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'L.A. Confidential' And '8 Mile' Director Curtis Hanson Has Died At 71


Curtis Hanson

Academy Award winning filmmaker Curtis Hanson has passed away at the age of 71 this week, with natural causes being cited as the cause of death. The director and screenwriter was best known for his explosive 1997 neo-noir film 'L.A. Confidential' and Eminem's film debut '8 Mile'. 

Curtis HansonCurtis Hanson dies aged 71

Curtis Hanson died on Tuesday (September 20th 2016) at his home in the Hollywood Hills. Some reports claim that he had been struggling with Alzheimer's Disease in the years ahead of his death, but no official report has confirmed this as of yet. 

Continue reading: 'L.A. Confidential' And '8 Mile' Director Curtis Hanson Has Died At 71

Chasing Mavericks Review


OK

Despite a number of exhilarating surfing sequences, the interesting true story of surf legend Jay Moriarty is transformed into another dull Hollywood biopic. Painfully family-friendly, it's all so relentlessly smiley and sun-kissed that we wonder where the real story and characters are amid the sticky schmaltz. Even so, it's so beautifully shot that it holds our attention, especially when the cameras are riding the waves.

By the time he was 9 years old in 1987, Jay (Timberline) was already an expert on the tides in his home town of Santa Cruz, California. Watching the surfers every day, he longs to get out there himself. His mother (Shue) is a sleepy alcoholic and he never knew his father, so he adopts salty old surfer Frosty (Butler) as a mentor, even though he's not sure he wants the job. Especially since he's doing everything to avoid his own wife (Spencer) and baby. But Frosty sees Jay's natural talent, and seven years later Jay (now Weston) has the confidence to ask Frosty to teach him how to ride the mavericks, mythical monster waves that only come along every few months.

With its absent father and drunken mother, the script never feels like more than an after-school special, complete with a bat-wielding bully (Handley) and a surf babe (Rambin) who chastely flirts with Jay whenever they meet. Frosty even sets Karate Kid-style pointless tasks for Jay to teach him the bigger picture. But this set-up is so trite that we never have even the slightest doubt about where it's going. And the characters all feel like cliches rather than real people. The three women are especially wasted, but at least they add spark to their roles.

Continue reading: Chasing Mavericks Review

Chasing Mavericks Trailer


When surfing legend Frosty Hesson pulled a drowning 8-year-old boy out of the water while he was surfing, he was unaware that their bond would develop and change their lives forever. Seven years later, Jay Moriarty is a teenager and an enthusiastic surfing amateur. Jay is estranged from his father and sees the aloof Frosty as his idol who first inspired him to ride the waves. One day, he discovers that the mythological surf break, Mavericks, is more than just a story; it's real and a matter of miles away from where he lives in Santa Cruz, California. He is determined to ride the massive waves at Half Moon Bay to the extreme worry of Frosty who cannot bear to see Jay at risk again. When Jay's mother tells Frosty that nothing he says will stop Jay riding the wave, he decides that he will instead train him to survive it with a variety of intense exercises. They soon come to release that their journey is no longer about surfing, but about freedom and believing in yourself.

Continue: Chasing Mavericks Trailer

The Big Year Review


OK
Even though it's rather corny and sentimental, this colourful comedy-drama holds our interest mainly because it's about a subject we'd never imagine watching a film about.

Brad (Black) is a birdwatcher who decides to do a Big Year, seeing as many birds as possible in 12 months, while holding down a full-time job and borrowing against his credit cards. Jetting around the country for rare spottings, he comes up against his record-holding nemesis Kenny (Wilson) as well as Stu (Martin), a corporate big-wig who has taken a year off work to follow his dream. But will their obsession with birding cause problems in their private lives?

Continue reading: The Big Year Review

Curtis Hanson and HBO Monday 16th May 2011 Director, Curtis Hanson HBO presents the premiere of 'Too Big To Fail' based on the book by Andrew Ross Sorkin at the Museum of Modern Art. New York City, USA

Curtis Hanson and Hbo
Curtis Hanson and Hbo

Curtis Hanson - Friday 5th March 2010 at Independent Spirit Awards Los Angeles, California

Curtis Hanson
Curtis Hanson

Curtis Hanson Sunday 15th November 2009 Academy Of Motion Pictures And Sciences' 2009 Governors Awards Gala - Arrivals held at Grand Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland Center Hollywood, California

Curtis Hanson

White Dog Review


Excellent
In the granite-headed world of Sam Fuller, hysteria reigns supreme and sentimentality is an emotion as rare as uranium. As Fuller famously posited, "Film is a battleground" with characters banging their heads into one another like enraged rams, with the "victor" succeeding into oblivion or madness.

Racism has always been a red-hot button obsession of Fuller's ever-present like a festering ooze in his films from Run of the Arrow to The Crimson Kimono to China Gate to the rabid Shock Corridor. But in no other Fuller film has racism been depicted in a such a raw-boned and festering way as in Fuller's final Hollywood film, White Dog, barely released by Paramount in 1982 amid false charges of racism against Fuller by the NAACP.

Continue reading: White Dog Review

Lucky You Review


Good
The characters in Curtis Hanson's Lucky You waste so much breath explaining their every move at the card table that the movie ultimately works better as a Texas Hold 'Em tutorial than a down-on-your-luck melodrama.

Completed in 2005, Lucky legendarily shuffled around Warner Bros.' release schedule (bad sign) before the studio dropped it on the summer's first massive weekend (good sign) where it could compete with Sam Raimi's Spider-Man 3 for an audience (suicidal sign). Watching it, you easily forget the picture's age and subsequent shelf life until Drew Barrymore's character -- an aw shucks rube from Northern California trying to make it as a lounge singer in Las Vegas -- tosses off a Dr. Laura Schlesinger reference. Hanson even opens with Bruce Springsteen's "Lucky Town," an old-school track off The Boss' similarly titled album that brought me back a few years, but which actually fits the story well.

Continue reading: Lucky You Review

L.A. Confidential Review


Excellent
L.A. Confidential, despite what you've heard, is not the best film in 20 years. It's not even the best film of 1997 (current titleholder: In the Company of Men). But if you consider all films ever made that have the nasal Danny Devito providing voice-over work, L.A. Confidential is certainly at the top of that list.

Comparisons to Chinatown are obvious and appropriate. Both films take place in the Los Angeles of yesteryear, feature multi-layered crime riddles, and have stars with questionable morals as ersatz heroes. And both are very good. While Brian Helgeland and Curtis Hanson's script isn't the tight masterpiece that Chinatown is (the writers meander for a good 45 minutes before his story starts to shape up), and Faye Dunaway wasn't half the cheeseball that Kim Basinger is as the femme fatale, L.A. Confidentialmakes the audience do what few films of the 90s have achieved: think.

Continue reading: L.A. Confidential Review

The Dunwich Horror Review


Weak
Rather amusing but tepid and tiresome adaptation of the H.P. Lovecraft classic, The Dunwich Horror is redeemed only by a wild-eyed and wild-maned Dean Stockwell as a campy half-demon dude obsessed with the occult and the summoning of the demon Yog-Sothoth from another dimension. Priceless green-red-blue color effects stand in for these otherworldly locales. Really quite silly and repetitious.

In Her Shoes Review


Very Good
Personally, I don't get the shoe thing, and more than likely, I never will. Unless you're a foot fetishist, the foot and the shoe shouldn't hold much importance to anybody but the owner. I never claimed to know what the thing is with women and shoes and I don't have the will power to feign interest, to be honest. But it's apparent that Curtis Hanson has a might big interest in women's shoes and for that matter, women in general. It's the reason that he's followed three male-heavy films with In Her Shoes, a film about women and all their habits.

To say your siblings are terrifying is an understatement; they are either young enough to physically torture you and mentally annoy you with the precision of a mime or they are old enough to make you really worried. Rose Feller (Toni Collette) shares my torture in abundance, if not more so. She has been looking after and taking care of her younger sister, Maggie (Cameron Diaz), since their mother died. We meet Maggie while she is getting nailed in a bathroom stall at a high school reunion. Sparks fly when Rose catches Maggie screwing Jim, the man she is seeing, and throws her out of the apartment they've been sharing. Unable to go anywhere else, Maggie goes to her father's house where she uncovers years of hidden birthday cards from a grandmother she thought was dead. So Maggie packs her bags and heads to Miami to bunk up with grandma Ella (Shirley Maclaine), the grandmother who was cast aside by her father. Meanwhile, Rose starts seeing a fellow lawyer, Simon (Mark Feuerstein), starts a dog-walking business and sets out to reconnect with Maggie.

Continue reading: In Her Shoes Review

8 Mile Review


Very Good
What up, dawg? Rolled wit my boys to the 8 Mile screening to see my homey Eminem's new movie. Man, that shiznit was off da hook. At first, I was worried that Eminem might sell out, 'cuz I seen him everywhere talkin' about this movie, man. He showed the love on MTV's Movie House, and was on the cover of my father's Entertainment Weekly wearin' boxing gloves. But no worries, this ain't no Glitter II. Em kept his cool, and his new movie was straight dope.

Word.

Continue reading: 8 Mile Review

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Curtis Hanson Movies

Chasing Mavericks Movie Review

Chasing Mavericks Movie Review

Despite a number of exhilarating surfing sequences, the interesting true story of surf legend Jay...

Chasing Mavericks Trailer

Chasing Mavericks Trailer

When surfing legend Frosty Hesson pulled a drowning 8-year-old boy out of the water while...

The Big Year Movie Review

The Big Year Movie Review

Even though it's rather corny and sentimental, this colourful comedy-drama holds our interest mainly because...

Lucky You Movie Review

Lucky You Movie Review

The characters in Curtis Hanson's Lucky You waste so much breath explaining their every move...

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L.A. Confidential Movie Review

L.A. Confidential Movie Review

L.A. Confidential, despite what you've heard, is not the best film in 20 years....

In Her Shoes Movie Review

In Her Shoes Movie Review

Personally, I don't get the shoe thing, and more than likely, I never will. Unless...

Wonder Boys Movie Review

Wonder Boys Movie Review

I have no idea what "wonder boys" are. I assume it's one of many...

8 Mile Movie Review

8 Mile Movie Review

What up, dawg? Rolled wit my boys to the 8 Mile screening to see...

Adaptation Movie Review

Adaptation Movie Review

Poking around in the mind of John Malkovich was a wonderfully weird, wildly conceptual experience...

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