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Eagerly anticipating this week ... (7-18)

Eagerly anticipating this week ... (7-18)
Nick Park's Early Man (2018)

2/20/2018

The Final Cut (2004) or, Alan 'the Cutter' Hakman

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Robin Williams looks lost and uncomfortable on this inauspicious poster for Omar Naim's The Final Cut

In a future where devices record people's entire lives, Alan is a 'cutter' whose job it is to make uncritical edits of deceased people's lives. But his new, unsavory client gets him into danger.

A team of talented people are involved in this little-seen b-movie. Robin Williams (What Dreams May Come True (1998)) is good in the lead, and the set design, photography (by Tak Fujimoto (Gods Behaving Badly (2013))) and score (by Brian Tyler (Brake (2012))) is all professionally done.
The idea behind The Final Cut is interesting, but unfortunately it results in a rather banal story here. The film is written and directed by Omar Naim (When Simon Sleeps (1999)). It comes off as a somewhat sexless sci-fi thriller, which attempts to raise some issues that it can't quite handle persuasively in the end.





Watch a trailer for the film here

Cost: Unknown
Box office: 3.6 mil. $
= Uncertain - but likely a huge flop
[The Final Cut premiered 11 September (Berlin International Film Festival) and runs 95 minutes. Shooting took place in British Colombia, Canada and in Berlin, Germany from June - August 2003. The film opened and peaked at #27 to a weak 227k $ first weekend in 117 theaters in North America, where it grossed 548k $ (15.2 % of the total gross). The biggest market was 1.1 mil. $ (30.5 %). 2nd biggest was Spain with 586k $ (16.3 %). North America was the 3rd biggest. - If the film was made for a very modest 5 mil. $, it should be counted as a huge flop. - It could have been higher, in which case it may have actually been a mega-flop. Roger Ebert gave the film a 3/4 star review, translating to a notch better than this one. Naim only returned six years hence as co-director of the PBS documentary Stand Up: Muslim-American Comics Come of Age (2009) and then theatrically with Dead Awake (2010). Williams returned in House of D (2004). The Final Cut is rotten at 37 % with a 5.3 critical average at Rotten Tomatoes.]

What do you think of The Final Cut?

2/18/2018

Call Me by Your Name (2017) - Guadagnino explores desire in sensual, erotic treat

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The greatest poster for Luca Guadagnino's Call Me by Your Name is this little-used beauty, which recalls a scene from the film and also points to its theme of desire and lush sensuality - with the evocative image of a juicy peach

In the summer of 1983, an American professor of archeology resides as before in a villa in Northern Italy, where an attractive assistant and student from America, Oliver is welcomed to stay for some weeks, in which he sparks up a passionate romance with the professor and his wife's son, Elio.

Call Me by Your Name is written by James Ivory (The Guru (1969)), based on the same-titled 2007 novel by André Aciman (Eight White Nights (2010)), and directed as the 5th feature by great Italian filmmaker Luca Guadagnino (I Am Love/Io Sono l'Amore (2009)), designated the last part of his Desire trilogy (I Am Love and A Bigger Splash (2015) are the previous entries.)
Call Me by Your Name certainly is a film about desire, no, - capital D Desire. Not that it runs amuck in explicit sex as Abdellatif Kechiche's recent, great lesbian love story Blue Is the Warmest Color/La Vie d'Adèle (2013). - Which is disappointing some audiences, and relieving others. And yet, depending on one's tastes, Call Me by Your Name may be the most erotic film to come out in many years. Its sensuality is constant, and its sexually vibrant portrayal of consuming desire is pulsing and sparking off the screen. Call Me by Your Name is hot, hot, hot!
The relation depicted, - between Timothée Chalamet (Homeland (2012), TV-series), who was 21 at the time of filming, but plays a 17 year-old, and Armie Hammer (J. Edgar (2011)), who is (just) 9 years his senior in real life, - could have been taken to thematic places of forbidden fruits, but not in Call Me by Your Name. This is mainly due to the unique nature of Elio's parents, played with inspiring dignity by Amira Casar (Me and Kaminski/Ich und Kaminski (2015)) and Michael Stuhlbarg (American Experience (2006-09) documentary TV-series). Chalamet and Hammer are impressively natural and delicious to look at it the main parts, playing the kind of cinema infatuation that seems so convincing that one can't help wonder, if it continued off-screen.
Call Me by Your Name is beautifully shot on 35 mm film by Sayombhu Mukdeeprom (Soi Cowboy (2008)) and benefits from two sensitive songs by Sufjan Stevens created for the film, Mystery of Love and Visions of Gideon.
The film has very little in the way of a conflict, much less anything resembling ugliness. The lush scenery competes with the actors' sudden love, piano playing and intellectual discourses, SPOILER and the sole conflict of the film becomes that time invariably runs out for this precious summer's romance. At the aching conclusion, we remain with the mushy Elio, and woe to the audience member who doesn't him/herself remember the keen pain that follows an end to a lovely romance such as this.
In this way, Call Me by Your Name is a far opposite to the last major gay break-out film, Barry Jenkins' Moonlight (2016), which followed a gay man's growing up in a situation that was not lacking in conflict.
Call Me by Your Name is a noble tribute to the strong experiences of love's that some are lucky enough to enjoy at some point in life, one of those which is short and sweet. Its loveliness is so intense and its course so calm and pleasant so as to almost be too much for some, as myself, who can't help but become jealous, in some way, towards the romance of the film. This is my only criticism of the film, which, nevertheless, I am certain to return to for another visit some time.










Watch a trailer for the film here

Cost: 3.5 mil. $
Box office: 25.4 mil. $ and counting 
=  Already a huge hit
[Call Me by Your Name premiered 22 January (Sundance Film Festival) and runs 132 minutes. The book rights were bought in 2007, and Ivory was involved first. His script included more explicit sex and nudity, voice-over narration and a section in Rome, all of which Guadagnino removed once he was hired to direct, citing "market realities". Shia LeBeouf was in talks for the Oliver part but was dropped due to his "various troubles." Hammer and Chalamet had no screen test but was chosen following a rehearsal in which they made out convincingly. Shooting took 32-24 days from May - June 2016 on location in the Lombardy region in Italy. Chalamet already knew how to play piano and speak French, but learned the guitar and his Italian lines specifically for the film. The film opened #14, its peak, in 4 theaters to a 412k $ first weekend in North America, the highest per-theater average of 2017. It widened to 815 theaters and has grossed 14.3 mil. $ there to date. It has still to open in several major markets: France (28 Feb.), Germany (1 Mar.), South Korea (22 Mar.) and Japan (27 April). The film is nominated for 4 Oscars: For Best Picture, Actor (Chalamet, - the youngest nominee since Mickey Rooney for Babes in Arms (1937)), Adapted Screenplay and Song (Mystery of Love). It was nominated for 2 Golden Globes, 4 BAFTAs, won an AFI Film of the Year award, is nominated for 6 Independent Spirit Awards, won two National Board of Review awards as well as many other honors. IMDb users have voted it into the site's Top 250; at #186, it sits between Wild Tales (2014) and Platoon (1986). Hammer returned in Final Portrait (2017), Chalamet in Hot Summer Nights (2017), and Guadagnino is returning with two slated 2018 titles; his much anticipated remake of Dario Argento's horror masterpiece Suspiria (1977), also titled Suspiria, and a thriller, Rio. He has also talked of a sequel to Call Me by Your Name and has laid out plans to continue Elio and Oliver's story in several films as did with his François Truffaut did with his Antoine Doinel films. A dubious plan for this by Guadagnino is that Elio does not become a gay man but instead cultivates "an intense relationship" with Marzia (Esther Garrel (Thirst Street (2017))), his female fling in the film. Call Me by Your Name is certified fresh at 96 % with an 8.8 critical average at Rotten Tomatoes.]

What do you think of Call Me by Your Name?

2/16/2018

The Fly (1958) - Neumann's great existential angst sci-fi classic

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An excitement-building, eerily creepy poster for Kurt Neumann's The Fly

A brilliant scientist works to create a teleportation device in his basement laboratory, but when he starts to experiment, a terrible mistake takes place.

The Fly is a wholly incredible experience, an extraordinarily well-made sci-fi horror drama. Its first half is quite entertaining; its second half produces an anxiety-provoking fear that is extremely rarely provoked by films. The existential anxiety that grabbed me felt as if it completely consumed me on my first time of watching the film, and to me The Fly will always have something insanely eerie, mysteriously terrifying about it.
The Fly is written by Australian James Clavell (Savage Justice (1967)) (his first produced screenplay), based on the same-titled 1957 Playboy magazine short story by George Lagelaan (The Dolphin Speaks Too (1964)), and directed by great German filmmaker Kurt Neumann (The Big Cage (1933)). It marks the major horror genre entrance for Vincent Price (Diary of a Madman (1963)), who went on to become one of the genre's biggest stars of all time, and is shot in glorious colors by Karl Struss (It's a Small World (1950)).
 





Watch the great, Vincent Price-hosted trailer for the film here

Cost: 350k $ - 495k $ (different reports)
Box office: 3 mil. $
= Huge hit
[The Fly was released 16 July (USA) and runs 93 minutes. The film was to be distributed by Fox's B movie sub-company Regal Pictures, but Fox upgraded the film and took it for its own in the end, probably realizing its high quality. The laboratory set cost 28k $ to produce. Filming took place in Montreal, Canada and in Los Angeles, California for 18 days in March 1958. The film is reportedly loyal to Langelaan's story for the most part; it does change the setting from France to Canada and erases a suicide by the Hélène character in the end. In North America, the film was released on a double bill with Space Master X-7 by Edward Bernds. It earned 1.7 mil. $ in rentals and was one of Fox's biggest hits of the year and reportedly the 8th highest-grossing film of the year overall. Neumann passed away a few weeks after the premiere and did not live to realize that he had made his career's most successful film. Two sequels were made; Return of the Fly (1959), by Bernds, with Price, and Curse of the Fly (1965), without either of them. David Cronenberg made an acclaimed new version, The Fly (1986), which had one sequel, The Fly II (1989). Price returned in Have Gun - Will Travel (1958, TV-series) and theatrically in House on Haunted Hill (1959). Neumann had completed 3 more pictures that were released after The Fly: Machete (1958), Watusi (1959) and Counterplot (1959). The Fly is fresh at 95 % with a 7.1/10 critical average at Rotten Tomatoes.]

What do you think of The Fly?

2/15/2018

Frenzy (1972) - Hitchcock's great, morbid tie killer thriller

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The tubular central image of this poster for Alfred Hitchcock's Frenzy seems to call our attention to his earlier masterpiece Vertigo's (1958) iconic poster

London women fall victim to a mysterious, perverted serial killer, who strangles them with his tie. Overwhelming evidence that the police obtain points to a man who, nevertheless, is innocent.

Frenzy is the penultimate film from English master filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock (North by Northwest (1959)). It is written by Anthony Shaffer (Death on the Nile (1978)), based on the 1966 novel Goodbye Piccadilly, Farewell Leicester Square by Arthur La Bern. It can be taken as a kind of Jack the Ripper effort of an urban serial killer of women of Hitchcock's, elevated to a modern setting.
The film is ripe with little holes and jumps markedly between rather brutal scenes of rape and strangulation and scenes with a keenly morbid humor. Besides this pleasant feature, its story is very unpredictable, and the ending is great.
I love Frenzy.

Related posts:

Alfred HitchcockThe Birds (1963) - Hitchcock spearheads horror sub-genre and innovative special effects in great, odd film

Dial M for Murder (1954) - Hitchcock's 3D thriller is hindered by theatrics
The 39 Steps (1935) or, Murder and High Jinx! 






Watch a making-of featurette from the film's DVD here

Cost: Reportedly between 2-3.5 mil. $
Box office: Reportedly 12.6 mil. $
= At least a big hit, possibly a huge hit
[Frenzy premiered 19 May (Cannes Film Festival) and runs 116 minutes. Frenzy is the third and last film Hitchcock made in his native England after his relocation to the States in 1939. The previous two were Under Capricorn (1949) and Stage Fright (1950). He asked Barry Foster (Three Kinds of Heat (1987)) to read about real-life sadist psycho killer Neville Heath in preparation for his performance. Heath was hanged for killing two women in 1946. Filming took place in London and at the Pinewood Studios in England from August - October 1971. Hitchcock was the son of a Covent Garden merchant and wanted to capture the market as he remembered it from his childhood in Frenzy. His wife Alma Hitchcock suffered a stroke during filming, which forced him away from shooting in some instances. Frenzy is the first Hitchcock film to feature nudity. Henry Mancini was hired to score the film, but Hitchcock was unhappy with Mancini's work, accusing him of ripping off Bernard Herrmann, (who famously scored Hitchcock's Psycho (1960)), refusing to pay him a nickle for his trouble and hired Ron Goodwin (Spanish Fly (1976)) instead, - a hard blow for Mancini. Frenzy made 4.8 mil. $ (38.1 % of the total gross) in North America. If the 12.6 mil. $ world gross is accurate, it did extraordinary business internationally, - likely especially in the UK and mainland Europe. The film was nominated for 4 Golden Globes and won National Board of Review's Top Ten Films award. Roger Ebert gave the film a 4/4 star review, equal to a notch better than this review. Hitchcock returned with Family Plot (1976). Frenzy is fresh at 87 % with a 7.5/10 critical average at Rotten Tomatoes.]

What do you think of Frenzy?

2/13/2018

Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986) - Hughes' perfect movie of youth

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Matthew Broderick sports his boyish charms on this simple poster for John Hughes' Ferris Bueller's Day Off

Ferris Bueller is a high school senior rebel who is about to take a wild day off in Chicago. He talks his introverted, anxious friend Cameron and attractive Sloane into joining him on an adventure in Cameron's father's prized 1961 Ferrari.

For thousands upon thousands of people the world over, Ferris Bueller's Day Off is a sweetly nostalgic treasure that won't ever lose its magic. It is the perfect movie about youth, made by the great auteur of teenage portrayals, 1980s champion, Michigander master filmmaker John Hughes (Curly Sue (1991)), who wrote and directed the film.
Ferris Bueller's Day Off strikes a rare balance between being funny and serious, but in the first place it is hugely entertaining throughout.
Matthew Broderick (The Last Shot (2004)) is Ferris, and the supporting parts are also all brilliantly cast. Among the most memorable are Alan Ruck (Hot in Cleveland (2013), TV-series) as Cameron, who undergoes the great change in the film, effectively getting saved by Ferris into seeing the life and promises of the world all around him; Jeffrey Jones (Sleepy Hollow (1999)) as the sadistic principal and Charlie Sheen (Postmortem (1998)) in a prophetic role as a junkie. Although carpe diem is closely associated with Peter Weir's Dead Poets' Society (1989), - also a good film, - the film that truly earns the title as the seize-the-day movie of all time is Hughes' Ferris Bueller's Day Off. - Simply a blast of a film.

Related post:

John HughesThe Breakfast Club (1985) - John Hughes' detention classic








Watch a trailer for the film here

Cost: 5.8 mil. $
Box office: 70.1 mil. $ (North America only)
= Mega-hit
[Ferris Bueller's Day Off was released 11 June (USA) and runs 103 minutes. Hughes wrote the script in less than a week and shot his first draft. He intended the film to be more about characters than plot. The first cut was 2 hours and 45 minutes. Broderick and Ruck were friends and had acted together before in Biloxi Blues on Broadway. Shooting took place from September - November 1985 in Illinois, including in Chicago, and in California, including in Los Angeles. Hughes made a point of getting as much of his beloved Chicago in the film as he could. The '61 Ferrari (today one of the most expensive cars ever sold) in the film was the real deal in insert shots, though reproductions in wide shots SPOILER and for the destruction scene in the end. The film opened #2, behind fellow new release Back to School, to a 6.2 mil. $ first weekend in North America, where it spent another week in the top 5 (#5) and scored a triumphant 70.1 mil. $, becoming the year's 10th highest-grossing title in North America. Unfortunately, its world gross is not listed. Roger Ebert gave the film a 3/4 star review, translating to two notches harder than this review. The film was nominated for a Golden Globe (for Broderick). Hughes returned with Planes, Trains & Automobiles (1987). Broderick returned in Project X (1987). An NBC Ferris Bueller TV-series (without Hughes or Broderick - but with Jennifer Aniston) ran a single season in 1986. Ferris Bueller's Day Off is certified fresh at 79 % with a 7.7 critical average at Rotten Tomatoes.]

What do you think of Ferris Bueller's Day Off?

2/08/2018

From Dusk till Dawn (1996) - Tarantino, Rodriguez and chums' enjoyable Mexico vampire extravaganza

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A neat, gritty, retrostyled poster for Robert Rodriguez's From Dusk till Dawn

Two criminal brothers on the lam after a heist take an ex-minister and his two children hostage on their way across the US border into Mexico, where their rendezvous at a seedy biker bar named the Titty Twister evolves into a night of fantastic mayhem.

From Dusk till Dawn is an awesome movie. It marks the first major collaboration between Tennesseean master filmmaker Quentin Tarantino (Pulp Fiction (1994)), who wrote the screenplay, based on a story by Robert Kurtzman (The Rage (2007)), and stars as the nastier of the two criminal brother leads, and great Texan filmmaker Robert Rodriguez (Planet Terror (2007)), who directed it. They later collaborated on Sin City (2005) and their Grindhouse double-bill, which is really two individual movies. For my taste it is a lot more enjoyable than the more stylized-artificial and less fun Sin City. This action horror mixes the best of them both in an uncompromising, creative special effects-driven whopper of a film, a gleeful celebration of exploitation and b-movies' violent thrills and gore.
Harvey Keitel (The Congress (2013)) and Juliette Lewis (Free for All (2003), TV-series) as the minister who has lost his faith and his capable teenage daughter are especially good in the terrific ensemble gathered here, which also features a saucy Salma Hayek (Timecode (2000)) who works on the stage in the Titty Twister with a giant yellow snake in one of the film's sexy and more memorable scenes.

Related post:

Robert RodriguezDesperado (1995) - Rodriguez' second Mexico actioner is a sexy, latino fireball













Here is a VHS trailer-show and the film's beginning

Cost: 19 mil. $
Box office: 25.8 mil. $ (North America only)
= Uncertainty (but likely a big flop)
[From Dusk till Dawn was released 19 January (North America) and runs 108 minutes. Tarantino wrote the script as his first paid writing assignment. Unusual for such a relatively high-budgeted US feature, the film employed a non-union production crew. Shooting took place in Washington, including Seattle, in California, including Los Angeles, and in Mexico from June - August 1995. The film opened #1 to a 10.2 mil. $ first weekend in North America, where it spent one more week in the top 5 (#3) and ended its run after just 4 weeks. The film's world gross is not reported, and so its box office status is unsure. - If its final gross was in the neighborhood of 30-35 mil. $, it would still rank as a big flop. Tarantino was nominated for a Worst Supporting Actor Razzie award for the film. He returned with masterpiece Jackie Brown (1997). Co-starring George Clooney returned in One Fine Day (1996). Rodriguez returned with The Faculty (1998). From Dusk till Dawn became a cult item, and likely made money with its home video sales factored in. It spurred two sequels, From Dusk till Dawn 2: Texas Blood Money (1999) and From Dusk till Dawn 3: The Hangman's Daughter (1999), none of them by Tarantino or Rodriguez. A From Dusk till Dawn: The Series (2014-16) was produced by Rodriguez for Netflix. A fourth movie is rumored. From Dusk till Dawn is fresh at 64 % with a 6/10 critical average at Rotten Tomatoes.]

What do you think of From Dusk till Dawn?

2/06/2018

The Fatal Hour (1940) - Nigh and Karloff return with a humdrum crime flick

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Everyone looks to the face of Boris Karloff's Mr. Wong on this well-crafted poster for William Nigh's The Fatal Hour

A murder with ties to the smuggling waterfront of San Francisco requires the expertise of a certain Chinese detective: He is eloquent. He is shrewd. He is gallant. He is Mr. Wong!

The Fatal Hour is by no means a great film, or even a good one. It was the fourth and next to last Mr. Wong film for Boris Karloff (Suspense (1949-53)), who heightens the mysterious lead, detective Wong with outlandish glow.
Cinematically these low-budget crime tales were often extremely uninventive, and The Fatal Hour is no exception. It comes off as more than a tad dull, and Karloff is about the only substantial quality in it and reason to see this one.
It is written by Scott Darling (Behind Green Lights (1946)) and George Waggner (Jane Wyman Presents the Fireside Theater (1957-58)), based on the Colliers magazine short stories of Mr. Wong by Hugh Wiley, and directed by William Nigh (Hoosier Schoolboy (1937)).

Related posts:

William Nigh:  Black Dragons (1942) or, The Sinister Foreigner Attacks!
The Ape (1940) or, The Costume-Crazed Doctor  

Doomed to Die (1940) - Karloff's last Mr. Wong movie is a good one













 Here is a previous Mr. Wong film, Mr. Wong in Chinatown (1939)
  Cost: Unknown
Box office: Unknown
= Uncertain
[The Fatal Hour was released 15 January (USA) and runs 68 minutes. It was shot in Hollywood and San Francisco. Karloff's last Mr. Wong film was Doomed to Die (1940). A sixth and final Mr. Wong was made with Keye Luke as the detective, Phantom of Chinatown (1940). Karloff returned in British Intelligence (1940), one of the 8 (!) films he was in in 1940. Nigh returned with Son of the Navy (1940), one of 4 films he directed that year. The film is now in public domain and can be seen and downloaded free and legally right here. 829 IMDb users have given The Fatal Hour a 5.5/10 average rating.]

What do you think of The Fatal Hour?

2/02/2018

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998) - Depp's Thompson lives and breathes in Gilliam's outrageous, drug-fueled masterpiece



A photo of Johnny Depp from the movie manipulated to a spaced.out state and adding some Ralph Steadman-style bats adorn this poster for Terry Gilliam's Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas


The odd journalist Raoul Duke and his psychopathic Samoan lawyer Dr. Gonzo travel to Las Vegas in their Corvette convertible 'The Red Shark' to indulge in drugs, search out the American Dream and report on life in the gambling capital of the world.

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is an adaptation of Hunter S. Thompson's (The Curse of Lono (1983)) semi-autobiographical 1971 novel of the same name, written by Tony Grisoni (Tideland (2005)) and Minnesotan master co-writer-director Terry Gilliam (The Fisher King (1991)). It is arguably Gilliam's best film of all, competing with surreal sci-fi masterpiece Brazil (1985) for the title. It is a completely mad, loyal and credible rendition of the outrageous journey and exploits that are the center of Thompson's enduring classic.
The small-America consumer's artificial oasis that is Las Vegas is brought to life with psychedelic colors and rawness that, - together with the film's anarchic pace, - is simply terrific. Nicola Pecorini (Rules of Engagement (2000)) handled the cinematography, and Lesley Walker (Mamma Mia! (2008)) edited the film.
The effects - photographic and practical - are ingenious and fun, - the ether trip is especially wild and memorable, - and the extravagant soundtrack is the epitome of showbiz, following the creed that too much of everything is never enough.
Johnny Depp (Sleepy Hollow (1999)) and Benicio Del Toro (Drug Wars: The Camerena Story (1990), miniseries) are eminent as the cooky, high, paranoid junkies in God's own country, and the film has several luminous supporting character performances: Michael Jeter (The Naked Man (1998)) as a speaker on the hash milieu, for one, is super.
In Thompson's gonzo world, which is the one Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas portrays, drugs are a necessary medicine, when you roam the crazy, phony, feared, repulsive, glittering, apocalyptic super power of this world that is America.

Related posts:








Watch a 2-minute scene with Johnny Depp from the movie here




Cost: 18.5 mil. $
Box office: 13.7 mil. $
= Huge flop
[Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas premiered 15 May (Cannes Film Festival, in main competition) and runs 118 minutes. Several people had wanted to make the film for years: Martin Scorsese, Oliver Stone, Jack Nicholson, Marlon Brando, Jim Belushi, Dan Aykroyd, John Malkovich and John Cusack had been in talks, before Gilliam came to front the adaptation, which Thompson pushed to get made with Depp playing his eponymous Duke character. Depp and Gilliam each received 0.5 mil. $ for doing the film. Del Toro gained more than 45 pounds (18 kg) for his performance, and Depp moved into Thompson's basement to research and live for 4 months. He was shaved by Thompson and given several props to use from the writer's life and the specific period of the novel. A WGA crediting issue regarding crediting the writers of a former version of the screenplay instead of Grisoni/Gilliam made Gilliam protest and burn his WGA on Broadway. Gilliam described shooting the film as "all sorts of chaos". The 56 day shoot ran from August - October 1997 and took place in California, Arizona and Nevada, including in Las Vegas. The film was devised to resemble a drug trip from beginning to end, with the Pecorini and Gilliam working out the cinematic qualities of the various individual drugs taken. Rolling Stone's Sympathy for the Devil had to be left out, though central in the novel, because its licensing fee, at 300k $, was too high for the film's budget. At the premiere, Thompson saw the film and jumped around in his seat and yelled out throughout the film, admitting that he "appreciated it." The film opened #3, behind fellow new release Godzilla and hold-over hit Deep Impact, to a 3.3 mil. $ first weekend in North America, where it left the top 5 the next week, ran for just 3 weeks and made 10.6 mil. $ (77.4 % of the total gross). Thompson's novel saw huge new interest upon the film's release and was reprinted six times. The film polarized critics, and Roger Ebert gave it a ridiculous 1/4 star review. It has since gained cult status. Bill Murray had played Thompson in Where the Buffalo Roam (1980) and advised Depp to "make sure your next role is a drastically different guy". Depp returned with The Vicar of Dipley (1999, TV-series) and theatrically in Roman Polanski's The Ninth Gate (1999). Gilliam's career was derailed from the massive financial disaster of the film and didn't return until The Brothers Grimm (2005). Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is rotten at 49 % with a 5.7 critical average at Rotten Tomatoes.]

What do you think of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas?

Eagerly anticipating this week ... (6-18)

Eagerly anticipating this week ... (6-18)
Hirokazu Koreeda's The Third Murder/Sandome no Satsujin (2017)