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Before you read this column today, go watch Spencer Tracy in Father of the Bride or A Guy Named Joe, or Thirty Seconds Over Toyko, or Bad Day At Black Rock, or Adam’s Rib or Judgment At Nuremberg or Inherit The Wind.
Katherine Hepburn said to Spencer Tracy “you were, really, the greatest movie actor. I say this because I believe it and I’ve heard so many people of standing in our business say, it from Olivier to Lee Strasberg, David Lean, you name it. You could do it, and you could do it with that glorious simplicity, that directness.” Elizabeth Taylor said, “His acting seemed almost effortless, it seemed almost as if he wasn’t doing anything, and yet he was doing everything. It came so subtly out of his eyes, every muscle in his face…” Richard Widmark said “”It’s what every actor tries to strive »
- Mindy Newell
Director: Martin Scorsese
Entertainment grade: A
History grade: A–
Jake Lamotta was boxing's world middleweight champion between 1949 and 1951.
The film begins in 1941, with Jake Lamotta (Robert De Niro) fighting in the ring and fighting his first wife, Ida. It's shocking – though not as shocking as in an earlier draft of the screenplay, in which he was to be shown kicking and punching her while she was pregnant. The violence isn't out of keeping with that admitted in Lamotta's 1970 autobiography, also called Raging Bull, in which he says he once thought he had killed Ida in a drunken fight, and owns up to a catalogue of violent incidents against various people including a couple of sexual assaults. If anything, Lamotta's terrifying characterisation in the film has »
- Alex von Tunzelmann
New Orleans — Grammy-winning singer Usher believes his dancing skills will help him in his upcoming role as Sugar Ray Leonard in "Hands of Stone," a new boxing film about the great brawler Roberto Duran.
Usher said he has been preparing to play Leonard – a fighter with fast hands, smooth feet and a wide smile – for more than a year and still needs to lose nearly 25 pounds before shooting begins in October.
The movie is based on Duran, a world champion in four weight divisions over a career that spanned five decades. Duran, whose nickname was "Hands of Stone," rose from the slums of Panama to defeat an unbeaten Leonard in 1980 and claim the Wbc welterweight title, only to lose the rematch several months later in the infamous "no mas" fight.
Usher said he was honored to play Leonard in the film.
"You couldn't find a more stylized boxer than Sugar Ray Leonard, »
I'm not sure what I think of a live-action adaptation of Carlo Collodi's Pinocchio, especially if it were to be directed by Tim Burton, which was the original plan with Robert Downey Jr. set to star as Geppetto. As it turns out, that iteration of the story seems to have gone by the wayside, but now it seems Downey has a new helmer in line... his Tropic Thunder director and co-star, Ben Stiller. Recently Downey floated the idea to Sky Italia saying, "I would like to make it with Ben Stiller" and since then the rumor hasn't gone away to the point Deadline.com now reports Stiller is in talks with Warner Bros. to direct the picture. As far as the story, Downey was quoted in the recent GQ profile on the actor saying: My first pitch! I got real excited about it. I was just thinking about Geppetto as »
- Brad Brevet
Well, now this is something I do not recall hearing about before, and I’m usually pretty up on my Robert Downey Jr. news. The star has apparently been in talks to play Geppetto in a (presumably) live-action version of Pinocchio. Now his good friend and Tropic Thunder director/co-star Ben Stiller is reportedly looking into helming Pinocchio. This just got a whole lot more interesting.
The concept has been kicking around for awhile now, as these things tend to do. There was word that Tim Burton might direct – that might have been a very cool pairing! –but now it appears that Burton is out and Stiller is making headway.
Robert Downey Jr. has stated that he views his Geppetto as a cross beteen Jake Lamotta and Chico Marx, which is either the greatest idea in the world, or a piece of Rdj sarcasm that just sounds awesome. Either way, »
- Lauren Humphries-Brooks
Robert Downey Jr. wished upon a star for Ben Stiller to direct his upcoming adaptation of “Pinocchio,” and it looks like it's coming true: Stiller is in talks with studio Warner Bros. to helm the feature. Negotiations to secure Stiller are in early stages, according to Deadline, though discussions with writers who could pen the project are reportedly already taking place. Downey, who will play Geppetto, was originally supposed to star in the feature for director Tim Burton, who had just come off a successful adaptation of another Disney classic, “Alice in Wonderland.” Burton eventually left the project, and during recent press junkets promoting “Iron Man 3,” Downey was asked who he would like to see direct “Pinocchio” in Burton's stead. Downey suggested Stiller, setting the ball rolling for the current negotiations. The pair previously worked together on Stiller's “Tropic Thunder.” The adaptation will stray from Downey and Burton's original vision for the film, »
- Katie Roberts
A friendly reader had pointed us to this news a couple weeks back, when Robert Downey Jr. dropped the news to Italian press, but Google translate made it all sound iffy... but lo and behold, "Pinocchio" lives. News of this project first dropped over a year ago, when Tim Burton was being eyed to direct, but Deadline reports that Ben Stiller is now in talks to helm the movie. Right now, it's all a concept -- no writers have been hired just yet -- but here's how Rdj described it recently: I was just thinking about Geppetto as a cross between Jake Lamotta and Chico Marx. It's such a vital story, but it's really about this working-class weirdo who invests this inanimate object with all of the qualities he doesn't have," he said. "I'm just crazy about the idea.... To me a wooden boy is a real boy who doesn't feel like he's acknowledged. »
- Kevin Jagernauth
Before you read this column today, go watch Spencer Tracy in Father of the Bride or A Guy Named Joe, or Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo, or Bad Day At Black Rock, or Adam’s Rib, or Judgment At Nuremberg, or Inherit The Wind.
Katherine Hepburn said to Spencer Tracy “you were, really, the greatest movie actor. I say this because I believe it and I’ve heard so many people of standing in our business say it – from Olivier to Lee Strasberg, David Lean, name it. You could do it, and you could do it with that glorious simplicity, that directness.” Elizabeth Taylor said, “His acting seemed almost effortless, it seemed almost as if he wasn’t doing anything, and yet he was doing everything. It came so subtly out of his eyes, every muscle in his face…” Richard Widmark said “It’s what every actor tries to strive for – to make it so simple, »
- Mindy Newell
Continued from hereOn the Waterfront (dir. Elia Kazan, 1954 USA)Winner of 8 Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor and Best Screenplay, winner of 4 Golden Globes, including Best Picture - Drama and Best Actor - DramaJ Hurtado, Contributing Writer: All I knew about Elia Kazan's On the Waterfront going in was that it was the source of the "I coulda been a contender" speech that Jake La Motta performs in Raging Bull. I knew that Marlon Brando played a former boxer, and that he had fallen from grace for one reason or another. What I was not prepared for was the gut-punch I got from a story so typical of '50s cinematic rebels. The dismantling of the American Dream and disintegration of the...
[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
Clearly fed up of being in films that actually make money, Robert Downey Jr., who remains unsure of his involvement in the next phase of the Marvel Universe, is planning on teaming up with Ben Stiller to make a live-action version of classic children’s fairy tale Pinocchio, in which he would portray Gepetto, Pinnochio’s creator.
After originally pitching it to Warner Bros. with Tim Burton to direct, a recent interview with Sky Italia has suggested that the Iron Man star intends to move on with the project. With whom, you ask? His Tropic Thunder co-star Ben Stiller – Tim Burton apparently having flown away for some reason, perhaps startled by a loud noise or bright sunlight.
- Rob Batchelor
(From the pages of the April 16 issue of Variety.)
Why this random information? Because the superstars of the 65-and-over set are wandering down unexpected paths these days in a determination to keep their creative lives (and income streams) aloft.
I’ve always been empathetic to the plight of the “senior stars” as they figure out their third acts. In searching for roles, must they still get the girl? Or should they simply go to Lakers games, like Jack Nicholson, or write thrillers, like Gene Hackman, or pose for ads, like Sean Connery? Or, like Warren Beatty, should they keep trying to revive weary projects from the past? (Yes, Beatty still wants to explore the Howard Hughes mythology.)
The past has been haunting Redford (age 76) lately. »
- Peter Bart
There are few directors still plying their trade today who can rival Martin Scorsese when it comes to the quality and variety of their filmography. The native New Yorker has frequently created brutal and violent stories featuring deeply flawed and morally questionable protagonists, covering such sombre subjects as guilt, greed, machismo and mental instability along the way. However, despite these dark elements which give his work such an incisive edge; his movies are always energetic and vibrant affairs and represent pure escapist cinema at its best.
Not only does he deliver movies filled with unforgettable images, but also equally unforgettable soundtracks. In addition to being a master storyteller, Marty is also a master of the pop soundtrack, with so many of his movies reverberating with his love of pop, Motown and rock and roll.
Just a quick glance over some of Scorsese’s masterpieces and immediately you are hit with »
- Rob Keeling
In case you did not know, Robert De Niro is no stranger to the boxing ring. A little movie entitled Raging Bull solidified that one. And now he is set to stand at the sidelines and give his wealth of experience to a Edgar Ramirez, as they both sign on for boxing drama Hands Of Stone.
Ramirez will be Roberto Duran, a boxer who began fighting in 1968 and only retired, at the age of 50, in 2002. Duran defeated Sugar Ray Leonard in 1980 (same year as Raging Bull, everyone!), but bowed out of the November rematch by returning to his corner with the words ‘no mas’ (no more). And it is that fight that the film will focus on, according to Hands Of Stone director Jonathan Jakubowicz. The film will attempt to answer the question of just why Duran chose to stop. The ‘no mas’ fight did not end Duran’s career, »
- Lauren Humphries-Brooks
300: Rise of an Empire: In 2006, Zack Snyder’s combination of color manipulation and visual effects made 300 a revelation on the big screen. The long-awaited sequel, 300: Rise of an Empire, will be unleashed on August 2, and the first stills have been revealed for the movie, which takes place at roughly the same time as the original, as armies battle at sea and other locations. Sullivan Stapleton stars, along with Lena Headey, Eva Green and Rodrigo Santoro. [USA Today] Hands of Stone: Robert De Niro won an Academy Award for playing real-life boxer Jake Lamotta in Martin Scorsese’s Raging Bull back in 1980, and will soon be seen opposite Sylvester Stallone as a retired boxer in Grudge Match. But he’s not done with boxing yet; he’ll play the trainer for...
- Peter Martin
De Niro joins cast for film about Us anti-corruption operation and signs up for role in boxing drama Hands of Stone
Robert De Niro is reuniting with director David O Russell, playing a character "connected to the underworld" in Russell's as yet untitled thriller about the FBI's Abscam operation, according to Empire magazine.
Russell's film Silver Linings Playbook earned De Niro an Oscar nomination for his performance as Bradley Cooper's gambling nut father; arguably his best in quite some time. It seems everyone on Slp is keen to work with the director again: Jennifer Lawrence, who won an Oscar for her role in the film, is on board, as is Cooper. They'll be joined by Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner and comedian Louis Ck.
Exclusive: If you love sports films like I do, here is one that has knockout potential. Robert De Niro and Edgar Ramirez have signed on to star in Hands Of Stone, a drama written and to be directed by Jonathan Jakubowicz. Boxing fans will know where we are going from the title. Ramirez will play champ Roberto Duran. De Niro will play his trainer Ray Arcel in a drama that focuses on how each man changed the life of the other. It is set during boxing’s Golden Era, when Duran was among top notch fighters including Sugar Ray Leonard, Thomas Hearns, Marvin Hagler, Hector Camacho, Vinny Pazienza. Duran fought them all and won 103 of his 119 fights. The focus will be on the Panamanian boxer’s incredible brawls with Leonard, culminating in an inexplicable ending of the famous fight where Duran quit in the ring and cried “No mas,” on »
- MIKE FLEMING JR
Rupert Pupkin. The name slides off the tongue like luggage off an airport carousel. And as portrayed by Robert De Niro -- post Jake Lamotta, pre Noodles Aaronsen -- he is one of the more memorable pieces of cultural/emotional baggage produced by the American screen. A hero of dubious sanity. Dubious worth. More cringe-worthy than an episode of “Two Broke Girls.” He is “The King of Comedy.” And he will be closing the Tribeca Film Festival on April 27. The festival is announcing today that then newly restored, 30th anniversary version of Martin Scorsese’s notorious, groundbreaking film (with its startling performance by Jerry Lewis) would bring the 12th edition of the sort-of-downtown Manhattan festival to a close. It would be hard to think of a better choice. De Niro is, of course, one of the festival’s founders (with Jane Rosenthal and Craig Hatkoff) and the film, which has »
- John Anderson
From a silent Hitchcock movie to the story of a boxer who dreams of being a great violinist, Danny Leigh explores cinema's enduring love of the fight game
Boxing was there at the very dawn of cinema. As early as 1894, film-makers were shooting prize fights: the fast and furious physical spectacle was perfect for the new medium of motion pictures. Soon, scores of directors had been drawn to boxing – not just for the violence but for the drama of fighters' lives. In 1927, Hitchcock made The Ring, a silent tale of a pugilistic love triangle that is his one and only original screenplay. While many boxing movies reached greatness, even the most ordinary could still thrill with a canny sprinkling of what became genre staples: wise old trainers, crooked promoters, fixes, comebacks, wives who can't bear to look. In fact, plenty of boxing films are really about the women behind the men. »
- Danny Leigh
So who would win in a fight between Rocky Balboa and Jake Lamotta? Maybe the computer simulation program used in Rocky’s last outing could tell us, but better yet, we will see it in reality at the end of the year in Grudge Match. Sylvester Stallone and Robert De Niro have dusted off their boxing gloves (Bob's were a bit dustier than Sly’s, it must be said) to step back into the ring as a pair of aging former boxers with a score to settle who get coaxed out of retirement. The first set pic certainly shows the two aging pugilists looking in good order considering they’re both staring at the big 7-0 and it certainly screams “must watch!”
- Flickering Myth
Robert De Niro and Sylvester Stallone are about to put the age old question to rest, "Who would win in a fight, Jake La Motta or Rocky Balboa?" As they team up for the boxing comedy Grudge Match, which finds the Rocky star stepping in the ring with the Raging Bull Oscar winner for one final match in their old age. The first photo has arrived from the set, which finds the two actors beat to a bloody pulp alongside NBA star Robin Lopez. Does this pic get you excited? Or do you think De Niro and Sly should retire from the ring before they really hurt themselves?
@slashfilm NBA star Robin Lopez on the set of "Grudge Match" w De Niro and Stallone. twitter.com/w_whitehurst/s…
— Winston Whitehurst (@w_whitehurst) February 22, 2013
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