James Franco

Film Fanatic: Quentin Tarantino Retiring, James Franco and Seth Rogen Naked and Afraid, ‘Fast & Furious’ News


Quentin Tarantino Says He Will Retire After Tenth Film

Quentin Tarantino thinks about his legacy and his filmography a lot.  He has yet to make a bad film and when it’s all said and done, he’d like his resume to be thought of in quality rather than quantity.

While selling his next film, The Hateful Eight, to international buyers at AFM recently, Tarantino announced that he’s serious about retiring from filmmaking after his tenth film.  The Hateful Eight will mark his eighth film meaning he has two more to go.

“I don’t believe you should stay on stage until people are begging you to get off.  I like the idea of leaving them wanting a bit more.  I do think directing is a young man’s game and I like the idea of an umbilical cord connection from my first to my last movie,” said Tarantino.

Quentin Tarantino - inentertainment.co.uk
Quentin Tarantino is serious about his plans to retire from filmmaking. | (inentertainment.co.uk)

It’s actually pretty refreshing to hear a filmmaker think about his career and his legacy and you can tell from reading these comments that he’s very conscious about picking the right projects and putting everything he has into them.  Nearly every great director has a blemish or two on his resume and if you look at some of the older filmmakers including Woody Allen, Ridley Scott and Oliver Stone, they’ve made a number of poor films late in their career.

Quentin Tarantino retiring isn’t a lock however.

“It’s not etched in stone, but that is the plan.  If I get to the tenth, do a good job and don’t screw it up, well that sounds like a good way to end the old career,” said Tarantino.  “If, later on, I come across a good movie, I won’t not do it just because I said I wouldn’t.  But ten and done, leaving them wanting more, that sounds right.”

Michael Jordan once said he was 99.9 percent sure he was done playing basketball until he eventually came back not once, but twice.  I view Tarantino the same way.  He loves it too much to stop.  Listen to any interview or any commentary track from one of his films and you realize he’s as much of a film fanatic as the rest of us.  He’s also an artist with immense talent and I can’t see him giving that up.  Plus I’m just selfishly hoping he changes his mind and keeps making great movies well into his 70s.

James Franco and Seth Rogen are ‘Naked and Afraid’

I love creative marketing in movies.  Anyone can release a cool trailer or go on a talk show, but when the studio and the stars put real thought into selling their movie without giving the whole plot away, they’ve succeeded.

Whether it’s the fake viral ads for Prometheus, the guerrilla marketing that went into The Blair Witch Project (Is it real or a movie?) or District 9’s fake “Humans Only” signage on bus stops and vehicles, this kind of creativity makes you appreciate marketing beyond the notion that it exists only to sell something.

James Franco and Seth Rogen-inquisitr.com
James Franco and Seth Rogen in ‘The Interview.’ | (inquisitr.com)

One of the universal truths in marketing is, sex sells.  If you show some skin, people are going to pay attention and that even includes two pasty white guys promoting their comedy.

In anticipation of their movie The Interview coming out in December, James Franco and Seth Rogen have shot an episode of Naked and Afraid where contestants are left in the middle of the wilderness wearing nothing but their birthday suites.

Premiering on Dec. 7 on the Discovery Channel, the longtime friends meet in the woods where they have to figure out how to get to back to civilization while getting to know one another in an intimate way.  Hilarity ensues.

While I’ll admit this doesn’t really fall into the creative marketing category, it’s still funny and juvenile which is right in line with Franco and Rogen’s comedies.  I would expect nothing less.

I’ve never watched a single episode of Naked and Afraid but I will be tuning in on Dec. 7.

Even More Fast & Furious Movies Coming

The Fast & Furious franchise defies conventions.  Usually by the fifth installment in a series, not only is the material getting worse but the films are earning less and less money.  There are exceptions including James Bond but that series usually isn’t a continuation meaning each film is a standalone story.

But Fast & Furious is one of those rare series where it seems to be getting better, more fun and splendidly more outrageous.  Fast Five was arguably the best in the series and it earned more than $600 million worldwide.  Two years later, Fast & Furious 6, while not quite as fun as Five, was immensely entertaining and made nearly $800 million worldwide.

Production was quickly underway for the seventh installment but the series suffered a major loss last Thanksgiving when star Paul Walker sadly passed away.  The film was delayed for a year and will be released in April 2015.

Fast and Furious-indiewire.com
The ‘Fast & Furious’ franchise will continue. | (indiewire.com)

With Walker’s death, you would think perhaps that Furious 7 would be the end of the franchise.  But according to Universal Pictures chairman Donna Langley, she envisions at least three more films being made.

“We think there’s at least three more.  Paul is, and always will be, an integral part of the story,” Langley told THR.  “But there are many other great characters, and it’s also an opportunity to introduce new characters.  I think it’s still a growing franchise.  We’ll see what happens with Furious 7, obviously, but our box office has grown over the past three or four films and internationally, in particular.  So we think that there’s more to mine there.  But we’re of course very mindful about fatigue.”

This series appears to be fatigue-proof, but we’ll wait and see how Furious 7 is received.  Walker’s death will probably garner even more business as viewers will be eager to see the actor in his final role and the role that defined his career, but the thought of three more movies after that will be interesting.

I remember seeing the original film way back in 2001.  Essentially a remake of Point Break, the film was entertaining but by no means did I or anyone else ever imagine they would be potentially making up to 10 of these or that they would get better.

But if you think about it, other than the Marvel films, we don’t really have another franchise that is as fun or embraces its own ridiculousness quite like Fast & Furious.  Ten sounds like a nice round number.  Why not three more.


How Danny McBride and James Franco Saved The Princess (and the Movie Business)


♣ ♣ ♣ ♣ 1/2   out of   ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣


Sometime after the brave “knights ‘a questin'” are captured, hauled into a giant wicker pit, then forced to battle their captor’s greatest warrior… the evil, strangely-special-looking medicine man (surrounded by crowds of threatening warrior-women, topless of course), sticks his hand into a “cauldron” of mustard. Suddenly a giant five-headed snake hand erupts from the ground and menaces our heroes with razor-sharp fangs and venom that melts the flesh from bones.

It wasn’t this scene alone that made me realize I was watching possibly the greatest movie ever made, but by this point my stomach and my face hurt from laughing. From the opening scene, the medieval-action/romance/stoner-comedy Your Highness, starring Danny McBride, James Franco, Zooey Deschanel, and Natalie Portman, amongst others, is a rip-roaring adventure that will keep you in stitches. Believe me when I say, these guys are plowing through more weed than a tanker full of Roundup the entire time. With echoes of Monty Python and the Holy Grail going on here, Your Highness is a perfect blend of humor, action, and low-brow comedy.

Director David Gordon Green, who previously directed McBride and Franco in the buddy-action/stoner-comedy Pineapple Express, is running all cylinders here. While Pineapple Express might have hit a few bumps in the road, this time around the mix is perfect… and it’s mostly due to Danny McBride. The man is a genius in a curly mullet, he commands laughs merely by walking on screen and delivers lines so dead-pan you could fry a dead-egg. Did I mention his character in the movie is completely unlikable for the first 3/4 of the movie? In fact, that might be the film’s only fault. That there came a point in which I actually wanted something bad to happen to him. Director Green must have intended this because not a few minutes later, a giant, Minotaur (let’s just say his name could be “Randy”)scene turns everything around for a fantastic 3rd act.

I really can’t give too much of the plot away, because it will begin to sound like a movie that you won’t want to go see. So let’s just say it’s a spoof, a really, really well done spoof. Green and Co. tread a fine line here, where on either side lay the wastes of lesser-movies’ attempts at pulling this kind of funny off. Where only Men in Tights and Princess Bride have gone, many a Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey’s, Cabin Boy’s and Black Knight’s have failed.

“It has been handed down throughout Hollywood’s history, a prophecy where every generation is bestowed a brilliant comedy with dragons, witches, and hero’s quests. That prophecy has been fulfilled this era with Your Highness.” In a far-away land, prince Thadeous (McBride) laments his life-long curse of living in his brother Fabious’s (Franco) shadow. Fabious is ever-questing, bringing home riches and tales of danger with his band of merry men. When Fabious returns from his latest quest, he tells of slaying the dreaded sorcerer Leezar’s (played fantastically by Justin Theroux) latest magic-beast, and pulls a cyclops’ head from his belongings. He also tells the tale of rescuing fair Belladonna (Deschanel) from a far-away tower, where she has been held captive by Leezar (who plans to impregnate her with a dragon on the night of the two-moon eclipse, once again, of course).

When Fabious and Belladonna ready to marry, Leezar appears and tells of his evil plans for the virgin girl. He snatches her away, “using, MAGIC!” (as he likes to say), and returns her to the tower. Fabious and Thadeous leave immediately to save her, this being Thadeous’s first quest and last chance to redeem himself as a man in the eyes of his father, his brother, and his kingdom. Cut to McBride and his squire Courtney riding in a carriage complaining about the traveling conditions and whether they would be bored out of their minds on this quest. Thadeous’s only plan, in fact, is “to get thoroughly f*ed up.” Whether or not such “sticky-icky” existed in medieval times isn’t the point, certainly their foul-mouths aren’t historically accurate either- but I was giggling non-stop… because it’s just plain funny.

I went to see Your Highness at the Cinemark 17 in Springfield, mainly because it’s a perfectly fine theater, and because they show first-run movies for over $2.00 cheaper than Regal Cinemas. I’m not sure how long Cinemark will be able to keep this up, but I know I’m not the only one who is extremely happy they are, and I intend to keep returning. (As long as they keep their prices down, otherwise, sorry Springfield).

In closing, Your Highness is one of the better medieval stoner-comedies I’ve seen, well, ever… and James Franco’s performance alone in this movie made it a great flick for me. Pile the gorgeous Natalie Portman, buxom Zooey Deschanel, and hilarious Danny McBride, plus the best special effects this side of an episode of Xeena: Warrior Princess, and you’ve got the perfect Sunday morning mimosas movie. Have a great week, and stay classy Eugene.