"Justice League" Runtime Will Be Longer Than "Batman Vs Superman," Clocking In At Almost 3 Hours



30 Actors That Trashed Their Own Films



Surprise! "‘Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales" Early Reactions Are ... Positive???

pirates-5-reviews

70th Cannes Film Festival Poster has Claudia Cardinale Dancing

cannesfilmfestival-2017

I will be there again this year, covering the fest for World of Reel.

The Cannes Film Festival runs from May 17-28.

Could Luc Besson's comeback vehicle be "Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets"?



Sony planning on "Spider-Man: Homecoming" only having a brief stint with MCU



Sony's brain dead decisions over the years, which have lost them more than a billion dollars and counting, seem to be continuing. First there was the fact that they were building their own Marvel Cinematic Universe, unrelated to the Disney one, around "Venom," that's right "Venom." Now, CosmicBookNews is reporting that former Sony head has stated, at CinemaCon this week, that Spider-Man hanging out with the boys from the Original MCU might be short-lived:

Stephen King's "It" has a trailer

Stephen King It

Zack Snyder's Top 5 Favorite Movies


Courtesy of Newsweek comes this little nugget from their archives. Ever wondered what Zack Snyder's favorite films are? Funny that he has "Excalibur" topping the list as it was showing in the theater Bruce's parents got shot outside of in "Batman Vs Superman." "Excalibur" is an incredibly faithful adaptation of "La Mort d'Arthur." Parallels between "Arthur" and "Batman vs Superman" are very pronounced. So much so that it feels like Snyder ripped it off and just set the same story in the DC universe. For example: The fight between Batman and Superman is similar to the fight between Lancelot and Arthur, two good guys fighting against each other and eventually making up for more important reasons: to fight the real bad guy Mordred (Doomsday in BvS). Superman sacrificing his own body/life to defeat and kill Doomsday is the same way the fight between Mordred and Arthur went down. Both dead. A hero and a villain.

"Ghost in the Shell" already out this Friday?



It's Monday and I have not yet received a press invite for "Ghost in the Shell," which is coming out this Friday. Are they scared about the toxic word of mouth? It has screened in parts of the U.S, but the roll out for this film has been abysmal. Barely any buzz has been built through word of mouth. Of course I don' expect it to be "Citizen Kane," but you have to wonder what is going on. The first few reviews don't look too bad either, so what's the deal here? Is it the whitewashing controversy? Which is total nonsense by the way. There's been no news whatsoever of a screening that I practically forgot that it was coming out this Friday. Also, the fact they have allowed reviews to only come out 3 days before its release is suspicious.



15 Rare On-set photos of Heath Ledger in "The Dark Knight"



I had read an interview  somewhere where Heath Ledger said he went to Jack Nicholson for advice on the Joker role, in that meeting Nicholson said that the best advice he could give him was not to get eaten by the role, that it was a powerful character and he could easily fall into its trap and get stuck in it, just like, supposedly, Jack himself almost did. Now, if anyone believes that that was what consumed and eventually killed Ledger is very much up for debate, but there's no denying that ledger was REALLY into his character.

Prior to production, Ledger locked himself in his hotel room for a month preparing for the role. During this stint of almost six weeks he wrote in a journal and practiced different voices for his character. In this creepy Journal, written during his time of isolation, there were in-character ramblings and inspirations. He also included photographs of hyenas, clown make-up designs, joker cards and even stills from A Clockwork Orange, which is a movie Nolan recommended Ledger watch to prepare for the Joker. Some of the writing contained in the journal was from the perspective of the Joker, including a list of suspicious things he thought were funny like AIDS, blind babies, landmines and smart people that suffer from brain damage (don't ask). On the cover, the words THE JOKER, with the picture of an elephant and a man on a checkered floor. The last page of the journal had the words “BYE BYE” handwritten in large letters.

Don't listen to the naysayers, American cinema is alive and well. PTA, Linklater, Cuarron, Coppola, Bigelow, Payne, Haynes, Nolan, Soderbergh, Aronofsky, Villeneuve, Scott, Baumbach, Pixar and many more all coming out with new movies in 2017




First "IT" stills and poster released, trailer scheduled for tomorrow






New 'Spider-Man: Homecoming' trailer



Did the trailer, like, give away too much? Cause I kinda felt like it did...I thoroughly enjoyed the movie, I wish it would have been a bit longer then 2.39 min.

On this day, in 1973, Marlon Brando turned down the Academy Award for Best Actor for his role in The Godfather.

The remains of the Darth Vader helmet prop used in the Endor funeral pyre from "Return of the Jedi", 1983

The Most Famous Abandoned Movie Sets

The-Hobbit-Gandalf-Dragonlord-1 photo The-Hobbit-Gandalf-Dragonlord-1-1.jpg

Although, to be fair, the "Field of Dreams" site is far from abandoned and is actually a tourist attraction in Dyersville, Iowa.

Director James Gray takes aim at Harvey Weinstein for his "narcissistic principles" while he was making "The Immigrant"



Harvey Weinstein has had a sour working relationship with some of the greateet directors in the world, so much so that many filmmakers second-guess a possible partnership with the venerable producer of The Weinstein Company. He is nicknamed Harvey Scissorhands after all, he'll clip your film no matter the resistance you put into it. Just ask Martin Scorsese, Bong Joon-Ho, Billy Bob Thornton, Wong Kar-Wai, and many more. 

You can add in director James Gray to that list. His experience working with Weinstein on "The Immigrant" was sour enough that he's decided to openly talk about it.

A Ghost Story - Poster (A24 - Casey Affleck, Rooney Mara)



Sony planning on having an R rating for "Venom" and lanching their own Marvel Cinematic Universe in the process

venom-r-rated-movie-sony-spider-verse

In an exclusive bit of news, Collider is reporting that Sony execs are planning on stamping an R rating on the upcoming "Venom" movie. That's great news as I have made it abundantly clear that there is no way you can pull off a movie about "Venom" without the horrific carnage that comes with this symbiotic character. 

Alicia Vikander as Lara Croft in "Tomb Raider"



First image of Michael Keaton in "Spider-Man: Homecoming" as The Vulture

spider-man-homecoming-michael-keaton-slice

"Venom" starts filming this fall, described as "Action/Horror/Sci-Fi"



My Entertainment World has just posted Venom's production listing. It says that the film will start shooting this fall. It also posits the genre of the film to be “Action/Horror/Sci-fi,” a sure sign that this will all lead to a much wanted R rating. 

There's also no word yet on whether this film will, somehow, find its way into the MCU, given that this is a property of the currently struggling Sony, and not Marvel's usual go-to, Disney, and that Sony has, so far, been rushing this project to the top of the heap gives off  a sign of desperation on the part of the studio. Fingers are crossed that there will be enough time to make a quality product with a venerable director attached to the film. They did well with the first two Sam Raimi Spider-Man films, so there's no reason to believe they have it in them to make a great Venom movie, maybe with Raimi directing?

Last week I wrote:

"The fact that R rated Marvel movies such as "Deadpool" and "Logan" did so well at the box-office has probably helped "Venom" get a quicker than expected release date. There is a large market out there for R rated Marvel films done with more creative freedom than the PG-13 juggernauts we're so tirelessly accustomed to getting. One thing's for sure though, "Venom" will be bloody violent.  If you remember, Topher Grace played Venom in Spider-Man 3, although the actual symbiotic villain must have had, what, around 5 minutes of screentime?"

Marvel has dated the movie for October 5, 2018!

Disney planning Star Wars movies well until 2030



“We’re starting talk about what could happen after Episode IX. About what could be another decade-and-a-half of Star Wars stories.” Bob Iger (Disney CEO),  The Hollywood Reporter

I guess Disney are going to run this thing into the ground with every last breath left in them. Milk it until it's dead and then milk it some more. It has turned into a total cash cow for them. Remember folks, too much of a good thing can be unintentionally harmful. Might as well mention my wish list: A Darth Vader origins story, post "Revenge of the Sith," and they should also just do the old republic stories. I don't know how you can continue doing this series until 2030 and not lose any integrity left in your artistry, but, hell, might as well wait and see. You need time to savor a great movie, to make it have a lasting impact, audiences were given time to savor the original SW films, to revisit them etc. Looks like Disney is doing to Star Wars what they are currently doing to Marvel, do you seriously think anybody will remember even 2/3 of the Marvel movies coming out today? Does anyone remember even a scene of the rushed-up jobs that were "Thor: The Dark World," "Iron Man 2" and, hell, even "Avengers: Age of Ultron" ??? Of course not.

UPDATE: 

I wrote this on Facebook: "This is only another reason why I'm loving the way Netflix has been so aggresive in building up their own movie branch. Most great directors are saying fuck it, let's all get out of the Hollywood studio system and make a new home over at Netflix. It's the only way to go."

Box-Office: "Beauty and the Beast" stays at the top with $88M intake, "Power Rangers" impresses, "Life" disappoints & "CHIPS" flops



1. “Beauty And The Beast” — $88.3 million ($316.9 mil.)
2. “Power Rangers” — $40.5 million
3. “Kong: Skull Island” — $14.4 million ($133.5 mil.)
4. “Life” — $12.6 million
5. “Logan” — $10.1 million ($201.4 mil.)
6. “Get Out” — $8.6 million ($147.4 mil.)
7. “Chips” — $7.6 million
8. “The Shack” — $3.7 million ($49 mil.)
9. “The Lego Batman Movie” — $1.9 million ($170.8 mil.)
10. “The Belko Experiment” — $1.8 million ($7.5 mil.)


"Beauty and the Beast" can probably maintain the top spot until late April when "The Fate of the Furious" debuts. That could be four straight weeks at #1 for the film. Unheard of these days. It stands a good chance at even cracking top 5-10 of all-time if it continues in this furious pace. That's a $316 million intake for the film in just two weeks. It also stands a good chance at cracking that prestigious worldwide billion dollar mark. Its global intake is $500 million at the moment. Nostalgia reigns!

Movie Studio Logos Through The Years



I love it whenever a movie nowadays uses one of the old logos, it really sets a certain mood for the film. Recent examples include: Argo, Magic Mike, The Good German, Inherent Vice. I know Tarantino has done it with his past couple films. I believe Django Unchained has the classic Columbia logo, and Inglourious Basterds with the classic Universal logo. My favorite of these is probably the red Warner Bros. logo. Reminds me of the seminal time where American movies actually mattered back in the '70s.

"Justice League" Official Trailer Is Released



Between this, Wonder Woman, and The Amazing Spider-Man, we have entered a new phase of marketing where the studio is actually not showing the entire plot thread. I believe this movie is going to have the ultimate slo-mo shot in a movie, Zack Snyder currently wetting his pants in anticipation of us watching his ultimate money shot. God bless him. Oh, and Batman still looks like he can't move his head. It's starting to get ridiculous.

“Justice League” arrives on November 17th.

"Five Came Back", a Netflix documentary about five major American directors who went off to help the war effort in WWII and the films they made when they came home



Marvel's Underappreciated Gem: 2004's "The Punisher"



The 1989 adaptation of Marvel's "The Punisher" was a cheesy, action-packed, B-movie starring Dolph Lundgren. It wasn't good. It didn't nail the spirit of the comic book and was badly cast. The 2004 version, on the other hand, slyly directed by Jonathan Henseligh, is an under appreciated gem from the Marvel cannon. It's a film that is neither cliched nor plays it safe, an intense ride from beginning to end that had me pinned to my seat. The fact that this film came out before the start of MCU, 2008's "Iron Man" probably the starting point, makes it take risks and go into endeavors that would have otherwise never been possible post-2008. 

Terrence Malick is officially a lost auteur, stuck in limbo, trying to find his way back













The Terrence Malick "witch hunt," that has been happening ever since "To The Wonder," which then continued with "Knight of Cups" and now has hit a peak of animosity with "Song to Song," has finally hit its goal of de-legitimizing the once legendary director. I finally caught up with "Song to Song" this week and, sadly, the term "unwatchable" comes to mind. What happened? The last three films Malick has conceived, although original in structure, have the most cliched love stories imaginable. They all, more or less, have to do with romantic yearning and feature some of the biggest names in the business: Ben Affleck, Ryan Gosling, Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Natalie Portman, Rooney Mara, Michael Fassbender, Javier Bardem, Rachel McAdams. That's also another problem. Having star wattage, well known faces, does a disservice to what Malick is trying to achieve here. You don't buy the yearning these big stars actors are performing on-screen. Maybe, having unknown actors would have benefited the story a little more. Which brings me to Malick's next film which, God help me, I'm actually very much looking forward to: The WWII film "Radegund," which stars unknown German actors and seems to be a departure from his recent trilogy from hell. Hopefully I'll get to see it at Cannes this coming May, if Cannes hasn't given up on the venerable writer-director, which I fear they might have.

Is this the Cannes lineup?




I was sent, from a usually reliable source, the shortlist of the Official Competition for this year's Cannes film festival, which is supposed to be announced on April 13th. I emailed a contact I knew from the Fest to confirm if this is more or less the lineup. No answer back as of yet, but you can rest assured that 95% of these films are going to be selected based on the buzz and, of course this being Cannes, the directors at the helm.

"Wakefield," One Of The Year's Best Movies, Finally Gets A Release Date



IFC Films has JUST acquired “Wakefield,” a drama starring Bryan Cranston and Jennifer Garner, which premiered last year at Telluride and Toronto, for a May 19 theatrical release and a May 26 VOD launch. This is what I had to say about the film last September when I saw it at the Toronto International Film Festival:

Star Wars 8: Leia's Role Will be Unchanged


According to THR, Disney CEO Bon Iger has revealed that the creative team behind Star Wars 8 will not change anything about Fisher’s role in "The Last Jedi," this means that we will see Carrie Fisher's final appearance as it was meant to be seen. 

Trailer For Martin McDonagh's "Three Billboards Outside Ebbings, Missouri"



This is one of the very best trailers I have seen in quite some time. Director Martin McDonagh is a highly talented director that seems to know exactly what he is doing with every film he makes ("In Bruges," "Seven Psychopaths.")

Director Brett Ratner: "Rotten Tomatoes Is the ‘Destruction’ Of Our Business. Film Criticism Has Disappeared"



"The worst thing that we have in today’s movie culture is Rotten Tomatoes, I think it’s the destruction of our business. I have such respect and admiration for film criticism.I have such respect and admiration for film criticism. When I was growing up film criticism was a real art. And there was intellect that went into that. And you would read Pauline’s Kael’s reviews, or some others, and that doesn’t exist anymore. Now it’s about a number. A compounded number of how many positives vs. negatives. Now it’s about, ‘What’s your Rotten Tomatoes score?’ And that’s sad, because the Rotten Tomatoes score was so low on Batman v Superman I think it put a cloud over a movie that was incredibly successful. […] What’s sad is film criticism has disappeared. It’s really sad.”

David Lynch's Twin Peaks revival makes Entertainment Weekly's cover



Netflix spent $40-$50 million on a live-action adaptation of Death Note, $90 million for the Will Smith film Bright, $60 million for Brad Pitt's War Machine and $100 million on Martin Scorsese's next movie, "The Irishman."



The legitimization of Netflix as THE first stop to everything movies has begun, they want you to bypass theaters completely. They want to take away the stigma of VOD (video on demand). They also seem to have the money to spend, spend, spend. As far as I'm concerned what's happening is very exciting because it puts the creative power back into the hands of actual creative people. Netflix is letting creative people be creative, where studios became distinct entities just focused on the bottom line. Netflix is taking Hollywood forward by taking it back into the past, in a sense, a 1970s maverick way of thinking. You should not be concerned about the end of cinema, this is only the beginning.

Theater reaction to the ending of "Inception"



This is pretty much the reaction Nolan was going for.

I wrote in June of 2010:

"A madly ambitious story, director Christopher Nolan's follow-up to The Dark Knight is very much concerned with the metaphysics of dreams. For close to two and a half hours, we get ideas spun at us faster than a spinning totem and are forced to schedule a re-watch to better understand Nolan's creative world. The final image will surely become one of the great ones in movie history."

"Guardians of the Galaxy 2" runtime makes it fourth longest Marvel movie ever

Event Cinemas has Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 clocking in at 137 minutes (2 hours and 17 minutes). The original Guardians was 122 minutes, which means this much anticipated new sequel is 15 minutes longer than the original. All of this means that Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 will turn out to be the fourth longest Marvel Cinematic Universe movie ever. Talk about epic.
  1. Captain America: Civil War (2 hours 27 minutes)
  2. The Avengers (2 hours 23 minutes)
  3. Avengers: Age of Ultron (2 hours 21 minutes)
  4. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2 hours and 17 minutes)

"Rogue One" Ending Edited To Meet The Beginning Of "A New Hope" In Beautifully Realized New Video



Vimeo editor Barre Fong has decided to do something that was all too obvious and connect the ending of "Rogue One" with the start of of “Star Wars: Episode IV: A New Hope.  It's beautifully edited to make it look seamlessly structured.

"Logan" director, James Mangold, on "Tentpole" Superhero Movies: "Bloated exercises, they are two-hour trailers for another movie they are going to sell you in two years"


Was Goldie Hawn ever a "good" actress?

Michael Sannon, one of the very best actors working today, is the frontrunner to play Cable in "Deadpool 2"



I really can't say enough great thing about Michael Shannon. As the title suggests, he is one of the best working actors of his generation. I rarely use the word astounding to describe a performance, but Shannon truly was astounding in "Bug," "Revolutionary Road," "Take Shelter,"" 99 Homes," and "Nocturnal Animals." 

Trailers for "Captain Underpants," "Baywatch," and "Death Note."

Some new trailers were added to the Movie Trailers section of the site: "Captain Underpants," "Death Note," and "Baywatch." All three very different genres of film, but likely summer releases. Nothing groundbreaking here folks, maybe, just maybe "Death Note" which is supposed to be one of the most violent Netflix originals ever, but how that translates to artistry has yet to be decided. Her eare the three trailers, with some of my thoughts.

"Captain Underpants"



Does Anyone Remember "Case De Mi Padre"?



Does anyone actually remember "Casa De Mi Padre"? That western comedy set in Mexico which starred Will Ferrell, who spoke all his lines in Spanish, as a cowboy in the west. This little nugget of a crazed idea is most probably the only Will Ferrell movie we'll ever have fully in Spanish language and English subtitles.. I can't recall any particular scenes from the film, but I do remember the idea and how it turned out to be one of the biggest WTF experiences I've ever had at the movies. It turns out the idea should have been done SNL style, in skit format, ala "Funny or Die," because it does work for the first 20 or so minutes as a curiosity, but its concept quickly wears thin as it goes along. Not surprising. Ferrell is one of those comedians I've always respected. His comedies are never fully by-the-books or safe, there's always a sense that the entire production is saying "We're flying by the seat of our pants, this whole thing could unravel at any moment, but, hey, we're having too much fun here, so fuck it." Sometimes that formula works ("Old School," "Anchorman," "Talladega Nights," "Step Brothers") and other times it fails miserably ("The Campaign," "Semi-Pro," "Get Hard," "Blades of Glory"). Up next for the actor is "The House," which looks atrocious.

"Rogue One" scoop: Ben Mendelsohn's Krennic was originally supposed to be killed by Darth Vader and his light saber

David Fincher is still main choice to direct "World War Z 2"

world-war-z-2-david-fincher-david-ellison

The headline over at Collider tells us that "World War Z 2" producer David Ellison REALLY wants David Fincher to helm the project, so much so that he is publicly stating  “There’s a script that we’re incredibly happy with, and it’s just getting a couple of key deals closed… We hope [Fincher] makes the movie.”

"The slap heard round the world"



This scene is nicknamed "The slap heard round the world" - From "In the Heat of the Night" (1967) with Sidney Poitier as a Philly detective investigating a murder in the deep South, which played in theaters at the height of racial tensions & civil rights protests

Here's a more detailed take:

Six movies that were mediocre, but turned masterful via a director's cut

It’s not uncommon for a studio to mess around with a director’s movie. Some just take the abuse and don’t complain, while others wage a losing battle they know will never likely go their way. Greed triumps over artistry. It’s a sad state of affairs, but a reality that most filmmakers know all too well. Sure, some filmmakers are out of their depth in the studio system and need to be reined in, but on the other hand, some of the greatest filmmakers in cinema history have had to give in to the powerful Hollywood studio machine: Scorsese, Gilliam, Fincher, Welles, Leone, Scott etc. The list is endless and too frustrating to fully name. 

And yet, director's cuts have a redeeming quality about them that makes them important for the cinema. They are artistic statements through and through, whether it's Sergio Leone releasing his, once butchered, "Once Upon A Time In America" in its original narrative structure to, even, Zack Snyder trying to redeem himself with a "Batman vs Superman" director's cut. It's a chance for a director to show what he really wanted to achieve on-screen. Never have there been finer examples than these six films which started off as mediocre, but turned into grand, masterful, personal statements once fully reinstated to their original visions.


Archive