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Martin Scorsese, Francis Ford Coppola Clarify Marvel Criticisms

Francis Ford Coppola has clarified his recent Marvel movie criticism, which kicked off major blowback from superhero movie fans. In the last decade, Superhero movies have become a multi-billion-dollar industry, with Marvel and DC releases regularly dominating the box office. As such, even films by legendary directors like Coppola are living in Marvel’s shadow.

The controversy began several weeks ago when filmmaker Martin Scorsese revealed his disdain for the genre, stating that Marvel movies weren’t cinema. These comments elicited both cries of protest and nods of agreement from the movie-going public. As was to be expected, a number of comic book movie actors and directors came forward to defend the genre against Scorsese’s claims, which then lead to other venerated filmmakers such as Coppola and Ken Loach speaking up in support of Scorsese. In fact, it was Coppola who delivered one of the harshest indictments of comic book movies when he called them “despicable”. As the reaction to the comments intensified, Scorsese came forward to clarify and expand upon his initial comments, and now Coppola has done the same.

Related: Joker Producer Doesn’t Like Watching Comic Book Movies

Thanks to Deadline, the five-time Oscar-winning director once again turned to the subject of comic book movies. This time, however, Coppola made it clear that his initial comments were mistranslated. The original “despicable” interview occurred while he was in France accepting an award for career achievement. The famed Godfather director’s original comments can be found below.

“You know I’m sure you’re extracting from whatever Martin said. The gist of his statement. If you asked him is there is cinematic talent, cinematic expression, is there great even work in certain Marvel films, he would say yes. But what his point his, is that the concept of the Marvel film which has eaten up all the oxygen, which is to say the resources is not really is more of a theme park ride than what we would call cinema. Yes, I agree with him….Real cinema brings something, a wonderful gift to society. It doesn’t just take money and make people rich. That’s despicable. (Pause for translation) So Martin was kind when he said it’s not cinema, he didn’t say it’s despicable, which I just said it is.”

Despite having directed what is arguably the greatest franchise of all time with his Godfather films, Coppola went on to say that he doesn’t actually like franchises. This opinion falls in line with his belief that cinema must involve artistic risk to be great and that a franchise is simply a formulaic piece of work designed to gross huge sums of money with recycled characters and plots.

While some comic book fans may be tired of defending the genre, Coppola deserves the benefit of the doubt. Mistranslations have clearly fuelled at least part of this fire. It’s worth noting that both Scorsese and Coppola are friends of George Lucas and Steven Spielberg, each of whom have made careers out of franchises. In other words, neither Scorsese nor Coppola’s take on MCU and comic book movies is a personal attack on the filmmakers or actors. Rather, he was expressing his dislike for films that place financial gain ahead of the pursuit (and risk) of creating something new.

Next: Why Benioff & Weiss’ Star Wars Trilogy Isn’t Happening

Source: Comic Book


2019-10-30 01:10:50

Mike Jones

Frasier: The Worst Things Martin Has Ever Done, Ranked

To some Frasier fans, Martin Crane was the heart and soul of the series. With his blue-collar common sense and traditional charm, he was a perfect foil to his grandstanding sons Niles and Frasier, both psychiatrists and both obsessed with the finer things in life. Marty was a police officer in the Seattle Police Department before he was wounded in the line of duty and forced to retire. When his eldest son Frasier moved back to Seattle from Boston to begin his job as the host of a radio psychiatry program, he begrudgingly moved in with him while he recovered.

It wasn’t an ideal arrangement, but Marty’s gruff exterior slowly softened over the show’s eleven seasons, and he grew closer to his sons and his physical therapist Daphne Moon by offering advice and counsel in the madcap adventures of their lives. While Martin may have had a penchant for truth, justice, and the American Way, he made some blunders that put the antics of his sophisticated sons to shame. Here are the 10 worst things Marty’s done, ranked.

10 DYED HIS HAIR TO TRY TO LOOK YOUNGER

The men of the Crane family do some pretty radical alterations to their outward appearance to appeal to the ladies. Much like Niles growing a mustache to appear more “dashing”, Marty once dyed his hair a dark brown to appear more youthful.

The traumatic moment came in Season 5, when Niles and Frasier decided to throw a singles party to end their romantic dry spell. Unfortunately, the hair dye that Marty used started to run without his knowledge when he sat too close to the fire, getting all over himself and the back of Niles’ chair.

9 REFUSED TO MEET THE TELESCOPE WOMAN

Marty has been reluctant to start dating from Season 1, when Frasier bought him a telescope as a gift and encouraged him to embrace the outside world. He formed a relationship with a woman that lived in another apartment building he could see, and exchanged information with her on large posterboard before they agreed to exchange numbers.

After they began speaking on the phone, Frasier was certain they’d want to set up an occasion to meet in person. Marty  was evasive, cavalierly explaining that she wasn’t “his type”. Eventually he did meet her face to face, but we as viewers never got to  see what became of their meeting or if his mind was changed.

8 RAN FOR CONDO BOARD PRESIDENT FOR FRASIER’S BENEFIT

In the later seasons, after years of unsuccessfully being elected to Condo Board President against his arch nemesis Cam Winston, Frasier conceives of a nefarious way to win by proxy. He has his father run, knowing how likable he is to the tenants in his apartment building, and fully intending to get some of his own projects actualized from behind the scenes.

It’s surprising that Martin agrees to do this on Frasier’s behalf, considering his strict moral code where such matters are concerned, but he eventually wins and Frasier gets some of his items prioritized. Eventually it blows up in both of their faces, indicating Martin should have gone with his gut and talked Frasier out of another neurotic idea.

7 USED HIS POLICE INFLUENCE TO GET FAVORS

Martin Crane was a highly venerated member of the Seattle Police Department until he was shot in the line of duty and forced into early retirement by the time Frasier began. In later seasons, he resumes serving and protecting Seattle as a security officer.

Martin takes advantage of his police connections several times throughout the series, though he makes a great fuss about justice needing to be the same for everyone. One particularly egregious instance was when he flashed his old badge at a border patrol guard at the Canadian border to prevent Daphne from not being able to return to the US.

6 INSISTED ON “THE CHAIR” IN FRASIER’S APARTMENT

One of the biggest source of malcontent between Frasier and his father revolved around the obnoxious recliner Martin insisted on bringing into Frasier’s apartment. While Frasier’s decor style was “eclectic,” the green, red, and white striped monstrosity didn’t go with any of Frasier’s antiques or prized objects d’art.

Martin wanted something of his own blue-collar taste amidst Frasier’s refined pieces, and it helped him feel more like he was at “home”. While that’s an understandable sentiment to have, it was placed in the center of Frasier’s living room, and drew the most attention out of anything Frasier possessed (save his spectacular view of Seattle).

RELATED: Frasier: 5 Relationships Fans Were Behind (& 5 They Rejected)

5 JUDGED NILES AND FRASIER’S TASTE

One of the hallmarks of Martin Crane’s sense of humor was centered on clever retorts about his sons’ mutual appreciation for the finer things in life. As a more down-to-earth self-proclaimed “man’s man”, Marty could care less about gourmet food, opera, or foreign paintings.

This constant derision makes Frasier and Niles believe that their father doesn’t care for them, making the fact that their mother is no longer living (whom they identified with most) particularly hard. Martin seldom reveals his true emotions to his sons, but he makes it known he’s proud of them when he feels able.

4 RARELY TOLD NILES AND FRASIER HE LOVED THEM

Martin Crane isn’t an emotionally available man. With his taciturn, gruff exterior, he often suppresses his feelings at the expense of the sort of real vulnerability that leads to emotional growth. In the entire time that Frasier and Niles have been alive, it’s revealed he’s only told the Crane Boys he loved them a handful of times.

Imagine their surprise when he easily administers the “L word” to Eddie and his best friend Duke. Wounded by his inability to convey affection for them, it takes his constant reassurance that even if he doesn’t express his feelings, it doesn’t mean he doesn’t have them.

RELATED: Frasier: The 10 Worst Things Frasier Has Ever Done, Ranked

3 LET EDDIE RUIN FRASIER’S THINGS

Frasier has a love-hate relationship with his father’s canine companion, Eddie.He hates the terrier tyrant himself, but loves that he brings so much obvious joy to his father. Since Marty and Eddie were a package deal, Frasier had to begrudgingly welcome Eddie into his apartment when his father moved in.

While Eddie responds with human-like understanding to him and Daphne, he seems to almost willfully misinterpret what Frasier commands. Instead, he simply stares blankly at him and tilts his head. Marty has been known to let Eddie have the run of Frasier’s apartment when he isn’t there, including jumping up on the table to eat, and play with Frasier’s  designer socks.

2 CHEATED ON HESTER

For years, Niles and Frasier were delusional about the nature of their father’s infidelity while he was married to their mother. He maintained that it was only possible because their marriage was strained and they were “taking a break”, but there was more to the story.

Martin begrudgingly reveals that it was actually Hester that had the affair with a friend of the family, and he blamed himself for her stepping outside their marriage. He lied to the boys for years to protect her reputation, a point that Frasier understands since his wife (Lilith) also cheated on him and he hasn’t told his son Frederick.

1 BROKE UP WITH SHERRY OVER “I LOVE YOU”

Probably the worst thing that Martin ever did on Frasier was break up with his longtime girlfriend, Sherry Dempsey because he actually cared too much about her. She was ready to say she loved him and take their relationship to the next level, but he was worried it would mean he had forgotten Hester’s memory.

While Sherry languished in heartache, he shut himself off from his feelings, even almost managing to convince himself he was better off. Frasier explained to him that his stubbornness shouldn’t get in the way of his happiness, and that Hester would have wanted him to be with Sherry.

NEXT: Frasier: The 10 Worst Things Daphne Has Ever Done, Ranked


2019-10-26 01:10:17

Kayleena Pierce-Bohen

Martin Scorsese Now Calls Marvel Movies A Different Cinema Form

Martin Scorsese now calls Marvel movies a different cinema form. Having emerged from the 1970s, ’80s and ’90s with several game changing films to his credit, Scorsese has long been a hero to aspiring and established filmmakers alike, as well as a bonafied audience favourite.

Within the next few weeks, the legendary director is set to release his latest film, the star-studded The Irishman, which will feature well-known Scorsese favorites, Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci. But as the film gets closer to release, Scorsese has found himself enmeshed in a debate that stems from his initial statement Marvel are not cinema. Since making the claim, several MCU actors and directors have come forward to defend Marvel and comic book movies in general. Far from being left out in the cold to defend himself, Scorsese has been supported by some well-respected filmmakers with similar opinions, including Francis Ford Coppola and Ken Loach. Yet despite disavowing the concept of comic book movies more than once, it appears that Scorsese has now altered his public opinion slightly.

Related: James Gunn Pushes Back Against Scorsese & Coppola’s Marvel Criticism

During a recent interview with EW, Scorsese was asked about the ongoing debate over comic book movies. This time, the Oscar-winning director made a slight adjustment to his perspective, stating that comic book movies are a “different cinema form or a new art form entirely.” Scorsese’s initial claim that comic book movies are not cinema appears to have changed, but it does appear that his bigger gripe remains – that comic book movies are “putting art in the margins” and making it increasingly difficult for non-tentpole films (in this case, his upcoming The Irishman), to be made in the first place. You can read his full statement on the issue below:

[A traditional studio is] geared toward the most amount of money you can make – understandably. I think it’s gone askew. There’s very little room for this kind of picture. They say, “Oh you can make independent films.” That’s putting people in the margins. Putting art in the margins.

The tentpole films, the big comic book films, they’re theme park movies – as well done as many of them are, at all levels. It’s a different cinema form or a new art form entirely. We’re hoping there are theaters that show the films that are not that. And that if they’re not going to show it that filmmakers still have an opportunity with streaming – it changes the experience, but otherwise, in two to three years now, it’s not being done. A good filmmaker comes in from Italy or France comes in, the film has to be a [franchise] or they won’t do it anymore.

Scorsese’s recent comments should hardly be seen as backtracking or a lesson learned as a result of the scolding of those associated with the MCU or comic book movies. Instead, the opinion reflects the current state of filmmaking in Hollywood and provides insight into the frustration that well respected and established filmmakers like Scorsese feel over what they view as limitations placed on cinema. Hollywood has long favored spectacle, but the cinema that Scorsese (and many other high profile filmmakers) are interested in creating has all too often been pushed from the arena, so to speak, in favour of huge budgeted spectacles that can be built upon again and again, i.e.: tentpole films.

While some might have taken offense over Scorsese’s initial comments, it’s hard to deny that comic book movies aren’t theme park films. At this very moment, Disney is busy establishing three different MCU lands at their theme parks. Without the movies that helped push the likes of Guardians of the Galaxy, Ant-Man and The Avengers into the global phenomenons that they currently are, it’s difficult to imagine the titles being large enough to merit their own theme park lands. For comic book movie fans, this is nothing to be ashamed of. Whether one agrees with Scorsese’s take on comic book movies or not, the fact is that they are here and they are wildly successful. There’s really not much more that a fan could want.

Next: Yes, Joker Is The Best Comic Book Movie Of 2019

Source: EW


2019-10-25 04:10:37

Mike Jones

Martin Scorsese Rejects Assertion His Films Lack Female Characters

Director Martin Scorsese rejects the claim that his films lack prominent female characters. Scorsese has been popping up frequently in the news lately due to his new film The Irishman, which is primed to be a darling of the upcoming awards season. The film, starring Robert De Niro as hitman Frank Sheeran and co-starring Al Pacino and Joe Pesci, will have a limited theatrical run beginning on November 1 before debuting on Netflix on November 27.

As Scorsese promotes The Irishman, he has spoken out on a variety of topics, most notably being the current trend of comic book movies hitting movie theaters. He has gained both supporters and critics for these comments, with The Godfather director Francis Ford Coppola agreeing with him and MCU cast members like Natalie Portman and Sebastian Stan disagreeing. This new statement from him has shaken up the conversation.

Related: Martin Scorsese’s 10 Best Movies, According To Rotten Tomatoes

As reported by Deadline, Scorsese was asked during a press conference at the Rome Film Fest about the lack of leading female characters in his films. His response to the question was, “That’s not even a valid point. It’s a question I’ve had for so many years. It is a waste of everybody’s time.” He then went on to say that his films feature female leads “if a story calls for a female lead,” and referenced some of said films, including The Age of Innocence and Casino.

The Irishman itself mainly focuses on men, with the story following De Niro’s Frank Sheeran throughout his life as he looks back on it. Pacino plays Jimmy Hoffa, Sheeran’s boss and friend who disappeared in 1975. Reviews have mentioned a few smaller parts for women being featured in the film, with Anna Paquin as Peggy Sheeran the most prominent. Even then, however, it has been said she is not given much to do.

In this day and age, when audiences are pushing for more diversity in their entertainment, the lack of female roles in big films is a valid criticism to make. Women have often been relegated to supporting roles, and it is tiring to see it happen again and again. Scorsese’s comments come off as rather insensitive, completely ignoring the concerns people have. Scorsese is a well-respected director who has made some of the most iconic films of all time. He has earned his right to share his thoughts on the filmmaking process, but he also should realize other people can criticize those thoughts.

Regardless, The Irishman has received positive reviews from film festival screenings. It is currently standing at a rare 100 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, though that will likely slip closer to the release as movies that achieve that incredible distinction rarely hold onto it. With awards season fast approaching, the buzz will only increase from here.

More: Who Is The Irishman? Robert De Niro’s Title Character Explained

Source: Deadline


2019-10-22 01:10:36

Rachel Labonte

Martin Scorsese’s 10 Best Movies, According To Rotten Tomatoes

During the 1960s, Hollywood films were struggling to bring audiences to the theaters as they had to compete against the convenience of television much like the current situation with streaming services. From this struggle emerged several famous directors who would usher in the age of blockbuster and genre-defying films, with Martin Scorsese among them.

RELATED: 5 Reasons Martin Scorsese’s Casino Is Underrated (And 5 Why It’s Just A Goodfellas Rip-off)

With early hits in the ’70s and ’80s such as Taxi Driver and Raging Bull, Scorsese’s career as a director has been consistently good. This is especially apparent in the scores his films get on Rotten Tomatoes, with the best ones highlighted here.

10 The Color of Money (89%)

Whenever sequels to classic movies come out, most people are initially skeptical of them due to the wariness of how they’ll compare to the original. Though most reactions tend to be unanimous, there is occasional dissonance between the critics over certain films such as The Color of Money.

A sequel to The Hustler, which was a classic ’60s movie about pool hustlers starring Paul Newman, The Color of Money has Newman reprising his role from the prior film. Now older and retired, he becomes the mentor figure to a younger pool hustler (played by Tom Cruise). While not all critics were on board with this film, it retains a positive score on Rotten Tomatoes.

9 The Departed (91%)

For years, Hollywood has partaken in the practice of creating American versions of foreign films leading to considerable debate over which version is better. In some cases, an American version proves to be just as good as the original film yet is still unique in of itself.

RELATED: 10 Best Leonardo DiCaprio Performances of All Time

One of these exceptional films was Scorsese’s The Departed, which was an American remake of the Hong Kong crime thriller Internal Affairs. Focused on an undercover cop and a mole infiltrating a criminal gang and the police respectively, the film distinguishes itself from its Hong Kong counterpart by having characters loosely based on real people instead of being completely fictional. It also has a great cast of actors with Leonardo DiCaprio among them.

8 Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese (92%)

Aside from crime and historical drama films, Scorsese has also made many documentary films that have received critical acclaim. One of his most baffling documentaries to date is arguably Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese, which came out this year on Netflix.

Though this isn’t Scorsese’s first Bob Dylan-centered documentary, as he directed No Direction Home in 2005, what makes this film different is that it uses a combination of real footage and fictional interviews. Yet, unlike Mockumentaries, it’s never clear right from the start what parts are and aren’t real. Still, that hasn’t stopped Rotten Tomatoes from giving it a high rating.

7 Hugo (93%)

While The Aviator partially covered the Golden Age of Hollywood, which took place between the 1920s and 60s, Hugo is basically an homage to the early age of cinema. Released around the time 3D became popular again, it tells the touching story of an orphan boy living inside a train station who attempts to understand an automaton left by his deceased father and its connection to a bitter toymaker.

Compared to Scorsese’s other films, this one’s more sentimental and often doesn’t come up when people talk about Scorsese. Though it didn’t do well financially upon release, it won five Academy Awards and earned Scorsese a third Golden Globe for the Best Director category in 2012.

6 Goodfellas (96%)

Among the various projects Scorsese has directed, what many consider to be the quintessential film of his career is Goodfellas. Following in the wake of crime dramas such as The Godfather, it tells a story about the rise and fall of an Italian mobster.

RELATED: 10 Amazing Martin Scorsese Movies Everyone Forgets About

However, the mobster-in-question is Henry Hill (played by Ray Liotta) who was a real person as opposed to the Corleones who were fictional. Apart from the realistic elements, the combination of solid performances from Liotta, Robert De Niro, and Joe Pesci made Goodfellas memorable. Then in addition to a distinct style of editing, it’s become a classic in recent years.

5 Tie: Raging Bull (96%)

When it comes to boxing movies, the popular ones tend to include Rocky and Raging Bull. Unlike Rocky, though, Raging Bull’s main fighter Jake LaMotta was a real person. Played by De Niro, his performance arguably made the film work as it explores LaMotta’s troubled professional and personal life during the 1940s and 50s. 

At the time of its release in 1980, it received polarizing reviews. Though as the years have passed, Raging Bull earned recognition as a classic among Scorsese’s list of films. It even won two Academy Awards in the Best Actor and Best Editing categories during the 53rd Academy Awards.

4 Mean Streets (97%)

Because of his Italian-American background, Scorsese’s films often focus on themes such as Roman Catholic guilt and what it means to be Italian-American in relation to modern crime. One such film that examines both themes very thoroughly is Mean Streets from 1973.

Set in New York City, which many of Scorsese’s films take place in, the movie tells the story of Charlie Cappa and his wavering loyalty to not just his loan shark uncle but also his self-destructive gambler friend “Johnny Boy” Civello. While Mean Streets was received well at the time, it continues to be revered today due to its dark themes and memorable performances by De Niro and Harvey Keitel.

3 The Last Waltz (98%)

Unlike Rolling Thunder Revue, The Last Waltz is one of Scorsese’s more straightforward documentary films. Though it was released in 1978, the film was made in 1976 as it documented the concert of the same name performed by The Band.

Meant to be a farewell concert of sorts, it included several guest artists, including Bob Dylan, who had previously collaborated with The Band early in their career. Though the film is largely praised as being one of the best documentaries ever made, it was criticized by one of The Band’s vocalists Levon Helm who felt like The Last Waltz focused too heavily on Robbie Robertson (one of the movie’s producers and the lead guitarist of The Band).

Scorsese also has a number of other great and highly-rated documentaries under his belt, including A Personal Journey with Martin Scorsese Through American MoviesMy Voyage to Italy, and Public Speaking.

2 Tie: Taxi Driver (98%)

Though Psycho may have been daring in its use of nudity and violence, Taxi Driver took those things to their next logical level. Considered to arguably be Scorsese’s best film, it stars De Niro as a mentally unstable veteran who drives taxis and begins plotting several murders.

RELATED: 10 Most Memorable Quotes From Taxi Driver

When it was released, the film was considered controversial for its intense violence and focus on child prostitution in the form of Iris (played by Jodie Foster in one of her earliest film roles). In spite of these elements, Taxi Driver’s legacy remains positive among critics and is referenced in pop-culture to this day.

1 The Irishman (100%)

Due to Scorsese’s reputation as a director, there’s naturally a lot of hype around any new films he’s got lined up. Take The Irishman, for example, which premiered at the New York Film Festival this past September. 

Despite not having a theatrical release yet, it’s already gotten the highest possible score on Rotten Tomatoes and early positive reviews from critics. While this may be subject to change when it hits theaters, The Irishman looks promising as it’s about a real hitman named Frank “The Irishman” Sheeran recounting his work for the Bufalino mafia family starring De Niro Pesci and Al Pacino of Godfather fame.

NEXT: Benicio del Toro’s 10 Best Movies According To Rotten Tomatoes


2019-10-18 03:10:32

Ursula Nizalowski

Joss Whedon Responds to Martin Scorsese’s Marvel Movie Comments

Joss Whedon has responded to director Martin Scorsese’s comments about Marvel Studios‘ movies. In an interview to promote his upcoming movie The Irishman, Scorsese claimed that Marvel movies are “not cinema”, which lead to a substantial amount of backlash online. People were quick to defend the movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), including Guardians of the Galaxy 1 & 2 filmmaker James Gunn.

Whedon was heavily involved in the MCU during its early days. He wrote and directed The Avengers and Avengers: Age of Ultron, in addition to co-creating the Marvel TV show Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Even though he severed his ties with Marvel Studios years ago, it seems like he still appreciates what the universe has to offer, and has come to the franchise’s defense in the wake of Scorsese’s comments.

Related: Every MCU Character Confirmed for Phase 4

Whedon posted his response to Scorsese on his Twitter account earlier today. You can read his tweet, below.

Scorsese is considered one of the greatest filmmakers of all-time, having directed movies like Goodfellas, Taxi Driver and The Departed (among other classics). He has been making films for more than 50 years, and is known for his frequent collaborations with Robert De Niro and Leonardo DiCaprio. This isn’t the first time a high-profile person in Hollywood has made polarizing comments about comic book movies, either. Director Steven Spielberg has previously said he suspects the trend of big-budget superhero blockbusters will eventually go “the way of the Western”, referencing Hollywood’s obsession and eventual rejection of the genre decades ago. Spielberg himself is responsible for many of cinema’s most iconic blockbusters, including Jaws and Jurassic Park.

Whedon’s defense of the MCU is particularly interesting, considering his not-so-clean exit from Marvel Studios. He’s openly discussed how working on Age of Ultron was a very stressful experience and prevented him from spending time on his own creative endeavors. Whedon is also known for having created properties like Firefly and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, whose fans share a similar love and appreciation for the characters and stories like those told in the MCU. It’s possible that Whedon felt like Scorsese’s comments were an attack on the type of film and TV shows that he himself enjoys creating. It will be interesting to see if anyone else involved with Marvel Studios responds to Scorsese’s comments in the following days.

More: The Irishman Early Reactions Hail Another Scorsese Masterpiece

The Irishman will premiere on Netflix in November. Whedon is currently developing the original sci-fi TV show The Nevers for (most likely) a 2020 premiere on HBO.

Source: Joss Whedon/Twitter



2019-10-04 09:10:31

Diandra Ross

Martin Scorsese Doesn’t Think Marvel Movies Are Cinema

Martin Scorsese says that although he’s tried to watch them, he doesn’t think Marvel movies are cinema. With over a half a century of filmmaking to his credit, Scorsese has undeniably taken his place as one of the greatest directors in the history of cinema. A cinephile in the truest sense, Scorsese has loved movies his entire life, and the influence of the vast cinematic experiences he’s collected over the years is deeply felt in the work he produces.

At age 76, Scorsese is set to release his latest film next month: the highly anticipated The Irishman, which brings together such legendary acting greats as Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and long-time Scorsese collaborator, Joe Pesci.

Related: 5 Reasons Martin Scorsese’s Casino Is Underrated (And 5 Why It’s Just A Goodfellas Rip-off)

While Scorsese’s opinion about cinema has frequently been sought by entertainment journalists and filmmakers alike, it’s more common to hear the famed director speak about the films (old or new) that he likes than those he doesn’t. Most recently during an interview with Empire, however, Scorsese revealed his opinions about one of the biggest moneymakers going in Hollywood today – comic book movies, or more specifically in this case, Marvel movies. When the subject of the Marvel Cinematic Universe came up, Scorsese had the following to say:

“I don’t see them. I tried, you know? But that’s not cinema. Honestly, the closest I can think of them, as well made as they are, with actors doing the best they can under the circumstances, is theme parks. It isn’t the cinema of human beings trying to convey emotional, psychological experiences to another human being.”

It’s clear that Scorsese takes his cinema seriously and while he appears to have given comic book movies a chance, they simply do not measure up to his standard of what cinema is and the effect that it should have on audiences. It will perhaps be easy for some to dismiss Scorsese’s opinions as those from someone whose tastes only venture as far as arthouse films, but this simply isn’t the case, nor has it ever been when it comes to the filmmaker’s eclectic love for cinema.

Of course, criticism of the MCU or comic book movies in general never seems to go over well, so Scorsese’s comments are sure to arouse plenty of ire. That’s understandable to a certain degree, but it’s important to also understand that in terms of pure cinematic content, Scorsese may have a point. Marvel and comic book movies hold their own place as entertainment – there’s no denying they achieve huge feats in terms of the onscreen and box office spectacles that they create. For some, this is everything that a movie should be. But for those who want something more from the films they watch, Scorsese’s words may ring very true.

Next: Who Is The Irishman? Robert De Niro’s Title Character Explained

Source: Empire


2019-10-03 02:10:57

Mike Jones

JB Smoove & Martin Star Interview: Spider-Man: Far From Home

Fresh off the reunion between Peter Parker and the MCU, Spider-Man: Far From Home is swinging into home release on October 1st. In order to celebrate the film, stars JB Smoove and Martin Starr joined Screen Rant on a magical bus ride and chatted about their characters, their field trip around the world, and their tumultuous journey both in and out of the MCU.

Tell me about filming Far From Home. What it’s like to travel around the world for film of this scale?

JB Smoove: Oh, man. It’s amazing.

Martin Starr: Paid vacation.

JB Smoove: Right? The thing that saved Martin and I, I think, is we have a clean record. So, we didn’t have any problems coming into other countries. If we had any issues –

Martin Starr: Until that one incident in Prague

JB Smoove: Prague! That’s the only thing that happened. Slowed us down a little bit, but they didn’t hold us for long. They checked us; no cavity search.

Martin Starr: Thank goodness.

JB Smoove: Nothing requiring gloves going into any orifice of the body.

I heard Prague cavity searches can be an ordeal.

JB Smoove: It was something else, man. That’s where the term Prague came from! They Prague you.

Martin Starr: They Prague you.

JB Smoove: They Prague the hell out of you.

Martin Starr: You don’t want to get Pragued.

JB Smoove: Especially when you bounce from country to country. We went to London for a few months. We went to Prague; we went to Venice. Man, we went everywhere. We had a good time.

Martin Starr: Now we’re on a bus.

JB Smoove: Now we’re on a bus, doing our own field trip.

The kids in the film – Tom Holland, Zendaya, and Jacob Batalon in particular – seem to have great energy. Do you have funny stories of working with them during rehearsals or during the press tours? 

JB Smoove: Oh, man.

Martin Starr: We had a great time working with them.

JB Smoove: We has a great time!

Martin Starr: Did you do another thing with Jacob and Tom? Or was it just Tom that was in the Audi thing that you did?

JB Smoove: Just Tom was in the Audi commercial for Spider-Man: Homecoming, which led to me being in Spider-Man: Far From Home. So, yeah, we had a great time. We spent a lot of time in the car, in the Audi, which was sponsored in the movie. We spent a lot of time in the car together, talking about all kinds of stuff. But that was my first time meeting him, and we kicked it. And this was the beginning of a relationship that I think led to me being in Far From Home. I’m honored.

Question for you, Martin. Your character actually appeared in the MCU, in The Incredible Hulk

Martin Starr: I don’t know what you’re talking about.

Could your character from Hulk appear in the MCU, independent of Spider-Man movies?

Martin Starr: Time will tell.

How did hearing the news of Spider-Man, Sony and the MCU affect you guys, if at all?

JB Smoove: It’s one of those things where we want the creativity to continue; we want the amazing characters to continue. Hopefully our characters will come back, no matter in what capacity. We would love some powers!

Martin Starr: Yeah, that’s fun.

JB Smoove: If Marvel would give us powers, maybe. We always talk about merging our two characters together, Harrington and Dell, and call them Dellington.

Martin Starr: Two heads on one body.

JB Smoove: Mr. Dell and Mr. Harrington together.

Martin Starr: We talk about it all the time.

JB Smoove: Merge together into one being!

A super teacher. 

JB Smoove: Super Teacher! Or a supervillain. Put it out there, Marvel. Dellington; one person, like a mixed-race hero. Merged together, you’d get something like… How about Latte Man? Latte Man! That’s a great name for a hero.

Martin Starr: He sounds delicious.

Have you guys gotten any word about the next installment of Spider-Man at all? 

Martin Starr: No. I would imagine there are plans being made, but we’re not privy to them yet. Hopefully we become privy to them at some point.

JB Smoove: Yeah, hopefully they let us know. Because we would love to. What happens in these movies is you get it on its feet, and you find out – you know, I think Martin and I had amazing chemistry on camera.

Martin Starr: We still do. Not to brag.

JB Smoove: And we still do! Even off camera. Not to brag about our chemistry, but our chemistry is pretty damn good.

Martin Starr: The whole time, JB was like, “What about the teachers? We need to do a Teachers TV show.”

JB Smoove: We enjoyed the process. I would think, as long as these kids don’t all come back with beards, the teachers will be relevant. Unless those kids have kids.

Martin Starr: We can raise them. We can handle that.

At the end of the film, Spider-Man is revealed as a criminal for a crime he didn’t commit, and he’s outed as Peter Parker. As your characters, how do you guys feel about this?

Martin Starr: Arrest him, right?

JB Smoove: Yeah.

Martin Starr: Throw him in jail.

JB Smoove: Throw him in prison. We’re pretty honest in our opinions here.

Martin Starr: That’s it; cut and dry.

JB Smoove: Some of these answers are just one-line answers. We don’t got to elaborate too much on the law.

Martin Starr: The law’s the law.

JB Smoove: We don’t waver too much on that part.

Has your perception of comic book movies changed since joining the Spider-Man franchise?

Martin Starr: I don’t know. It just gets more exciting to watch them, to be honest. It’s fun to be a part of the process and get to see more of how they’re made. It’s super fun.

JB Smoove: I get excited every time I see what’s coming and what they’re working on, whether it’s 2020 or 2024. They kind of give you a full spectrum of what’s coming, and I get excited. These are all characters I grew up on. Earlier, I talked about [Namor] the Sub-Mariner, and how much I loved him.

Me and Martin have already thrown it out into the universe that we would love to play Power Man and Iron Fist.

Martin Starr: Or Dellington. One or the other.

JB Smoove: Or Latte Man. I’ll be happy with Latte Man.

I love Power Man and Iron Fist; it’s one of my favorite books. As much as I love the Avengers, the X-Men, the Defenders, and all the other superhero teams – I also love the solos. When Thing had his book, Wolverine had his book, Falcon and his book, Power Man and Iron Fist had theirs.

I like all the solo ones, because they break off a little bit. They do 10 books, and then kind of go away. Even the whole What If series, I love that one.

Which What If book is your favorite? 

JB Smoove: Oh, man. I think was one involving the Fantastic Four. I believe it was a what if about them going into space, or something happened. I think they got different powers.

I always love those, because as a comic book enthusiast, you kind of always wish things could be different. You always wonder what would happen if the characters were introduced differently.

I’m looking forward to it, and I’m hoping they’re going to do Sub-Mariner.

Me, too. You guys are amazing. Thank you so much for your time.

More: Watch the Spider-Man: Far From Home Gag Reel

Spider-Man: Far From Home is now available on Blu-ray and digital.


2019-10-01 03:10:51

Joe Deckelmeier

The Irishman Trailer Hypes Martin Scorsese’s Latest Crime Epic

A new trailer for Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman is now online. This fall, the iconic director returns to the crime drama he knows so well, reuniting with his old muse Robert De Niro in the process. The Irishman cast reads as a who’s who of cinema icons, with Al Pacino, Joe Pesci, and Harvey Keitel (among others) playing key roles. Distributor Netflix has a lot invested in the project, hoping it can become one of the year’s major Oscar contenders. The streaming giant has a few other titles expected to be in play, but if Scorsese’s latest hits all the marks, The Irishman will likely receive the biggest push.

Despite the impressive pedigree behind it, there remain some lingering questions regarding The Irishman. Chief among those is the film’s extensive use of digital de-aging technology, which allows the veteran ensemble to appear as their “younger” selves for a significant portion of the movie. Cinephiles got their first taste of the visual effects during the summer when the first Irishman trailer built up to the reveal of the de-aged De Niro. Now, a new look at the film has been released.

Related: 2019 Fall Movie Preview: The 25 Films To See

Tonight, the next Irishman trailer premiered, just days ahead of its debut at the 2019 New York Film Festival. Watch it for yourself in the space below:

When compared to the previous trailer, this one is much more upbeat and energetic, which tonally is in line with some of Scorsese’s other crime films (like The Wolf of Wall Street and Goodfellas, which are referenced in a title card here). The footage establishes Frank Sheeran’s character with some classic comic juxtaposition, intercutting between Frank’s meeting with his lawyer and Frank out on the job for the mob. Frank compares his responsibilities to his time in the military, but things begin to get out of hand when Jimmy Hoffa declares war on big business and the government. Those familiar with The Irishman’s story know Frank claimed he was involved with Hoffa’s murder, an event that’s alluded to near the end of the trailer. Based on the footage, it looks like Frank needs to make a difficult choice to go through with the hit – which is inevitable regardless of what he does.

Also today, Netflix released a series of new Irishman images, showcasing the digital de-aging of De Niro. Unfortunately, the results were mixed, as some viewers found the visual effects to look a bit odd. De-aging technology has come a long way, but animating human faces is unquestioningly one of the biggest challenges for even seasoned professionals to pull off. Hopefully, the ambitious CGI work doesn’t derail the film, which looks to be another entertaining (if sprawling) crime epic from Scorsese. Cinephiles have waited a long time to see The Irishman come into fruition, so fingers crossed it delivers on its potential.

More: Who Is The Irishman? Robert De Niro’s Title Character Explained

Source: Netflix


2019-09-25 09:09:07

Chris Agar

5 Reasons Martin Scorsese’s Casino Is Underrated (And 5 Why It’s Just A Goodfellas Rip-off)

Five years after he took the world by storm with his acclaimed gangster epic Goodfellas, Martin Scorsese graced movie audiences with his slightly less acclaimed gangster epic Casino. Due to its similar themes, narrative, style, and casting to Goodfellas, Casino felt less like a breath of fresh air and more like a retread.

RELATED: Martin Scorsese’s 10 Best Movies, According To Rotten Tomatoes

It was initially dismissed as a Goodfellas rip-off, and while this is true in many ways, it could also be argued that the critics responded too harshly to Casino. So, here are five reasons Martin Scorsese’s Casino is underrated and five why it’s just a Goodfellas rip-off.

10 Underrated: Incredible Performances

A lot of the criticisms of rehashing Goodfellas that get levied at Casino have to do with the fact that Scorsese cast Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci in another pair of gangster roles. But they work impeccably with Scorsese and they always do a great job of playing those characters, so why would he cast anyone else?

Sam Rothstein may not be as memorable a character as Travis Bickle or Rupert Pupkin, but De Niro puts just as much commitment into that performance as he would with any other. The same goes for Pesci, and Sharon Stone is unforgettable as Sam’s embattled wife.

9 Just a Goodfellas Rip-off: Voiceover Narration

Just like Goodfellas, Casino utilizes voiceover narration to tell its story. In fact, since the voiceover narration in Goodfellas was so well-received, Scorsese seems to have gone overboard in Casino. It’s basically non-stop throughout the whole movie whereas Goodfellas knew where to stop with the voiceover narration.

If part of the story could be told in a neat scene with actual dialogue between characters, then that’s the option that Scorsese went with. Voiceover narration was only used as a last resort, if a lot of information needed to be delivered. Casino doesn’t have that kind of restraint with its own narration.

8 Underrated: Strong character dynamic

While Goodfellas does a great job of building individual characters and giving them each their own personality, flaws, and quirks, Casino does a better job of creating a dynamic between its central duo. It’s a two-hander centered on the relationship shared by De Niro’s Sam and Pesci’s Nicky.

RELATED: The 10 Most Iconic Quotes From Scorsese’s Casino

The way that these two characters deal with stress, anxiety, and obstacles in their rise and fall not only feels ingenuous to them; they also intertwine and bounce off each other in interesting ways. Power not only changes them as individuals; it changes their relationship with one another. It makes the movie feel focused, despite being three hours long.

7 Just a Goodfellas rip-off: A bunch of the same artists on the soundtrack

One of the hallmarks of Martin Scorsese’s filmmaking style is his use of pop music. He uses music to set the mood and tone of his work perfectly, making it one of the traits that makes him such a great filmmaker and it’s a trait shared by Quentin Tarantino, Richard Linklater, and the Coen Brothers.

Since the soundtrack for Casino shares a lot of the same artists with the soundtrack for Goodfellas – including Tony Bennett, Muddy Waters, Cream, and Dean Martin – the former creates the same mood as the latter. As a result, it can’t help but feel like a rehash of it.

6 Underrated: Mature artistic vision

As great as Goodfellas is, a lot of it is just characters bickering. Its structure is all over the place, which is intentional in a bid to accurately depict the lifestyle of a mobster, but ultimately results in a movie that’s a little messy. Casino is a longer movie, but it feels tighter and more deliberate than Goodfellas.

Scorsese may have been retreading familiar ground when he made Casino, but that just gave him to opportunity to learn from Goodfellas’ shortcomings and build on his initial thesis. As a result, he came back with a movie that was more creatively mature.

5 Just a Goodfellas rip-off: Excessive graphic violence

Goodfellas and Casino are both violent movies, but the latter’s violence seems like it’s so graphic and intense that it’s trying desperately to top the former’s use of violence. Scenes in Goodfellas like Tommy unexpectedly getting whacked or Henry beating up Karen’s neighbor with his revolver have real impact, because they’re graphic, but not excessively graphic, and they’re used to expand on the characters’ darkness or advance the plot.

In Casino, however, gut-wrenching scenes like the guy’s head getting squeezed into a vice just seem to be trying too hard to be as memorable as the violent moments from Goodfellas.

4 Underrated: The best cinematic portrayal of Las Vegas

As a glitzy town filled with drugs, gambling, and strippers, plenty of movies have visited Las Vegas. The best ones are the ones that show its good side as a great place for a weekend of partying and a dark side full of seedy criminals and depressed people. Most movies either show the former (i.e. The Hangover) or the latter (i.e. Leaving Las Vegas).

What makes Casino the greatest on-screen portrayal of Las Vegas is its deft balance of these two sides. Some gamblers will be having fun at a casino, then they’ll suddenly have their head in a vice. It walks that fine line.

3 Just a Goodfellas rip-off: Nicholas Pileggi’s informative writing style

Goodfellas and Casino might seem so similar because they were both based on true-crime novels by the same author: Nicholas Pileggi. Pileggi collaborated with Martin Scorsese on the screenplays for both movies. Each script has an informative writing style, sort of the screenwriting equivalent of a non-fiction book.

RELATED: 10 Most Memorable Quotes From Goodfellas

It’s not a bad thing for a writing duo to have a distinctive style. Every script by the Coen Brothers shares the same writing style, but it never feels like they’re rehashing their own work because they tackle different subjects with their style. However, when Pileggi and Scorsese got back together, it was to tackle the same subject matter, resulting in a very similar movie.

2 Underrated: Closure for every character

In Goodfellas, we only get closure for the Henry Hill character. This is partly due to the true story it’s based on, which ended with Henry ratting out all his friends and disappearing into witness protection. But after all the characters we’ve been following get convicted and go to jail, that’s the last we see of them.

At the end of Casino, we see how every main character’s arc wraps up, even if it does end with two of them dying. Nicky gets buried alive in the desert, Ginger dies of an overdose, and Sam lives out his cushy life as a gambler.

1 Just a Goodfellas rip-off: It’s about a gangster’s rise and fall

Martin Scorsese has made a bunch of movies about organized crime, but no two have the same premise except for Goodfellas and Casino. Mean Streets was about the relationship between a guy and his cousin. The Departed was a cat-and-mouse thriller. Gangs of New York was more about the birth of America than it was about the mob.

Goodfellas is the true-to-life tale of one gangster’s rise to power and subsequent fall from grace. Casino is another true-to-life rise-and-fall story. As a result of having a similar premise, the two movies also have similar themes, similar characters, and similar plot points.

NEXT: 5 Reasons The Godfather Is The Best Mob Movie Ever Made (And 5 Why It’s Goodfellas)


2019-09-06 01:09:18

Ben Sherlock