This week I’ve been reading and watching a great deal on action sequences. I started off revisiting the Bourne “trilogy” and went on to assess fight scenes and action sequences from the action films I had in my collection. Some are very good – John Wick, Drug War, Ip Man: The Final Fight etc. How about the mute brothers shoot out in Johnny To’s Drug War, superb is all I’ll say. Of course there were some bad with the latter two of Nolan’s Batman films not impressing.
I had Pascal Aka on my mind to and posted a blog on his latest moves along with observations on the action genre. I also reviewed Me, Earl and the Dying Girl so check those out if you will. I saw a The Intern last weekend and started to review it but just got lazy. The film already slams indolent male millennials so I guess I proved Robert De Niro and his old school chivalry ass right. Speaking of De Niro, the American actor, legend if you may, was instrumental in my cinematic enlightenment and a mainstay in my “Scorsese phase” – I may explain that later.
I told myself I wanted to see one great De Niro performance of my time before he, or less likely, I died. De Niro has indulged in a lot of light work in recent times and I can understand that. Take the pay check and the vacation. He is old after all and lord knows he’s done more than his fair share for cinema. I’m still selfish and still holding out hope. He received an awards recognition for his work in David O’Russel’s Silver Linings Playbook but it’s not the same as a Rupert Pupkin or a Travis Bickle. Basically he didn’t really move the needle. I tell you what moved my needle though – his chilling cameo in American Hustle as the Arabic speaking that Mafia overlord. With all this in mind there is a chance he serves us at least one great performance before the dreaded reaper comes nigh – Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman
The Irishman is a Martin Scorsese project that has been in the works for a good while. The film known also known as I Heard You Paint Houses is the story of a hitman in the ‘70s who supposedly had a hand in the murder of Jimmy Hoffa. This will be a welcome return to the crime genre for Scorsese and indeed De Niro (who hasn’t worked with Scorsese for almost 20 years) after collaborations on genre films like Mean Streets and Goodfellas. There is also talk of Al Pacino and Joe Pesci also being involved in this film *reaches for lotion and box of tissues*. It’s almost too good to be true.
De Niro, giving interviews while promoting his new comedy The Intern, noted that the film, currently referred to by its book title I Heard You Paint Houses, will hopefully go before the cameras in 2016:
”We are doing it… We should be doing it sometime next year. We’re slowly, slowly getting it in place.”
The film will be based on the nonfiction book I Heard You Paint Houses: The Story Of The Biggest Mob Hit In History, by Charles Brandt, which Brandt based off of hours of interviews with hitman Frank ‘the Irishman’ Sheeran, who claimed responsibility for killing more than 25 people for the mob. A Mafia film set in 70’s New York directed by Scorsese and starring De Niro (and maybe Pesci and a recently boisterous Pacino) – sign me up! This will be cinema gold and a prime candidate for a Scorsese entree onto the GOAT list for the 2010s. Remember he has a great film(s) for every decade of cinema.
From now till the film is complete, I employ cinema fans everywhere to pray for the health of Scorsese, De Niro, Pacino and Pesci. At least until the film is done. Come to think of it I should probably start working on tribute posts for these actors (maybe minus Pesci, sorry man). I will probably culminate their passing with a breakdown of my “Scorsese Phase” – the ultimate tribute on my part.
Spectre beckons cinephles!
Daniel Craig has been talking about his future as Bond. Craig served us a grittier and compelling incarnation of the iconic British spy since his debut in Casino Royal and he has signed on for one more film as Bond in the series’ 25th entry. I envy this generation that calls Craig their Bond. I grew up on the Pierce Brosnan and the brilliant Golden Eye but it was downhill as we went Tina Turner’s stunning voice to diamond WMD’s and ice palaces. Fans are speculating whether Craig will continue to portray the character beyond his current contract and I feel them. He has been a top Bond.
Craig has discussed his role as Bond with the Mail Online, revealing what drew him to the part and his thoughts about his future involvement. When asked if he would reprise his role after Spectre‘s follow-up, Craig was non-committal:
“It’s getting harder. But such is life. I’ll keep going as long as I’m physically able. I’m contracted for one more – but I’m not going to make predictions.”
With very positive receptions to old men in action roles I hardly think Craig will be pushing it as a 55 year old bond. on the topic of pushing it, look no further than Roger Moore who was almost a parody by the time he was done with Bond.
Before I end this week I talked about Nolan’s possible involvement in a live action Akira film. I kind of referenced Tron when trying to describe the iconic Japanese anime film but after watching Akira for the first time this past week, that’s kind of false. Shame on me. Akira has more of a Blade Runner, Mad Max and even Judge Dredd Vibe with the presence of quickened powerful forces, a post-apocalyptic setting and violence.
I like the thought of Nolan handling this even better now and I can definitely see the appeal with a ripe canvas for Nolan to indulge in his staples of kinetic sequences and special effects amidst a core of political consciousness, substance and sentimentality. I can’t speak to the issues with diversity and casting. Prepare for disappointment if you expect a full on Japanese involvement. I’m just worried about the rating this film will get – probably a PG 13 so we can tick of the distressing violence. I would fancy a George Miller or Alex Garland for this but it could have been worse.
You see the twitter and follow buttons looking at you with Puss n boots eyes – give them a click then. Akpe!