@ Roscoe: compared with the vile Zack Snyder and the viler Rob Marshall.
Happy to agree with you there. Marshall’s films cause acid reflux. Snyder makes Eli Roth look talented.
Aside from some interesting f/x visuals, Snyder’s Sucker Punch was offensive as hell and bordering on fanboy porn. My 14-year-old son loved it, but I was made as hell at myself for taking him to see it. A supreme error in judgment, although in my defense the trailers did not convey how vile the film truly was.
>>He is a bad director because he believes laissez faire capitalism and the financialization of an economy is inherently predatory and destructive?<<
You realize this makes no sense, right? You’re saying that his skills as a director are somehow tied to his views on the economy. Newsflash! Oliver Stone is a big ol’ leftie! He’s never tried to hide this and its actually what he’s known for. Your point that his films are filled with innacuracies is true enough, but even when dealing with real events, he’s so stylized and over-the-top that I can’t see anyone mistaking his efforts for documentary. Also, most films based on real events are pretty free with taking liberties.
I’m not offering a full defense of Stone as I’ve found even some of his films I orginally enjoyed (The Doors, Natural Born Killers) did not hold up to repeated viewings. I do think that three of his films stand out as really strong examples of the kind of talent Stone could demonstrate, but too rarely does – Born on the Fourth of July, Talk Radio and Nixon. Despite being pretty full of it, JFK is visually compelling and works as kind of a fever dream of paranoia.
>>I’ve always been curious as to how “W.” played in the US. I didn’t care for any of the performances (most felt like bad SNL impersonations to me)<<
Yeah, that was my take too. My hopes were up because Stone was able to make Nixon such a full blooded character, but his W. was a pure cartoon.
His new one, Savages, looks borderline unwatchable.
^ I don’t know if Savages is gonna be over-the-top in a good way or a bad way. It looks kind of like U Turn, but I feel pretty skeptical about it.
All of Stone’s last films in order-Alexander, World Trade Center, W, and Wall Street 2, have all flopped. Savages is probably gonna do the same. He’s on his way out. Nobody cares to see his warped ideology on the silver screen anymore.
Despite not agreeing with the OP that Stone’s career has been worthless, I will say that it has been since the mid-nineties. I doubt this Tony Scott looking Blow rip-off is going to turn that around.
GARBAGE. If Stone thinks he’s gonna take this to the Oscars next year, I think he’s surely mistaken.
Wow, you control the Oscars? You’ve got some explaining to do.
@Danny “Marshall and Snyder at least entice, Stone bores the audience with history lessons.”
I see nothing enticing about the revolting horrors of CHICAGO, NINE, or most especially 300. At least there are unintentional laughs to be gotten out of WALL STREET and PLATOON.
I never go out of my way to see Stone’s films. It was only within the last couple of years that I saw Natural Born Killers, which had some good ideas but its execution was lazy and boring. The hype around Platoon was incredible and built up my expectations beyond reason. I was sorely disappointed to say the least. The big problem with Stone is that he’s a propagandist rather than a storyteller. He tends to rub the face of the audience raw with his point rather than build a story around a point to lead the audience to a place of reflection and catharsis. To be fair to him or other contemporary Hollywood types, audiences aren’t generally thoughtful or critical. So, his body of work is not going to be popular because he is trying to say something however poor the result. Today’s mass audience wants roller coaster rides rather than films.
Having perused his film list, I have only seen three or four of them and did give JFK 4 out of 5 for its audacity but rarely rate his work above a 3.
And, by the way, the worst mainstream director (grade z exploitation hacks don’t count) is Gary Marshall.
Agreed, at least as of around 2005. Still love Marshall’s acting and personality.
Why the hatred against Chicago and Nine. I think both films were entertaining and sum up the true purpose of going to the cinema: TO BE ENTERTAINED AND NOT LECTURED.
Danny Bailey, may I ask how old you are?
Yeah I liked Chicago a lot. I haven’t seen Nine, though…
I am 22, but check my film ratings, and you’ll see that I have the taste of someone more than twice my age. I think you’ll be impressed.
“And, by the way, the worst mainstream director (grade z exploitation hacks don’t count) is Gary Marshall.”
And I thought you were a huge fan of Beaches, Brad?
The hatred comes from finding CHICAGO and NINE to be the worst films ever made. Glad you found them so entertaining, and true to your true purpose. I think you do have a point about the “lecture” quality of Stone’s films, but I can’t find anything even remotely entertaining about the unspeakable stupidity of CHICAGO and NINE (as brought to the screen by the idiotic Rob Marshall) or Zack Snyder’s abortion 300.
Maybe I need to watch it again, since it’s been many years, but I remember liking Chicago a lot! What was so bad about it?
>>And I thought you were a huge fan of Beaches, Brad?<<
LOL! Forgot that even existed. I was thinking of atrocities like Pretty Woman and Exit to Eden.
Not on board with the conventional wisdom of Zack Snyder bashing. I thought 300 was one of the more unique looking CGI worlds and it worked as a pure battle film. Watchman was even better and, while not on par with the graphic novel, shared many of it’s sensibilities and succeeded in providing a skewed twist on the superhero film. Haven’t seen Sucker Punch.
Chicago wasn’t terrible, but a safe and inconsequential bit of retro fluff in the vein of this year’s equally undeserving Oscar winner, The Artist.
@DFFO — For me, the gimmick of having the songs all take place in what passed for Roxie’s mind was a cowardly cop-out, and if that wasn’t bad enough, the insane weed-whacker editing style that reduced everything to a mass of quick cuts among badly framed shots. And I can’t imagine how on earth Marshall made Queen Latifah unsexy, and poor Richard Gere’s laughable attempts at singing, God forgive them all. On the whole, revolting garbage, taken from one of the great stage plays. NINE commits most of the same sins, but is mitigated by a couple of precious moments of the magnificent Marion Cotillard.
Think what Oliver Stone would have done if he directed Chicago. I don;t even wanna go further in that nightmare.
Yup — Stone’s CHICAGO would have been pretty putrid too, no doubt. But Stone at least has some minimal competence behind the camera, which Marshall quite simply has not.
@ Ari – No, I’m the big Beaches fan. :)
I wouldn’t consider myself a fan of Stone at all, but I stand by JFK as being absolutely fantastic on almost every level (some of the dialogue is a bit forced, the scenes of Garrison’s home life are pretty awkward). I could care less about the factual veracity – it’s a tour de force of great editing, cinematography, pacing, music and acting (excepting Costner who to be fair was okay). I never tire of watching this film. Just treat it as fiction and you should enjoy it just fine :)
I also think Natural Born Killers is at the very least very interesting, as are U-Turn and Talk Radio. So I think he’s a capable director who has the potential to make great films, but more often than not (much more often) screws it up by his heavy-handedness. There’s a boat-load of directors out there worse than Stone though, imo.
If Stone would lay off the politics and focus more on straight up drama then his potential would come up more easily. Or just go back to screenwriting which was somewhat better in. I did like the writing in Midnight Express and Scarface.
@Scampi: Just treat it as fiction and you should enjoy it just fine :)
The problem is that Stone himself doesn’t see it as fiction. He sees it all as absolute stark staring FACT, and that’s kind of a problem. When he uses a blatantly doctored photo to depict an allegedly doctored photo of Oswald, I can only see it as flat-out cheating.
“Wall Street – Attack on capitalism and Wall Street as a whole. "
Yeah, because if there’s one thing that’s clear in retrospect: if we’d only let Wall Street and the Gordon Geckos of the world have their way with the American economy, everything would have worked out fine . . .
“The problem is that Stone himself doesn’t see it as fiction.”
But Roscoe he’s specifically said in interviews that he intended it as a counter-myth to the Warren Commision Report. It’s presented as truth within the context of the film itself, yes, but it’s obviously a paranoid man’s truth.
Good news everyone! Once you reach 40, everybody has good taste!