Harry Dean Stanton Page 3

Harry Dean Stanton

Harry Dean Stanton Quick Links

News Pictures Video Film RSS

Big Love: Season One Review


Very Good
In its first season, Big Love was often summarily referred to as "the polygamy show." True enough, but as with many of HBO's finer offerings, it offers more than meets the eye. And the expectations. While Big Love doesn't deliver the consistency or tension many HBO fans enjoy in The Sopranos, there's enough in this bizarre drama to support a solid DVD-viewing addiction.

From the first notes of The Beach Boys' "God Only Knows" ringing under an otherworldly opening credit sequence, Big Love hints at a combination of somber connection and sincere personal adoration. At the center is Bill Henrickson (Bill Pullman), an ambitious home superstore owner who lives a clean, Utah Mormon life... along with his three wives and gaggle of kids.

Continue reading: Big Love: Season One Review

Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me Review


OK
You can almost plot David Lynch's lunacy on a graph. From perfect form in 1990, with the original Twin Peaks TV show, to borderline schizophrenia with the second season in 1991, to absolute lunacy in 1992, with the prequel movie, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me.

Filled with non-sequitur imagery and symbolism, Fire ostensibly tells how Laura Palmer came to be wrapped in that sheet of plastic which so fatefully washed ashore in the first episode of the TV series. But Fire doesn't really tell any story at all. There are scenes of exposition, but these are sandwiched between the endless dream sequences, the lunatic characters (like the woman in red and the one-armed man) who appear and vanish just as suddenly, and bonus raunch added just for the purpose of titillating the audience.

Continue reading: Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me Review

She's So Lovely Review


Weak
Nick Cassavetes, working from his father's script, practically remakes his father's film A Woman Under the Influence, with even less charm that the original. For starters, the film makes practically no sense at all. "She" in this movie, is Robin Wright, who is made to look as un-lovely as you can imagine and with a phony accent so bad as to drive you to the bottle. Her man is Sean Penn, a wacked-out, two-bit lowlife, with whom she is inexplicably involved... until one day, when he snaps, sending him to the loony bin for 10 years. Wright, meet Travolta, who get married and have kids, until our buddy Sean gets out of the mental ward, gets a dumb haircut, and steals his lady away from her suburban family.

Continue reading: She's So Lovely Review

Alien Review


Excellent
The good news: Sigourney Weaver's famous underwear shot, which probably launched millions of now middle-aged men straight into puberty and beyond, has survived Ridley Scott's keen eye in his digitally remastered 2003 director's cut of Alien.

As for the bad news, well, there really isn't any. Alien, first released in 1979 and in theaters right now, has stood the test of time remarkably well. The beautiful and ballsy Weaver is a heroine for all seasons, the movie is suspenseful in all the right spots and it plays beautifully on the big screen with big sound.

Continue reading: Alien Review

Escape From New York Review


Excellent
The idea of Manhattan being transformed into a maximum security prison isn't much of a stretch. Many New Yorkers already feel as though they're in jail every day, surrounded by monolithic skyscraper walls. John Carpenter imaginatively stretched that premise in his cult classic, Escape from New York. In his alternate version of 1997, the Big Apple is a cityscape jail. The rules are simple. Once the inmates are shipped in, they don't get out. The bridges are mined. The waterways are watched over by sweeping helicopters. The police force, like an army, is encamped on Liberty Island and the outer boroughs.

That's exciting enough, but Carpenter also calculates in a ticking time bomb narrative device. Air Force One is hijacked by some socialist radicals who crash-land the plane into the heart of "this inhuman dungeon of [an] imperialist prison." The President (Donald Pleasence) manages to escape in a safety pod, only to be captured by none other than the leader of a ferocious band of gypsies who control the island, the self-proclaimed Duke of New York (Isaac Hayes).

Continue reading: Escape From New York Review

The Green Mile Review


Excellent
The Green Mile? Let's talk about 26 miles. The length of a marathon. Start the race and the movie together: The race would long be over before the film. The winner would be at home, taking a nap. Yes, The Green Mile is three hours long.

Not that long movies have never been successful, and not that The Green Mile is bad. You might even think a long movie is required here. Pulled from Stephen King's acclaimed series of six books by the same name, King returns to the kind of work he was doing in The Shawshank Redemption (based on a short story of his), the kind that seems to perform the best, away from splatter and gore, and into the minds of the strangest of characters.

Continue reading: The Green Mile Review

Repo Man Review


Excellent
Repo Man is 20 years old now, and time's given it the look feel of a documentary. Not because it's factually accurate about anything - this is a movie about a space alien glowing in the trunk of an elderly Malibu, after all. But it has an earnest feel for its particular place (underclass L.A.), time (early '80s), and subculture (punk-rock underground) that gives it an aura of truth. Willfully absurd and rich with ironic joking, it was released by Universal but had a spirited indie feel that even most indie films a decade later couldn't match. L.A. punk's moment as a defining part of youth culture is long past, but wherever you see young snotbags and anti-authoritarian pranking today on film and TV, you can bet somebody working on the script was cribbing from Repo Man.

In one of his first leading roles, Emelio Estevez plays Otto, a young punker who's found himself stuck in a dead-end spiral: A cheating girlfriend, zombified parents who live under the hypnotic spell of a televangelist, and crummy job at a supermarket where his best friend is the geeky Kevin (Zander Schloss), who's a sort of proto-Napoleon Dynamite. Lured in by Bud (Harry Dean Stanton), a dissipated, disjointed, and cranked-up repo man, Otto begins a new life freeing cars from delinquent owners. Nobody in the repo shop is particularly likeable, but they have the benefit of non-mainstream quirkiness, particularly Miller (Tracy Walter), a half-homeless hanger-on who expounds on a variety of deep matters: John Wayne's sexual proclivities, the ubiquity of tree-shaped air fresheners, and the synchronicities of everyday life.

Continue reading: Repo Man Review

The Pledge Review


Excellent
An early note to parents with young, blonde daughters: Think twice about seeing The Pledge, and if you must go -- if you're eager to see Jack Nicholson give one of his best cinematic performances ever -- then take a Valium before entering the theater and practice saying, "This won't happen to my family! This won't happen to my family!"

From the opening shot, where we see the top of Nicholson's half-bald, hair-transplanted head, The Pledge is an exercise in stomaching an ugly truth. Body parts, pony-tailed girls splotched with blood and bruises -- this isn't a film about happy endings and human triumph. Suspected sex perverts lurk down every road in The Pledge, causing Nicholson's character, a retired homicide detective, so much angst that he becomes his own worst enemy.

Continue reading: The Pledge Review

The Man Who Cried Review


Good
Even the title smacks of pretense, reminiscent of The Flower that Drank the Moon, that fictional bit of art house tripe overheard in Ghost World. But from Sally Potter, who proved so very self-obsessed in The Tango Lesson, returns again to her roots, this time studying her fascination with Russian and girls who sing. Christina Ricci takes center stage as the virtually silent Suzie, a Russian Jew sent to England and then Paris on the eve of WWII, but her brooding inactivity may simply be of too little interest to all but the most devoted fans of her, Johnny Depp (equally silent when not crying), and classic opera -- which plays throughout the movie.

Sonny Review


OK
He's a gigolo. She's a call girl. Together they're a pair of super-heroes that galavant around 1981 New Orleans. OK, everything but that super-hero part is true about Nicolas Cage's directorial debut, which gives us James Dean lookalike James Franco trying to change his ways and get a "normal" job, only to find out normal ain't all it's cracked up to be. Back to the housewives with ya, and now that Cage has the vanity project out of his system, he can go back to making more movies with Spike Jonze.

The Mighty Review


Very Good
Sentimental and mushy, yet heartwarming despite your best efforts to the contrary, The Mighty was termed by Sharon Stone as her proudest moment of 1998. Never mind she has about 5 minutes of screen time. Gillian Anderson's hooker is the real gem of the movie, which tells the tale of a friendship between a dim hulk of a boy and a crippled, yet brainy kid. As improbable as any film I've seen, but at least not awful to watch.

Pretty In Pink Review


Excellent
The youth of today -- the kids just entering their teens -- will they regard Molly Ringwald as a teen dramedy princess, or will she be known as a B-list queen of cheesecake horror films?

Pretty in Pink stands out as the perennial ladies' favorite from the Brat Pack era, with Ringwald turning in an unforgettable role (and role model) as a poor girl named Andie who takes care of dad (Harry Dead Stanton playing a stereotypical drunk), makes great grades (and her own clothes), all while finding herself pursued by no fewer than three guys. The real competition comes down to a war between the rich kid (Andrew McCarthy) and Andie's fellow poor-boy (Jon Cryer, whose wannabe hipster "Duckie" has become a legend of the era).

Continue reading: Pretty In Pink Review

Down Periscope Review


Bad
The horrors of a genre needing a spoof that got a nutty Kelsey Grammer comedy... in this wacky, comic submarine adventure the funniest bit is Lauren Holly finding that her clothes have been shrunk. Yes, I think I can hear you not laughing, right now.

Alien: The Director's Cut Review


Good

Twenty-some odd years after scaring the bejesus out of me as a thrill-seeking teenager, Ridley Scott's 1979 sci-fi horror hallmark "Alien," re-released today in a new Director's Cut, doesn't hold up as well as I'd anticipated.

Sure, the infant alien bursting from the chest of John Hurt after gestating his gut is still a seat-gripper (although the stiff little puppet that emerges and scurries off screen has always been the worst special effect in the movie). Sure the seven poor saps onboard the ill-fated cargo spaceship are real personalities with depth and dimension (cynical blue-collar grunts stuck with each other in dead-end deep-space jobs) played by gifted actors like Ian Holm, Tom Skerritt, Harry Dean Stanton, Yaphet Kotto, Veronica Cartwright and sequel-bait Sigourney Weaver. These people are anything but the wisecracking beauty-before-brains WB-channel cast-off types that have always been fodder for B-horror killers Jason, Freddy and Leatherface.

Sure, "Alien" still boats what is arguably the best monster design in movie history (by H.R. Giger and Carlo Rambaldi). The exoskeletal alien itself -- with its razored fingers, its sleek, elongated dome head and its steely-fanged mouth that drips translucent goo and hides a tongue tipped with another set of teeth -- is ingeniously terrifying. The acid-blooded, mutant-crab-like face-hugger -- with the long, strangling spine that impregnates Hurt with the alien embryo -- is so masterfully rendered that even during its slimy autopsy close-ups the thing begets goosebumps. Modern CGI effects cannot hold up to this kind of substantive scrutiny. "Alien's" aliens are as real as movie monsters get.

Continue reading: Alien: The Director's Cut Review

Anger Management Review


Unbearable

Writer David Dorfman, director Peter Segal and star Adam Sandler missed a golden opportunity in "Anger Management," a comedy bereft of laughs about a milquetoast office drone and designer of fat feline fashions (?) who is sentenced to rage therapy after an incident on an airline.

The incident: His repeated polite requests for a headset to watch the in-flight movie are absurdly mistaken for aggression by a flight crew with post-9/11 jitters. The missed opportunity: The concept's punchline should have been that he really is a rage-a-holic and the calm version of events we see is his skewed perspective of normalcy.

Instead, the picture sticks with the notions that typically dim-bulb Sandler (insert empty-eyed double-take head-cocks here) really is a misunderstood nice guy, and the actor fails to find a single genuine laugh in the story's goofball gimmick -- which is that his nutzo court-appointed therapist (Jack Nicholson, volume turned up to 11) moves in with him and makes his life a living hell.

Continue reading: Anger Management Review

The Big Bounce Review


OK

Winningly wry and roguish Owen Wilson seems very much at home in the cheeky, tropical-noir world of Elmore Leonard in "The Big Bounce," a watered-down adaptation that has enjoyable vim and vigor, even if it isn't quite a faithful adaptation of Leonard's wily style.

Wilson has a gift for taking what other actors might see as rapid-fire dialogue and slowing it down to a hang-loose pace, making it seem more naturally smirky, and thereby making it his own. So as a lackadaisical surfer/vagabond/con man whose philosophy toward a career in crime is that he'll "take money if it's lying around," he's an ideal anti-hero to shrug his way through this fun but forgettable flick about an undercooked caper of mob money and double-crosses.

Fired from a construction job on the North Shore of Oahu and freshly sprung from the hoosegow after landing a baseball bat upside the foreman's noggin, Jack Ryan (Wilson) is offered a job by the blithely amused local judge who heard his case (Morgan Freeman, harmonizing perfectly with Wilson's laid-back style) -- and who likes to ruffle the feathers of Ray Ritchie (Gary Sinise), the crooked real estate developer who was pressing charges.

Continue reading: The Big Bounce Review

The Man Who Cried Review


Weak

An erratically emotional saga of a young Russian refugee's sidetracked search for her father, Sally Potter's "The Man Who Cried" presents such a haunting and moving first act that the balance of the story seems steadily to decline.

After its flash-forward title sequence that unnecessarily reveals a pivotal moment of the last act, story proper opens in a Jewish farming village in 1927 Russia, where a beautiful little girl is playing hide-and-seek in the tall grass with her adoring father, unaware that he is about to leave for America, hoping to find work then send for his family.

The girl's life soon changes from blithe to melancholy, as she doesn't understand why her father is going away. Then her life becomes downright terrifying as the village is attacked and burned, and to save her life the girl's mother forces her to run away.

Continue reading: The Man Who Cried Review

The Pledge Review


Weak

Director Sean Penn and star Jack Nicholson must have been drawn to the complexity of the haunted ex-detective character at the center of "The Pledge," because he's just about the only thing at all uncommon in this largely conventional serial killer suspense flick.

Although, even calling him uncommon is a stretch. Reno homicide dick Jerry Black is pretty much an assembly-line character -- a freshly retired cop obsessed with finding the "real killer" in an officially closed murder case that was his last assignment. Having made a promise to the parents of the dead little girl, he's still following hunches on his own time because nobody in the precinct believes him.

Doesn't Jerry sound like a regulation Morgan Freeman character? But with Nicholson in the role, he's a bit more of a wildcard. Big Jack brings an element of instability to Jerry that leaves the audience concerned for his sanity when his ostensive retirement finds him buying a gas station at a High Sierra crossroads as his nest egg because it's at the center of a geographic pattern he's discovered for his suspect.

Continue reading: The Pledge Review

The Straight Story Review


Very Good

Once you get past the fact that you're watching a G-rated David Lynch movie, "The Straight Story" is a wonderfully simple, impossible to dislike slice of warm, eccentric Americana.

A based-on-fact account of a 73-year-old retired Iowa farmer who drove a 1966 John Deere riding mower 320 miles to visit his ailing estranged brother, it's a ready-made classic allegory about regret, determination and family ties told with heart and completely unassuming honesty by one of the world's most complex filmmakers.

Lynch is known for his complicated, blunt and graphic fare ("Blue Velvet," "Twin Peaks," "Lost Highway") featuring rich visuals and deeply disturbed characters. But here he puts many of his familiar techniques to use illustrating a unique and leisurely story with his engrossing and detailed style.

Continue reading: The Straight Story Review

Harry Dean Stanton

Harry Dean Stanton Quick Links

News Pictures Video Film RSS
Advertisement

Occupation

Actor


Harry Dean Stanton Movies

The Last Stand Movie Review

The Last Stand Movie Review

Korean filmmaker Kim played with the Western genre before in his wacky 2008 pastiche The...

This Must Be The Place Trailer

This Must Be The Place Trailer

Cheyenne is a soft-spoken, retired rockstar still wearing make-up and hairspray whilst living in Dublin...

The Last Stand Trailer

The Last Stand Trailer

Ray Owens is a police sheriff whose major crime fighting days are all but over...

This Must be the Place Movie Review

This Must be the Place Movie Review

Italian filmmaker Sorrentino creates a Jim Jarmusch-style odyssey from Ireland to America and back. Witty...

Rango Movie Review

Rango Movie Review

Inventive visuals and lively voice cast lift this finely animated film above the fray. So...

Rango Trailer

Rango Trailer

Rango is a chameleon who isn't particularly content living the life of the general chameleon,...

The Open Road Trailer

The Open Road Trailer

Watch the trailer for The Open Road Carlton Garrett is the son of baseball legend...

The Green Mile Movie Review

The Green Mile Movie Review

The Green Mile? Let's talk about 26 miles. The length of a marathon....

Pretty in Pink Movie Review

Pretty in Pink Movie Review

The youth of today -- the kids just entering their teens -- will they regard...

Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.