Michael Mann’s ‘Ali’ Will Return to Theaters This Weekend

In naming our favorite boxing movies last fall, we said, “Michael Mann‘s epic portrait of Muhammad Ali marvelously depicts the champ and the cultural upheaval surrounding his storied and controversial career,” adding that, “Ali is a thoughtful and aesthetically flawless picture, which succeeds in conveying the harrowing emotions the People’s Champion felt inside and outside of the ring.” Following the passing of the legendary boxer last weekend, Sony has announced the film will be returning to a few hundred theaters this weekend. While we lament some aspects of digital distribution, consider this a check in the positive column.

“When we made Ali, Will Smith dedicated a year to become Ali. No director ever had a better, more stand-up partner,” Mann tells Variety in a recent guest column. “In the early days, in one of my meetings with Ali, he said one of the most important concerns to him
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Sundance: New Frontier line-up revealed

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Sundance: New Frontier line-up revealed
Sundance top brass celebrate the tenth anniversary of the New Frontier programme with an exhibition of new work that includes Vr projects involving Björk and Ridley Scott’s global hit The Martian.Scroll Down For Full List

The dynamic roster encompasses features, a live performance, documentary and narrative mobile virtual reality experiences and a look inside the innovations at some of world’s leading media research labs.

Tenth anniversary exhibitions will also be presented with MoMA in New York City in April, and the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis as part of Northern Spark in June.

The New Frontiers line-up will take place in Park City’s Claim Jumper, The Gateway, a large-scale installation on Swede Alley by Chris Milk and a performance by Gingger Shankar at Festival Base Camp Presented by Canada Goose.

Beyond the dedicated physical exhibition spaces, audiences can experience more than 20 virtual reality pieces on mobile Vr headsets. This year’s
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Oscar-Nominated Film Series: Stone (Thrillingly) Assassinates Truth While Investigating Kennedy Assassination

'JFK' movie with Kevin Costner as Jim Garrison 'JFK' assassination movie: Gripping political drama gives added meaning to 'Rewriting History' If it's an Oliver Stone film, it must be bombastic, sentimental, clunky, and controversial. With the exception of "clunky," JFK is all of the above. It is also riveting, earnest, dishonest, moving, irritating, paranoid, and, more frequently than one might expect, outright brilliant. In sum, Oliver Stone's 1991 political thriller about a determined district attorney's investigation of the assassination of U.S. president John F. Kennedy is a slick piece of propaganda that mostly works both dramatically and cinematically. If only some of the facts hadn't gotten trampled on the way to film illustriousness. With the exception of John Williams' overemphatic score – Oliver Stone films need anything but overemphasis – JFK's technical and artistic details are put in place to extraordinary effect. Joe Hutshing and Pietro Scalia's editing
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Oliver Stone, Tom Cruise Born On The Fourth Of July Available On Blu-Ray. For First Time Ever July 3, 2012

Winner of two Academy Awards®, including Best Director, and four Golden Globes®, including Best Picture, the award-winning classic Born on the Fourth of July will be available on July 3, 2012 on Blu-ray. Combo Pack with DVD and Digital Copy featuring perfect hi-def picture and sound. Born on the Fourth of July stars Tom Cruise (Mission: Impossible . Ghost Protocol, Minority Report) who delivers a riveting and unforgettable portrayal of Vietnam veteran Ron Kovic in Oliver Stone.s (Savages, Platoon) Academy Award®-winning masterpiece.

Based on a true story, the acclaimed film follows Kovic from a zealous teen who eagerly volunteered for the Vietnam War, to an embittered veteran paralyzed from the mid-chest down. Deeply in love with his country, Kovic returned to an environment vastly different from the one he left, and struggled before emerging as a brave new voice for the disenchanted. Also starring Kyra Sedgwick (.The Closer.) and Willem Dafoe
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A good defense lawyer only needs to cast a reasonable doubt to get his client off the hook, we Kennedy followers have learned, and 1960s slugger Oliver Stone proves he's a masterful litigant in this gumbo-filled historical reconstruction of John F. Kennedy's assassination.

Essentially, it's not about Kennedy but rather the tale of New Orleans D.A. Jim Garrison who -- not believing the Warren Commission's Report that a lone gunman, Lee Harvey Oswald, shot down JFK -- launched a widespread investigation, eventually prosecuting one New Orleans citizen Clay Shaw for the crime. In Garrison's eye, Shaw was a cog in a murderous conspiracy hatched by the CIA, the defense industry, Southern rednecks, Cuban refugees and all sorts of goose hunters.

If any cause or special interest group wanted to hire a filmmaker to document the rightness of their issue, Stone would be unbeatable. In this view of nimble bombast, it's not doubtful that Stone could spin a masterful cinematic web linking John Sununu's resignation with the collapse of Pan Am. Aesthetically, ''JFK'' is crafty, super-skilled filmmaking: propaganda every bit as cinematically splendid as Frank Capra's ''Why We Fight'' or Leni Riefenstahl's ''Triumph of the Will.''

Dignifying D.A. Garrison, who even in the jambalaya of this country's screwiest state was considered a Loose Cannon, is the savvy casting of good-old-reliable, salt-of-the-earth Kevin Costner. As the obsessed litigant, Costner evens sucks on a pipe, avuncularly a la the great wise man of the era, Walter Cronkite.

Opposing this judicious breadwinner are the wide array of ''conspirators, '' shrewdly chosen among Hollywood's finest nutcase players -- prominently Joe Pesci as a hypertensive co-conspirator and Donald Sutherland as a slithery CIA op. Down the French Quarter line, you've also got died-blonde Tommy Lee Jones as gay Clay Shaw and Ed Asner as a swaggering redneck. Before we even present the facts, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, which side would you trust: gray-suited Kevin or Joe Pesci and the boys.

In the film, Garrison quotes Adolf Hitler as saying the bigger the lie, the more people are likely to believe it; paraphrasing that cynicism, the bigger the movie the more likely people are going to believe it, especially in this post-literate age where college kids only know JFK as the president who got laid a lot. And screenwriters Stone and Zachary Sklar present the ''facts'' in a stentorian wave of shrewd and sometimes dubious juxtapositions (aided and abetted by muted trumpet and stacatto of the snares).

The narrative movement is thus: Garrison espouses theory, interrogates slimeball who lies to him, followed by flashback to ''reality'' shot in black-and-white showing Garrison's suppositions are correct.

Indeed, Stone's savvy, documentary-style black-and-white footage casts an aura of truth over this theoretical treatise. Stone has built his case, starting with documentary clips of Dwight Eisenhower's warning of the terrors of the ''military industrial complex, '' through a winning montage of Camelot (the energy of the New Frontier; the disastrous Bay of Pigs, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the triumph of ''Ich Bin Ein Berliner'' speech, to Dallas.

Throughout, Stone stretches one thread: the CIA and military industrial complex, furious at Kennedy for not providing air support in the Bay of Pigs and fearing his pulling out of Vietnam, hatched a plot.

At its most questionable, a voice-over enumerates the military/industrial types who would benefit from JFK's death -- while panning over the likes of the Joint Chiefs and LBJ. While Oliver Stone has certainly stirred up the waters, with good conscience and, in JFK's own parlance, ''with vigah, '' most people are likely to regard ''JFK'' as BS.


Warner Bros.

In Association with Le Studio Canal Plus, Regency Enterprises and Alcor Films

An Ixtlan Corp. and an A. Kitman Ho Production

Producers A. Kitman Ho, Oliver Stone

Director Oliver Stone

Screenwriters Oliver Stone, Zachary Sklar

Executive producer Arnon Milchan

Director of photography Robert Richardson

Production designer Victor Kempster

Co-producer Clayton Townsend

Editors Joe Hutshing, Pietro Scalia

Music John Williams

Costume designer Marlene Stewart

Casting Risa Bramon Garcia, Billy Hopkins, Heidi Levitt

Based on the books ''On the Trail of the Assassins'' by Jim Garrison and ''Crossfire: The Plot That Killed Kennedy'' by Jim Marrs



Jim Garrison Kevin Costner

Liz Garrison Sissy Spacek

David Ferrie Joe Pesci

Clay Shaw Tommy Lee Jones

Lee Harvey Oswald Gary Oldman

Bill Broussard Michael Rooker

Lou Ivon Jay O. Sanders

Susie Cox Laurie Metcalf

Jack Martin Jack Lemmon

Sen. Long Walter Mattheu

Dean Andrews John Candy

Guy Bannister Ed Asner

Willie O'Keefe Kevin Bacon

Earl Warren Jim Garrison

Running time -- 188 minutes

MPAA Rating: R

(c) The Hollywood Reporter

See also

Credited With | External Sites