June 29, 2016

Tag Archives: A Few Good Men

Aaron Sorkin: His best screenplays to date

Hot on the heels of discussing the best work of Danny Boyle’s career, in honor of this week’s release of Steve Jobs, I want to do the same today with scribe Aaron Sorkin. Considered one of the very best, if not the absolute best, writers in the business, Sorkin is one of the most distinctive creators of dialogue that this generation has. A star both on television and in the movies, Sorkin is an undeniable genius. As such, it’s a distinct pleasure to rank his screenplays, as I’ll be doing below. It’s basically just ranking things from good to great, so everything listed is well worth checking out if you’ve yet to see something. Enjoy, and as always, remember that this is only how I would rank things, not the absolute final word on the matter…
First as a bonus, here’s how I would rank his TV writing, which I find to be uniformly excellent:
4. Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip
3. The Newsroom
2. Sports Night
1. The West Wing
Here now is how I would rank Sorkin’s screenplays so far:
7. Malice – On the surface Sorkin’s least obvious work, considering the plot developments, but the characters are still acting like the ones he writes in more overtly “Sorkin” type projects. A mystery/thriller starring Alec Baldwin that he co-wrote, it’s hardly the best example of his talents, but it hints at what was to come. Not his best, but still some quality writing for sure.
6. Charlie Wilson’s War – A very clever script, there’s just a small bit of something missing from making this the classic it could have been. Getting to hear Tom Hanks, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Julia Roberts spout his dialogue in a film made by Mike Nichols is basically mana from cinema heaven, and while it’s really good, it’s just shy of the greatness he’d be able to capture afterwards in the title (coming up later in this list) that won him his Oscar.
5. Moneyball – Sorkin came on late in the game and helped rewrite this sports flick, so in some ways his voice feels tacked on, but it’s part of what makes this movie succeed. He’s able to elevate an already compelling story of underdog success by making the dialogue crack with intelligence. Having read the script prior to his involvement as well as after he came on, I can vouch for both being real good, but his […]

Tom Cruise’s Ten Best Performances

Few A-list movie stars these days have been as durable as Tom Cruise. He can take a licking and keep on ticking, while still showing us something new from time to time. With the release this weekend of Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, I wanted to take a look at the career of Cruise and pick out his very best acting jobs. As such, below you can find what I feel to be his top ten performances to date. While he’s focused on action roles of late, I think the next stage of his career will return him to drama, which is exciting, as he’s overdue an Academy Award. As always, this is just my take on things, but I do hope that you enjoy!
Here now are what I think are the ten best performances of Cruise’s so far…
10. Lions for Lambs – Not the best film he’s ever been involved in, but Cruise is almost too perfect as a Republican politician. The million dollar smile that occasionally can seem on the empty side is used to terrific effect here. It’s an incredibly underrated performance and one of the last times he’s attempted straight drama over the past decade or so.
9. A Few Good Men – Cruise spouting Aaron Sorkin dialogue is really a joy for me, and if he doesn’t have the flashiest part in the flick, he still makes his work rather memorable. He gets to go toe to toe with Jack Nicholson in court, as well as have a number of humorous lines that break up tension. It isn’t usually mentioned among his best works, but it should be.
8. Risky Business – The role that really made Cruise a star, it’s a strong performance that’s comedic, but also a bit of a straight man part as well. It’s a teen sex comedy, but one with a darker underbelly and a sense of maturity at times that I think is rare for the genre. As soon as he danced around in his underwear in that iconic scene, you knew that he was rocketing to the A-list. It was only a matter of time.
7. Collateral – A rare villainous turn by Cruise, it shows his magnetism used for evil instead of good, to great effect I might add. Intense and somewhat haunting with all of his liability stripped away, he still manages to be incredibly captivating. It’s the sort […]

‘Flipped’ flops at the box office, studio cuts expansion

HollywoodNews.com: Rob Reiner’s 1950s/60s period romantic comedy “Flipped” will not be getting a wide release any time soon.
The film unspooled on August 6 in 45 theaters in three markets – Los Angeles, Calif.; Austin, Texas and Sacramento, Calif. generating just under $600,000 through yesterday. Critics have mostly been split on the film giving it a 57% rotten score on the Tomatometer. And with “Flipped’s” weak ticket sales, Warner Bros. is looking to cut back the film’s 29 runs to eight and move it to another market, New York. Typically, films that are more suited for the arthouse perform better in Gotham.
“Flipped” is based on a tween novel by Wendelin Van Draanen about the relationship between two kids, from second grade to middle school, with family drama splashed in the background along the way.
“While our initial test markets did not perform to our expectation, we love this movie, and we are committed to six new markets with a different plan in the hope we can find the audience to make this film a success,” Warners Bros. distribution boss Dan Fellman told the Hollywood Reporter.
“Flipped” was an attempt by director Rob Reiner to reinvigorate the era he so magically captured in 1986’s “Stand By Me” which was nominated for best adapted screenplay. The director, who had an excellent run at the box office during the late ‘80s and ‘90s with both crowd-pleasing, award worthy fare, i.e. “A Few Good Men” ($141.3 million) and “Misery” ($61.3 million) has fallen on hard times both at the multiplex and at the Oscars.
However, Reiner’s previous film, 2007’s “The Bucket List,” saw a boom at the domestic B.O. grossing just under $94 million.
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Photo Credit: Warner Bros.
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Tom Cruise’s ‘Knight and Day’: Beaten to a Pulp By Adam Sandler

By Roger Friedman
hollywoodnews.com: Tom Cruise had a bad Friday, the third day of release for “Knight and Day.” The film made $6.35 million, versus over $14.5 million for Adam Ssndler’s “Grown Ups.” The former film took three days to make a little less than what the latter did in one night.
Cruise was never a huge box office draw on his own. His biggest hits, “The Firm,” “Rain Man,” and “A Few Good Men,” were ensemble pieces with talented supporting casts and well thought out, well executed scripts.
Films like “Vanilla Sky” and “The Last Samurai” were not good, and not blockbusters. They averaged $100 million domestically, but cost a lot, too.
Cruise’s big films were always the franchise entries: the Mission Impossible series, the Bruckheimer films.”Eyes Wide Shut” was a financial disaster. Steven Spielberg batted .500 with him–”Minority Report” did about $135, “War of the Worlds” about $235 million.
In his long resume, only “Jerry Maguire” stands out as an artistic and commercial achievement with $152 million and a Cruise Oscar nom. It’s Cruise’s best film, hands down. His other Best Actor Oscar nomination was for “Born on the Fourth of July.” It brought in only took in $79 mil.
To read more go to showbiz411.com