Matt writes: A true icon of the silver screen, Ray Liotta, died on May 26th at age 67, leaving behind an extraordinary legacy of richly textured performances in both film and television. Though he never received an Oscar nomination, his co-stars who did benefitted immensely from acting opposite him. That is certainly true of Joe Pesci, whose brilliant Oscar-winning turn in Martin Scorsese’s “Goodfellas” was enhanced immeasurably by the expressions of Liotta during their infamous restaurant scene. In addition to reading Odie Henderson’s essential tribute to Liotta, be sure to revisit Roger Ebert’s original four-star review of “Goodfellas” (which is excerpted in the next paragraph), along with the “Siskel & Ebert” review of the film embedded below…
Actors have a way of doing their best work – the work that lets us see them clearly – in a Scorsese film. Robert De Niro emerged as the best actor of his generation in “Taxi Driver.” Joe Pesci, playing De Niro’s brother in “Raging Bull,” created a performance of comparable complexity. Both De Niro and Pesci are here in “GoodFellas,” essentially playing major and very challenging supporting roles to Ray Liotta and Lorraine Bracco, who establish themselves here as clearly two of our best new movie actors. Liotta was Melanie Griffith’s late-arriving, disturbingly dangerous husband in “Something Wild,” and here he creates the emotional center for a movie that is not about the experience of being a Mafioso, but about the feeling. Bracco was the cop’s wife from out in the suburbs in “Someone To Watch Over Me,” a film in which her scenes were so effective that it was with a real sense of loss that we returned to the main story. The sense of their marriage is at the heart of this film, especially in a shot where he clings to her, exhausted. They have made their lifetime commitment, and it was to the wrong life.
Anything’s Possible (2022). Directed by Billy Porter. Written by Ximena García Lecuona. Starring Renée Elise Goldsberry, Simone Joy Jones, Kelly Lamor Wilson. Synopsis: A delightfully modern Gen Z coming-of-age story that follows Kelsa, a confident high school girl who is trans, as she navigates through senior year. Debuts on Prime Video on July 22nd, 2022.
The Princess (2022). Directed by Le-Van Kiet. Written by Ben Lustig and Jake Thornton. Starring Joey King, Veronica Ngo, Ivo Arakov. Synopsis: When a strong-willed princess refuses to wed the cruel sociopath, she is kidnapped and locked in a remote tower of her father’s castle. With her vindictive suitor intent on taking her father’s throne, the princess must save the kingdom. Debuts on Hulu on July 1st, 2022.
The Menu (2022). Directed by Mark Mylod. Written by Seth Reiss and Will Tracy. Starring Anya Taylor-Joy, Ralph Fiennes, Janet McTeer. Synopsis: A young couple travel to a remote island to eat at an exclusive restaurant where the chef has prepared a lavish menu, with some shocking surprises. Debuts in the US on November 18th, 2022.
The Gray Man (2022). Directed by Anthony Russo and Joe Russo. Written by Joe Russo, Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely (based on the novel by Mark Greaney). Starring Ryan Gosling, Ana de Armas, Chris Evans. Synopsis: When the CIA’s most skilled operative-whose true identity is known to none-accidentally uncovers dark agency secrets, a psychopathic former colleague puts a bounty on his head, setting off a global manhunt by international assassins. Debuts on Netflix on July 22nd, 2022.
Murina (2022). Directed by Antoneta Alamat Kusijanovic. Written by Antoneta Alamat Kusijanovic and Frank Graziano. Starring Gracija Filipovic, Danica Curcic, Leon Lucev. Synopsis: A teenage girl decides to replace her controlling father with his wealthy foreign friend during a weekend trip to the Adriatic Sea. US release date is TBA.
Fire of Love (2022). Directed by Sara Dosa. Synopsis: Intrepid scientists and lovers Katia and Maurice Krafft died in a volcanic explosion doing the very thing that brought them together: unraveling the mysteries of volcanoes by capturing the most explosive imagery ever recorded. Debuts in the US on July 29th, 2022.
The Man from Toronto (2022). Directed by Patrick Hughes. Written by Robbie Fox and Chris Bremner. Starring Kevin Hart, Woody Harrelson, Ellen Barkin. Synopsis: The world’s deadliest assassin and New York’s biggest screw-up are mistaken for each other at an Airbnb rental. Debuts on Netflix on June 24th, 2022.
Vengeance (2022). Written and directed by B.J. Novak. Starring B.J. Novak, Ashton Kutcher, Dove Cameron. Synopsis: A radio host from New York City attempts to solve the murder of a girl he hooked up with and travels down south to investigate the circumstances of her death and discover what happened to her. Debuts in the US on July 29th, 2022.
Dreaming Walls: Inside the Chelsea Hotel (2022). Directed by Maya Duverdier and Amélie van Elmbt. Synopsis: The end of a long upmarket renovation of the legendary Chelsea Hotel is partly longed for and partly dreaded by the artists who still live there. The film grants us access to their apartments and interweaves the past with the present. US release date is TBA.
Willow (2022). Developed by Jonathan Kasdan and Wendy Mericle. Starring Warwick Davis, Tony Revolori, Ralph Ineson. Synopsis: An unlikely group of heroes set off on a dangerous quest to places far beyond their home, where they must face their inner demons and come together to save their world. Debuts on Disney+ on November 30th, 2022.
Irma Vep (2022). Written and directed by Olivier Assayas. Starring Alicia Vikander, Byron Bowers, Tom Sturridge. Synopsis: Mira is an American movie star disillusioned by her career and recent breakup, who comes to France to star as Irma Vep in a remake of the French silent film classic, “Les Vampires.” Debuts on HBO on June 6th, 2022.
Rutherford Falls: Season Two (2022). Created by Ed Helms, Sierra Teller Ornelas and Michael Schur. Starring Ed Helms, Jesse Leigh, Michael Greyeyes. Synopsis: A small town in the Northeast is turned upside down when local legend and town namesake, Nathan Rutherford fights the moving of a historical statue.. Debuts on Peacock on June 16th, 2022.
61st Street: Season Two (2022). Created by Peter Moffat. Starring Courtney B. Vance, Aunjanue Ellis, Mark O’Brien. Synopsis: Follows Moses Johnson, a promising high school athlete, who is swept up into the infamously corrupt Chicago criminal justice system. US release date is TBA.
Love, Death + Robots: Volume 3 (2022). Created by Tim Miller. Starring Fred Tatasciore, Noshir Dalal, Josh Brener. Synopsis: A collection of animated short stories that span various genres including science fiction, fantasy, horror and comedy. Now available on Netflix.
Love, Victor: Season 3 (2022). Created by Isaac Aptaker and Elizabeth Berger. Starring Michael Cimino, Rachel Hilson, Anthony Turpel. Synopsis: Victor is a new student at Creekwood High School on his own journey of self-discovery, facing challenges at home, adjusting to a new city, and struggling with his sexual orientation. Debuts on Hulu on June 15th, 2022.
She-Hulk: Attorney at Law (2022). Created by Jessica Gao (based on the comics by Stan Lee). Starring Tatiana Maslany, Mark Ruffalo, Tim Roth. Synopsis: Jennifer Walters navigates the complicated life of a single, 30-something attorney who also happens to be a green 6-foot-7-inch superpowered hulk. Debuts on Disney+ on August 17th, 2022.
My Dead Dad (2022). Directed by Fabio Frey. Written by Fabio Frey and Pedro Correa. Starring Pedro Correa, Simon Rex, Booboo Stewart. Synopsis: A young burnout discovers his estranged father is dead, leaving him the responsibility of managing an apartment complex. With hopes of cutting ties, he’s forced to grow up, learning about the dad he never knew through the eclectic tenants. Now available on HBO Max.
Pinocchio (2022). Directed by Robert Zemeckis. Written by Robert Zemeckis, Chris Weitz and Simon Farnaby. Starring Tom Hanks, Benjamin Evan Ainsworth, Cynthia Erivo. Synopsis: A live-action adaptation of Disney’s “Pinocchio“. Debuts on Disney+ on September 8th, 2022.
Our Complete Cannes 2022 Coverage
Matt writes: Now that the 2022 Cannes Film Festival is complete, we invite you to revisit our official table of contents compiling all of our writers’ festival dispatches, including insightful video reviews from Chaz Ebert, Ben Kenigsberg, Jason Gorber, Lisa Nesselson and Isaac Feldberg.
The Healing Power of Bob’s Burgers
Matt writes: With “The Bob's Burgers Movie” now in theaters, our contributor Ted Geoghegan penned a deeply personal essay entitled, “How an Animated Burger Shop Saved My Family in Its Darkest Hour.” Read it here.
Make a Wish (1937). Directed by Kurt Neumann. Written by Gertrude Berg, Bernard Schubert and Earle Snell. Starring Bobby Breen, Basil Rathbone, Marion Claire. Synopsis: While at summer camp in the Maine woods, little Bobby Breen befriends composer Basil Rathbone, who left the city to try and break his creative block, and is soon playing matchmaker for his widowed singer mother and Rathbone.
Shock (1946). Directed by Alfred L. Werker. Written by Eugene Ling. Starring Vincent Price, Lynn Bari, Frank Latimore. Synopsis: A psychologically distraught woman is committed to a private sanitarium by the man she witnessed commit a murder.
Seven Alone (1974). Directed by Earl Bellamy. Written by Douglas C. Stewart and Eleanor Lamb (based on the book by Honore Morrow). Starring Dewey Martin, Anne Collings, Aldo Ray. Synopsis: A frontier family crosses the U.S. by wagon train, hoping for a better life in the Oregon Territory.