Posts Tagged ‘Green Zone’

The Slate: Alice in Wonderland, Montgomery Clift and Bobby Fischer

March 15, 2010

Alice in Wonderland reaps another $62 million to top Green Zone at the BO. People do not want to see movies about the Iraq War. Dancing Johnny Depp, however, is okay. (MTV)

Burt Lancaster: “He approached the script like a scientist.” Richard Burton: “You were never quite sure whether he would blow his lines or explode.” James Dean would call just to hear his voice. Brynn White on the enduring enigma of Montgomery Clift, an actor’s actor whose preference for second-tier auteurs may account for an after-life in the shadows. (Moving Image Source)

After flirting with that Heavy Metal project, David Fincher finally signs to make Pawn Sacrifice, about Bobby Fischer’s 1972 chess cold war against Boris Spassky. Will they keep in the anti-Semitism? Scripted by Steven Knight, creator of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire and author of Eastern Promises. (Variety)

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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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Must See Movies: March

March 1, 2010

Spring is busting out all over, even if Squally is currently looking out at several inches of snow at this writing. While the past few months have offered slim pickings for cineastes on a budget, March comes in with returning masters and new discoveries. So many, in fact, that we’ve extended our usual handful to a mighty six. Among the delights in store: Zoe Kazan, fascist mistresses, Lolitas in platforms, and Ben Stiller turning his neuroses up to 11. Sorry funseekers, no Hot Tub Time Machine. Click on the titles for trailers and more.

The Exploding Girl
Release date: March 12
The pitch: Ivy (Zoe Kazan) juggles a distant boyfriend and a close pal while taking a break from college.
Fun fact: Writer-director Bradley Rust Gray is married to Treeless Mountain helmer So Yong Kim!
Why it could be great: Zoe Kazan’s had us since her delicate turn in Me and Orson Welles. And who doesn’t like a summer-set mood piece released in the middle of March?
Why it could suck: Oh.

Green Zone
Release date: March 12
The pitch: Matt Damon reunites with director Paul Greengrass to fight the war in Iraq. Based on the acclaimed book Imperial Life in the Emerald City by Rajiv Chandrasekaran.
Fun fact: Greengrass collaborated with onetime M15 agent Peter Wright on Spycatcher, a 1987 bestseller which lifted the lid on Britain’s Secret Service.
Why it could be great: Damon and Greengrass’s Bourne films made palm’s sweat glands work overtime.
Why it could suck: Iraq? Again?

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Spring Movie Preview 2010

February 27, 2010

Will Avatar make every successive Hollywood blockbuster look like it’s underachieving? For at least the next few months, the answer’s yes. Studios are responding to James Cameron’s monolith by turning everything into 3D whether it demands it or not. This slash ‘n’ burn blockbuster policy is in keeping with a season filled with retreads, reboots and sequels.

High points? While the prospect of Shrek 4 may no longer seem so appetizing—admit it, you didn’t even know it was being released this year—fanboys are salivating over the already spit-sodden Iron Man 2. The airport paperback set, on the other hand, are looking forward to Bourne Goes to Iraq, aka Green Zone. Carrie and co. will also flounce back onto our screens in a new Sex and the City.

Maybe Squally will stick to the return of Mike Newell and the singular pleasures of Tyler Perry. Regardless of the quality, feel the width. This is a star-laden line-up, with Johnny Depp, Matt Damon, Russell Crowe, Cate Blanchett and Anne Hathaway all returning to the screen. While they cash the checks, we’ll continue to tip less mainstream fare in our Must See Movie series. Click on the titles for trailers, etc.

Alice in Wonderland
Release date: March 5
Starring Mia Wasikowska, Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter
After damn near 20 years of hit-making, Tim Burton finally found himself as a director by turning to established properties like Willy Wonka and Sweeney Todd. A marriage with Lewis Carroll should be a nice fit. Alas, this “sequel” to the original cockeyed gospel looks like an unholy mess. Depp channels Peter Lorre as the Mad Hatter.
Fun fact: Critic Gilles Deleuze proclaimed that Carroll’s final work Sylvie and Bruno “is no doubt the first book that tells two stories at the same time, not one inside the other, but two contiguous stories.” Heads up, Disney. Get Todd Solondz on it.

Green Zone
Release date: March 12
Starring Matt Damon, Greg Kinnear, Brendan Gleeson
Damon mans up as Roy Miller, a Chief Warrant Officer whose job sniffing out WMDs in Baghdad is compromised by the U.S. administration. In the time-honored Hollywood tradition, he goes rogue. Hey, if they didn’t want him to make waves, they shouldn’t have put him in the middle of the desert.
Fun fact: Bourne director Paul Greengrass first approached Tom Stoppard to adopt Rajiv Chandrasekaran’s book Imperial Life in the Emerald City, but was turned down.

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Trailerama: Green Zone

October 30, 2009

Rajiv Chandrasekaran’s Imperial Life in the Emerald City was a prizewinning look at where L. Paul Bremer and his cronies got it wrong in trying to rebuild a post-war Iraq. On its way to the big screen, the nonfiction study would appear to have been transformed into an all-action thriller that reunites Matt Damon with his Bourne Supremacy director Paul Greengrass. Fans of subterfuge reeking with testosterone should be delighted by the sheer number of edits in these two minutes. Matt Damon appears to have left his brain in the makeup room in his performance of a WMD sniffer who goes rogue, but at least we have Brendan Gleeson to add a touch of oil to the proceedings.