Posts Tagged ‘Robert Duvall’

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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The Great SXSW 2010 Preview Dump: Headliners

March 10, 2010

Why not wait until 48 hours before the SXSW Film Festival kicks off to post our preview? That’s a question that will haunt Squally until we crawl into our premature grave. While nobler movie bloggers pack their bags for Austin–visions of Harry Knowles smeared with BBQ dancing in their heads—here’s a humble look at what’s screening over the next nine days. First up: a rattle bag of marquee fodder which includes the Duplasses’ venture into the mainstream, Robert Duvall facing off against Bill Murray, Rhys Ifans as a stoner hero and the triumphant return of Jean-Pierre Jeunet. Click on the titles to watch trailers.

Read the first part of our SXSW Spotlight Premieres preview.
Read the second part of our SXSW Spotlight Premieres preview.

Cyrus

The Duplass Brothers do a David Gordon Green, moving to a bigger budget and familiar faces, while mining a familiar seam of discomfort that doesn’t seem so radical in hindsight. Things look like they’re turning around for loser John C. Reilly when he meets the hot Marisa Tomei. The problem is she has a stay-at-home son played by Jonah Hill. That means he’s going to be plenty gross and creepy.

Four Lions

Fresh from Sundance, where it failed to raise hackles, comes British satirist Chris Morris’s terrorist comedy. A quartet of hapless Sheffield Muslims cook up a suicide bomber plot that, in the best tradition of Anglo-cringe comedy, comes undone through their own stupidity. The point is that while fundamentalism and dimwittedness go hand-in-hand, the results are no laughing matter. Feel-badness all ‘round, then.

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Scriptobit: Horton Foote

March 5, 2009

Horton Foote was always more of a man of the theatre than the screen. Recalling his first visit to Hollywood, when he wrote 1956’s Storm Fear, he said, “I just didn’t feel that it was a place for writers to be, and I still don’t think so.” But the novelist/playwright, who died aged ten days shy of his 93rd birthday, won two Academy Awards for his scripts. He also formed a close bond with Robert Duvall, one of the very best of contemporary screen actors.

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