Posts Tagged ‘Casey Affleck’

Fist of Film: Matt Damon’s Bottom Five

March 12, 2010

Matt Damon has enjoyed quite a ride. The game-changing Bourne trilogy transformed him from the only Oscar-winning Bruce Weber pin-up into a muscular box office behemoth. The WMD thriller Green Zone reunites Damon with director Paul Greengrass and looks set to reap further millions this weekend. It wasn’t always, thus, however. Here’s a look at the Cambridge-born star’s least profitable earners, written in the hope hidden gems will be uncovered and bitter laughs had. Box office figures are kindly taken from Box Office Mojo.

Geronimo: An American Legend (1993)
Box office: $18,635,620
A beardless Damon tags along as part of a party led by Robert Duvall, who applies his best grizzle to the role of an Indian hunter. Duvall’s white whale is the legendary Apache renegade Geronimo (Wes Studi). Released after the success of Unforgiven, the film doesn’t so much revise history as honor the facts. For Damon’s teen following, it moved with all the pace of a three-legged horse. Genre expert Walter Hill (The Warriors) directed a script from John Milius (Red Dawn) and Larry Gross.

All the Pretty Horses (2000)
Box office: $15,540,353
Pairing director Billy Bob Thornton with the 1992 National Book Award-winner seemed like a good idea at the time, as the Sling Blade star had yet to go full lunatic. The material is Cormac McCarthy, so there’s the inevitable run by a Texas teen (Damon) ‘cross the border, where he breaks some horses and falls for a simmering Penelope Cruz. It was all too elegiac for the studio, who hacked Thornton’s original three-hour cut and left the film to languish at the box office. What’s left is a great novel with palsy.

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Coming Soon: The Killer Inside Me

February 17, 2010

Director: Michael Winterbottom
Written by John Curran. Based on the book by Jim Thompson.
Starring Casey Affleck, Jessica Alba, Kate Hudson, Simon Baker
Lou Ford is the charming deputy sheriff in Nowheresville, Texas. Beneath that Mayberry P.F.D. exterior, however, lurks the mind of a psychopath. Stanley Kubrick said of Thompson’s novel that it was “Probably the most chilling and believable first-person story of a criminally warped mind I have ever encountered.”
Noel Murray: “The substance of Thompson’s work survives—in particular the sticky psychological and genealogical origins of Affleck’s psychosis, and his fear of being looked at as an outsider in his hometown—but too often the movie feels like a bumpy, circular road through the novel’s plot points, without enough time spent taking in the scenery.”

Berlin 2010 Preview: Competition, Part 2

February 4, 2010

This year’s Berlinale features established filmmakers wandering into unfamiliar territory. Martin Scorsese gives a Dennis Lehane tale all the gaudy trappings of a Hammer horror film. Zhang Yimou puts down his ornate sword-play films for a farcical take on the Coen Brothers. 24 hour party person Michael Winterbottom even takes Texas by the tail in a full-blown film noir. Matters of faith also loom large in films from Germany, India and Bosnia-Herzegovina. Berlin is a broad church.

Read the first part of our Berlin Film Festival Competition preview.

The Killer Inside Me

Lou Ford is one of author Jim Thompson’s greatest antiheroes. Ford’s a psychotic charmer who keeps the peace in a town populated by mattress-happy dames and lowdown double-crossers. Guerilla filmmaker Michael Winterbottom (The Road to Guantanamo) isn’t everyone’s first choice to helm a Lone Star noir, but Casey Affleck seems just the right feller to fill Ford’s bloodstained boots.

Mammuth (Mammoth)

It’s easy to take Gerard Depardieu for granted, yet the shaggy icon delivers. Here he plays a worker who can’t retire until he finds his last six employers. That sends him on a journey around France astraddle his Mammoth motorcycle. Among the figures from his past is Isabelle Adjani, asleep for the last four decades. Written and directed by Benoît Delépine and Gustave de Kervern (Louise-Michel).

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Sundance 2010 Preview: Etc.

January 12, 2010

After a hard day watching documentaries about globalisation and touching dramas about growing up in a gentrified Echo Park, what’s a still fiending film fan to do? The answer is head for Sundance’s fringe events. This year, Park City at Midnight serves up a helping of Canadian revenge, a Guillermo del Toro-endorsed horror film, and the wackiest ski thriller since Hot Dog. Also pulling in the A-list names to Utah are two premieres celebrating the great American traditions of hot rock chicks and dying slowly in Texas.

Click here to read our U.S. Documentary Competition Preview
Click here to read our U.S. Dramatic Competition Preview
Click here to read our International Documentary Competition Preview
Click here to read our International Dramatic Competition Preview

Premieres

The Killer Inside Me

Jim Thompson’s bone-dry noir novels of dice ‘n’ deceit have inspired plenty of cinematic adaptations, ranging from Steve McQueen in The Getaway to John Cusack palming twenties in The Grifters. Bringing his 1952 masterpiece to the screen is director Michael Winterbottom, more used to guerilla filmmaking like In This World. The dream cast includes Casey Affleck as a sociopathic Texas sheriff and Jessica Alba and Kate Hudson as his itchy women. Don’t worry about the plot, because Thompson never did. Just groove on the fetid funereal atmosphere.

The Runaways

In the late ‘70s, the all-girl band The Runaways were fun, flirty, and just a little bit jailbait. After lighting up the charts with “Cherry Bomb,” guitarist Joan Jett hearted rock ‘n’ roll, lead guitarist Lita Ford kissed me deadly and singer Cherie Currie fell off the charts into addiction. Her memoir is the basis for this biopic, whose kiss between leads Dakota Fanning and Kristen Stewart has fuelled at least fanboy fantasy. Michael Shannon plays Kim Fowley, the scariest Svengali in rock ‘n’ roll.

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