The Great Wall
Unlike any American blockbuster you've seen, a conservative movie with action set pieces that are actually inventive and thrilling enough to be worthwhile.
* This filmography is not intended to be a comprehensive list of this artist’s work. Instead it reflects the films this person has been involved with that have been reviewed on this site.
Matt writes: Living legend Warren Beatty has a new film in theaters—his first in 18 years—and it has received quite a bit of coverage at RogerEbert.com. Matt Zoller Seitz awarded the film three stars, while Brian Tallerico interviewed Beatty along with the film's two young stars, Alden Ehrenreich (the future Han Solo) and Lily Collins. Yet in addition to these new articles, our site contains a wealth of archival interviews with Beatty conducted by Roger Ebert, including this essential conversation from 1967, in which Beatty discusses the controversial violence in "Bonnie and Clyde" famously panned by The New York Times critic Bosley Crowther.
Sheila writes: Alex Nunez at Road & Track put together a totally entertaining slideshow of actors and their cool cars. Clark Gable, Steve McQueen, Elizabeth Taylor, Ida Lupino, Jack Nicholson, Clint Eastwood, the list goes on and on. The cars are almost as cool as the folks driving them (and in some cases cooler).
Scout Tafoya's "The Unloved," an appreciation of fascinating movies that were critically reviled on first release, continues with a look at 1994's "The Hudsucker Proxy."
The completion of our countdown of twelve great Chirstmas-set scenes from the movies. Check out #4–#1.
American education is uneven rather than simply mediocre; what NYC sounded like in the 1920s; X bassist John Doe speaks; director Jeff Tremaine on pranking people; lousy films with great soundtracks.
Marie writes: It's a long story and it starts with a now famous video of a meteor exploding over Chelyabinsk, Russia. Followed by alien conspiracies fueled by the internet and which led me to investigate further. Where did it come from? Does anyone know..? Yes! According to The NewScientist, the rock came from the Apollo family of near-Earth asteroids, which follow an elongated orbit that occasionally crosses Earth's path.That in turn led me to yet another site and where I learned a team of scientists had discovered two moons around Pluto, and asked the public to vote on potential names. They also accepted write-in votes as long as they were taken from Greek and Roman mythology and related to Hades and the underworld - keeping to the theme used to name Pluto's three other moons. And how I eventually learned "Vulcan" has won Pluto's moon-naming poll! and thanks to actor William Shatner who suggested it. Behold Vulcan: a little dot inside a green circle and formally known as P5.
With films like "Zodiac" (2007) David Fincher has become Hollywood's serial-killer specialist and yet his entries from that genre seem to have more in common with "The Insider" than with "Psycho" or "The Silence of the Lambs" He shows a great fascination with the details surrounding each case, than with their heroes and villains. His approach is usually just as meticulous when inspired by fictional works ("Seven", "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo") as by real-life events. Perhaps it is Oliver Stone's "JFK" that this film most resembles; obsession is at both their cores.
From the Grand Poobah: Netflix is great, but they don't have everything and seem to be weak on silent films. Here's a pay site streaming a large and useful selection of high-quality films, world-wide....
Marie writes: when Roger told me about this place, I signed-up to see if I could watch one their free movies? Yup! I can stream MUBI in Canada; though content will vary depending on where you live (that's also case with Netflix Canada) and so nothing new there. And after looking through their current catalog, I can report that they do indeed have some rare movies - stuff I've never found anywhere else. I even read that Martin Scorcese is a member.
Fair warning: I begin with a parable, continue with vast generalizations, finally get around to an argument with Entertainment Weekly, and move on to Greek gods, "I Love Lucy" and a house on fire.
The parable, The lodestars of John Doe's life are his wife, his children, his boss, his mistress, and his pastor. There are more, but these will do. He expects his wife to be grateful for his loyalty. His children to accept him as a mentor. His boss to value him as a worker. His mistress to praise him as a sex machine. His pastor to note his devotion. These are the roles he has assigned them, and for the most part they play them.
In their own lives, his wife feels he has been over-rewarded for his loyalty, since she has done all the heavy lifting. His children don't understand why there are so many stupid rules. His boss considers John Doe as downsizable, and fears he may also get the axe. His mistress asks herself why she doesn't dump this creep and find an availableman. His pastor has a pretty good idea what goes on during the other six days of the week.
Eternal sun shines on the Malkovich mind
A boardroom speech from banker Thomas Dickson, written by Robert Ryskin, directed by Frank Capra and delivered by Walter Huston in "American Madness" (1932). Capra and Ryskin collaborated on many films, including "Lady for a Day," "It Happened One Night," "Mr. Deeds Goes to Town," "Lost Horizon" and "Meet John Doe."
View image Yes, they were fully paid for damages.
Salon has a work-in-progress round-up of the stories behind various staged and/or improvised scenes in "Borat." (See Comments discussion below.) Here's one I was particularly curious about: David Corcoran, the most outspoken of the three [University of South Carolina Chi Psi frat boys], spoke with FHM about the experience. "This guy said they were filming a Kazakh reporter who wanted to hang out with frat guys," Corcoran said. "They met 10 of us and I guess chose the three who wouldn't recognize Borat." The producers paid for the three men to drink at a bar, and then had them get in the RV and "pick Borat up ... as if he was hitchhiking." Once in the RV, he says, Borat showed them naked pictures of his sister and confessed to beating women.
Two of the guys -- identified in court filings only as John Doe 1 and John Doe 2 -- are now suing 20th Century Fox and One America Productions, the production company behind the film. The suit claims all three were told at the time that the film wouldn't show in the U.S. and their identities would be kept secret. They're seeking unspecified damages for "humiliation, mental anguish, and emotional and physical distress, loss of reputation, goodwill and standing in the community." Can these guys sue themselves? Will they call Mel Gibson as a character witness?
The American Film Institute announces its latest list
Roger Ebert’s review of the horror film “Chaos,” and the subsequent exchange of “open letters” between the film’s makers and Ebert, inspired an unusual number of impassioned and thoughtful responses from readers. (One of them, an account of a Los Angeles screening attended by the filmmakers, has already been printed in Scanners, the editor’s blog, and is also reprinted as the last item on this page.)
Q. You mentioned the time-slippage in "Cop Land," where the characters are betting against the five-time champion Bulls even though it was not yet the season after their fifth championship. Are all movies going "back to the future?" In "Conspiracy Theory," at the end we see a death certificate which says "10-2-97." Were the producers planning a release later in the year? (Casey Anderson, Schaumberg)
Q. In the HBO movie "The Late Shift," did anyone else notice the large number of instances when angry agents and network execs slammed the mouthpieces of their cell phones closed, akin to slamming down the receiver of a normal phone? And did anyone notice that when someone angrily slammed their shut cell phone, the person on the other end always looked shocked, staring at the phone as if hearing a dial tone? Folding the mouthpiece shut on a cell phone has absolutely no effect on a connection. (Mark Firmani, Seattle)
Frank Capra was a member of the most exclusive club in the world of film - those few directors with a style so personal that their names have been turned into adjectives. Words like "Felliniesque," "Hitchcockian" and "Wellesian" summon up instant images of the distinctive universes of their creators. And "Capraesque" evoked a world of little guys who stood up against the system, of poor people who insisted on their dignity, of small towns with bedrock values, of government that sometimes balked but almost always did the right thing when the voice of the people was heard.