Daily Archives: March 21, 2021

Consider the Source

From the Chicago Reader (January 26, 2001). — J.R.

The Pledge

***

Directed by Sean Penn

Written by Jerzy Kromolowski and Mary Olson-Kromolowski

With Jack Nicholson, Patricia Clarkson, Benicio Del Toro, Dale Dickey, Aaron Eckhart, Helen Mirren, Tom Noonan, Robin Wright Penn, Vanessa Redgrave, Mickey Rourke, and Sam Shepard.

Blooper Bunny

***

Directed by Greg Ford and Terry Lennon

Written by Ronnie Scheib, Ford, and Lennon

With Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Elmer Fudd, and Yosemite Sam.

The Wedding Planner

**

Directed by Adam Shankman

Written by Pamela Falk and Michael Ellis

With Jennifer Lopez, Matthew McConaughey, Bridgette Wilson- Sampras, Justin Chambers, and Judy Greer.

Shadow of the Vampire

*

Directed by E. Elias Merhige

Written by Steven Katz

With Willem Dafoe, John Malkovich, Catherine McCormack, Eddie Izzard, Cary Elwes, and Udo Kier.

I can’t say that The Pledge, The Wedding Planner, Blooper Bunny, and Shadow of the Vampire have much in common, apart from the fact that they’re showing in Chicago this week. Yet all four do, to different degrees, feed off other movies. Frankly, that’s what I like most about The Wedding Planner — a romantic comedy starring Jennifer Lopez and Matthew McConaughey that aspires to and achieves the goofiness of a studio musical of the early 50s.… Read more »

Cornucoppola [BRAM STOKER’S DRACULA]

From the Chicago Reader (November 27, 1992). I couldn’t (and wouldn’t) argue that this treat is necessarily Coppola’s best movie, for reasons given below, but I wonder if it might actually be his most pleasurable, at least on a moment-by-moment (and shot-by-shot) basis. The Blu-Ray only adds to and enhances the richness.  — J.R.

BRAM STOKER’S DRACULA

*** (A must-see)

Directed by Francis Ford Coppola

Written by James V. Hart

With Gary Oldman, Winona Ryder, Sadie Frost, Tom Waits, Anthony Hopkins, Keanu Reeves, Richard E. Grant, Cary Elwes, and Bill Campbell.

Geographical spread accounts for some of the major differences between the film culture in this country and the various film cultures in Europe. While overseas the principal film-production centers and intellectual centers are usually located in the same cities — Paris, Rome, London, Madrid, Lisbon, Stockholm, Budapest, Prague — most of the United States stretches between our main film-production center, Hollywood and environs, and our main intellectual center, New York. The practical consequence is that our left hand hasn’t the faintest idea what our right hand is doing.

So much for the geographical split. What might be called the institutional gap is even worse. I’m referring to the profound lack of communication between the film industry (including most movie reviewers) and academic film studies (including intellectuals in adjacent or related fields).… Read more »