YouTube Red has ordered to series Cobra Kai, a continuation of the classic 1984 film The Karate Kid, with Ralph Macchio and William Zabka on board to reprise their roles as Daniel Larusso and Johnny Lawrence. Per The Hollywood Reporter, the 10-episode series landed at the streaming service after a bidding war with the likes of Netflix, Amazon, Hulu and AMC.
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Set to premiere in 2018, Cobra Kai is described as a half-hour comedy that takes place 30 years after the All Valley Karate Tournament. A down-on-his-luck
Director John G. Avildsen on the Set of ‘Rocky’ with Sylvester Stallone
Photo credit: United Artists
John G. Avildsen was born in the Chicago suburb of Oak Park, Illinois, and graduated from New York University. He started as an assistant director for Arthur Penn and Otto Preminger, before breaking out on his own in the low budget “Joe,” featuring Peter Boyle, in 1970. He scored his biggest success with “Rocky” in 1976 – winning the Oscar for Best Director – and revisited the franchise later with “Rocky V” (1990). He also directed both sequels to “Karate Kid” with “Part II” (1986) and “Part III” (1989). At his peak, he was the original director for “Serpico” (1973) and “Saturday Night Fever” (1977), but was let go from both films. His final film as director was “Inferno” (1999), featuring Jean-Claude Van Damme. Avildsen passed away in Los Angeles on June 16th, 2017, of complications due to pancreatic cancer. He was 81 years old.
Patrick McDonald, Spike Walters and Jon Lennon Espino of HollywoodChicago.com pay tribute to the director who was nicknamed “King of the Underdogs,” with the following film essays.
Rocky (1976) by Patrick McDonald
Photo credit: MGM Home Entertainment
“Rocky” is a miracle of a film, considering both its eventual prize (Oscar Best Picture) and the way it made it to the screen the first place. A broke actor named Sylvester Stallones writes a desired boxing movie script that has one caveat… he must portray the title character. As a gambit, he proposes a budget of only one million dollars, and the film gets the green light. For all of the notion of Stallone as Rocky’s prime creator, it is actually director John Avildsen who delivered the on-screen goods – the famous running scene, the freeze frame on the top of Philadelphia’s “Rocky Steps,” boxing sequences that had never been seen before and the third use of the (just invented) Steadicam by a major motion picture.
Avildsen loved to tell the stories of having Stallone write additional dialogue because the budget was so tight they couldn’t afford to match Rocky’s boxing shorts with the on-set posters or send back his too-big ring entrance robe. And remember the classic song “Gonna Fly Now”? It was Avildsen who brought in composer Bill Conti from his previous directorial effort of the Burt Reynolds film, “W.W. and the Dixie Dancekings.” The underdog of underdog films was delivered to a Bicentennial audience, and the little-movie-that-could took home Oscars for Best Picture, Director and Editing, in addition to being the highest grossing film of 1976. No wonder Avildsen became the “Ka-Ching of the Underdogs.”
Gonna Fly Now: The portrayal of the character of Rocky by Stallone was never better in this film, with Six sequels now in the culture. Director Ryan Coogler of the latest Rocky adventure, the excellent “Creed,” seemed to use the John Avildsen template in approaching the sequencing of that story.
The Karate Kid (1984) by Spike Walters
The Karate Kid
Photo credit: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
John G Avildson was a bit of a journeyman… his Oscar notwithstanding. He wasn’t one of those visionaries who develop a signature style, but his subtle gift was making a formula work. And they don’t come much more formulaic than 1984’s underdog/odd couple buddy movie “The Karate Kid.” Yet Avildson knew how to inject heart into this story of the undersized “Kid” and his quiet but powerful teacher. As the listless remake and some of its later sequels show, this is not nearly as easy as Avildson makes it look here – this is the 1980’s classic that scored Pat Morita an Oscar nomination and holds up relatively well today. It’s not exactly groundbreaking but director Avildson knew how to make the most of it.
Gonna Fly Now: You’d expect the man who directed the original “Rocky” to find the right beats in the inevitable training montage, but Kid Daniel’s “crane kick” training – which predictably but winningly leads to a triumph at the end – still delivers the goods.
Lean On Me (1989) by Jon Lennon Espino
Lean on Me
Photo credit: Warner Home Video
High school sometimes get a bad rap as a physical hell on Earth. John G. Avildsen’s “Lean On Me” does nothing to make anyone think otherwise. Avildsen, like many of his films, has fun with this one. He shows us an exaggerated look at a public school system after minorities have taken over the neighborhood. The director has long had a fascination with creating hero stories, and in this one, he gives us a breakout performance by Morgan Freeman… his performance and approach to the character is everything! This movie lives on the over-the-top action of Freeman, breathing a fun air into the entire film as he does things that may be extremely illegal in real life, but are completely entertaining within the scope of the film. Avildsen knows exactly how to set a scene, which you know right away after the opening montage that is essentially a music video. His films often have an after school special feel, but “Lean On Me” shows just how well it works even when school is still in session.
Gonna Fly Now: The opening credits where we are taken on a tour of the school while Guns-n-Roses’ “Welcome to the Jungle” is playing. He hilariously frames and choreographs the fighting to simulate feral animals in the jungle.
John G. Avildsen, 1935-2017
By Patrick McDONALDWriter, Editorial CoordinatorHollywoodChicago.firstname.lastname@example.org
© 2017 Patrick McDonald, HollywoodChicago.com
The late Weintraub was so against the idea of a comedian playing the serious role, he had to be ambushed by director John Avildsen with a tape of Morita reading lines to be convinced it was possible.
In an interview unearthed by Heat Vision, Morita, who died in 2005, explained (his speaking voice is nothing like Mr. Miyagi) how he had to test over and over again for Weintraub...
“Rocky” also won Best Picture and Best Editing at the Academy Awards, with Stallone earning nods for both his screenplay and his performance in the title role. Avildsen, who went on to direct “The Karate Kid” and its first two sequels as well as “Rocky V” and “Save the Tiger,” died of pancreatic cancer yesterday
Variety confirmed the director's death with his rep earlier today, although no further details were given. It hasn't been revealed yet if there will be any sort of public memorial service for the filmmaker. The man was born December 21 1935, in Oak Park, Illinois, USA, graduating from the prestigious Hotchkiss School and Nyu. He got his start in the movie business by serving as assistant director on movies helmed by Arthur Penn and Otto Preminger.
The late filmmaker made his feature directorial debut in 1969 with Turn To Love, which he also served as the cinematographer on.
Avildsen’s son Anthony confirmed the filmmaker's death to the Los Angeles Times, adding that Avildsen died at Los Angeles' Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.
Avildsen won the Academy Award for Best Picture for his work on 1976's Rocky. Like the titular boxer played by Sylvester Stallone, the film was an underdog itself: Despite a minuscule million-dollar budget, Rocky became the highest-grossing film of 1976, winning three Oscars
You Gotta Respect that Jay Leno Never Spent a Dime of His Tonight Show Earnings
Austin had been battling cancer for several years, but remained active teaching and performing. His daughter, Audrey Moore, told Variety the Austin was surrounded by family members and friends who were serenading him.
Austin was a widely admired improvisational teacher of thousands of students, along with being a writer, director, and musical performer. His improvisational teaching technique involved creating scenes based on arbitrary suggestions with performers then committing to agreement on the premise of the story — no matter how far-fetched — and then performing to reflect the truth of the scene and characters.
His students included “Saturday Night Live” cast members Laraine Newman, Phil Hartman and Chris Kattan, Mindy Sterling, Helen Hunt, Paul Reubens, Jennifer Gray, Paul Feig and Helen Slater. Hunt, acknowledged Austin during her acceptance speech after winning the best
If you’re going to watch the movies of Andy Sidaris, you’ll require a mental divide of some sort, especially if you’re the sort of person who believes we should all be treated and viewed equally. While we all, as humans, like looking at pretty pictures of people of whatever gender floats our boat, at some point – usually about half an hour in – of one of his movies, even the most dedicated admirer of boobs will be thinking “any time you want to get back to the plot is fine by me”.
Below is the scene that first interested me in the work of Mr Sidaris. If you like it, read on, if you groan, then We Are Movie Geeks has many articles about decent movies to enjoy. Here it is:
Andy Sidaris got his start directing sport on TV. He was the original
In a lengthy statement released Thursday, the organization said the film was “tarnished” by the “whitewashing” of “The Ancient One” — the title character’s mentor.
In the film, the British actress plays “The Ancient One,” who in the original comic book is portrayed as a Tibetan male.
“Given the dearth of Asian roles, there was no reason a monk in Nepal could not be Asian,” says Manaa President Rob Chan. “Had [writer/director Scott] Derrickson cast an Asian as the revered leader who guides the main character to become a better human being and to develop his sorcery powers, it would’ve given a big boost to that actor’s career. While actresses deserve the kinds of bold roles usually reserved for men,
The Hollywood Reporter broke the news that Ang Lee passed up the opportunity, but no reason was given. Sony recently also announced that they had their own plans to do a live-action take on Mulan and they are distributing Ang Lee's latest movie Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk. This is purely speculative, but it is very possible that Sony could also be courting the director for their Mulan movie, which is maybe why he passed up Disney's offer. Or he just may
A recent blog post that showed up on Angry Asian Man claims that Disney's original script for the live-action Mulan, which was titled The Legend of Mulan, centered on a "white merchant" man. Those who remember the Disney animated movie Mulan will note that the movie didn't have a white man in the lead role. Given the recent uproar that has come from whitewashing in high-profile movies, this would be understandably upsetting. Here are some
A busy actor since making his auspicious cinematic debut as perhaps the greatest movie bully of all time in Three O’clock High (1988), Richard Tyson always makes an impression when you see him on screen. He’s done everything from sexy and suave (Two Moon Junction, 1988) to being the bad guy (Kindergarten Cop, 1990), and he’s also done comedy in three different Farrelly Brothers pictures (Kingpin, 1996, There’s Something About Mary, 1998, and Me, Myself, and Irene, 2000). He’s been extremely active as a character actor in notable films like Battlefield Earth (2000), Black Hawk Down (2001), and different horror films such as Big Bad Wolf (2006) and 2015’s Bound to Vengeance, which casts him against type. Tyson, who’s done extensive work in theater, has run the gamut of acting, and he’s never stopped working since his humble beginnings as a kid from Mobile,
The Hollywood Reporter reveals that there is no director attached to the project yet, but Jason Reed will produce along with Chris Bender and Jake Weiner. The studio has also brought on screenwriters Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
The document appeared on Reddit, and was quickly deleted, but not before being saved by many a watchful eye. So I'll share it below, but first, here's the big shocker: Bokeem Woodbine is playing...The Shocker!
Bokeem Woodbine, aka The Shocker
Here's the call sheet, which has a few other revelations on it that we'll discuss below:
One of the other big reveals here is that Angourie Rice is
Al Molinaro joined the cast of Happy Days in Season 4, taking over for Pat Morita, who played Arnold, the original owner of the local Malt shop. Al was a series regular through Season 9 and was even featured in the opening credits. He stayed for Season 10 and Season 11, but he only occasionally appeared as a guest star in those final two years. On the sitcom, the comedic actor also played Al's twin brother priest Father Anthony Delvecchio, and it was said that he also had a brother who worked at the sanitation department.
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