When I was in junior high school, Scarface was the most talked about movie in the hallways. It was 2000, and those hallways were a reflection of the culture at large. One time a kid asked me, “Who directed Scarface, Scorsese?” He had never heard of Brian De Palma.
There’s a popular book called Easy Riders, Raging Bulls. It’s a gossipy, oral history of 60s and 70s American movies. In the back of the book, they summarize the directors integral to the movement and give a filmography for each. Spielberg, Coppola, Scorsese, Lucas, and Malick are featured, but not Brian De Palma—despite being mentioned heavily in the book. You’d think the guy that gave Robert De Niro his first on-screen appearance (The Wedding Party, 1969) and gave him steady work way before Scorsese ever did, would be important enough to mention.
Continue reading Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Brian De Palma (But Didn’t Care Enough to Ask)
Michael Shannon and Gordon-Levitt make a memorable cat and mouse pair.
Premium Rush (2012)
Directed by David Koepp
Written by David Koepp and John Kamps
2012 was full of self-serious groaners pretending to be action movies. I’m talking about the ones with oppressively sullen atmospheres and desaturated colors and adults speaking in serious tones about serious consequences. Skyfall and The Bourne Legacy and what have you. The poster child for this recent spate of ‘grown up’ action movies is, of course, The Dark Knight and its sequel—two movies that stupid people argue feature ‘moral complexities’ not found in your average popcorn flick. Give me a break. Personally, I can’t stand when a movie with an inherently fantastical and silly premise carries itself too seriously. And with Man of Steel and Star Trek Into Darkness dominating 2013’s action lineup, it seems like we won’t be out of Nolan’s shadow for a while.
Continue reading Premium Rush is the Best Action Movie You Didn’t See in 2012
Jurassic Park (1993)
Directed by Steven Spielberg
Written by David Koepp and Michael Crichton
Warning: Spoilers ahead.
After Jaws, Jurassic Park is my favorite Spielberg. By and large, it’s a great big piece of blockbusting cinematic magic. So what if its plot does little beyond getting characters where they need to be in order to get attacked by dinosaurs in the most spectacular of fashions—and often ungracefully? (Where exactly did that goat come from?) It ain’t Tarkovsky, guys—it’s purely entertainment for its own sake. It’s a creature feature about a dinosaur zoo going haywire. If this prospect alone isn’t enough to excite you, go back to your art films you pretentious tosser, because if you’re not too full of yourself to buy into it, this movie is a serious treat. Even almost 20 years after its theatrical release, Jurassic Park remains one of the greatest cinematic thrill rides ever released.
Continue reading Jurassic Park Was Almost Ruined By The Technology That Made It Possible