Martin Scorsese Pays Tribute to Jonathan Demme

Martin Scorsese just issued a statement on Jonathan Demme's passing:

“Whenever I ran into Jonathan, he was filled with enthusiasm and excitement about a new project. He took so much joy in moviemaking. His pictures have an inner lyricism that just lifts them off the ground–even a story like The Silence of the Lambs. I have great admiration for Jonathan as a filmmaker–I love the freshness of his style and his excellent use of music, from Buddy Holly to Miklos Rozsa. There’s so much more to be said, and I hardly know where to begin. I also loved him as a friend, and to me he was always young. My young friend. The idea that he’s gone seems impossible to me.”

Gladiator 2? Ridley Scott says Maximus would use the "portal of a dying warrior" to come back from the dead

Nope, this is not courtesy of The Onion. Ridley Scott really thinks he can find a way to bring back to life Russell Crowe's Maximus for another go-round at the mighty Roman Colosseum. 

"I know how to bring him back," Scott revealed. "I was having this talk with the studio — Whether it will happen I don’t know. Gladiator was 2000, so Russell’s changed a little bit. He’s doing something right now but I’m trying to get him back down here."

Scott spoke to ME Movies and actually revealed how he would bring back Maximus from the dead for the sequel. Maximus would use the "portal of a dying warrior" to come back from the dead, whatever that means. Nick Cave has written the script for the unlikely sequel, but, according to Scott, it's been sitting on the DreamWorks shelf for close to 10 years now, good luck dusting that off.

M. Night Shyamalan Reveals 2019 'Unbreakable' Sequel Is Called 'Glass'

'Logan' to be released with a black & white "Noir" version.

Image result for logan black and white 600x200

Google Play already has the Noir Version of "Logan," available for pre-sale. This just doesn't do it for me, as much as the "Chrome Edition" of "Mad Max: Fury Road" had no appeal whatsoever. As cool as this all sounds, the color in "Logan" seemed perfect to me. That dreamy dusty gray and brown made it feel like a classic western. I am not too sure if the outdoor scenes would really benefit from black and white.

Jonathan Demme, Oscar-Winning Director of ‘Silence of the Lambs,’ Dies At 73

It was with a very heavy heart that I found out this morning the passing of filmmaking legend Jonathan Demme at the age of 73.

I loved Demme. He was one of the few truly great directors that focused on the female voice, for more than 4 decades to boot. “Married to the Mob”, “Something Wild”, “The Silence of the Lambs” and “Rachel Getting Married” are prime examples of that. All are great movies. 

Demme’s key period lasted about 13 years — Melvin and Howard (’80), Stop Making Sense ('84) Swing Shift (’84), Something Wild (’86), Swimming to Cambodia (’87), Married to the Mob (’88), The Silence of the Lambs (’91) and, more or less, finally Philadelphia (’93) although I find the latter hasn't aged well over the years. He also changed the way music could be shot with the Talking Heads concert "Stop Making Sense," which, for my money, is the greatest shot concert of all-time. 

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As far as latter-day Demme goes, along with the aforementioned Rachel Getting Married, The Manchurian Candidate remake was very good and highly underrated. 

"Something Wild" will always be my favorite Demme. There has never been anything like it, before or after its release. I'd probably rank it in my top 20 of the 1980s. It belongs in the same league as David Lynch's "Blue Velvet," a surreal foray into the wild blue. A film which dared to combine comedy and romance with the darkest cinematic surrealism imaginable. 
I was holding out hope with Demme, whose was concentrating mostly on non-fiction documentaries the last 15-20 years, to make a return, but I didn't know he was suffering from Esophegal cancer the past 3 years. His cinematic legacy will no doubt last.

Confirmed Release Dates: Star Wars Episode IX released May 24th, 2019 and Indiana Jones 5 will be released July 10th, 2020

The Walt Disney Company and Lucasfilm announced today two major upcoming release dates.

Star Wars: Episode IX is now set for release on May 24, 2019. Directed by Colin Trevorrow, the film will close out the third Star Wars trilogy.

In addition, the fifth chapter of the Indiana Jones series is now confirmed for a July 10, 2020 release. Both Steven Spielberg, director of every Indiana Jones film, and star Harrison Ford will return.

It will be great to finally be getting a "Star Wars" movie in the summer. The prequels were released in the summer and the amount of anticipation and just overall fun of having such movies come out during that season was great, I am just overwhelmingly filled with great memories from that time, even though those prequels didn't turn out to be anything special.

If you want to go further back in terms of nostalgia, the original Star Wars came out in the summer of 1977 and there are thousands of anectodes of how it was like that summer, "Star Wars" was EVERYWHERE, it took over the season.

Now, as for Indiana Jones. The film has yet to have a title and will arrive on July 10th, 2020. Harrison Ford is set to return as Indy and Steven Spielberg will direct. 

The rumor of Chris Pratt taking over Ford's role will not happen and I'm all fine with that as long as Harrison Ford stops flying planes for a living and concentrates on being healthy and ready for this role.

The last Indiana Jones, Kingdom of Crystal Skull, had its charms, but was nevertheless a letdown. I hated it upon initial viewing but a rewatch, with tampered expectations, had me thinking this was actually a slight, but playfully entrtaining romp. Nevertheless, it was nowhere near as good as Raiders of the Lost Ark, Temple of Doom or, even, The Last Crusade. Spielberg admitted it. Ford admitted it. The screenplay was terrible, it took them almost 20 years to write something concrete and all they could come up with was a half-cooked plot about aliens and nazis? It seems to me like Spielberg is going to try and make up for it with this next film. George Lucas won't have anything to do with this one, which is great, his screenplay and creative inputs usually stink. Another part of the reason the last Indy didn't work as well was that you had to suspend disbelief and pretend a 70 year-old Harrison Ford could pull off all those stunts. He's going to be 75 years old by the time this thing gets released ... The first two films are still the golden standard, but can we conceivably buy him at AARP age still kickin' ass?

[Star Wars]

Wes Anderson's "Isle of Dogs" has a poster and a release sate


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 see  that there's another film of his that will be in stop motion animation form: "Isle of Dogs." If that wasn't enough he has amassed another fantastic cast to take part in this adventure.

Earlier this year, Anderson had mentioned that the film was “less influenced by stop-motion movies than it is by Akira Kurosawa.”

The full cast:

Bryan Cranston, Bill Murray, Jeff Goldblum, Scarlett Johansson, F. Murray Abraham, 
Edward Norton, Tilda Swinton, Kunichi Nomura, Harvey Keitel, Akira Ito, Akira Takayama, Koyu Rankin, Yoko Ono (!), Courtney B. Vance (!), Greta Gerwig (!!!), Frances McDormand, Bob Balaban and Liev Schreiber

"Isle of Dogs" comes out on April 20th, 2018. Is it a coincidence that this is coming out on 4/20?

"The Fate of the Furious" Still Unseen

I have yet to see "The Fate of the Furious," nor do I, to tell you the truth, have any motivation to do so, but it is my duty to eventually watch the darn thing. As mentioned in a previous post, I was out of town for the press screening of the film, I have been offered a few chances to watch it during matinee showings, but have unwillingly declined to watch it. All due to the fact that I am just not that interested in what Vin Diesel, The Rock and the gang have in store in this latest installment . The movie has now topped the box-office for two straight weekends, way to go America, and broke the worldwide opening record with almost half a billion in its first 3 or so days alone.

I have seen 4 of the films in the series, the one that seemed to pass the quality test was "Fast Five," which fully took advantage of its luscious Rio setting to create a cinematic atmosphere that the other films lacked. Was it a perfect movie? Hell no, but as far as this franchise goes that seemed to be the peak. It had a great opening sequence, involving a prison escape, and it was The Rock's debut, which many credit as being the beginning of the franchise's resurgence. That was probably one of the best bits of casting a franchise pulled off maybe, ever? The series was DOA until The Rock decided to saddle up for "Fast Five" and it made a world of difference. He brought some real zest to the series. Now it's a billion-dollar making franchise and, yet, I still have no interest in watching another one of these movies ever again.

"Once Upon A Time In Venice" wants to be Bruce Willis' "John Wick"

Oh, Well the obvious thing I'll start off with is that this trailer gives away too much plotting. I felt like I just sat through a big chunk of the movie just by watching these two minutes. Now, as I've mentioned before, Neeson and "Taken" really started a chain reaction of older, more mature-looking, Hollywood A-listers taking a crack at being action stars. It worked for Neeson and Reeves, but Willis? This movie probably needed a better writer and director team as this is from Robb and Mark Cullen, the guys who wrote the god-awful "Cop Out." Also, didn't the whole "they took/killed my dog" revenge trope get used up to death after "John Wick"? 

"Once Upon A Time In Venice" opens on June 16th.

Cannes Jury Announced: Chastain, Will Smith, Sorrentino, Ade, Park Chan-Wook, Agnes Jaoui and more

You know this is going to be an actual good jury when you see Almodovar, Chastain, Ade, Park and Sorrentino. Cannes really wanted to make amends after their last few lackluster Palme choices. I mean, "I, Daniel Blake"? Really? Especially when you had an incredible competition which included "Patterson," "Toni Erdmann," "Elle," Personal Shopper," "American Honey," "The Handmaiden," "The Salesman." Not just that, the George Miller-led Jury gave their consolation prize to Xavier Dolan's misbegotten "It's Only the End of the World"? What were they smoking last year at the croisette air? This year's jury is composed of seasoned veterans, but, more importantly, artists with top-notch artistic credibility. Well, Will Smith excepted ... Although I've been a fan of his over the years, I can see him more as an "I, Daniel Blake" kind of guy than a "Toni Erdmann" or "Elle" fantatic. We will, hopefully, be on track this year with credible winners. I will be there covering the fest starting May 16th.

Pedro Almodóvar – President
(Director, Writer, Producer – Spain)

Maren Ade
(Director, Screenwriter, Producer – Germany)

Jessica Chastain
(Actress, Producer – United States)

Fan Bingbing
(Actress, Producer – China)

Agnès Jaoui
(Actress, Screenwriter, Director, Singer – France)

Park Chan-wook
(Director, Screenwriter, Producer – South Korea)

Will Smith
(Actor, Producer, Musician – United States)

Paolo Sorrentino
(Director, Screenwriter – Italy)

Gabriel Yared
(Composer – France)

David Lynch's Women

Graph Showing Quentin Tarantino's Use of the N-Word Over the Years


Director Ben Wheatley on his latest magnum opus of violence "Free Fire" [Interview]

Chris Pratt Thinks Suicide Squad Introduced Too Many Characters

“I really like all the Warner Bros. movies. I think they’re really cool and I’m not a real tough critic on those movies. But one of the flaws might have been they were introducing too many characters in Suicide Squad. They spent 10 minutes telling us why should we care about these characters, rather than creating trilogies for each character and convincing us to care about the characters.”


The Avengers 4: Did Zoe Saldana Reveal the Film's Title?

Image result for the avengers 4 600x200 zoe saldana

It might no longer be a secret. "The Avengers 4" has, suspiciously, not had a title since its announcement more than a year ago. In fact, it has been kept so hush-hush that Marvel head, Kevin Feige, had to clear up rumors and indeed confirm our suspicions that announcing the title would reveal too much of the plot. Well, it seems like Zoe Saldana has kinda messed up the surprise as this video on Twitter shows us, Saldana let it slip out that its title is "Infinity Gauntlet." You can find the video HERE.

Heath Ledger's sister clears up rumour linking Joker role to actor's death

"I was really shocked because that was him having fun," she told the audience at a Q&A, according to The Telegraph. "Every report was coming out that he was depressed and that [the role] was taking this toll on him, and we're going, honestly, it was the absolute opposite. It couldn't be more wrong.
"He had an amazing sense of humour, and I guess maybe only his family and friends knew that, but he was having fun. He wasn't depressed about the Joker!”

Christian Bale Says the Only Superhero Films He's Ever Seen Are His Batman Films & The Original Superman

Christian Bale photo Christian-Bale-GQ-Dragonlord_zps39dee96f.jpg

Avengers 4 Doesn't Have a Title Because it Would Spoil Infinity War

 photo Avengers-Infinity-War-Title-Dragonlord.jpg

Buster Keaton made his movie debut 100 years ago today, in Roscoe Arbuckle's "The Butcher Boy"

It's no surprise that I find it very hard to choose between Chaplin and Keaton. "The General" is an astounding technical achievement, even more so now 90 years after its release. "The Navigator" is also a delightful Keaton feature from 1924 that has aged magnificently well. In fact, one of the reasons why Keaton might just surpass Chaplin in my books is that his movies have aged incredibly. The set pieces are brilliantly conceived and much too risky to achieve in this lazy day and age of CGI. Which is not say that Chaplin's films have rusted, there is still a stinging satirical punch to his films such as "Modern Times" and "City Lights," plus he himself was no slouch in terms of stunts. Keaton wins, but barely.

Steven Soderbergh's first movies out of retirement, "Logan Lucky," has its first still.

The Avatar sequels will be released in 2020, 2021, 2024, and 2025.

Marvel Head Says Marvel Will Not Be Making R-Rated Movies, Spidey Will Be in Avengers 4, and Joss Whedon Made The Call for "Batgirl"

Director James Gray: ‘I Am Struggling Financially’

You know, I saw "The Lost City of Z" just a few weeks ago and I can't believe I haven't shared my thoughts. It's such a beautiful, surreal and ambitious film. Some parts meander, but the overall impact is stunning. Its director James Gray has become one of the very best American filmmakers around, I believe it all started with 2007's "We Own the Night," then he follwed that one up with 2009's "Two Lovers," one of the most underrated films of all-time, and continued on with 2014's "The Immigrant." There's a beautifully realized classicism to Gray's filmmaking. He's making movies that are all, but, extinct these days in the populous and highly stylized cinematic market in this country. 

Criterion's July Releases

Summer Movie Preview 2017

Early Reviews For "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2" Are Overwhelmingly Positive


The reviews for James Gunn's "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2" are under embargo until April 24th, but that didn't stop critics from posting on Twitter their first reactions to what will, surely, be the highest grossing movie of the year, that is until "The Last Jedi" shows up in December.

"Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2" comes out on May 5th.

James Gunn Says He's Returning for "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3"

James Gunn is the man. No, really, he's the reason why Marvel has found a new, fresh direction in their cinematic universe. "Guardians of the Galaxy" has turned into a Marvel classic no thanks to its satirical, deadpan, meta humor and awesomely assembled, nostalgic pop soundtrack. Just look at "Deadpool" or the newly revamped "Thor" trailer. Gunn IS Marvel. With all that being said it is then no surprise that he will return to direct a third installment of "Guardians."

Mark Hamill Hints Luke Could Turn To The Dark Side, Says Reading "The Last Jedi" Script Was "Shocking"

As if last week's Star Wars celebration in Orlando didn't given us enough food for thought in relation to "The Last Jedi," comes this week's latest news, this time Hamill spoke to ABC news and gave us a few more clues in regards to "Episode 8." and beyond. During the conversation he also mentions that it is "possible" that Luke could turn to the dark side by the end of the trilogy.
“There’s a difference between teaser and a trailer. A teaser is supposed to show you dynamic images that heighten your awareness and make you want to see the trailer, but avoid all story points if at all possible. [But] I think that’s the only story point that’s in the teaser, which is Luke saying it’s time for the Jedi to end… It was as shocking to me to read what Rian Johnson had written as I’m sure it will be for the audience.”

[ABC News]

Composer Harry Gregson Williams found himself surprised at the theatre to not hear any of his music in "Blackhat"

"Fate of the Furious" makes record-breaking $530 Million dollars worldwide at the weekend box-office

Star Wars 8 Director: Opening Crawl is 3 Paragraphs Long

"There's still some stuff to set up .. Even if it picks up right where the last one left off, there's still a lot of unanswered questions about what the state of everything is, We were able to fill three paragraphs." Rian Johnson


Disney movies reimagined as Tim Burton films

Mark Hamill hints "The Last Jedi" could be the end of Luke Skywalker's journey

Bear with me here on all the Star Wars news that's being posted here at World of Reel. The Orlando celebrations have really given us more clues as to where this saga is headed. Here's Mark Hamill talking to Fandango about Luke's possible death, or end of journey, in "The Last Jedi."

New set pic of Pennywise from "IT"

Carrie Fisher Won't Appear in Star Wars Episode IX

Last week Todd Fisher, Carrie's brother, had said that Disney wanted to bring back Princess Leia. Todd, and Fisher's daughter Billie Lourd, had given Disney permission to use "recent footage" for "Episode IX," but it seems like it won't be happening after all, at least according to Lucasfilm head Kathleen Kennedy.

"Star Wars: The Last Jedi" Director Rian Johnson reveals Carrie Fisher helped re-write screenplay


"Star Wars: The Last Jedi" Poster Revealed

"Beatriz At Dinner" Will Be The First Post-Trump Cinematic Statement

I saw this at Sundance. "Beatriz At Dinner" has been written of as the first post-Trump statement we've had in cinema. Fair enough. I can see it. Miguel Arteta's film has John Lithgow's character, a ruthless real estate mogul, teasing, to the point of high tension, Salma Hayek's Mexican massage therapist at a posh business-minded dinner her client unexpectedly invites her to. I loved it, even up to its WTF ending. It comes out on June 9th and seems to have only gained in relevance the last few months.

"Star Wars: The Last Jedi" Trailer RELEASED!!!!


Woody Allen has written/directed a feature film every year since 1982.

Courtesy of IMDB

I wonder what he did in his last "off" year, 1981.

EDIT: Wikipedia has this about 1981

In 1981, Allen's play The Floating Light Bulb opened on Broadway. The play was a critical success and a commercial flop. Despite two Tony Award nominations, a Tony win for the acting of Brian Backer (who won the 1981 Theater World Award and a Drama Desk Award for his work), the play only ran for 62 performances.

So, how many of these were acual great movies? I have counted 13 great movies out of the 35.

The Fate of the Furious in Japan is called "Wild Speed: Ice Break"

  • Wild Speed (The Fast and the Furious)
  • Wild Speed X2 (2 Fast 2 Furious)
  • Wild Speed X3 TOKYO DRIFT (The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift)
  • Wild Speed MAX (Fast & Furious)
  • Wild Speed MEGA MAX (Fast Five)
  • Wild Speed EURO MISSION (Fast & Furious 6)
  • Wild Speed SKY MISSION (Furious 7)

Star Wars 8: First Look At General Leia Revealed At Celebration


Christian Bale Will Play Dick Cheney In Adam McKay's Biopic

This will make Christian Bale the first actor to play both Batman and The Penguin, but, seriously speaking, this looks great and "The Big Short," McKay's last feature, seems to have gained a strong following over the last few years. Christian Bale, Steve Carrell, as Donald Rumsfeld, and Amy Adams, as Lynne Cheney, will also star. Expect to see them at the 2019 Oscars. I'm particularly looking forward to Carrell's Rumsfeld.

Martin Scorsese Remembers Michel Ballhaus In A Touching Letter