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Entries in Curtis Hanson (4)

Thursday
May242018

Months of Meryl: The River Wild (1994)

John and Matthew are watching every single live-action film starring Meryl Streep. 

 

 #21 —Gail Hartman, a rafting expert whose distracted husband and disgruntled son will soon turn out to be the least of her problems…

MATTHEWThe River Wild opens with the rather surprising sight of Meryl Streep rowing a kayak with steely determination and brisk athletic prowess down the lengthy expanse of the Charles River. Watching Curtis Hanson’s waterborne caper for the first time in 2018, I asked myself with stunned curiosity the same question that surely rolled through the minds of ‘90s audiences upon the film’s release: How exactly did she get here? The River Wild is a light rip-roarer that could have easily ended up as little more than a forgettable IMDB entry in the filmography of Sigourney Weaver or Geena Davis or Linda Hamilton were it not for someone’s out-of-the-box idea to transform one of our most famously worldly and erudite thespians into a hard-bodied, take-charge action heroine...

Click to read more ...

Friday
Nov112016

Noirvember: L.A. Confidential (1997)

It's Noirvember. Here's Lynn Lee...

For a film set in the ’50s, L.A. Confidential (1997) looks and feels surprisingly contemporary.  Maybe it’s because so many of its themes still resonate today: police brutality (especially against racial minorities), broken Hollywood dreams, and the addictiveness of celebrity and power.  Maybe it’s because so much of the film is shot and lit in a more naturalistic, less stylized manner than your typical hardboiled crime movie, which makes the more obviously noir-ish sequences really pop by contrast.  But I think what distinguishes it most from its classic forbears is that it ends up being less memorable for its atmosphere or its plot twists than its character development of not one detective-protagonist but three, whose parallel narrative lines end up converging over the course of the film.

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Sep212016

Curtis Hanson (1945-2016)

Director Curtis Hanson passed away yesterday at the age of 71. Word is that Alzheimer had forced a retirement five years ago.

Eminem won a Song Oscar for his collaboration with Curtis Hanson in "8 Mile"

Hanson's brush with A list "prestige" was brief (3 Oscar nominations for producing, co-writing, and directing the much-admired LA Confidential) but his career was a fine example of versatile craftsmanship. He served as an important reminder that there's more to directing than auteurial stamps...

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Mar252014

Visual Index ~ L.A. Confidential's Best Shot(s)

It's Tuesday night, time for another Hit Me With Your Best Shot. This week we're looking at Curtis Hanson's 1997 Best Picture nominee L.A. Confidential, which was nominated for 9 Oscars including Best Picture and Best Cinematography (Dante Spinotti) both of which it lost to the 52,000 ton Titanic. But it's a lot of people's idea of a modern masterpiece so I was fascinated to read what others had to say about the movie.

See it through multiple sets of eyeballs, in this case 17 of them by clicking on any of the thirteen shots selected ... and please do comment if you like something you read. The series only works properly when people participate. 

BEST SHOT(s)
Arranged in rough chronological order

Making news just like they make movies...
-Coco Hits NY 

Opened up and unnervingly close at one and the same time...
-Timothy Brayton, Antagony & Ecstasy

At its heart, Curtis Hanson's stylish exercise in film noir tropes is a reflection on manhood and masculinity...
-RJ, Home Film Schooled 

A clever tip of the hand, although not an overly obvious one...
-Allison Tooey 


A turning point for the character...
- Andy Hall, Three Pounds Lost 


The birth of Shotgun Ed reveals a confident directorial eye...
-CineMunch 

Just as I became disillusioned, my shot would reflect the disillusionment of Ed Exley...
-abstew, The Film's The Thing 

Is it possible to pinpoint the exact moment when a performance wins an Oscar?...
-Michael Cusumano, Serious Film 


Despite the cool dusky warmth, Bud still walks in haunted noir shadows... 
-Nathaniel R, The Film Experience


One of my favorite moments in Kevin Spacey’s career...
 - Robert Hamer, Awards Circuit 


The rain pours as Bud’s hard-boiled mask crumbles... 
-Derreck Johnson 

That's how you die when you're in close-up...
-Cal Roth 


I'm just the guy they bring in..."
-Intifada 


A live wire, always ready to brawl when necessary...
-Shane Slater, Film Actually 


At any given point, any of them could be on either side...
-Jason Henson, The Entertainment Junkie

After all his moralizing, Exley has rolled in the dirt...
-Margaret, We Recycle Movies 


One of the reasons I love this shot is that it really fleshes out the character of Bud White...
-A Fistful of Films 

 

 

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