Versatile special-effects maestro Shane Mahan knows his summer blockbusters — he's worked with everyone from Steven Spielberg and James Cameron to Tim Burton and Jon Favreau.
"They are the best communicators, and I think they’re also the best visionaries,” Mahan says.
Mahan is something of a visionary himself.
Remember when Mickey Rourke was one of the most compelling actors on the planet? Sure, one must go back more than two decades, but there was a time when his wry smile, knowing eyes and playful, sexually charged persona made Rourke both a cult figure — the French still adore him — and an actor of rare emotional depth and unpredictability.
Miranda July's refreshingly slanted worldview is finally back on display via The Future, which will get its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in January. The long-awaited follow-up to her 2005 feature-length debut, Me and You and Everyone We Know, tells the story of a thirtysomething couple who adopt a terminally ill cat, a decision that has an unexpected impact on their lives — and likely the film's viewers.
We've got another thin week for new movie releases — unless you're excited about the latest Narnia film, which I'm not. Even the new Johnny Depp/Angelina Jolie thriller — which I was initially eager to check out despite the warning sign its studio raised by not screening it in advance for critics — is getting thoroughly trashed by those unlucky enough to have seen it. That leaves Wild Target, another film its distributor (the indie outfit Freestyle) didn't screen in advance, as the lone possible saving grace. No pressure.
Will Ferrell takes a break from his usual comic shenanigans this week to star writer/director Dan Rush's feature debut, Everything Must Go, an adaptation of a Raymond Carver short story. Ferrell in a Carver story, a story in which Ferrell's character is a listless, downtrodden “functioning alcoholic” with straying loins? Apparently. And, according to tt stern-enzi's positive review, apparently he does it well.
In an effort to be as informative as possible to Tristate cinema geeks of every genre, political persuasion and religious affiliation, I thought I'd alert you to the coming presence of a movie that some have called “excellent,” “very worthwhile” and “absolutely dynamic.”
While I recognize and appreciate the undeniable creative juice expended in their creation, I admit to a blind spot when it comes to comic books (aka graphic novels to the genre’s serious devotees). I outgrew the form shortly after the death of Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew, which went out of print after a 20-issue run in the early 1980s. (Don’t ask how much I spent on a recent, eBay-procured mint copy of the first issue.)
Which brings me to Watchmen, probably the most anticipated movie our young, quality-deprived year to date.
Who better to explore the life of Mike Tyson than James Toback? The two are mirror images in many ways.
The 64-year-old director of such highly personal, often indulgent films as Fingers (1978), The Pick-up Artist (1987), Two Girls and a Guy (1997) and Black and White (1999) is a noted lothario (despite resembling a balding bear) and a gleefully narcissistic provocateur whose elemental instincts often overwhelm his obviously elevated intellect.
Oliver Stone has been out of sorts ever since he gave people an aneurysm with the over-the-top, frenetic football extravaganza Any Given Sunday (1999).
Now that I think about it, U-Turn (1997) blew, too. In fact, it’s been since the underrated (and under-seen) Nixon (1995) that Stone had me fully engaged.
Recent years have been especially tough on the onetime provocateur: World Trade Center (2006) seemed a naked attempt to prove he could make a standard studio picture after the unqualified disaster that was the bloated, thoroughly disjointed Alexander (2004). How far had Stone fallen? I didn’t even bother to catch World Trade Center or Alexander during their theatrical run — an unthinkable occurrence back when even his less successful films were at least intriguing in their mix of testosterone-laden spectacle, pungent dialogue and formal dexterity.
All that said, I can’t wait to see what Stone does with W., his take on the presidency of George W. Bush (as played by what looks to be an inspired Josh Brolin).
The movie opens Oct. 17
Here are a few trailers to tide you over.
Ah, but what to see?