December 23, 2009 |
"Hurt Locker" screenwriter Mark Boal remembers running around the Jordanian desert with director Kathryn Bigelow, watching her scale hills in 115-degree heat to set up shots for their modestly budgeted film. By the end of the day, when everyone else was exhausted, Bigelow would look like she was just beginning her morning, raring and ready to go shoot the next scene. "She's got those Viking genes," Boal says. "I'm serious. They live forever, those people. It's the Viking genes and a whole lot of salmon."
November 11, 2009 |
Though some critics hated it when it was released in 1969, Sam Peckinpah's seminal western "The Wild Bunch" is today considered one of the most influential, poetic -- and yes, violent -- sagebrush sagas ever made. "The Wild Bunch" changed the face of filmmaking with its bloody scenes shot in slow-motion from multiple angles and its innovative, quick-cut editing style. Many have imitated the violence, but few have been able to capture its spirit and beauty. "It's something you will never see in a western before, and you will never see it again," says Ernest Borgnine, who played the vicious outlaw Dutch Engstrom in the film.
November 7, 2008 |
"Madagascar," the 2005 animated film that brought us pampered zoo critters Alex the lion, Marty the zebra, Melman the paranoid hypochondriac giraffe and Gloria the hippo (and the penguins, don't forget those crafty penguins) pulled in about half a billion dollars at the box office. The sequel, "Madagascar: Back 2 Africa," is a better film, though -- less manic, more easygoing.
April 20, 2008 |
It is easiest to see the wild, isolated Robbers Roost country where Butch often hid out from Angel Point, overlooking the Dirty Devil River. A rough dirt loop road leads here from Utah 95 about five miles south of Hanksville. There are occasional signposts and a small parking lot at the trail head. The hike to the river is about three miles; the views of the Roost's deeply incised canyons get better all the way.
April 20, 2008 |
"Most of what follows is true. " That's the opening of "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid," the 1969 movie about two bandits born as the sun was setting over the mesas and buttes of the old Wild West. Morally ambiguous, the movie struck a chord with Vietnam War-era audiences who stood and cheered when Paul Newman as Butch and Robert Redford as Sundance met a hail of bullets in a dusty Bolivian town, etching the final freeze frame onto my 15-year-old heart. I didn't know it then, but the movie wrote something else there: a love of the sumptuous Western scenery, which I rediscovered on a trip last month to southern Utah.
November 27, 2007 |
The USC versus UCLA rivalry has produced many legendary players who are remembered for making great offensive plays in the series -- from O.J. Simpson's 64-yard touchdown run in 1967 to Gaston Green's 224 yards and four rushing touchdowns in 1986 to Erik Affholter's debated touchdown catch in 1987. But the rivalry also has had more than its fair share of stars on defense, starting with last year's instant legend, UCLA's Eric McNeal.