A CINEMATIC RUNNING GUIDE

The Exec is proud to present A Cinematic Running Guide. We break down all the elements required to make sure the running in your film is up to speed. A Cinematic Running Guide is presented in proud association with NIKE. NIKE, just fucking do it already.

A Cinematic Running Guide, Nay A History

Since the burgeoning cinema at the start of the 20th Century, film makers have captured running in all its forms. From Buster Keaton, Charlie Chaplin to Fritz Lang’s Metropolis, men, women and children have run on screen. Sometimes towards the camera, sometimes away and sometimes they even ran across the shot. Cinema audiences around the world have been thrilled in whichever direction people could run in films.

And ACTION!

With the introduction of sound, running in movies became an even more immersive experience. Hollywood film makers such as Hitchcock used it to great effect in action sequences. Take North By Northwest, Hitchcock uses running towards camera AND away from a fucking plane to create an iconic scene. Without running, this scene would have been dog shit.

It’s All About The Running

Take Tony Richardson’s run-fest, The Loneliness Of The Long Distance Runner. It came just three years after North By Northwest, but already running is in the title and features heavily as a plot device and arty-farty metaphor. Ok Tony, you went to Oxford, we get it already, jeez!

But Where’s The Chariot?

Fast forward to the early 80s and running is now the entire narrative in Hugh Hudson’s Oscar winning Chariots Of Fire. But audiences were left confused because there were no chariots to be seen anywhere. What’s wrong with these crazy Brits?

Blockbuster Running

With boxing underdog movie Rocky, Sylvester Stallone took running to new, heroic heights. Sly continued to fly the flag for heroic running (mainly toward camera but away from the exploding whatever) in films as diverse as First Blood, Rambo: First Blood Part II and the inexplicably titled Rambo III. There was no Rambo II. What the fuck Sly?

Nice Try Arnie

Other blockbuster action stars tried to get in on the running, but with less success. Arnold Schwarzenegger tried with a bit of running in Conan The Barbarian. But this was mainly across the shot, which was proven to be the least effective. He even tried using running in one of his titles, The Running Man. But all anyone remembers about that film is how piss poor Mic Fleetwood was in it. I’ll be back? Nah, you’re ok man. Stay where you are.

The Running King

And now we come to the undisputed king of running in movies: Tom Cruise. Cruise tried his hand at ‘acting’ in films such as The Color Of Money, Rain Man and Born On The Fourth Of July. But he found his little running feet in The Firm. Here, Cruise discovered he could thrill audiences the world over just by sprinting towards the camera and away from scary, cuddly uncle Wilford Brimley. But he really got up to pace three years later with Brian De Palma’s Mission Impossible. The legendary scene where Tom leaps away from exploding chewing gum on a fish tank is an all time running classic. The invention and the daring to not only run toward the camera and away from the water, but in slow-mo and then under the camera is ground-breaking. I mean… shit the bed shivers up my spine.

Running The Show

Since then, Cruise has gone from strength to strength. He can run on sand, on roads, rooves, through windows and even under water. He continues to thrill and astound audiences with his running. Hardly anyone has noticed he really can’t act. And he owes it all to running. Go figure.

TOM HANKS TO STAR IN COBRA REMAKE

HOLLYWOOD – Actor Tom Hanks is to star in a remake of Cobra.

Tom Hanks plans to star in a remake of Sylvester Stallone’s 1988 action movie Cobra. The Castaway star told the Studio Exec that it represented a dream project for him.

I’ve always loved Sly and all his movies. When I was starting out, he was the actor I most looked up to. I kinda modelled my career on his. For instance when I did Forrest Gump, I completely based it on Rocky. The Terminal is Rambo without the explosions. And of course Dragnet was influenced by Cobra. I didn’t watch Sly’s movies: I studied them.

In Cobra Hanks plays Lieutenant Marion Cobretti, a member of the elite Zombie squad. When Los Angeles is terrorized by a White Supremacist group, the LAPD call in Cobretti – codenamed  Cobra – to help clean the streets.

Most of the time I play a liberal, nice guy. The Jimmy Stewart role. But here’s the interesting thing. When I met Jimmy Stewart we got to talking about our favourite actors. His was Jimmy Cagney. And suddenly it made sense that mine was Sly.

We asked how this cop from the 80s will fare in today’s society.

That’s what made me decide the time was ripe. With Black Lives Matter and a time of increased racial tension, we need liberals to be more aggressive. As Michelle Obama once said when they go lower, you dig a tunnel under them a blow them to the f*cking sky.

So the police brutality…?

We’re taking police brutality and using it against fascists. And anyone who doesn’t like it can suck my Da Vinci Code.

Cobra will be released in 2022.

ROCKY IV 2: DRAGO’S REVENGE GETS FIRST POSTER

HOLLYWOOD – The long awaited sequel to Rocky IV – Rocky IV 2: Drago’s Revenge – has a new poster.

Rocky IV 2: Drago’s Revenge starring Dolph Lungren got its first poster today. The sequel to the 1985 boxing classic Rocky IV will be a new twist on the old premise. We spoke with director Sylvester Stallone on the new movie:

Rocky IV came out at the height of the Cold War and so it was definitely us against them. I think that our film and the song ‘Russians’ by Sting are credited with effectively ending the Soviet Union. However, now we live in a very different climate and I wanted our film to reflect our new relationship with Russia.

How so?

Well in the new film Ivan Drago is actually going to be the hero.

Fuck off!

No, it’s true. Ivan Drago has become an American citizen, following his defeat at the hands of Balboa. He rebuilds his career, vowing to Make America Great Again. It’s like a chant he has. The end of the film is going to be a stirring speech in which he tells all the Americans that we are all the same and that Russia and the United States is to be united and governed by the same President/Premier.

Resonant.

Exactly that word that you said.

Rocky IV 2: Drago’s Revenge will be released in 2018.

Image courtesy of @ThePixelFactor.

HUGH LAURIE TO PLAY JUDGE DREDD IN NETFLIX SERIES

HOLLYWOOD – Doctor House actor Hugh Laurie is to play Judge Dredd in a new Netflix show based on the popular British comics character.

‘I am the Law!’ yelled Gregory House actor Hugh Laurie as he was presented as the new chin of Judge Dredd in a new Netflix show featuring the character. Season One of the show simply called Dredd will feature an older Dredd as shown in the latest adventures of the Mega-City One lawman.

Laurie spoke to the Studio Exec EXCLUSIVELY:

I am absolutely flabbergasted at this opportunity. It is something I’ve dreamed of since I first began reading 2000 AD as a young man in England. Dredd is an iconic figure and I’m hoping to bring a slightly more mature vision to the character. I certainly feel I have his acerbic mordant wit off pat.

Dredd has appeared twice as a cinematic role, once played by Sylvester Stallone in the appalling Judge Dredd and Karl Urban in Alex Garland’s more successful Dredd. However, director Garland who will be involved with the Netflix show said that they wanted to try a different direction:

It was important to us that Dredd the TV show was different from the movies even if it exists in the same world as the movie we made. We also want some continuity with Danny Cannon’s Judge Dredd so we are getting Rob Schneider to come in to be Dredd’s comic relief again.

Dredd will be dropped sometime in 2017.

47 FILMS: 32. DEATH RACE 2000

In our continuing series of 47 films to watch before you are murdered in your dreams, we look at cult classic Death Race 2000.

Set in a fictional 2000, Paul Bartlet’s Death Race 2000 posits a future in which a dictatorship ensures its continued popularity via the Transcontinental Road Race where competitors in souped up death cars pick up extra points killing pedestrians along the way, with the most points for the very old or babies. Whereas Rollerball – also released in 1975 – is a melancholy take on the same idea, Roger Corman’ rip off is gleefully inventive and funny. The gore is over the top and sensationalized and the absurdity of the premise is played up for laughs.

David Carradine is Frankenstein, a veteran racer whose body has been replaced so often that he is a walking version of my father’s ax! Simone Griffiths plays Annie, his new navigator and a member of the resistance who has her own motives for getting involved in the race. A young Sylvester Stallone is glorious as Machine Gun Joe Viterbo, a real live version of the leader of the Ant Hill mob, with a silk tie and a tendency to machine gun people and eat with his hands.  A year later he will break out in Rocky. Roberta Collins plays the neo-Nazi Matilda the Hun, with her lackey Herman the German.

The racing is exciting and Corman’s low budget aesthetic adds a kitsch charm, but there is also some genuine satiric intent, which nails the supine media celebration of violence and death even as it insists on cloying sentimentality. ‘He is a close personal friend,’ the interviewer opines. Even the rebels are a bunch of deluded crazies, with a Tomasina Paine who claims to be great grand-daughter of Thomas Paine. With its brilliantly punning script and its cartoon characters and ludicrous exaggeration, Death Race 2000 is an exploitation classic that hits its targets with bloody precision and eager vim.

For more of our 47 Films Click Here.

CREED – REVIEW

CREED – REVIEW: Michael B. Jordan stars as Apollo Creed’s son who goes back in time to remake Rocky with Sylvester Stallone.

Michael B. Jordan is the beautifully name Narcissus Creed or Diaphanous Creed and Apollonius Creed. Shit, he’s called something. He’s had a troubled youth but with the help of his step mom he’s got a job in a good company and a future ahead of him. However, like father like son, Creed sneaks off to Mexico to get himself punched in the head on a regular basis. In order to finally pursue his dream, he makes his way to Philadelphia where, in the city of brotherly love, he meets up with his father’s former nemesis/friend Rocky Balboa, who reluctantly agrees to train him. As the media get wind of a great story, Creed is offered a shot at the title at Everton’s football ground in England (!?).

Ryan Coogler is to be applauded for having revamped Rocky in what is being called a legacy sequel – passing the movie franchise baton from one generation to the next (see also The Force Awakens). He films the fight scenes with the requisite dynamism and verve, though in giving us a jaw-dropping one shot punch up early on he rather shoots his bolt early. Ultimately, the Rocky franchise is one big family saga. Rewatching the whole bunch last Christmas, it’s amazing how well Stallone inhabits the character, even when the story around him is largely nonsense. The first Rocky is a wonderful character piece with a great sense of place which ought to compare favorably to Raging Bull. Jordan is a compelling son figure for the aging legend to mentor, though the relationship with Tessa Thompson’s singer ticks too many boxes and lands flat. A singer who is going deaf? Jesus Christ, I wonder if they had a whole list of tragic relationships. A painter who is going blind? No! A writer who is losing the plot? No! A ten pin bowler who is losing her fingers? etc.

As with Force Awakens, there are some beats which are so familiar as to fall into the realms of pastiche, and though I love Italian food normally, it would be better if these films relinquished some of their manufactured nostalgia to tell their own stories.

 For more Reviews, Click Here.

JAMES LIPTON CONFESSES HE’S NEVER SEEN A FILM IN HIS LIFE

NEW YORK – Host of Inside the Actors Studio James Lipton admitted today that he has never seen a film in his life and often doesn’t know the name of the person he is interviewing.

James Lipton is famous for his erudite and in depth interviews with world famous actors, which seek to get away from the celebrity nonsense and go deep into an exploration of the craft of acting. However, in a drunken conversation with the Studio Exec last night James Lipton came clean that he actually has never seen a film in his life:

I don’t own a television. I go to the opera and I like going to the theater, but no, television no and I’ve never been to the cinema. If I’m in a bar or a restaurant and there’s a television, I go some place else unless they’re showing the game. I despise the cathode tube and the tyranny of the gaudy, but we run an actors studio and so I suppose that we must have other actors who have some exposure in order to heighten our profile.

So how do you prepare for interviews?

I don’t. I have a team of researchers and they do everything and I read all the questions off little cards they give me. It was very embarrassing once when we had Randy Quaid on and I read him all of Sylvester Stallone’s questions! Ha! I even called him the wrong name. But no one seemed to mind. I cultivate a reputation for eccentricity. I just fix my smile and nod. If you watch the program closely you can see I’m grinning but there is a fear in my eyes.

But you are a noted…?

Yes, well. It’s easy after all to fake it when you get used to it. All you have to do is say that everyone is wonderful and from what I’ve heard not seeing the films is actually an advantage when I have to interview someone like, oh I don’t know, Matt Damon.

And the Inside the Actors Studio Motion Picture?

Yes, that is going ahead. I have finished the script and it involves me and William Shatner. We live together in a bachelor pad and have a pet monkey called Simon.

Sounds great. 

Simon is great and Bill Shatner provides comic relief.

Inside the Actors Studio: The Motion Picture will be released in 2018.

DREDD TO BE A HBO TV SHOW

HOLLYWOOD – It’s the news all 2000 AD fans have been waiting for – HBO are going to be making a TV series based on the cult comic strip character Judge Dredd.

Created by Pat Mills, Carlos Ezquerra and John Wagner, Judge Dredd is a futuristic Dirty Harry, who motors around the post-Apocalyptic Mega-City One as judge, jury and executioner of the teeming city.

We spoke to a source close to the production.

This is going to be a great show. We have so many stories that we can do and they’re all basically coming from the pages of 2000 AD the cult British comic that started it all.

So what inspired you to make the show now?

We saw the movie. We thought it was great. Really exciting and it had a lot of stuff visually that looked interesting. We just thought that it also felt like an episode of a television show. It’s hard to give Judge Dredd one big story. He’s a cop and essentially the show will be a procedural, but one set int he future and with plenty of violence.

Will anyone from the movie be involved in the production?

I wish. No, I think Danny Cannon has gone on to other things now and Sylvester Stallone is a bit too old for the role. But we’re hoping to recreate the spirit of the movie and we do have Rob Schneider signed up to reprise his role as Herman ‘Fergee’ Ferguson. He was so f*cking funny! What a guy!

But surely the Dredd movie with Karl Urban was better?

There was another movie? Wow! That sounds great but no, I cannot believe that it was as good as the Danny Cannon version. What I loved about that film was how brave they were to get Dredd to take his helmet off and develop his warmer side. That was the genius and that’s what we hope to do.

His human side?

Sure, he has to fall in love. Otherwise how we going to jimmy all the sexposition into the show?

Judge Dredd will be broadcast in 2017.

MICHAEL FASSBENDER’S ASSASSIN’S CREED PHOTO CAUSES ALARM

HOLLYWOOD – A new image of Michael Fassbender in Assassin’s Creed has leaked onto the internet and caused widespread consternation among fans of the game.

The film version of Assassin’s Creed directed by Justin Kurzel and starring Michael Fassbender is eagerly awaited by fans of the Ubisoft open world stealth game. However, the first image to be released onto the internet shows Fassbender as the iconic assassin but clearly wearing a pair of what appears to be boxing shorts. Already fans had been shook by the release of Creed earlier this year, starring Sylvester Stallone and Michael B. Jordan which many gamers believed was an abhorrent betrayal of the original game (for that story Click Here). Top ‘Creeder’ Jose Pentacle told the Studio Exec:

Frankly we’re getting tired of being jerked around. We know that there was a boxing movie in the seventies that featured a character called Apollo Creed. We get it. But that should have nothing to do with the movie version of Assassin’s Creed. I’m not naive. The movie business is a business whose primary aim is to make money.So I’m sure if they can combine these two properties they will, but I also want to be clear that the Assassins who have been fighting the Knight Templar for centuries will not lie down and allow some big shot Hollywood producer desecrate what is a very important video game.

Director Justin Kurzel responded to the criticisms by issuing the following statement:

My interest in the Assassin’s Creed universe is  the same as any other fan. I want to bring to life a story that we have all been living, all been writing for years now. I will do everything to remain true to the source material and the spirit of that material. Michael Fassbender is also a dedicated actor who is fully committed to bringing the Count of Monte Fisto to the screen in all his glory.

Assassin’s Creed will be released in 2016.

CREED NOTHING LIKE THE GAME, COMPLAIN FANS

HOLLYWOOD – The long awaited movie adaptation of the Assassin’s Creed video game Creed is now in theaters and fans are furious.

Directed by Ryan Coogler and starring Michael B. Jordan and Sylvester Stallone, Creed had all the promise of a surefire hit, but fan reaction has been harsh and the backlash looks set to continue. So what went wrong? Arch-fan and Creedian, Apollo X. Now told the Studio Exec EXCLUSIVELY about his disappointment.

We heard that they were making an adaptation of the game and we were excited but also nervous. It is a perfect game to adapt because of the narrative structure, the action and the epic scope, but we had been disappointed so many times.

So what went wrong Apollo?

The first danger sign came with the change in the title. From Assassin’s Creed to just Creed. We thought okay. This is like changing Star Wars to just Wars, but okay. Then Michael Fassbender who had been cast apparently dropped out and Michael B. Jordan who is a very talented actor came in.

Is it because he’s black?

No not at all. I had no problem with that but when I saw the movie they had just the whole concept of the game and indeed they seemed to have changed the actually genre in which the story works so well.

What do you mean?

Well, he kind of boxes all the time. He’s a boxer and there’s all this stuff about his father and this old guy (Stallone) who becomes his trainer and who knew his father. I mean’s it isn’t a bad movie at all. It just shouldn’t be called Creed because it has no connection to Assassin’s Creed at all.  If anything it reminded me of an old Rocky movie.

Isn’t it a Rocky movie though?

Sylvester Stallone kept answering to the name Rocky but I thought that was a meta-joke. You know post-modern. Look, if they want to make a Rocky movie that’s great, but why try to tie it in to Assassin’s Creed.

But isn’t the title a reference to Apollo Creed, the character’s father? I mean Michael B. Jordan’s character is called Adonis Creed.

Oh. Oh, I see. Okay. So it is a Rocky movie. Right. Wow. I got the wrong end of the…

Stick yeah. 

Shit. That’s embarrassing. Look forget I said anything.

No problem.

Wait, are you recording this?

Creed is currently in theaters.

 

 

HIDDEN GEMS: 10. ROCKY

HIDDEN GEMS showcases little-known film gems that have somehow slipped through the collective cinematic consciousness. This week—”Rocky”

Long before “Raging Bull” made boxing films fashionable, former soft-core porn actor and muscle man Sylvester Stallone wrote and starred in “Rocky,” a subtle and fascinating character study released in 1976. Rocky Balboa is a simple but honest man—an updated, working-class version of Lenny from Of Mice and Men. Sure, Rocky works as a strong-arm man for the local mobster, but he’s as likely to take pity on you as break your kneecaps. He has a cheerful word for everyone as he roams the neighbourhood, where he is something between a figure of fun and a local legend. Rocky’s also shyly attracted to the quiet girl, Adrian (Talia Shire), at the pet store, and he befriends her oafish, alcoholic, abattoir-working brother Paulie (Burt Young) in order to get close to her. He also boxes, worshipping his hero, Rocky Graziano; but the trainer at the gym, Mick (Burgess Meredith), has moved Rocky’s locker and considers him a washout who once had potential but who blew it with a lack of focus and poor fights. Rocky’s big chance comes, however, when the champion of the world, Apollo Creed—a transparent Muhammad Ali rip-off played by Carl Weathers—has a fight fall through and decides to give a local boy a chance.

Suddenly, the local stumble-bum becomes the hero with everyone wanting a piece of him. Rocky’s dilemma lies not only in facing up to the vastly superior fighter, Creed, but also in maintaining his own integrity and dignity. He accepts Mick’s help, accedes to Paulie’s demands, but remains his own man and doesn’t lose sight of the fact that his goal is no longer to become a great fighter so much as to keep the heart of the woman he loves.

Stallone has never been better, both as a writer and an actor, and it’s a real pity that the film wasn’t a bigger success. It would be nice to see a sequel telling the story of what happens to Rocky Balboa next.

For more Hidden Gems Click Here. 

WOODY ALLEN TAKES OVER EXPENDABLES 4

SUNDANCE – Woody Allen turned up at a surprise Sundance panel to reveal he is to write, direct and star in The Expendables 4, taking over from Sylvester Stallone.

Stallone, who was also in attendance said he would stay on board as an executive producer but added he was delighted to have the 79 year old Jewish comedian take the reigns.

After the panel, Stallone told the Studio Exec EXCLUSIVELY:

You know how it is, anyone who saw The Expendables 3 can tell that the formula was getting tired, but I still wanted the characters to move on. I got talking to Woody one afternoon because we go to the same chiropodist in New York. Anyway I had these terrible corns and was in the waiting room thinking of how I was going to rescue the franchise and in limped Woody.

Woody Allen takes over the telling of the tale:

I’ve always wanted to do something different; push myself. And the kind of gung-ho action thriller that Sly does is in itself a craft and a craft I’ve yet to learn, so I jumped at the chance. You see a filmmaker is like a shark, if you don’t move forward, you’re Brett Ratner.

Stallone continues:

I knew Woody for a long time. When I was a struggling actor, Woody cast me as a street thug in Bananas. A lot of us young guys got a break from Woody so I thought it was great to pay him back. And the other thing is Woody brings a great sense of humor to everything he does and I think Expendables 4 needs a lighter touch. Expendables 3 was too dark, I think we can all agree on that.

What do you want to do with the story?

WA: I don’t want to change too much. Sly is going to have a cameo where he explains to the guys that I’m taking over. I’m obviously not a muscle man, like Sly or Arnie, so they’re going to call my the Hipster, I’m deadly with a one-liner and a crossbow. I also have these glasses that kind of pull apart and then put back together again as a grenade launcher.

SS: Oh oh. Spoiler Alert.

WA: Oh Jeez. I’m sorry. I can’t believe I said that. Yeah, but then basically explosions, mayhem and an amazing stair lift sequence. It’s like the cable cars in Where Eagles Dare.

The Expendables 4 will be released in 2016.

DAD’S ARMY MOVIE REBOOT: FIRST LOOK

LONDON – The movie reboot of much loved BBC sit-com Dad’s Army has released the first picture EXCLUSIVELY to the Studio Exec which shows stars Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone in the roles of Captain Mainwaring and Sergeant Wilson.

For those unfamiliar with the show, Dad’s Army follows the adventures of an inept platoon of the British ‘Home Guard’ tasked with defending England from a possible German invasion in the midst of World War Two. An essentially English affair, Schwarzenegger and Stallone are both adamant that they will adopt convincing British accents and they are joined by other Hollywood big hitters Catherine Zeta Jones as a glamorous journalist and Mel Gibson who will dust off his Scottish accent to play the role of the fiery Scot, Frazer.

Director Oliver Parker told the Studio Exec EXCLUSIVELY:

Initially we were going to go with Michael Gambon and Tom Courtenay, both marvelous actors, but then Stallone got in touch and he revealed that he and Arnie were huge fans of the original show and wanted to take part. Once I saw The Expendables 3 I knew we could do it. Essentially with The Expendables franchise they were already making an American version of Dad’s Army, or Granddad’s Army perhaps! Ha ha! Actually don’t print that.

Dad’s Army is only the latest in a stream of Hollywood movies based on Brit Sit-Coms, the others being Tommy Lee Jones long gestating Are You Being Served? and a star studded ‘re-imagining’ of Last of the Summer Wine.

Dad’s Army will be released in 2016.
Image courtesy of @perspectivator.

THE EXPENDABLES DEPLOYED AGAINST ISIS

HOLLYWOOD – President Barack Obama has announced that he is to deploy the Expendables to Iraq to join the offensive against ISIS.

The President said that the force led by Sylvester Stallone would be the first troops on the ground, but as they are a mercenary force the move does not represent the return of a US presence. Stallone said that he was psyched at the opportunity:

Me, Jason Statham and Jet Li are going to lead the men into action for the first time. We’re a multi-national force and we’re all highly trained in weapons use and martial arts. Add to this Dolph Lundgren is classically trained in the Stanislavksi method and Mel Gibson is what we call a Berserker. At first the Studio was dead against our involvement, but after our film The Expendables 3 came out, the Studio changed their line. They must have realized how effective we’d be on the battleground. They couldn’t see us go fast enough.

Jason Statham says that the force will be inserted into the north of the country where the heaviest fighting is taking place. He insisted that:

… we are not there as some kind of entertainment troupe. We are there to fight. Many people criticize actors as just pretending all the time. Well, I can tell you, with these guys there’s very little acting going on. It’s all action.

The Expendables are already on route to Iraq where they will be joined by Mel Gibson who is already fighting at another location in the Middle East.

The Expendables 3 is in cinemas currently or available for illegal download.