On September 30, 1948, actor Robert Mitchum (Story of G.I. Joe, Cape Fear) was released from prison following his charge of marijuana possession. Mitchum was an up-and-coming star in Hollywood. He had received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor two years earlier for his role in Story of G.I. Joe, and appeared in four feature films in 1947, including Pursued, Crossfire, Desire Me, and Out of the Past. He also worked with director Robert Wise (The Day the Earth Stood Still, West Side Story) in a western film earlier in 1948 called Blood on the Moon. His recent string of success, however, only made his bust on September 1st that much worse.
Mitchum was found with actress Lila Leeds (Lady in the Lake, Wild Weed) and dancer Vicki Evans. With the 60s still more than a decade out, and public opinion towards marijuana still very much in the light of propaganda films like Reefer Madness (1936), the young actor feared the very public arrest would effectively end his acting career. It didn’t help that industry names like Howard Hughes (Scarface, The Outlaw), David O. Selznick (King Kong, Gone with the Wind), and the press constantly berated him during this period. But his famous bust that could have completely ended his career ended up doing just the opposite. Continue reading →
A new documentary titled De Palma is seeing release this week from directors Jake Paltrow (The Good Night, Boardwalk Empire) and Noah Baumbach (The Squid and the Whale, Greenberg). The film is a chronicle of the life and work of acclaimed director Brian De Palma, whose major body of work has spanned from the 1970s to the present with films like Carrie (1976), a Stephen King novel, Scarface (1983) with Al Pacino (The Godfather, Scent of a Woman) and Michelle Pfeiffer (The Fabulous Baker Boys, Batman Returns), and The Untouchables (1987) with Kevin Costner (Waterworld, Dances with Wolves), Robert De Niro (Goodfellas, Casino), and Sean Connery (Diamonds are Forever, The Hunt for Red October). Despite all of the acclaim and success earned by these films, De Palma is one of the many artists who has never been recognized by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The Untouchables saw Sean Connery win his first Oscar in 1988, Continue reading →
Tom Cruise (Top Gun, War of the Worlds) is back on the big screen this week in yet another outing as Impossible Mission Force leader Ethan Hunt in Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation. This is the fifth installment in the MI series that started back in 1996 with director Brian De Palma (Scarface, The Untouchables) and screenwriter David Koepp‘s (Jurassic Park, Spider-Man) big screen adaptation of the popular TV series. Since then directors like John Woo, J.J. Abrams, and Brad Bird have stepped in to helm additional sequels, and now Rogue Nation is playing in theaters nationwide from Oscar-winning writer/director Christopher McQuarrie (The Usual Suspects, Jack Reacher). Joining Cruise in the supporting cast are actors Jeremy Renner (The Avengers, The Bourne Legacy), Simon Pegg (Shaun of the Dead, Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol), Rebecca Ferguson (The White Queen, Hercules), and Ving Rhames (Pulp Fiction, Con Air). This time out Hunt and company must take on the Syndicate, a rogue international group of special agents that are out to kill all the members of IMF. Reviews have been pretty positive thus far; fans of the series report lots of action, but you don’t need to have seen the previous films necessarily to enjoy it. Anyway, check it out on the big screen today!
Al Pacino‘s new film Danny Collins is now expanding to theaters across the country. Scripted and directed by Dan Fogelman (Crazy Stupid Love, The Guilt Trip), the film finds Pacino (The Godfather, Scarface) portraying aging rock star Danny Collins, who, still enraptured in his younger rock-n-roll lifestyle, receives a never delivered letter from his manager, addressed to Collins from former Beatle John Lennon. Having read and been inspired by Lennon’s comments on life, family and friends, Collins sets out on a mission to rediscover his own family and make some long-delayed amends. Co-starring in the film is 4-time Oscar nominee Annette Bening (American Beauty, The Kids Are Alright), Golden Globe winner Jennifer Garner (Juno, Dallas Buyers Club), Bobby Cannavale (The Station Agent, Chef), and Oscar-winner Christopher Plummer (The Sound of Music, A Beautiful Mind). Check out the trailer here on MADE, then be sure to see it on the big screen!
Academy Award-winner Al Pacino (The Godfather, Scarface) will be back on the big screen this month in a new dramatic-comedy from writer/director Dan Fogelman (Crazy Stupid Love, Last Vegas) titled Danny Collins. Inspired by a true story, the film follows an aging rock star, Danny Collins, who discovers an undelivered letter addressed to him from John Lennon from 40 years earlier. Inspired by Lennon’s words, Collins sets out on a mission to reconnect with his estranged family and discover life outside of the rock-n-roll world of sex, drugs, alcohol, and constant publicity. Co-starring in the film are actors Annette Benning (American Beauty, The Kids Are Alright), Jennifer Garner (Pearl Harbor, Dallas Buyers Club), Bobby Cannavale (The Station Agent, Chef), and Christopher Plummer (The Sound of Music, A Beautiful Mind). The film will see a limited release this March 20th before it shows at the Cleveland International Film Festival on the 29th; check your local theaters for showtime information. You can see the trailer here on MADE; John Lennon fans can also check out the soundtrack, which will feature several of his hit songs. Enjoy!
If you haven’t had a chance to go and see A Most Violent Year yet, you should be aware of what you’re walking into before you go. While the movie, itself, is really well done, and, in my opinion is a very good movie, if you’re expecting a big violent mafia flick, you’re going to be extremely disappointed. Writer/director J.C. Chandor‘s screenplay was very well written; he conveys the themes of the movie very clearly and the plot allows for a refreshing look of the hardworking American immigrant and the belief in strong family values. But as far as violence goes, the movie is definitely lacking, especially considering the title is A Most Violent Year, which really only relates to 1981 when the story takes place, one of New York City’s most violent years on record. Other than that it felt like the same story could have been put into modern times and it still would have made sense. All that aside, the acting performances by Golden Globe nominees Oscar Isaac (Robin Hood, Inside Llewyn Davis) and Jessica Chastain (The Help, Interstellar), and also that of supporting cast members Albert Brooks (Taxi Driver, Drive) and David Oyelowo (Lincoln, Selma) are outstanding, and Chandor’s filmmaking is exceptional and well deserved of recognition. So if you go in expecting more of a Coppola (The Godfather)-like movie as opposed to a Scorsese (Mean Streets, Goodfellas) or DePalma (Scarface, The Untouchables)-like movie, I think you’ll really enjoy it. Here’s the trailer one more time.
It seems like it’s been a while since we’ve seen Oscar-winner Al Pacino grace the screen in a lead role, but next year’s directorial debut for writer/director Dan Fogelman (Cars, Crazy, Stupid Love) will see the veteran actor in just that. Pacino will appear as Danny Collins, an aging rock star who, still living his sex, drugs, and alcohol-fueld rock-n-roll lifestyle, receives a 40-year old undelivered letter from his manager that was written to him by John Lennon. Inspired by Lennon’s words, Collins sets out to make amends with his family and loved ones and begin a new period in his life. Based on a true story, the film co-stars Annette Bening (Mars Attacks!, American Beauty), Jennifer Garner (Pearl Harbor, Dallas Buyer’s Club), Bobby Cannavale (The Station Agent, Chef), and Christopher Plummer (The Sound of Music, A Beautiful Mind) as Collins’ agent. Not necessarily Scarface-material, but I’m sure Pacino will make it worth watching. You can watch the trailer here on MADE, stay tuned for an exact release date.
Making two or more sequels to a movie is not something people necessarily enjoy or frown upon; if the franchise is good like Fast & Furious or Star Wars (for a time), then what the hell right? Nobody even cares about new James Bond movies coming out anymore, mostly because there has been a new Bond movie coming out every few years since 1962, but you get the point. That’s all well and all but to remake a movie three times over? That’s a bit of a stretch, but it does seem to actually be happening. Modern audiences mostly familiarize Scarface with Al Pacino’s drug-enraged character Tony Montana in director Brian De Palma’s 1983 classic, but that film is actually a remake of a 1932 film of the same name that followed the story of two southside hoodlums, Johnny Lovo (Osgood Perkins) and Tony Camonte (Paul Muni), who rose to the top of the organized crime syndicate in Chicago in the 1920s.
Pacino’s character was an immigrant from Cuba who also climbed the organized crime latter in Miami during the cocaine infusion of the 1980s, and now another story of a young immigrant rising up in the Los Angeles mob is in the works at Universal. The project will be directed by Pablo Larrain, and follow an immigrant from Mexico whose name will also be Tony. A look into the origins of Tony’s character is said to be explored in this new film, but other than that it seems to follow the same story line as the others: abuse the system to achieve the American Dream! I kind of hope this doesn’t happen; no one will ever top Pacino’s character, so why ruin a good thing?