All posts tagged: Sean Penn

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10 Movies…That Were Comeback Vehicles (To Prepare You for ‘Iron Man 3’ with Robert Downey, Jr.)

Downey headlines this week’s Iron Man 3, his fourth outing as the billionaire Robocop. He’s one of the biggest stars in the world and one of our most universally liked celebrities — which is what he seemed like he was destined to become circa Chaplin in 1992, but not so much after nearly killing himself with heroin and wandering into strangers’ homes in 1996, or — even worse — that stint on Ally McBeal. Downey started his remarkable comeback with 2005’s Kiss Kiss Bang Bang; in honor of his latest appearance as Ol’ Shellhead, here some other stars who came back from the brink of obscurity and irrelevance. Ulee’s Gold (1997), with Peter Fonda A Boomer icon from writing and starring in Easy Rider, Fonda descended into schlock and ugh in ‘70s B-movies…before coming back in Ulee’s Gold, a movie about bees, but also really horrible family problems. Fonda earned a Best Actor nomination at the Oscars. Little Children (2006), with Jackie Earle Haley As a teenager in the ‘70s, Haley played badass Kelly Leak in …

10 Movies…That Are Narrative Remakes of Documentaries

Kon-Tiki hits American theaters this week, months after it was nominated for the Best Foreign Film Oscar. It’s a narrative retelling of Kon-Tiki, the 1951 Academy-Award winning documentary directed by Thor Heyerdahl about his voyage across the South Seas in a raft of his own creation. Here are some other compelling real-life stories caught on film…that were then scripted and remade. Rescue Dawn (2006) In 1997, Werner Herzog made Little Dieter Needs to Fly for German television, a documentary about a German-born American pilot named Dieter Dengler who was shot down and captured in the Vietnamese War but later successfully escaped. About a decade later, Herzog wrote and directed Rescue Dawn, based on the events of Dieter. Party Monster (2003) Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato produced and directed Party Monster: The Shockumentary in 1998, based on Disco Bloodbath by NYC club kid James St. James, which focuses on the life and murders of fellow club kid and horrifying sociopath Michael Alig. The duo remade it as a narrative film in 2003, with Seth Green and …

DVD Review: “Milk” and “Slumdog Millionaire”

Milk (2009, Focus Features/Universal) purchase this film from Amazon: DVD | Blu-ray For any film fan, there’s no pleasure quite as distinctive as sitting down to watch a new movie from a director you know you can not only trust, but whose work boasts its own distinctive visual style. The advent of digital film and the increasingly corporate culture of the major studios have helped weed a lot of the more idiosyncratic directors out of the system, but there are always at least a few of them on the landscape, and 2008 saw new releases from three of them: Christopher Nolan (The Dark Knight), Gus Van Sant (Milk), and Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire). As luck would have it, all three of them were sizable hits, and all of them earned some measure of attention from the Academy during Oscar season. TDK has been out on DVD and Blu-ray for some time now, and by the end of March, both Milk and Slumdog will have joined it on the home market. Milk, the Sean Penn-led biopic …