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From ‘Paper Moon’ to ‘Mask’: 5 Peter Bogdanovich Movies to Celebrate His Career

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From ‘Paper Moon’ to ‘Mask’: 5 Peter Bogdanovich Movies to Celebrate His Career

Known as one of the defining members of the “New Hollywood” era, Peter Bogdanovich was an auteur that placed an emotional core at the center of all of his films. Bogdanovich’s movies range through a variety of genres, but all hold a distinct and singular sense of heart. As a director, his legacy lives in the generations of filmmakers inspired by his storytelling including Edgar Wright, Sofia Coppola, Wes Anderson, and Quentin Tarantino, who Bogdanovich lived with for a short period of time.

Here are 5 films to revisit and watch to celebrate Peter Bogdanovich’s life and impressive career.

RELATED: Peter Bogdanovich, Legend of the New Hollywood Era & Director of ‘The Last Picture Show’, Dies at 82

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The Last Picture Show (1971)

Adapted from the novel of the same name, The Last Picture Show was the first film that launched Peter Bogdanovich’s name as a director. The film is a coming of age story that takes place in the small town of Anarene, Texas in the 1950s. It follows a group of high school students who are hungry for lives greater than the sleepy surroundings they call home. Anarene is the type of town where nothing really happens and nothing really will, its inhabitants resigned to its reality. Sonny (Timothy Bottoms) and Duane (Jeff Bridges) are best friends and in their senior year at school. Duane is dating the rich and high school beauty queen, Jacy Farrow (Cybill Shepherd) while Sonny starts an affair with Ruth Popper(Cloris Leachman), the much older, middle-aged wife of his football coach. As they begin to develop relationships, discover their sexuality, and more, the teens realize that they are at a crossroads in their lives and need to make choices that will deeply impact their future.


The film is not only about the loss of innocence but also the loss of a certain type of clean “American life” in the 50s and introduces a shift in youth norms.

What’s Up Doc (1972)

An overnight bag mix up goes awry in this high-powered comedy! Dr. Howard Bannister (Ryan O’Neal) is a musicologist who travels to San Francisco for a music conference alongside his controlling fiancée, Eunice (Madeline Kahn). They check into their hotel for their stay, Hotel Bristol and meet Judy (Barbra Streisand), who immediately is infatuated by Howard. Also staying at the hotel is the wealthy Mrs. Van Hoskins (Mabel Albertson) and the secretive Mr. Smith (Michael Murphy). All four parties are staying on the same floor at the Hotel Bristol and all of them bring four identical bags for their stay. Each bag contains important personal items inside and keeps getting switched throughout the duration of the night. As the film progresses this leads to increasingly zany and eccentric situations.

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Paper Moon (1973)

Based on the novel Addie Pray and shot in black and white, Paper Moon takes place in 1930s Kansas and follows Moses “Moze” Pray (Ryan O’Neal), a charming con man. He meets Addie Loggins (Tatum O’Neal) at her mother’s graveyard ceremony and there are whispers that Addie is his actual daughter. Moze is given the task to take Addie to her aunt’s house in St. Joseph, Missouri. Begrudgingly, he agrees, but not before getting $200 from the brother of the man who killed Addie’s mother. While the $200 was supposed to be for Addie, Moze uses it instead and makes a deal to pay it all back to her. Addie and Moze embark on a scam artist road trip to gather the money and the two develop a close bond. They go through a series of close calls where their hustle is almost ruined but meet their match with a local sheriff. The sheriff beats Moze up and robs them of their savings. Penniless and down on spirits, the pair finally reach Addie’s aunt’s house in Missouri and Moze drops her off. As he makes his way back onto the road, Addie surprises him by rejoining him claiming that he still owes her $200.


The brilliance of Paper Moon lies in the chemistry behind the real life father-daughter pair and Tatum O’Neal’s fierce acting. Tatum was only 10 years old when she won Best Actress in a Supporting Role at the Oscars – the youngest winner in any category since.

Mask (1985)

Cher stars as Florence “Rusty” Dennis in this biopic about Roy Lee “Rocky” Dennis (Eric Stoltz). Rocky had craniodiaphyseal dysplasia, a rare disorder that causes calcium to build up in the skull and disfigures the skull. His mother and her boyfriend, Gar (Sam Elliot) embrace him with love and try to give him the most normal life possible in 1970’s Azuza, California. Still, they can’t protect him from everything. At an annual check up, a doctor lets them know that Rocky has about six months left to live.


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He doesn’t believe the doctor and later finds romance in the form of a girl named Diana Adams (Laura Dern). Diana is blind and can’t see Rocky’s deformities. While the two grow close, Diana suddenly leaves and Rocky becomes lonelier than ever. Mask is carried by its melodrama and message of acceptance and bravery in the face of adversity.

Runnin’ Down A Dream (2007)

This documentary places the American rock band Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers front and center. Runnin’ Down A Dream uses archival concert footage, tour clips and interviews to tell the story of this iconic band. The film starts with a concert in Gainesville, Florida in September 2006. In the dark, crowd of fans holding lights look like stars in the night, bonded by the mutual love for the band. In the documentary, Tom Petty talks about his musical influences, like the impression that The Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show made on him as a young teen. Petty also discusses his legal fight to get back his recordings after a publishing deal went bad. He set an industry standard by filing for bankruptcy as a way to get his music back, and this time period would inspire a number of songs including Century City.

Bogdanovich weaves these stories with intimate details from Petty and the band. Clocking in at about four hours, the documentary also features interviews from musicians like Stevie Nicks, George Harrison, Dave Grohl and more.

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Review: SAMARITAN, A Sly Stallone Superhero Stumble

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Review: SAMARITAN, A Sly Stallone Superhero Stumble

Hitting the three-quarter-century mark usually means a retirement home, a nursing facility, or if you’re lucky to be blessed with relatively good health and savings to match, living in a gated community in Arizona or Florida.

For Sylvester Stallone, however, it means something else entirely: starring in the first superhero-centered film of his decades-long career in the much-delayed Samaritan. Unfortunately for Stallone and the audience on the other side of the screen, the derivative, turgid, forgettable results won’t get mentioned in a career retrospective, let alone among the ever-expanding list of must-see entries in a genre already well past its peak.

For Stallone, however, it’s better late than never when it involves the superhero genre. Maybe in getting a taste of the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) with his walk-on role in the Guardians of the Galaxy sequel several years ago, Stallone thought anything Marvel can do, I can do even better (or just as good in the nebulous definition of the word).

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The property Stallone and his team found for him, Samaritan, a little-known graphic novel released by a small, almost negligible, publisher, certainly takes advantage of Stallone’s brute-force physicality and his often underrated talent for near-monosyllabic brooding (e.g., the Rambo series), but too often gives him to little do or say as the lone super-powered survivor, the so-called “Samaritan” of the title, of a lifelong rivalry with his brother, “Nemesis.” Two brothers entered a fire-ravaged building and while both were presumed dead, one brother did survive (Stallone’s Joe Smith, a garbageman by day, an appliance repairman by night).

In the Granite City of screenwriter Bragi F. Schut (Escape Room, Season of the Witch), the United States, and presumably the rest of the world, teeters on economic and political collapse, with a recession spiraling into a depression, steady gigs difficult, if not impossible, to obtain, and the city’s neighborhoods rocked by crime and violence. No one’s safe, not even 13-year-old Sam (Javon Walker), Joe’s neighbor.

When he’s not dodging bullies connected to a gang, he’s falling under the undue influence of Cyrus (Pilou Asbæk), a low-rent gang leader with an outsized ego and the conviction that he and only he can take on Nemesis’s mantle and along with that mantle, a hammer “forged in hate,” to orchestrate a Bane-like plan to plunge the city into chaos and become a wealthy power-broker in the process.

Schut’s woefully underwritten script takes a clumsy, haphazard approach to world-building, relying on a two-minute animated sequence to open Samaritan while a naive, worshipful Sam narrates Samaritan and Nemesis’s supposedly tragic, Cain and Abel-inspired backstory. Schut and director Julius Avery (Overlord) clumsily attempt to contrast Sam’s childish belief in messiah-like, superheroic saviors stepping in to save humanity from itself and its own worst excesses, but following that path leads to authoritarianism and fascism (ideas better, more thoroughly explored in Watchmen and The Boys).

While Sam continues to think otherwise, Stallone’s superhero, 25 years past his last, fatal encounter with his presumably deceased brother, obviously believes superheroes are the problem and not the solution (a somewhat reasonable position), but as Samaritan tracks Joe and Sam’s friendship, Sam giving Joe the son he never had, Joe giving Sam the father he lost to street violence well before the film’s opening scene, it gets closer and closer to embracing, if not outright endorsing Sam’s power fantasies, right through a literally and figuratively explosive ending. Might, as always, wins regardless of how righteous or justified the underlying action.

It’s what superhero audiences want, apparently, and what Samaritan uncritically delivers via a woefully under-rendered finale involving not just unconvincing CGI fire effects, but a videogame cut-scene quality Stallone in a late-film flashback sequence that’s meant to be subversively revelatory, but will instead lead to unintentional laughter for anyone who’s managed to sit the entirety of Samaritan’s one-hour and 40-minute running time.

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Samaritan is now streaming worldwide on Prime Video.

Samaritan

Cast
  • Sylvester Stallone
  • Javon ‘Wanna’ Walton
  • Pilou Asbæk

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Matt Shakman Is In Talks To Direct ‘Fantastic Four’

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According to a new report, Wandavision’s Matt Shakman is in talks to direct the upcoming MCU project, Fantastic Four. Marvel Studios has been very hush-hush regarding Fantastic Four to the point where no official announcements have been made other than the film’s release date. No casting news or literally anything other than rumors has been released regarding the project. We know that Fantastic Four is slated for release on November 8th, 2024, and will be a part of Marvel’s Phase 6. There are also rumors that the cast of the new Fantastic Four will be announced at the D23 Expo on September 9th.

Fantastic Four is still over two years from release, and we assume we will hear more news about the project in the coming months. However, the idea of the Fantastic Four has already been introduced into the MCU. John Krasinski played Reed Richards aka Mr. Fantastic in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. The cameo was a huge deal for fans who have been waiting a long time for the Fantastic Four to enter the MCU. When Disney acquired Twenty Century Fox in 2019 we assumed that the Fox Marvel characters would eventually make their way into the MCU. It’s been 3 years and we already have had an X-Men and Fantastic Four cameo – even if they were from another universe.

Deadline is reporting that Wandavision’s Matt Shakman is in talks to direct Fantastic Four. Shakman served as the director for Wandavision and has had an extensive career. He directed two episodes of Game of Thrones and an episode of The Boys, and he had a long stint on It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. There is nothing official yet, but Deadline’s sources say that Shakman is currently in talks for the job and things are headed in the right direction.

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To be honest, I was a bit more excited when Jon Watts was set to direct. I’m sure Shakman is a good director, but Watts proved he could handle a tentpole superhero film with Spider-Man: Homecoming. Wandavision was good, but Watts’ style would have been perfect for Fantastic Four. The film is probably one of the most anticipated films in Marvel’s upcoming slate films and they need to find the best person they can to direct. Is that Matt Shakman? It could be, but whoever takes the job must realize that Marvel has a lot riding on this movie. The other Fantastic Four films were awful and fans deserve better. Hopefully, Marvel knocks it out of the park as they usually do. You can see for yourself when Fantastic Four hits theaters on November 8th, 2024.

Film Synopsis: One of Marvel’s most iconic families makes it to the big screen: the Fantastic Four.

Source: Deadline

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Dan Aykroyd, Chevy Chase Star in ‘Zombie Town’ Mystery Teen Romancer (Exclusive)

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Dan Aykroyd and Chevy Chase have entered Zombie Town, a mystery teen romancer based on author R.L. Stine’s book of the same name.

The indie, now shooting in Ontario, also stars Henry Czerny and co-teen leads Marlon Kazadi and Madi Monroe. The ensemble cast includes Scott Thompson and Bruce McCulloch of the Canadian comedy show Kids in the Hall.

Canadian animator Peter Lepeniotis will direct Zombie Town. Stine’s kid’s book sees a quiet town upended when 12-year-old Mike and his friend, Karen, see a horror movie called Zombie Town and unexpectedly see the title characters leap off the screen and chase them through the theater.

Zombie Town will premiere in U.S. theaters before streaming on Hulu and then ABC Australia in 2023.

“We are delighted to bring the pages of R.L. Stine’s Zombie Town to the screen and equally thrilled to be working with such an exceptional cast and crew on this production. A three-time Nickelodeon Kids Choice Award winner with book sales of over $500 million, R.L. Stine has a phenomenal track record of crafting stories that engage and entertain audiences,” John Gillespie, Trimuse Entertainment founder and executive producer, said in a statement.

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Executive producers are Trimuse Entertainment, Toonz Media Group, Lookout Entertainment, Viva Pictures and Sons of Anarchy actor Kim Coates.  

Paco Alvarez and Mark Holdom of Trimuse negotiated the deal to acquire the rights to Stine’s Zombie Town book.

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