Friday, February 27, 2004
Monday, February 16, 2004
Every once in a while, a movie studio comes along and makes a decision regarding an upcoming project that is beyond dimwitted. Just ask director Paul Schrader, the latest witness to this trend, whose new opus will probably never be seen in major release thanks to the brains behind Morgan Creek Productions. Why, you ask? Because as we speak, all existing cuts of his endeavor are sitting on a shelf somewhere collecting dust while a completely new version of his movie is being shot. And get this: this new version uses different actors, an entirely different script and is being overseen by a completely new director, too. If this all sounds like the plot of some kind of anti-Hollywood satire, then no wonder—it is perhaps the first time in major cinema history a studio has gone to such extreme lengths to undo someone's effort because the end result didn't match what they had hoped for.
Sunday, February 1, 2004
If there's one thing more rigorous for a movie critic than sifting through piles of films trying to figure out which ones to review, it's composing lists of those select few achievements of a given year that either move us with their brilliance or scar us with their awfulness. The concept itself is restricting because there are usually far too many candidates for both sides of the quality divide for either list to be truly comprehensive. Several journalists (including myself) purposely restrict these lists to ten specific selections (with an occasional mention of those films that barely fell out of the bracket) because it allows some flexibility without stretching the selection too thin; however, particularly in the recent years, it is not uncommon for colleagues to do top 20 or even 30 best and worst lists. Whether there are even 20 or 30 movies worthy of either group in any given year is always up to speculation.