Posts Tagged ‘Hayao Miyazaki’

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.


Ponyo! Ponyo!

August 20, 2009


Movie of the week at Squally Towers is Hayao Miyazaki‘s Ponyo, a surreally gorgeous and gorgeously surreal underwater fantasy about pre-adolescent love and tsunamis. There’s a great interview here with Ghost in the Shell/The Sky Crawlers director Mamoru Oshii, where he thinks the movie may be tied up with Miya-san’s middle age and the renewed interest in women that comes with that middle age in Japan.

“[H]e brings all his feelings and thoughts that would make him a John and puts it all into the world of animation. I’m sure that all of that went into those plants, and those jellyfish, and the marine life. … All of that, whether it’s the jellyfish, the fish, or the 5 year old girls, that’s all an old man’s world. I mean, throughout that whole movie, you only see children and the elderly. There’s the mom and the dad, but other than them… Where are all the other adults?”


Trailerama: Ponyo on a Cliff By the Sea

January 1, 2009

Not sure how legit this is, but anything new by Hayao Miyazaki is cause for celebration. This Ghibli spin on The Little Mermaid features its own sing-a-long-a-theme tune. More trailers should have them.