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 »
Director Barry Levinson has been busy putting together the ambitious mob flick Gotti: Three Generations with his You Don’t Know Jack star, Al Pacino. Since director Nick Cassavetes left the project, Levinson and Bugsy co-writer James Toback have been re-writing the project, and Levinson apparently wants Pacino and John Travolta to star (though casting could change once re-writes are completed).
This is a bit of a companion piece to another article I wrote about movies I don’t love, despite containing some great scenes. In this case, I have movies that I do love, despite the fact that I can acknowledge them to have flaws. These are not necessarily the “Guilty Pleasures” – movies that you know are bad, but love anyway. These are films that are generally considered to be at least pretty good; they all rank in the global Top 2000 on Flickchart, and three rank in the global Top 200. They all rank in my personal Top 200, and two of them are in my Top 20. One is a Best Picture Oscar winner. Three of the other four were nominated for at least one Oscar, and the fifth made many critics’ Top 10 lists the year it came out. I love them all, but I can admit each of them has certain “issues”. Here they are, in ascending order on my Flickchart:
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There are some films on my Flickchart that rank higher than they might have, simply because they contain just one scene that held me captivated. Overall, I may not have cared for the movie, but one particular scene or sequence just caught my attention, and I had to admit: I wish the whole movie could have been like that.
Here are a few films that find themselves pulled from the dregs at the bottom of my Flickchart, buoyed in the middling middle on the strength of one or two effective scenes. One is the first R-rated film to win the Best Picture Oscar. One is considered a modern-day masterpiece. One is a mediocre action flick from a director best known for mediocre action flicks. They all have one thing in common: I didn’t love them…but I loved something about them. (Caution to those who might not have seen the films discussed; there may be a few minor spoilers.)
Your mind is the scene of the crime.
So reads the tagline for Inception, the new film from writer/director Christopher Nolan that just dares you to try and summarize it in a few sentences. I’m not sure it’s possible. Here’s a shot at something that barely scratches the surface: Star Leonardo DiCaprio plays Cobb, a man who specializes in entering people’s dreams and stealing their ideas. When he is hired to do the opposite–place a new idea in a man’s mind–he and his team get far more than they bargained for.
Such a simplistic description of such a complex movie. I am in awe of Nolan’s film, and it’s going to rank extremely high on my Flickchart; so high, that I’m almost shocked.