“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.”
No one says, but you implied.
First off, what is the general consensus on Salvador? I have wanted to watch it ever since I saw that Z Channel documentary.
Regardless of any other Stone, I will also stick up for Nixon, though it has been many years, so I don’t exactly remember why I am sticking up for it ;)
And as far as Wall Street, I agree with Ari. It’s “trashy fun”. But nothing else, and certainly not an intriguing, thought-provoking work on the inner workings of Wall Street.
i love salvador, it’s probably my favorite altho i haven’t seen in many years. i also thought jfk was audacious and worked pretty well, aside from costner
@Matt: “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.”
Interview schminterview, countermyth schmountermyth. In the film itself, Garrison is presented as a straight up Heroic Apostle of Truth Uncovering A Vast Conspiracy Against A Fallen King. Is Stone saying that he presented Garrison as being paranoid? If so, it sounds like another example of Stone re-writing history to me, making the film’s greatest weakness (its extreme High Earnestness) into a kind of meta-cinematic strength by pretending that he deliberately presented Garrison as anything but a Knight In Shining Virtuous Truthful Armour, vanquishing the commies and queers who brought down JFK.
@Captain— (WALL STREET is) certainly not an intriguing, thought-provoking work on the inner workings of Wall Street.
But that’s the problem, I think. Stone thinks that WALL STREET is an intriguing, thought-provoking work on the inner workings of Wall Street. “Trashy fun” aren’t words in Stone’s vocabulary, I’d say.
“Garrison is presented as a straight up Heroic Apostle of Truth Uncovering A Vast Conspiracy Against A Fallen King”
Which is pretty much exactly what Garrison thought himself to be doing at the time.
““Trashy fun” aren’t words in Stone’s vocabulary, I’d say.”
Um . . .
Stone is not a historian, and narrative cinema is hardly the best medium for advancing a historical argument. If someone wants to evaluate Stone’s films by their historical value or accuracy, his films are an abject failure. So would be almost all historical films (though Stone’s fail more spectacularly than most on that score).
The virtues of JFK, the film, have nothing to do with the JFK assassination. Even if you assume that the film is factually nonsensical, it’s the picture it paints of how power and politics could, at least in theory, operate, that can create a kind of frantic paranoia in the viewer. It’s that effect that I think is valuable, and it has little to do with historical fact. That the film is ostensibly based on true events is, to my mind, irrelevant.
Overall, though, I find most of Stone’s work intolerable. I particularly despised Nixon, World Trade, and W. JFK I thought was great the first time I saw it, and very mediocre the second time. I did like NBK the first time I saw it (at age 15 or so), but I’d guess if I saw it again I wouldn’t be as impressed.
@Danny- Stone can be oftentimes uneven, or paranoid-preachy but he’s hardly the worst.
NIXON is good though overlooked. If you are 22 you wouldn’t remember this- when NIXON came out, Stone was crucified even by the liberal press- “how dare he? Nixon the president can’t be that bad” they all cried. Then more hidden vaults and canned worms opened up since his death and Nixon turned out to be worse than what many thought.
PLATOON was shot nonlinear by intenion to reflect the chaotic landscape and confusion of battle. Stone should know since he fought there.
That clip from THE HAND is a marvel, isn’t it. But is it evidence of Stone’s sense of trashy fun, or of his failure to realize that a scene was unintentionally hilarious?
Maybe I should check U-TURN out, it could be the new SHOWGIRLS.
By seeing the scenes from THE HAND and U-TURN:
Stone is the only person to make Michael Caine look bad on screen.
U-Turn looks like a direct to video pieceof garbage. Plus I ABHOR Sean Penn. I get livid just by looking at his punk face.
@Danny — Stone is the only person to make Michael Caine look bad on screen.
See JAWS THE REVENGE sometime.
He is a great director when you are young and just learning about cinema, particularly if you were a teen in the early to mid 90’s, but that’s about it really -)
Having said that, Natural Born Killers and U-Turn are still good films imo. Great exercises in style, particularly NBK.
I might have grown up in the 90s, but I saw these films either in school or on TV, and being a lover of all types of film, I can safely say that none of his films had a sense of resonance with me. The director therefore fails in making good wholesome cinema.
The good Oliver Stone would be Alan Parker. He shows the true gritty side of his films.
Midnight Express (ironically Oliver Stone wrote screenplay)-Turkish prison at its utmost worst.
Fame- the urbania of NYC in the late 70s/early 80s
Mississippi Burning-the ugly racism of the South
The Wall- the troubled lifestyle of a musician on skid row.
Stone would have exaggerated these scenarios in his direction, and made them seem less than stellar.
@Danny -The Wall the troubled lifestyle of a musician on skid row.
Pink in THE WALL is not on Skid Row — he’s in a palatial Los Angeles hotel suite.
Sorry I mean to say figuratively on skid row in his life.
Yes, because Alan Parker is a master of subtlety and historical accuracy?
Very gritty stuff here. So realistic! So authentic! Not overwrought, melodramatic or manipulative in the slightest. : |
Still Better than Stone
^ And you didn’t even mention Evita. Come to think of it, Alan Parker might be a bad Oliver Stone.
Although Angel Heart is trashy fun too.
^^Yeah and it looks great too.
Parker, like Stone, hasn’t made a decent movie in years.
Wall Street 2 wasn’t quite THAT bad imo, but it seriously wasn’t up to much. it didn’t bore me though.
it just seemed pointless
But when you look at the films of his that I have mentioned, it cancels out Evita and Angel Heart. Every director has a blemish on their resume.
^^Parker has plenty of blemishes. David Gale is widely recognised as one his absolute worst. Road To Welville also has an incredibly bad reputation.
^ David Gale certainly has one of the worst “twist” surprise endings I’ve ever seen. Road to Wellville is a misfire but not as bad as its reputation. It’s probably one of Parker’s better films.
“But is it evidence of Stone’s sense of trashy fun, or of his failure to realize that a scene was unintentionally hilarious?”
You know Stone’s intention better than I, well enough in fact, to completely disregard his own statements about his intentions, so I guess I have to leave that up to you.
A horror film about a comic book artist who looses his drawing hand and then goes mad as said appendange embarks on a murderous rampage . . . what could possibly NOT be deadly serious about that?
I find Alan Parker borderline unwatchable.
Danny, you still haven’t provided a single real critique of Oliver Stone’s direction. It all seems to boil down to “he sucks and his films are not historically accurate down to the last prostitute”. If you want to have a serious discussion about his films, or at least one that goes beyond “he blows, amirite?” you’re going to have to go a little deeper.
^^I’m with you on this Matt, and the only evidence i need is U-Turn.
That film is all about ‘trashy fun’, in a grisly sort of way. No chance Stone was taking that ‘seriously’. It’s so OTT that it almost plays like a parody of noir.
and since Stone is a fan of noir, i seriously doubt the effect was unintentional.
I expect a similar kind of genre hyperstylization from Savages, Joks (not that it will necessarily turn out well).
“Stone is the only person to make Michael Caine look bad on screen.”
Oh, and Danny, if you think this is true, you have a lot of Caine’s filmography yet to watch.
Natural Born Killers and Any Given Sunday also qualify.
^ Certainly someone who never saw The Swarm!
Oh yeah, Any Given Sunday was pretty fun.
What’s there to go deep on if Stone doesn’t convey his meanings throughout. JFK was nothing but a 3 hour history lesson, Platoon failed to balance drama and the surroundings of war among other criticisms. How deep can I go from there. The man cannot create a decent film plain and simple.