age of cinema. Gone are the legendary collaborations: Scorsese/De Niro, Wilder/Lemmon, Hitchcock/Stewart, Fellini/Mastroianni, Kazan/Brando, Brooks/Wilder, Kurosawa/Mifune, Ford/Wayne, Bergman/Ullmann, Herzog/Kinski, Leaud/Truffaut, Dietrich/Von Sternberg. What modern-day actor/director partnership could one day be deemed worthy of the 11 mentioned? Here are a few that have contending potential.
Friday, December 23, 2016
Thursday, December 22, 2016
Ben Stein's quote about 'Ferris Bueller's Day Off' will make you see the movie on a whole deeper level.
"This is to comedies what Gone with the Wind (1939) is to epics", Stein said. "It will never die because it responds to and calls forth such human emotions. It isn't dirty. There's nothing mean-spirited about it. There's nothing sneering or sniggering about it. It's just wholesome. We want to be free. We want to have a good time. We know we're not going to be able to all our lives. We know we're going to have to buckle down and work. We know we're going to have to eventually become family men and women and have responsibilities and pay our bills. But just give us a couple of good days that we can look back on."
He basically nails the timeless nature of the film and why it has stood the test of time. There aren't many films from the 80s that have the rewatchability of "Ferris Bueller's Day Off." Funny how critics basically panned the film when it came out, but, over time, it has become one of the more beloved films of my generation. Richard Roeper's favorite movie of all-time, by the way!
I am not a die-hard "Star Wars" fan, but John Williams' "Star Wars" score is as iconic as they get. He's scored all 8 films of the saga and basically made a career out of it, although his 1975 score for Spielberg's "Jaws" is, for my money, is as good as anything ever composed for a "Blockbuster" movie.
He spoke to The Mirror recently and revealed that, shock, he's never seen any of the "Star Wars" movies.
“I let it go. I have not looked at the ‘Star Wars’ films and that’s absolutely true. When I’m finished with a film, I’ve been living with it, we’ve been dubbing it, recording to it, and so on. You walk out of the studio and, ‘Ah, it’s finished,’ Now I don’t have an impulse to go to the theater and look at it. Maybe some people find that weird, or listen to recordings of my music very, very rarely.”
So there you go. It's not the only iconic score he's done. Remember, he has scored practically every Spielberg since "Jaws." I'd say the best work he's done is the following: "Schindler's List," "Jaws," "Raiders of the Lost Ark," "Harry Potter," "E.T," and "Superman."
"Patriots Day" is a fervently patriotic, but solidly made thriller from director Peter Berg. At first I was ready to dismiss this picture as another America-rah-rah kind of film and the trailer did hint at that being the case. What I wasn't expecting was how cinematic Berg's film would be. The electrifying manhunt for the two terrorist suspects that concocted the tragic Boston Marathon Bombings back in 2013 is more than enough to sustain your attention throughout this 133 minute film. The way Berg does business here is blunt and effective, he doesn't hold back and just let's the story take over you.
The bombings, which caused 3 deaths and injured 264, led to a massive manhunt, but the film doesn't only focus on that. It also focuses on the heroic tales of simple folks that tried to make a difference that day. The extensive research that berg and company made does show, the professionalism at hand leads to a hard-earned film that does the city proud. I would know, I now live in Boston and at the press screening for the film, more than a few week ago, there weren't many dry eyes in the house. Mark Whalberg's, fictionalized, Seargant Tommy Saunders might be the main hero of the film, but it's the people of Boston that come through in being the heart and soul of the film.
Shuttling through an array of characters and storylines, "Patriots Day" is a messy film, it sometimes over-excitingly gets over-cooked, but there is something to be said about a film with this much heart. The sappy sentimentalism is there, so is the need to oversimplify its message of good vs evil and the much-feared "America rah-rah" is there, but when Berg sticks to investigative chaos and action sequences we are sucked right back into its frames. None more immersive than the Watertown confrontation between Boston Police and the two terrorists. In the blink of an eye this seemingly quiet neighborhood gets turned into hell on the streets, as bombs explode, artillery gets used and horrific screaming occurs with every jolt. It recalls the very best of Paul Greengrass, who is an obvious influence for Berg here, and catapults you right into the thick of things in that historic day [B]
Wednesday, December 21, 2016
Jerry Lewis is a tough interview. Everybody in the industry knows that. I remember a few years ago jumping on the opportunity to interview Lewis, who was directing a musical theatre version of The Nutty Professor at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center in Nashville, and my then editor quickly shutting down the idea by saying "trust me, you don't want to do that." He ended up going to interview Lewis, whom I heard quickly turns on you if you're a young journalist being sent to interview him. I've never seen a Lewis interview go well with a Journalist in his 30s or, even, 40s. He likes these old-school journalists that have been around and know his repertoire front to back and, even then, he can still turn on you if he doesn't like the questions. Anyway, The Hollywood Reporter's Andy Lewis found that out the hard way.
Tuesday, December 20, 2016
Of all the great Wes Anderson movies, and there quite a few, I've always a real fondness for "The Fantastic Mr. Fox," a stop-motion animation treat from 2009 that was the most formally realized picture of his career. So it is with great joy that I just found out Anderson's next movie, another stop motion animation venture, will be titled "Aisle of Dogs" and due to come out in 2018. If that wasn't enough he has amassed another fantastic cast to take part in this adventure.
The full cast:
F. Murray Abraham
Yoko Ono (!)
Courtney B. Vance (!)
Greta Gerwig (!!!)
As it stands I'd rank the Wes Anderson films this way:
1) The Fantastic Mr. Fox
2) The Royal Tenenbaums
3) The Grand Budapest Hotel
4) Moonrise Kingdom
5) The Darjeeling Limited
7) The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou
8) Bottle Rocket
Yes, we all know Hollywood is running out of ideas. I have been warning people for months now that they're making an Emoji movie. People didn't believe me. Well, here you go. Further proof that a movie can get made about just about anything. I'm really curious how they will market this thing. I mean, what's the target demographic for this? People that like to use emojis? Teenyboppers that can get suckered into seeing just about anything as long as it is rammed and marketed down their throats. Total brainwash. This might go down as one of the worst ideas for a movie in a very long time. Anthony Leondis directs and this guy is known for the direct to DVD "Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has a Glitch." Yikes, kill me now. Hey, maybe Almodovar and Scorsese were right about the sad state of affairs in American cinema ...
The synopsis has it like this:
THE EMOJI MOVIE unlocks the never-before-seen secret world inside your smartphone. Hidden within the messaging app is Textopolis, a bustling city where all your favorite emojis live, hoping to be selected by the phone’s user. In this world, each emoji has only one facial expression – except for Gene (T.J. Miller), an exuberant emoji who was born without a filter and is bursting with multiple expressions. Determined to become “normal” like the other emojis, Gene enlists the help of his handy best friend Hi-5 (James Corden) and the notorious code breaker emoji Jailbreak (Ilana Glazer). Together, they embark on an epic “app-venture” through the apps on the phone, each its own wild and fun world, to find the Code that will fix Gene. But when a greater danger threatens the phone, the fate of all emojis depends on these three unlikely friends who must save their world before it’s deleted forever.
Monday, December 19, 2016
"In 1942, he released a new version of the silent film by adding a musical score, narration which he recorded himself, and tightening the editing. It received Academy Award nominations for Best Music and Best Sound Recording."
Sunday, December 18, 2016
"The Evil Dead" (1981)Sam Raimi was just 22 years old when he completed "The Evil Dead." He first made a short film for less than $2,000 called "Within the Woods" to entice Hollywood execs to "The Evil Dead." Raimi has said that he "begged" them to give him the $100,000 needed to make the low-budget film, and he eventually accumulated $90,000 from various investors. The rest is, of course, horror movie history, as an additional two sequels were made and an incredibly loyal cult following ensued. Raimi’s career skyrocketed since then, as he was the brains behind the first three original Spider-Man movies — the second one being a classic of the genre — and went on to make other great films, especially 1998’s "A Simple Plan."
According to Box Office Mojo "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story" is set to open with the 12th highest opening weekend intake in movie history.
More to come ....
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12/18 - 12/25
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- "Patriots Day" earns its stripes
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- CONTEST: Win the Criterion Blu-Ray/DVD to Robert B...
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