All posts tagged: Leonardo DiCaprio

gatsby

10 Movies…That Are Insane Adaptations of Famous Books (To Prepare You For the New ‘Great Gatsby’)

I haven’t seen The Great Gatsby yet, but I can tell already that it just doesn’t add up. The production seems to have missed the point—it’s not about the glitz and glamor and pop songs—it’s about the death of dreams and the danger of being a complete and total sellout, ironically enough. Here are 10 other literary adaptations that were kind of out of control. His Dark Materials: The Golden Compass (2007) When you adapt a children’s fantasy novel about goin’ off to kill God, you kind of have to tone that down for the multiplex audiences, and put a lot of polar bears on the promo materials. The Great Gatsby (1974) It’s happened before! Gatsby (Robert Redford) is a leering douchebag who is still in love with Daisy, and we can’t understand why, because Mia Farrow plays her as a hysteric gasbag. And while Luhrmann’s adaptation seems to favor color and sparkles, this movie is just a sea of white and a celebration of nostalgia—ironic for a book known for its color symbolism and …

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Watch Leo DiCaprio in the First Trailer for Clint Eastwood’s “J. Edgar”

Dw. Dunphy: So, did Leo go the Robert DeNiro route or the Eddie Murphy route (Twinkies v prosthetics)? Kelly Stitzel: I’m not much of a DiCaprio fan and I haven’t really been into the last few Eastwood-directed flicks. But this cast is pretty fantastic and the screenplay was written by Dustin Lance Black, whom I love. So, I’ll definitely give this one a chance. Bob Cashill: He looks like a Dick Tracy villain. I think the very tall Hammer was hired to make the tall Di Caprio look shorter, as Leo is no “fat little man.” What can I say; I’m tied to Broderick Crawford’s very convincing evocation of late Hoover in the 1977 film The Private Files of J. Edgar Hoover. Scott Malchus: Hammer impressed me to no end in The Social Network, and his brief clips in the trailer indicate that he’s going to be a big star. Related articles Just How Gay Is Clint Eastwood’s J. Edgar Biopic? (queerty.com)

No Concessions: “Inception,” Conception, and Other Mysteries of Life

There’s an upside and a downside to writing about a movie like Inception after it’s been in release for several weeks. The advantage, for me, is that you may very well have seen it, and that means, no plot summary—this should help. The disadvantage, of course, is coming up with something fresh to say about a movie that’s now sunk to its third or fourth weekend of cine-dreaming, displaced by Steve Carell and Will Ferrell flicks. Truth be told, I have no earth-shaking, world-beating theory about “what it all means.” Maybe that’s where to start: For me, the movie was more Homer’s Odyssey than Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, the simple story of a guy trying to reunite with his kids, with a few modern touches. Like, you know, vans falling slowly into the water, and Paris folding in on itself, and other phenomenon brought to you via the miracle of parallel editing (get that Oscar polish ready, Lee Smith). The whole infamous spinning top thing at the end? Just Christopher Nolan giving us a …

CD Review: “Inception: Music from the Motion Picture”

Warner Bros. Records sent me Hans Zimmer’s soundtrack to this week’s much-anticipated blockbuster Inception. Cards on the table: While I certainly respect writer-director Christopher Nolan, I wasn’t crazy about The Dark Knight, and his reputation is overinflated by his biggest devotees. But that was so 2008, and I’m moving on. Except for this: Anyone who calls him “Kubrickian” hasn’t seen enough Kubrick to make the comparison. I’m reading a lot of that these days, and it bugs me. There’s more to Kubrick’s resume than The Shining or 2001, the usual points of reference, and Nolan may never make, or want to make, a Lolita or a Dr. Strangelove. From what I gather Nolan is happy just to be able to mount these big-scale fantasies, which is fine as far as it goes; they’re smart and classy, especially by the degraded standards of the rest of the funhouse, and occasionally thrilling when he eases up on the pretension. That makes him a good fit for filmmaking at this magnitude, and I have a rooting interest in …

No Concessions: Scorsese, Polanski Still Crazy After All These Years

“Film culture today,” I muttered, as I waded through (and into) an unusually bothersome post on the usually half-annoying (but compulsively readable) Hollywood Elsewhere site. Look: It’s OK not to get, or to enjoy, Douglas Sirk pictures like All That Heaven Allows (1955) or Imitation of Life (1959). I’m not all that crazy about Terrence Malick or Wes Anderson, who have similar followings. But not to acknowledge Sirk’s continuing influence (on, among other things, Mad Men) or to back up what you believe and simply assert that “women’s pictures have cooties” and “melodramas are queer”—and then to attack Powell and Pressburger classics and Mildred Pierce—is a low blow even for a pseudonym-ridden blog. My mood improved with a thread in the Arthouse, World & Hollywood Cinema section of the superior Mobius Home Video Forum. The subject is directors over 70 still wielding their megaphones, and there are more than I’d imagined, which is encouraging. Participating in both these discussions happened to coincide with me seeing Shutter Island and The Ghost Writer, from two senior, Oscar-winning …

DVD Review: “Body of Lies”

Body of Lies (2008, Warner Bros.) purchase this DVD (Amazon) Ridley Scott directing Leonardo DiCaprio and Russell Crowe in a big-budget action epic — it’s gotta be a surefire box-office phenomenon, right? Nine times out of 10, probably — but unfortunately for Scott, DiCaprio, and Crowe, not to mention the folks at Warners, last year’s Body of Lies proved the exception, landing with a thud behind Beverly Hills Chihuahua and only earning back its $70 million budget with its overseas grosses. Why? It’s about the war, stupid — specifically, the War on Terror, which has proven to be commercial poison for a long list of movies that includes In the Valley of Elah and Stop-Loss. It would be nice if I could tell you that Body of Lies didn’t deserve its fate, and that it was better than your average explosions-in-the-desert thriller, but I can’t; really, at bottom, it’s everything you’d expect from Ridley Scott — an intricate, moderately paced, old-fashioned espionage flick, with the same slick cinematography and beautiful shots of stuff blowing up …

No Concessions: Darkness and Light (“Body of Lies” and “Happy-Go-Lucky”)

Body of Lies didn’t have to do much to impress me. It’s the first movie I’ve seen since becoming a dad, and the switch from explosive poops to plain old explosions was a comfort. But I must have gotten rusty over the last two months. It is my duty to tell you the plot of this movie, and I confess I can only start at about the 90-minute mark, when after a great deal of strenuous editing the movie caught its breath and became a post-9/11 version of The Sting. As far as I could make out, Leonardo DiCaprio’s conflicted CIA operative flim-flammed a Mideast businessman, a minor cog in Al-Qaeda’s wheel, into a big fish, to draw out the bigger fish that his untrustworthy boss, Russell Crowe, was interested in. Part of this ruse involved DiCaprio pretending to be an average Mideast citizen, but Leo dressed as an average Mideast citizen looks like Leo dressed as an average Mideast citizen, and neither the terrorist bigwigs he’s after nor I were born yesterday. I’m not …