July 18, 2000 |
It's one of those classic Hollywood ironies: A movie chief gets fired, and, bam, his next release is a smash hit. Sure, Bill Mechanic had his share of wrong bets during his nearly seven-year tenure as head of 20th Century Fox, including the recent costly animated flop "Titan A.E." But, as with other studio honchos who were fired and left lucrative movie franchises in their wake, Fox has Mechanic to thank for its latest: "X-Men."
November 13, 2012 |
"Who is that?" It seemed an odd question. Watching "Silver Linings Playbook" at the Toronto International Film Festival in early September, the woman sitting next to me leaned in, whispering her inquiry. I wanted to ask if she ever saw a little movie called "The Hunger Games. " Or the last "X-Men" movie. Or the Oscar-nominated "Winter's Bone. " Instead, I just mumbled, "Jennifer Lawrence , " hoping that would be the end of it. And it was. But I wondered: How does a literate, festival moviegoer not recognize Lawrence?
July 2, 2000 |
Bryan Singer is one agitated director. Mock-agitated, anyway. It's February on the Toronto set of "X-Men," and production is racing along on this $75-million, comic-book-inspired tale of mutant superheroes sworn to protect a world that hates and fears them. Singer is taking a quick timeout to tape a video greeting to legendary comics creator Stan Lee, soon to be feted at a splashy Hollywood launch party for his new superhero Web site.
July 17, 2000 |
The great turnaround of summer 2000 continued over the weekend with the most X-cellent debut of 20th Century Fox's "X-Men," starring Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen. The mutant heroes leaped to life with an estimated $57.5 million on 3,025 screens, beating the most optimistic predictions by a mile to become the biggest July opening ever, according to box-office tracking firm Exhibitor Relations. Despite mixed reviews, the lure of the well-known title drew viewers of all ages to the multiplex.
July 24, 2000 |
For we longtime comic book fans, there has been no villain quite as cruel or canny as Hollywood. Every few years, movie moguls (they even sound like super villains, don't they?) pluck their next story line from a beloved comic book and promise silver screen magic. What they usually deliver is heartbreak and a lump of box office kryptonite. "The Punisher," "Howard the Duck," "Swamp Thing," "Judge Dredd" . . . the list goes on and on.
July 14, 2000 |
To be a teenager is to feel different, misunderstood, perhaps even a bit of a mutant. It was the gift of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, the creators of the Marvel comic decades ago, to realize with "X-Men" that conflicted twentysomething and teenage superheroes would tap into that universal "I don't belong" feeling and raise it to another level.