Category: Celebs

M. Knight Shyamalan’s Films From Best to Worst!

Chris Evangelista at /Film took a swing at ranking M. Knight Shyamalan’s Movies From Worst to Best.  Evangelista took into account all of M. Knight’s films including his newest (Old – which I haven’t seen) and his earliest work (that didn’t see wide release).  I decided to rank Evangelista’s top five to see how we’d compare.  I also included my thoughts on some of M. Knight Shyamalan’s films that didn’t make the top five.

Evangelista

Zablo

5. Split 5. The Village: I liked The Village up until the twist. It just didn’t work for me.
4. Signs 4. Unbreakable: I enjoyed Unbreakable but not as much as most. I need to revisit it.
3. Unbreakable 3. Split: I thought Split was surprisingly good.
2. The Village 2. Signs: I really love Signs, great cast and fun story with scares along the way.
1. The Sixth Sense 1. The Sixth Sense: Absolutely loved it. Proud to say I figured out the twist early on.
  • Lady in the Water: I’ve seen this once and remember liking it better than most folks.
  • Old:  I haven’t seen this and am in no rush to.
  • The Happening:  I had really high hopes for The Happening.  The trailers were creepy and I was excited to get to a theater to experience it.  What a let down The Happening turned out to be. I do remember that the scariest part was the old lady.
  • The Visit: I am a fan of The Visit.  I thought it was pretty good.  The tension builds and builds. It had the M. Knight twist near the end that he is known for.  I’d have included in this in the top five.

J.J. Abrams’ “UFO” Documentary Series – The Poster and Trailer are Here! “Are You Ready?”

J.J. Abrams’ UFO documentary series looks interesting.  If I had Showtime, I’d tune in.  Oh, and I like the movie’s tagline: Are You Ready?

UFO is a four-part docu-series from J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot and Glen Zipper exploring our fascination with unidentified flying objects, and what clandestine influence the American government, lucrative private companies and the military may have in shielding the truth behind extraterrestrial phenomena to further their own agendas. Watch the premiere on Sunday, August 8 at 9/8c on SHOWTIME.

 

 

“Way of the Gun” – Any fans of this film? I am!

This alt movie poster for Way of the Gun by Derek Zimmerman got me thinking about the movie.  I’m a big fan of it, yet Way of the Gun isn’t a movie you often hear discussed.  That’s a shame.

Way of the Gun was written and directed by Christopher McQuarrie lately best known for writing and directing the Mission Impossible mega-hits.  When Way of the Gun came out McQuarrie was best known as the writer of The Usual Suspects and that was enough to get me in the theater.  I wasn’t disappointed.

Way of the Gun also contains a amazing cast: Ryan Phillippe, Benico Del Toro, Juliette Lewis, Taye Diggs, Nicky Katt, Geoffrey Lewis, Scott Wilson, James Caan and Sarah Silverman.  

Here’s the synopsis:

Two criminal drifters without sympathy get more than they bargained for after kidnapping and holding for ransom the surrogate mother of a powerful and shady man.

I think perhaps the opening turned off some folks and they didn’t finish the movie.  I’ve watched Way of the Gun more than a couple of times and enjoyed it more with each revisit.  Perhaps it’s time for another viewing.

Charles Bronson is “The Mechanic” in Nikos Bogris’ Poster!

I really like this poster for Charles Bronson in The Mechanic.  The artist who created it is Nikos Bogris.  You can see more of his work here.  

The original movie poster had the tagline: “The call him the Mechanic.  He has 100 ways to kill… and they all work.”  Bogris left off the tagline, so his poster doesn’t really tell/show you that Bronson is a hit man.  For all we know he is a womanizing auto mechanic.  I still prefer Bogris’ poster to the original.  I hope you like it as well. 

“The Last Duel” directed by Ridley Scott; starring Jodie Comer, Adam Driver, Matt Damon and Ben Affleck – The Poster and Trailer are Here!

I know movie fans will like this one.  We have the poster and trailer for The Last Duel directed by Ridley Scott and starring Jodie Comer, Adam Driver, Matt Damon and Ben Affleck.

Watch the new trailer for “The Last Duel” a tale of betrayal & vengeance set against the brutality of 14th century France directed by Ridley Scott and starring Jodie Comer, Adam Driver, Matt Damon and Ben Affleck. In theaters October 15.

Al Jaffee Appreciates His Fans as Much as They Appreciate Him!

Back in February I posted about something that Sam Vivano (former MAD magazine art director and friend of Al Jaffee) called The Jaffee Project.  Sam’s idea was to get friends and fans of Al Jaffee to send in birthday cards to celebrate Jaffee’s 100th birthday.  Al Jaffee was the artist who invented (and produced for decades) Mad Magazine‘s fold-in page as well as Snappy Answers to Stupid Questions.  

I sent in a birthday card wishing Mr. Jaffee a happy 100th and thanking him for all of the smiles he brought to me and fans around the world with the art he produced art for Mad Magazine.  Little did I know Mr. Jaffee would present me with another smile.  I received the post card above yesterday.  What a cool gesture for Al Jaffee to respond to all of his fans.  I love it when someone you admire turns out to be worthy of the admiration.  

Sly Stallone’s Most Underrated Acting Scenes

Tom at TV Over Mind came up with a list of Five Underrated Acting Scenes from Sylvester Stallone.  While the list or the presentation isn’t the best. (The used the photo above for heading <I added the text for my post> and it isn’t their number one choice.  Also some of the example that they picked were not the best choices for Sly most underrated acting scenes.  With that said, using just his top five, I’ll rank those same picks and then give you what I think are some much better choices.

Tom at TVOM

Craig

5. Talking to Adonis in Creed II during the fight

5. The final fight in Rocky V: Since this is more of a physical scene than an “acting” scene I rated it lower.

4. The final fight in Rocky V

4. The atrium scene in Oscar: Oscar is underrated. Sly’s performance is good but there are many scenes in other movies that should have made the grade.

3. The atrium scene in Oscar

3. Talking to Adonis in Creed II during the fight: Sly has better scenes in Creed II than this one.

2. PTSD scene in Rambo: First Blood

2. The Rocky Balboa speech: This is a good choice and it became so popular I can see why Tom listed it in his first spot.

1. The Rocky Balboa speech

1. PTSD scene in Rambo: First Blood: Sly gives a classic performance and shows that Rambo isn’t all blood and guts.

Other scenes that should have made the cut:

Rocky: So many to choose, but since I am going to limit it to one from each additional film, I’ll go with the scene where Rocky tells Adrian if he is just standing when the final bell sounds…

FIST: Again many to choose from, but this time I’ll go with the scene where Sly is talking to the men about the trucker that was hurt and although the company won’t take care of him., their union will.

Rocky III: The scene on the beach with Talia Shire where she asks Rocky what he’s afraid of and he answers…

Cop Land: So many great scenes… For me it is a toss up between Sly’s scene with Annabella Sciorra or his scene with DeNiro.

Get Carter: Sly’s rooftop scene with Rachel Leigh Cook is one of his best.

Rocky Balboa: Any scene where he is talking about Adrian.

Creed: The scene in the locker room when Rocky explains to Creed why he isn’t going to get treatment for his cancer.  One of Sly’s all-time best scenes.

“Naked Singularity” starring John Boyega and Olivia Cooke – The Poster and Trailer are Here!

Finally a poster that uses art instead of photos!  I like it and the trailer for Naked Singularity starring John Boyega and Olivia Cooke.  Deal me in.

Naked Singularity tells the story of Casi (John Boyega), a promising young NYC public defender whose idealism is beginning to crack under the daily injustices of the very justice system he’s trying to make right. Doubting all he has worked for and seeing signs of the universe collapsing all around him, he is pulled into a dangerous high-stakes drug heist by an unpredictable former client (Olivia Cooke) in an effort to beat the broken system at its own game.

Jordan Harper Talks Shop and Welcomes You to the Hammer Party!

Jordan Harper has worked as a journalist, rock critic and television writer.  He was a writer on Gotham and the lead writer on The Mentalist.  Harper also writes crime fiction.

His crime novel She Rides Shotgun won multiple awards including being named the 2018 Edgar Award Winner for Best Debut NovelShe Rides Shotgun gets my highest recommendation as well.  If you like crime fiction, then you owe it to yourself to take a look.

Eli Cranor interviewed Jordan Harper and it is well worth a read.  Hats off to Cranor for a fun, insightful interview.

Jordan Harper has a newsletter and occasionally posts on Twitter.

“Get Shorty” Trivia!

S

Rob Hunter at Film School Rejects posted 29 Things We Learned from Barry Sonnenfeld’s ‘Get Shorty’ Commentary.  Before you click over here are three of my favorites and my thoughts on each…

They did about thirty takes of the scene where Chili (Travolta) punches Bones (Dennis Farina).  (It always surprises me when I read about shots that require so many takes.  30 seems like a lot to film a scene of a guy getting punched.  It’s not like the actor’s are forgetting dialogue. – Craig)

Sonnenfeld is also a producer on the film because he brought the film to Danny DeVito‘s attention after reading the novel on a cruise. He envisioned DeVito as “the perfect Chili Palmer,” but they went with Travolta who ended up being the perfect Chili Palmer. DeVito bought the rights, and they were off to the races. (DeVito as Chili Palmer?  Even DeVito didn’t see that.  Travolta was the right choice. – Craig)

Preview audiences were asked what their least favorite scenes were, and their number one pick was Ray hitting Fay (Hart) because you should never show a man hitting a woman. “My feeling was, first of all, it’s okay for them not to like this scene. You’re not supposed to hit a woman… (Exactly.  The audience shouldn’t like that scene, but it should stay in the movie.  What kind of bad guys do we end up with if they never do anything the audience doesn’t like? – Craig)

Sly Stallone’s Most Underrated Movies!

Saeed Saeed, at The National News, posted his choices for Sly Stallone’s Most Underrated Movies.  You know how I enjoy lists, so using just Saeed’s choices, here are how I’d rank them.  

Saeed

Zablo

1. Nighthawks (1981)

1. Nighthawks (1981): Ahead of it’s time and solid through and through.

2. Cobra (1986)

2. Cop Land (1997): One of Sly’s finest performances and he’s in with heavy hitters. Sly more than holds his own.

3. Over the Top (1987)

3. Over the Top (1987): Granted it’s a sentimental story that stretches credibility, but it is not as bad as many would believe. That’s the definition of underrated.

4. Demolition Man (1993)

4. Demolition Man (1993): The opening had so much potential but ventures too far into silliness for me. Plus fans love Demolition Man.

5. Cop Land (1997)

5. Cobra (1986): Had soooo much potential. Cool character, cool idea for a movie but needed to be fleshed out more. Still fans dig it.

Saeed’s list is a good one. If I had created the list I would have put Sly’s Get Carter in the first spot. Not only does it contain scenes with some of Sly’s finest acting, but the cast is solid, the story is strong and the director shows great flourishes. Get Carter is not a perfect film (few are), but in my opinion it is Sly’s most underrated.

Action Stars Who Should be in the Next “Fast & Furious” Film!

Ben Sherlock at ScreenRant came up with a list of 10 Action Stars Who Haven’t Appeared in the Fast Saga (But Would Be Perfect).  You know how I am with lists.  So here is Sherlock’s top ten compared to my rankings of his choices and my thoughts on each…

Sherlock

Zablo

10. Jean-Claude Van Damme 10. Sigourney Weaver: Fast & Furious just doesn’t seem like the best fit for her.
09. Jet Li 09. Jackie Chan: I’m a fan, but unless they want to increase the comedy, then Jackie may not be the right one to go to.
08. Sylvester Stallone 08. Liam Neeson: Liam could be a good fit, but he has several films scheduled where he stars so…
07. Liam Neeson

07. Arnold Schwarzenegger: would be a great addition especially if the Rock comes back in the same film.  Who wouldn’t want to see those two square off…

06. Sigourney Weaver 06. Nicolas Cage: Crazy Nick Cage playing a crazy bad guy – sign me up.
05. Keanu Reeves 05. Keanu Reeves: I think with John Wick sequels and BRZRKR lined up, the movie would have to wait. Might be worth it though.
04. Jackie Chan 04. Danny Trejo: Trejo seems like a natural for the F&F universe.
03. Danny Trejo 03. Jean-Claude Van Damme: I can totally see JCVD in a F&F film. He would be a cool villain.
02. Arnold Schwarzenegger 02. Jet Li: Could actually be my top choice. He would provide a lot of opportunity for international appeal and great action scenes.
01. Nicolas Cage 01. Sylvester Stallone: I have to put my main man first. Truthfully, I’d rather see Sly do Hunter or one of his other starring roles though.