RIP – Reni Santoni

Reni Santoni, 81, died on August 1, 2020, at hospice after a long illness.  Sanotni appeared in over 100 film and television roles.  Most folks probably know Santoni best from his role as Poppie on Seinfeld.  My favorite Santoni performances were in Dirty Harry and Cobra but it was always a pleasure when Santoni appeared on any show or movie.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family, friends and fans.

Rocky Balboa & Apollo Creed by Jarrod Alberich & Mark Hatherley!

Check out this sweet Rocky / Apollo poster created by Jarrod The Yardsale Artist Alberich and Mark Hatherley.  Jarrod took on Rocky and Mark brought his talents to Apollo.

What makes this even cooler is that the created the art during one of their weekly Livestream sessions.  They were joined by John Beatty (creating a commission for one of his fans).  I also provided some color commentary for the video.  I’ve embedded the video below, if you’re so inclined.

Also if you’re interested, Jarrod has made the Rocky / Apollo print available for fans!

“Seized” Starring Scott Adkins & Mario Peebles – Poster and Trailer!

The poster and trailer for Seized are here.  Glad to see Mario Peebles in this Scott Adkins action movie.  Hopefully it will be a fun couple of hours.

Hiding out with his son Taylor on the Mexican coast, Nero (Scott Adkins, Doctor Strange) hopes to put his violent Special Forces career behind him. But after Nero’s home is attacked and Taylor is abducted, the mysterious Mzamo (Mario Van Peebles, Heartbreak Ridge) orders Nero to slaughter the members of three rival crime syndicates. If he fails, Taylor will die. With bullets flying and bodies dropping, Nero must now complete his mission ― and find Mzamoʼs hideout, to exact his revenge.

Director: Isaac Florentine

“Airplane” Trivia

I saw Airplane in a packed theater when it was initially released.  The laughter was non-stop.  Airplane is a film that benefits from a crowd.  I’ve watched it several times since and the bigger the crowd the bigger the laughs.   Airplane is still worth a watch either alone or with others.

Rob Hunter and Film School Rejects present 31 Things We Learned from the ‘Airplane!’ Commentary.   Before you click over, here are three of my favorite comments…

These early drafts (of the script) were initially titled The Late Show as they intended to include their commercial gags as well with the spoof movie itself being filler. They brought it to Lloyd Schwartz who suggested that the airplane story was “funnier and more interesting” than the commercial spoofs.

(I think that they were wise to drop the commercial gags.  Playing it straight made for a much funnier film. – Craig)

Lloyd Bridges had a lot of questions trying to understand his character, his motivation, and his dialogue, and Robert Stack pointed out that the visual gags were so frequent and nonsensical that no one in the audience was going to care. “Lloyd, we are the joke,” said Stack to Lloyd.

(Can you imagine you’re the director prepping the scene and Bridges wants to discuss background and motivation for his, “I picked the wrong week to quit sniffing glue” line? – Craig)

Stack was apparently offered a percentage of the film or an extra $20k, and he chose poorly.

($20K in the hand or a percentage on a risky film with Hollywood bookkeeping?  Not an easy choice. – Craig)

RIP – Wilford Brimley

Wilford Brimley died yesterday at the age of 85 after being hospitalized for two months with kidney problems.

I first saw Wilfred Brimley in an uncredited role with John Wayne in True Grit.  At that point I had no idea who Wilfred Brimley was, but that would all change with his tv appearances in Kung Fu, The Waltons, How the West was Won and The Wild, Wild West Revisited.  After that it wasn’t surprising to see Brimley popping up in movies (The Electric Horseman, Brubaker, Absence of Malice) or television (Walker, Texas Ranger; Seinfeld).

My favorite Wilfred Brimley roles were in The Thing and Hard Target, but it didn’t matter the role or movie, Wilfred Brimley always made it better.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Wilfred Brimley’s family, friends and fans.

“Fargo: Season 4” Trailer starring Chris Rock!

Below is a teaser for the 4th season of Fargo.  I love that each season tells a complete story and the following season, while may be related in some aspect to the previous, features new characters and new situations.

The fourth installment of Fargo is set in 1950 Kansas City, where two criminal syndicates fighting for a piece of the American dream have struck an uneasy peace. Chris Rock stars as Loy Cannon, the head of the African American crime family who trades sons with the head of the Italian mafia as part of tenuous truce.

The Breaking Point (1950) / Z-View

The Breaking Point (1950)

Director: Michael Curtiz

Screenplay: Ranald MacDougall (Based on Ernest Hemingway’s novel To Have and Have Not)

Stars: John Garfield, Patricia Neal, Phyllis Thaxter, Juano Hernandez and Wallace Ford.

The Pitch: “Let’s redo To Have and Have Not but make it closer to Hemmingway’s novel!”

Tagline: There’s nothing more deadly than a gentle man pushed too far!

The Overview:  Beware of Spoilers…

Harry Morgan was a war hero that doesn’t mean much any more.  Times are tough. Morgan is a charter boat captain with a wife, two little girls and a stack of bills he needs to take care of.  When a sleazy lawyer offers Morgan a chance at some easy money, he turns it down.  Morgan knows something legal will come along.

And it does.  Morgan gets a week’s rental from a business man wanting a fishing trip to Mexico.  Things start to go sideways when the man unexpectedly brings along his sexy, flirtatious girlfriend.  The woman is trouble and she knows it.

In Mexico, the man decides to cut his trip short and agrees to pay Morgan in the morning before they head back.  The next day Morgan learns that the man skipped out and flew back to the states.  Morgan is stuck in Mexico with no money, the guy’s girlfriend and no way home.

Of course the easy money offer is still available…

The Breaking Point is an under-rated gem.  If you like noir, then this is for you.

This is Garfield’s best role.  Patricia Neal is perfect as the sexy, trouble-making young woman with experience beyond her years.  Thaxter is great as the wife trying to keep things together as her husband makes increasingly bad decisions.  Juano Hernandez, as Morgan’s best friend, isn’t there with Walter Brennan comic relief.

I can’t believe I waited so long to finally watch The Breaking Point.  Part of the problem may be the poster and trailer aren’t good indicators of how great the film is.  And that final scene!

Rating:

RIP – John Saxon

John Saxon died yesterday of pneumonia. He was 83. Saxon is best known to fans for his role as Roper in Enter the Dragon, but that was just one of his nearly 200 acting credits. 

Saxon began is career in the mid 1950s playing teen idol parts.  In the 60s, Saxon alternated between movies and guest starring television roles.  In 1972, Saxon co-starred with Clint Eastwood in Joe Kidd and the following year with Bruce Lee and Jim Kelly in Enter the Dragon.  Saxon continued to alternate between movie and tv roles for the rest of his career.  Any time Saxon was in the production, you know it got just better.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to John Saxon’s family, friends and fans.

“The Bay of Silence” Poster and Trailer are Here!

The Bay of Silence stars Claes Bang (who was excellent in Dracula), Olga Kurylenko and Brian Cox.  Above is the poster and below the trailer.

Will believes his wife Rosalind is innocent of their son’s suspected murder, only to discover the devastating truth behind her past links her to another unsolved crime.

Starring: Claes Bang, Olga Kurylenko and Brian Cox
Directed by: Paula van der Oest

Keanu Reeves is Teaming with Boom Studios for BRZRKR Comic Series!

That’s Rafael Grampá’s cover art to the first issue of BRZRKR coming to a comic shop near you this October. 

Does the hero look a bit like Keanu Reeves?  He should since Keanu is co-writing the 12 issue series with Matt Kindt.  Artist Alessandro Vitti, colorist Bill Crabtree, and letterer Clem Robins will take care of the interior art.  Here’s the synopsis for the series…

The man known only as Berzerker is half-mortal and half-God, cursed and compelled to violence…even at the sacrifice of his sanity. But after wandering the world for centuries, Berzerker may have finally found a refuge – working for the U.S. government to fight the battles too violent and too dangerous for anyone else. In exchange, Berzerker will be granted the one thing he desires – the truth about his endless blood-soaked existence…and how to end it.

Click over to Boom Studios to learn more about the series, see more art and read what Keanu has to say!

“Hard Kill” starring Jesse Metcalfe & Bruce Willis – the Poster and Trailer are Here!

The poster and trailer for Hard Kill are here.  Pretty generic looking on both counts, don’t ya think?

The work of billionaire tech CEO Donovan Chalmers is so valuable that he hires mercenaries to protect it, and a terrorist group kidnaps his daughter just to get it.

“Project Power” Starring Jamie Foxx – The Poster and Trailer are Here!

Here we have the Project Power poster and trailer which asks, “What would you risk for five minutes of power?”  I’m not sure, but I will risk a couple of hours to check out this movie.

What would you risk for five minutes of pure power?

On the streets of New Orleans, word begins to spread about a mysterious new pill that unlocks superpowers unique to each user. The catch: You don’t know what will happen until you take it. While some develop bulletproof skin, invisibility, and super strength, others exhibit a deadlier reaction. But when the pill escalates crime within the city to dangerous levels, a local cop (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) teams with a teenage dealer (Dominique Fishback) and a former soldier fueled by a secret vendetta (Jamie Foxx) to fight power with power and risk taking the pill in order to track down and stop the group responsible for creating it.

“Jaws” Trivia!

Dan Grant, at Top 10 Films, in honor of the 45th anniversary of the release of the first summer blockbuster presents: 45 Things About “Jaws” You Might Not Know.  Before you click over, here are three of my favorite Jaws facts as well as my thoughts on each…

4. Richard Dreyfuss’ casting – Richard Dreyfuss originally turned down the role of Hooper because he thought making the movie would be a pain in the ass. After he saw himself on big screen in the Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz he thought he was so awful that his career would be over and he immediately called Steven Spielberg to ask if he could have the role.

(Funny the difference a day or perceived poor performance can make. – Craig)

9. Percy Rodriguez’s iconic trailer voice-over – Percy Rodriguez did the voice-over in the trailer for Jaws. When the producers first came to him, they wanted an upbeat, happy-sounding and almost adventurous voice-over for the trailer. It was Percy’s idea to have a darker and brooding and ominous sounding tone. It worked a treat.

He eventually got his way and many people credit lines in the trailer like “there is a creature that is alive today which has survived millions of years of evolution” and “it was as if God created the devil and gave him (dramatic pause) Jaws”, as major reasons why people flocked to the theatre to see it.

(Watching the “Jaws” trailer attached to this fact at Grant’s post it reminded me of how, in the pre-internet days, important a trailer was to the success of a film.  The “Jaws” trailer made you want to see the film.  Much credit needs to go to Percy Rodriguez.  He was right to push for a darker, more ominous tone! – Craig)

14. Dreyfuss’ surprise – Richard Dreyfuss was so disillusioned with the movie that after his time on set was done, he proceeded to trash it on several different talk shows in the United States. But when he saw the film opening day, after he left the theatre, he jumped into Roy Scheider’s arms and exclaimed “He did it! He did it!” Roy asked him who he meant and he said “Spielberg, Spielberg actually did it!”

(Sounds like Dreyfuss was going through a period of seeing the glass half-full.  He only agreed to star in “Jaws” because he thought he was so terrible in his previous film that he wouldn’t be offered more roles.  Then filming wraps on “Jaws” and Dreyfess downplays how good it is… until he sees it with an audience. – Craig)