November 16, 2007 |
In the half-century since Hollywood first flirted with 3-D movies, the special glasses required for viewing have gotten a whole lot more substantial. The stories being filmed, however, are just as flimsy. Of course "Beowulf," which was screened for critics only in 3-D, does have a more impressive literary pedigree than, say, "Bwana Devil." Seamus Heaney, who did an admired recent translation from the Anglo-Saxon, called it "one of the foundation works of poetry in English."
January 13, 2010 |
With its aura of faux humility, dense saturation of "for your consideration" ads and humble-yet-effusive nominee posturing, awards season can be a long (if gala-packed and celebrity-studded) slog for Hollywood watchers. So it comes as a blast of fresh air when a front-runner allows himself to get into the competitive spirit. Cut to writer-director Quentin Tarantino mulling the Oscar possibilities for his spaghetti western-cum-World War II thriller "Inglourious Basterds." So far, the film has taken in more than $300 million worldwide, landed 10 Critics Choice Movie Awards nominations (as well as a Directors Guild of America nod for Tarantino)
November 13, 2007 |
It began as a pagan poem told around shadowy campfires about a hero fighting the monster Grendel, the monster's mother and a dragon. Christendom's world of saints and sinners reinvented Beowulf as a soldier of God and branded Grendel one of Cain's evil kin. "Lord of the Rings" author and Old English scholar J.R.R. Tolkien reintroduced the story to the modern world in 1936 as an important work of literary art rather than an obscure artifact of Old English language.
February 21, 2014 |
"The Hateful Eight" is bold work by an artist pushing himself to the creative edge as he devises a Rubik's Cube of contradictions for his audience. I'm not supposed to know this yet. That I have an opinion about an unmade movie is because of the leak of a script that angered its writer-director enough to file a lawsuit and pledge to shelve the project. But it would be a crime if Quentin Tarantino's "The Hateful Eight" became a victim of the Internet's fondness for disseminating all things illicit from sex tapes to now, apparently, scripts.
February 26, 2003 |
In the somewhat rarified world of fan-geek worship, writer-director Don Coscarelli and actor Bruce Campbell are superstars. They became cult heroes more than 20 years ago, when Coscarelli wrote and directed "Phantasm" (1979) and Campbell starred in Sam "Spider-Man" Raimi's shoestring debut "The Evil Dead" (1982). Now in their mid-40s, they still enjoy untarnished credibility with a hard-core fan base that seems to get younger every year.
January 23, 2005 |
There have always been directors who have been able to push personal movies through Hollywood. Typically, someone would make an interesting small movie that got some attention. The studios would then hire him -- or, in recent years, her. Often the studios were confused by the results. Orson Welles, who came from the theater and radio, made "Citizen Kane" for RKO, which didn't know what to do with it.
March 19, 1996 |
One is a former seminary student who said that when he first learned Mel Gibson was interested in his screenplay "Braveheart," he didn't tell his wife where he was meeting the actor for fear she would show up and gawk "like Lucy and Ethel." The other is a veteran British actress who became one of the year's most honored film writers after adapting the Jane Austen novel "Sense and Sensibility" into a screenplay.
March 19, 2006 |
IS "Crash" the worst movie ever to win the Oscar for best picture? Probably not, though it definitely reeks. Academy members had a chance to make history by honoring "Brokeback Mountain," a trailblazing gay love story that also happened to be the best movie of 2005. Instead, they voted for arguably the worst of the five films nominated -- a ham-fisted expose of racial tensions in Los Angeles that pulled its punches by ending on an incongruous note of communion and redemption.
October 10, 1995 |
While audience response to "Showgirls" may have fallen short of its studio's hopes, its opening-weekend box-office success likely will pave the way for more NC-17 films, industry watchers say. "I think that big studios are going to be much more open to it," said John Burnham, senior vice-president and co-head of the motion picture department at William Morris Agency. "Studios will be interested in anything that has that kind of ability to open so successfully. . . .
July 25, 2007 |
Angelina Jolie's lips look even fuller than usual. She's emerging naked from a pool of dank cave water, rivulets of gold streaming gently down her body. "Giiiif meee sonnnn," she coos, in an Old English accent. Her flaxen hair is braided down her back in a long tail that slowly undulates and slaps the dark pool around her. She continues to purr enticements about making babies as a virtual camera circles 360 degrees panning around her long limbs and waist.