(Welcome to The Quarantine Stream, a new series where the /Film team shares what they’ve been watching while social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.)
The Movie: Dick Tracy
Where You Can Stream It: HBO Now/HBO Go
The Pitch: Hard-boiled detective Dick Tracy (Warren Beatty, who also directs), based on the comic strip by Chester Gould, is searching for evidence that proves Alphonse “Big Boy” Caprice (Al Pacino) is the city’s most dangerous crime boss. He may have found the key to unraveling the crimelord’s illegal empire in Breathless Mahoney (Madonna), an enigmatic barroom singer who has witnessed some of Caprice’s crimes firsthand. However, she seems more set on stealing the detective away from his girlfriend, Tess (Glenne Headly), than helping him solve the case of his career.
Why It’s Essential Viewing: Dick Tracy was largely considered a flop when it was released back in 1990. With a production that was significantly over budget, Walt Disney Studios was disappointed to see the film make only $103.7 million domestically and another $59 million internationally. That’s not a bad take for a movie that came out in 1990, but for a movie that reportedly cost over $100 million, it’s less than thrilling, especially when it followed Tim Burton’s massively successful Batman, which grossed $411.5 million worldwide. But I’m here to tell you that not only should this movie not be considered a flop, but it’s one of the best comic book movies of all-time. Read More »
After Pulp Fiction became something of a phenomenon in 1994, there was a period where producers and filmmakers were practically tripping over themselves to follow its lead. The end result was a steady string of Quentin Tarantino knock-offs – overwritten crime films with “quirky” characters spouting “cool” dialogue. In many ways, Hunters, a new series created by David Weil and debuting soon on Amazon, feels as if it time-traveled to the present from that particular era. By the time a goofy montage unfolds scored to Dick Dale’s “Misirlou” – the surf guitar song that blasted over the Pulp Fiction opening credits – I started to wonder if Hunters would have any personality of its own. Read More »
Amazon Prime Video has released a new trailer for the Jordan Peele-produced series Hunters, and it finally lets Al Pacino curse at Nazis. The alt-history series follows a team of Nazi hunters living in New York in the 1970s who are on a mission to uncover the hundreds of high-ranking Nazis hiding out in the U.S. Watch the new red band Hunters trailer below.
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The Morning Watch is a recurring feature that highlights a handful of noteworthy videos from around the web. They could be video essays, fanmade productions, featurettes, short films, hilarious sketches, or just anything that has to do with our favorite movies and TV shows.
In this edition, director Martin Scorsese provides insight into a scene from The Irishman involving a meaningful exchange between Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci. Plus, an astrobiologist breaks down apocalyptic scenes from movies like I Am Legend and Waterworld to look at their accuracy and likelihood of actually happening, and Andy Samberg, John Mulaney and Kenan Thompson stop by Late Night with Seth Myers to act out an aired sketch on Saturday Night Live. Read More »
It was a long road for Martin Scorsese to get his crime drama The Irishman off the ground. The film was in development for nearly a decade before Netflix gave the legendary filmmaker the money he needed in order to make the multi-generational-spanning story come together properly, largely due to the visual effects technology needed to digitally de-age Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci. Now you can get a taste of the film from those early development years with a clip from the very first table read back in 2013, and then you can see how Martin Scorsese brought it to life on set, earning the film 10 nominations at the Oscars. Read More »
In recent years, the visual effects used to de-age actors has produced impressive results. Robert Downey Jr., Samuel L Jackson, Kurt Russell, and Michael Douglas have all been made young again in the movies of Marvel Studios. But those are blockbuster movies. Could the same digital technology be effectively used to craft an award-worthy drama featuring de-aged actors? Director Martin Scorsese wasn’t entirely sure it was possible for his long-gesting movie The Irishman, but Industrial Light & Magic visual effects wizard Pablo Helman made it work with an entirely new approach to digital de-aging.
Learn how The Irishman VFX came together below. Read More »
If the prospect of Al Pacino hunting down Nazis doesn’t catch your interest, you might want to check your pulse. Pacino leads the Jordan Peele-produced series Hunters, about a team of Nazi hunters living in New York in the 1970s. It turns out that there are hundreds of high-ranking Nazis hiding out in the U.S., and only Pacino and the gang can stop them. Watch the latest Hunters trailer below.
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The first seven(ish) minutes of Quentin Tarantino‘s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood are now online via an extended preview, so why not kick-back and revisit the opening of one of the best films of the year? In the clip, you get Leonardo DiCaprio feeling insecure, Brad Pitt knocking back a Bloody Mary, Margot Robbie getting off a plane, and Al Pacino absolutely killing it in a brief but memorable role. Watch the Once Upon a Time in Hollywood extended preview below.
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Cool Posts From Around the Web:
The Irishman brings together Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, and Joe Pesci with director Martin Scorsese for the first (and probably last?) time, and that’s a big deal. These guys are all legends, and they’re also all well into their twilight years. The prospect of them coming together for one last hurrah is exciting, and it helps that The Irishman is one of the year’s best movies, too. A new The Irishman featurette highlights how crazy and cool it is to have all these actors together in a new Scorsese epic.
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Martin Scorsese’s sprawling new mob epic, The Irishman, opens with a tracking shot through a nursing home. We’re a long way from the Copacabana in Goodfellas, but that nightclub, too, makes an appearance later, and the shot in question here is still soundtracked by a golden oldie. “In the Still of the Night” takes the place of “Then He Kissed Me.” The camera glides past senior citizens with cane walkers to a place where a white-haired old man in tinted glasses sits, looking like a shadow of his former Casino self.
Scorsese’s nine-time feature film collaborator, Robert De Niro, plays Frank Sheeran, a war veteran turned trucker turned labor union official turned nostalgic wheelchair occupant who paints himself as a Mafia assassin in flashbacks. That’s not the only “painting” we’ll see him do, either. “When I was young, I thought house painters painted houses,” Sheeran says at the top of his voiceover. Hearing these words in this context, it’s not hard to think of Henry Hill in Goodfellas, narrating, “As far back as I can remember, I wanted to be a gangster.” In Sheeran’s world, it turns out painting houses entails splattering their walls red with people’s blood.
Without delving into spoilers beyond the opening shot, it’s enough to say that cinephiles versed in the visual language of Scorsese’s films will be able to pinpoint many such callbacks when The Irishman hits Netflix on November 27 (it’s playing in limited theatrical release right now). Among other things, the movie serves as the summation of cinema’s greatest director-and-actor collaboration. Critics have described it in almost oxymoronic terms, calling it “a bold and shattering epic of old age.” Beyond the hype lies a film about human frailty, with one foot in the grave and one foot in the almighty past.
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