Notorious for not playing the game of schmoozing and for picking unconventional movie roles, Val Kilmer has raised eyebrows as often for what he has done as for what he has chosen not to do. At times, he has been presented as a movie star but in truth he’s clearly much more comfortable as an actor. He addressed a packed audience on Saturday, April 15th at C2E2 in Chicago and gamely fielded questions about his filmography. When asked his criteria for choosing a role, he cited its interest to him as the most important factor, emphasizing that he rarely gave much consideration to what the film may do for his career (with one notable exception, explained momentarily). Read the rest of this entry »
In 1997, space was a quirky place. Paul Verhoeven went bug-squishing in Starship Troopers. A pre-Resident Evil Paul W.S. Anderson and a pre-Hellboy Guillermo Del Toro gave us very different sci-fi/horror flicks in Event Horizon and Mimic. And Alien Resurrection made the venerable franchise a little weirder under the pen of Joss Whedon and the direction of French indie favorite Jean-Pierre Jeunet.
Arguably, the two most successful offerings, however, gave us very unique takes on science fiction (at least from a visual standpoint). One was the surreal and visually unique pet project of a French writer/director who nowadays is better known for writing and producing more generic action fare such as Taken and the Transporter franchise. The other was based on a comic book (back when such things were a little less common), was a bona fide box office smash (coming only behind the then-highest-grossing-movie-of-all-time in the year’s earnings) and cemented Will Smith‘s reputation as a box-office king (fresh as he was off the previous year’s Independence Day). Both films packed plenty of chuckles–intentional and, perhaps, otherwise.
To twist a tagline from that Alien franchise: In space, no one can hear you laugh. But back in ’97, the laughter was heard in multiplexes everywhere. Come enter the Reel Rumbles ring as we take a stroll thirteen years down memory lane and bust heads with some freaky aliens in The Fifth Element vs. Men in Black.
|How would you rank it amongst the best adventure movies of all time?
Flickchart Ranking: #4981
|How would you rank it amongst the best romantic comedy films of all time?
Flickchart Ranking: #11938
The latest from the newest “big thing” in romantic comedies: Amanda Seyfried.
|How would you rank it amongst the best psychological thriller films of all time?
Flickchart Ranking: #9366
|How would you rank it amongst the best romantic movies of all time?
Flickchart Ranking: #13209
Starring the always great Common, although I don’t for a second buy him as a professional basketball player. He’s nearly 40.
His career as a director spanned seven decades, starting in the Forties with a small job on an early religious program and ending in 2000 with the action-mystery Reindeer Games. With such meager and lifeless bookends, one might question the abilities of director John Frankenheimer, who passed away shortly after his final film at the age of 93. But as poet laureate for Generation Z Miley Cyrus so eloquently sings, “It’s the climb,” and Frankenheimer’s climb was one populated with a tense body of expertly crafted films that brought action and suspense to breathless new heights. His last great work paired him with a tight script and three brilliant actors for some of the most dizzying and fun car chases this side of The French Connection. But in this week’s Reel Rumbles, Ronin has some fierce competition out of Michael Mann, another talented director, with a film that many consider to be his finest hour. A loose remake of his previous made-for-TV effort L.A. Takedown (1989), Heat won the praise of critics and audiences alike, and built a bridge between an overlooked cadre of masterpieces and a prominent career for the director that continues today. Study the blueprints, sync your watches, and get ready for the big score. It’s time for Heat vs. Ronin.