Ben Affleck Out as Director of 'The Batman'

Ben Affleck Batman
Affleck stll onboard to play the caped crusader, but as director? Nope. Something tells me he and DC just didn't see eye to eye in terms of the creative freedom needed to make a higher-than-average Batman film. Affleck's statement is as follows:
 “There are certain characters who hold a special place in the hearts of millions,” Affleck said in a statement. “Performing this role demands focus, passion and the very best performance I can give. It has become clear that I cannot do both jobs to the level they require. Together with the studio, I have decided to find a partner in a director who will collaborate with me on this massive film. I am still in this, and we are making it, but we are currently looking for a director. I remain extremely committed to this project, and look forward to bringing this to life for fans around the world.”
Source: Variety

First on-set picture of Paul Thomas Anderson/Daniel Day-Lewis 1950s Fashion Drama



Source: Vulture

Hugh Jackman on playing Wolverine in the first 'X-Men' movie: "I was average, to be honest, at best. No one was saying anything and I sort of thought I was getting away with it, but I wasn't."

Wolverine, Hugh Jackman

"I was kind of struggling, to be honest," Jackman said. "It was the first movie I had ever done in America. I was pretty tight. I was nervous. I was average, to be honest, at best. No one was saying anything and I sort of thought I was getting away with it, but I wasn't."

Source: Eonline

John Hurt's best performance?



I was saddened by the news of John Hurt's passing. I knew he was suffering from some form of terminal cancer, but I didn't believe he could actually leave this world. We last saw him as the pastor in "Jackie," a great turn from one of the greatest character-actors that ever lived.

These will be the 5 defining performances of Hurt's career:

Max in "Midnight Express" (1978)

Kane in "Alien" (1979)

John Merricks "The Elephant Man" (1980)

Winston Smith in "Nineteen-Eighty-Four" (1984)

Giles De'Ath in "Love and Death in Long Island" (1997)

First OCEANS EIGHT photo starring Cate Blanchett, Sandra Bullock, Anne Hathaway, Rihanna



We still don't really know anything about the movie. All we do know is that it's a spinoff rather than a remake or reboot, the cast is great though. I'm praying this gets a decent script. Don't fuck it up Warner Bros. We don't need another "Ghostbusters" debacle where the entire online community starts hating on the film before it even screens.


Denzel Washington shocks by winning SAG award, is now Oscar Best Actor frontrunner

SAG Awards Film Analysis: 'Hidden Figures,'
Move over Casey Affleck. Since 2004, every single Leading Actor that has won the SAG award went on to win the Best Actor Oscar. This officially makes Denzel Washington the frontrunner to win on February on February 26th.
BEST PERFORMANCE BY A MALE ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE: Denzel Washington, Fences
BEST PERFORMANCE BY A FEMALE ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE: Emma Stone, La La Land
BEST PERFORMANCE BY A MALE ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE: Mahershala Ali, Moonlight
BEST PERFORMANCE BY A FEMALE ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE: Viola Davis, Fences

THE SALESMAN director Asghar Farhadi will not be able to attend the Oscars due to Trump's Muslim ban





The only thing I can really say is go watch The Salesman, it's already one of 2017's very best movies. Support it and this great filmmaker who deserves to be there. If anything, this news has enhanced his chances of winning.

Rian Johnson on what movies influenced "The Last Jedi"

Taken from latest issue of Empire:
”Twelve O’Clock High’ was a big touchstone, for the feel and look of the aerial combat as well as the dynamic between the pilots, ‘Three Outlaw Samurai‘ for the feel of the sword-fighting, and the general sense of pulpy fun. And ‘To Catch A Thief‘ was a great film to rewatch, for the romantic scale and grandeur.”
“I found myself constantly wanting to push modern idioms into the dialogue, and sometimes that can work, but you have to be very careful. If you go too far you can break that ‘Star Wars’ spell. The other challenge is the tech talk, which has to be simultaneously complex enough to sound real and conceptually simple enough to follow. The original films were brilliant at that.” 

Ben Affleck's LIVE BY NIGHT projected to have more than $75M in losses

Live by Night


Variety reports:

"The expensive gangster picture was a passion project for Ben Affleck, who directed, wrote, produced, and starred in the story of a Florida rum runner. But critics ripped the picture, calling it dramatically inert and a muddle. That’s left Warner Bros., the studio behind the film flop, looking at a $75 million loss, according to insiders with knowledge of its financing and rival studio executives."

"“Live By Night” has made $16.5 million globally, and is not expected to have international appeal despite Affleck’s star power. Talky period pictures don’t tend to play well overseas, particularly when they don’t come loaded with Oscars (“Live By Night” was shut out). The film cost $65 million to produce and tens of millions more to distribute and market. Warner Bros. only gets a percentage of ticket sales. It will try to cushion its losses with home entertainment sales and rentals, as well as television licensing deals. The studio did have a significant financial partner on the film in RatPac-Dune Entertainment, though it’s not clear how much the slate financing partner invested in “Live By Night."

Back in December I wrote:

"I'm here to report that the dire streak of Gangster films for Hollywood will continue because, well, Ben Affleck's "Live By Night" is just not good. It follows the familiar tropes of the gangster genre and, in fact, makes them seem boring and rusty. Even the action scenes, which if you've seen Affleck's "The Town," are the director's specialty, fall flat on the ground. What we're left with is a film that is reminiscent of 2012's misbegotten "Gangster Squad." That's not a compliment. Remember that film? That was the nail in the coffin as far as I'm concerned for the genre. Bankable actors and actresses couldn't even make it a box-office success and the reviews, yikes.

The King of nominations without wins (21) is nominated again this year... will he ever win?


















Kevin O'Connell, sound engineer, is nominated yet again this year. This time for Sound Mixing - Hacksaw Ridge.

This nomination is his 21st Oscar nomination.

Previous nominations:


Transformers
Apocalypto
Memoirs of Geisha
Spider-Man 2
Spider-Man
Pearl Harbor
The Patriot
Armageddon
Mask of Zorro
Con Air
The Rock
Twister
Crimson Tide
A Few Good Men
Days of Thunder
Black Rain
Top Gun
Silverado
Dune
Terms of Endearment

*Also to note, Thomas Newman picked up his 14th Oscar Nomination for Passengers this year. He's the only composer in the category with a previous Oscar Nomination. He's still yet to earn himself an Oscar.

Oscars: LA LA LAND leads with 14 nominations



Nominations for the 89th Academy Awards

Best motion picture of the year

“Arrival” Shawn Levy, Dan Levine, Aaron Ryder and David Linde, Producers
“Fences” Scott Rudin, Denzel Washington and Todd Black, Producers
“Hacksaw Ridge” Bill Mechanic and David Permut, Producers
“Hell or High Water” Carla Hacken and Julie Yorn, Producers
“Hidden Figures” Donna Gigliotti, Peter Chernin, Jenno Topping, Pharrell Williams and Theodore Melfi, Producers
“La La Land” Fred Berger, Jordan Horowitz and Marc Platt, Producers
“Lion” Emile Sherman, Iain Canning and Angie Fielder, Producers
“Manchester by the Sea” Matt Damon, Kimberly Steward, Chris Moore, Lauren Beck and Kevin J. Walsh, Producers
“Moonlight” Adele Romanski, Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner, Producers

Achievement in directing

“Arrival” Denis Villeneuve
“Hacksaw Ridge” Mel Gibson
“La La Land” Damien Chazelle
“Manchester by the Sea” Kenneth Lonergan
“Moonlight” Barry Jenkins

Performance by an actor in a leading role

Casey Affleck in “Manchester by the Sea”
Andrew Garfield in “Hacksaw Ridge”
Ryan Gosling in “La La Land”
Viggo Mortensen in “Captain Fantastic”
Denzel Washington in “Fences”

Performance by an actor in a supporting role

Mahershala Ali in “Moonlight”
Jeff Bridges in “Hell or High Water”
Lucas Hedges in “Manchester by the Sea”
Dev Patel in “Lion”
Michael Shannon in “Nocturnal Animals”

Performance by an actress in a leading role

Isabelle Huppert in “Elle”
Ruth Negga in “Loving”
Natalie Portman in “Jackie”
Emma Stone in “La La Land”
Meryl Streep in “Florence Foster Jenkins”

Performance by an actress in a supporting role

Viola Davis in “Fences”
Naomie Harris in “Moonlight”
Nicole Kidman in “Lion”
Octavia Spencer in “Hidden Figures”
Michelle Williams in “Manchester by the Sea”

Best animated feature film of the year

“Kubo and the Two Strings” Travis Knight and Arianne Sutner
“Moana” John Musker, Ron Clements and Osnat Shurer
“My Life as a Zucchini” Claude Barras and Max Karli
“The Red Turtle” Michael Dudok de Wit and Toshio Suzuki
“Zootopia” Byron Howard, Rich Moore and Clark Spencer

Achievement in cinematography

“Arrival” Bradford Young
“La La Land” Linus Sandgren
“Lion” Greig Fraser
“Moonlight” James Laxton
“Silence” Rodrigo Prieto

Achievement in costume design

“Allied” Joanna Johnston
“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” Colleen Atwood
“Florence Foster Jenkins” Consolata Boyle
“Jackie” Madeline Fontaine
“La La Land” Mary Zophres

Best documentary feature

“Fire at Sea” Gianfranco Rosi and Donatella Palermo
“I Am Not Your Negro” Raoul Peck, Rémi Grellety and Hébert Peck
“Life, Animated” Roger Ross Williams and Julie Goldman
“O.J.: Made in America” Ezra Edelman and Caroline Waterlow
“13th” Ava DuVernay, Spencer Averick and Howard Barish

Best documentary short subject

“Extremis” Dan Krauss
“4.1 Miles” Daphne Matziaraki
“Joe’s Violin” Kahane Cooperman and Raphaela Neihausen
“Watani: My Homeland” Marcel Mettelsiefen and Stephen Ellis
“The White Helmets” Orlando von Einsiedel and Joanna Natasegara

Achievement in film editing

“Arrival”Joe Walker
“Hacksaw Ridge” John Gilbert
“Hell or High Water” Jake Roberts
“La La Land” Tom Cross
“Moonlight” Nat Sanders and Joi McMillon

Best foreign language film of the year

“Land of Mine” Denmark
“A Man Called Ove” Sweden
“The Salesman” Iran
“Tanna” Australia
“Toni Erdmann” Germany

Achievement in makeup and hairstyling

“A Man Called Ove” Eva von Bahr and Love Larson
“Star Trek Beyond” Joel Harlow and Richard Alonzo
“Suicide Squad” Alessandro Bertolazzi, Giorgio Gregorini and Christopher Nelson

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original score)

“Jackie” Mica Levi
“La La Land” Justin Hurwitz
“Lion” Dustin O’Halloran and Hauschka
“Moonlight” Nicholas Britell
“Passengers” Thomas Newman

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original song)

“Audition (The Fools Who Dream)” from “La La Land”
Music by Justin Hurwitz; Lyric by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul
“Can’t Stop The Feeling” from “Trolls”
Music and Lyric by Justin Timberlake, Max Martin and Karl Johan Schuster
“City Of Stars” from “La La Land”
Music by Justin Hurwitz; Lyric by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul
“The Empty Chair” from “Jim: The James Foley Story”
Music and Lyric by J. Ralph and Sting
“How Far I’ll Go” from “Moana”
Music and Lyric by Lin-Manuel Miranda

Achievement in production design

“Arrival” Production Design: Patrice Vermette; Set Decoration: Paul Hotte
“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” Production Design: Stuart Craig; Set Decoration: Anna Pinnock
“Hail, Caesar!” Production Design: Jess Gonchor; Set Decoration: Nancy Haigh
“La La Land” Production Design: David Wasco; Set Decoration: Sandy Reynolds-Wasco
“Passengers” Production Design: Guy Hendrix Dyas; Set Decoration: Gene Serdena

Best animated short film

“Blind Vaysha” Theodore Ushev
“Borrowed Time” Andrew Coats and Lou Hamou-Lhadj
“Pear Cider and Cigarettes” Robert Valley and Cara Speller
“Pearl” Patrick Osborne
“Piper” Alan Barillaro and Marc Sondheimer

Best live action short film

“Ennemis Intérieurs” Sélim Azzazi
“La Femme et le TGV” Timo von Gunten and Giacun Caduff
“Silent Nights” Aske Bang and Kim Magnusson
“Sing” Kristof Deák and Anna Udvardy
“Timecode” Juanjo Giménez

Achievement in sound editing

“Arrival” Sylvain Bellemare
“Deepwater Horizon” Wylie Stateman and Renée Tondelli
“Hacksaw Ridge” Robert Mackenzie and Andy Wright
“La La Land” Ai-Ling Lee and Mildred Iatrou Morgan
“Sully” Alan Robert Murray and Bub Asman

Achievement in sound mixing

“Arrival” Bernard Gariépy Strobl and Claude La Haye
“Hacksaw Ridge” Kevin O’Connell, Andy Wright, Robert Mackenzie and Peter Grace
“La La Land” Andy Nelson, Ai-Ling Lee and Steve A. Morrow
“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” David Parker, Christopher Scarabosio and Stuart Wilson
“13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi” Greg P. Russell, Gary Summers, Jeffrey J. Haboush and Mac Ruth

Achievement in visual effects

“Deepwater Horizon” Craig Hammack, Jason Snell, Jason Billington and Burt Dalton
“Doctor Strange” Stephane Ceretti, Richard Bluff, Vincent Cirelli and Paul Corbould
“The Jungle Book” Robert Legato, Adam Valdez, Andrew R. Jones and Dan Lemmon
“Kubo and the Two Strings” Steve Emerson, Oliver Jones, Brian McLean and Brad Schiff
“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” John Knoll, Mohen Leo, Hal Hickel and Neil Corbould
Adapted screenplay

“Arrival” Screenplay by Eric Heisserer
“Fences” Screenplay by August Wilson
“Hidden Figures” Screenplay by Allison Schroeder and Theodore Melfi
“Lion” Screenplay by Luke Davies
“Moonlight” Screenplay by Barry Jenkins; Story by Tarell Alvin McCraney

Original screenplay

“Hell or High Water” Written by Taylor Sheridan
“La La Land” Written by Damien Chazelle
“The Lobster” Written by Yorgos Lanthimos, Efthimis Filippou
“Manchester by the Sea” Written by Kenneth Lonergan
“20th Century Women” Written by Mike Mills

LOGAN officially rated R















Very peculiar for a "superhero" movie, can spell death at the box-office, but something tells me it won't be a problem for this film. In fact I have this theory that if it weren't for Deadpool being such a huge hit and R-rated Logan would probably never exist. FINALLY, we get the R rated Wolverine movie we've wanted.

FINAL Oscar Predictions


































It all gets announced early tomorrow morning.

I saw LA LA LAND film in September, it was the frontrunner then it still is the frontrunner today, especially with "Silence" now having screened and not being everyone's cup of tea, we clearly have a favorite and there really isn't really a clearcut opposition willing to contend. Manchester by the Sea? Too depressing for the academy. Fences? It never truly escape its stage play roots. Nothing. This is the easiest Best Picture race to predict since The Return of the King in 2003.

Winning the People’s Choice Award at TIFF, and coming out this Friday, Damien Chazelle’s film was a no-brainer. Everyone felt sure it was going to win even before the festival started. Starring Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling, Chazelle’s film has moments of pure joy that make you feel punch-drunk in love at the movies again. The morning press screening burst into extended applause after the film’s final shot and that sealed the deal for the film’s eventual fate as a major Best Picture contender. Stone, a beauty of an actress, also turned heads for her performance as Mia, a struggling actress hoping to find her big break. Mia falls for Sebastian, a playful and charismatic Ryan Gosling, as they embark on a colorful and touching adventure filled with some of the best original songs ever conceived for the big screen. It’s quite possibly the best movie musical since Bob Fosse’s “All That Jazz.

FRONTRUNNERS

1) "La La Land"
2) "Fences"
3) "Manchester By The Sea"
4) "Moonlight"
5) "Lion"
6)  "Hacksaw Ridge" 
7) "Hidden Figures"
8) "Arrival"
9) "Hell or High Water"
10) "Sully"

Snore-gate

Many of you have emailed me with much concern as to the, now, infamous "Snore-gate," I am glad to report that I wasn't the journalist that Jeffrey Welles kicked out of his condo for relentless snoring. No, in fact the "perpetrator" gave me a couple of sleepless nights due to his snorefest, albeit not enitrely his fault as I too was a snorer once upon a time when I was 30 or so pounds heavier. What I will say is this, if it weren't for Jeffrey kicking out the snorer I would probably have had a sleepless festival, which ends up being one of the most frustrating and infuriating things that can happen for a writer when covering a film festival.

As for my coverage? It will start to pickup by this evening on this site.

OFFICIAL: Next STAR WARS will be entitled THE LAST JEDI



As per my colleagues over at The Playlist

Razzie Nominations announced with Batman vs Superman leading in nominations

'Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice'

Worst Picture
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice 
Dirty Grandpa
Gods of Egypt
Hillary's America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party
Independence Day: Resurgence 
Zoolander No. 2

Worst Actor
Ben Affleck, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice 
Gerard Butler, Gods of Egypt & London Has Fallen
Henry Cavill, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice  
Robert De Niro, Dirty Grandpa
Dinesh D'Souza (as himself), Hillary's America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party
Ben Stiller, Zoolander No. 2

Worst Actress
Megan Fox, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows
Tyler Perry, BOO! A Medea Halloween
Julia Roberts, Mother's Day 
Becky Turner (as Hillary Clinton), Hillary's America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party
Naomi Watts, Divergent Series: Allegiant & Shut-In
Shailene Woodley, Divergent Series: Allegiant 

Worst Director
Dinesh D'Souza and Bruce Schooley, Hillary's America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party
Roland Emmerich, Independence Day: Resurgence
Tyler Perry, BOO! A Medea Halloween 
Alex Proyas, Gods of Egypt 
Zack Snyder, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice  
Ben Stiller, Zoolander  No. 2

Worst Supporting Actress 
Julianne Hough, Dirty Grandpa
Kate Hudson, Mother's Day
Aubrey Plaza, Dirty Grandpa
Jane Seymour, Fifty Shades of Black
Sela Ward, Independence Day: Resurgence
Kristen Wiig, Zoolander No. 2

Worst Supporting Actor
Nicolas Cage, Snowden 
Johnny Depp, Alice Through the Looking Glass
Will Ferrell, Zoolander No. 2
Jesse Eisenberg, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice  
Jared Leto, Suicide Squad 
Owen Wilson, Zoolander No. 2

For more click HERE

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.”

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.



Novitiate

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.”

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. 

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.

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

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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.

The "Impossible Mirror Shot" in Robert Zemeckis' Contact












I will say this, technically there are probably not many directors in the same league as Robert Zemeckis. This is coming from someone that doesn't really like anything he's done post- "Contact," but realizes the technical prowess that Zemeckis possesses. The guy is also a solid storyteller. At some point in his career he was on a roll (Romancing the Stone, Back to the Future, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Forrest Gump).

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RAW is the cannibal movie that had people fainting at festivals worldwide, but it's also one of the very best coming of age movies this decade

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I look forward to revisiting Julia Ducournau's "Raw" at this year's Sundance Film Festival. The film was a real sensation at last year's Quinzaine at the Cannes Film Festival. It's a blood delight to see such a mature and unique horror film get its due. It also won the prestigious FIPRESCI prize. All this to say that it truly belongs within the "New Wave" of horror filmmaking that we have been witnessing of late. Some incredibly exciting movies are being made independently with very little in the way of budget (The Witch, The Babadook, It Follows, Green Room, You're Next) . Exciting times ahead for Horror buffs.

Here is my Cannes review dated 5.27.16

Sundance 2017

In less than a week the Sundance Film Festival will be under way and I will be there to cover all the mayhem that is bound to happen in Park City this year.

If you remember last year we had one of the very best editions of the fest, a remarkable lineup: "Manchester by the Sea," "OJ: Made in America," "Love & Friendship," "Sing Street," "Certain Women," "Hunt For the Wilderpeople," "The Fits," "Swiss Army Man," "Weiner," "Captain Fantastic," "Little Men," "Indignation" and even Nate Parker's controversial "The Birth of a Nation."

2014 didn't have too shabby a lineup either: "The Witch," "Brooklyn," "Tangerine," "The End of the Tour," "The Diary of a Teenage Girl," "Mississippi Grind," "Mistress America," "Me, Earl and the Dying Girl," "Dope," "Grandma,"

The more Hollywood goes into crass commercialism the more likely a film festival like Sundance will matter. It's as simple as that. This year I have my eyes on many films, especially world premieres, the NEXT section, Documentary and the Official Competition. These look like the films to look out for, on paper, t but usually the major surprise hit of the fest comes out of left field so it might not even be on this list, which makes the feeling of experiencing Sundance all the more exciting:


I chose these mostly due to the director, already established, but I want something MORE than that. The point of Sundance is to discover the future of cinema and to be blown away by a filmmaker that has directed his or her debut feature.

One can't forget the great movies over the years that gave Sundance its incredible reputation: Joel and Ethan Coen's Blood Simple, Jim Jarmusch's Stranger Than Paradise, Steven Soderbergh's Sex, Lies & Videotape, Charles Burnett’s To Sleep with Anger, Todd Haynes’ Poison, Richard Linklater’s Slacker, Quentin Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs, Kevin Smith’s Clerks, Bryan Singer’s The Usual Suspects, David O. Russell’s Spanking the Monkey, Todd Solondz’s Welcome to the Dollhouse, Stanley Tucci and Campbell Scott’s Big Night, Darren Aronofsky’s Pi, Mary Harron’s American Psycho, Richard Kelly’s Donnie Darko, Kenneth Lonergan’s You Can Count on Me, Christopher Nolan’s Memento, Noah Baumbach’s The Squid and the Whale, Duncan Jones’ Moon, Debra Granik’s Winter’s Bone, Jeff Nichols’ Take Shelter, Lee Daniels’ Precious, Tom McCarthy's The Station Agent, Ben Zeitlin’s Beasts of the Southern Wild, Damien Chazelle’s Whiplash and Ryan Coogler’s Fruitvale Station,

Sundance still feels vitally important. Having premiered 9 Best Picture nominees in the last 7 years, it's a continuous hotbed for low-budget indie filmmakers who just want a chance and represent American filmmaking that isn't compromised by greed. Godspeed.

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