Category: Celebs

“Lansky” Starring Harvey Keitel – The Poster and Trailer are Here!

How often do we get a thoughtful, subtle poster like the one above for Lansky?  The trailer looks good and Harvey Keitel is always a plus.  Deal me in.

David Stone (Sam Worthington), a renowned but down-on-his-luck writer, desperately needs a break. His luck changes when he receives a surprise call from Meyer Lansky (Academy Award®-nominee Harvey Keitel), the Jewish Godfather of organized crime. The retired gangster spins a dizzying tale, revealing the untold truth about his life as the notorious boss of Murder Inc. and the National Crime Syndicate. For decades, authorities have been trying to locate Lansky’s alleged fortune, hundreds of millions gone. This is their last chance to capture the aging gangster before he dies; but Lansky, as always, is one step ahead of the FBI, sending them on a wild chase, evading and outsmarting them at every turn.

Starring: Harvey Keitel, Sam Worthington, Annasophia Robb, Minka Kelly, John Magaro, Jackie Cruz
Directed by: Eytan Rockaway

“The Power of the Title Sequence” – Zack Snyder Film School #1

In ‘Snyder School,’ Zack Snyder takes us on a four episode journey into his groundbreaking creative process as a filmmaker. In Episode 1, Zack discusses his approach to creating a title sequence, from storyboard sketches to special effects, in Army of the Dead, as well as 300, Watchmen, and Justice League.

The video is interesting because it takes us behind the scenes to see not only Zack Snyder’s thought process going into the production of his title sequences, but the storyboards he creates and the tools that he uses.  I wish more directors put thought into their title sequences since they can really set the mood for a movie.

When you think back to the great title sequences, what movies come to mind? For me it is The Great Race, A, Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, all of the wonderful Saul Bass title sequences, S7ven, as well as Snyder’s Dawn of the Dead, 300 and Army of the Dead.

“Last Night in Soho” – A Film by Edgar Wright – The Poster and Trailer are Here!

The poster and trailer for Last Night in Soho are here.  I’m not 100% sold on either, but because the movie is co-written and directed by Edgar Wright, I’ll give it a shot.  Wright’s work in creating Baby Driver was so cool and innovative, I’ll trust him on Last Night in Soho.

When the past lets you in, the truth will come out. Directed by Edgar Wright, watch the trailer for #LastNightInSoho. In theaters this October.

Edgar Wright’s psychological thriller about a young girl, passionate in fashion design, who is mysteriously able to enter the 1960s where she encounters her idol, a dazzling wannabe singer. But 1960s London is not what it appears, and time seems to fall apart with shady consequences…

“Gunpowder Milkshake” – The Poster & Trailer are Here!

The poster and trailer for Gunpowder Milkshake are here.  I like the title and poster.  The trailer is action-packed and sets up and interesting story.  The cast (Karen Gillan, Lena Headey, Michelle Yeoh, Angela Bassett, Carla Gugino, and Paul Giamatti) is excellent.

You hear a “but” coming, don’t you?

But… everything about Gunpowder Milkshake screams John Wick but with Women. Keanu becomes Karen.  Ian McShane becomes Paul Giamatti. The Continental hotel becomes a library.  The High Table becomes the Firm.  Scene after scene looks adapted/lifted from John Wick movies.  Heck, they even use the same color schemes.  

Is it homage or ripoff?  Will Gunpowder Milkshake be good?  I guess we’ll have to watch to see.  

Sam (KAREN GILLAN) was only 12 years old when her mother Scarlet (LENA HEADEY), an elite assassin, was forced to abandon her. Sam was raised by The Firm, the ruthless crime syndicate her mother worked for. Now, 15 years later, Sam has followed in her mother’s footsteps and grown into a fierce hit-woman.

But when a high-risk job goes wrong, Sam must choose between serving The Firm and protecting the life of an innocent 8-year-old girl – Emily (CHLOE COLEMAN). With a target on her back, Sam has only one chance to survive: Reunite with her mother and her lethal associates, The Librarians (MICHELLE YEOH, ANGELA BASSETT and CARLA GUGINO).

These three generations of women must now learn to trust each other, stand up to The Firm and their army of henchmen, and raise hell against those who could take everything from them.

“Army of the Dead” A Film by Zach Snyder: The Making of the Film – Book Companion Drops June 1st!

Army of the Dead: A Film by Zack Snyder: The Making of the Film is going to be a must-have for every diehard fan of the movie.  Here’s the description…

Army of the Dead: A Film by Zach Snyder: The Making of the Film is the official companion to Zack Snyder’s latest zombie film.

From the director of Dawn of the Dead, Watchmen, and Man of Steel, comes Army of the Dead, Zack Snyder’s eagerly awaited return to the zombie scene, starring Dave Bautista. Following a zombie outbreak in Las Vegas, a group of mercenaries take the ultimate gamble, venturing into the quarantine zone to pull off the greatest heist ever attempted.

Army of the Dead: A Film By Zach Snyder: The Making of the Film takes readers behind the scenes of this much-anticipated film and reveals the locations, characters, and zombies. The book is full to the brim with exclusive on-set photography, costume designs, storyboards by Zack Snyder, and more, and accompanied by cast and crew interviews.

My order is in.  

“Army of the Dead” / Z-View

Army of the Dead (2021)

Director: Zack Snyder

Screenplay: Zack Snyder & Shay Hatten and Joby Harold.

Stars:  Dave Bautista, Ella Purnell, Ana de la Reguera, Omari Hardwick, Theo Rossi, Matthias Schweighöfer, Nora Arnezeder, Hiroyuki Sanada, Garret Dillahunt, Tig Notaro, Raúl Castillo, Huma Qureshi and Richard Cetrone.

The Pitch: “Zack Snyder wants to create a zombie movie to be a tent-pole for other movies, animation and who knows what.  The first film will be called Army of the Dead!”

Tagline: Always Bet on Dead.

The Overview:  Beware of Spoilers…

Las Vegas has been overrun by zombies.  The city has been walled off by the US government and is set for nuclear destruction in 48 hours.  The clock is ticking…

Scott Ward is former military.  Most of his team survived the zombie outbreak in Vegas when they were sent in to save high ranking government officials.  Ward was given a medal for his efforts.  Now he flips burgers in a diner.  So when super-rich Bly Tanaka offers Ward $50 million to put together a team to enter the city and get $200 million from Bly’s casino vault, Ward accepts the offer.

Ward brings together his crew: former members of his military squad plus a helicopter pilot to fly them out, an adrenaline junkie, a safe cracker and a “coyote” who knows how to get into the city. Odds are they will all die, but the team agrees the risk is worth the reward.  Tanaka provides them with schematics of the safe, weapons and his security captain who will go along to make sure that they don’t run off with all the cash should they survive.

As the team moves into the city they learn that not all zombies are created equal.  Some are fast moving, with the ability to think and communicate with the other zombies.  They don’t talk and there is almost a hive mentality about them.  Also, not everyone on Ward’s team has the same outcome in mind.  There are plot twists and betrayals.  Friendships form, relationships are tested and most will not survive.

I really liked Zack Snyder’s Army of the Dead.  The action starts immediately.  The opening scenes hint at how the zombie apocalypse started and how deadly the zombies are.  Snyder uses the credits to creatively show the fall of Vegas.  This is definitely a Zack Snyder movie — if you’re not a fan of his work, you probably won’t like this.  If you are a fan, then there’s a lot to love.

The cast is excellent.  Because there are so many characters, each with a unique personality, it is important to get the right actors for each role.  Several standout: Bautista, Purnell, Hardwick & Schweighöfer, Rossi, Dillahunt and Notaro shine.

Snyder isn’t just making a movie, he’s creating a universe.  There are two Army of the Dead prequels in development (one animated!) and there is the possibility of a sequel.  Snyder doesn’t give us all the answers — instead he provides us with enough information to fill in the blanks. There are nods to other movies (Aliens, Planet of the Apes, etc.).  The soundtrack is excellent.  If you’re just looking for a fun ride, Army of the Dead provides one.  However, if you like to look deeper into the film. there’s a lot there to discuss.  Were those UFOs in the opening credits?  What about the robot zombie?  What was it doing there?  Where did it come from? (And the exposition of the robot is so subtle, I missed it on the first viewing.)  How did the first zombie get created?  And THAT ending!!

Are there nits to pick?  Sure.

There’s a character that does things that are stupid.  Yet, I would argue that they are consistent with what we’ve seen from her.  Also, if the hero did the same thing (which he does), we’re okay with it.

The length of the movie.  It clocks in at 2 hours and 28 minutes.  Some people have complained about the length.  I thought the time flew by.  I was entertained and didn’t think it was too long.  In fact I’m looking forward to more time in that universe.

A character survives something that should have killed him.  There are a couple of explanations to that, but to discuss them here would be to give too much away.

The team doesn’t seem overly concerned with the clock ticking down the the nuke.

I believe that all of these quibbles can be explained.  I loved Army of the Dead.  I’ve seen it twice and liked it even better the second time.

Sly Stallone’s Most Underrated Characters!

Kacie Lillejord, at ScreenRant created her list of the 10 Best Underrated Sylvester Stallone Characters.  I love lists, so I decided to play along.  Using just Lillejord’s choices, I ranked the same characters. (Please note that the higher on the list, the more underrated.)  Afterwards I mention four Stallone characters that didn’t make her list, but would have made mine.

Lillejord

Zablo

10/10 Sergeant Joseph “Joe” Bomowski from Stop or My Mom Will Shoot

10/10 Sheriff Freddy Heflin from Cop Land

9/10 Sergeant Deke DaSilva from Nighthawks

09/10 Sergeant Deke DaSilva from Nighthawks

8/10 Judge Joseph Dredd from Judge Dredd

08/10 Gabriel “Gabe” Walker from Cliffhanger

7/10 Frank The Repairman from Las Vegas

07/10 Lieutenant Marion Cobretti from Cobra

6/10 Sheriff Freddy Heflin from Cop Land

06/10 Frank The Repairman from Las Vegas

5/10 Gabriel “Gabe” Walker from Cliffhanger

05/10 Lincoln Hawk from Over the Top

4/10 Lieutenant Marion Cobretti from Cobra

04/10 Ray Tango from Tango & Cash

3/10 Sergeant John Spartan from Demolition Man

03/10 Sergeant John Spartan from Demolition Man

2/10 Ray Tango from Tango & Cash

02/10 Judge Joseph Dredd from Judge Dredd

1/10 Lincoln Hawk from Over the Top

01/10 Sergeant Joseph “Joe” Bomowski from Stop or My Mom Will Shoot

Characters that didn’t make Lillejord’s list that would have made mine:

  • Jack Carter from Get Carter:  Jack Carter has so much potential plus Sly had scenes that showcased some of his best acting.
  • Cosmo Carboni from Paradise Alley:  Wise-cracking and cynical but with a kind heart.    
  • Robert Rath from Assassins:  Sly played an intelligent assassin who wanted out.  This character had a lot of potential.
  • Jimmy “Bobo” Bonomo from Bullet to the Head:  Sly played an assassin who came up from the streets and wasn’t ready for the “modern” world.  I liked the character and would have liked to have seen more.

Who’d I miss?

“Seinfeld” That Trivia You May Not Know!

If you like Seinfeld and you like trivia, do I have a post for you!  Jennifer M. Wood at Mental Floss posted 41 Facts About Seinfeld.  Before you click over, here are three of my favorites and my thoughts on each…

JASON ALEXANDER DIDN’T THINK SEINFELD HAD A CHANCE. (Isn’t that exactly what George would have thought as well? – Craig)

THE REAL SOUP NAZI SAYS SEINFELD RUINED HIS LIFE. (I never met the real Soup Nazi, but I did see the guy who played him signing at a comic convention.  Interestingly enough, he didn’t appear to like having his photo taken (perhaps because he was selling autographed ones).  What happened next is kind of funny. – Craig)

THE CONTEST” WAS INSPIRED BY A REAL-LIFE CONTEST LARRY DAVID HAD WITH A FRIEND.  (So, the funniest episode of the series was based on a real-life contest.  I feel pretty confident my buddy, who I won’t name to protect the guilty, would lose, uh, hands-down, to ANYONE in that type of contest, – Craig)

“Narco Sub” – The Poster and Trailer are Here!

Everything about Narco Sub screams “drive-in” movie.

Let’s start with the title, Narco Sub.  Definitely let’s you know the type of movie you’re in for.

The trailer even has the old style voice over narration.  The story — a good, family man forced to go alone against a cartel to save his family.  Stars — no “A-List” but a few known “B” list and “Introducing” the new action hero.  Ah, a did you catch Lee Majors in the trailer?  No?  Guess who is listed first on the movie poster?

With that said, Narco Sub might still be a worthy movie.  Some drive-in movies are.  I guess we’ll have to watch it to see.  Who’s with me?

“No Sudden Move” Starring Benicio Del Toro, David Harbour, Ray Liotta, Jon Hamm, and Brendan Fraser! Directed by Steven Soderbergh. The Teaser Trailer is Here!

If No Sudden Move is as good a movie as the teaser looks, then we are in for a masterpiece.  Steven Soderbergh directs Don Cheadle, Benicio Del Toro, David Harbour, Ray Liotta, Jon Hamm, and Brendan Fraser!  No Sudden Move just moved to the front of the must-see class when it premieres on HBOMax, July 1st.  

An all-star cast. A not-so-perfect heist. From Academy Award-winning director Steven Soderbergh, #NoSuddenMove premieres at the #TribecaFestival on June 18. Streaming on HBO Max July 1.

“24” – Surprising Facts That You May Not Know!

When we talk tv shows on the message board, 24 continues to be one of the most popular.  And for good reason.  The series ran for nine seasons, with 204 episodes and earned the 2004 Golden Globe for Best Drama Series and the award for Outstanding Drama Series at the 2006 Primetime Emmy Awards. 

Scott Beggs at Mental Floss must be a fan as well.  He recently posted 25 Surprising Facts About 24.  Before you click over, here are three of my favorites with my thoughts on each… 

24‘S PRODUCERS ALMOST SCRAPPED THE REAL-TIME FORMAT AFTER SEASON 1. (I’m glad that Keifer Sutherland lobbied to keep the real-time format.  It not only made sure that tension was ever-present but it made the show unique. – Craig)

THERE’S A NOD TO STAND BY ME IN 24. Milo Pressman is a character in Stand By Me who owns a junkyard (and a mean junkyard dog). Milo Pressman is also a character in 24. (I did not know this.  I love little Easter Eggs in movies and shows. – Craig) 

THERE WAS ALMOST A 24/DIE HARD CROSSOVER.  (It is interesting that this is listed as a fact.  I posted about this earlier this year in John McClane & Jack Bauer – “Die Hard 24/7” (Proposed Film or Fan’s Dream Team-Up? – Craig)

 

RIP: Charles Grodin

Charles Grodin, the multitalented actor and author, died today at the age of 86 from bone cancer.  Mr. Grodin, whose acting career spanned over 60 years worked in feature films, television and on Broadway. 

His first role was an uncredited part in 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.  He then transitioned to television making guest appearances until his role in the feature film Rosemary’s Baby.  For the rest of his career Charles Grodin alternated between feature films, television movies and tv series.  Along the way, Mr. Grodin wrote plays, books, hosted his own talk show and was a political commentator for 60 Minutes.

Before researching Charles Grodin’s acting resume, I would have said that the first time I saw him was in Rosemary’s Baby.  I would have been wrong.  Prior to that film, Mr. Grodin had made appearances on television programs for well over a decade.  I must have seen him in The F.B.I., Captain Nice, or The Guns of Will Sonnet first. 

My favorite Charles Grodin movie role was in Midnight Run with Robert DeNiro.  I’m surprised there never was a sequel since Midnight Run was so well received by critics and fans.  Other memorable Charles Grodin movie appearances included roles in King Kong, Heaven Can Wait, Seems Like Old Times, and Beethoven

Charles Grodin was able to stay active over the length of his acting career (on stage and screen), had the talent to write plays, memoirs, screenplays, an award-winning television special as well as host his own show — all of this is evidence of his many talents. 

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Charles Grodin’s family, friends and fans.     

“The House Next Door: Meet the Blacks 2” – the Poster and Trailer are Here!

The House Next Door: Meet the Blacks 2 – the Poster and Trailer are Here!  I applaud the poster.  Finally, real artwork and not just photoshopped heads of the movie’s stars.  The trailer has a good mix of humor with a horror theme plus a little blaxploitation thrown in.  Call me crazy, but call me when this movie premieres.  I want to see it.