Martin Brest

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Thumbnails 3/27/15

The strange unraveling of Cinderella; Kimmy Schmidt skewers empowerment culture; Charles Grodin's fine art of reaction; Putting "use" back in fair use; Yoga pants are ruining women.

Far Flungers

Wunza movies are good wunz in a while

Can any subject matter end up making a great movie?. That's the question that Siskel & Ebert's old review of "North" left me with many years ago. While Roger blasted the film's overall, twisted theme (if you don't like your parents, dump them and go get new ones), Gene dismissed this as the main problem by saying: "any subject can be done well".

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Simply the worst

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How good, or bad, does a movie have to be in order to make an impression -- enough of one, anyway, so that you can remember it, or even still feel like talking about it, 15 minutes after you've seen it? Inspired by "The Hottie and the Nottie," Joe Queenan suggests criteria for The Worst Movies of All Time ("From hell") in The Guardian.

Among the movies he considers: "Futz!" (a 1969 satire, based on a hit LaMaMa Broadway production, about a man who marries a pig), Marco Ferreri's "La Grande Bouffe" (1973), John Huston's "A Walk With Love and Death," Pier Paolo Pasolini's "Salo: 120 Days of Sodom," Roberto Benigni's "Life Is Beautiful" ("as morally repugnant -- precisely because of its apparent innocence -- as any film I can name"), Kevin Costner's "The Postman," Martin Brest's "Gigli" and Michael Cimino's "Heaven's Gate." Queenan writes: A generically appalling film like "The Hottie and the Nottie" is a scab that looks revolting while it is freshly coagulated; but once it festers, hardens and falls off the skin, it leaves no scar. By contrast, a truly bad movie, a bad movie for the ages, a bad movie made on an epic, lavish scale, is the cultural equivalent of leprosy: you can't stand looking at it, but at the same time you can't take your eyes off it. You are horrified by it, repelled by it, yet you are simultaneously mesmerised by its enticing hideousness....

Movie Answer Man

Movie Answer Man (08/24/2003)

Q. I've noticed an interesting trend over the last few years: You can sometimes tell who the "bad guys" are in a movie or TV show by what computer they use. For instance, on "24" all the bad guys used PC's while the good guys all used Macs. The same holds true for "Austin Powers," "Legally Blonde," etc. Why do you think Apple always gets the plumb roles? I'm of the opinion that Hollywood loves the underdog and has a close relationship with Apple computer, whereas PCs seem controlled by a megalomaniac in Seattle. Are there a lot more Mac zealots like me in Hollywood? Does Apple pour sponsorship money in big-budget studio movies? (Justin Toomey, Athens OH)