Lawrence Bender

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Lawrence Bender Regrets Uma Thurman's Stunt Accident, But Denies Cover-Up


Uma Thurman Lawrence Bender Quentin Tarantino Harvey Weinstein

A producer on the movie Kill Bill has responded to Uma Thurman’s claim that the production team covered up a controversial car crash that took place on set during the filming of a stunt that injured its star Uma Thurman.

On Tuesday (February 7th), Thurman had claimed in an eye-opening interview with the New York Times that Tarantino had made her drive a car at speed on a winding road for a scene in 2003’s Kill Bill, although she felt uncomfortable and unsafe doing the stunt. She crashed the vehicle, sustaining a number of bodily injuries and concussion as a result.

She accused Lawrence Bender, a long-time collaborator of Tarantino’s, plus disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein and E. Bennett Walsh of covering up the incident by way of refusing to release the footage of it to her unless she signed a document relinquishing them of responsibility.

Continue reading: Lawrence Bender Regrets Uma Thurman's Stunt Accident, But Denies Cover-Up

Fresh Review


Weak
Acclaimed, but why? Fresh is the nickname of the prototypical urban street punk (Sean Nelson), who runs drugs for the local hoods when he isn't busy attending dogfights, witnessing murders, visiting his prostitute sister, or playing chess with his homeless father in the park. Presumably, we are meant to sympathize with Fresh because he's a chess player, and hence an intellectual, but when he launches his plan to turn the tables on his drug bosses, it's hard to rally behind him. Extremely disturbing and unnecessarily violent, Fresh plays like Spike Lee for Dummies.

The Great Raid Review


OK
Sometimes you can have the best story a filmmaker could ask for, a giant pile of money and all the best intentions, only to end up with what is ultimately a sub-par piece of work. Such is the dilemma of John Dahl's much-delayed The Great Raid, a gorgeous-looking film about an impossibly dramatic and yet mostly-forgotten real-life World War II rescue mission, which has everything going for it and yet never quite makes it to the finish line.

The facts are these: In 1945, as the American army is pushing back the Japanese in the Philippines, Tokyo has issued an order to exterminate every prisoner of war, an order enthusiastically carried out in the beginning of the film, which recreates an episode in which 150 U.S. POWs were covered in gasoline and set on fire. The Americans know that as they advance, the Japanese will do the same thing at every camp they get close to, and that the American Sixth Army is only days away from the camp at Cabanatuan, with over 500 prisoners - a starving and miserable bunch who survived the Bataan Death March and three years of privation only to face murder just as their fellow soldiers approach. So a team of 121 soldiers, mostly inexperienced Rangers, are ordered to sneak 30 miles behind Japanese lines and liberate Cabanatuan. It's a jury-rigged, rag-tag sort of mission, with the soldiers knowing it's a suicide detail, but also knowing they couldn't stand not to try.

Continue reading: The Great Raid Review

Good Will Hunting Review


OK
Hype? Sheesh, like no other. This side of Titanic, Good Will Hunting has enjoyed some of the most baffling, gushing praise of the year. Does either film deserve it? Not really.

Let's look at the facts: You have Matt Damon as Will Hunting -- apparently the smartest man on the face of the earth who can also kick anyone's ass over breakfast, and has a history of run-ins with the law. Oh no! Affleck is his down-to-earth best bud. Driver, the hoity-toity love interest. Williams and Skarsgård as Hunting's mentors, the guys that rescue him from a prison sentence for assaulting a police officer. And it is made abundantly clear that the film is also about the class stuggle in Boston.

Continue reading: Good Will Hunting Review

Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights Review


Bad
In the middle of the lousy Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights, Patrick Swayze makes an appearance as a hotel dance instructor. At first, I laughed like mad over this kitschy connection: Swayze! This was tremendous. Were more Dirty Dancing alumni going to appear? Was Cynthia Rhodes going to pop up as a chorus girl? Jennifer Grey as a lifeguard?

However, as a still agile Swayze danced with the new movie's star, Romola Garai, it dawned on me: The new movie needed Swayze, or rather his hunky heir. Part of what made the original Dirty Dancing so appealing was Swayze's presence. Physically, you couldn't take your eyes off him, and he had a cool, aloof sex appeal that set up good girl Grey to fall madly in love with him. And Grey did a masterful job falling for his charms, slowly and assuredly.

Continue reading: Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights Review

White Man's Burden Review


Excellent
What would happen if race roles in America were reversed? What if blacks had all the power, and whites had to fight prejudice and racism at every turn? Such is the setting of writer/director Desmond Nakano's brilliant new film, White Man's Burden.

The movie is a tightly constructed drama about Louis Pinnock (John Travolta), a reliable blue collar man who works in a factory owned by high-society elitist Thaddeus Thomas (Harry Belafonte). At home, Louis has to deal with a rough neighborhood, gang violence, and trying to provide for his wife (Kelly Lynch) and two kids.

Continue reading: White Man's Burden Review

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Lawrence Bender Movies

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Good Will Hunting Movie Review

Good Will Hunting Movie Review

Hype? Sheesh, like no other. This side of Titanic, Good Will Hunting has...

Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights Movie Review

Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights Movie Review

In the middle of the lousy Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights, Patrick Swayze makes an appearance...

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