Kevin Costner's Oil Spill connection
I had to read this twice to believe it:
Say what you will about the guy's movies of the 90's and 00's, but I am impressed that this guy has spent a big chunk of money on something that might actually help someone besides Kevin Costner.
[Mike Cohen] "Say what you will about the guy's movies of the 90's and 00's"
Okay, I will. :-) In nearly chronological order.
--Dances With Wolves. I saw it a couple of months ago, and think it completely holds up. Gets grief for beating Goodfellas...but hey, it's a better movie. Watch them back to back and let's talk.
--Waterworld. Very entertaining, and profitable in its original release. The disasters were in the filmmaking process, as the set got destroyed by hurricanes, crew members lost at sea (all, fortunately, recovered), ballooning budget...but yeah, more than made back its budget in the theatrical release, and cleaned up on home video.
Ebert: "The cost controversy aside, Waterworld is a decent futuristic action picture with some great sets, some intriguing ideas, and a few images that will stay with me." There you go. How many movies can say that? AND make a profit?
--Tin Cup. My favorite Costner movie, and great turns from Cheech Marin (fantastic), Rene Russo (one of her two best - the other is The Thomas Crowne Affair), and Don Johnson (best a-hole antagonist in film history?). Ages far better than Bull Durham, imo.
And seriously, has there ever been an actor more naturally, physically graceful? Gene Kelly was all about compensatory machismo, Flynn was a show-off with very few tricks, but Kevin's physical skills made him the only guy who could have pulled off some of these roles, even in otherwise cerebral pictures like No Way Out. Vastly underappreciated because of how easy he makes it look, and did some of his best work in this decade.
--Wyatt Earp. Dandy.
--JFK. Nice supporting role, so not really a KC picture, but I liked him in it. Went back to the Kennedy well in Thirteen Days and nailed it.
--Dragonfly. Perfect, PERFECT, until the end, which was hideous beyond speaking...ruining it overall, but a nice ride to that point. (M. Night S.'s Signs was like that for me, too.)
--Message in a Bottle. The first Nicolas Sparks screen adaptation, and second only to A Walk In the Clouds. They are what they are, and if you're all in, Sparks pictures are very moving, and a real pleasure.
--The Bodyguard. Cheese-tastic. I personally didn't care too much for this one, but am clearly in a minority of the world's film audiences. Regardless, a great, great example of his filmmaking instincts. With a little more focus, he would have made a wonderful producer. Favorite: over the objections of everyone, including Whitney, he insisted that she try the first verse of I Will Always Love You a capella. SHE made me hate the song, but HE was right. Again.
--The Upside of Anger. PHENOMENAL. I love, love, love this movie. Yes, plays another washed up athlete...but doesn't do anything athletic. That's just the context that his lovable burnout inhabits in a dramatic role with a light heart. It is impossible to conceive a better performance by him or anyone else. Perfect, perfect, perfect.
--Rumor Has It. Another underrated gem. One of a couple of ace big-screen performances by Jennifer Aniston, who doesn't get her due (The Good Girl, Office Space), and a completely gracious, playful performance by our boy. One of his best pure comic roles, and utterly believable as someone who could effortlessly, almost accidentally, have 3 generations of the same family fall for him. This is another role he makes entirely his own, and owns every square inch of it.
Those are just a few of the ones I like best.
The thing is, I'd forgotten about several of these until Mike got me thinking. I wouldn't have put him on my favorites list, but the fact is that I really, really enjoy a lot of his movies. While he's had plenty of duds along the way, it's mostly because he works so much. His winning percentage is as high as anyone in the game, and I think he gets short shrift because he makes it look so, so easy.
Very cool article, though, Mike. I knew about Heddy Lamar patenting what became spread spectrum, but had no idea that Barbara Cartland patented airplane-towed gliding.....
I really enjoyed No Way Out and Dances with Wolves. Even thought he was okay in The Untouchables and Field of Dreams...
I was just very disappointed by what was done with The Postman, when the book was so chock full of awesome. I think that one really must have gotten away from him durign script development. I wasn't asking for the whole book to be in the movie, but why did they have to mutate it so badly from the original, and not take any of the best bits from the book? If you hated the movie, try the book, and I think you'd really like it.
I had forgotten about some of those Costner flicks too. I think that because No Way Out, The Untouchables, Dances with Wolves and Field of Dreams were so great, I have discounted his 90's efforts.
In the 00's, he did a movie about Coast Guard rescue swimmers which was actually pretty interesting. He definitely has a love of the oceans. The Bodyguard may have been the Chick Flick to end all Chick Flicks, but it made the guy wealthy, and if that wealth saves a few water fowl then great.
We should not forget that he also directed Dances with Wolves - a very good epic movie. For an actor to get into directing a major non low budget movie after just a few really good acting gigs is actually pretty amazing. And to win Oscars for director and picture for the first one out of the gate is pretty rare.
I've always enjoyed Waterworld, it kind of reminded me of an Indiana Jones type fun action movie (but not quite as good as any of the first three Indys). Costner just seems like a guy who gets unbearably passionate about every project he works on, probably to the point it's annoying to the people he lives with, but it shows in his roles (in a good way).
But Robin Hood being the most recent Costner movie I've watched has put a bad taste in my mouth. That may have been his worst acting job, ever? I don't know, in that movie he just did not come across as Robin Hood. Maybe it was the deadpan American accent that killed it for me.
The nearly saving grace of Robin Hood was Alan Rickman. Not ALL the way enough, but still....
Agreed though, not the right taste in one's mouth when talking about Costner pics in this era. Check out Tin Cup again if you haven't in a while. I came across this last week and remembered again just how much I enjoy this picture. One of a very small handful of pictures I own, and one of the ones I watch most...although as I mentioned, for many other performances as well.
For a more complete performance, check out The Upside of Anger. we checked that out as a Joan Allen picture, which it most definitely is. We expected to tolerate Kevin, but were enchanted by him. Kind of the same deal with Rumor Has It. It looked like a J. Anniston picture with a sparkling turn by Shirley Maclaine...which agin, is most definitely the focus...and, again we were unexpectedly charmed by our boy.
But in my recent re-watching of Robin Hood, he may have been one of the things that held up least well (his haircut as much as his accent!), you could see the many, many levels that it doesn't work anymore...and makes me wonder why I thought it did at the time....