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Sylvester Stallone Pays Tribute to ‘Rocky’ Director John G. Avildsen: ‘You Will Soon Be Directing Hits in Heaven’

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Following John G. Avildsen’s death yesterday, one of the director’s best-known collaborators has paid tribute to the departed filmmaker. Sylvester Stallone honored the “Rocky” director the way everyone does these days, with an Instagram post: “The great director John G. Avildsen Who won the Oscar for directing Rocky!” he wrote alongside a photo of the two. “R. I. P. I’m sure you will soon be directing Hits in Heaven- Thank you , Sly”

READ MORE: Ben Affleck Pays Tribute to Adam West: ‘Thank You for Showing Us All How It’s Done’

“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 at age 81. His last film was 1999’s “Inferno,” which starred Jean-Claude Van Damme alongside Pat Morita, who received an Academy Award nomination for playing Mr. Miyagi in “The Karate Kid.”

READ MORE: Indian ‘Rambo’ Remake Director Q&A: He’s ‘Happy to Have Sylvester Stallone’s Blessing’ — Cannes 2017

Gary Barber, chairman and CEO of MGM, released a statement of his own yesterday: “We mourn the loss of John G. Avildsen, one of America’s treasured filmmakers,” he said. “Everyone remembers the first time when they saw Rocky. For over 40 years, the enduring classic underdog story about an every man overcoming all odds defined generations of moviegoers. He will always be remembered by his MGM family.”

 

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‘No Stone Unturned’ Trailer: Oscar Winner Alex Gibney Seeks the Truth Behind an Unsolved Mass Murder

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Known for making explosive investigative documentaries, Oscar winner Alex Gibney attempts to uncover the dark truth behind a 20-year-old pub massacre during a World Cup viewing in Northern Ireland. Though investigators described the crime scene as a ‘forensic goldmine,’ no one was ever arrested for the murders. In “No Stone Unturned,” Gibney continues his legacy of hard-hitting conspiracy documentaries that includes “Going Clear: Scientology & the Prison of Belief,” “Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room,” and his Oscar-winning film, “Taxi to the Dark Side.” The new trailer hints at a massive government cover-up, evidence tampering, and secret political maneuvers.

“I’ll never forget their words: We will leave no stone unturned,” says one tearful woman, speaking of the investigation. “Those words ring in my ear to this day, because I don’t think they ever left a stone, never mind turned it.” Others interviewed seem just as emotional, angry, and confused about what really happened 20 years ago.

Per the official synopsis: “Employing the methodology of a forensics expert, the instincts of a bloodhound and a constant sense of forward momentum…Gibney creates a tour de force of investigative journalism and cinematic realism out of a real-life mystery, and tragedy — about neighbors murdering neighbors, a government betraying its people, and the survivors living with the ever-present fear that the person next to them on the grocery line might the killer of their father, husband or brother.”

Watch the trailer below:


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