Do you ever wonder about the term movies?
The fact of the matter is that the term itself did not really refer to films. “Movies” was a term used to refer to people in the industry. In other words movies were filmmakers.
The fact is that “movies” was a term used with disdain. If you were a movie you were largely and generally considered trash of the worst kind of name to call someone.
In those days filmmakers were looked upon as invaders rather than welcome individuals. Incredible to think that the term we use now was actually politically incorrect.
The importance of a good script far outweighs star power and deep pockets. A couple of highly touted films that were supposed to be mega hits were lavished with cash and completely destroyed careers, hopes, and dreams because of bad scripts. The two films are Last Action Hero and Waterworld.
When both films were made there was an expectation that the big budgets would make up for the terrible scripts. In the case of Last Action Hero the 60 million dollar budget could not really help its star, Arnold Schwarzenegger, avoid the backlash that came with a terrible story. On the other side of the equation Waterworld made headlines as the most expensive movie of its time with a 175 million dollar budget. The film was a failure that made Kevin Costner go from being a bankable star into a questionable figure; again it was a terrible script that did it.
It’s all in the script people!
Some performances in film are simply unforgettable. When you see a specific scene or shot you can almost tell what’s going to happen, how it’s going to happen. The magic of a film is at times placed on the shoulders of a single performance.
Whether or not this practice is engage upon intentionally really only depends on the director and performer dynamic. The way to know if it was the performance is being able to understand the story behind the performer. A great example, an all time great example is Gene Kelly.
Everyone thinks of Gene Kelly’s performance in Singing in the Rain. The iconic sequence in Singing in the Rain where Gene Kelly is climbing all over light posts, dancing and singing while in the middle of a downpour is an all time great moment. What makes that moment even greater is the fact that Gene Kelly was suffering from a fever of 103.
All time great indeed!
One of the biggest villains in animated film history is the evil Lord Farquuad from Shrek. Like every villain it’s assumed he has some sort of back-story. The back-story is actually Michael Eisner, former Disney CEO. The story there is that Jeffrey Katzenberg hated Eisner, who in turn referred to him as an “ evil midget.”
Farguaad must have been a compromise between the midget nature of Katzenberg and the square, hero like jaw of Eisner. In a way Lord Farquaad is the best of two bad worlds. The character is a memorable villain so it doesn’t say a lot for Katzenberg or Eisner.
Peter Sellers immortalized the role of Inspector Clouseau in the Pink Panther. To think of anyone else playing the role of Clouseau is hard only because the role was uniquely Peter Sellers role. When The Pink Panther was re-made starring Steve Martin, there was a collective gasp with good reason.
So what where some of the other choices? The other choices for the role were Mike Myers, and Kevin Spacey. Myers and Spacey are fine actors but it’s fair to assume that neither one was really fit to take the role. There just isn’t anyone like Peter Sellers, no matter how good an actor, there is no Clouseau like the original Clouseau.
If you ask anyone who their favorite James Bond is chances are that you will get a universal response in favor of the legendary Sean Connery. The reason for Sean Connery’s popularity is twofold, his machismo and on top of that his portrayal of the cool spy.
Something interesting to note about Connery is that he was wearing a hairpiece through his entire run as the British super spy. Sean Connery would eventually toss the wig out the window and continue his highly respected trajectory as a film Icon but it was the Bond role, wig included, that made him a star.
The film Independence Day is a summer blockbuster classic that established Will Smith as a major box office commodity. The film is basically about a bunch of good guys getting together and saving the planet from a decidedly lethal alien invasion. Yes the plot of the film is somewhat generic but the film was written and shot in a way that generated real interest.
An unknown fact about Independence Day is the fact that James Brown played a part in it. James Brown did not perform nor did he use his super powers as godfather of soul in order to help. Using James Brown’s voice, screaming, created the sound of weapons exploding in the alien spaceship.
Wow, HEY, get down now!