M.I.A.’s Come Around has been stuck in my head this week. Listen Here. This following my obsession with Mathew Sweet’s brilliant album Girlfriend. Basically I cycle from classic great rock, to club bangers.
THE RETURN OF THE MAESTRO
Though Spielberg has the more commercial films in total (War of the Worlds, Indy IV), in some ways it feels like Martin Scorsese and Steven Spielberg swapped careers at some point at the end of the century. Or perhaps Spielberg passed through the Oscar-bait period of his career in the 80’s and 90’s. Martin Scorsese has spent the 21st century working with Leonardo Di Caprio on four feature films: Gangs of New York, The Aviator, The Departed, and now Shutter Island. These have also been the most fiscally successful films of Scorsese’s career. They have – at least until now, seemed less and less risky. Who would think that Spielberg would have made a better 9/11 film, or 21st century New York film than Scorsese at this point?
Perhaps finally getting the recognition that eluded him for much of his best works, Shutter Island has freed Scorsese to just make a film that he wants to make, and the word out of BNAT was that Scorsese definitely had fun paying homage to Powell and Pressburger’s The Red Shoes and Tales of Hoffman, and perhaps there’s a little Sam Fuller in the mix too. (For my money – whatever that’s worth – the greatest insane asylum picture is Shock Corridor) Such means that we could have at least a reinvigorated Scorsese back, which would be good. And let’s be fair: The master is old, and has led a hard but fun life (I think he spent two years in a dark room on coke with Robbie Robertson and Liza Minelli.) Which suggests there aren’t that many films of his left to be made. Will he make a Ran? A The Dead? Whist shopping for Blu-rays today an eldery gentleman started talking to me and said with no prompting whatsoever “never retire.” It was sort of profound, and I think that Scorsese would want to be shooting until the day he dies. His partnership with Di Caprio has been good for both, even if Di Caprio will never achieve De Niro level respect for his work, he has turned Scorsese into a bankable commodity. This film should open.
But at this point Scorsese has become a household name, and though his marginal decline in quality is apparent, films like Goodfellas have replaced The Wild Bunch as a generation’s “Guy movie.” You get a group of dudes together, and you can get them quoting Goodfellas like it was Scarface. It’s shorthand, everyone knows what you’re talking about if you say “I’m going to get the papers, get the papers.” And even Casino has hit a certain level of saturation. This may have something to do with rappers loving it. But Scorsese has achieved the position of well known director, one of the handful of household names after he stopped making his best work. Funny how that goes. Then again, if this sounds like I’m being negative toward his latter career (which I also love), time has a way of re-evaluating things, though I can’t imagine time doing any favors to The Aviator.
WHEN THE MC’S CAME TO LIVE OUR THEIR PREDICTIONS
How bad does Valentine’s Day fall after the sell-by date? It opened. and it’s played okay during the week. Over 50%, I’d say, just like all the candy.
1. Shutter Island - $34.6 Million
2. Valentine’s Day - $23.5 Million
3. Percy Jackson – $20 Million
4. Avatar – $17.5 Million
5. The Wolfman – $12 Million
And then Sunday…