Category Archives: Movies
How do you measure success? In Hollywood, box office reigns supreme followed distantly by awards and recognition from critics and peers. Odds are, if you were asked to select the most successful person in Hollywood history, Orson Welles would not top your list. Welles spent much of his career obese and running from debt. His financial woes forced him to accept work that was beneath him just to cash a paycheck. But this article from the November 2002 issue of Movieline magazine argues that none of that matters. Welles’ legacy lives on and that may be the most important measure of success there is.
This weekend, Netflix will debut their latest Marvel-based series. This one is a solo effort featuring Jon Bernthal as the Punisher. Prior to landing on television, Frank Castle has starred in three movies. None of them were successful which makes pinning down the exact start and end of the Punisher series a bit tricky. Since each of the three theatrical films was essentially its own separate entity, I am going to treat them as three failed attempts to launch a franchise. Which one are we looking at today? All three of them!
The first-ever superhero movie franchise started with Superman: The Movie in 1978. Producers Ilya and Alexander Salkind were so certain of its success that they filmed the movie’s sequel back-to-back with the original. Unfortunately, the Salkinds clashed with director Richard Donner so they replaced him on Superman II with Richard Lester. Lester took full control of the third movie in what most assumed would be a trilogy. After Superman III proved to be a critical and commercial disappointment, Christopher Reeve announced that he was done with the character. The Salkinds eventually sold the rights to the Superman franchise to Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus who hoped to revive the series at Cannon Films. Instead, Superman IV: The Quest for Peace did what Lex Luthor never could. It killed Superman.
If you make a list of today’s A-list actresses, Charlize Theron has to rank somewhere near the top. Not only has she headlined her share of hit movies, Theron also won an Oscar for her performance in the 2003 biopic, Monster. But twenty years ago, she was a relative newcomer. When an injury prematurely ended her career as a ballerina, Theron turned to acting and immediately turned heads with her performance in 2 days in the valley. In the November 1997 issue of Movieline magazine, Theron discussed her next feature, Devil’s Advocate, while bowling.
In the late 90’s, Joan Allen became one of Hollywood’s favorite actresses. Mostly, she played supportive wives who exist on the sidelines of the story. In this profile from the Novemeber 1997 issue of Movieline magazine, Allen admits that she was painfully shy and extremely proper and that she doesn’t see herself as cut out for showier roles.
I don’t know about you, but my eyes kind of glaze over when I think about reading an interview with Richard Gere. He’s an activist and I assume he’s going to spend 90% of the article talking about his causes. Plus, Gere has a reputation for being guarded, so I’m not expecting him to say anything really interesting. As it turns out, when Gere sat down for the cover story of the November 1997 issue of Movieline magazine, he did have a lot to say about Buddhism. But he also tells some interesting stories about his career up to that point.
You might know Canadian actress Mia Kirshner from her work on the small screen. Kirshner has had recurring roles on TV shows like 24, The L Word and The Vampire Diaries. She got her start with some racy movie roles, but when she came to Hollywood her film career hit a speed bump. In this profile piece from the November 1997 issue of Movieline magazine, Kirshner discussed her next mainstream movie, Mad City, which starred Dustin Hoffman and John Travolta.
It’s superhero movie season. But then again, what time of year isn’t these days? As we brace ourselves for the release of Zach Snyder’s Justice League next week, we’re looking back at the movie which was supposed to kick of Warner Brothers’ slate of DC Comics-based movies. Marvel makes it look easy with the success of their Cinematic Universe. But Green Lantern reminds us of everything that can (and did) go wrong.
Oliver Stone is a complicated and polarizing figure. He always has been. On the one hand, he’s a Hollywood liberal who is best-known for movies critical of the Vietnam war. On the other, his work is filled with sexism and he’s spending his later years cozying up to the likes of Vladimir Putin. Recently, Stone made headlines for his contribution to the great Weinstein scandal. It seems like no matter who you are or where you stand, Stone has said or done something likely to alienate you.
That was less true twenty years ago, but the Oscar winning director was starting down a career path that would slowly erode his cultural relevance. But Movieline magazine still had enough interest in Stone to publish a two-part interview with the controversial filmmaker. The second half appeared in the November 1997 issue.
Keanu Reeves has established himself as an action movie star. But early on in his career, even Reeves wasn’t sure what kind of actor he wanted to be. As a young man, he could come across as unfocused. Clearly uncomfortable with being asked questions, Reeves was often inarticulate in interviews. It took Reeves a while to warm up to Stephen Rebello for this cover story from the November 1992 issue of Movieline magazine, but once he felt comfortable he cut loose.
This weekend has brought us the 17th installment in the ever-expanding Marvel Cinematic Universe with the third movie starring the God of Thunder, Thor: Ragnarok. Join this spacey duck and your gracious host as we catch up on the big new release and what it means for what we can expect going forward.
*Spoilers for Thor: Ragnarok after the jump*
Madonna may be a pop icon, but generally speaking not many people consider her to be a great or even good actress. Her filmography is heavy on critically panned flops. At the very bottom of the barrel is the Razzie-winning Worst Picture, Swept Away, a remake of an Italian film directed by the Material Girl’s then-husband, Guy Ritchie. Ritchie, who ended up winning Worst Director that year, defended his leading lady in an interview with Movieline magazine when the movie was about to be released.
Thor: Ragnarok is the seventeenth installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. That’s really impressive when you consider that less than ten years ago, Marvel had never released a movie on their own. These days, Marvel releases three superhero adventures annually. With no sign of that pace easing up in the future, now is as good a time as any to rank the movies of the MCU from worst to first.