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."
March 26, 1995
THE BIG 6 Picture Kenneth Turan: Forrest Gump Kevin Thomas: Forrest Gump Peter Rainer: Forrest Gump TimesLink consensus: Forrest Gump Hollywood consensus: Forrest Gump Actor Kenneth Turan: Tom Hanks (Forrest Gump) Kevin Thomas: Tom Hanks Peter Rainer: Tom Hanks TimesLink consensus: Tom Hanks Hollywood consensus: Tom Hanks Supporting Actor Kenneth Turan: Martin Landau (Ed Wood) Kevin Thomas: Martin Landau Peter Rainer: Martin Landau TimesLink consensus: Martin Landau Hollywood consensus: Martin
March 12, 1995 |
Some productions begin with a handshake, a conference call, a Bombay martini at Morton's. We might say they have a hundred starts, or no real start at all, for the inaugurating rituals remain private and various from project to project, studio to studio. But in Hong Kong, all films begin alike. They embark almost exactly as "Peace Hotel" did in a windowless production office on a December afternoon. They begin with a roast pig wrapped in cellophane and two dried fish on a table. They begin with a prayer.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. . . .