Thursday, March 21, 2013

Star Turns

Watched this again the other night and was struck by how slight a movie it was. Truthfully, originally I was swept away by the music and scenery and Clooneyness of it. This time it seemed like a LIFETIME movie.
I doubt it would have ever been made if Clooney hadn't signed on. It was well done for what it was, but gee, tell me what made it a feature film for a major studio. Clooney.

What other films would never have been made but for the star who agreed to be in it?


Anonymous said...

I have to figure that outside the big superhero blockbusters or small, independent features, most movies get a green light because a "name" is attached, either as actor or director. "Country Strong" could only have been a Lifetime movie if Gwyneth Paltrow had not been in it. That's the first movie that jumped into my head, but there are so many others.


Anonymous said...

I like the "Clooneyness" line.

There are dozens of movies made only because stars want to do them. Michael Douglas loved THE IN-LAWS (the original with Alan Arkin and Peter Falk) so wanted to remake it.

Bad idea.


Even worse idea.

Tom Cruise's entire career.

Jeff M.

Anonymous said...

ISHTAR, Hoffman & Beatty
HEAVEN'S GATE, Michael Cimino

Jeff M.

Anonymous said...

NORTH, Rob Reiner

Jeff M.

George said...

I'm with you on THE DESCENDANTS. It's a very slight movie. Take away Uma Thurman from the KILL BILL movies and there's nothing there.

Dan_Luft said...

Almost any picture where the lead actor or actress won the Oscar. As Good as it Gets, American Beauty, Shine, Rainman, Mask, The Color of Money (awful flick), driving Miss Daisy, The Reader, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner. Most of these movies have weak scripts that were helped by the acting.

I remember critics saying that Pacino's performance in Scent of a Woman was so amazing because it was in such a bad film.

Anonymous said...

It was on more than 20 critics' top 10 lists and was nominated for 5 Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Director.

I thought even with Uma KILL BILL was bad. In fact, I found it unwatchable.

Jeff M.

Anonymous said...

THE DESCENDANTS is what my comment was in reference to, in case there is any doubt.

I disagree about DRIVING MISS DAISY, which we liked on stage and on screen. I definitely agree about the awful AMERICAN BEAUTY and the overrated AS GOOD AS IT GETS, and don't get me started on CRASH.

Jeff M.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Generally I like small movies but THE DESCENDANTS was not the typical small movie. It was your typical TV movie. It was not about character.

Charles Gramlich said...

In the last year or so I've watched a couple of movies that George Clooney was heavily involved in producing and so on, and I didn't care for either. They really did seem slight.

Kieran Shea said...

Well, there's a vast, steaming swath of Nicholas Cage movies.

Truth is, I kind of liked The Descendents mainly because of a few key moments. I've several friends who live on the Big Island, and echo this "Matt King" sentiment:

"My friends on the mainland think just because I live in Hawaii, I live in paradise. Like a permanent vacation. We're all just out here sipping Mai Tais, shaking our hips, and catching waves. Are they insane? I haven't been on a surfboard in years."

pattinase (abbott) said...

I liked it a lot the first time. But on a second viewing, way too much time was spent chasing down the lothario. It felt like the real Hawaii was hiding behind these non-Hawaiians. Too many closeups of George. It needed to be much smaller to work, I think. IMHO, of course. And it felt like he was keeping the land to outsmart the lothario. Tried to do too much and too little.
We see so few movies about other cultures, they managed to make Hawaii seem like anywhere instead of somewhere special.

Todd Mason said...

Well, Hawaii is very much everywhere, particularly on Oahu.