1-20 of 23 items from 2009 « Prev | Next »
Oliver Stone hasn.t been on his game in quite some time, so it makes sense that he would start retreading old ground with his next film. And being the timely director that he is, he has chosen to revisit Wall Street over films like JFK or Platoon. The odd thing about the production of the flick is that shots that are meant to portray London are actually being shot just blocks away from the real Wall Street. And apparently, they even include Donald Trump! FilmGecko has gotten their hands on some set stills from the filming of the unfortunately titled Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps, and they include what looks to be a cameo from old toupee himself, Donald Trump. Michael Douglas will reprise his role as Gordon Gekko and Shia LeBouf will also join the ride as Jacob Moore, a young stockbroker who teams up with Gekko »
This partisan politico-drama focuses on the Cuban missile crisis, with only a cursory glance in the direction of Havana and Moscow. With Kevin Costner in the starring role, we wouldn't expect anything else
Director: Roger Donaldson
Entertainment grade: B+
History grade: A–
The Cuban missile crisis of October 1962 was a nuclear stand-off between the United States and Ussr. The Soviets placed missiles in Cuba, so the Americans blockaded the island. For two weeks, there was a serious danger that the confrontation might result in a third – and potentially devastating – world war.
The film focuses on John F Kennedy's appointments secretary, Kenny O'Donnell (Kevin Costner). O'Donnell begins by establishing that he is an all-American hero, breakfasting with his 400 or so apple-cheeked children and flirting manfully with Jackie Kennedy. Though he was a member of Ex-Comm, the committee which advised Kennedy during the crisis, O'Donnell was a minor figure. It's conspicuously »
- Alex von Tunzelmann
Black Friday is approaching, fellow readers. No, I'm not talking about some sort of economic free-fall or any apocalyptic event that we might see in 2012. I'm talking about the shopper's paradise/nightmare that is the day after Thanksgiving, where all the hot holiday items are paraded about with slashed prices galore. While this day does wonders for your pocketbook, it takes a toll on your sanity with malls full of shoppers packed in like sardines, scurrying to complete their lists. We all know how trying these times are, so we here at MovieWeb are trying to make it a little easier on our readers. No, we won't be selling Blu-ray players for under $100, but we are compiling a tidy little list of our own complete with our top DVD buys of the season. Below you'll find a comprehensive guide to all of the hot titles that will be on the shelves this season, »
DVD Playhouse—November 2009
Watchmen—The Ultimate Cut (Warner Bros.) Director Zack Snyder’s film of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ landmark graphic novel is as worthy an adaptation of a great book that has ever been filmed. In an alternative version of the year 1985, Richard Nixon is serving his third term as President and super heroes have been outlawed by a congressional act, in spite of the fact that two of the most high-profile “masks,” Dr. Manhattan (Billy Cruddup) and The Comedian (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) helped the U.S. win the Vietnam War. When The Comedian is found murdered, many former heroes become concerned that a conspiracy is afoot to assassinate retired costumed crime fighters. Former masks Nite Owl (Patrick Wilson), Silk Spectre (Malin Akerman) and still-operating Rorschach (Jackie Earle Haley, in an Oscar-worthy turn) launch an investigation of their own, all while the Pentagon’s “Doomsday »
- The Hollywood Interview.com
Costa-Gavras’s Z is the ultimate political thriller. Much like the earlier Battle of Algiers (1968) it takes a real event, and uses it as fodder for cinema. And as a paranoia piece, 1969’s Z is a masterpiece. It’s an angry film, spurned by the events of 1963, where a Greek politician was assassinated, and was murdered partly by the police, and the regime at the time. It’s a film that can make you angry about events of nearly a half century ago, and yet the echoes of the actions are still resonant. My review after the jump.
The leftist politician at the center of the film is called The Doctor (Yves Montand), and he’s brought in to have a political rally, but the organizers are denied their first location, and locals in with a half gang/half political organization - that hates the leftists and typifies them as »
- Andre Dellamorte
Natural Born Killers is the black sheep of the Oliver Stone filmography. Though it has received some critical acclaim, it has never received the same treatment as Stone’s more prestigious films like Platoon, Born on The Fourth of July and JFK. This comes from a host of factors. First, at the time of its release, the movie ironically became the primary target for a movement against violence in television and film. Second, and more importantly, it doesn’t really feel like an Oliver Stone film. Stone’s films are typically epic and historic, larger than life in their content and the lessons they teach. Nbk is larger than life too, but in a very different way. It attacks our sensibility about culture and the way we sense things. It tests our understanding of good and evil by proposing that no one is good.
The film follows Micky (Woody Harrelson »
- Michael Epstein
Not content with being one of the highest paid actors on television - Charlie Sheen is now set to reprise his role of Bud Fox in Oliver Stone’s Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps - the sequel to the Oscar-winning original.
The film, which starts shooting next week, follows Labeouf’s Jake Moore as he romances Gordan Gekko’s (Douglas) daughter played by Carey Mulligan.
Alex Young, co-president of production at 20th Century Fox said:
“We sort of started over with the story of a young man who is at the center of it, and how he needs Gordon Gekko’s help to navigate those waters.”
While Stone may have a patchy record (although »
- Niall Browne
By Wrap Staff
The 36th Ghent International Film Festival will honor Kevin Costner with its Career Achievement Award.
The Belgian fest will present the Joseph Plateau Honorary Award to the actor on October 11th, followed by a performance by Costnery’s band “Modern West.”
Previous honorees include Morgan Free »
- Deborah Stokol
While he started off as a screenwriter of some hit-or-miss movies (try watching 1981's The Hand sober and you'll soon know what I mean), Oliver Stone remade his professional persona by writing and directing one of the biggest critical successes of the 1980s, the Oscar-winning Best Picture Platoon. Ever since Stone hasn't shied away from rocking the boat and making films which showed us the way he views America and its political landscape. JFK, Born on the Fourth of July, Nixon, Wall Street and World Trade Center all deal with real life people or events that still create uncomfortable ripples in the psyche of many Americans.
Now Stone is turning his attention to the platform of television and creating a 10-part documentary series for Showtime that will examine the Secret History of America. In addition to producing the series Stone will also narrate each episode as it examines culturally important »
- Patrick Sauriol
1)Nashville (1975) Robert Altman’s Masterpiece captured America in the 70s like one else: All its confusion, disappointment, and uncertainty. The film follows 24 different characters over a period of as few days in Nashville just before a political fundraising concert. We take a peak in the lives of country music superstars, hippies, aspiring singers, mothers, producers, liberals, conservatives, radicals, Christians. We see how America has changed and how our moral system had been skewed by Vietnam, Watergate, the Kennedy assassinations and the sexual revolution. Illustrates perfectly what john Lennon sang “Strange Days Indeed.” 2)Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939) There are few scenes in movie history more powerful than Jimmy Stewart’s impassioned speech on the house floor. He says what every American wanted to say. These politicians are more loyal to their parties and think of people as numbers they need to get reelected. Frank Capera’s idealistic film has not »
- Anthony Nicholas
The adorable Nikki Finke is reporting that Javier Bardem has joined the cast of Oliver Stone's Wall Street sequel. He'll be playing the film's villain against Shia Labeouf and Michael Douglas. Finke also got her mitts on a more detailed plot synopsis. Labeouf plays a young Wall Street trader whose stockbroker mentor kills himself. He blames a hedge fund manager (Bardem) responsible for major stock shorting in his mentor's death and seeks the help of a disgraced Gordon Gekko (Douglas) in getting revenge. Gekko is fresh out of prison after serving time for his escapades in the first film, and he now sits on the fringe of the financial community. The additional kink in the mix is that Labeouf is engaged to Gekko's estranged daughter. The film reportedly spans from June 2008 through the recent Federal bailout and has a reformed Gekko warning the establishment that the market is about to crash. The »
- Rob Hunter
If a movie is really only as good as its villain, the summer of 1993 proved it with the double-whammy of In the Line of Fire and The Fugitive in July. Everyone else had Jurassic Park fever, but I was swept up by these two excellent, evenly-matched bouts. The latter, The Fugitive, reveled in some gray areas; Tommy Lee Jones's character wasn't all bad, but in In the Line of Fire, John Malkovich was pure bad. (They were both nominated for Oscars, and Jones won.) Malkovich plays Mitch Leary, a former military man who feels the need to assassinate the current U.S. president (Jim Curley -- who looks a bit like John McCain). Clint Eastwood plays aging Secret Service Agent Frank Horrigan, who blames himself for allowing JFK to be shot, and is determined not to let it happen again. Mitch knows all about Frank's history and leaves him clues, »
- Jeffrey M. Anderson
By Terry Keefe
Frost/Nixon comes to DVD this week with special features which include a director's commentary from Ron Howard. Below is an in-depth interview with Frost/Nixon co-star Kevin Bacon, which also covers his recent starring role in Taking Chance.
(Note: This article appeared in the February 2009 issue of Venice Magazine. )
Memo to young stars: If you want to know how to manage an acting career, study the project choices of Kevin Bacon. After Footloose, he was as big as any of the young stars of the 80s, but, a few years later, deftly avoided being lumped in with the pop culture relics of a fading decade by a small role he took in 1991’s JFK, for director Oliver Stone, then at the height of his filmmaking, and press-creating, powers. Bacon’s screen time was brief as gay hustler Willie O’Keefe, »
- The Hollywood Interview.com
april showers, daily @ 11
A mischievous devil sent me these snaps of Sean Penn showering for Oliver Stone's U Turn (yes I'm liable to use pics if you send any) I assume this is a hint to discuss it, but I haven't seen the movie.
What, pray tell, is with the canted overhead shot of his body? And why does Sean appearing to be swallowing the water in both shots? Is he washing out his mouth after offending someone? He's never been one to hold his tongue so it's a definite possibility.
Or maybe it's just an odd shot because it's part of Oliver Stone's lost period. Some people feel he lost his way after JFK, but I'm inclined to believe that Nbk was even better and worked precisely because of its delirium, a filmmaker unhinged. But what's been going on since? U-Turn, Any Given Sunday, World Trade Center, »
- NATHANIEL R
Welcome to another edition of Movies That Deserve a Second Life. If you need a refresher on what I’m referring to by “second life,” check out the Action/Adventure Edition. If you’re caught up, read on to see what funny flics I felt were unfairly ignored/disliked upon its release or have been forgotten in the years since its release.
Comedy is almost certainly the most subjective of all genres. What makes one person laugh is guaranteed to make another yawn or wrinkle his/her brow. Some find juvenilia in poor taste while others bust a gut. Everyone claims to have a sense of humor, but almost no one enjoys every type of humor there is, from dry wit and pungent satire to bodily fluid gags and intentionally groan-worthy puns. Therefore, I think it’s safe to say that no one (besides myself) will be satisfied with every choice. »
- Matt Medlock
Universal Pictures announced today the start of production on Ridley Scott's untitled Robin Hood adventure and announces the complete list of cast members and synopsis. The most prominent new name added to the cast is Vanessa Redgrave as she joins Russell Crowe, Cate Blanchett, Mark Strong, Oscar Isaac, Lea Seydoux, Scott Grimes, Kevin Durand and Alan Doyle in the action-adventure, that will mark Crowe and Scott's fifth collaboration following Body of Lies, American Gangster, A Good Year and, of course, Gladiator. The film was once titled Nottingham and was put on hold around the time of the writer's strike. At that time it was described as a revisionist story in which Crowe would play a sympathetic Sheriff of Nottingham who labors for a corrupt king and engages in a love triangle with Maid Marion and Robin Hood. Sienna Miller was also aboard as Maid Marion. Since that time the »
- Brad Brevet
According to IMDb, actor Frank Whaley plays “bit parts in big movies and successful star vehicles (Pulp Fiction (1994), JFK (1991), Broken Arrow (1996), The Freshman (1990), Born on the Fourth of July (1989) and Red Dragon (2002)), and leads in mostly bad movies (Career Opportunities (1991), Cold Dog Soup (1990), and The Jimmy Show (2001)).” The implication here is that he is incapable of carrying a movie on his own. Whether or not that is true, New York City Serenade certainly shows he has similar difficulties as a writer-director (although his two earlier efforts, Joe the King and The Jimmy Show have received some favorable commentary). Where to begin with this film? Dull and depressing? Predictable and trite? Unsympathetic and uninteresting characters? All too true. This 2007 effort introduces us to Owen (Freddie Prinze, Jr.), an »
The cast of John Wells' The Company Men has gained a few more big names. Kevin Costner and Tommy Lee Jones will star alongside of Ben Affleck in the drama about the impact that corporate downsizing has on both its casualties and survivors. Long-time producer John Wells wrote the script and will make his directorial debut. Affleck plays a corporate hotshot whose Porsche and salary vanish after he gets laid off. Costner plays his brother-in-law, a drywall installer who gives him a construction job. Jones plays a senior partner in the firm, a principled man who struggles with the greedy actions of his partners. The last, and only, time we saw Costner and Jones together was in Oliver Stone's JFK in 1991. It'll be great to see these two, and Affleck, working together again, although as I've said numerous times before, I prefer to see Affleck behind the camera, »
- Alex Billington
The days of Kevin Costner making porous movie choices seem to be behind him. Costner and the always solid Tommy Lee Jones will join Ben Affleck--another actor on the upswing--in The Company Men, an independently financed drama about the impact that a corporate downsizing has on its casualties and survivors. Costner and Jones previously appeared in Oliver Stone's JFK together. John Wells--the executive producer of "ER" wrote and will direct the film, which sees Jones play a »
- Daniel Barna
By Terry Keefe
[Note: This article is appearing in this month's issue of Venice Magazine.]
Memo to young stars: If you want to know how to manage an acting career, study the project choices of Kevin Bacon. After Footloose, he was as big as any of the young stars of the 80s, but, a few years later, deftly avoided being lumped in with the pop culture relics of a fading decade by a small role he took in 1991’s JFK, for director Oliver Stone, then at the height of his filmmaking, and press-creating, powers. Bacon’s screen time was brief as gay hustler Willie O’Keefe, who was a key witness in the conspiracy case being but together by Kevin Costner’s character, Jim Garrison, but Bacon was able to showcase his acting chops in a role unlike any he had been seen in before on-screen. Perception-wise, he was also in some very good acting company in JFK, »
- The Hollywood Interview.com
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