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If You Loved ‘The French Dispatch’ Watch These 7 Movies Next

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If You Loved ‘The French Dispatch’ Watch These 7 Movies Next

Wes Anderson presented us with a quirky look at the world of print publication in his latest film, The French Dispatch. It was a movie that offered up all of Anderson’s signature traits while telling an anthology-style story that focused on one single issue of a magazine. And while those who love Anderson have probably devoured his filmography, there are other movies out there for you if you loved his latest work. Here are seven films in no particular order that you should watch if you loved The French Dispatch, and, yes, we even included one of Anderson’s own works.

RELATED: Why It’s Important ‘The French Dispatch’ Shows a Lighter Side to Journalism

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The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (2018)

Most movie fans are familiar with the filmography of the Coen Brothers, but if you didn’t catch The Ballad of Buster Scruggs when it was released on Netflix, and you loved The French Dispatch, then what are you doing? The pair, as well known for their style as Anderson himself, created this western anthology and they presented it in a way that only the Coen’s could. Each of the stories is completely independent of the others in the film, though each does take place in the same storybook as shown at the beginning of the movie and throughout.

The film features a star-studded cast including James Franco, Liam Neeson, Zoe Kazan (The Big Sick), Tim Blake Nelson (Holes), and Tom Waits, each getting a fair amount of screentime. Some of the stories are downright disturbing and some are quite funny, but each offers the signature Coen touch, and for film fans that should be all the convincing you need to check it out.

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Wild Tales (2014)

If The French Dispatch has you in the mood for stylized anthologies, then it’s time to check out one of the most entertaining movies ever made. Wild Tales is an anthology film told in a darkly comedic fashion, that takes a look at various people from various social classes seeking revenge on others.

The film is a collection of six short stories that ramp everything up to 11. In one story, Ricardo Darin (The Secret in Their Eyes) plays a demolition expert who is having a very bad day, but the way he handles it is sure to leave audiences giddy with excitement by the end. In another, two lovers have a wedding day unlike any other that’s been put on film, while another features a severe case of road rage. It’s a movie that will make you laugh in discomfort, but you’ll be laughing nonetheless. The anthology was critically acclaimed at its release, as it received nominations for the Academy Award for Best International Film and the Palme d’Or at Cannes.


Paris, je t’aime (2006)

Paris, je t’aime is an anthology that dives into Paris the way Anderson dives into a magazine. While The French Dispatch takes place in a funny little fictional French village, Paris, je t’aime (as the title makes obvious) is set in the city of Paris. Fusing together five-minute shorts from twenty different filmmakers, the critically-acclaimed film traces the thread of love and heartbreak through Parisian life, making for a film that serves as a love letter to Paris itself.

Like The French Dispatch, it features a star-studded cast, including Juliette Binoche, Steve Buscemi, Natalie Portman, and Nick Nolte among many others. While most anthologies are love letters to a genre or a place or maybe even just a way of life, Paris, je t’aime pens its own with a distinct style that sets it apart from other works like it.


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His Girl Friday (1940)

Wes Anderson admits that His Girl Friday was one of the main inspirations for The French Dispatch, and it’s not surprising in the least. The classic screwball comedy from 1940, features Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell at their absolute best, as they fast-talk their way through their relationship and newspaper reporters.

Howard Hawks’ fast-paced adaptation of The Front Page has withstood the test of time because of its compelling characters, phenomenal dialogue, and a setting that feels fully fleshed out. Newspapers may be going out of style, but the cutthroat world of the news media is here to stay. If you’re looking for a movie that will explain where Anderson gets his ideas, look no further than this one.

The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004)

It’s far and away the most polarizing of Anderson’s movies, and it was met with a lukewarm reception from critics and audiences alike. However, for some diehard fans, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou is the quintessential Wes Anderson film. While the movie isn’t for everyone, if you loved the French Dispatch, then this is the Anderson movie you need to watch next.

The film follows oceanographer Steve Zissou (Bill Murray) who sets out with his team to enact revenge on a shark that killed his partner. The film is incredibly stylized, as one would come to expect of Anderson, and it has the same dry sense of humor that is present throughout his latest film. The film is loaded with Anderson’s usual acting troupe, such as Anjelica Huston, Jeff Goldblum, Owen Wilson, and Willem Dafoe, and it features a great performance from Cate Blanchett who plays a journalist reporting on Steve’s latest endeavor.

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History of the World Part 1 (1981)

The comedic brilliance of Mel Brooks shines in this film, as he travels through human history in one of the wackiest anthologies ever made. While it doesn’t have the high-brow humor of an Anderson film, it’s certainly dry with a level of awkwardness that only works in the hands of someone confident in their work. The film touches upon just about everything, from the reading of the 10 commandments to the Spanish Inquisition. Some scenes are certainly dated, and some parts will leave you wondering where the joke was, but as far as comedic anthologies go, this one is as good as it gets.


Broadcast News (1987)

This movie isn’t about print journalism, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that it dives into a lot of the same subjects as The French Dispatch. Following the lives of three people working at a news network, the comedic undertones are often overshadowed by the more serious nature of their successes and failures. While they each search for love without letting it get in the way of their careers, they endure a tough business that puts them all on the verge of a mental breakdown. Emotional performances from Holly Hunter, William Hurt, and Albert Brooks make this sentimental movie about an industry so many dream of working in a must-watch.


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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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