6 items from 2014
It's been only five years since Pixar released "Up" (on May 29, 2009), but many critics are already eager to enshrine it in the pantheon of great movie opening sequences. After all, the cartoon's prologue -- a nearly wordless montage that covers Carl and Ellie's courtship, marriage, broken dreams of adventure and family, and old age, ending with a final effort toward taking their dream voyage that's thwarted by Ellie's death. It's a heartbreakingly bittersweet sequence that's both an effective demonstration of the power of pure visual storytelling and a tidy reminder of the film's theme: as long as you're above ground, it's never too late to make your dreams come true.
What makes a great opening sequence? Modern Hollywood thinks an opener needs to be grabby and startling, lest the audience lose interest. Critics tend to like openers that show off the director's prowess, though not every movie with a flashy »
- Gary Susman
Written by David Koepp
Directed by Brian De Palma
Snake Eyes is not one of Brian De Palma’s bad films – and yes, he has a few; the man has been making films since the 1960s, of course he’s had some misfires. It pains to read complaints about how ill-conceived Snake Eyes is, though. One can take little issue with someone claiming to dislike the film based on personal preference or a disdain for the subject matter, but it is unfair to base claims around how ineptly artificial and forced the whole thing is, as if punishing the film for failing to attain to some sort of authenticity. It’s a b-movie directed by Brian De Palma, starring a wildly over-the-top Nicolas Cage, and featuring not one, but two mind-blowing sequences. At what point does it need to be realistic and sincere? It’s a »
- Griffin Bell
Written and directed by Brian De Palma
A sexy thief strips a woman of her golden underwear as her cohort collects them from the other side of the bathroom stall at Cannes. That the absurd, amusing, and schlocky sexuality of the opening heist in Femme Fatale comes from the mind of director Brian De Palma is hardly surprising.
De Palma is often seen in red carpet shoots of film festivals, slouching around from screening to screening. In short, he is still just a movie nerd, and always has been. This has been evident since his early work, often at the time dismissed as Hitchcockian riffs. 2002′s Femme Fatale is easily the quintessential De Palma film. It also happens to be the looniest, and funniest, of his oeuvre.
The thief in question, Laure Ash (Rebecca Romijn-still-Stamos), is the eponymous Barbara Stanwyck writ large and filthy. Almost immediately after the convoluted robbery, »
- Kenny Hedges
Undoubtedly one of the biggest -- and unique -- actors of his generation, Nicolas Cage got his start in 1982's "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" in a part so small if you blink you'd miss it. Then, after changing his name from Coppola to Cage, the actor's career took off and he's been a leading man ever since.
This week, Cage stars in David Gordon Green's "Joe," as a hot-tempered, but protective ex-con in a role that has critics raving about the actor's restrained performance. Whether or not you're a fan of the intense star, there's no denying he's a cinematic force to be reckoned with.
1. Born Nicolas Coppola, the actor chose Cage as his stage name to honor comic book superhero Luke Cage.
2. Inspired by Superman's birth name, »
- Moviefone Staff
For this week’s random assortment of Thinking Out Loud ideas, I wanted to start by focusing in on the upcoming Star Wars Episode VII casting rumors briefly. Specifically, how J.J. Abrams and company have recently seemed to be honing in on Oscar nominees and winners for the cast. I’ll have some other small things below as well, but that’s the main bent that the column will have today. Anyway, let’s get started! -Star Wars loves awards darlings, that much seems to be true. Just look at the names being mentioned for roles in the sequel…Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Ryan Gosling, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, and Saoirse Ronan to name a few. What do all of them have in common? With the exception of Cumberbatch and Jordan, they’re all Oscar nominees, and in the case of Nyong’o, she’s »
- Joey Magidson
A graduate of UCLA’s School of Theater, Film and Television, David Koepp has a name that is familiar to moviegoers around the world, although they may not realize why. It’s one of those names that crops up regularly, on all kinds of film posters and credit rolls, in all sorts of capacities. He has worked as a Producer, Actor, Second Unit Director, Assistant Director, Director, Writer and even Songwriter, on an epic roster of films that would make even Spielberg’s toes curl – though he had a hand in some of them.
While his resume shows him to be a man of many talents, it is screenwriting that has made his name internationally recognizable. David Koepp is one of the most prolific screenwriters in Hollywood, »
- Sarah Myles
6 items from 2014
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