Robert Forster

originalgangstas01

There continues to be talk of the all-women version of The Expendables, so why not an all-black version? Actually, there already kinda was one way back in 1996. Blaxploitation stars Fred Williamson (Black Caesar; Hell Up in Harlem), Pam Grier (Foxy Brown; Coffy), Jim Brown (Slaughter; The Dirty Dozen), Ron O’Neal (Super Fly) and Richard Roundtree (Shaft) and director Larry Cohen (Black Caesar; Hell Up in Harlem) came together for a movie titled Original Gangstas. It was sort of what The Expendables is all about now — nostalgia for the action movies of the ’80s and early ’90s with a round up of legendary action heroes who are now middle-aged or older — but then, it was in tribute to the African-American-focused genre of the ’70s as well as an answer to the rise of the urban crime films that broke out through the early work of John Singleton, the Hughes Brothers and Mario Van Peebles, the son of Blaxploitation legend Melvin Van Peebles. Eighteen years later, Original Gangstas is getting a sequel called Original Gangstas 2: Old School Gangstas. And it’s looking to the fans to help get it off the ground. Williamson, who is at the helm this time and also the writer of the script, has gone on Kickstarter to ask for $1.2M. That may seem like a lot, but it’s only a third of the budget of the original (which sure doesn’t look like it cost that much) and still $50K less than Spike Lee’s Kickstarter goal for […]

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Breaking Bad Granite State

There was no way writer/director Peter Gould’s “Granite State” could top last week’s whirlwind. The writers may have known that, which is why yesterday’s installment was low-key by design — it’s the calm before the storm. Instead of the slowly churning and building dread the show offers at its best, the events of the episode were sped through — too quickly — to set up the circumstances for next week’s series finale (sob). (Kudos, by the way, to the Breaking Bad cast and crew for its Best Drama and Best Supporting Actress (Anna Gunn) Emmy wins. They’re long overdue — and still not enough.) Freedom dueled with greed in “Granite State,” and the latter won every freaking time. Todd, Lydia, and Walt were all given choices this episode, and their more craven selves prevailed at every turn.

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Jack Reynor

What is Casting Couch? It’s a casting roundup that’s knee deep in nostalgia as it reports on movies based on comic books and toys from its childhood. Due to a little bit of inspiration from the Internet, Michael Bay gave Mark Wahlberg a pretty big part in his upcoming fourth Transformers movie. It’s always been understood that Wahlberg was playing a placeholder character though, who would pass the franchise off to a couple of young kids who would be pushed into the forefront as it went forward. Well, today Bay announced that he’s found the male half of this new duo. Apparently little known Irish actor Jack Reynor is his guy. Bay says that he saw Reynor in an Irish movie called What Richard Did, which a quick Googling tells me has nothing to do with acting opposite giant robots, so let’s all hope he knows what he’s talking about.

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Not much has been reported about The Descendants director Alexander Payne’s next film, Nebraska. So far the only info floating around the net about it has been a brief plot synopsis and some casting rumors. Last October, we reported on a rumor saying that Payne wants to shoot the movie in black and white, but the studio is requiring him to get a big name in the starring role if he’s going to take a chance on turning off mainstream audiences like that. There’s also some rumors that they’re looking at convincing Gene Hackman to star, but that’s probably a pipe dream. Now that The Descendants has come and gone, however, it’s probably getting to be time for Payne to hunker down and start work on this project in earnest; and ComingSoon sat the man down and had a chat with him about just that. Payne described Nebraska by saying, “It’s a father/son road trip from Billings, Montana to Lincoln, Nebraska, but it gets waylaid at a crappy town in central Nebraska where the father grew up and where he has some old scores to settle.” He went on to explain, “It’s just a little comedy. It’s nothing fancy. Nothing too ambitious. It’s a nice little comedy.” That’s not exactly the most exciting way I’ve ever heard someone describe one of their movies. Payne’s talking to the movie press here, doesn’t he want to build up some buzz?

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Over Under: A New Perspective on Films New and Old

I break Quentin Tarantino’s career up into two stages. The first stage consists of his first three films, which are all crime movies, are all set in L.A., and which all just feel very much like “Quentin Tarantino movies” (a genre unto itself back in the 90s, if you lump in all the pretenders). After those first three films, he took a pretty lengthy six year break, and then he came back and started exploring other genres, making movies that were largely homages to the B-cinema he enjoyed in his youth. While there’s a soft spot in my heart for most of Inglorious Basterds, in general I prefer that first stage of Tarantino’s career to what came after. And as far as that first trilogy of crime films goes, I think most people are in agreement that Pulp Fiction is the masterpiece. It was the one that broke down the doors of the movie industry and ushered indie filmmaking into the mainstream, and it’s the one most often referenced when people talk about his career; so I’m not going to focus on that one here. I’m going to focus instead on Tarantino’s debut feature Reservoir Dogs, which was the film that first got heads turned in his direction, and which still gets mentioned right alongside Pulp Fiction as badass things from the 90s. And also I’m going to focus on Jackie Brown, which is kind of the forgotten Tarantino film. This is one that doesn’t get brought up much these […]

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Movie News: Justified Returns

What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly movie news column that doesn’t mess around. If it tells you to leave town or else it will shoot you on the spot, then you’d better believe that it will shoot you on the spot. Lucky for you, it would never ask you to leave town. All it asks is that you come back and read on a nightly basis. Or else. We open tonight with a bit of news for your boob tube. FX has set dates for the return of Justified and Archer, two favorite shows of mine. Both are coming back in January. They’ve also given the green light to an animated comedy called Unsupervised, which features the likes of Justin Long, Kristen Bell, Fred Armisen, Romany Malco, Kaitlin Olson and Alexa Vega. It’s about teens who are forced to navigate through life without parental supervision. Either way, did I mention that Justified is coming back? Walton Goggins, man…

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Editor’s Note: This review was published on October 18 as part of our New York Film Festival 2011 coverage. With The Descendants hitting (limited) theaters this week, we’ve gone ahead and republished it for those of you who need further reason to check out a George Clooney film that takes place in Hawaii. After seven years of waiting, Alexander Payne finally has another feature film coming to the big screen. While the wait has been tumultuous and tedious, seven years for films like The Descendants makes the anticipation worth it. Heartfelt, sweet, funny, touching, and every other adjective that describes Payne’s movies applies to his fifth feature. Like his past work, this is another exploration of a search for manhood and meaning. Payne has a real knack for writing men who have been reduced by women. Matt King (George Clooney in another career-best performance) has a line about how all the women in his life bring him down; that applies to the thought process behind all of Payne’s leads, from Sideways to About Schmidt to Election. Both uncomfortably and honestly, the writer-director understands emasculated men who, for lack of a better phrase, are simply trying to get their shit together.

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Alexander Payne’s next planned film, Nebraska, is about “a geriatric gin-hound of a dad who takes his estranged son with him from Montana to Publisher’s Clearing House headquarters, with a detour through Omaha, Nebraska, in order to claim his million-dollar sweepstakes prize.” Personally, I love Alexander Payne’s painfully realist aesthetic and pitch black humor, so this is a project that I’m interested in. When I hear that Payne wants to shoot the film in black and white, I get even more intrigued. Pre-production has already hit a snag, though. Apparently the studio will only let Payne film it in black and white if he gets a big name star to attach himself as the father. That might be a problem, except that we’re dealing with a director whose upcoming release The Descendants is doing well on the festival circuit, gathering some Oscar buzz, and improving his already well-respected position in the film industry. Surely he must have someone in mind for this role that he can convince to sign, right? Well, word has it that he has a few people on his short list, and any one of them would be awesome. The list reportedly consists of Robert Forster, Robert Duvall, and Jack Nicholson. Any of these actors would be great news in my mind, and Nicholson has already worked with Payne for About Schmidt, so that pairing isn’t unlikely at all.  There is, however, a fourth name on the list that’s really got me excited. Apparently Payne is looking to get the retired-from-acting […]

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The antidote for your boring day (at least your boring day today) is this new trailer for Girl Walks Into a Bar which might seem like another sequel in the sequence of Sebastian Gutierrez’s Vagina Dialogues (aka Women in Trouble and Elektra Luxx), but even though a lot of the actors are the same, this one seems to take place in a new universe altogether. This trailer is a hell of a lot of fun, which is why I love Gutierrez’s movies. They’re smart, wacky, ridiculous and heartfelt. Plus, there are multitudes of remarkably beautiful women in various states of undress showing off their acting chops like there’s no tomorrow. Write a strongly worded letter to Congress, because there just isn’t anything wrong with that. Check out the trailer for yourself:

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American Grindhouse

American Grindhouse was my most anticipated film of SXSW 2010. I have studied grindhouse and exploitation cinema with the fervor of a doctoral candidate. But my research has been limited to simply getting my hands on as many of the films as possible so it’s all based on knowledge of the product. So the documentary American Grindhouse seemed gift-wrapped for me.

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ghosts-of-girlfriends-1

‘Ghosts of Girlfriends Past’ is a bad movie that nonetheless interestingly (and most likely unintentionally) dissects Matthew McConaughey’s archetypal onscreen persona.

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Heroes: The Eclipse, Part 1

The heroes prepare for the impending solar eclipse that will change everything. The only question is: are you still watching?

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published: 04.17.2014
B-
published: 04.17.2014
D+
published: 04.17.2014
B-
published: 04.16.2014
B+

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